By: Joanna Ellis-Escobar
With recent advances in video display technology now reaching the consumer marketplace, be prepared: you may face a dizzying array of choices when shopping for your next HDTV. Even after performing research on the various features available on new televisions, you may need a little extra help to decide on the perfect addition to your home theater. Don’t worry — our experts have done the legwork for you. Here are three key pointers to keep in mind while reading reviews and evaluating HDTV units for purchase.
3 Things to Be Aware Of Before You Buy Your New HDTV
As you browse the HDTV shelves at your local Best Buy or click around online, you’ll likely come across a number of figures that relate to the TV’s performance. Some of the most important specifications include the following:
- RESOLUTION: Screen resolution determines the sharpness of your picture.
WHAT YOU WANT— While 720p is probably just fine for smaller screens, you will want at least 1080p resolution for HDTV sets of 50 inches or larger.
- REFRESH RATE: The refresh rate of your HDTV determines how well it handles fast-moving images —think sporting events and action movies.
WHAT YOU WANT— Higher refresh rates mean less motion blur and increased clarity for these programming options.
- CONNECTORS: HDMI cords are used to connect components to your TV. Depending on your home theater setup, you may need inputs for your cable television or satellite box, streaming video box, video games and computing devices. With how quickly technology advances in our day and age, obviously the more inputs you have, the better—you never know what latest and greatest must-have gadget will be out by Christmas.
WHAT YOU WANT— By choosing HDTV sets that allow for at least three HDMI connectors, you can avoid the use of splitters that can significantly degrade the quality of your signal for your video components.
Choosing an HDTV set with the right specifications can make a real difference in your enjoyment of these high-tech entertainment devices.
#2. Some Cutting-Edge Options May Be Ahead of the Curve
While 3-D televisions have finally come into their own in the consumer marketplace, other advanced features may not be ready for prime time right now. Be sure you know what you’re getting.
- ULTRA HIGH DEF TV: One of the newest technologies is 4K Ultra HDTV, which offers twice the resolution available on 1080p sets. Unfortunately, television programming at this level of resolution is rare and may not be available in your area.
- ORGANIC LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE (OLED) TV: OLED displays are another new entry in the HDTV marketplace and combine superior energy efficiency with exceptional picture quality. The high price of this technology, however, may put it in the wish-list category rather than an option for immediate purchase.
#3. Size Matters
The largest screen may not be the best choice for all home theater setups. For smaller rooms with less distance between where you’re sitting and where your TV is, a smaller screen may be more appropriate. You want to be sure the screen size you choose fits with the size of your viewing room. Of course there are always exceptions, but in general, appropriate screen sizes are based on the distance between your screen and your sitting area and can be determined by the following:
- 3 – 5 feet of space—35” screen
- 4 – 6 feet of space—40” screen
- 5 – 7 feet of space—50” screen
- 6 – 9 feet of space—60” screen
Working with a professional home theater installation company can help you make the right moves when choosing the components for your new HDTV home theater system. The knowledgeable technicians and installers at Home Theater MD can provide expert guidance at every step of the selection and installation process, allowing you to enjoy the best in entertainment in the comfort of your own home.