How to Buy a TV: Simple Steps to a Great Purchase

For most consumers, the idea of upgrading their current television yields equal measures excitement and concern; a bigger, better TV sounds great, but many viewers worry about how to choose the best technology for their dollar. While the “best TV” ultimately comes down to personal preference over marketing specs, here are a few simple steps to help make sure your new purchase yields the best visual returns. Size Matters According to a recent CNet article, size is the one area most people skimp on and wish they hadn’t. In many cases, this is because buyers are worried their new TV will be too large for the room, but the CNet authors recommend at least 32 inches for a bedroom television and 46 inches minimum for one in a living or family room. The cost-to-size ratio of all TV types — plasma, LCD and LED — is such that going slightly bigger typically won’t break the bank. Saving money by going smaller seems less worthwhile the longer you own the television. In most cases, this is two to three years at minimum. Be Suspicious of Specifications If you’re looking for televisions online or in the store, expect to be bombarded with a wealth of statistics. You’ll see and hear terms like “contrast ratio,” which refers to the difference between the brightest picture a TV can produce and the darkest. 10000:1,...

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