Tips on Buying the Right TV

download-3And the sheep must graze. In style, too. With so many advances in technology, the average consumer is spoiled for choice since he has so many options at his disposal to choose from. From the cathode ray version to plasma, LCD, and LED, the television set has evolved greatly. Watching TV is not just something that you do, it is an experience in its own right, an experience that needs to be enjoyed. Settling for the best deal is no easy task and needs a lot of thought.

Whatever your reasons are for buying a used TV, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. When you buy a new TV, your warranty will take care of all these things, but in a used model, you will have to be extra careful. To make your task easier, ask the following questions to clear all your doubts before buying a used TV.

Why is the Seller Selling it?
Why is the TV in a secondhand store in the first place? Did the owner put it up for sale because it broke down? Or was it because it is a flawed electronic piece? Did he sell it because the picture was not good enough? Or did he do that just because he got bored of it and bought a new one for himself? These are questions that must be answered before you consider the other technicalities of buying a used TV. If the owner is selling it because he found a defect with the TV, even if the defect was mended, it might resurface later. You should stay away from such TV sets. Make sure you know exactly why the TV is being sold before you even consider buying it.

Is the Picture Clear?
Once you have decided on the model, brand, and price of the TV, start testing different sets. Getting a clear picture on the screen is a fundamental necessity, and should not be compromised upon. If you are buying an LCD or an LED TV, check for factors like contrast, video motion, HD compatibility, resolution, color and video quality, and make sure you like what you see. Some television sets have screens that develop a picture with spots all over it. It goes without saying that you should steer clear of such television sets.

Is the Price Justified?
The price of a secondhand television set depends on a number of factors, like the time gap between its buying and selling date, the presence or absence of special features, the model and brand of the TV, etc. For example, a TV that has been used for a year and put up for sale will be expensive as compared to one which was used for more than five years and put up for sale. A plasma TV will be cheaper as compared to an LED, and so on and so forth. Narrow down your choices on the basis of your preferences, and then check if it is worth it and the value for your money is respected.

Does it Fit Your Budget?
Sure, prices have skyrocketed through the roof, but there’s no reason to be let down. A variety of secondhand television sets with different configurations to suit each consumer’s choice are available in the market. Do your research, and shop around a bit. Decide what you need the television for, and what kind will suit your needs. Set up a budget, and then look for only those sets that fit your budget.

Are There Any Loose Connections?
TVs today are facilitated in a way that they can be connected to a number of external devices. If the previous owner has used the various connection ports extensively, chances are they might have worn out and can no longer be used. Beware of this, as well as loosely connected wires, which may create disturbances in cable connections, affect the picture quality, etc.

Does it Support the Accessories You Already Have?
Many television sets that come with recent technology and hi-tech features have support for additional characteristics and devices. If you already have DVD players, video games, external speakers, or set-top boxes, make sure the used TV is not very old and is compatible with these external devices. Buying an incompatible television set would be a complete waste.

Does it Sound Right?
The audio is as important as the video. Gone are the days when silent movies were the thing. It wouldn’t be any fun to watch a basketball match without being able to listen to the thunderous applause of the audience, or watch a movie without being able to hear the dialog. Make sure the speakers are in good shape and the audio quality is not too bad.

Does it Meet All Your Requirements?
Are you planning on creating a home theater? Do you want to place the TV in your bar? Is it going in the bedroom? Or are you buying it for gaming purposes? Based on all these considerations, narrow in on your options and then decide which television set suits your requirements the best. A TV for the bedroom can make do with low sound levels, but the one you need for your home theater should have a good quality sound with surround sound effects and the works.

Is the Size OK?
Obviously, there is no point in buying a television set bigger than the wall you intend to hang it on. Also, if the room in which you intend to place the TV is big enough, then buying a television with low-level volumes, a comparatively smaller screen, and less-defined viewing angles would kill the purpose of watching television and not let you enjoy it to the fullest. Also, keep in mind the size of your room when opting for a TV. A TV with a big screen can be a problem for rooms that are small. Remember, there should be at least 6-10 feet of space between the TV and the spot from where you intend to watch it.

What is the Difference in the Price?
You might have your reasons for buying a used TV set, but before you make the final call, don’t forget to inquire about new sets as well. If there is not much of a difference in the price, then you could throw in some extra money and get a new one for yourself. Electronic appliances are a one-time investment and can be used for a comparatively long term. Still, it is for you to decide and make that purchase. The benefits of a new set over a used one are peace of mind, warranty, and choice.

At the end of a hectic working day, when you sit down on the couch in front of your ‘new-cum-old’ television set, you should enjoy watching TV. It should be a treat for your eyes and senses. Don’t let blurred pictures, distorted signal reception, or broken sounds ruin your experience. Look for the above-mentioned points, and buy the TV set only once you are satisfied that it is a good deal.

Finding the Best HDTV

If you plan to buy an HDTV, you have to know what it is first and also know what it can actually do to elevate your entertainment to the next level. This article will discuss the basics on HDTV and also tips on how to be able to find the best for you.

HDTV means high-definition television, which is an upgrade from the regular LCD Standard Definition TVs. From the name itself, it pertains to TV sets that outputs and broadcasts videos and pictures with higher pixel counts per frame, in this case, around 2 million pixels. And because of the higher resolution, the viewing experience is almost always better than being there itself. Not all high-end and sophisticated TVs are HD capable, although because of the advancement of technology, it will only be a matter of time when all television sets will be HDTV.

Choosing the right set may be more challenging than one thinks. There are so many kinds and brands to choose from, and also so many precautionary tips to take note of, that it could become a daunting task. However, these are the most important things to think about when shopping for an HDTV:

The Basics: 

1. Research is key to a lot of things, primarily shopping and purchasing. So read online and written reviews about the product. You can also physically go to an appliance shop or store and carefully check out the sets one by one. The internet is a rich resource for information of any sort about HDTV, so you can visit the websites of the manufacturers and read about the TV set information and take down notes.

2. Do not rely on everything that the manufacturer says about the television set, not entirely, because, for promotion and marketing purposes, they find it necessary to blow some things up out of proportion and exaggerate the specifications up to a certain point. It is best to take note of the specifics directly connected to the TV set and it is always best to compare between brands to really get the specs you want.

3. Ask for honest opinions from your friends and family. A most reliable resource is a friend or a family member who has his own HDTV unit, from whom you can get input about the performance. If this resource is satisfied with his choice, in high probability, you will be too.

4. A plasma TV with HD capability is an excellent choice for when you view in subtle and ambient lighting, while bright lighting demands LCD screens for your HDTV. This is a quick note on the difference ambient lighting makes for your viewing experience.

All in all, there are so many things to be considered when purchasing a TV set of any kind. However, to do your budget justice, it is best if you think carefully about your selections and choices before actually purchasing so that you will not have to regret in the future, and in this way, you can totally enjoy your new HDTV.

 

Tips on Cleaning an LCD TV

An LCD TV placed on the wall of your living room, lends an elegant look to the interior of your home. But a dusty, scratched, and spotty screen, makes it look unattractive. Touching it with dirty, oily hands or leaving behind fingerprints, affects its clarity. There are a number of cleaning products available that you can clean a TV screen with, including glass and other similar surfaces. However, an LCD screen needs extra care. Here are some tips on how to keep it clean and well maintained.

Read the Manual First

Before cleaning your TV, you must first read the instructions manual. This is the best way to find out what the right procedure is and the products that are suitable for use to clean a TV.

Precautions to be Taken

Before you start, you must keep a few things in mind. Turn the television off to avoid setting off sparks while cleaning. The screen is very delicate and prone to scratches; therefore, use a soft and clean cloth. Cotton and flannel are popular choices. Do not opt for a newspapers, paper towel, tissue, etc. Do not spray the product directly over the screen, as it can leak into the frame.

Never apply pressure over the screen while cleaning it; this causes it to have dead pixels and lead to loss of image in that part of the screen. Do not use strong chemicals like alcohol, ammonia-based cleaners, or window cleaning products. Remember, your LCD needs to be treated differently, compared to windows and glass doors.

What You Can Use for Cleaning

You can safely use the following ingredients to clean a TV screen:

  • Filtered water
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Mild liquid soap
  • Petroleum benzine
  • Distilled water
  • Vinegar diluted in distilled water
  • Commercial glass cleaners (especially formulated for TV screens)

You must strictly avoid using the following ingredients:

  • Tap water
  • Methyl chloride
  • Acetone
  • Ethyl acid
  • Ammonia
  • Toluene
  • Ethyl alcohol
  • Commercial glass cleaners containing ammonia

Procedure

  • For regular cleaning, use a soft cloth and wipe the dust from the TV screen and frame. Use a cotton swab to clean dust along borders and in corners.
  • For accumulated dust, take a soft cloth and dampen it using one of the solutions mentioned above; wipe the dirt off. Stick to horizontal or vertical strokes while wiping.
  • If you are wondering what to do with fingerprints or other oily, dirty spots on the screen, then dampen a cotton or foam swab and wipe the dirty area. Apply even pressure on the screen and rub it a few times to clean it completely.

These tips can help you clean your TV safely. So, follow them and enjoy the clarity of your television.

Repairing a Broken LCD TV Screen

So it’s hardly just been two or three years for your LCD screen to serve you with all the entertainment and one fine day, what you see is, you have a big dent in the screen, probably due to some obvious reasons or perhaps some internal technical reasons. Whatever be the reason, the bottom line is- you have a broken LCD TV screen and you are on a high to either learn to fix it or replace it entirely. The broken LCD screen problems can not only arouse in television sets but laptops are also prone to such issues. Many people have this tendency of repairing a particular piece of electronic item rather than going for its overall replacement. While many others believe that if the repairing cost is tossing out to be more than the cost of the whole replacement set, it’s better to purchase a brand new LCD screen and fix it to the old unit. Well, this thought isn’t bad either! But there are two most important points one has to look out while going for the replacement procedure and they are: firstly, see that the screen hasn’t extended its warranty period. And secondly, the consumer needs to find a reliable seller or manufacture if he/she wants to buy the LCD screen in a good price. Later on, they might also have to find reliable service men who can fix the new screen and do the overall job correctly. The cost carried for the same is different. So, although replacement sounds like a good option, it is bit lengthy and fallible. It is advisable that one should go for the broken LCD screen replacement procedure only when there are a chain of problems in the whole working unit and not just one or two.

Usually an LCD TV screen has a good life expectancy up to 10 years. Moreover, the value of the monitor/screen increases with the resolution, size and clarity of the panel installed in the screen. So, if there is any sort of malfunction or damage done to the screen, the cost of its repairs comes with a price too! Fortunately, half your cost of paying the service men would be saved because with some lucid steps explained on how to repair a broken LCD screen given below, all you have to think of spending your money on, is, to buy a replacement screen and do the rest of the job all by yourself.

Signs of a Broken LCD TV Screen

Well, under this subject the most common problem why an LCD TV screen fails is the dimming of the back-light after a significant use. However, there are other obvious signs like, the system starts off but the screen is blank. May be there’s an issue with the panel whose job is to display a picture. Also, the problem of blank screen appearing can be due to the panel not receiving good amount of data or power from the source. The full form of LCD is liquid crystal display which is made of two glass layers wherein, the outer layer is constructed to protect the inner layer. So if there is an ugly crack on the outside layer of the screen, fixing the same is an easy job. No specific glass is required nor any special tools are needed. All that is required is for you to look down ‘coz now it’s time to read the procedure for replacement..

How to Fix a Broken LCD TV Screen

For now all you need is a small screwdriver and of course a replacement LCD TV screen to replace it to your old unit.

Step #1: In this first step of repairing the broken screen, it’s important to turn off the TV, unplug the power supply and place it face down on a working table carefully.

Step #2: Using the screwdriver unscrew all the fasteners from the television and also detach the back panel from the unit. This will give you a clear look at the motherboard situated at the center of the TV behind the screen.

Step #3: Also what else you would see is an inverter board mounted at the side end of the motherboard. Remove all the inverter screws and expose the whole unit. There will be a bunch of cables connected to various ports. They transmit electrical power to the LCD screen.

Step #4: Your first job to do is, check for all the connections of the inverter board to see whether they are properly secured or not. If they aren’t, unplug the cables and try plugging them back into the ports. Power the screen and see if its working, if not, then go ahead.

Step #5: Remove all the fasteners, plugs and connections from the ports in the board and pull out the whole board from the TV set and keep it aside.

Step #6: Now replace the old for a new board. Fit the new replacement board in the television, and hopefully you have marked the positions of the cable connections. Join the cables together and attach all the screws back in place. Lastly, replace the back cover of the inverter and also the rear panel of the television carefully.

Try and Be Careful.

Best Tips on Choosing an Energy-efficient Television

Shopping for a television can be exciting. But with so much technical information to take care of, choosing the right one can sometimes become a daunting task. Nowadays, televisions are getting bigger and better. They are displaying sharper images, and boast of superior sound quality. In short, currently, televisions are offering the best TV viewing experience.

The box-shaped old generation televisions, that used cathode ray tubes have almost become obsolete, and have been replaced by their flat-screen counterparts. However, these sleek TVs gobble up a large amount of energy, and if you make an ignorant purchase, then be ready to expect a hefty energy bill.

Generally, people choose a TV on the basis of a few parameters. Preference is normally given to the size of the screen, picture quality, price, and sound clarity, in no particular order. While these parameters are useful, the one that is important and often ignored is energy-efficiency.

Some tips to look out for, when choosing an energy-efficient television, are given below:

Type of Technology

There are three types of TVs available today; Plasma, LCD, and LED-backlit LCD. According to the amount of energy they consume, it can be said that plasma is the least energy-efficient, followed by LCD and LED-backlit LCD. Before we take a look at the details regarding energy consumption, it is important to note that energy consumption of a TV, besides the screen size and technology, will also depend on the number of hours the television remains switched on.

Plasma TV is the least energy-efficient, and uses around two to three times more power than an LCD. A 32-inch plasma TV will use around 125 watts/year, 42-inch will consume around 188-464 watts/year, and if the screen size is between 50 to 56 inches, then the power consumption will be between 191-474 watts/year. This, in spite of the fact, that current Plasma TVs are more energy-efficient than their older versions.

Energy consumption figures for LCDs indicate that a 32-inch screen will consume about 98-156 watts/year, a 42-inch screen will consume around 91-236 watts/year, and if the screen size is 50 to 56 inches, then it is believed to consume 210-322 watts/year.

A 32-inch LED-backlit LCD TV may consume around 50-95 watts/year. A 42-inch model may consume around 80-155 watts/year, while, 50 to 56 inch LED-backlit TVs can consume about 100-210 watts/year.

The figures indicate that LED-backlit LCDs consume around 70% lesser power than plasma TVs and 30% lesser than LCDs.

The figures mentioned above are obtained from CNET TV Energy Efficiency Guide

Size of the Screen

Bigger-sized flat-panel TVs consume more energy than smaller-sized flat-panel ones. Another point to be remembered here is that, the prices of plasma TVs are reducing, as more and more people have started opting for LCDs and LEDs. Due to this reason, a larger plasma television is available at the price of a smaller LED.

But don’t fall into the trap, where you may think, “Why not opt for a bigger screen if I’m getting a 40-inch plasma at the price of a 32-inch LED?” Remember! The plasma consumes more power, and if it is of a bigger size, it is bound to give you a bigger energy bill.

Check the Energy Guide Label

Since 2011, the FTC has required that every TV display a yellow and black Energy Guide Label. The label estimates the cost of running that device for one year. The numbers are derived assuming a fixed price of electricity and daily usage in number of hours. The label also estimates the yearly electricity use of that particular model in watts.

While the Energy Guide Label serves as an indicator of energy consumption in the United States of America, in many other countries, Energy Rating Label (ERLs) are used.

Knowledge About Technology Can Help

A plasma television uses gas (Xenon and Neon) to form a pixel. As electricity excites the gas, it turns into plasma. In the plasma state, electrons of the gas emit ultraviolet light rays that falls on the red, blue, and green phosphors, and develops the colors of that pixel.

In an HD plasma, there are 3,000 pixels. The images are more bright and vivid. It provides a wide viewing angle and can handle fast motion images in a better way. The plus is that it offers better energy-efficiency than the CRTs, but the minuses are plenty.

They are heavy! If you want to wall-mount them, be careful, and make sure that the supporting aids are strong enough. Plasma TVs generate a lot of heat, they tend to become hotter when running continuously, and have small fans mounted on them to draw air, to keep them cool.

LCDs (Liquid-Crystal Display) use the capacity of liquid crystals to modulate light. The liquid crystals do not emit light directly. The light is produced by a series of cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). These CCFLs are very efficient. Thus, making the LCD’s a better option than plasma screen TVs.

In an LED-backlit LCD, the cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) are replaced by LED-backlighting. This replacement helps to reduce the energy consumption even further, and still provide better contrast and brightness. It retains the color range the CCFL LCDs can offer, and also provides a rapid frames per second frequency with amazing image rendering.

LED-backlit LCDs also have longer life and can be made super-thin. They generate significantly less heat while running, and are lighter in weight than a CCFL-powered LED. But the one point that may deter many from opting for it, ‘they are a bit pricey’. But I think that’s justified, because in the long run, the maintenance costs and monthly bills would be considerably less.

A general thumb rule would be to check the specifications, and look for the golden words ‘uses less than 108 watts of power’. However, buying an energy-efficient television is only half the job done in your quest to cut down on your electricity bills. It’s important that you pay heed to small measures to save electricity, such as unplugging the device from the wall socket when not in use. This will at least save 10% of your annual bill. So, go ahead and choose an energy-efficient television set and take your own little step in conserving the environment. It will prevent the leaking electricity from increasing your bill.