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.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?