Is it Time to Upgrade Your TV?
Tempted to splash out on a new TV, even though the one you have if perfectly functional? You’re not alone. New TV models are released every year, each promising more features and a better viewing experience than both its predecessors and its competitors. With many of these ‘bigger and better’ TVs being priced lower than ever, the temptation is powerful. But is there really much difference between new TVs and the one you bought a few years ago and is it worth the effort to make the change? To help you decide, we’ve looked at some of the main reasons why many people choose to upgrade their TV and how modern models compare with what you’ve got.
Improved picture quality
Improved picture quality is a big motivator for many people, but before you presume that new models are automatically higher in quality, make some comparisons. If your TV is less than five years old, you may find a newer model will make very little noticeable difference to your picture quality.
If your TV is older, you still need to take some time to compare specifications. TV manufacturers will promote the contrast ratio specification of the TV so you can compare picture quality to a certain extent, but their claims are not always accurate. Some technology websites review TVs based on the black level as this is the foundation for an improved contrast ratio, while others will measure the contrast ratio. Unless there’s a difference of more than 20-30% between your current TV and the new model, there is unlikely to be much difference in the picture quality.
Other features to look out for which can mean a better picture include local dimming is a feature which can improve the contrast, High Dynamic Range and overall light output.
If the size of your TV screen isn’t what you want, it’s likely to be a big deciding factor for you. TVs seem to be getting bigger all the time and are also dropping in price, but it’s important to get the right size screen for your home. A massive TV screen can be incredible, but not if you’re getting a pain in the neck trying to look at it. If you are buying a 60, 70 or even 80-inch TV, you need to make sure you’re placing it in the optimum position and, as it’s so big, you may need professional help to do so. There are plenty of companies in cities all over the US specializing in TV mounting services, from Chicago to Seattle to Miami.
If the size is particularly important to you, you may want to consider investing in a projector rather than a TV screen. You can find out more online about projectors in a home theater set-up.
A big part of the attraction to new TV models is the 3D and HD functionality. While many people argue that it offers an enhanced viewing experience, you need to question whether or not it makes enough of a difference to warrant the extra cost. You will also need to buy a Blu-ray DVD player which has 3D capability and then will need to decide if you want passive or active 3D. An active 3D TV uses shutter glasses which are powered by batteries, heavier and generally more expensive, but each eye benefits from full 1080p resolution. A passive 3D TV uses cheaper polarized glasses like you have in the movie theater. They are lighter, but each eye only sees half of the screen’s total resolution.
Internet Streaming Features
One of the latest features to be added to newer TVs is their internet-streaming functionality. TVs which are connected to the internet often have browsers pre-installed so you can use your TV to search the web, check your email and watch entertainment streaming services like Vudu or Netflix. While this can be useful, it’s worth considering that you can also buy independent pieces of technology (for a lot less than a new TV) which could upgrade your current TV in a very similar way. Examples include Apple TV and the Google Chromecast, which allows you to stream apps on your phone to the TV screen.
Another reason why some people may choose to upgrade is the improved energy efficiency of new televisions. Modern models typically use less energy than older TVs which, on the surface, suggests you would be helping the environment and reducing energy bills by switching. In reality, the difference in energy use is unlikely to be significant enough to make a difference to your bills or the environment and certainly won’t repay you for your investment.
Unless you are looking for a TV with new features such as 3D capability or internet streaming, it’s probably best to keep what you have. Of course, if you simply want something bigger and shinier, a new model is, of course, the way to go. If you want to improve your viewing experience overall, give some serious consideration to a projector rather than a TV.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post and the author’s views here do not necessarily reflect those of the blog owner.