Ready to move into your own bachelor pad, or finally ready to get a Home Theater System, or just want to upgrade your equipment? One must consider several things to first before spending any money. Such as how large is the room you are going to put your system in, are you living alone or with people, are you in a house or apartment? Consider this the start of your Home Theater 101 Course.
The core of any Home Theater System is the TV. Walking into any electronics store people are faced with a myriad of choices from DLP, LCD/LED, to Plasma TVs. Knowing what you need before going into a store will save you time, and more importantly money. Have a plan in place for you want, and per-determine what your budget is.
As for looking for a TV, consider the size of the room the TV is going. One can never go too large, however, don’t make the mistake of getting a TV that’s too small for the room. Many people wish they would have gone bigger after purchasing their first HDTV, don’t go lower than 32 inches! Also, determine if you plan mounting the TV to the wall, placing it on a stand, or having it sit on the floor (in the case of a DLP).
As for TV types:
DLP’s (Digital Light Projection) are the biggest bang for your money. But, they don’t produce the same quality picture the Plasma’s and LED’s do. If space is limited, these DLP’s sit on the floor, and will take up space (remember you will need to space for other components like DVD, game console, and a receiver). For the last several years Mitsubishi has been considered the leading manufacture this type of TV.
Plasma TV’s have been around for decade, and have a lot of misconceptions about them. One of the funniest is that the plasma gas inside can leak out and kill you or your pets, NOT TRUE. The burn in issue, was a major problem in the past, however many companies have solved this issue, and will not be problem for you unless you watch the CNBC all day, or play same video game 8+ hours a day. Of all the TV’s available, Plasma’s are considered to have the best picture quality. And are more versatile than DLP’s, you mount them on your wall or put them on a stand. When looking for a Plasma TV Panasonic has consistently been ranked very well by HDTV enthusiasts.
LCD/ LED TV’s are most versatile of all, meaning, they are thinner than Plasma and DLP TV, use less electricity, and you can them on the wall. These LCD/LED’s are the most popular TV’s on the market. Featuring a wide range of sizes and prices.
Three specs to understand and ignore when purchasing a TV; Refresh rate, Contrast ratio, and resolution. Although the sales person will say otherwise to get you spend more money. Refresh rate refers to the number of times a still image is refreshed on the screen. Upon introduction LCD/LED’s had a negative perception associated with them due to a motion blur while one watched sporting events. However, to the untrained eye this is barely perceptible and most manufactures have developed new technologies to reduce motion blur.
As for the Contrast Ratio, each manufacturer has their own method to determine what the ratio is. Contrast Ratio was a big deal when HDTV’s were first coming to market years ago, however now all TV’s are competitive with each other in their respected size ranges.
Lastly, Resolution, 720 vs. 1080. When looking at TV’s side-by-side it’s extremely difficult to tell the difference between the two when comparing models under 60 inches. Don’t get suckered into spending more money than you want too.
For more in-depth information and product reviews visit the following sites to become on an expert and determine what HDTV to purchase: Also, most people own their TV’s for 5+ years, this is an investment so take your time and don’t be cheap when purchasing!
Photos courtesy of the following, check out their great work on Flicker.com.