Buying guide: TVs

We show you the differences between LCD, plasma and LED televisions

Is High Definition the same as digital? No. High Definition is a type of digital TV. Digital TV can be either Standard Definition or High Definition, although many people refer to Standard Definition as "Digital TV" and High Definition as "HDTV".

What is a 100Hz or 200Hz TV? A standard television will refresh the picture you view at a frequency of 50Hz. A 100Hz TV operates at twice the frequency by creating a copy of each frame and inserting it after the one before. Basically this makes the picture refresh much more quickly, which helps smooth out fast motion and eliminate any jittering. If you are a fan of sports or video games then this technology is an important consideration. 400Hz technology is also becoming available and it is even smoother and clearer.

What is DLNA? DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance. It means you are able to stream pictures, music and video from your PC or mobile phone to your television over your home network, as long the devices support the DLNA standard.

What is HDMI? Is it compatible with DVI? HDMI is a connection type commonly used in High Definition devices. It stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and is used to transmit uncompressed images and sound to the television. DVI stands for Digital Visual Interface and is very similar to HDMI. The main differences are that DVI does not carry sound and doesn't have any HDCP copy protection enabled. You can use a DVI to HDMI cable to connect DVI devices to an HDMI port but you won't get any sound as the DVI source doesn't have it. You can also send an HDMI signal to a DVI port in the television but, once again, there will be no sound. Audio will have to be connected using either optical audio (fibre optic) or RCA cables (red and white).

What is the difference between flat panel and flat screen? Flat panel is a term used to describe LCD and Plasma televisions as they are flat, thin and can be mounted on a wall. Flat screen is a term used to describe more modern CRT televisions that have a flat piece of glass on the front of the TV as opposed to the traditional curved glass that has been used in the past.

What is an aspect ratio? The aspect ratio is the ratio of width to height of a television (width:height). This is commonly 4:3 (most CRT televisions), 16:9 (widescreen televisions and many computer monitors) or 16:10 (some computer monitors). However, the film industry also uses the term "aspect ratio" to describe different widescreen formats used in filmmaking. These can include 1.33:1 (4:3), 1.85:1 (16:9) and 2.35:1. There are also more obscure film aspect ratios but these three are the most common.

Can I mount the TV over my fireplace? Fireplace installation is not recommended.

How do I activate my manufacturer's warranty? Each manufacturer has a different process for activating the warranty but many involve sending in a proof of purchase together with a form directly to the manufacturer.

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Campbell Simpson

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