Televisions are a central feature of most households and new TV’S cost money, so it’s worth making sure you spend wisely and get what you are looking for. To help you decide we have put together some questions and answers that you should ask yourself before you buy.
WHAT TYPES OF TV ARE THERE?
TV’S are split up into three main groups-
· CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)
· Flat Screen
· Back Projection
Depending on what you want will determine which TV you buy as the characteristics of each vary considerably.
CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)
These have been around for many years and are the traditional television. The picture is formed on the wide end of a CRT and the design has a top-end size limit because of the length of the tube needed, which also gives the TV its heavy weight. Despite the size and weight, they can still offer great pictures and don’t cost a lot of money. Make sure with these TV’S that you check the reviews and specification as they do suffer more problems than flat screen TV’S and most may not be HD ready.
CRT TV’S we recommend are JVC / SHARP
This is where LCD and Plasmas come in. They are the two technologies flat screen TV’S use. Flat screens have the advantage of being very thin which means thy can be hung on a wall or placed on a stand which will take up a lot less room than a CRT TV. They also come in sizes a lot larger than the CRTS (especially the plasma) giving a bigger and better picture. A disadvantage is it may take longer to set up the picture to how you want it on a flat screen as they have many more options than a CRT and flat screens are also prone to judders, smearing and ghosting, so once again, make sure you read all reviews on the TV you are buying or seek further advice from our specialist, here to help you free of charge.
LCDS we recommend are SAMSUNG / LG
PLASMAS we recommend are PIONEER / PANASONIC
BACK PROJECTION (rear projection)
Back protection TV’S are a cost effective alternative to plasmas if you are looking for a large screen. They use either CRT technology or microdisplay technologies to beam a picture onto a mirror or through an LCD screen in the back of the TV, which is then projected onto a display at the front.
The CRT models offer great colours and images but have narrower viewing angles than standard CRTS. Microdisplay TV’S are based on microchips containing thousands or millions of pixels and are lighter, thinner and shorter than CRT models. They can be bright and display images well but can take a while to warm up and may need the lamp replacing occasionally (which aren’t cheap).
BACK PROJECTIONS we recommend are SONY
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LCDS AND PLASMAS?
LCD TV’S are available in a lot more smaller sizes than plasma TV’S with screens as small as digital cameras and they use the same technology as flat screen computer monitors. LCDS are an ideal choice for a second screen in a bedroom or kitchen. LCDS perform better with PCs so if you plan to use your new TV with your PC then the LCD would be the best option, ensuring the LCD has the correct connections to allow you to use a computer. Colour saturation on LCDS is not as good as plasmas because of the way the technology works. If you view an LCD from an angle rather than directly in front, the brightness and colours of images can be poor. On the plus side, LCDS do use less power than plasmas.
The advantage that plasmas have over LCDS is the size that they are available in. LCDS are more expensive to produce per inch as they get larger so plasmas are more cost effective when looking at buying a 40” or above. Plasmas also have a better contrast, quality and sharpness, which basically means the colour black would look ‘more black’ than it would on an LCD. This means that if you watch a lot of films, the plasma would be the best option for you because the colours stand out more and the overall performance would be better.
The main reason LCD and Plasma TV’S are so hugely popular is because of their size. They are both much thinner than your traditional CRT TV and look extremely attractive with them being able to be hung on a wall.
WHAT IS MY BUDGET?
With so many different choices of TV, its easy to spend more than you mean to, so it is important to fix your budget beforehand and that is even before you decide on what size TV you want.
When calculating your budget, remember that it could also be taken up by extras, for example if you require accessories such as separate speakers or maybe the TV does not come with a stand or extra cables are needed. All this must be included in your budget to give you a rough idea of what you will have left to spend on your new TV.
Finally, you must also remember that you may pay more to run a larger TV as they usually use up more power.
Plasma and Satellite Ltd offer a finance option when purchasing TV’S.
WHAT IS THE LIFE EXPECTANCY OF A PLASMA / LCD?
Life expectancy of plasmas - up to 60,000 hours
Life expectancy of an LCD - 60,000+ hours
WHAT IS HD TV?
High Definition TV creates images using either 720 or 1080 lines of information, unlike standard analogue TV signals, which have a resolution of 625 (576 visible) horizontal lines.
HDTV is the ultimate in picture quality. It brings clarity, colour and definition never seen before on a TV. Detail and colour are so true to life with HDTV that you will actually feel like you are there.
As yet, there aren’t a lot of true HDTV programmes broadcast, but this will increase as time goes on. In order to view programmes in high definition you must have a HD ready TV and the correct cables. Most new flat-panel TV’S are HD ready, but always check the specification before you buy.
Sky have started to broadcast in high definition via their Sky HD service, but don’t be concerned if you do not have this source because all HD ready TV’S will also work very well with standard broadcasts.
You can’t view HD programmes at all on an analogue TV. You can view them on standard digital sets that are ‘HDTV compatible’ but not at their true resolution.
HD ready TV’S can also produce great images when used with a progressive scan DVD player, HD games consoles, HD camcorders and even PCS that are able to download HD files from the Internet.
WHAT IS FREEVIEW / DTV?
Freeview gives you great TV for free with a wide variety of channels, providing there is coverage in your area and provided you have an aerial fitted able to receive digital channels. Once you establish whether Freeview is broadcast in your area, you must consider which way you would like to access it. There are three different ways-
· Digital Set Top Box (Top Up)
· Digital TV recorder
· Digital TV
DIGITAL SET TOP BOX A digital box is the easiest way to receive Freeview. Just buy the box and it will connect and work with your exsisting TV. The connection is made simple via a single scart lead.
DIGITAL TV RECORDER Freeview Playback is the new name for Digital TV Recorders and they come with Freeview inside. Digital recorders receive all freeview channels and they have one touch recording, able to record hours of programmes without the need for discs and tapes. It also has the benefit of being able to live pause a programme. It is best to choose a Digital TV recorder with a twin tuner, so that way you can watch one channel while recording another.
DIGITAL TV A digital TV comes with the digital Freeview box already built inside, so no need for a separate box. Just simply connect it to your aerial and you will receive all Freeview channels. Digital TV’S are available in widescreen, plasma and LCD format.
Once you have choosen your method of Freeview and making sure you live in a Freeview area, all you need to check now is your aerial. It is recommend that all aerials should be placed outside, indoor aerials provide poor signal strength from inside and can be weak and you may not receive the full range of freeview channels available.
If you do require a new rooftop aerial or better quality cable, then we can advise you further on this. (See our aerial section.) We offer an aerial service and can provide you with a free quotation on all aerial work.
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