I am looking to get a new TV, what is the right size for my room and should I get an LCD or Plasma?
First of all you have to take a look at your room size and then look at the brightness of the room. A good rule of thumb is taking the seating distance from your TV and taking either half or a third of it. So if your minimum seating distance is 7 Feet your screen size should be between 42" and 28". In this case I would recommend to go with a 37" and if the room is bright go with the LCD, if it's a darker room with less windows go with a Plasma.
The salesman at the store has my head spinning with 1080I or 720P what is the difference and what should I get? 3D or 2D?
This is a frequently asked questions the answer is rather simple once the basic concept is understood. First of all when one second of picture is displayed on a screen it actually takes 60 frames to complete that one second.. When one of these frames is "painted" on your screen your tv only paints the odd number of lines and then the second passing it paints the even numbers to make one complete picture. This system is called Interlacing and it is abbreviated by "I" after 1080I for an example. An older type of "tube TV" hereafter refered to as CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) has 480I. This system worked perfectly for many many years until TVs started getting bigger and the lines became more noticeable.
The number before the letter "I" or "P" stands for the amount of lines the TV is capable of displaying. The more the better and that really becomes important once the screen size gets above 27".
"P" stands for Progressive. Progressive Scan technology still paints 60 frames per second but instead of painting every other line per frame it actually paints the entire picture all at once. The result is increased clarity, and no more "jagged edges" . So your best choice is going with a TV that is capable of displaying 1080P or 1080 lines 60 times per second.
There is another specification that manufacturers give on TV sets which is HZ. A regualar 1080P LCD set is running at 60HZ, as explained above each second of picture is refreshed 60 times (60 HZ) per second. 120HZ as well as 240HZ sets arenow available which are displaying each second of picture by refreshing it 120 or 240 times respectively. The higher the number the smoother, more fluidlike the picture will look. 120 and 240HZ TVs look great, however some of our customers have mentioned that the image displayed by the TV looks "surreal" because it looks like you are standing behind a camera. It's dffficult to explain we recommend going to a store to check out how these TVs perform.
Plasma TVs also have a HZ rating but this rating is not the same as an LCD TVs.
In our humble opinion we do not recommend purchasing a current 3D TV. While it is really impressive to people that you may entertain there are several factors to consider. The initial cost of the TV set is much higher, along with the cost of each pair of 3D glasses and 3D BluRay player and 3D movies. Unless you have a really large TV or you sit really close to it, the 3D effect will not be so great, and your eyes may end up hurting if there is a lot in your periferal vision. On top if it all there are now rumors of new TV's coming out that are 3D capable without the need of 3D glasses, which just reinforces our opinion about the current technology -it is just not quite good enough yet.
The extra $1000-$1500 that 3D set will cost you with the extra accessories could pay for a lot of 3D movies at a movie theater that are brand new movies and are perfect...
Plasma, LCD or LED? Which one is best for my residence?
In our opinion Plasma TVs do best in darker environments such as bedrooms or darker TV rooms. Because of the glass screen on the TV if a Plasma TV is in a room with a lot of windows there will be a lot of glare/reflection seen on the TV screen. LCD TVs have a plastic type of screen surface which does not reflect light as much and because LCD TVs are brighter we recommend using them in living rooms or better lit rooms. LED TVs were introduced to the market in April of 2009 and have better contrast ratios than the avrage LCD set. Meaning the blacks will be more black and the whites will be more white.
I want to have a TV on my patio but the outdoor TVs are really expensive, what do you recommend?
We completely agree, TVs designed to withstand the harshness of the elements such as Sunbrite can be really expensive. For an example a 32" Sunbrite outdoor TV starts at around $2000, instead we recommend going with an inexpensive brand like Dynex. For the same 32" screen it will only cost $300, and while it's not meant to be outside we have seen Dynex TV's last 2-3 sometimes 4 years outside in a covered area. They are not as bright as a TV designed for the outdoor environment but the savings are incredible. Even if you have to replace it every other year that it will take more than 12 years to have spent $2000, which is what you would have spent on an outdoor TV not to mention staying up to date with technology. The exception is of course if the TV is subjected to direct rain, etc than your only option is to get the outdoor set, otherwise save your $ and go cheap.
I have a brand new 1080P TV and my picture is pixely, why is that?
There is a really good chance that your TV is receiving a low quality signal. Look at this as having a high performance car and giving it cheap fuel. It will run but not as fast as it should. To get the most out of your tv get and HDTV cable box or a DVD player with up conversion capabilities, a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player. Then use the cables that will give you the best picture quality. We carry all types of cables at reasonable prices and will recommend the best type for you during installations.