How to buy an HDTV

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When it comes to high definition televisions, size isn't everything. Technology expert Veronica Belmont discusses important considerations like viewing distance, room lighting, energy efficiency, resolution, frame rate and content. Are you a movie buff or a gamer? Whatever your answer, Veronica will help you choose the right HDTV.

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  • Veronica Belmont

    Veronica Belmont Technology Guru Veronica Belmont is a self-proclaimed gamer and social networking junkie. Veronica made her mark as a producer and on-air talent, leaving to host the eclectic video show Mahalo Daily, which was named one of the top new podcasts in 2008 on iTunes. more about this expert »

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How to buy an HDTV

When it comes to high definition televisions, size isn't everything! Technology expert Veronica Belmont discusses important considerations like viewing distance, room lighting, energy efficiency, resolution, frame rate, and content to help you choose the right HDTV

  • Consider the room where you're going to put your HDTV. To figure this out, measure the distance from your couch to your TV and divide by two. Viewing Distance=100" divided by 2. This will give you a good idea of the size of the TV screen that will work for your space.
  • TV screens are measured diagonally. Don’t forget to measure the space where you want to place your TV before purchasing to make sure it fits.
  • Lots of places offer professional installations, so check out the options with a retailer when you purchase your HDTV.
  • There are two types of HDTVs—LED LCD and plasma.
  1. Plasmas are known for producing deeper black levels. If you can guarantee perfect viewing conditions, for instance, a dark room, then plasma is right for you.
  2. An LCD is a good choice for daytime viewing, as most LCDs are brighter and better at resisting glare. Also, LCDs are generally slimmer and more energy efficient than their plasma counterparts.
  • To help decide which picture is best for you, consider what kinds of things you like to watch the most--sports, movies, video games?
  • Different HDTVs show action differently, so it's a good idea to look at several, watching the content you usually would.
  • If you're a sports enthusiast or gamer, you want to make sure you have high frame rate technology.
  • If you really love watching movies, you want to make sure your TV is full HD 1080p so you get the highest resolution currently available.
Transcript VERONICA BELMONT: Hi there. I'm Veronica Belmont. Today I'm going to show you how to choose the right high definition television for you. We'll cover size, technologies, and frame rate.
Now, first things first.
You need to consider the room where you're going to put your HDTV.
{Tip: Consider the space} Is it a big room? Is it a small bedroom? Something in between, maybe?
You don't want to have your face pressed up right against a huge screen in a small little room or straining to see a too small screen from a couch that's 10 feet away.
To figure this out, measure the distance from your couch to your TV and divide by two. {Viewing Distance=100" divided by 2} This will give you a good idea of the size of the TV screen that will work for your space.
For larger rooms like your living room, I recommend a 40-inch or larger HDTV.
For smaller areas like a bedroom or a kitchen, something with a 32-inch screen would probably be perfect.
TV screens are measured diagonally, like this.
When you're at it, measure the space where you want to place your TV.
{Ask about home theater installation.} Lots of places offer professional installations, so check out the options with a retailer when you purchase your HDTV.
Now there are two types of HDTVs--LED LCD and plasma.
Plasmas are known for producing deeper black levels.
If you can guarantee perfect viewing conditions, for instance, a dark room, then a plasma is right for you.
Most people, though, can't get darkness in the living room during the day.
{LCD HDTVs, bright picture, reduces glare} An LCD is a good choice for daytime viewing, as most LCDs are brighter and better at resisting glare.
Also, LCDs are generally slimmer and more energy efficient than their plasma counterparts.
So if being green is an important issue for you, that could be a good reason for making this choice.
Some of the newer HDTV run the back lights along the edge of the TV, which allows them to be remarkably thin and energy efficient.
They have incredibly sharp contrast and display beautiful, rich color.
And they contain no mercury, so they're less harmful to the environment.
To help decide which picture is best for you, consider what kinds of things you like to watch the most--sports, movies, video games?
Different HDTVs show action differently, so it's a good idea to look at several, watching the content you usually would.
If you really love watching movies, you want to make sure your TV is full HD 1080p like this one here.
So you get the highest resolution currently available.
{Full HD 1080p, highest at-home resolution available} If you're a sports enthusiast or gamer, you want to make sure you have high frame rate technology.
{High frame rate, smooth, crisp motion}120 Hz or higher for smooth motion.
There are so many great HDTVs out there.
Look online to research and then head to the store to see them in person.
I'm Veronica Belmont with Sony for Howdini.
For more great tips and ideas, go to sony.com/howdini 

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