TV’s have gone from being something that everyone has to huddle around in a corner, to huge, flat screens which fill the room and become the central hub for the whole family’s entertainment. As such, they have also become a big purchase and one which requires a lot of thought to ensure it is the correct decision.
So what kind of features should you look out for if you are thinking of investing your hard-earned cash on a new television set?
Is it full-HD?
While TV manufacturers have been advertising ‘HD-ready’ TV’s for years now, if you see the tag ‘HD ready’ it’s actually already out-of date. We are now well-into the age of high-definition viewing that it should be the norm on any new television that you purchase. ‘HD ready’ usually means that the screen’s pixel number is 720p, while a full HD television will be 1080p – which means there are a whole 360 more pixels of colour per inch of screen! This gives a far more vibrant colour and is the standard for HD output such as Blu-Ray discs or games played on the current generation consoles.
Is it SMART?
Many TV’s now have internet connectivity, which provides you with a whole range of extra content. SMART TV’s will usually just connect to your home’s broadband, and if you set-it up correctly you’ll be able to download or stream programmes from catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and 4oD, use movie and TV show streaming services like Netflix and Lovefilm, plus do things like browse the internet, check your emails and even make Skype calls – great for if the whole family want to talk to a relative somewhere far away.
Is it 3D?
Another feature which is quickly becoming more mainstream is 3D. While it hasn’t been as popular as some manufacturers had hoped, there are still benefits to watching things in 3D. It’s fair to say that it’s a bit of a novelty feature, but for films which you have enjoyed in 3D in the cinema for example, if can be great to re-live the experience in your own front room. Of course, not all of the TV output is in 3D just because of the type of TV – you’ll mainly just be enjoying the normal 2D pictures you’re used to!
Does it look the part?
More important than probably everything else mentioned so far is whether it looks like a great TV when it is set up in your living room. You want to go for something sleek with thin-edges and the size of it needs be big, but not too big that it overpowers the whole room. Then there are the additional touches, such as a decent quality TV stand which can hold your Freeview or Satellite box and your games consoles, as well as a good set of speakers to enhance the sound for things like movies and sports. It’s also worth investing in a good brand that has good reviews and you know is going to last you at least a few years.