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TV Buyer's Cheat Sheet

by Product Specialist

Some key factors to consider before buying your new TV include the following:


When buying a TV, it is important to consider the type of display that the model offers. Perhaps the sharpest image with the best clarity are the LED models. These typically cost a little bit more than the alternatives, but use less energy monthly in most cases. LCD isn't quite as sharp and may not be ideal for those that enjoy gaming or those televisions that have a larger screen. Plasma screens are often found in the huge, wall-sized models but these may be less clear and more difficult to see in some homes.



Bigger is better when it comes to evaluating a TV's contrast ratio; the higher the number, the greater the contrast between the colors on the screen. Look for models that offer a true contrast ratio, which allows buyers to compare sets to find the best contrast and most satisfying image.


The television's resolution is measured by pixels, and the higher the number of pixels, the more detailed the image on the screen should be. Pixels often are provided for the vertical number of pixels on your screen. Ask sales staff for the horizontal pixel number, which you can then multiply with the vertical pixels to obtain the total pixels for the set you are looking at.


The inputs on your new TV are important, depending on the other electronics and devices that you will be using it with. Most televisions have HDMI inputs, which allow you to hook a computer, laptop, or gaming system up to the set. Blu-ray disc players typically require a HDCP input. If you are living in the stone age with a retro VCR or old style disc player, you may want to find a set that contains the analog inputs to be compatible with your system.

Keep in mind that technology changes frequently, so avoid trendy models that could be obsolete in no time. Look for quality devices from reputable manufacturers, and opt for extended warranties whenever possible. This will ensure that you won't be disappointed in the performance or utility of your TV, and that you can enjoy your investment for years to come.