John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

HDTV selection process

Of late I have been asked by a few people how they choose which type of TV to buy. There really are 3 major types of TVs on the market today as well as 3D TVs. The three are plasma, LCD and LED. Plasma’s tend to have a VERY glossy screen so if you can’t control the ambient light plasma is a really bad choice. Some of them are so reflective you could use them as a mirror. They tend to be inexpensive. They are great for movies and action. They do suffer from burn in so you need to watch that you don’t leave the same image on the screen for even short periods of time.

LCD and LED screens are very similar. The difference is in the back lighting. LCD use a fluorescent back light and LEDs use LEDs to back light. The LED is brighter, and more vivid as well as more expensive. Of late the gap between LED/LCD has been closing, sometimes as little as $100. The LEDs also draw less power.

This latest go round in choice had a unique requirement. The TV was to be mounted on a brick wall. This presents some unique challenges. First of all thickness becomes an issue. The LEDs are quite a bit thinner than LCDs. Secondly and not related to the screen type is the hookups on the back. In some cases where you are going to mount it on the wall you can cut a whole in the wall to let the cables connect and come and go. In this case that wasn’t possible. We looked at the TVs at Future shop and discovered most come out the back of the TV at right angles meaning you either need to buy more expensive right angle cables of leave a gap to back of the TV. Samsung’s had cleverly brought the cables out parallel to the back of the screen leaving no issues with the wall. Unfortunately all the Samsung’s we looked at LED and LCD has a glossy finish to them. No where near as glossy as plasma but still not idea. In the end we found 1 LG model that had a mat finish and had the cables coming out parallel to the back of the screen. It was a LG 47″ 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV (47LV4400) .

Some TVs are considered “smart”. So are the others dumb? 🙂 The smart TVs include the ability to surf the web, do facebook, stream from Netflix etc. The can also play some movie files which you can put on a USB key or the like. The benefit is that it is an all in one. The negative is that you may need to add a player later if you run into a limitation it can’t do, or if the firmware is not kept current by the vendor. For my $$s we chose to go with a dumb TV and buy a player.

Next up was the mount. We did not care about tilting so we wanted a flush mount. In the end we chose a Sanus generic mount. It attached easily to the TV and was secured with 4 bolts to the brick. They included a variety of bolts for the back of the TV as well as a variety of options for mounting to everything from wood to brick. The kit was complete. We had to buy a drill to go into the brick but that is to be expected.


December 12, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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