Techno TVs finding favour

TELEVISIONS have evolved with technology fast becoming the face of the latest concepts on offer for viewing and gaming pleasure.

Choices encompass questions ranging from size and design to display type, picture quality and online connectivity.

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Size

This is probably the starting point because bigger isn't always better.

Experts say the trick to find the perfect-sized TV for your room is to measure the distance from where you are likely to sit to where the set will be located.

Divide the distance by 1.5 to show the largest TV you should buy and by 3 to find the smallest size that will work in the room.

 

Display type

Variety comes in many cloaks but there are essentially three different technologies from which to choose.

Plasmas - Plasma TVs use thousands of sealed, low pressure glass chambers filled with a mixture of neon and xenon (Samsung 130cm FHD Plasma, $897).

Behind these chambers are coloured phosphors, one red, one blue, and one green for each chamber.

The chambers of plasma emit invisible UV light which strikes the red, green and blue phosphors to produce the picture you see.

They are excellent if you are going for the best cinematic picture possible with flat screens that minimise distortion and increase clarity.

They are capable of deep black levels and offer realistically textured images and are good for viewing at greater angles. Unfortunately their future is uncertain with most large manufacturers choosing not to continue with their production.

LCDS - They use electrically charged liquid crystals to refract light from the fluorescent tube behind them (Toshiba 98cm AL Series full HD LCD, $426). They are quite portable, more energy efficient than plasmas and have a higher resolution.

Sizes range from 38cm-140cm. Consider them if you watch TV during the day as they are good at counteracting excessive ambient lighting. They offer great picture depth and colour quality but are susceptible to motion lag and lighting inconsistencies.

LEDS - These are essentially a LCD TV that uses small LED bulbs to light up the picture (LG Electronics 98cm Full HD LED LCD TV, $699).

They cost more but are thinner (often less than 3cm thick), sharper and offer excellent colour. They use the least energy and models at the top end rival plasmas for picture quality.

 

Smart TVs

They are flavour of the day with built-in Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity allowing you to connect to the internet and access music, video streaming, entertainment apps and even launch Skype (Samsung Series 152cm 7 Full HD Smart LED TV, $3587).

Many include USB and DVI inputs and memory card slots so you can use your TV as your computer monitor.

 

3D

Even if you don't want funny-looking glasses the odds are the set you choose will have 3D capability (Panasonic 106cm Full HD 3D Dual Core Smart LED TV, $1496).

Many entry-level models offer some of the best 2D pictures around with improved clarity and reproduction so it makes sense to invest in one even if you leave the 3D viewing to the kids.

Passive 3D is similar to the movies with two images displayed simultaneously on the screen and polarised glasses to filter the correct image to each eye.

The glasses cost $10-$30. Active 3D glasses (about $150) use battery-powered LCD lenses to block each eye in sync with the TV.

 

Picture quality

Choosing an integrated HD tuner delivers high definition content and the screen quality determines how well that content will be displayed. Full HD is the best quality.

Screen resolution is the number of horizontal and vertical pixels. The more pixels per square inch, the higher the resolution.



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