If you're in the market for a new television, chances are you are planning on purchasing an LCD TV. These flat panel televisions have quickly become commonplace in homes, hotel, businesses and virtually every other location you would expect on finding a television monitor. With their decreasing prices and technological improvements, these monitors are becoming a desirable and logical investment.
Like with any other big-ticket purchase, it is important to be informed before you head over to your local electronic retailer to make a purchase. The array of brand, models and features can be quite overwhelming if you do not take the time to consider them all and analyze how they will fit into your needs.
First consider where you are planning on using your new LCD, and how big of a screen your space can withhold. They can either be wall or table mounted depending on the space you have available. If wall mounting the television, avoid placing it over a functioning fireplace as the heat may affect the longevity of the set. Make sure it is up high enough for comfortable viewing from a couch or a bed. When using a table mount, ensure the entire width of the set and the table will fit perfectly into your allotted space with a few inches for ventilation and connection access. Whenever you plan on installing your TV, make sure you can view the image from the sides and not only the prime viewing area. If you find the image begins to fade or becomes hard to view from the sides, it may be difficult for a large group of viewers to enjoy the screen from different parts of the room. You may be able to use a moveable table mount so the screen can be tilted to meet your viewing needs.
Without sufficient brightness the image will look soft, even in a dark room. A brightness rating listed as 550 cd/m2 or high is good, but just make sure the screen is bright enough for your viewing needs in the room. The viewing distance, size of the screen and the natural light in the room will all affect the need for more screen brightness.
Pixel count is another feature you need to take note of when shopping for an LCD TV. Most sets over 23 inches offer at least 720 to 768 pixel resolution, which is the minimum you should look for. Larger screens, especially 40 inches and up, are now offering 1080 pixel resolution which is excellent especially if you are planning on using a Blu-ray Disc player with your set.
LCD TVs now have built-in ATSC tuners, which are required to receive over-the-air TV broadcast signals. Some may also feature a QAM tuner which is required to receive unscrambled HD cable programming without a cable box. A QAM tuner is what is required to receive unscrambled HD-Cable programming without a cable box. Keep in mind your set should include at least one HDMI input to connect HD sources such as cable, Satellite boxes, DVD or Blue-ray players.