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Nowadays, buying a new television is a fact of life every 3-5 years. Not only is it necessary to replace old TVs, but with the way technology is progressing, a TV from more than five years ago may begin to seem obsolete. That rapid pace of technology can also make buying a new TV intimidating, however, as every time you shop you will hear new terminology, encounter features you're not sure that you need, and run into pushy salespeople trying to rush you into a purchase. To ease your mind, here are some tips for buying a TV that might make your shopping a little bit easier.
1. Don't be afraid of HD
High-definition TVs used to be expensive and considered luxury items, but that is no longer the case. Now most new TVs are being produced with HD capabilities, and the prices for HDTVs are generally reasonable. HD programming also used to be difficult to come by, but now all the major networks broadcast in HD. And, if you're a sports fan, HD is a must. In general, the addition of HD won't cost you an arm and a leg, and you probably won't regret it if you go for it. It won't be long before programming on a non-HDTV will look downright prehistoric.
2. A technology primer
Probably the most intimidating part of buying a TV nowadays is the terms that salespeople bandy about. You might hear the terms LCD or plasma and be completely confused. They'll tell you it's great, bur really what does it mean? Here are some important things to know, and while it's not everything it can keep you from feeling overwhelmed. A standard-definition television is a tube television, which is quickly becoming old-fashioned. Most aren't HDTV-capable and are smaller than 27 inches. Salespeople may refer to them as direct view TVs. Plasma screen TVs are flat-screen televisions, but another flat-screen version, known as LCD, is taking their place as the most popular HDTVs. Although plasma picture quality is better in some cases there are a wider variety of LCD TVs and their prices are reasonable, making them popular with consumers.
3. Take a look in back
When you're shopping for a TV, it's easy to focus on the obvious: size, price, picture, and just overall the way it looks. However, you also want to make sure your TV is going to work with the devices you have. Take a look at the back panel and make sure the inputs are there for your DVD player, VCR, cable box, video game consoles, or whatever you want to plug into it. Don't assume, as a limited number of inputs can be a reason for a lower price.
4. If you can go big, go big
If you get a bigger TV, you probably won't regret it unless you take a drastic cut in quality to do so. Prices on bigger TVs are falling, and you might be surprised at the size you can get for the cost of a 27-inch five years ago. Don't be reluctant about going bigger unless there's a real reason not to.