Not too long ago, my aunt’s TV decided to go on an indefinite strike. It served my aunt faithfully for close to a decade and well; let’s just say it was the last CRT TV among my mother’s siblings. Needless to say, it was the younger generation’s job to look for the replacement before the next episode of my aunt’s favorite Korean drama serial aired.
For the less tech-savvy, the only thing separating the various brands of flatscreens (yes they still refer to all HDTVs as flatscreens) is the price. But for those slightly more tech savvy, obviously one of the most important aspects when selecting a TV would be the display resolution. But then that’s where the headache starts.720p, 1080i, what do these all mean?
A trip down to the TV section local electronics store will probably put most of us in a daze and confused state with the bright displays, loud sounds and throngs of salespeople all trying to earn their commission. Conspicuous consumption would probably be an understatement here.
With the various technologies available (which we've covered in great detail in our HDTV Buying Guide), things aren’t as simple as when CRT TVs were the only technology of choice. We have plasma TVs, LCDs and even LEDs (which are actually a subset of LCD TVs). And to make the decision harder, we now have Smart TVs, which are TVs that are able to connect to the internet as well as TVs with USB ports, which allow you to view pictures stored on USB drives or even movies if the TV supports the particular CODEC the video is encoded in.
In addition to display resolution there’s the number of sockets to consider, the quality of images and most important of all, the price of the set you’re intending to get. And so with all these in mind, I headed down to the electronics store with my mother and asked for her opinion. To which she duly replied, "Just grab any 42-inch that has nice quality images. Oh and let’s hope it isn’t too expensive."
Hafeez Sim / Former Tech Writer
A gadget-geek, he also spends too much time in the gym. He does however, manage to sneak in reading books on his Kindle and reading comics on his Nexus 7. Also spends an obscene amount of time on Team Fortress 2.