TV Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Purchasing A New TV

It’s a commodity that we take for granted these days, however, when you think about it, TV Buying Guide (as we know it,) has not really been around (for the masses) all that long.

Some Surprisingly Distant Beginnings

Mechanical television saw its beginning with the discovery of the photoconductivity of the element selenium, by a Mr. Willoughby Smith all the way back in the year 1873. Jump forward to 1926, when John Logie Baird demonstrated the first televised moving images, over a telephone line from London to Glasgow. Initially called a televisor, it wasn’t until 1936 that the BBC began transmitting the world’s first public television services from London, and Londoners today still claim their fair city was the birthplace of television broadcasting as we know it today.

It would take the dedication and perseverance of many, and for many years to come before we would arrive at the point where a Dutch company, Philips, would produce and commercialize the image iconoscope multi con that took television all the way to 1958.

Adding Color to the Picture

Following the television explosion, the biggest boon to follow was the birth of color TV. When all-electronic color was introduced in the U.S. in 1953, high prices and only rare color programming initially thwarted any progress for its success. Sometime during the mid-1960s, color sets began to be popular in large numbers in response to the networks transitioning over to color.

It wasn’t until 1969 that all programs made for TV were finally presented in color. Still, the bridge in technology from the first color TVs in homes to the eventual race as we now know it, for television manufacturers to outdo each other didn’t begin to take off until the mid to late 1990s, as home television screens began to get larger and flatter. The lineup of choices we now have at our disposal has come a long way as well, from bare-bones TV programming that began and aired for just a few hours each day– to the vast array we now nonchalantly surf through, while complaining we’ve nothing to watch.

Screen Size

Screen Size

Today’s TV shopper has a wealth of choices that span a vast realm of capabilities, and for some, the task of selecting just one may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be, especially if you kind of narrow down the choices by making a list of everything you want in your TV, starting with size. The most commonly shared regret among new-TV owners is that they tend to wish they had gone bigger.

Today’s TV prices are making it possible for you to be able to buy a much larger TV than you are considering. And while not everyone’s idea of the perfect TV is to have a jumbo screen that dominates the family room, it’s just nice to know that the larger options are finally affordable for more folks…just in case they want one.

Picture Quality

Picture Quality

With the size decision finally determined, you can move on to picture quality. Beware: every single TV manufacturer will use all kinds of flattering descriptives about how their picture tops all the rest. Their specifications flow with impressive jargon full of words that wrap around technological concepts that are meant to impress but are actually worthless. And there are several reasons why you won’t be able to get a realistic comparison from the TVs that are in the store, starting with the store lighting and how it can negatively affect certain TV screens more than others.

The picture you see in the store will not necessarily be like the one you would see in your home. The most dependable way to assess screen quality is to do a little research among non-biased, third-party reviewers who are known for presenting their opinions in an entirely objective manner.

TV Buying Guide LED LCD, or PLASMA, or LCD?

This issue is not easily addressed, and there are many points to cover, in thoroughly examining the pros and cons of each one, regarding the type of technology each uses. This is an area of your search where there will be no substitute for your doing some reading up on the two, and from there, making your own decision as to which you believe you’ll be happier with.

If both styles were not so close to being equally good at how they perform for their owners, there would not be such a prevalence of both, in homes everywhere. And as both have been on the market enough time for any initial kinks to be worked out, you can be assured that either type of TV technology will work exactly like it is supposed to.

TV Buying Guide 3D, and Which Type?

3D tv

Currently, there are two methods in use for 3D TV technology: active 3D and passive 3D. Active 3D works with battery-operated shutter glasses that rapidly shutter open and closed. All that the TV must be able to do is refresh fast enough in order for each eye to get a minimum of 60 frames per second. Typically, active 3D can be found on plasma, LCD, LED LCD, and all front and rear projectors for home use.

Passive 3D uses less expensive polarized glasses, like the ones most movie theaters hand out for 3D movies. Here, the TV has a special filter that polarizes each line of pixels, making different lines visible to each eye. The TV appears to have a normal picture to anyone not wearing the glasses.


Once you have been able to determine your preferences, in terms of size, performance, and technology, you are pretty much on the home stretch. The only remaining choices to be made are with regard to various different features, which come down to personal preferences that won’t affect the performance of your TV, but will be important to you, in blending with your particular preferences. All the high-end TVs now come with 3D and Smart TV as standard features, along with other bells and whistles.

If you can live without having all the little extras, you can certainly save substantially by looking at the TVs a step-down or so from the top of the line models. The middle price range of TVs has some really fantastic buys, though, and any of them would certainly be welcome additions in the nicest of homes sporting the latest technology.

By stepping down from the high-end TVs, though, you’ll need to exercise a little caution that you aren’t losing too much performance in the movie. If you are going to habitually regret not having purchased one of the tops of the line models, then don’t make the mistake of trying to convince yourself that you’ll be OK with a less expensive model.

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