There has never been as many options when it comes to choosing a TV set that is right for you. Determining exactly what you need and then testing the set before purchase is essential to ensure you don't waste your money. LCD TVs are the most common form of display technology, which allows slimline set designs with a variety of different-sized screens and resolutions. Understanding the available options and comparing them to your needs will help you to make an informed choice when it comes time to buy a new TV.
1Measure how far you intend to sit from your TV to determine the ideal screen size for you. If you will be sitting a long way from the TV, a larger screen will allow you to still see the small details. However, sitting too close to a large screen can impair your view and reduce the visible quality. Stand the same distance from various TV sets in the store to test visibility on different-sized screens.
2Count the number and types of input you require on your new TV determined by the accessories you will be connecting to it. For example, a Blu-ray player and video game console may each require an HDMI connection, while your DVD player and set-top box may need RCA inputs. Check the TV's specifications to ensure it is properly equipped with an adequate number of inputs before purchasing.
3Determine the required resolution of your TV based on the desired screen size and types of input it will be displaying. A TV above 37 inches generally requires a 1080p resolution in order to maintain a high-quality image. The visible difference between a 720p and 1080p resolution on screens smaller than 32 inches is negligible, so the lower option can still be perfectly adequate. Test the TVs with a high-resolution input, such as a Blu-ray player, in the store to demonstrate the picture quality.
4Choose which aspect ratio you prefer to watch based on your typical viewing habits. For example, if you mainly watch older TV shows or films, a standard 4:3 ratio screen -- which looks relatively square, as per older TV sets -- could suit your needs. If you play a lot of video games or watch Blu-ray discs, a 16:9 widescreen TV will provide a superior viewing experience.
5Take note of a TV's additional features if you require 3D capability, Internet connectivity or other "smart TV" functions. Although these features can increase the cost of your TV, consideration should be given as to whether you will want these features in the future, even if they're not an immediate priority.
- Consider if you might want to add additional inputs to a TV in the future. For example, you might intend to buy a Blu-ray player or games console at a later date. Although the TV might have enough inputs for you right now, having spare inputs can be beneficial later on.
- If you intend to put your TV in a cabinet or other enclosure, check its overall dimensions -- and not just the screen size -- before purchasing to make sure it will fit inside your existing furniture.
- Note that TVs often have two height measurements -- with a stand and without a stand. This information could be important if you intend to fit it into your existing furniture.
- Most LCD TVs can be wall mounted with an appropriate bracket. This bracket must typically be purchased separately.