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What Should I Consider When Buying a Television?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you are shopping for a new television, there are many things to consider before buying. Viewing habits, size of unit, size of screen, price, brand, style, type, and quality are all important issues. Don’t forget to find out about the cost and time required for delivery if you are unable to retrieve the TV yourself.

When it comes to size, you need to determine not only the size of the room in which the TV will be placed, but also the size of the stand, entertainment center, or other unit that will house the television. Don’t forget to bring a tape measure with you to the store so you can measure the TV you want to buy and make sure it will fit inside the unit. You need a little extra space around the television to allow airflow, to clean the TV, and to hook up other components.

When it comes to getting your new TV home, make sure the one you chose will fit inside your vehicle. Also, ask for help placing the television into your vehicle instead of struggling to maneuver it yourself. Make sure you have help available to bring the set in from your car once you arrive at home as well. Some shops offer free delivery if you spend a certain amount or buy a certain size TV or larger. In this case, you should take advantage of delivery, not only because it is more convenient, but also because the seller bears all the responsibility for the set until it is safely placed inside your home.

When choosing a TV, pay special attention to picture quality. The darker the screen when the set is turned off, the crisper the picture will be, because the TV can provide greater contrast than those with lighter screens, such as those that appear light gray or green. Also important is the curvature of the picture tube. Flat screens are preferred, because images are viewed in clean lines rather than curved lines, and there is far less glare from other light sources with a flat screen TV.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Feryll — On Jul 09, 2014

I think TVs as we know them now and as we have known them for so long are coming to an end. I watch 90 percent of the programs I want to see on my computer or another mobile device. TV online is more convenient since with most programs you have more control over when you watch them and the viewing is more interactive.

By Drentel — On Jul 09, 2014

My main question when buying a TV is does it have a remote? They all do nowadays, but I remember when you had to actually get up, walk to the TV and and turn a knob to change the channels to switch programs. Actually, the first remote control TV was made around 1950, but it was attached to the TV with a cable that got in the way, so it didn't catch on. We've come a long way since then.

By Animandel — On Jul 08, 2014

There are so many different types of televisions to choose from when you go the store that I get too confused. Do I want HD TV? Do I want LG TV? Do I want plasma? Some of the TVs have features I can't even understand, so I definitely don't want to pay for them.

Instead of buying the most expensive TV in the store because you think it must be better because it costs more, you should ask the salesperson to explain all the features and the differences among the TVs. This way you don't end up paying for features that you will never use. An even better idea is to take a friend who knows something about all the new technology.

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