Televisions

Nice, you‘re buying a new TV! But with all the different sizes, brands and types of TVs out there, narrowing down your choice can be tough. That’s why we have a quick 4-step TV buying guide here to help you out. Let’s get on with it.

1. What Size TV Should I Buy?

Are you trying to decide whether to buy a 47 inch TV or a 60 inch TV? Here’s a helpful hint when choosing a TV size: don’t buy the biggest one.

Bigger isn’t always better, after all. To really enjoy your programmes (and prevent your eyes from going bad), first figure out the minimum and maximum screen size for the TV you’re going to get.

This can be a bit tricky so use our quick size guide (see below) to pick the best screen size based on how far you’ll usually sit from the TV, like the distance of your couch to the wall.

HDTV SIZE GUIDE
Viewing Distance Minimum Size(in) Maximum Size(in)
4 ft (1.22M) 19 32
6 ft (1.83M) 26 46
8 ft (2.44M) 32 63
10 ft (3M) 40 80
12 ft (3.66M) 46 96
14 ft (4.27M) 52 112

Quick Tips on Choosing a TV Size:

  1. Check our quick size guide (see above) and take note of the minimum and maximum sizes that match your usual TV viewing distance
  2. Use this TV size visualization site to check if the size of screen you want fits well in the room
  3. Don’t always go for the biggest size

Another helpful hint: think about the exact location where you’ll be placing the TV. It’ll need plenty of space and should look as if it’s a natural part of your home.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Take a picture of the side of the room where you’re planning to put the TV in. It’s best to take the pic from where you plan to watch the screen.
  2. Next, upload that picture to this TV size visualizer and see if the television size you want looks good in it.

One final tip: remember to always check the television's resolution. To display HD shows and movies, your TV needs to have at least a resolution of 720p, this is sometimes called HD Ready. Or get one that's already Full HD or 1080p for the best experience. 1080p produces the most detailed picture.

2. Should I Go for LED or LCD?

LEDs and LCDs differ in the way they display the picture on the screen. LED TVs utilize small light-emitting diodes or LEDs which creates a brighter picture on its screens. These LEDs also consume less power and generate less heat. This means an LED TV is much lighter and thinner than other television types, including LCDs. It takes up the least amount of space possible for a screen of its size.

Another big bonus is that an LED TV uses less power. If you've always wanted a huge flatscreen but don’t want the huge energy bill that usually comes with it, then an LED TV is the one for you. Its power savings are typically 20-30%.

Another thing to keep in mind: the average lifetime of an LED TV is 100,000 hours compared to 60,000 hours for an LCD TV. To put this into perspective, an LED TV lasts at least 11 years! (And that’s assuming it’s running nonstop 24 hours a day, everyday)

But what about Plasma?

Sadly, Plasma technology is on its way out. If you’re still interested in buying a Plasma TV, though, here’s a quick set of pros and cons

Pros:
  • Excellent viewing angles
  • Great contrast and picture depth
Cons:
  • Produces a lot of heat
  • Image burning can occur in older models
  • Heavier and thicker than LCD or LED screens
  • Very reflective surface, therefore prone to glare

If you’re tied down with a budget though, an LCD screen still costs way less without sacrificing a lot on screen quality.

But, lets face it. Hands down, you should get an LED TV if you can.

Quick summary: LED vs. LCD
An LED TV: An LCD TV:
Uses 20-30% less power. Costs much less.
Weighs much less, perfect for wall mounting.
Is thinner and saves space.
Lasts at least 11 years.

3. What TV Features Should I Look For?

Today’s TVs often come with dozens extra features. Honestly though, you don’t need them all. Here are the essentials that you do need to enjoy that great viewing experience.

Freeview

Since the UK’s switching to an all-digital broadcasting system, your TV needs to have a digital tuner so you can continue getting free channels after the switch. Even better, get one that works with Freeview+HD

Inputs

Since you’ll want to connect your TV to other devices and gadgets, it has to have at least 2 HDMI ports (for your media player and gaming console) and a VGA port (for connecting your PC or laptop)

Screen Quality

The less reflective the screen, the better. Choose a TV with a matte screen since that lets you watch comfortably even in brightly-lit areas like the lounge or kitchen.

Also, look for a television with IPS or In-Plane Switching technology. This gives you wider viewing angles, giving you a clear view of the screen even from the side.

Mount-compatible

Lastly, make sure that your TV has holes at the back for easy mounting. A VESA compliant television can be mounted using standard wall or ceiling mounts. If the TV isn’t compatible with VESA mounts, you can always buy a VESA adaptor for it.

Must Have TV Features:

  1. Freeview Compatible (Freeview+HD, if possible)
  2. 2 HDMI Ports
  3. VGA Port
  4. Matte Screen
  5. VESA Compatible

4. What Other Things Should I Buy With My TV?

Of the thousands of TV accessories available, there are only a handful that you truly need.

Wall or Ceiling Mount

We already talked a bit about mounts in the previous section. To save space, consider hanging your TV on the wall or on the ceiling. Take note of your TV’s dimensions and weight since you’ll need that to find a compatible mount.

And yes, ask your landlord first if you can do this for your flat if you’re renting.

5.1 Surround Sound System

To fully enjoy your viewing experience, you need great audio to go with your movies and shows.

A 5.1 system is the best choice all around, although if you're feeling a bit indulgent, you might want to immerse yourself in 7.1 sound instead.

Since speaker placement is the key to getting that full surround experience, we recommend that you get a professional to help you choose and install your sound system.

DVD or Blu-ray Player

The right DVD or Blu-ray player can take your viewing experience to a whole new level. The best ones are those that have HD recording features that let you record your favorite shows, especially on Freeview+HD.

Another thing you should look for in a player: USB playback. This lets you watch video or listen to audio by just plugging in your USB drive to the player.

Finally, make sure that the DVD player has HD upscaling. This converts DVD video to HD so you can enjoy great picture quality even from older movies.

Gaming Console

There are several gaming consoles for you to choose from. Each caters to different types of people.

  • Wii: This is perfect for families and nongamers. If you just want an activity to do at home with friends, this is for you.
  • Playstation 3: If you’re heavily into gaming , this gives the most value for your cash. It also doubles as a multimedia player so you can skip buying a DVD player and use this for your moview watching instead.
  • Xbox 360: While this console might not provide the same value as the PS3, the Xbox 360 does provide a more premium gaming experience for discerning gamers.

After connecting your console for the first time, make sure that you calibrate the TV accordingly. Try putting it in Game Mode for best results.

If you’re a PC Gamer, you can also use your TV as a monitor but make sure that the resolution of the screen matches the resolution offered by your video card.

In particular, TV screens 32” and below are the ones that work best with computers.

LED TVs

Lighter, brighter, faster and more power efficient

Techdna offers a wide range of LED TVs. Lighter, less power consuming and producing clear HD pictures, LED TVs are the future of television today. Learn more about them here on our TV Buying Guide

LED TVs x 5


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Extra information you need to know before buying an LED TV:

Edge Lighting Vs Array Lighting

Edge Lighting has its LED lights at the edge of the screen. The light is then dispersed throughout the screen to spread out the brightness evenly across the screen.

Pros:

  • Thinner and lighter LED screens
  • Low power consumption

Cons:

  • Black levels lack depth
  • Edge areas are brighter than the center

Edge Lighting Vs Array Lighting

Full Array Lighting puts the LED lights in an array behind the LCD screen. Each light can be dimmed individually.

Pros:

  • Better viewing angles and picture quality
  • Better brightness and contrast control

Cons:

  • Thicker than edge-lit LED TVs
  • Higher power consumption

LCD TVs

Discover the latest flat screen LCD TVs

Light, Thin and with high quality images, LCD technology revolutionized the television industry. Learn about other Pros of LCD sets by viewing our TV Buying Guide

View more LCD TVs

 

An LCD TV provides the best value for your money. Beyond watching TV shows, it also has a lot of other uses:

Digital Frame

An LCD is light enough and thin enough to be mounted on a wall. It also consumes less electricity and produces low heat, so you can leave it on for any length of time. This makes it perfect for displaying digital pictures.

Gaming

With HD gaming on the rise, LCD TVs are a less expensive alternative to LED screens if you want a display solely for gaming.

Computer monitor

Because LCD TVs often support many types of input, you can actually use an LCD TV as a huge PC monitor. You have to consider, however, that the display will depend on the resolution of the screen–which is in pixels, not inches. If you’re planning to use an LCD TV as your computer screen, make sure that it has a high resolution and try to get one that's 32” or smaller.

Advertising

If you own a business, you can use an LCD TV for dynamic advertising within your premises. It’s becoming an increasingly popular way to display menus, special promotions and video ads.

View more 3D TVs

 

What’s 3D TV?

Let’s talk about 3D. The first thing you should know is that 3D TVs require special glasses to deliver that 3D effect. 3D works by tricking the eyes, showing each one a different version of the same image to create the illusion of depth and making pictures seemingly pop out of the screen.

There are currently two types of 3D TVs available in the market today:

Active 3D

This 3D TV technology works through the glasses themselves. Active 3D glasses are actually more like small LED screens that dim the left and right lenses alternately. The 3D TV emits a signal that tells the glasses when to dim each lens to create the 3D effect.

Pros:

  • Offers better 3D with more depth
  • Wider 3D viewing angles

Cons:

  • Expensive glasses
  • Glasses need to be recharged
  • Glasses only work with same TV brand

Passive 3D

Passive 3D on the other hand utilizes the same technology you see in 3D cinemas today. The screen shows the 3D video that combines two different perspectives. The resulting images are then filtered by the polarized glasses of the viewer to produce the 3D effect.

Pros:

  • Cheap glasses
  • More comfortable viewing
  • Glasses work with other passive 3D TVs

Cons:

  • Less pronounced 3D effect
  • Shows more image noise or interlacing.
  • Blurry images when moving away from the correct viewing angle

Get Smart on Smart TVs: Your Fact Sheet

Let’s get one thing straight: these TVs are not your grandma’s old black-and-white. They’re not even your mom’s dusty LCD TV. But what’s a Smart TV really? Why do they keep saying it’s smart? Did it finish some sort of degree in university? Read on to find out.

A Smart TV Delivers Both Information And Entertainment

A Smart TV can do more than just show you channels. How, you ask? It’s because a Smart TV has a “brain.” It is, in fact, closer to being a computer than just being a television set. But what is a Smart TV capable of exactly?

Apps

Applications let you use a Smart TV in ways you probably didn’t even think a television could do. When you buy a Smart TV, it already comes with a host of stock apps like games, internet radio, video players and more.

Interactivity

The only interactivity you’ll get with a typical TV set is switching channels. With a Smart TV though, you’re not just watching the movie; you’re part of the action. Think of interactive movies where you get to direct the scenes, download contenton-demand, and even watch a TV show while you and the world talk about it like you’re in the same room.

Communication

A Smart TV not only talks to you–now, you can actually talk back. These TVs often come with Skype, an app that lets you video chat with friends around the globe. Smart TV apps also give you access to social networks like Twitter and video sharing sites such as YouTube where you can share your thoughts and comments with the global community.

Evolution

A Smart TV evolves according to your needs. Install new applications, add new peripherals and make your TV suit your needs better. Your life isn’t static so why should your TV be, right?

A Smart TV Connects You To The World

It’s not just about TV networks and broadcasts anymore; it’s about the internet and your home network, about accessing information and constantly upgrading. A Smart TV is connected to your life and connects you to the lives of others.

Internet. Access to the internet makes most of a Smart TV’s capabilities possible. Different applications allow you to access blogs, pictures, Facebook, Twitter and more. It’s your smartphone’s access to the web shown on a bigger, more comfortable screen.

DLNA. In simple terms, DLNA lets you connect your Smart TV to other devices, such as music players, digital cameras, and video players so you can view their content on the big screen. It’s a simple solution to the common family problem of, “How can I show everyone our latest vacation pictures?”

Common Questions:

How do I control my Smart TV?

When you buy a Smart TV, you won’t need a keyboard or mouse to use it. In fact, it comes with its own special remote control that’s easier and much more convenient to use. Some models do come with keyboards for more convenient typing, but most have the keyboard built into the remote control.

Why not a touchscreen?

Let’s face it: with a TV bigger is always better, but touchscreens are pretty expensive and quite sensitive. Although touchscreens are available at TV sizes, you might not want them once you see how much they cost. And do you really want to get up from the couch just to control your TV?

How do I connect to the Internet?

Just like a laptop, a Smart TV comes with an Ethernet port that gives you wired access to the internet. This gives you a fast, reliable and stable connection.

Of course, connecting to the internet using wires can be a pain, too. Luckily enough, most Smart TVs are Wi-Fi enabled so you can do away with wires and just connect it to your home hotspot.

How fast does my Internet have to be?

A dial-up connection is out of the question–the Smart TV is not made for the internet of the 90’s. You need a stable broadband connection with a speed of at least 2mbps. This will let you download and stream content like videos and online games without hiccups.

Is it expensive and will it eat into my data plan?

A Smart TV is not for byte counters, unfortunately. The speed it requires does give you a clue as to how much data will be passing through your Smart TV. Fortunately, some companies like BT and Orange do offer unlimited broadband data plans. Use this site to choose which broadband works best for your location.

Ready to get Smart?

Smart TVs are not for everyone. If all you want is a little telly after work, then this isn’t for you. But if you’re the type that wants to experience the internet and more on a large, beautiful screen, then we definitely recommend you get a Smart TV.

LG TVs

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Samsung TVs

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