LCD vs Plasma TVs Buying Guide

Plasma vs LCD? What is high definition? We walk you through the process of picking up a new flat panel LCD or Plasma television.

Shopping Checklist: TVs

• TV type

Think about how you intend to use your new TV as this will determine what type of TV you need. LCD televisions are best used for games, movies, TV shows or connecting to a PC, whereas plasma screens offer better black levels and are ideal for watching movies.

• Screen size

You should look for a TV that will fit in the space where you want to put it.

• Digital tuner

If you want the clear image quality of digital TV without using a set-top box, you will need a digital tuner.

• High-definition TV tuner

For the best digital TV available, you will need a high-definition tuner.

• High-definition resolution

Make sure you ask what the native resolution is. This is the number of dots on the screen. If the second number (for example, 1366x768) is higher than 720, it is a proper high-definition TV.

• 1080p for Blu-ray

If you want to watch Blu-ray movies at their intended resolution you will need to make sure the TV can display at 1080p.

• HDCP (High Definition Copy Protection)?

Ask if the TV is HDCP compliant, as you will need this if you want to watch Blu-ray movies.

• Cables

Ask what cables come with the television. If you don’t have the right cables in the box you will have to buy more to connect all your devices. Find out what extra cables you will need and how much they will cost.

• Composite ports

The Composite connector has been around since the VHS and is often still present on devices such as DVD players, video cameras and some older games consoles. It has red and white audio plugs and a yellow video plug.

• Component ports

Many standard- and high-definition devices like gaming consoles use Component video, so you should check to see the TV has enough for all your devices.

• HDMI ports

If you need HDMI ports for your devices or if you think you will need them in the future, you should check to see how many HDMI ports the TV has.

• Wall mount

Most TVs come with the option to mount them on the wall, but the brackets are sometimes sold separately. Make sure the required bracket is included if you want to mount your panel.

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