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How to Buy HDTV or SmartTV This Christmas

Updated on October 30, 2015

High Defination Television (HDTV) technical jargon

With the Christmas around the corner some of the things that are on the list of 2015 Christmas shopping are HDTV. Nowadays we call them Smart TVs

Some of us may take advantage of the coming Black Fridaysand rush to Amazon for early 2015 Christmas shopping and we may be looking for HDTV or even be any other SmartTV, whatever we decide to buy, there is a need to understand how to get the best deals for our Christmas shopping.

In this hub, I would like to share with you my HDTV buying experience and offer you with tips of how to go about it in a simple and effective manner.

I was buying a HDTV the other day and I was confused as I did not have enough information despite the fact that there are very many HDTV types, sizes, brands to choose from.

I did not know what to buy, all the screens looked the same, the brands were offering the same things and to be honest, I was lost. There were all these modern HDTV around me, but what surprised me was the difference in price.

The sales person approached me and asked me what sort of HDTV I wanted and I told him that I had no idea what HDTV was and what I wanted. This took him back and he gave me a sit and took me through the jungle of today’s HDTV.

Because of the confusion I faced that day, I have decided to write a guide of buying HDTV and the lessons from that great salesman on how to buy HDTV.

The first thing I would advise anyone buying a HDTV either online or offline is to be ready to invest some time carrying out research on the HDTV offers in the market. The market has many HDTV brands that offer different quality and richness of pictures and audio. Besides new HDTV are coming to the market complicating an already complex market.

Even with a limited budget, but with the right information you will end up buying a great HDTV to serve your needs as you had planned when you decided to get to the HDTV world. I would have called this hub, buying HDTV made simple or A to Z of buying HDTV but well, the title HDTV buying guide still fits on guiding you how to buy HDTV

How to Carry out research on what HDTV or SmartTV to buy

The internet has made information available and that should form the basis of your HDTV research. The first site I recommend for this research is Amazon. Amazon has all these products and product reviews that are rich in content. You need a writing pad and pen before embarking on the research, go to Amazon and search HDTV under electronics. Once you have the page on the HDTV, and you have your budget on mind, filter your search to the budget. If you have a brand, filter for the brand. Once that is done, look for HDTV with the highest positive reviews and read five positive reviews and 5 negative reviews, the HDTV reviews are a great place to start when buying a HDTV

Once you are satisfied with at least five HDTVs that fit your budget, go through their technical information, writing the jargon and the specs down on your writing pad and once you have that specific HDTV fitting your needs, go for it. The HDTV brand may come to play at this point but that should not worry you as all HDTV brands have almost the same technology and getting your brand of choice has never been this easy. It sounds simple but what about the HDTV technical terms? This HDTV buying guide will sort you out.

Understanding HDTV or SmartTV technical terms

The first thing to understand are the terms differentiating today’s HDTVs and yester TVs.

The yester TVs were based on Cathode ray tube, this is what made the TVs get their protruding back. The tube TVs were huge, heavy and well, we enjoyed the shows but comparing to today’s HDTV, the pictures and audio quality was poor.

The current TV technology, commonly known as HDTV is not new, but it has taken a long journey to bring that great HDTV you see in the shop today.

HDTV stands for High Definition Television; this means that the picture quality is of higher image resolution than the yester TVs. The image resolution of a TV is the details the image holds. Let look at it this way, when you paint a picture of a person, the more details provided by the painting i.e. shadow, shades, tone and lines, the clear the painting. Higher image resolution means the same; the image has more details thus giving better quality pictures. The detail of pictures and images is described by pixels. The higher the number of pixels a HDTV has the better quality the picture is.

The pixels are described in terms of numerals, currently the HDTVs in the market have 1440 x 1080 commonly defined as picture dimensions, and this is the resolution measured by width multiplied by the height. A HDTV with 1440 x 1080 means that it has 1,555,200 pixels, or it has 1.6 megapixels. The image displayed has more details, making it richer in details and thus clearer. Another numerical figure you will encounter with HDTV is 1080P or 1080i. Numerical figure 1080P or 1080i is a number used to describe the way the video has been recorded and transmitted and it stands for progressive-scan format. Progressive-scan video format offers better quality images. Besides using the 1080 figure, a symbol with the term native progressive may be used by some HDTV manufacturer.

Another factors affecting the image of the HDTV and should be considered while purchasing a HDTV is the screen size. It always good to buy the right HDTV fitting your specific needs with the watching distance in mind, this way you will enjoy without straining and as well keep the room’s perspective to create a balance with other items in your room, you will find at the bottom of this hub a formula to calculate the right HDTV screen size fitting your room. It is important to remember that the screen size of a HDTV is measured diagonally. For example a 32 inch screen is the screen size measured diagonally.

Just based on the picture quality, a modern HDTV may be described as follows, 40-Inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV, what this means is that the said HDTV has a 40-inch screen measured diagonally and native progressive technology (1080P). The 120 HZ is the frame rate; this is guided by ATSC. ATSC stands for Advanced Television Systems Committee, a universal body that sets standards for transmitting digital television and thus governing the digital television transmission for cable, satellite and terrestrial.

There are many screen technologies that have been used in making the TVs for years. The cathode ray tube was for the yester TVs. The cathode tube was based on gas as medium of projecting picture. The first attempt of making a different screen technology was the projection TV was one of the earlier entrant in the market, but it did not survive long before Plasma, LED, LCD terms hit the market. Unlike the cathode which used gas, most of the latest technology is based on either gas or liquids medium.

Many HDTV buyers do not know whether to buy plasma or LCD HDTVs that have gained popularity over the years. Both plasma and LCD HDTV are cheaper and offer picture with detailed richness and quality. The debate of whether it is plasma or LCD HDTV is still ongoing among the HDTV experts but the with neither the pro Plasma HDTV or LCD HDTV winning the argument. If you want HDTV that will offer you a wider viewing angle with good refresh rate, then Plasma HDTV is what you need to go for, while if you need a HDTV that has great energy efficient and light then LCD HDTVs.

Besides the quality picture, you need quality sound and to be honest the speaker quality has improved over the years couple by reduction of size and price.

It is also important to consider the HDTV connectivity Options. The choice of the connectivity is based on what you need to connect the HDTV to. The options are HDTV with HDMI port and or DVI-D port. Also important is the HDTV tuner.

How to get the right HDTV or SmartTV for your room

To get the right size of the HDTV that you need to buy, there is a simple formula to work out the right screen size fitting your HDTV watching room.

Using a tap, measure the distance from the place you propose to put the HDTV to the sitting positions of the proposed viewers. Once that is done, divide the measured figure by a factor of 1.5 to get the maximum screen size and divide the measured figure by a factor of 3 for the minimum screen size, the answer is the HDTV screen size ideal for you in feet. If you use a tape with metres and centimeters, covert to feet by multiplying by a factor of 0.3048

There are different types of HDTVs available in the market and the type will be determined by the watching distance. If you have a shorter viewing distance, let’s say below 1 meter or, 4 feet I would recommend that you buy flat-panel LCD TV. If your viewing distance is more than a metre (4 feet) but less than 2 metres (5 feet) then I would recommend you go for either rear projection HDTV, LCD or Plasma and if your watching distance is more than 5 feet and you want to enjoy really big thing, try a projector.

I hope that this HDTV and SmartTV buying guide has helped you get the right HDTV.


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    • ndasika profile imageAUTHOR

      Francis Kamau 

      7 years ago from Nairobi

      Thanks Reynold, it was nice for you to stop by. I have visited your hub and its awesome. Keep up with the great work for kids with special needs. Thanks.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I'll be purchasing another set soon. Welcome to HUB writing. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and Useful.” I'm now your fan! RJ

      Based upon this HUB, you might enjoy…


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