It's more than about the display, resolution and size
It's more than about the display, resolution and size
Like with air conditioners (featured in the August issue), choosing a television is not an easy task. There is a huge array of brands/models out there, claiming different features and offering varied panel sizes within the same price range. There are LCD TVs, LED TVs and OLED TVs to look at. So, it all starts from what type of display technology you want. Then, most of us tend to stick to known, leading brands. But these may not be the best choice always. There are various factors to consider, other than the brand name. For example, does the brand have a network of service centres in your area? Is some installation included in the price, and what kind of warranty does it come with? The following compilation will help you sort out the criteria you may apply when choosing your new TV and also does a quick comparison of brands on some helpful parameters. There are lots of abbreviated tech-specific terms nowadays—for example, HDMI, SPDIF, DLNA—but let that not overwhelm you, because a little bit of extra effort to study your requirements will make all the difference to your TV experience.
By Display Type
LCd: Liquid crystal displays are pretty common to find, and may be the cheaper option. They are energy-efficient and usually have good colour.
Led: TVs branded as LED are actually LCD TVs that use LEDs as a backlight for the liquid crystals in the display. If a TV has ‘local dimming’, it will have an advantage when it comes to contrast ratio, which is a plus. On top of that, LED TVs are less powerhungry than standard LCDs and plasma.
OLed: Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs actually are different from LCD TVs. OLED TVs use coloured LED lights to create the image, so they save on power, though not always as much as LED TVs. They do manage to create a high-quality image, and a bright one at that, so they may be best for those planning on watching TV a lot during brighter hours, when glare could otherwise be a problem. They also have high contrast ratios, as black pixels will actually be emitting no light, which creates great cinematic visuals. OLED screens are costly to make, so you’ll have to pay more. They also suffer from some of the viewing-angle problems.
HD-ready, full HD, or 4K? The higher the resolution, the better the image quality. HD-ready offers 1,366 x 768 pixels resolution, full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, and 4K 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. We recommend that if you have the budget, get a 4K TV. If not, then go for a full HD screen. HD-ready TVs are cheaper and while they are good enough for watching SD (standard definition) content, you can notice the marked differences in sharpness and clarity compared to a full HD TV.
The common TV panel sizes available today are 32, 40, 42, 46/49 and 55 inch. To determine the ideal screen size for best viewing experience, measure the distance between where the TV will be placed and your bed/couch/chair.
Perhaps the most important choice you are going to make with a new TV is the size of the screen. You could consider an even bigger set for spacious family rooms, or if you will be sitting very far from the TV. Consider how many people in your family typically watch at once and where you are going to put your new set. Then pick the largest screen size that will fit comfortably into that space—and your budget.
Other Criteria a) Do You Want a Smart TV?
Smart TVs have been around for a while now and you can easily get one for less than Rs 50,000. Smart TV comes preloaded with an operating system (OS) – Android, Google TV, Tizen, etc. – that functions similar to a smartphone OS. You can connect to the internet to view content, install additional apps and even games. Smart TV delivers a much better overall user experience. However, keep in mind that smart TV is expensive compared to the normal TV. You can get a 42-inch normal TV at the price of a 32-inch smart TV.
b) Do you have HDMI ports?
Most people tend to forget checking the number of devices that can be connected to their television. The majority of the devices today use an HDMI (highdefinition multimedia interface) port for connecting to the TV for best quality video and audio output. However, they can also be connected via a composite/ component port, if required. If you plan to primarily connect high-definition sources, look for a TV with at least four HDMI ports – this will be helpful as you won’t have to change wires when switching devices.
c) Check if the TV has optical or SPDIF/coaxial audio out port
Most slim TVs come with dual 10 watt (RMS) speakers that tend to blare on volumes above 70 per cent. If you want a quality audio experience, we recommend you invest in a home theatre or a separate speaker system. Check if the TV has optical or SPDIF/coaxial audio out port – it’s ideal for multichannel audio output. If the TV with these ports is not in your budget, then you can use the more commonly available 3.5 mm (headphone) audio jack that most TVs come with.
d) Check if the TV has built-in wi-fi or supports external wi-fi USB dongles
Internet connectivity on a TV has multiple benefits. You can access on-demand multimedia content, keep a tab on your social network, and in some cases even make video calls. If your TV has built-in-wi-fi or supports external wi-fi USB dongles, you will be able to connect your home wi-fi network and stream audio/video content on your TV. Most smart TVs come with DLNA or Miracast support, which allows you to wirelessly stream content from your smartphone/tablet directly to the TV.