Picking a TV


 

We have all heard it before. The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. We love our gadgets and at the center of our shrine to electronics is always the television. Sure, you may be a music guy and spent more money on your sound system, but it probably fits in with the TV somehow. Since walking into a Best Buy not sure what you cost you a lot extra, I will try and lay out the various pros and cons of different televisions. 

3D TV: We have all heard it, 3D is the wave of the future. I know I would love to watch the Super Bowl in 3 dimensions; and it would make being able to see if Derrick Love’s foot is actually behind the arch or if his white sneaker is just playing tricks on our eyes. However the first years of any new technology is always worse than the last years of any old technology. While wearing the glasses can be both annoying and expensive (they cost around $100 each), it may not be the biggest problem. People forget that 3D was also “the wave of the future” in the 1950s and 1980s. Prolonged exposure to 3D material lead to headaches and nausea and so the experiment was pretty much forgotten for a period of 30 years. Now, about 30 years later, the problem is supposedly solved for the majority of people, however there are still reports saying it can be harmful. Children under 6 are not supposed to be exposed at all, and even manufacturers suggest taking frequent 30-minute breaks.

My suggestion, before buying your own 3DTV, go watch at a buddies house. If you feel fine after three or four hours of football, then you should be fine. But I would suggest abstaining from scheduling a 3D movie marathon any time soon.

I would also strongly recomend against watching this…ever

Plasma TV: Of the three I am discussing here, 2D plasma television is arguably the oldest. The most notable problem with old Plasma TVs was the “burn in”. This occurs when a screen is left on pause for a period of time and the image remains on the screen no matter what you are watching. While manufacturers claim that this have been largely fixed, it might be something you want to consider if you leave things pause a lot. This normally doesn’t occur unless the same screen is there for at least dozens of hours however. On a positive note, however, Plasma usually has faster moving images and less “motion blur”, which can make this the choice for many sports fan. These are also slightly heavier than their LCD and LED counterparts, which may be something to consider if you want to wall mount it.

Side Note: A friend with one of the older plasmas (he bought about a year after they came out) said that watching a lot of ESPN left the red bar at the bottom of the screen burnt in. It doesn’t apparently need to be stagnant images, but simply a similar color a good deal of time.

LED/LCD: Quick Note: And LED TV is just an LCD TV that uses LEDs for back lighting. These are made with light emitting diodes and tend to be lighter than plasma TVs. They usually have deeper colors than plasma, but do not track motion as well. There have also been issues with uneven back lighting, but this is more of a manufacturers defect that you can normally get them to repair if it is under a good warranty. They also have some issues being watched from an angle.

Whatever you choose to buy, make sure you read everything you can on the type, brand and model. Information is always key.

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