How to choose the right LCD TV
The market of household electrical appliances is growing every year, and the range of products is steadily increasing. Therefore, when it comes to how to choose the right TV set, it is very difficult to make a correct, considered and balanced decision on this issue. Where can I go for advice if there is so much information around? This article is designed to help solve this problem, which, sooner or later, everyone will face.
- 1What is LCD
2Basic parameters of LCD TV selection
- 2.1The size of the screen and its format
- 2.3Contrast and brightness of the image
- 2.4Viewing Angle
- 2.5Matrix Response Time
- 2.6Sound system
- 2.7Connectors (inputs and outputs)
- 3A few tips for buyers
What is LCD
To begin with, we will conduct a small terminological educational program. LCD (from the English. - liquid crystal display) - a liquid crystal display, from which they were called LCD TVs. At the heart of the device is the principle of using liquid crystals that can react to electrical discharges, depending on which they change their color and brightness. The whole image consists of hundreds of thousands (or millions) of pixels, and each pixel is made up of three subpixels (blue, green and red).
The combined combination of these numerous multi-colored dots allows you to get millions of colors and shades, from which the finished colorful picture is added. Plasma TV operates on a different principle: it uses gas, which reacts with the phosphor, which causes a different color. We leave this topic for another article, since it is quite extensive and requires detailed consideration.
Enough of the theory, we turn to practical advice that will help you choose the LCD TV.
Basic parameters of LCD TV selection
Going to the electrical shop for purchase, you should determine in advance a number of factors affecting the choice of TV, namely:
- The size of the screen ("diagonal" LCD panel, which format);
- Contrast and brightness of the image;
- Viewing angle of LCD screen;
- Matrix Response Time;
- Sound system;
- The presence of connectors (inputs and outputs, allowing you to connect TVs to various digital devices);
Consider what kind of answer it is.
The size of the screen and its format
On the shelves of electronics stores today you can find TVs of various sizes, among which it is sometimes difficult to choose the right one. It is worth considering in advance where you are going to install the LCD TV. This will determine not only what the screen size (its diagonal) will be, but also the optimal distance to the place from where you will look at it. You can provide additional zones in the room in advance, from which it will also be comfortable to watch TV shows and movies.
What is a "diagonal"? This is the linear length of the screen between its two opposite corners. This parameter is measured in inches (1 inch = 4 cm) and determines the minimum distance from which the image will be of the best quality. So, having a TV with 20-26 inch screen, it is recommended to organize a zone for viewing it at a distance of one and a half to two meters. For 32-42 inches - 2-3 meters. And if you buy a larger model (44-56 inches), then you need to have an integer, -4 meters of free space that separates you from the screen.
In addition to different diagonal lengths, LCD TVs have a different aspect ratio (width to height). There are two main formats (proportions) and 1:. The first one is more common, it is used for analog TV broadcasting. The second - widescreen - is not so popular yet, but it is mandatory for digital TV and most DVDs. For sure, while watching movies, you have often noticed the empty space at the top and bottom of the image (TVs simply "flood" it with black color): it appears just because of the mismatch of screen proportions and Pictures.
Experts say: the future is beyond the broad format. Hence our advice: deciding which one to choose, take a widescreen LCD TV (so that after a couple of years you do not have to buy a new one).
With the size and proportions determined. Now you need to know the resolution of the model you like. This indicator determines the degree of detail of the image and the smoothness of the transition in semitones and shades. In fact, the resolution is also the size of the screen, but it is measured not in inches, but in the number of pixels diagonally and horizontally. The resolution is usually called on the smaller side (for example, 1920px x 1080px will be called "1080p").
Of course, the more LCD TV, the larger (at the same resolution) there will be pixels. Their size can be determined by learning the metric that manufacturers name dpi (dots per inch, for example, 300dpi). The higher this number, the more points will be placed on one square inch of the LCD screen, and the more detailed the image will be. It becomes clear why models with "solid" diagonals require a great distance, from which the picture will look the best.
If you want to select a television for analog television, the resolution of 720x576 will suffice, and for a satellite broadcasting in high-quality mode, it will take 1920x1080 (the so-called "FullHD"). To watch movies on modern DVDs, you also need high definition TVs.
Contrast and brightness of the image
Contrast determines the depth and variety of the color palette. It is able to give the viewer a wide range of tones and halftones of all shades. That's why, trying to deliberately choose a TV with LCD screen, pay attention to its contrast as one of the most important criteria.
This indicator is indicated by two digits (50 90 120: etc.), expressing the ratio of the darkest to the lightest part of the image. For example, the contrast value of LCD "60 means that the darkest part of the image will be 600 different in brightness from the lightest. And the more "spacing" between them, the better will be the color rendition and the depth of colors ("black" will be black, not dull gray).
It is often possible to meet such a value (on a package, large): 1200:. In fact, this figure indicates the dynamic contrast that TVs achieve when using special adaptive algorithms (it is far from meaningful in meaning). Do not buy into this advertising trick.
It is impossible to consider the contrast separately from brightness. These are two mutually complementary parameters. The brightness of the LCD panel is usually measured in candelas per square meter (cd / m2); it can vary from 250 to 1000 cd / m2. If in a room where there is no direct lighting (solar or artificial - it does not matter), 400 cd / m2 is enough. Otherwise, comfortable viewing will provide 500-600 cd / m2. Therefore, it is better to choose a TV that has a good margin of brightness (up to 600-700 cd / m2). It can always be reduced if necessary and adjusted so that it is easy to watch transmissions during the day and night, and not overexerting the eyes at night, looking at the picture.
Many modern LCD TVs have an ambient light sensor that allows they independently select the necessary level of brightness, thus ensuring the highest comfort for the spectators. Therefore, ask about the availability of this function in the model you want to select. Of course, the price for such a TV will be a little higher.
Another parameter that helps to choose a TV is the viewing angle (vertical and horizontal). At its small value, the contrast and brightness will change during viewing at an angle to the screen. It can be distorted not only by gamma, but also by the color palette. And, the further you move away from the center of the TV, the more noticeable will be the distortion data. This is explained by the effect of polarization (pixels, due to their design features, have a directional glow)
The minimum viewing angle that a panel can have is a minimum of 160 degrees. In this case, when you look at the screen at an angle of 80 degrees, its contrast decreases by 10 times compared to what you can see when viewing at a right angle to the plane of the picture.
Modern LCD TVs must have a viewing angle approaching 180 degrees (and in two planes). Therefore, as with contrast, pay attention to this issue, first of all, deciding to choose a budget model. In the expensive, manufacturers have already taken care of this.
Matrix Response Time
We already said at the beginning that the LCD screen consists of thousands of individual pixels that can change their color and brightness depending on the voltage that is applied to them. The period that is required for such a "reaction" is called the response time. It is measured in milliseconds (ms), and should have minimum values (preferably 8 or less milliseconds).
Otherwise, objects on the screen will "float" because of the slow response of pixels to constantly changing scenes in the frame. So, when you are going to watch a match of your favorite football team, instead of a ball on the field you will see the similarity of a comet with a long tail, smoothly flying from player to player.
The best TVs can provide a response time of 3 ms. Try to select an instance with an indicator close to this, and bypass the model with a value of 1, 0 or more milliseconds.
In addition to a good "picture for comfortable viewing requires acceptable sound quality. From this will depend not only the degree of immersion in the atmosphere of the film, but also the aesthetic pleasure from the diversity and "overflow" of different musical tonalities. And such sound systems as Virtual Dolby Surround, 3D-Phonic, DolbyStereo, VSS and Virtual 3D Surround (and others) are able to provide maximum acoustic "enveloping" the viewer.
Modern LCD televisions have a sound amplifier, which is necessary for obtaining perfect purity of sound and providing a wide range of loudness. You need to choose a model that has at least a 2-way speaker system, which consists of 4 speakers and tweeters. Comfortable perception of sound can provide speakers with a size of at least 6 cm (tweeters - at least 2 cm).
When evaluating sound quality, it is customary to use the power (P) measured in watts (watts). But this is again a marketing ploy of producers, aimed at illiteracy of the consumer (as in the case of dynamic contrast). In fact, the actual sound intensity is measured in decibels (d, B). Why then indicate the power (P)? A round figure of 100 watts is perceived by the customer much more respectfully than 20 dB, which corresponds to this "hundred". Without going into the details of the school physics course, let's say that the difference in the sound intensity of 20 and 100 watts is only 53% (13 versus 20 dB).
Therefore, deciding to choose a TV, pay attention first to the decibels that the speaker system of the TV can provide. Only after that go to Watts. And, since we are talking about the power of sound, it will be useful to ask about "KPDK" (the efficiency of the speakers). This indicator displays the sound pressure created at a distance of 1 m from the speaker. Just here, and the rule "the more, the better".
Be sure to check the smoothness of the sound adjustment. This allows you to choose the most comfortable volume for viewing. Check the system and for the absence of extraneous rales.
Connectors (inputs and outputs)
In order for the TV to have maximum compatibility with various digital devices and signal types, it must have a good set of modern connectors. You can get the maximum picture and sound quality (without losses) only if the correct type of cable is selected, which meets all the requirements of the equipment.
Pay attention to the presence of the following connectors that TVs may have:
- DVI and HDMI. They are used to transmit video and audio signals in digital form. This interface is used by many modern DVD players, set-top boxes and cameras.
- S-Video (S-VHS) and RCA. These two kinds of connectors will be needed if you want to connect the TV to an old-fashioned VCR. The first one connects the component cable, and with the second one - a composite (as it is also called, "tulip") cable for transmitting an analog signal.
- SCART. Multi-channel connector of this type allows you to "divide" the signal into many components, due to which its high quality is achieved.
- USB. The presence of these, at first glance, computer ports, will allow you to connect to a TV, for example, an mp3 player or a USB flash drive, on which music or movies will be stored. In addition, you can use your TV as a digital photo album or an impromptu presentation board. In this case, there will be a built-in card reader that supports modern types of memory cards (SD, MicroSD, XD, CF, MMC, MS ...)
All variety of connectors is divided into 2 groups: digital (HDMI, DVI, USB) and analog (S-Video, RCA, SCART). The first have got on TVs rather recently, and only they allow to receive the image in the highest permission and quality. The latter will soon become atavisms and go down in history along with devices using this type of information transfer.
A few tips for buyers
Trying to choose a TV, remember that it is not only a useful electronic device at home, but also an important element of the interior. TVs come in all kinds of colors, and can embody various design solutions, which allows them to harmoniously fit into any room.
Remember that the top brands: Panasonic and Sony - "throw" up to 30% only for their name. Therefore, if the budget is limited, it will be more rational to choose TV sets from South Korean companies (LG, Samsung, Phillips).
And, most importantly, the acquisition must be in joy. Good choice!.