High-definition televisions have become fancier and more affordable as the technology has advanced. Homeowners can now purchase more TV for their money than ever before. Unfortunately, the market is full of models with dozens of bells and whistles and one mediocre picture. You’ll need a plan to purchase an HDTV and maximize the experience of owning the big screen of your dreams.
Go big and go home
CNET urges homeowners to prioritize taking home a screen size that will satisfy for years to come. In fact, one of the most common complaints among HDTV customers is that they eventually regret not buying a larger screen. The decor of your home and your budget will pose some limits on the size of your new screen but CNET recommends a screen size of at least 50 inches for the living room.
Evaluate the picture
Comparing picture quality between store-display televisions is an arduous task. A store’s lighting conditions are very different from those found inside your living room, and stores will adjust display model settings to show a crystal clear picture. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that manufacturer specifications are confusing and sometimes designed to mislead customers. CNET recommends that consumers ignore these tags completely and focus on analyzing picture quality by visual cues. The presence of deep black coloring, for instance, hints at a screen with high contrast display.
Upgrade media access
Nothing feels worse than owning a giant television screen without anything to watch on it. Your new television may be the perfect excuse to upgrade your media options as well. Cable providers offer money-saving bundle deals for new customers, so you can gain new channels at a discount if you’re willing to switch your phone service. Likewise, streaming content to your new television is a snap. Watching premium streaming services on your new screen is as simple as purchasing a set-top device (like Roku or Apple TV) or hooking up the latest video game consoles.
Rearrange your space
The space and lighting in your living room will have a huge impact on the quality of your viewing experience. Modern televisions require greater viewing distance than the CRV televisions of yesteryear. Use an online calculator to determine the ideal viewing distance for your new HDTV, but expect to place your seating area at least six to eight feet from the front of the screen. Be sure to take natural sunlight into account while you arrange furniture in your living room. The difference between plasma and LCD screens has shrank as technology has improved, says PC Magazine, but LCD screens hold an advantage over plasma in that they display a clear picture despite the presence of lots of natural light.
Invest in a quality remote
TV manufacturers typically choose style over substance when they design the aesthetically pleasing remotes packaged with new televisions. Generic universal remotes with reliable range and big buttons may still offer the greater value. These devices can also be calibrated to control your entire entertainment system.