Buying an LCD TV

Posted by avatarOmar last updated August 25, 2006 at 10:43 am

That's a pretty good list right there, I don't really have too much to add to that to be honest, here are some things off the top of my head:

  • ghosting - don't take response rate or anything like that for granted, go to the store and check out the tv yourself.  If you can detect ghosting then stay away as that can seriously ruin the entire tv watching experience.
  • screen size - for LCDs the sweet spot is in the 32-50 inch range.  Bigger than that and the $/inch starts to go up dramatically, plus if your viewing distance is close then the bigger screen will produce a worse picture.  Don't just think bigger is better, find the right size of tv that fits your space and your viewing distance.
  • Resolution - most LCDs have a resolution of 1366x768, this is pretty close to the standard of 720p so scaling isn't a big issue.  Just make sure that you're getting an HDTV and not an EDTV, the difference being the native resolution as EDTVs aren't real HD and have way worse image quality.  720p, 1366x768, 1280x768 are all good native resolutions.
  • Scaling - depending on how much standard definition content you watch make sure your tv has a good scaler so that normal tv doesn't look like absolute garbage.  Look at what kind of zoom and stretch modes are available and make sure your tv has one that makes standard def content look good.  Most tvs nowadays are pretty good at this, so it's not such a big deal, this is more for people in the market for older used HDTVs.
  • Brands - brands usually have an indication of quality, not always, but in LCD there are some great brands out there.  Samsung has become a leader in the LCD TV biz providing a lot of the panels and screens to the rest of the industry.  So it's obvious that they produce quality sets.  Sony's Bravia line has been a raging success with fantastic quality for an affordable price.  The Sharp AQUOS is also a very good line that a lot of people love.
Conclusion, depending on the price, I'd have to recommend a Sony Bravia.  I've heard absolutely nothing but good things about them, and Sony seems to have done a bang-up job with those sets.  If you're looking for something different then keep all of these points, and the ones given by David in mind.