Buying a flat screen TV or other electronic gadget can be a little daunting if you are not technical-minded and unfamiliar with the jargon. However, this guide will point out the most important terms you need to know to make an informed choice when buying your used flat screen TV. (Looking for a deal on flat screen TV’s? Check out these TV’s for sale in Lake City or these Used TVs for sale in Gainesville.)
Contrast ratio is one of the most important features of a flat screen TV. The term refers to the lightest and darkest values a TV screen can display at the same time. The higher the contrast ratio is, the better the quality. Another term you will hear is Aspect Ratio. This refers to the width of the screen in relation to its height. A typical value for a widescreen TV is 16:9.
The term resolution means the number of columns by the number of rows on the screen, usually a Plasma or LCD. A typical value would be 1,280 x 720. Together the resolution and contrast values determine the quality of the picture. A TV is considered high definition if it has a pixel count close to one million. A resolution of 1280×720 or 720p can be called High Definition (HD) and is great for watching DVDs and HDTV. For increased picture quality for blue-ray players or other hdtv sources, a 1920×1080 or 1080p is usually priced higher.
You will need a good idea before you start your search for a used Flat Screen TV of the brand and screen size in inches. The most popular sizes at the moment range from 42-52 inches. Keep in mind the distance the viewers will be sitting at and also the space available. Are you going to use wall mounting or a stand? Looking at a couple of consumer reviews will give you an idea of quality.
You also need to choose between a Plasma or LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen and whether you want HD (High Definition) of 1080p or Standard (720p). A Plasma screen is best for picture quality, price, fast response time and viewing angles. An LCD is better if you are concerned about energy consumption, want a higher resolution, a brighter picture and no burn-in marks (when a static picture leaves its imprint on the screen).
Always ask to see the TV in use before you buy. Make sure it switches on and off smoothly, that the cables are in good condition and that the remote control works. Very importantly, check the screen for any ‘dead spots’ where the pixels are damaged. Is the TV still under warranty? Is the sound good?
Following are some popular brands and their respective strong points:
- Panasonic and Pioneer – best in Plasma technology
- Sharp, Samsung and Sony – produce some of the best LCD TVs.