Thursday, 6 November 2008

Buying guide to LCD TV

Planning to buy an LCD TV this festive season. However, not sure how to go about hunting, what to look for? What size, what features and at what price points.

The wide range and schemes being offered by various electronics makers like Toshiba, LG, Sony, BenQ, Samsung and Panasonic only making task more difficult.

Worry not, here's a readymade guide to hand hold you through the entire process. Tell you the essentials you need to keep in mind while picking up that LCD.

Screen size
As a buyer, screen size is the first thing you need to decide on. Users generally fancy large size LCDs. The general view is the bigger the LCD, the better. However, ideally one must decide the screen size depending upon the space and distance available. For a proper viewing experience, one must maintain the right distance between viewing area and television screen.

This is important as a larger display when viewed from closer distance shows grainy or pixelated images. It also causes eye strain.

The accepted distance for LCD displays is two to five feet for 20-27-inch displays, six to eight feet for 32-37-inch displays, 10-14 feet for 42-46-inch displays and 16 feet for 50-inch display and above.

Also, LCD scores over CRT models in physical depth. Most are less than 3 inch in depth. Along with size, it is important to check viewing angle. LCD TVs have a good side-to-side view angle, with wide angle ranging from 160 degrees to 80 degrees from the center viewing spot.

Another important thing to keep in mind while buying an LCD, is the space you have to put up your LCD television.

Since they are thin, they can be either wall or table mounted. However, wherever you place them make sure they are not near or over a microwave or a heater. As the heat may affect their life and performance.

Also, make sure that you leave space for ventilation and connection access.

Pixel resolution
Resolution or picture detail defines how finer or sharper the picture quality would be. Better the resolution, sharper the picture quality.

Average LCD TVs offer a minimum pixel resolution of 1280x720. This should be treated as the minimum pixel count one should go for.

Some large screen LCD TVs have as high pixel resolution as 1920x1080 , accompanied by obviously a high price tag.

Like LG’s popular Scarlet range which comes in 47 inch to 42 inch range has 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution while the 37 inch and 32 inch models offer 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution.

Contrast ratio
Another factor to note is the contrast ratio. It determines the degree of variation of the whitest and darkest parts of the image.

If LCD TV has a low contrast ratio, dark images will look grey and while light images looks washed or blurred. An average contrast ratio to have in an LCD TV is 10,000:1 for 32-inch.

Toshiba's new range of LCD TVs offer Higher Dynamic Contrast ratio (maximum 30,000:1 in 37-inch LCD). Samsung's latest LCD LA46A650 has a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 50,000:1 in 46-inch.

LG's Scarlet series also has a Dynamic Ratio of 50,000:1 in all models.

Motion Response Time
In case you are a sports lover or action movie buff, Motion Response Time is a must check. Motion Response Time is the ability of an LCD TV to display fast moving objects.

This is important as otherwise fast moving scenes like say a speeding car or in a tennis match scene, you may see notice a blur. It is described as fast motion blur.

So, before you buy, check the specifications for Motion Response Time (ms = milliseconds). On an average, an LCD TV should have a Response Time of either 6 ms, 8ms or 12ms.

Check for the connectors offered. If you have a home entertainment equipment, make sure that the LCD TV has all the connections necessary to hook up to your home entertainment systems.

Also, your LCD TVs can work as a computer screen. So, check for connections for composite, S-video, component video and RGB SCART inputs.

You may also want to connect your TV to gaming console, HD DVD or Blu-ray player.

LCD TV price depends on the size and features you are looking for. As the features and size go high, so does the price. In some cases, it may depend on the brand. LCD range starts from Rs 20, 000 and can go up to Rs 5,00000.

Sony's new Bravia series (W,V,S) is priced between Rs 24,990 to 299,900. Panasonic’s recently launched LCD TV line-up is priced between Rs 45,000 to Rs 75,000.

LG's Scarlet series is priced between Rs 57,000 to Rs 1,60,000 depending upon the model variant. Sansui Kyuuten LCD 324H is available for Rs 39,990.


Anonymous said...

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