Flat-Screen TV Shopping Tips

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All right, you have made it this far. Here are key points to think about before you take the HD plunge.

Think about the choices: In case you can live with a tabletop set that is 10 to 18 inches–rather than 4 to 7 inches–deep, DLP (digital light-processing) rear-projection sets can deliver solid performance in similar screen sizes & at lower prices. You don't listen to about them as much because they are not as sexy.

Think HDMI: Get a set with at least two or two HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) inputs. Doing so will be positive that you can connect it to multiple HD sources such as digital cable boxes, satellite receivers, & Blu-ray Disc players. Try to choose a set with at least some front- or side-accessible ports; such conveniences can make life much simpler when it comes time to connect a tool.

Compare displays using various input sources: Most flat-panel displays will handle HDTV & DVD signals well, but mediocre cable & satellite signals will give a quantity of them fits. Don't make a purchasing decision based solely on images generated from pristine sources, or based on what you see in the store.

Look for nice black tones: When you are comparison shopping, bring along a DVD of a film containing some dimly lit night scenes. Use it to check for nice black reproduction & the ability to render detail in near-darkness.

Get to know the remote: A nice remote can be your best mate, a bad remote your worst enemy. (Well, all right, we are exaggerating a tiny, but you get the idea.) Does it have backlighting or glow-in-the-dark buttons to help you see what you are doing when the lights are turned down? How simple is it to find often used buttons by feel?

Check the video settings: Grab the TV's remote, pull up the video-adjustment menu & look at the settings. In case you thought the picture looked a tiny (or a lot) off on first viewing, try selecting the median settings for contrast, brightness, color, tint, & sharpness. Those probably won't be optimum, but chances are they are closer than what you found originally. A nice display can basically look worse than a lesser one if it is poorly adjusted. Repeat your tests using a variety of sources, including a dimly lit film, if necessary. Also keep in mind that you will likely must readjust the color settings for each source. Most HDTVs these days have input memories, so your set ought to keep the ideal settings for high-def movies on one input & your video games on another.
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