Monday, January 11, 2016


The New Year always brings with it the desire to make resolutions -- anything from losing weight to remembering birthdays to cleaning up the attic or garage. But the best resolution is one that brings fun and entertainment to a person's life. So the best resolution is to forego watching on that old TV and get a new one that you and yours will happily spend hours in front of. But unlike most purchases, there are a number of choices that must be made when deciding on the model to get, although worrying about how "smart" the TV is doesn't count since since pretty much all TVs can access the Internet for streaming HD video (even streaming 4K video) and run apps and play games). So breaking the choices down to the basics is the best way to proceed. 


The most obvious thing about a TV is how big it is. But bigger isn't always better. That's because the size of the TV is relative to how many are watching it and from what distance. We all know that you shouldn't sit right in front of the TV, but if you're a single apartment dweller, then when you are watching you will be dead-center relative to the TV. For someone like that, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a 49” or 50” television. Where it gets different is when there's more people watching -- on a couch for instance -- as then there will be those off-center or even more at the extreme ends relative to the TV. This is where a large screen will excel, as it provides a bigger image size so as to widen the "sweet spot" and enable everyone to see and enjoy the image. Fortunately the old issues of the color fading as you move "away" from the TV's center isn't to be found in today's TVs. So if “the more the merrier” appeals to you, then getting a larger TV will make the most sense.


Just as there was once no other choice but to get a TV with a big tube sticking out of its back, it used to be that the only display you could get was "flat" -- after all, they did start to call the TVs flat-panel displays for exactly that reason.  A TV can now be curved, which can aid in creating a more immersive viewing experience as well as forming a more 3D-like effect within the two-dimensional image being viewed. The choice between flat and curved can be a highly personal one, so it makes perfect sense to compare/contrast the two types by using the best measuring tool at your disposal: your eyes. This isn't something that can be done by reading a magazine article/review or by looking at an online picture in a web browser. Plan on going to a store where you can see the TVs up close and personal, for example, at one of the Video & Audio Center Superstores: stand in front of a flat panel and gauge how the image comes across. Then go over to a curved model of the same screen size and repeat. Your eyes and your mind will come together to tell you which is the best for you. 


The amount of detail that a TV can present is dependent on the video source material (i.e, a Blu-ray disc of Star Wars or a cable box/satellite receiver’s TV show or a program on a streaming service like Netflix) and the display. Will you go with a 1080p HDTV or a 4K display? The quality of the picture is excellent in both cases, and the decision as to which resolution to go with is certainly a personal one. Just know that whatever you decide, you will be getting a HD picture that would have blown up the minds of anyone from just 10 years or so ago. And as is the case with flat vs. curved, going to where you can easily see and compare the picture on HDTV and 4K TVs will enable you to make a wise decision.


While the TVs are all "smart" these days, how they implement that smartness is up to the manufacturer. So that means that the menu options and ways to navigate can differ between the TVs (for example LG's WebOS menu system or the Android TV) even if they're all designed to get you to the same place. There are also speciality features are designed as "exclusive" to the TV's maker, as is the case with the upcoming 4K streaming service to be made available to those owning Sony TVs.

Getting a new TV takes determination and patience, but the results will be worth it every time you sit down to watch.


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