by Brandi Savitt – July 29, 2013
Get the Best Deal on a Flat Screen
Two weeks ago, I was vegging out in front of my 36 inch, 2001 old school tv when a black blob started to inch across my screen. For a couple days, it would come and go on its own, but now only a violent slam to the right side of the screen briefly restores it to full picture clarity.
Sad but true, it’s time for me to get a new TV! Logically speaking, this shouldn’t be a big deal. But for some reason, even the thought is completely overwhelming.
Maybe it’s because I have a built in shelving unit that was made to perfectly fit my ancient relic? Or maybe it’s because there’s simply a mind numbing amount of confusing options to worry about. While I want to have great picture and sound, my needs are pretty simple, and affordability is key. So, after scouring many super nerdy TV buying blogs, here’s the Fab & Fru cheat sheet of what you need to know!
Size Does Matter
According to all the experts, don’t choose a television based on the amount of space you have for it. Flat screen TV’s take up much less space than the clunky older models, and therefore may end up moving your screen a couple of feet further away or closer from your seating arrangement. This alone can change your size needs for optimal viewing – which will directly affect the amount you spend.
The trick is to ensure that your TV is big enough to fill your line of vision, but small enough to be sharp and clear. The ideal screen size can be calculated by multiplying the distance that you intend to sit away from it by 0.535 and then rounding this up to the nearest size. So, if you sit 80 inches away from your TV, the ideal size is 42-inch (80 x 0.535= 42.8).
Let’s get one fact straight. If you’re buying a new TV- buy an HDTV. It’s quite difficult to buy a standard definition (SD) TV these days – and if you can find one, it’s not worth the slight reduction in cost.
Screen Type Vocabulary Lesson
Hello Plasma, LCD, and LED – say what?? What are all these types of screens types, why do we need one or the other, and what’s the price difference?
A decade ago, Plasma TVs were once the only flat-panel models available, but over the past few years, LCD screens have become the more popular and affordable screen to buy. In fact, even though some folks would still gladly pay more for a plasma screen, many manufacturers have stopped making them, and those that still do have shifted to producing much larger screen sizes and plasma TVs – the smallest you can get is 42 inch.
LCD TVs have wider selection of screen sizes, a bright picture, and are more energy efficiency. This is likely the screen for you. Go as big as you like, but the mid size 32 inch has a ton of fabulous high quality options at the most affordable prices!
LED is not another type of screen, but rather an added lighting feature. LED means that the LCD screen is also back lit or edge-lit – a fancy feature that may be more trouble than it’s worth.
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