My friend asked me the following question, “I am buying a new HDTV for our main room, what should I buy?” My first response was a couple of questions back:
- How much do you want to spend?
- How big of screen do you want?
- Do you have a sound system?
As I thought about it a bit more, I decided of some important things to know before buying a new High Definition TeleVision (HDTV). I also included 3 suggestions for 40 inch, 50 inch, and 60 inch Televisions.
Cost: I think the first question you have to decide is how much you want to spend. Some might be saying, wait a second, you first have decide how big of screen you want. I think this is a valid point, but if you go shopping for a TV and don’t have a pre-defined budget then you most likely are going to spend more money than you originally thought. There are a lot of nice looking TVs for sale and it is easy to get caught up in the new and latest technology. The point being is decide how much you are willing to spend and stick with it!
Screen Size: I have a pretty big family room and the couch is about 18 feet away from the TV. Therefore, I went with a 60 inch screen size as I wanted a big TV, but didn’t think it was worth the extra money to go with a 70 inch screen. There will always be a point where the price shoots up with a certain size television. Right now that is around 70 inch screen sizes. I suggest the following rule of thumb when selecting a screen size. Figure out how far you will normally sit from your TV:
- 5 feet or less -> stay under 40 inches
- 5 – 10 feet -> go for 40-50 inches
- 10 feet or more -> definitely want to go with 50 inches or larger
This doesn’t mean that if you have a 40 inch TV and you are 10 or more feet away that it won’t be enjoyable. The distances suggestions above are more for too large too close scenarios.
HDMI Inputs: Make sure you have enough HDMI inputs. For example; suppose you have a Blu-ray DVD Player, a Satellite receiver, and a game console – then make sure your new TV has at least 3 HDMI inputs. If you have an old game console with composite video (yellow RCA plug) then you will also want some composite inputs as well.
Sound: I personally recommend using a separate sound system rather than the TV speakers as most TVs don’t invest much in speakers. To get the most out of sound you need at least a 5.1 digital sound system. Two TV speakers are just not going to produce the same sound quality as a nice home theater system. So don’t even worry about the TV speakers.
Now you are ready to actually make the purchase. You may be wondering should I buy online or in the store. With TV’s I personally lean towards buying them in the store. This makes it easier to return if something goes wrong. Don’t let anyone fool you – every manufacturing company is not perfect. When you make a 1000 TVs, odds are 1 or 2 of them is not going to work properly. I suggest companies like Walmart, Target, or BestBuy that allow you to buy online and return to the store.
Here are my current recommendations for a 40 inch, 50 inch, and 60 inch HDTV:
<a href="http://www get more.walmart.com/ip/Vizio-42-Class-LCD-1080p-120Hz-HDTV-E422VLE/20461474″>Vizio 42″ LCD 1080p for less than $500. This TV has built in Wi-Fi so you can connect to the internet and stream movies from services like Netflix or Hulu Plus. It has 3 HMDI inputs (2 rear, and 1 side) as well as a composite input for older game consoles. It also has a PC input which allows you to connect your computer. I have a Vizio that is 2 years old that we use almost daily (in our exercise room) and it has been great.
Element 50″ 1080p LCD HDTV for around $650. This TV is made in America and can be only purchased online. However if you buy from Target you can always return it in store. This TV includes 3 HDMI inputs plus 1 composite, 1 component, and 1 PC input. This TV does not come with Wi-Fi so you would need to make sure your Blu-ray DVD player includes internet connection.
Vizio 60″ 1080p SMART Ultra-Slim HDTV for around $999. Again I have to go with the Vizio for the quality price ratio. This is a good TV, but a great TV for the price. It has 4 HDMI inputs, plus built in Wi-Fi. It is less than 2″ thin which makes it excellent for hanging on the wall!
Hopefully this gives you some things to thing about before buying a new TV. Some want suggestions between LCD, Plasma, and LED. Of these three technologies LED is the newest and therefore more expensive. Honestly, the best thing to do when shopping for a new TV is go and look at each one. Most consumers will be impressed with all technologies. I think it then comes down to size, cost, and features.