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How to choose a TV: The ultimate guide

The most common mistake of those who want to buy a modern TV is to focus on some technical specifications and newfangled features without a clear understanding of the fundamental principles. In this article, we will look at how to choose the right TV. To begin with, you need to answer a number of important questions for yourself.

1. What are you watching?

Is it a regular broadcast with an emphasis on news and entertainment TV shows, or do you mainly prefer sports. Perhaps you take a blue screen to watch movies in excellent quality or plan to use it as a monitor for games or graphics? Of course, a TV is needed for everything – but you need to understand what is more important for you, and where you can compromise.

2. How do you watch TV?

How bright is your room, what time of day is the main time for viewing the home screen, do you like to watch at night without light, when viewing, is the whole family strictly in front of the screen or will someone sit on the side, will the TV be at eye level when viewing or at some kind of high pedestal without the possibility of tilt.

The same TV, regardless of the subjective preferences of its owner, in some viewing conditions will show excellent and mediocre – in others. So, choose a TV. What you need to know.

TV Technologies

 The most common and inexpensive type is LCD. Present in any diagonals. In turn, these TVs come with either IPS / PLS matrices, or matrices of the -VA family.

OLED TVs have no difference in image quality – it is excellent in any model. Differences in design, the presence of more powerful speakers, etc.

So, back to our primary questions and how to choose a TV for the home.

If you have a moderately bright room, you do not look in the dark, viewing angles are important to you, because family members watch TV from different corners of the room, mostly watch TV shows – the most preferred option would be an LCD with an IPS matrix with good horizontal and vertical angles.

If you have a bright room, but at the same time you look in the dark, when viewing everyone is located strictly in front of the screen, you prefer films, an LCD with a -VA matrix will be more interesting due to the higher contrast and depth of black. Samsung gives us a VA matrix with good viewing angles – the Q series of LCD TVs (aka QLED).

If you want maximum picture quality, don’t want to compromise – what to watch, when and how – then OLED is for you. Please note that the minimum diagonal for such a TV is 55 inches.

Here it was possible to describe in infinite detail the types of backlighting, pixel response time, input delay time, color gamuts, and so on.

 

So, what and how to watch, figured out. Now let’s move on to

How to choose a TV by parameters.

What parameters will we consider:

  • diagonal
  • Screen resolution
  • Internet connection, smart TVs
  • HDR
  • Connectors
  • Hertz
  •  Screen Shape
  • Sound

And now in more detail.

First, the diagonal.

There are quite a sufficient number of walking and roulette instructions and secret techniques for choosing a diagonal. We will use one thing – common sense. We will immediately lower the price of the issue for convenience. The first thing to understand is the quality of your signal to the TV set at home. If this is a regular cable or social broadcast, you should not chase the big screen, although, in fairness, the clumsy quality does not cease to be such on any diagonal, except for the small one, when nothing is visible at all.

It is clear that the larger the diagonal, the more noticeable the imperfection of the signal. If you do not plan to improve the quality, you are satisfied with the social / cable package – 32-43 inches for standard viewing at 2-3 meters from the screen.
If you have a high quality source at home – digital cable with a large number of HD channels, a satellite with the same HD / UHD channels, the speed of your Internet allows you to watch in maximum quality, including UHD (4k), you are a fan of Blu-ray discs and recordings maximum possible quality – take the maximum possible diagonal for you. For the same 2-3 meters, you can completely take 55, and 65 and 75 inches. And the eyes will not run anywhere, because from childhood they are accustomed to process much more visual information than any cinema, including IMAX, can provide.

Another point is your interior. In the same room, the same TV can feel both bulky and tiny, depending on whether the TV is adjacent to any cabinets or stands alone.

Screen resolution.

Everything is simple here. If you do not have and do not plan to have a high quality signal, take HD (32′ and below)/FullHD TVs. If you have a good HD/UHD signal, then 4k. In the case of FullHD TV, its screen consists of 2 million dots, the 4K version has 8 million dots. A mediocre signal on a 4k TV will look even worse because The TV will need to stretch the picture into millions of dots. Nevertheless, 2016 clearly showed that the transition to 4k will take place on a voluntary-compulsory basis – manufacturers produce very modest FullHD TVs in all respects.

All worthy FullHD models remained in 2015 – Sony W755C / 808C series in diagonals from 43 to 55 and LG 55EG910 oled in one single diagonal. You can still buy them somewhere. Everything else is decent with some amendments – 4k lineup is above average (for example,

Internet connection, Smart TVs.

All modern smart TVs have built-in Wi-Fi, as well as an Ethernet connector for connecting to a local network / Internet cable. Smart makes it possible to watch many channels (IPTV) via the Internet using special applications, provides access to youtube and online cinema services. Popularization of 4K (UHD) is more through such services. But you need good internet speed. For example, Netflix, the largest video-on-demand provider, recommends 3Mbps for regular quality, 5Mbps for HD, and 25Mbps for UHD(4k). Smart gives you the opportunity to watch TV and movies without wires, there is no need for antennas / cable operators if there is high-quality Internet. By the way, the quality of materials from different suppliers is different.

HDR.

Newfangled technology, going to replace 3-D. Its purpose is to display an image with the maximum amount of detail both in the shadows and from bright light sources. It never occurred to you to look at lanterns in films before – well, catch up. By the way, here the manufacturers themselves are digging a hole for themselves, because. glue HDR abbreviation on all 4k TV in a row. A real increase in quality can only be seen in OLED and the most expensive LCDs, without going into details. By 2017, we already have 4-5 alternative HDR standards so that the consumer does not have the question “do I need HDR?”. More correctly for the manufacturer – “which HDR is better?”

 Connectors.

There are two main modern connectors – HDMI of different versions (from HDMI 1.4 to 2.1) and USB. Also, while all TVs have sound output from TV to an external device via optics. Everything else is scarts, tulips are gradually being removed – and there is no point in them, because. the quality is worse even when viewing a mediocre signal. Getting rid of the ancient connectors, the manufacturers at the same time began to throw out the analog sound output – 3.5 mm minijack. Thus, most models can no longer be connected to wired headphones or speakers from a computer. They are trying to accustom us to bluetooth, although, by the way, in some models there is neither one nor the other. Therefore, if this is important to you, be sure to specify this point when buying. Otherwise, you will have to buy a separate AV receiver or incomprehensible Chinese adapters with a dubious chance of success.

Hertz, also known as marketing noodles.

Manufacturers indicate them in various indices (PMI, PQI, MF, PMR) in hundreds and thousands of hertz. In fact, there are currently two types of matrices – 50/60 Hz and 100/120 Hz. You can know which is which by reading reviews and tests of TVs and visiting specialized forums like ours. The 100/120Hz panel improves the quality of dynamic scenes in sports and modern cinema.

Screen shape.

In 2012-2013, the first OLED TVs came out, and in order to immediately distinguish them, their panels were bent. However, it turned out that LCDs can also be made curved, through some compromises. The main fighter for the idea of ​​curved screens is Samsung. Moviegoers and just lovers of uncompromising image quality took this idea with hostility, because. for a perfect image without distortion, it was necessary to be strictly opposite the center of the screen.

Sound.

If the TV does not have a built-in soundbar, the sound will be quite loud, as a rule, but flat – modern TVs are quite thin, the speakers are the right size. Until now, it was possible to get high-quality sound for minimal cash injections using high-quality headphones or no less high-quality speakers. The easiest solution right now is to buy a soundbar. Connoisseurs will build a home theater from individual high-quality components.

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