How-to: Choose the Right TV

DIY + How To

We focus a lot on the elements that go into creating a beautiful, modern home you can be proud of, but we’ve been ignoring an element that can make a big impact in a room: the television. Many of us watch television, and unless you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated TV room, the TV can be a focal point in the living room whether you like it or not. We ignore it no more: shopping for a new television can be an overwhelming experience: reading reviews, comparing prices and finding the right size is exhausting. But when it comes to a big ticket item like a quality TV, it’s important to do your homework so you will be happy with your purchase for years to come. Below are a few tips from Philips’ LED team to help you and your readers find the right TV without the hassle.

Size up your screen
Reviewers recommend at least 40 inches for a living room display, but note that one of the biggest post-purchase complaints is from people who didn’t go big enough. So think about your space and needs:

  • Make sure it fits To fit an existing entertainment center, leave at least an inch on the sides and top of the TV cavity to allow for ventilation.
  • Consider décor Depending on the decor, you may not want the TV to “dominate the room.” To avoid this, tape together a cardboard panel that’s the same size as the TV you’re considering and place it in the designated location so you can get an idea of its size.
  • Seating distance is important Sitting too close or too far from the TV will affect the quality of your viewing pleasure. For the best viewing quality, you need to be aware of the distance between your seating area and the TV. For instance, if seating in the room is 4 feet away from the TV’s location, the best screen size is a minimum of 19 inches and a maximum of 32 inches. If it’s 6 feet away, the best screen sizes will be between 26 inches and 46 inches.

Know your technology

  • LCD
    Size 19 inches to 65 inches
    Pros Consumes a lot less power than plasma; lighter panels than Plasma; models with matte screens work well in bright rooms.
    Cons Viewing angle not as wide as LED and Plasma.
  • LED
    Size 32 inches and larger
    Pros Uses less power than LCD and Plasma; thinner, lighter panels than LCD and Plasma; improved picture quality.
    Cons Thin design comes at a price.
  • Plasma
    Size 42 inches and larger
    Pros Black-level performance in dark rooms; uniformity and viewing angle.
    Cons High power consumption; glass screen can reflect light in bright rooms.

Know your price range
Prices can be all over the board when it comes to buying a High-Definition television. But some deals offer the best of both worlds when it comes to quality and price. Once you know what you want from the tips above, make sure to look at prices from BestBuy sales to Costco deals to online retailers. In fact you can find Philips LED TVs ranging from $599.99 to $1,199.99 at Costco. However, only a limited number of supplies are available, so get one while they’re in stock!

Images: FlatpanelsHD, Cybertheater.com and Flickr member diametrik
By |


  1. Lou Zucaro

    Mar 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Don’t forget, too, that plasma TVs are even harder to come by these days, because most manufacturers have stopped making them.

    The current push is for 3D TV, and even if you have absolutely no interest in watching anything in 3D, note that many reviewers are saying that a normal, 2D picture is better on some 3D TVs than it is on many non-3D TVs, so that’s something else to keep in mind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *