Choose the Right Time to Buy TV

There are thousands of TV models available in the market today, and this leaves many people wondering which one is the best one and also the best time to buy one. There are certain times during the year that are better suited for making purchases, especially when we are speaking of consumer electronics. By knowing the best time, you can get the best deal, or the latest model (although they might not come cheap), as one prefers.

Right Time and Model
The general rule that you need to keep in mind is that as the new models keep coming in year after year, the prices of the old models will keep dropping. So if you don’t mind buying a TV that was released about 6 – 12 months ago, then you can get some pretty neat deals. Also, not a lot has changed in the way you watch television, at least for the average user. Of course, there have been many innovations like 3D television sets, but they still cater to a very small niche of people. Big players do not bring about huge changes in the medium segment televisions, so there isn’t a lot you will miss out on when you go in for a sale, rather than pick up the latest TV set. Winter and spring seasons are the time when the major TV manufacturers roll out their new models, and these go up for sale a few months after their launch. So this is the best time for you to purchase the older models.

Christmas and New Year’s Season
Christmas is usually the time when you see a mad shopping frenzy. The retailers and even the manufacturers cash in on this festive time by rolling out some real nice offers and discounts. So just around the end of the year (Christmas and New Year season) is the perfect time to pick up that TV that you’ve always wanted for your home.

Holiday Weekends
Holiday weekends are another great time to buy a TV. You have a lot of choices as far as this is concerned, as you can opt for purchasing the TV set on the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and President’s Day. Many stores across the country offer very good deals on these weekends, but if you miss the window of opportunity, then you’ll have to deal with very high prices due to the increased demand.

CES
Another great time to go shopping for your TV and electronic gadgets in general, is soon after the CES (Consumer Electronic Show), held each year in January, where most companies display the latest line of their products. To make way for these new gadgets, the old (mind you, these are just relatively older) stuff can be picked up at heavily discounted rates. March, ideally is the time when these new products hit the stores, and the older models sell for peanuts.

The Superbowl?
Many people also feel that the best time of the year to buy a TV set is when the Superbowl is just about to start. You must not fall for this misconception, because the demand for HDTVs and flat screen TVs is very high at this time, thus resulting in an exponential growth in the prices. Although, just after the Superbowl, there has been a noticeable drop in the prices for TVs. So you might want to put off buying that huge TV till after the games.

Black Friday
The day following Thanksgiving, which sets off the Christmas shopping season is called Black Friday. Companies often offer huge discounts on TVs to flag off their sales. If you look around, or even check online, you are bound to find some absolute steals. You might want to hurry though, as these sales are usually for one day only, and most products go out of stock within the first couple of hours. This is by far one of the best times to get your hands on that television set you’ve been wanting for so long.

Determining the best time depends on how well you can read the market, because the prices are always decided by the market forces of demand and supply. If the demand is greater, the prices will rise, and if the demand is lower, the prices will subsequently fall. If you can anticipate these changes, you will certainly find the best deals for yourself. If you want an even bigger discount apart from the ones mentioned above, simply walk into a garage sale in the neighborhood; you never know what you might find.

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.

Tips on Making an Effective Television Advertisement

According to researches, an average American watches television for about four hours everyday! This in itself points out to the huge potential this medium holds for advertising a company’s products and reaching the target customers. Increasing product sales and awareness about a company is indeed possible through television commercials, provided they are catchy, simple, creative and short while keeping the below given tips on enhancing TV advertising effectiveness in mind.

Tips for Making an Effective Television Advertisement

Keep it Short and Crisp
The success of any advertisement depends to a large extent on how well its script has been written. An effective way to write the script for a television commercial is to keep the language simple and the sentences short and hard-hitting. The script should be written in accordance to the air time that has been bought. The main motive of the script is to put across the message to the possible customers in the stipulated time. So, make sure that your script is able to deliver the same.

Make an Emotional Appeal
Researches have shown that an emotional appeal any day works much more than a rational appeal. So, through the television commercial, touch the heart of your target customers. Putting people in the advertisement as opposed to just the products that you are selling, will have a greater impact. Make the advertisements seem real, by having the people in the advertisement use the product or carry on any other activity, rather than just coming in front of the camera and smiling!

Get Professional Help
To enhance your TV advertising effectiveness, hire a production company to script, write, shoot and edit the advertisement in a professional manner. Visit various television production companies, see their past work, negotiate for the best prices and then choose the one which fits your requirements. However, even if you hire a production company, remain involved in the whole process of creating an advertisement and give your inputs whenever needed.

Tell a Story
Shoot the video for the television commercial as if you are telling a story. Do not end up taking a number of shots and then putting them together randomly, just because you want to display as many company products as possible! Instead, tell a story, both visually as well as verbally, so that the audience gets a clear idea of what message you are trying to convey, even if they are in the other room and are only able to hear that advertisement or if they are simply watching the advertisement on a muted television! Also, the video of the television commercial should totally match the script.

Call to Action
Remember to include the “call to action” in your commercial. In simple words, “call to action” means providing proper contact information to your potential customers, through the advertisement, so that they know where to place an order for the product or visit the company’s website or to call up, in case they want some additional information on the company as well as the product that is advertised. Thus, a good advertisement should contain the address of the website, phone number and physical address of the business.

Be Honest and Original
When making an advertisement, there are two things that you should steer clear of. First is making false claims about what your product can deliver and the second is making an advertisement similar to your competitor. In short, to enhance TV advertising effectiveness, be honest, unique and creative. Also, maintain some sort of consistency in your advertisements so that people start recognizing it. For this, you can either keep the jingle same or use the same colors or employ any other method which you feel will grab and keep the attention of your possible customers.

Time it Right
Once the advertisement is made, schedule it properly, so that your target customers are able to see it. So, choose the television stations as well as programs for displaying your advertisement, which your potential customers are most likely to watch.

With these TV advertising tips, any company can make good, effective television commercials, which can contribute a lot towards enhancing its sales and profits. When it comes to television advertisements, simplicity, emotional appeal, a good story, creative shooting and sharp editing is the key to success!