LED has shaken the TV world to its foundations. Televisions can be made even thinner and more energy efficient than ever. There are many reasons to buy a TV, but what should you pay attention to when buying a LED TV? Abzumo lists them for you.
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Why should You buy a TV?
- Why should You buy a TV?
- Advantages of LED TVs
- What TV to Buy?
- OLED television
- 4K / Ultra HD
- Step 3: Which Brands Make the Best TVs?
- Step 4: What Size of TV should You Take?
- Step 5: What Specifications should You Pay Attention To?
- What Functions are Available on Televisions?
- Smart TV
- User Friendliness
- Which connections are important on a TV?
- Do televisions have a good sound?
- How can You Best Place My Television?
Since Samsung’s introduction in 2006, LED TVs took over the world. It has almost completely supplanted the LCD flat screen. This is not surprising: the LED TV is the successor to the one above, and the technology behind it differs a little bit. The difference between the two types of TVs lies in the lamps providing the light. Both have a Liquid Crystal Display, on which the image is produced. This image only becomes visible when a light source shines behind it. The traditional LCD television uses CCFL lamps and the LED TVs are equipped with, yeah LEDs.
Advantages of LED TVs
LED TVs are thinner than LCD and plasma TVs
Because LEDs are much smaller than CCFL lamps, LED televisions can be made much thinner, taking up even less space. Plasma screens do use a different technology and do not match the thickness of the LED TV.
LED televisions are more energy efficient
Just like the LED lights in your living room, those in your television consume less power than those in an LCD screen. And they last even longer.
LED lamps have a faster reaction speed than CCFL lamps and a more natural color “temperature”. This has also the advantage that the image is “tighter”.
Because LEDs have tiny lamps with a large light distribution, curved television screens can still be evenly illuminated. Some TV manufacturers market these curved screens because the viewing experience is more natural.
What TV to Buy?
There are several LED variants on the market.
Edge Lit (also called Edge LED): this variant has LEDs at the edges of the television. A special reflective plate ensures that the light is projected evenly over the screen. This has a great advantage as the tv can be made thinner. There is also a disadvantage: there may be some deviation in contrast at the sides so that the screen is not fully uniformly illuminated.
Full LED: The flat screens that support this technology have a screen of LEDs as a background panel. The beauty of this system is that it is possible to switch all those lights on or off separately from each other. This is called local dimming. This makes the contrast much better than Edge Lit screens. On the other hand, the Full LED screens are generally more expensive than the Edge-lit variant.
OLED may well become the successor to LED. We know the technology because of the screens of certain smartphones. The technology is different from what we are used to. OLED does not use a light source behind an LCD screen, but the LEDs themselves take care of the image.
The energy consumption is lower, and the TV can be manufactured even thinner. However, OLED televisions are still very expensive.
4K / Ultra HD
In 2012, several brands presented a new technology for LED televisions: 4K, officially Ultra HD. The image of these televisions is four times sharper than Full HD. This means a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (8 million pixels) compared to 1080 x 1920 at Full HD. Most TVs are nowadays 4K.
However, the chance that television stations will soon be broadcasting massively in 4K is small. The UHD is interesting for consumers who bring in films and series via the internet: streaming 4K material is possible. Large-sized screens in particular benefit from 4K technology.
Step 3: Which Brands Make the Best TVs?
The market for televisions is dominated by the major electronics companies. On average, Samsung TVs are rated best by the experts of international trade and consumer magazines, closely followed by Philips and Sony. Panasonic completes the top five, while LG also profiles itself strongly.
All these brands make numerous models of televisions that fall both into the more expensive and more affordable segment. Manufacturers like Sharp and Toshiba have a much smaller line-up, but these brands still count.
Step 4: What Size of TV should You Take?
The size of an LED TV is usually measured in image diagonals and inches. The size of your television is important: logically, you see less at a great distance from a small TV. If you place a TV that is too big in a small room, you will not be able to watch it well. That is why it is important to measure the distance between you and the television.
Step 5: What Specifications should You Pay Attention To?
Television manufacturers use a variety of technologies, from Pixel Precise HD and Wide Color Enhancer to Motionflow XR. Essentially, when buying a TV, there are a few specifications that keep cropping up. We list them for you, with a brief explanation.
The number of hertz on your screen indicates how often the image is refreshing per second. Whereas in the past almost all televisions had 50 Hz, nowadays this is a hundred or more, and there are even manufacturers who equip the more expensive models with refresh rates of more than 1400Hz.
The advantage of a large hertz numher is that the image vibrates less. For gaming on television, it also has some disadvantages because all this image processing leads to delays in the overall image structure.
The contrast ratio indicates how many shades a television can display between the blackest black and the whitest white. If your contrast ratio is 1000:1, these are a thousand shades. It also ensures that with a high contrast ratio you have more natural colors. However, contrast ratio does not say it all since there are different measuring methods. Many manufacturers also use an artificial way to boost contrast, often called dynamic contrast.
It is important that your television has good brightness. This is measured in candela. The more powerful the light source, the higher the “candela”. A television with a high brightness has a sharper image. The brightness of a screen is especially important when watching your television in a bright room.
The response time indicates how long it takes a pixel to change the color. If it is slow and the images are fast, it can cause sweeping. The response time is measured in ms, or milliseconds. The lower the response time, the better. Especially during sporting events and fast action scenes, you will benefit from a low response time. Computer screens usually have a much lower response time as compared to TV screens.
When buying a televisiom, always pay attention to the viewing angle. When you sit diagonally in front of a television, the image may become vague and lose contrast. Especially if you are in a room with many people scattered around, it can be annoying. The latest televisions nowadays have a viewing angle of 178 degrees on paper, but in practice, the image quality sometimes becomes worse when you look at the screen at an angle of 30 degrees, both horizontally and vertically.
What Functions are Available on Televisions?
Nowadays, a television is no longer only used to watch normal, two-dimensional images. Smart TV, 3D voice and gesture control: these are a few new features that can be found on a standard TV.
Since a couple of years, many televisions are equipped with the possibility to show three-dimensional images. Using 3D glasses, you suddenly see depth. Roughly speaking, there are two different types of 3D techniques: active and passive. Active means that the television quickly shows images for the left and right eye in turn, while the active glasses (powered by a small battery) always cover one eye and the other. To be honest, the hype around 3D is fading.
Many Televisions have an internet connection via a network cable or wirelessly via wifi. The development has led to the introduction of smart-TVs. Many televisions have the option of surfing the Internet or downloading apps as you know them from smartphones and tablets. You can watch Youtube, use Facebook or Twitter, watch a missed broadcast, download a film, watch series via Netflix or play games.
Also, you can often connect these televisions to your home network, allowing you to view pictures, films, and music directly from your computer or smartphone. It is very dependent on the type of smart TV model if all these functions react a quickly.
The time when the standard remote control was the only way to control the television seems to be over. More and more televisions, for example, can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet. But manufacturers go even further. Some televisions can be controlled via voice or movement.
It is often no more than a nice gadget that requires some training. More and more often you see that these smart remotes are already included as standard.
Which connections are important on a TV?
On the back (and often also on the side) of every (smart) TV, you will always find all kinds of connections. Which are the most important?
A modern tv has at least three HDMI inputs. For example, you can connect your blu-ray player, game console and amplifier.
In the past, it was often used on TVs, but has almost completely been replaced by HDMI. Older devices, such as DVD players and video recorders, still have a connection like this. Because the scart takes up relatively much space, manufacturers often supply an adapter extension cable to the TV.
In this digital age a USB connection is becoming more and more important. By inserting a USB stick into the TV, you can easily play digital movies, photos, and music. On some TV models it is also possible to record (digital) TV programmes on a separate hard disk that is connected to a USB port. Most TVs nowadays have one or more USB connections.
Ethernet or wifi
Essential for the smart-tv to connect to the Internet, wired or wireless.
Do televisions have a good sound?
When it comes to the sound quality, most modern televisions are disappointing. Because these TVs are so thin, there’s little room to build in good speakers. For a good experience of (hi-fi) sound, we recommend connecting separate speakers to your TV. The purchase of a surround set or soundbar is worth considering in this context.
Every year new TV models will be launched. Of course, you pay a premium prize for that. Do you want to spend less? Have a look at models that are one or two years old. These may not have all the modern gadgets but are still sold in many stores and are a lot cheaper!
How can You Best Place My Television?
Almost all televisions come with a base/foundation. These come in all shapes and sizes. One base is a bit firmer than the other; some are real gems; other brands have the support that makes it look as if the television is floating. The disadvantage of a wide foot is that the television takes up relatively much space.
Many people, therefore, choose to hang the television on the wall using a bracket. There are different kinds of brackets. For example, you can choose for a wall bracket that hangs the TV in one place or a more expensive variant that allows you to turn the television in the desired direction.