There aren't very many things more fun than shopping for a brand new television. Televisions have become a status symbol in the modern age and there's something to be said about the look of awe on a person's face when they first visit the TV section of the electronics department. If you're looking to buy a new television, you've probably got a basic budget set in your mind, and you probably have an idea of how you want the TV to look in your living room. When shopping for new plasma, LCD or LED televisions -- or even a 3D or "smart" TV -- make sure to do your research before setting out to purchase.
The top TV manufacturers all produce high-quality televisions, but some manufacturers have better track records for putting out different kinds of products. For example, plasma Panasonic TVs are often among the best plasma screens available, while Sony and Samsung TVs are often king of the hill in the LCD and LED market. You may have your own favorite brands, but talk to various salespeople about which brands they prefer among the different types of televisions. You can also read numerous online reviews discussing this very issue.
Which size of TV would be best for my space?
While the idea of having your own personal home theater may sound great, choosing the right size television for your space is important. Too small will make it difficult to enjoy your new TV, while too large may overwhelm the space. Ask which size would be good for the amount of space you have available for advice on finding a 'just right' size.
Is the TV full HD, or HD ready?
While most TVs today are marketed as HD TVs, keep in mind that some televisions are considered HD ready, which is not the same as full HD. Full HD will increase vertical resolution to 1080, giving you a much cleaner picture. Ask the sales rep (or read the documentation) which type the TV is before buying!
Which 3D TVs are rated as the best?
3D TVs offer unique viewing experiences for those who can pay extra for the expensive glasses. However, finding a good 3D TV is more difficult than finding a high-quality standard TV. LG TVs are known for having vibrant 3D displays with affordable accessories. If you're considering a 3D TV, be sure to search for online reviews specifically about that model of television. Also, make sure you know how much the glasses for that TV cost.
How many HDMI ports does the television have?
If you plan on using HDMI to connect to your peripherals, such as a cable box or gaming console, make sure the TV you choose has enough HDMI ports to support everything you need.
Would lighting be an issue if I bought a plasma TV?
Plasma televisions are great choices for people whose living rooms don't have lots of natural lighting. Because plasma TVs have glass screens, too much natural lighting can cause glares or wash out the bright colors of the picture, leaving viewers with a less than optimal viewing experience. On the other hand, nothing beats the vibrant colors and deep black levels of a plasma screen under the right lighting conditions. If you're interested in buying a plasma, make note of your home's lighting situation and be prepared to ask a store salesman about that. You can even snap a few photos on your camera phone to give the salesman an idea of your home lighting conditions.
Will you match prices if I find this TV sold cheaper somewhere else?
Many electronics stores will match prices offered by any of their competitors, even if the competitor's price is part of a sale event. When you finally find the TV you want, do an Internet search to see if that model is being offered for less money by anyone else. You should even check out sites like Amazon.com. This is an easy way to save money on your purchase.
Do you offer an extended warranty or accidental damage coverage?
Protecting your investment is important, and many places now offer extended warranty plans or accidental damage coverage for an extra cost. Ask the sales staff if they offer such coverage and consider whether the extra cost is worth the extra protection.
What is your return policy?
Find out what the return policy is like for the store you're purchasing it at because you never know what kind of unforeseen problem can come up after you have the TV in your home. A lot of people like to buy TVs from Costco because of their rock solid return policy.
What is the warranty on this model?
If something goes wrong, you want to be sure you know in advance what the warranty covers and what the company will cover in terms of repairs and shipping. Research customer satisfaction rates with the company as well. If they offer poor service, you may want to go with another brand.
Are there any special features to the television?
Lots of TVs come with fancy bells and whistles, so if you're having a hard time choosing between different options, ask about whether the TVs you're considering have any special features that could tip your decision one way or another.