Electronic Devices: Tv Buying Guide

If you're looking for a new TV, you'll need to consider some basic features. This buyers guide is full of tips and advice on different manufacturers, screen sizes, models, warranties, and modern features.

Buying a new TV can be as perplexing as buying a new automobile. There are many options to choose from, such as screen size, flat screen TV or a rounded type, lengths of warranties, and more! So, how and where do you being your search?

You'll need to decide what brand of TV you're interested in first. There are many brands available, such as Toshiba, Sharp, RCA, Panasonic, and more. Maybe you currently own a Sony television and you've been very satisfied with it. Therefore, place "Sony" on your list. Then, check with family, friends and coworkers to see what name brand of TV's they own and would recommend. You can go on the Internet too and read product reviews for most any type of TV that's manufactured today.

Once you have some name brands in mind, you'll need to compare the features on their televisions so you can determine which ones you want on your new TV.

General Features:

1. Flat Screen TV-what are the advantages?

Flat screen or plasma TV's are quite popular nowadays. One of the biggest advantages of a flat screen or a plasma TV is that it can be hung on a wall or ceiling out of the way. If space is a consideration, then a lightweight plasma TV might be the way to go. Their screens can also be well seen in bright lights without an annoying glare. And, people sitting at the side of the TV can easily see the screen without missing out on any part of the picture.

One of the disadvantages is that flat screen TV's can be costly to purchase. And, they only have a service life of approximately two years under constant use.

2. Screen Size

Television screens come in many sizes from three inches to sixty-four inches and higher. (Plasma TV's come in screen sizes that start at forty inches, and go up.) TV screens are measured diagonally, not vertically or horizontally as you might think. The smallest three-inch screens are, of course, difficult to see. They are best for portable TV's that you can use in a small area such as in a camper.

Of course, the larger screen a TV has, the heavier the unit will be. If you have an existing entertainment center, then your choices of screen size will be limited. Don't try to cram a twenty-five inch TV set into a twenty-five inch space. Your set should be at least a couple of inches smaller than the space in your entertainment center so it can get proper air ventilation.

If you have the available space, a TV that has a twenty-seven inch screen should be suitable for most living rooms or dens.

3. Cable or Satellite Ready or Exterior Antenna

Most television sets come ready to hook up to your cable or satellite service. Only the smaller sets still have the familiar "rabbit ear" antennas of times past. And, many of those can still be hooked up to cable or satellite too.

4. Warranties

Standard warranties on a TV last for one year, and they cover any replacement parts and labor. Some manufacturers offer you an extended warranty for an additional fee. Some even offer an in home service, especially if the television is a big screen type. But, mostly, any television that has a screen that measures thirty-two inches or under, has to be taken to the nearest authorized center for service and repair.

5. Audio/Video Jacks

If you're planning on hooking up your television to a surround sound stereo system, then you'll need to make sure that it has an adequate number of audio jacks built into it. On the same hand, if you want to use a video game, a camcorder, et cetera, then you should choose a TV that has audio and video jacks on the front of the set. They are, of course, easier to reach.

Finally, check your local newspaper ads for the brands of televisions that are available to you. Pick out three or four TV's that you are interested in. Then, check the manufacturers websites for detailed information about those sets. Also, check the Internet for reviews of the same TV's. You can find out honest information here from actual users of the televisions, as opposed to just reading the sales pitches from the manufacturers.

Then, when you actually visit the stores to see the televisions for yourself, ask the salesperson what type of TV he or she owns. Be sure to ask about the cons of every brand too.

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