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TV Buying Guide - How to Find Your Perfect TV | Snapdeal.com
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TV Buying Guide

Buying a TV can be one of the most difficult electronics related decisions you can make. There are so many makes, models, sizes, and features available, the choice can seem somewhat overwhelming. Thankfully, we've put together this TV buying guide to help you narrow down the field and find the one TV that's best for you and your home. Let's take a look at some of the most important things to consider.

Click to see parts overview

  • Overview
  • Screen Size
  • Display
  • 3D TVs
  • Gaming TVs
  • TVs Sound
  • Other Tips
  • Tech Specs

Seating Distance: With today's high-definition TVs, you can sit relatively close to the screen and not experience any loss in quality. Here's a "rule of thumb", divide the seating distance by three to get the minimum screen size you should consider. For example, if you sit 6 feet away (96 inches), the minimum TV size you should consider is 32 inches. The maximum would be 64 inches. Anything larger, and you may get neck and eye strain.

The bottom line: We recommend a television size of at least 32 inches for a bedroom and a minimum of a 40 inch television for a living room setup.

To checkout the complete range of different sizes available, please click below:

>42 Inches 23-26 Inches 29-32 Inches 39-42 Inches 23 Inches

LCD SHOP NOW

Size: 19 inches to 65 inches
Pros: Usually costs less than LED & Plasma. Models with matte screens work well in bright rooms. Weigh less than plasmas, making them more portable. Higher "native resolution" — more pixels on a screen. Lifespan is better than LED TVs.
Cons: Dark-room performance is generally worse than led and plasma. Viewing from an angle and picture uniformity are not as good as led and plasma. Generally have lower contrast levels. Consumes more power than LED.
Best for: General use in brighter rooms where potential flaws won't be as visible as they are in dark rooms.

LED SHOP NOW

Size: 15 inches and larger
Pros: Uses slightly less power than LCD. LED TVs are thinner than LCD TVs. They also provide a clearer and better picture than LCD TVs. Images are comparable to plasma in both contrast and brightness.
Cons: Can be more expensive than LCD's, depending on screen size
Best for: People who want thin panels, or videophiles who understand the differences between LED models but don't want plasma.

PLASMA SHOP NOW

Size: 42 inches and larger
Pros: Black-level performance in dark rooms; uniformity and viewing angle. Higher contrast levels than an equivalent LCD TV, which means more vibrant, true-to-life colours. Wider viewing angles – better picture quality when sitting to the side of the TV.
Cons: : High power consumption; glass screen can reflect light in bright rooms.
Best for: General use in all but the brightest rooms. Videophiles who place a premium on dark-room picture quality are attracted to the plasma display.
FAQs
LCD, LED, or plasma TV?

Why buy an LCD or LED TV?

For more choice among brands
Many brands now sell only LCD (including those using LEDs) TVs, so you'll have a much wider choice of manufacturers and models. The main plasma brands now in stores are LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. All those companies also sell LCD TVs.

For more choice in screen sizes
LCD TVs are available a wide range of screen sizes, from very small (below 20 inches) sets that can double as computer monitors, to extra-large screens (70 inches and larger) that can serve as the video centerpiece of a home-theater system. Plasma sets start at 42 inches and go up to 65 or more inches. If you're looking for a smaller TV you'll have to buy an LCD set.

For more convenient 3D
Passive 3D LCD sets use polarized glasses that are much more comfortable to wear than active glasses, and much cheaper. They dim the image less than active glasses too, resulting in a brighter picture. Compared to LCD TVs using active 3D technology, they have less ghosting, but the polarization process reduces the TV's vertical resolution in the 3D mode, so images aren't as sharp or detailed.

For use in a very bright room
LCDs are generally brighter than plasma TVs, and thus hold their contrast better in bright lighting. Plasma TVs can look a bit dim in bright lighting when set to the Normal or Standard mode, which we generally recommend for home use. If you switch to the Vivid mode or raise the brightness control to compensate, the picture quality might not be as good. Another difference: Some LCD sets have matte screens, which are less reflective than glossy screens, and better for daytime viewing in rooms with lots of windows or for night time use in rooms with bright lighting. With plasma and LCD TVs that have a glossy screen, you might see glare or mirror-like reflections if light falls directly on the screen, especially during dark scenes.

To avoid any risk of burn-in
Both types of flat panels can do the job, but with an LCD, there's no chance static images will "stick" on the screen. With a plasma TV, temporary image retention can be a concern with video games, computer programs, and other content that has high-contrast fixed images onscreen for a long time. Many plasma sets have screen-saver features to minimize the risk, which we consider to be very low. To be safe, video gamers should try to avoid leaving the game menu or other static graphics on screen for indefinite periods of time.

To reduce your electric bills
LCD sets with LED backlighting (especially edge-lit models) tend to use less power than LCDs with fluorescent backlighting and plasmas. So choose an LED model if you want to cut your bills and be kinder to the environment. A regular LCD with fluorescent backlights won't save you much, if anything, over a plasma set of comparable size. Thanks to new panel designs, today's plasmas typically use about the same amount of power as a conventional LCD.

Why buy a plasma TV?

For a wide viewing angle
With a plasma TV, as with a picture-tube set, the picture looks the same from almost any angle. That's a big plus if a TV will be watched by a number of people sitting around a room. Most LCD TVs still look their best only from a limited "sweet spot" in front of the screen. Generally, as you move off to the side, the picture quality of an LCD screen degrades. The image can dim, lose contrast, look washed out, or lose color accuracy as you angle away from the center of the screen.

For blur-free motion
In general, plasma sets are better than LCD TVs at displaying fast motion with no blurring. That's not true of LCD displays. Most LCD sets with 120Hz or 240Hz did better than 60Hz sets, displaying less blur. Casual viewers might not notice any blur in TV programming with little motion, such as news and talk shows, but it might be apparent--though fleeting--in sports, movies, and video games. Note that the anti-blur feature on LCD sets is sometimes linked to motion smoothing, which can give film-based movies a video effect you might not like. The only way to restore the film look is to turn off the anti-blur feature.

To enjoy a movie-theater experience
A good plasma TV's deep black levels and strong contrast can provide rich, natural-looking images with a more dimensional, cinematic look than an LCD offers. Same characteristics are not found in LCD sets, including the LED-backlit models. And even LCDs that have strong blacks and contrast tend to lose them unless viewed from dead center. Also, on certain LCD sets, uneven brightness from the backlight can create cloudy areas in darker scenes that can be distracting.

To get more bang for the buck
Plasma sets tend to cost a bit less than comparably sized, full-featured LCD TVs, so the same budget could buy you a bigger screen. That's especially true of 720p plasmas, which are often exceptional bargains.

Since this isn't a feature you can add later, you definitely need to spend time considering your needs up front.

If you watch a lot of Blu-ray movies and love 3D movies in theaters, or if you think you want to play video games in 3D, it's definitely worth letting 3D capabilities guide your TV buying decision. Just be aware that you'll also need a 3D-capable Blu-ray player and 3D glasses to complete the experience.

To check out the complete range of Blu Ray Players and 3D TVs, please click below:

3D TVs BluRay Players


FAQs

What is 3D TV?

Active Vs Passive 3D TVs?

What about 3D Content?

What about 3D Connections?

Can I watch 2D Programmes on 3D TVs?

Since this isn't a feature you can add later, you definitely need to spend time considering your needs up front.

There's no such thing as "the best TV for gaming." The reality is that good picture quality for regular HDTV and Blu-ray sources translates to good picture quality for HD gaming. Here we outline what gamers should look for.

Size: Large screen.

Picture: 1080p resolution and 200Hz LED-LCD is best.

Enough Inputs: New game consoles such as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 usually occupy an HDMI input each . Make sure the TV has enough of the right ports for all of your consoles and other devices, like laptops and digital cameras.
Check out Game mode: Most TVs have a picture preset designed to deliver a punchy picture that looks better with video game graphics. Easy or automatic access to that mode, as well as the capability to tweak it for each input, can be a nice addition. Some game modes also remove any video processing to eliminate lag, or delays between the game controller and the onscreen action.
Don't worry about blur: As with normal TV sources, you'll have to be especially sensitive to motion blur to see any benefit to 120Hz and higher refresh-rate LCD TVs. In fact, the dejudder video-processing modes required to engage the antiblurring on many of those TVs can actually cause lag.
Be realistic about burn-in: Plasma TVs, but not LCD or LED-based models, can evince burn-in or "temporary image retention" if you leave the game paused for a long time, say, a half-hour or more. In almost all cases, this retention is indeed temporary and disappears after you watch moving material again. However, if your TV is apt to be left on a paused game screen for hours at a time, and your game console doesn't employ a screen saver--Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii all have one--then you might want to avoid a plasma TV for gaming.
Consider power use: Heavy gaming can rack up hundreds of additional hours of TV time per year, so in some cases it can pay--literally, in money saved in electricity bills--to game on a more-efficient TV. The more you game, especially with a brighter picture setting on a bigger screen, the more power you'll use.

To check out the complete range of Gaming TVs, please click below:

Gaming TV

FAQs
Which TV technology should I consider?

What should I look for in an LCD, then?

How big should you should go?

What about 3D?


TVs aren't just about watching--you also have to consider the sound. While nearly all TVs come with built-in speakers, it's crucial to decide if they're going to be adequate for your needs.

The four sound systems available in TVs are:
Nicam Stereo (Near instantaneous compounded audio multiplex): a simple, clear stereo sound that comes from built-in speakers.
Virtual Dolby: : this distributes virtual sound around a room using built-in twin speakers, creating the illusion of surround sound.
Dolby ProLogic: also known as surround sound. It is similar to Nicam but instead of two audio channels (left and right), TVs equipped with ProLogic decoders can receive four channels of audio. Most programmes are broadcast in this five-speaker system.
Dolby Digital: brings cinema sound to your home. Sound is split into five channels, three at the front and two at the rear, to completely surround you. The system also includes a sub woofer to fill the room with base.
Adding a separate home theater system will allow you to recreate the cinematic experience in your living room. They often contain a powerful subwoofer positioned behind the set and further satellite speakers to be positioned around the room for a richer, more detailed sound.
If you're concerned the TV's sound might not be robust enough but you don't want to spend a ton of cash, you can look into options such as a sound bar speaker. These generally sound much better than built-in TV speakers, while maximizing both space and cost.

To check out the complete range of Soundbars and Home Theaters, please click below:

Home Theaters Soundbars

Buy HDMI Cables
If you watch movies on a Blu-ray player, play games on a video game console, or watch TV using a high-definition DVR, You'll want to make sure buying a HDMI Cable.

Get a Surge Protector
We definitely recommend shielding your TV investment with a surge protector. Don't believe the hype that a better protector will somehow improve video quality. Choose a protector with coaxial inputs and outputs for your cable or antenna.

Consider the Stand
WIth many new TV purchases comes the need for a stand to support the set. Consider buying a good TV Mount or Stand while purchasing TV.

To check out the complete range of Mounts/Stands and Cables, please click below:

Cables Mounts & Stands

Today's HDTV spec sheets are littered with so much information and details that can be difficult to understand for the average buyer. We may help you in understanding some to take the right decision.

Refresh Rates (480Hz, 600Hz, and higher)
Smooth picture motion (transition) relies on a television's ability to refresh the screen quickly, which is measured in hertz (Hz) – frames per second. This reduces ghosting effects often seen when watching fast-moving images, such as sports and action movies.

Most people can't tell the difference beyond 240Hz where rates can reach 480Hz, 600Hz, and higher. You may really ignore refresh rates higher than 240Hz as they will make little impact. But if you are watching 3D with then you will need more than 240Hz to achieve the same result because each eye receives only half the frames.

Resolutions (720p, 1080p)
Today's standard is a 1080p resolution. In the smaller LCD screen sizes and entry-level plasma series, you can still find the previous standard, 720p. There's nothing wrong with 720p resolution; the display will still look good. But if you play video games, watch considerable high definition or Blu-ray content, or use your TV as a computer monitor, you'll want to go with 1080p.

Contrast Ratios (up to 1,000,000 to 5,000,000:1, "Infinite")
Contrast ratio refers to the difference between the brightest white and the darkest black a TV can display. "Black-level performance" is defined as the capability of a TV to produce a shade of black as close as possible to the absence of light Contrast ratio and black-level performance are important indicators of picture quality. Unfortunately, there's no standardized way to measure them. So, a true comparison between TV manufacturers is difficult. Contrast ratio is truly a subjective specification, which you should be wary of.

Viewing Angle
Ideally, you want the TV's image to stay as bright and colorful when seen from the side, or from above and below, as from straight on. With LCD, that almost never happens, despite viewing-angle claims that approach 180 degrees. The rule of thumb here is that Plasma TVs viewing angles are better than LCD and LED. Though different LCDs can have different viewing angle characteristics, LCDs typically have adequate viewing angle quality for most people, especially in bright rooms.

Wide Color Gamut
Color standards for TVs are strict, among manufacturers. A key goal for manufacturers when developing a new TV is to meet or exceed those standards. New technology is often promoted that enhances the color spectrum, or produces, for example, "redder" reds or punchier yellows. Color is subjective; so too should your consideration of this spec when making your decision.

Screen Finish
Screens are available in either a matte or glossy finish. Their effects can be seen on the showroom floor, especially when the TV is displaying darker material. If you do most of your watching in a bright room, a screen that cuts down on reflections is a good thing. Unfortunately, most higher-end LCD and LED TVs have glossy screens, so your options in this category are limited.

Photos, Video, and Music
USB ports and memory card slots can enable TVs to display digital camera photos, video and even play MP3 music files via the TV's speakers or a connected audio system. A few TVs, usually those with internet connectivity, can also stream those types of files from a PC in your home. Some TVs even have built-in iPod/iPhone docks. Using a TV as a big photo viewer is definitely nice, but most digital cameras can connect directly to the TV via standard-definition video or HD connections.

Picture Controls
Do you like to adjust the picture settings yourself? If yes, then having the right picture controls available is necessary. Look for TVs with enough picture presets, as well as the ability to tweak those presets and apply the tweaks to different inputs. Advanced or curious "tweakers" appreciate detailed color temperature controls (as opposed to just presets), gamma options, and presets for the various video-processing modes.

Internet Connectivity
Today's midrange and higher-end TVs come with built-in video and audio services from various sources, photos from Picasa and Flickr, and access to Facebook, Twitter, and even Skype. However, before you pay extra for these features, consider that you'll need to either connect an ethernet cable to the TV or buy a Wi-Fi adapter. Most internet TVs don't have Wi-Fi built in. Also, many of these services are available on other devices, such as an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Blu-ray players, or dedicated external multimedia players.

1080p/24 or 24p Compatibility
This feature is usually associated with 120Hz and higher LCD refresh rates (and 96Hz on some plasmas). It may require a source capable of delivering 1080p/24 video, typically a Blu-ray player playing a film-based Blu-ray movie.

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