TV Buying Guide

Some points from the PC TV group to bear in mind when buying a new TV. Most of these are difficult to evaluate in the electrodomesticos.

  • How user friendly are the menus and the remote buttons? Check the menu options that you would use most often.
  • All new TVs have High Definition resolution but most TV programs and your DVDs etc. will be Standard Definition. So check how sharp images are when the TV scales up SD images to HD.
  • Internet connectivity is a big selling point but generally users worldwide are less than impressed by this feature. Furthermore almost all of the internet channels will be “foreign” to us and our internet connections are generally inadequate for video streaming. If internet connectivity is important to you, the most powerful and flexible solution is obtained by connecting a suitable PC via an HDMI cable. To get internet connectivity check whether the TV has inbuilt WiFi or needs a proprietary dongle.
  • Because modern TVs are so thin, the speakers may not give good sound. Typically the only audio outputs will be a 3.5mm headphone jack and a digital optical connector. No good if your surround sound system only has analogue inputs.
  • Connectors are constantly changing. If you have legacy boxes with analogue connectors, check whether they can be used (possibly with adapters) on the new TV. USB connectors are useful to plug in a memory stick, external HDD or PC to show pictures or videos. Note that with digital TVs, the only output connectors are the sound ones mentioned above i.e. there is no video out.
  • Recording. Many TVs have a recording or PVR function. Usually you have to plug in a memory stick or external HDD which has to be specially formatted. The files cannot be read or used on any other device. This function only records from the internal tuner of the TV. You cannot record satellite TV because your digibox bypasses the tuner.
  • Films and foreign programs received via your Spanish digital terrestrial aerial can often be changed to the original language. Check how easy it is to do this and whether the setting is retained permanently.
  • Lastly, a worthwhile feature on some TVs, if it works, is Auto Volume levelling.

12/01/12

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