Your Christmas Guide to Buying a Big Screen TV


The holiday season is all about giving, so why not give your family something you can all enjoy: a big screen television!

Unfortunately, when it comes to selecting a TV there are a lot of options and plenty of technical jargon to sift through.

But we’ve made it super simple by creating this nifty little Christmas guide to buying the perfect TV that your family and friends are sure to love.

Screen size: How big is big enough?

For most people, choosing their ideal television starts with the size of the screen. The options run the gamut from giant screens that provide a theatre level experience to smaller screens that can fit in a kitchen nook.

Keep in mind that it is not one size fits all, as there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind:

  • If you are looking to replace the screen in your living room, know that that the “sweet spot” for screen size is between 55 to 65 inches.
  • Your choice of the screen size also depends on how close your recipient plans to sit from the television. If they sit so close that they can see the pixels, then they are sitting too close and a bigger screen might be too much for the room.

Generally speaking, you will want to choose a television that isn’t so big that your viewing experience is grainy or so small that you can’t enjoy the viewing experience. This helpful chart gives you more exact room-to-screen measurements to consider.

Screen shape: flat vs. curved

For a few years now, television manufacturers have been pushing curved TVs with the selling point being that a curved screen gives the viewer a more “immersive” viewing experience.

However, according to CNET, it’s mostly a cosmetic gimmick. They state that curved TVs:

  • Are more expensive than flat ones (Some are stated as being $1,000 to $2,000 more than their flat-screen counterparts)
  • Provide no increased immersion
  • Can cause subtle geometric distortions

While curved screens do reduce reflections on the screen, that may not be worth the extra 1k to 2k.

Save a few bucks and go with the flat screen. They are not only less expensive but they are also easier on the eyes, offer uniform brightness, and they look just as great sitting in your living room.

Screen resolution: How much detail do you want?

Screen resolution refers to the clarity of the text and images displayed on your screen. Better resolution means more pixels, which allows for a crisper images so you can see more detail.

More detail is the difference between seeing what’s going on and feeling like you’re actually there. That’s important if you couldn’t get the tickets to the football game you wanted to see in person.

From good to best, here are the common resolution types:

  • 720p (HD)
  • 1080p (Full HD)
  • 4k (Ultra HD)

Take some time inside the electronics store to sit in front of a few different televisions to see what looks best to you.

Refresh rate: How smooth do you want the picture?

While checking out the specs of some of these televisions, you will see some numbers related to refresh rate. Don’t ignore them.

In a nutshell, the refresh rate, listed in Hertz (Hz), is how many times your picture is refreshed every second. For example, movie projectors can have a rate of 48-72Hz, while standard television refresh rates range from 60-240Hz. Know that this rate can influence your viewing experience.

The higher your refresh rate is, the better the action on your screen is going to look because this refresh rate smooths out the moving images for a more natural looking picture.

That said, the choice of which refresh rate is best for you depends on what you watch and how you watch it. For smaller televisions, where you plan to watch fewer non-HD programs, a 60Hz device might be best because few would be able to notice the difference between this and a higher rate.

If you are planning on purchasing an HD television, or you enjoy entertainment with a lot of fast movements, such as live sports or action films, then you may want to spring for 120Hz.

You may be tempted to spend even more money on a television with a 240Hz refresh rate, but it may not be worth it, as refresh rates over 120Hz can be marketing fluff.

Why? Because although the picture may refresh 240 times per second, the reality is that the performance is only at 120Hz with interpolated frames, a difference that few viewers would be able to recognize.

The bottom line: When looking to buy a bigger, high-definition TV, your best option is to choose one with a refresh rate of 120 Hz.

Sound quality

Of course, it isn’t only what you see, it’s also what you can hear that matters. So sound quality is an important consideration as well.

The interesting thing about televisions is that companies are more involved with how things look than how they sound. Plus, as televisions are being made thinner, there is less room for speakers, which results in less bass or depth than you would like.

To save space, some manufacturers are placing their speakers in the back of the television, which as you can imagine, doesn’t always sound great. So if you are sticking with the internal speakers, find a set that has the speakers in the front.

One of the biggest reasons why they don’t worry as much about sound is because most companies sell separate sound bars that provide the rich sound that the television just cannot provide.

The best part about these external speakers is that they make a great bonus gift!

Your external speaker choices

You have several choices for external speaker needs, ranging from a simple sound bar to a complex surround sound system.

Sound bars

When choosing a sound bar, consider their inputs and outputs (HDMI, Bluetooth), the sound quality, and the size. Pick a model that will look awesome near or underneath the television.

Stereo speaker systems

If you want to kick it up another notch, consider spending a few extra bucks for a stereo speaker system. You will need additional equipment, namely a stereo receiver, a subwoofer for beefed up base, and several floor or shelf speakers that you can put on a bookshelf.

These stereo speakers systems are great for smaller rooms because the components will fill the room with a rich sound. These systems are also relatively easy to install and require little wiring.

Surround sound systems

Finally, a full-scale surround sound system can be the perfect complement to your TV with loud, proud, and thunderous sound.

These systems often use smaller speakers that work together through different audio channels to give you enveloping sound that may make you feel like you are part of the action! They take a little more time, need more wiring and cost more but the sound they provide may change the way you watch movies and television.

BriteBox can help to integrate your new television into the epic entertainment center you’ve been wanting.

If you are excited about your new television and the idea of having a full home entertainment system, BriteBox is here to create the entertainment center of your dreams.

We take all of the guesswork out by setting up your digital components, configuring wireless control, and we can install epic wall mounts for your big screen television that will bring all of the eyes in the room straight to your beautiful set.

This Christmas is all about giving your friends and family everything they ever wanted, so why not set them up with an stellar TV and a dream setup provided by BriteBox Electrical Services. Contact us today.

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