HDTV Buying Guide: The Features You Need to Look For

HDTV Buying Guide
This guide will tell you about all the things that you should look at before splurging your dollars on a HDTV. Let us take a look.
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Buying a TV in today's market is truly a very confusing task, thanks to a plethora of brands in the market. Till not very long ago, a flat-screen TV with standard definition would have made your neighbors envy you, but today, a new breed of High-Definition (HD) TVs has swept the market. And, if understanding the already present jargon wasn't easy, Plasma, LCD, LED, OLED etc., have made it more difficult for consumers like you and me to decide which TV would be suitable for us. If many us thought that watching Avatar in 3D was an out of the world experience, there is an entire range of 3D TVs which brings the same technology right to your living room. So, which TV should you buy? What size would be suitable for your home? And most importantly, what budget should you allocate to this endeavor. Well, we will try to answer all your questions in this article.

Before we take a look at the features that need to be considered while buying a HDTV, it is important to note that buying a TV is a long-term purchase for most buyers. So, it is very important to buy one which won't become obsolete in a few months. However, it also does not make sound sense to just splurge a fairly large amount of money on an HDTV set that offers features that will never be used. You need to do a bit of fact-finding about what kind of TV would be suitable for your needs.
Guide to Buying HDTV : Features to Look Out For
Size
HDTV in living room
Consider the amount of free space that is available to you. This is the very first step in the HDTV buying process, and you should be clear about the size you are looking for. There is no point buying a small-sized HDTV if you are planning to install in a large room. Also, you need to consider how far away from the TV are you going to sit. Conventional wisdom tells you should sit away four times the screen width. The HDTV comes in a host of different sizes and ultimately it boils down to your requirements.
Brand
The next thing that you need to do is to pick the right brand. For many people, this means picking the most economical one, but this involves so much more than that. The best brands offer many reasons to people to pick them like reliability, customer service, after-sales service etc. The general performance of the TV set and other additional features all play a role in this process.
Technology
LCD and LED
This is perhaps the most important aspect of buying an HDTV. It is natural to be confused when it comes to choosing between LCD and Plasma. LCD (liquid crystal display) screens are made up of liquid crystals fitted between glass plates. The LCD cannot illuminate on its own and needs a CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent light) for illuminating the screen. Recently, the CCFL has been replaced by LED (light emitting diode) which distributes light more evenly on the screen. For a long time, it was widely accepted that Plasma screens are better than LCD screens because the former had a high contrast ratio. However, with numerous innovations, more importantly the use of LED, this difference has been narrowed and today, both are on an equal footing. So, again, it would be difficult to choose between one, but generally, LCD TVs are less costly than Plasma TVs.
Performance
HDTV screen
Once all this has been accomplished, you need to ascertain the performance levels of the HDTV. Pick an HDTV that can play full-HD 1080p resolution and has an impressive contrast ratio. Ensure that the TV that you are buying has a high refresh rate so that images do not appear blurred and can move smoothly. Also, it would be great if you settle in for a TV that is Energy Star certified.
Miscellaneous
HDTV ports
Some other features to take into consideration also include the Internet connectivity provided by the HDTV; the kind of video connections that can be attached; the number of HDMI ports; the power consumption of the TV; and the estimated life of the TV. All these factors should play some role in your decision-making process so that you get a TV which is value for money.
Tips to Remember
Always check the HDTV and all of its features properly before you make the purchase.

Remember that HDTV sets look more attractive in showrooms because of the light conditions there.

The picture quality may not be the same in your home. Do not get carried away and spend too much on unwanted Internet features and connectivity options. There is only so much that an average buyer will use his TV set for.
When choosing an HDTV, check the level of black that it can produce.

This is a good indication of the color accuracy that you can expect. Check the viewing angles of the HDTV in the store. A better angle improves visibility from all directions.

You can also check other features like a cable card slot, an ATSC tuner and a QAM tuner which can be used for receiving Over The Air (OTA) digital signals for greater viewing options.
Of course, all of these factors need a lot of careful study and attention to detail before you can finalize your preferences, but this HDTV buying guide should be enough to get you started. Once you know about all the features that you need to look at, you can work on amassing greater knowledge about these things. With all this information in mind, you will be able to pick the best HDTV for yourself with minimum fuss.