Televisions and video

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Televisions and video

Are you in the market for a new TV? Here are some of the things you will need to consider:

What type of TV should I buy?

  • Plasma: this is older and now outmoded technology, and most manufacturers have stopped making them as they are heavy, bulky and use too much power.
  • LCD and LCD/LED: liquid crystal display or LCD screens need a light source behind it, which is either CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) or LED (light-emitting diode) technology. The CCFL technology is slowly being replaced by LED, because LED TVs have a lower power usage. They are both a good quality and affordable option. - OLED: organic light-emitting diode or OLED televisions produce excellent colour and contrast. They still use LEDs, but instead of using LEDs as a backlight, OLEDs have millions of LEDS with the lighting component integrated into the pixel itself.

Talk to me about screen resolution

Resolution is the number of pixels that make up the picture on display. More pixels equals a sharper picture and better details – higher resolution is, for the most part, a better choice. Here are your options:

  • Standard Definition (SD): resolution of 480i or 480p are considered standard definition, and the pixels are arranged 640 x 480.
  • High Definition (HD): resolutions of 720p, 1080i or 1080p are considered high definition. In 720p, pixels are arranged 1280 x 720, which is a lower-quality HD known as HD Ready. While in 1080i and 1080p, pixels are arranged 1920 x 1080 and this results in a better picture called Full HD.
  • 4K / UHD: 4k or ultra-high definition resolutions are some of the best available and here the pixels are arranged 3840 x 2160 which is similar to how movie theatres are set up. Just for comparison, there are four times as many pixels in 4K than there is in Full HD. There are even some who would say don’t buy a TV with less than 4K resolution, as a form of future-proofing your technology.

Is screen size important?

Screen size is the diagonal measurement between the bottom left and top right of the screen, and it will most likely be the deciding factor for most when purchasing a new TV. So how do you know what size to get? A good rule of thumb is this – choose a screen size that is appropriate for the space and (importantly) the distance you plan to sit from it. Taking all factors into consideration, the typical living space will generally lend itself to a screen of between 50 to 65 inches.

What about smart TVs?

A smart TV can connect to the internet and home networks. This of course has its advantages – the most obvious being the ability to watch content from streaming services like Netflix or Stan without having to purchase an accessory like an Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Smart TVs also allow you to stream media from your computer via your home network and also connect via other protocols to stream media from other devices like phones and tablets. But really, most TVs made these days are Smart TVs, so it’s becoming a less important point of difference.

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