LCD TV Buyers Guide

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Before the advent of LCD TVs and Plasma TVs, before set-top boxes, before HDMI and before home theatre systems, there were bulky CRT TVs that took up the corner of the room and the only thing you had to worry about was how to arrange the sofa for optimum viewing.

Screen Size

When you head along to purchase your LCD or LED backlit TV the first thing to think about is what size the television will be. The thinness of modern television sets means that you can hang them on the wall, sit them on a small table or hang them from the ceiling - if you get the urge.

However, if you sit too close you will end up staring at pixels and if too far back you won't make out all of the high-definition goodness that modern LCD and LED backlit TVs offer. Take stock of where you sit and plan the home theatre system's location so that you can find the right size TV to suit your living room, bedroom, or any other space you are planning to place the TV in.

(And if you plan to wall mount your TV please make sure the wall is able to take the weight! And the TV you purchase should be VESA mount compatible.)

Screen Size

Connectivity

Another key component when you are shopping for an LCD backlit TV is to find the set with the right amount of connections for your different electronic devices.

Think about what you have under your television - DVD player, video game consoles, satellite TV, PVRs etc. Every single one of them needs to be connected to the TV.

LCD and LED backlit TVs come with a range of different connections including USB, HDMI input, AV input, component, PC (VGA) and S-Video. Many are now coming with media card slots that allow you to simply plug an SD memory stick inside to show off jpeg images and play DivX and mp3 files.

Toshiba LCD and LED backlit TVs have 'Instaport' - a connection system that remembers every time you connect a new device and completes an HDCP check. Once you plug a device in, it will remember the device and put it on screen, cutting out three to five seconds every time you connect to it.

* The Toshiba VL models all come with four HDMI slots.

Connectivity

Resolution

You may have overheard people talking about high-definition or full high-definition TVs and been baffLED backlit as to what these figures mean.

HD TVs have a resolution of 1366x768 pixels but full HD TVs have a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. What does this actually mean to you as a consumer though? Well the higher the resolution, the sharper the image will be.

* Toshiba's range includes LCD and LED backlit TVs with full high-definition screens

Resolution

Response Time

The response time on your LCD or LED backlit TV is an aspect that determines the speed at which the pixels can change colour. The lower the response time on your LCD or LED backlit TV the quicker the pixels will change. Response time is how long it takes the pixel to go from full off (black) to full on (White).

The refresh rate is the number of times an image is displayed per second. So a 50Hz TV will display an image 50 times per second, a 100Hz will display an image 100 times per second, and a 200Hz will display an image 200 times per second. With extra frames, it creates a more smooth and pleasing image to watch. This reduces blurring during fast image movement.

* The Toshiba SL800 has Clearframe 100Hz technology

Response Time

Dolby Volume

You know when you are watching a TV program and the ads kick in and suddenly your room is blasted by some random stranger telling you to buy a product? Well, three different makes of Toshiba LCD TVs come with Dolby Volume - a system which maintains a constant volume from program to ad and back again.

* The Toshiba SL, VL and WL series all contain Dolby Volume.

Dolby Volume

Game Mode

Using Gaming Mode™ to step up your game almost gives you an unfair advantage. Toshiba engineers have worked hard in their quest to create the best possible TV and gaming experience. For head-to-head battles in the virtual world, every fraction of a second counts. Gaming Mode™ enhances your gaming experience by reducing game controller delay. When activated, Gaming Mode™ allows the video signal to bypass select picture circuitry to shorten the overall signal to screen time. When the competition is high, this can mean the difference between victory, and game over.

Game Mode

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