LED TV Buying Guide
As you’re walking past the electronics store and see rows of TVs turned on for your viewing pleasure, you see a big difference in the picture quality from one TV to the next and you wonder what the best LED TV really is. As you continue walking you may realize that you really don’t understand much about LED technology as it is, and with so many different terms being used, it’s hard to put it all together. Fortunately, we have compiled this LED TV buying guide for you so that you can really understand what you should be looking for in an LED TV that will give you everything you want. LED technology is something quite new for televisions and a lot of people don’t understand it fully. This is one of the LED TV reviews that is going to explain things simply to you so that you can grasp what an LED TV is.
LCD or LED Most people get confused between the terms LCD and LED. LCD stands for “liquid crystal display”. Liquid crystals are used to display the picture on the TV but they do not give out any light directly. The TV needs to have some sort of lighting source behind it so that the crystals can light up and show a picture. Up until recently a special type of fluorescent bulb was used to light up the crystals. Nowadays, you have your choice of LCD TVs that have this fluorescent bulb, LED bulbs in the back or LED bulbs along the edge of the TV. LED stands for light-emitting diode and is a different type of lighting source that can be used in TVs. The benefit of using LED lights in a TV is they can add more contrast to the picture because there is an array of lights instead of one single fluorescent bulb. This allows for local dimming, which will be explained in a moment. LED lights are more flexible and economical to run and can run stably at a much lower level of illumination than their fluorescent counterparts. When LED lights are placed at the back of
the liquid crystals they bring about a picture. New technology uses LED lights along the edge of the TV instead of at the back to produce a thinner and trimmer TV. These LEDs are separated into different zones that are able to get brighter or darker independently. This feature is called local dimming. This can enhance the depth and the contrast of an image by making the darker part of the image even darker. The lights stay bright in the other parts of the image, which causes a high rate of contrast. Some LED TVs use whatâ€™s called edge lighting, which has LEDs placed around the edge of the screen. With this kind of lighting the possibility of true local dimming isnâ€™t there. There is some type of lower dimming available, but it cannot compare to the real local dimming as of yet. On the other hand, edgelit TVs are more energy efficient than the other TV models.
Screen Size Viewers are looking for a lightweight television set and this is exactly what the best LED TV will provide. These TVs are available in many different sizes and styles. Screen sizes range from15 inchesall the way up to70 inchesor larger. There are a few 80 inch sets on the market and some manufacturers have been showcasing TVs even bigger than that. The amazing thing about these LED TVs is no matter how big the screen gets, the depth of the TV can remain slim. Many LED TVs are only 2 inchesto3 inches thick and as newer models hit the scene the TVs are becoming much thinner than that.
Gaming If you are a gamer, you will also want to buy the best gaming TV . What gamers need to look for in an LED TV is a good picture quality for Blu-ray and HDTV. This way, they will end up with a good picture quality for gaming. Most LED TVs these days have a game mode option and some also have the capability to tweak this mode according to personal preferences. Some of these game modes remove video processing to eliminate delays or lags that can occur between a game controller and the action that is happening on the screen.
Where the Nintendo Wii is concerned, this mode should not be used since the Wii only uses standard definition and benefits from good video processing. Other gaming consoles will do better when players use game mode to turn off this processing. As far as 3-D goes, the best LED TV for gamers will include this capability since more and more games are being produced in 3-D mode such as KillZone 3 for the PS3. Even EA games is anxious to put 3-D into their sports games.
Recently, 3-D capability has been added to many TV sets. This has been a big leap forward in TV technology and one that many viewers have been more than happy to see. Nowadays more and more LED TVs offer this feature as the number of 3-D movies and other content being released increases. Families with children are especially drawn towards TVs with this capability so that they can enjoy the many cartoons being released in 3-D mode. Special glasses are required to see the 3-D images and if they are not worn all that can be seen on the screen are double images that are blurry. There are two different types of 3-D technologies to choose from including passive 3-D and active 3-D. With active 3-D glasses are more expensive and heavier in general, but as the newer models arrive, these glasses are becoming less expensive and bulky. Passive 3-D glasses resemble the ones that you would use in a movie cinema. They are light and no batteries are required. Right now there are approximately 100 3-D BluRay movies available and there are quite a few channels that offer 3-D programming full-time.
Price The following is a rough estimate of the prices you can expect to pay for different sizes of LED TVs. Of course, prices will be determined according to the different features offered by the manufacturers, any special promotions that may be running at the time and how long the TV has been available on the market. As newer and newer LED TVs make their mark the older ones drop in price considerably. 32 inch
$250 – $500
$350 – $650
40 -42 inch $450 – $1000 46 -47 inch $500 – $1200 55 inch
$800 – $2800
One of the features that you can expect to pay a lot more for is 3-D capability and Internet access. When shopping for the best LED TV that fits within your budget, there is a lot more to take into consideration than the size alone.
Resolution Simply put, the resolution on the TV refers to how many picture elements or pixels appear on the screen. For example, an LED TV that is advertised to have 720p has 1366×768, 1280×720 or 1024×768 pixels. A TV with a 1080p resolution has 1920×1080 pixels. Sometimes you’ll
see these TVs advertised as a full HD set. The first number represents the pixels that run across the screen starting from left to right while the second number indicates how many pixels run down the set from top to bottom. The second set of numbers describes the resolution of the set. Later in 2012 we can expect to see the introduction of the 4K resolution, which will be 3840×2160 pixels. This is 4 times the number of pixels that are currently displayed on a 1080p TV. The 4K sets will present even finer details than the HD sets that are currently on the market. This TV will also use upgraded 3-D with passive technology, since the vertical resolution will decrease in half when the 3-D mode is on. It will receive all images in HD. One of the reasons why this LED TV buying guide was put together is many people believe that resolution alone determines the quality of the picture alone. There are a lot of variable factors that can influence the quality of the picture including color, contrast and brightness. Screen size will also play a major factor. For example, if you have a40 inchTV you won’t see the benefits of having 1080p as much as you would with a bigger TV set. As well, you’ll need to have high definition top quality content to watch to really enjoy all the benefits of a 1080p resolution set. A Blu-ray disc offers this type of content, but you cannot necessarily expect it from streaming video or cable.
Refresh Rate The specs you’ll be looking for to find out what the refresh rate is on the TV are 480 Hz, 240 Hz and 120 Hz. The specs show how often the TV updates the on-screen images. Some manufacturers are now even offering 960 Hz sets. The higher the refresh rate the less blur you’ll see on the TV because less time is going by between frames. Unless a person has sensitivity towards this type of blurring, and most people won’t notice anything at all, 120 Hz is all that’s needed. In some cases too high of a refresh rate can be overkill and cause movies that are film-based to appear more like a video. If this is occurring on the TV set there is an easy fix. Viewers have the option to turn off the feature for anti-blur completely.
Contrast Contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks that a television can produce. The higher your TV’s refresh rate means the better details you will view especially in the darkest areas of the screen. However, before going to a shopping mall
and choosing the TV with the highest refresh rate, you need to consider something. First of all, there are two different contrast ratio specs: Static contrast ratio and dynamic contrast ratio. Static contrast ratio stands for the difference between the brightest and darkest images a TV can produce simultaneously whereas Dynamic contrast ratio measures those same differences over time, so that number is always much higher. For instance, a TV with a static contrast ratio of 10,000:1 may have a dynamic rating of 150,000:1 so make sure you’re comparing the right things. There is no agreed Standard for measuring the either type of contrast ratio. However , it is adviced to consider static conrast when you are buying your LED TV as it’s more real world measurement.
Conclusion It seems that every day there are new features and technology being added to TVs and if you’re trying to buy the best LED TV you’re going to have to constantly be purchasing a new one. The trick is to buy one when you need it and then hold on to it for a few years before looking at the newer and fancier models available. There will always be something new added and it’s virtually impossible to stay on top of all of the new technology. Take a break from it, enjoy what you have, and then start looking at what the new sets offer in a few years. By that time, you’ll certainly be seeing great new innovative features that haven’t even been thought of yet. You can also look through the LED TV reviews at that time to get a good idea of what’s new and improved in the TV world.