What to look for when shopping for a new TV ? This is a massive question, and in this day and age there are so many different features and aspects to look out for, that it can be extremely overwhelming.
If you had a quick glance around a television store, then you would see so many different things, such as
and the list just keeps going. I’m going to give an overview of the general features that are important to look for when buying a TV, and then circle this down to the important factors of a 42 inchLCD TV.
So when you begin looking at TV’s, one of the most important factors today is the size. This is an important feature, because you don’t want to get your TV home and set up in your room only to realise it is too small. That is actually the general problem, people do not realise that they can usually get a bigger TV for the money they are looking to spend. There is so much competition on the market nowadays, that all the big companies are fighting each-other to offer you the biggest for the cheapest.
The next feature you will want to be looking out for is the picture quality. Different kinds of TV’s give of a different type of viewing quality. Some are lit up with LED lights whereas others could be lit with fluorescent bulbs; the type of picture you are going to get depends on which you choose. This is very important because some people will prefer seeing darker colours compared to others that like really bright and crisp colours. Generally nowadays, what you look for in a TV is primarily up to yourself and your own preferences. There is so much new technology that is constantly evolving, that you really do have a wealth of choice.
What should you look for with a 42” LCD TV?
If you have read different reviews and articles regarding 42” televisions, then you will know that there are so many options to choose from when selecting the best one for you. One of the first things you should be looking for when buying a new TV is the input slots that it provides. It is standard for a TV in the current market to have multiple HDMI, SCART and USB points which will allow you to plug in all your external devices such as USB pens, Blu-ray players and gaming consoles. If the TV does not have these simple inputs, you should be looking elsewhere.
Following this, I am rigorously looking into the quality of the colours that the TV projects. A very good LCD TV will be able to handle both light and dark colours, and every pixel should look clean and crisp. I also keep my eye out when watching fast-paced scenes that the refresh rate can keep up with the action and not lag behind making it look choppy.
The other things that I look at nowadays come down more to preference than anything else. For example, I like my TV to have SMART incorporation, meaning that you can connect to the internet and use things like APP’s and catchup programs such as Iplayer. This is becoming more and more integrated into televisions, and if you’re looking to impress, you’ll definitely be looking for this feature.
3D TV is something that is also steadily becoming more and more common. You can get passive or active 3D TV’s. Basically meaning :
- Active : you have proper 3D engineered glasses
- Passive : you can use the ones you get from the cinema
For a full 3D experience, you are looking for active, but this comes at a price.
Pitfalls, pros and cons
There are actually quite little pitfalls that come into play when looking at 42” LCD TV’s. Obviously this differs greatly between different model (and there are easily over 100), but if you’re buying from a big brand, then you’re usually getting something pretty decent every time. In terms of picture quality, there is one downside to LCD televisions that crops up quite a lot and this is that if you are viewing the TV from an angle, then colours tend to look a little washed out. This is because the tiny LED lights are very straight pointing, so this is something to watch for if you have numerous sofas across a large room. The other common downside to the picture of LCD’s is that sometimes in dark scenes, light colours can shine through ever so slightly; making it look not so dark.
Another pitfall I would select comes depending on the brand of TV you buy. This is that, the SMART technology can greatly differ depending on that particular brand. Some will have a wealth of APP’s and regular updates exposing you to the newest and latest technology; whereas others will only have a small amount with poor selection and choice.
LCD technology is rapidly moving forward and in my opinion only getting better. It is much more enhanced with LED lighting, but something that must be kept strongly in consideration is the refresh rate of your set. This ties in with my previous mention of the screen sometimes becoming choppy and not keeping up with the action. Some TV’s that have lower refresh rates of 60-100 may suffer this problem, and to the trained eye it can become extremely irritating and tedious. It is recommended to look for 120Mhz when buying your new TV. Another aspect to keep in mind with LCD technology is the response rate. This is how quick the TV can go from black to white and then back again. The level you should be looking for if you are going to be watching general TV is around 16milliseconds; but gamers should be looking for something below 10. The lower the rate is, the less likely you will notice any streaks after a picture has been shown.
A lot of people ask whether a 42” LCD TV is too big, and the answer I give every single time is No. If I was asked a few years ago my answer may have been different, but the quality is so high these days with extremely competitive prices that I actually urge people to look bigger. People underestimate the decency of TV they can get, even with a small budget. If you’re looking for a pleasurable viewing experience, then you should be looking to get a larger TV.
42” LCD’s right now
As I have mentioned before, there are plenty of models and brands to choose from; but I am going to list the ones which I would recommend. I won’t go into further details about these, as there are plenty of reviews written by myself and other people on the internet that give much more detail. These are not in a particular order
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, buying a television comes down to a lot of personal preferences. I strongly believe with what is currently available that those about to buy a new TV should certainly be looking into the SMART technology. It is a great way to be able to use a wealth of Apps and have access to all kinds of catch-up services. You will be able to do things that you will never have realised were ever possible with a TV before. Imagine, using a mouse with your computer, well that’s what a SMART TV remote is like. I also urge people to GO BIG; I really do. You get such a better viewing experience when you see the bigger picture; and generally just watching the TV is much more fun. The only last point I make is that 3D really is not that brilliant. You would be surprised at how quickly it becomes boring, and I don’t personally believe that the extra cost for the full technology is worth it at this time; but again, this is down to preference !
PS : A set-top box may add value to your new tv – check my article on set-top boxes.