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TVs Buying Guide

Buying a TV can be more work than it's worth, and trying to find a set to fit your lifestyle and budget can be a mission. In this guide, we cover every kind of TV for every kind of person - From the sports nut to the gamer, movie buff to the serial series watcher. Read on for the complete rundown of everything you need to know.

An explanation of the terms

As with most technology, a bit of technical knowledge never goes amiss. 

Frequency - Hz

The first thing we'll explain is "Hz". Hz are one of the selling features of a lot of TVs, although seeing as the human eye can only see 100 Hz, it's not something you need to worry about too much. 100 Hz is essentially 100 frames per second. The more Hz, the smoother the picture. High Hz is particularly good to have if you're into sports or action movies, as all the movement can look choppy if there aren't enough frames per second on screen.

Anti-motion blur Hz is another thing to look out for. These work a bit differently than your standard Hz - Anti-motion blur Hz will reduce motion blur, making the picture even smoother. Again, sports fans and action movie watchers will love this feature, but those of you just using your TV for standard viewing aren't going to notice too much of a difference.

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

The Dynamic Contrast Ratio is something else to look out for, as it determines the amount of colour available on your screen, as well as how black the blacks really are. A great Dynamic Contrast Ratio would be 10,000,000 to 1, but anything close to or above 1,000,000 should be fine. Dynamic Contrast Ratios are particularly important for people planning on using their set for a lot of gaming, as games tend to have a lot of dark scenes, and black just looks so much better on a set with a high DCR.


Resolution is no doubt the most important factor in a TV. High Definition content is becoming more and more common, and if you're upgrading TVs, you'll want to prepare for the future. Look for TVs advertised as "Full HD" or even just "HD". If they're advertised as HD, chances are it'll be 720p - a good resolution, but not the best. Full HD, or 1080p, is a much better option, and will make all those high-definition Blu-rays and games look fantastic.

Plasma TV

The older of the modern sets, Plasma TV has been around for a fair few years now. While still in production, it is slowly being overtaken by it's newer LED and LCD counterparts. Plasma has a lot of thing running for it however, the first being the fantastic reproduction of natural colour. The fantastic contrast ratio in a lot of these sets results in an extremely accurate, blur-free picture. The relative lack of motion blur makes Plasma TV sets fantastic for sport, and is still the sworn by TV for many sports aficionados. Action movies look great with the dynamic colours and smooth picture, but you'll find dark movies and games lacking. Plasma TVs do suffer from a darker picture than their equivalent LED and LCD companions, so gamers, in particular, should avoid Plasma and stick with either LED or LCD.

Plasma sets are also heavier, use more power, and are thicker than the more modern LCD and LED sets. Plasma TVs also run hotter than their companions, and can suffer from "screen burn" - a condition where an image left on the screen for a prolonged period of time burns itself into the screen. The final negative to Plasma is the shiny, reflective screen. It's been fixed in very few of the modern Plasmas, but still poses a problem in general. If your TV is going to be in a room where there's a lot of windows or light, perhaps it's a better idea to go for an LCD or LED. If none of the negatives sound too bad to you, or you can work around them, then the lower price tag associated with these sets could be just what you need to make up your mind.


The decreased weight and form factor make them great options for those wanting to mount them on a wall, and the smaller energy footprint makes them not only more affordable, but more eco-friendly as well. LCD TVs also have a much less reflective screen, making them more suitable for brighter rooms with more windows. Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) are newer, slimmer, and use less power than Plasmas, but often come with a higher price tag because of it. While the contrast ratio may not be quite as good as Plasma in a lot of cases, it is somewhat made up for with increased picture brightness. Motion blur can be a bit of a problem with LCD TVs, but this is often corrected with technology in the set itself to counteract the physical flaw that results in the blur. LCD sets are extremely popular for their brightness, making them great options for gamers and movie watchers.


LED, short for Light Emitting Diodes, and now commonly advertised as LED-LCD TVs, are the latest, most advanced type of TV. The technology used in these new sets results in an ultra-bright, light-weight, super-slim TV that uses very little power and has fantastic contrast. Unfortunately, as with most technology, the better the product, the more it costs. While they're  a lot more affordable than they were originally, they still cost more than LCD and Plasma TVs.

LED TVs also suffer from motion blur, but that is corrected in much the same way as it is with LCDs, so it's not a huge problem for most people. LEDs are perfect TVs for any kind of TV watching, and their long life and relatively low energy use makes them affordable in the long term.

3D TVs

3D is an emerging technology that's taking the world by storm, but it's easy to get caught in the floodwaters of a fad and not make an educated decision. 3D TVs are capable of displaying both 2D and 3D content, and many sets come with the ability to "upscale" 2D content to 3D, with varying levels of success.

3D TV is relatively easy to understand - It works by displaying two images at the same time, one to each eye. Which is where the glasses come in; they separate the two images and turn the picture from a blurry mess into a 3- dimensional masterpiece. That said, there are two types of 3D, and it's important to understand both.

The first and most common type of 3D is "Active 3D". The glasses used for this kind of 3D require batteries, and are a lot more expensive - at least $100 a set. Active 3D can wear out your eyes after a relatively short amount of time, and the glasses can definitely be on the bulky side.

Passive 3D, the second type, is a relative newcomer to TV technology. It's the kind of 3D used in the theatres, and the glasses used for this breed of TV are much cheaper - around $4 a pair. Passive 3D can be viewed for much longer periods of time without eye strain, making it a lot more convenient for avid movie watchers. LG Cinema 3D is a fantastic example of Passive 3D.

Which kind of 3D is better? Well, it's completely personal. Some people argue that active has more depth to it, but there are just as many arguments in favour of passive. It'd be a worthwhile exercise to head down to your local electronics store and try out both to see which works best for you before you actually take the plunge and get one.

Internet capable TVs

Internet-capable TVs, or Smart TVs, are available in a variety of types, and the image quality between them is exactly the same. The main difference with Internet-capable TVs is this - they can connect to the Internet. I know, you'd never have guessed. There are a few things that come along with the ability to connect to the net, the main one is the ability to download "Apps". Apps give you access to everything from downloading movies, watching shows on demand, and playing games. Web browsing is also available on many Internet-capable sets, meaning you could check all the latest prices on PriceMe, using your TV, from the comfort of your couch. Obviously, a solid Internet connection is a must, and as most of the sets are Wi-Fi only, you'll need to have a steady, powerful wireless connection with a relatively high data cap. Any less than that, and you'll find yourself with a whole lot of functions that aren't any good. Samsung has a fantastic range of Smart TVs, and already have a great app base for you to jump straight into the digital action.

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