9 Must-Know Tips Before You Buy a New TV

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

When considering buying a brilliant TV to stand against or hang from a wall as the centerpiece of a living room, many just think about two factors: how big it is and how much it is. For some people, buying a TV may never come down to anything more than that. But if you truly want to be getting the most for your money, you’ll want to understand what’s really going on with the TVs you check out.

As with all electrical technology, there’s a profound level of complexity and most of us could never hope to understand it — though many of us also wouldn’t care to know how it all works. What really matters when we’re shopping is what it all means to us as the user of the product. So, let’s examine the aspects of most importance in TVs to get acquainted with what they mean for you.

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Display Types

One of the first things you’ll want to do to narrow down your browsing is to figure out what type of TV you want. There are LCD TVs, LED TVs, OLED TVs, and plasma TVs to chose from.

Plasma: If you’re planning on getting a relatively big TV and are going to focus on high-quality cinematic viewing, a plasma TV might be for you. They tend to have excellent color quality and a high contrast ratio (we’ll get into that later), creating a beautiful image. On top of that, they often have a wide viewing angle, so it’s easier for multiple people to gather around the screen and still see a clear picture from where they’re sitting without odd color distortion or no image altogether. They aren’t the brightest TVs though, so ambient light can become a particular problem for plasmas.