Ok, I know pretty much jack squat about anything. But I have gotten alot of calls lately about my thoughts when it comes to HDTVs. I basically understand the different technologies, but what they market, and what REALLY matters are totally at odds with each other. So here it is, forever in print, my thoughts on HDTV.
2 rules when it comes to buying an HDTV.
1. You might as well get a 1080p
2. Bigger actually is better
Those 2 rules are the starting point of buying an HDTV, everything after that is going to be so convoluted and uncomprehensible that the only way to actually pick a good TV will be to read reviews, talk to those who know, and actually look at one.
1080p is the highest standard of HDTV you can buy right now. Its a measurement of how many dots(pixels) there are on the screen. It is 1080 pixels down and 1920 pixels across. A movie shown in true 1080p is stunning. The P tells you that it is progressive scanning. Useless information considering everything is P. WHAT IT DOESNT TELL YOU is how dark the blacks are going to be and how bright the brights are going to be. It doesnt tell you anything about how a normal TV or satellite channel is going to look. It also doesnt tell you how its going to handle the transition from black to white in a moving picture. It says nothing about the sound of speakers built into the TV. YES you CAN buy a crappy looking 1080p TV. 1080p will also tell you NOTHING about the price.
And you can say what you want, but the bigger the TV, the better the experience will be while watching it. PERIOD.
So then how do you pick a good TV? 2 ways.
1. Read reviews
2. Go look at them
Start with a 1080p, pick your price and/or size, and then go look at them. The prices will be all over creation, but dont worry about it. Your $1200 1080p WILL look better than a $900 1080p. It will be clearer, brighter, smoother, and sound better. It will probably also have more features like picture in picture, sleep timer, sound equalizer, and more connections in the back for DVDs, BluRay, Sound System, Laptops, VCRs, Satellite, Smart Cards, Cameras, etc.
I bought a full 1080p 42" LCD TV, brought it home, hooked up my normal satellite, and the picture was so freaking crappy, I immediately put it back in the box, and chose not to watch TV that night. So I did some research, and found that Philips has some software in their HDTVs that makes the normal TV shows look good on an HDTV. So I took mine back and got a 32" Philips (priced the same as the 42") and the picture quality was excellent, even normal channels were perfect. And the built in speakers on the Philips were far better. I knew then, that 1080p is only the tip of what makes an HDTV a good one.
Also, 4 things you might as well know so it won't bite you later on:
1. You will spend $100-$200 more then you planned.
2. You will buy the TV you can take home immediately, cause you can't wait for the one you really want to be shipped in.
3. Buying an HDTV at Walmart/Costco will save you money, and you WILL NOT have to sacrifice quality. Also, making a return due to a defective TV will be ALOT easier and less stressful.
4. HDTVs come with stands, NOT wall-mounts. If you plan to wall-mount it, you will spend an additional $75 to $200 depending on the size of your TV.
And just for an FYI, the standard size TV that most everyone buys is 42". 47" will feel huge, and 50" will be gigantic.
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