You decided to buy a TV, came to the store, and here the consultant overwhelms you with a bunch of technical questions. It would seem that a TV is just a rectangular device that shows a picture. But everything is not so simple. Before choosing a TV for your home, you should decide in which room it will stand or hang, what technology you need, what additional functions and size you are most interested in. We will talk about all this and a little more in the article.

Which is better: plasma, LED, LCD, OLED

To choose a TV, you must first decide on at least the technology by which it will be manufactured. They all have their pros and cons. But even disadvantages can be used to advantage.

How to choose a TV for home

Plasma screens

The plasma panel device is fundamentally different from other technologies. Between two glass plates are cells filled with gas – xenon or neon. That is why such TVs are sometimes called gas-discharge TVs. When the current passes, the cells glow, the brightness of the glow depends on the magnitude of the current.

The main advantage of this technology: the high quality of the “picture”, which is preserved even in very dynamic moments. Other advantages of this technology look no less impressive:

  • Wide viewing angle – up to 160° with preservation of image quality.
  • Deep black and pure white.
  • High color accuracy.
  • Strong glass that is difficult to break.
  • High contrast (no screen backlight).
  • Realistic transmission of motion.
  • Automatic weak signal correction,
  • The least strain on the eyes, as there is no flickering.
  • The service life is about 25-30 years.

Very good indicators that contributed to the rapid growth of the popularity of plasma TVs. But there are also disadvantages:

  • The cells are large, so the normal clarity of the picture will be only on a large screen.
  • Dimming is required for comfortable viewing.
  • High power consumption compared to other modern technologies (3 times more than liquid crystal of similar size).
  • The screen burns out from a still image (memory effect). Over time, burnout appears in those places where television companies put their logos.
  • Generates a lot of heat during operation.
  • Heavy weight (compared to other TVs).

If you want to choose a TV with a large screen, high-quality image and good color reproduction, pay attention to plasma panels. It’s them. Only if you want to hang the screen on the wall, you will have to look for suitable brackets and the wall must have a good load-bearing capacity. Drywall or foam concrete cannot hold such a mass.

Properties of LCD TVs

Liquid crystal displays (LCD) use a digital method of image transmission. They are named so because the cells are filled with liquid crystals, which in an electromagnetic field polarize the light passing through them, changing the degree of their own transparency. To obtain an image, the matrix with liquid crystals is illuminated from behind (lamps with a cold cathode) and color filters are used to transmit shades.

The advantages of LCD TVs are as follows:

  • The models of recent years have low energy consumption.
  • Higher resolution (compared to plasma).
  • The possibility of playback in FullHD format.
  • Light weight.
  • There are screens of various sizes, both small and large. The image on them has the same quality.
  • Good image geometry.
  • Low level of electromagnetic radiation because they are powered by reduced voltage.
  • No screen burn-in and no flash-through.
  • The screen does not attract dust.

A similar set of qualities contributed to the rapid spread of televisions with liquid crystal screens. But they also have a number of disadvantages that you should be aware of:

  • A huge number of cells (about one and a half million) are used to achieve high definition images. This complicates the technology, which is reflected in the price.
  • The viewing angle is not large enough. It is declared to be about 170°, but the image is really good when viewed from a much smaller angle.
  • The maximum screen size is 40″.
  • It is possible to smear the picture during fast movement. This is due to the long time it takes to install a new color in a pixel.
  • Good color reproduction only in expensive models.
  • The black color is not “black” enough, which reduces the contrast.
  • Fragile screen glass.
  • The high price of televisions (computer screens are much cheaper) due to the need to embed a device for digitizing an analog signal. In fact, an LCD TV is a monitor and a TV tuner in one housing.

If you want to choose an LCD TV with a good resolution, you will have to pay a substantial amount. If the requirements for image quality are not so strict, you can look at models from the middle price range.

LED technology

The difference between LCD and LED TVs is in the different lamps used to illuminate the matrix. LED TVs use LEDs. They are smaller in size, which allows you to make screens very thin. Also, they are more durable and consume less electricity. There are two types of LED screen lighting:

  • Side lighting – Edge LED. White LEDs are placed around the perimeter of the screen, which illuminate all the crystals. This allows you to make ultra-thin monitors, but their diagonal is small, otherwise uneven lighting will be clearly visible. Since there are few LEDs, the power consumption is very low.
  • Backlight – three-color RGB LEDs evenly placed under the entire matrix. This method of illuminating the matrix allows you to achieve better color rendering. Used on large format screens, but can be found with small sizes.

Due to the use of LEDs, LED TVs receive additional advantages:

  • Higher contrast.
  • High image clarity even during fast movement.
  • They have a wider viewing angle, which can be compared with ultra-modern plasma screens.
  • Low energy consumption (40% less than conventional LCD screens).
  • Low thickness and weight.
  • Compatibility with various digital devices. You can view not only videos, but also photos.

If you decide to choose a TV with high image quality, take a look at LED models. They have, perhaps, only one drawback – a high price. A good quality LED TV costs $600-1000. Compared to ordinary LCDs, they cost 40-50% more. Nevertheless, these are not the most expensive models today, and many choose LED TVs.

How to choose a TV for home

OLED and QLED technology

This technology for making TVs appeared already in this century, and they began to be mass-produced not so long ago. The image is formed by organic LEDs that emit light themselves and do not require illumination. They are marked OLED, which gave the name to this type of TV.

Today, there are two main technologies for the production of OLED TVs:

  • With the use of three-color RGB LEDs that independently form a picture.
  • Only white LEDs and color LEDs are installed to create colors and shades.

The first technology was not the most successful. Due to the peculiarities of production, it turned out to be difficult to find groups of LEDs with the same brightness, which led to a large number of defects. For this reason, this technology is currently recognized as unprofitable and all OLED TVs are based on white LEDs. What are the differences between receivers of this type? Here are their advantages:

  • Higher contrast.
  • Absolutely black color (due to turning off the LED).
  • Brightness.
  • Excellent color rendering.
  • Almost complete absence of inertia. The picture remains very clear even when the image changes very quickly.
  • Wide viewing angle.

What are the disadvantages of this technology? First of all, it is the price. OLED TVs cost 4-5 times more than LED TVs. In addition, there are still very few videos released in 4K format, which will allow us to evaluate the advantages of such screens. Therefore, if you do not need to support the HDR-10 or Dolby Vision format, such a TV is of no use to you. At least for now. Still, there is nothing special to watch in the required quality. You can, of course, choose a TV with a long sight — in 10 years, this format will become commonplace. But with the development of technologies, they become cheaper, so paying a considerable amount for a novelty now is, at least, irrational.

But OLED is not the latest innovation. The latest technology is QLED, but it is even more expensive and therefore still more irrational.

How to choose the size of the TV screen

You should choose a TV according to the size of the room. More precisely, based on the distance from the viewing location to the location of the screen. The bigger the screen, the further you should be from it. Also, the distance to the TV depends on the screen resolution. The higher the resolution (more pixels per centimeter), the closer you can sit.

TV screen size

82 cm


94 cm


102 cm


107 cm


127 cm


132 cm

resolution 625 (SD) 2.5 3.1 3.3 3,4 4.0 4.2
720 (Simple HD) 1.9 2,2 2.4 2.5 3.0 3.1
1080 (Full HD) 1.3 1.5 1.6 1.7 2.0 2,2
2160 (Ultra HD) 0.8 0.9 1.0 1,2 1.5 1.7

Table – Minimum distance (in meters) from the screen to the viewing location depending on the diagonal and resolution of the screen

Experts believe that this way you can enjoy a realistic image, consider the smallest details. But not everyone is satisfied with such a regime. It’s too hard on the eyes. On average, it is believed that the distance to the screen should be at least three diagonals, but not more than 4-5.

Actually, you can choose the diagonal of the TV based on this. You know at what distance you will be sitting, you can calculate what screen size will suit you. Just remember that the smallest plasma screens have a diagonal of 32″, and Full HD resolution is only from 21″.

When choosing a location, also remember that the middle of the screen should be at eye level for comfortable viewing.

According to what technical parameters to choose a TV

Despite the fact that modern TVs are created on the basis of different technologies, the selection criteria for them are the same. There are about 10 parameters that you should pay attention to.

  • Image resolution or quality. There are several formats:

HD HD-Ready 1366×768 pixels. Screens with this resolution are a budget option. Such TVs are more often chosen for the kitchen or in places where there is not much time to look at the picture, and a large screen is not always needed.

Full HD – 1920×1080 pixels. On screens with this resolution, you can see the image in all its details. But to fully appreciate all the advantages, it is desirable that the diagonal is at least 32″.

2K format. This format is not found so often in televisions.

Ultra HD – 4K 3840×2160. Only TVs with large screens – from 60″ are produced with this permission. The advantages of this quality cannot be appreciated on smaller ones.

  • Contrast. This is the ratio when displaying black and white colors. Enter two numbers separated by a colon. The higher this indicator, the better. The lowest indicator can be 300:1 in some types of LCD screens, the highest 10000:1 in high-quality plasma panels.
  • Brightness. The higher the brightness, the better the picture the TV can create. This parameter is especially important for brightly lit rooms. If the brightness is insufficient, the picture will be illuminated. The parameter is measured in candelas per square meter. The lowest 300 cd/m2 is found in LCD, plasma panels can have up to 2000 cd/m2.
  • Viewing angle. This parameter is important if you are going to choose an LCD, LED or plasma panel TV. When viewing at an angle other than 90°, color distortion may appear on the screens, and contrast decreases. For comfortable viewing, an angle of 160-170° is considered normal.
  • Refresh rate. This indicator depends on how smoothly the picture will change when viewing rapidly changing scenes. A refresh rate of 100 Hz and higher is considered good today, and 50 Hz is a sufficient level. Approximately the same characteristic is reflected by another parameter — the quality index of dynamic scenes. The higher the number, the better.

Apparently, these are all characteristics that should be paid attention to if you want to choose a TV for your home. There is no particular point in resorting to even greater technical subtleties.

What else to pay attention to

There are a number of other features that are worth noting, but which are not technical characteristics.

Availability of multimedia connectors

If the TV has connectors for connecting other devices, this greatly expands the possibilities of its use. There can be such connectors as HDMI, SCART, USB. Here’s what they can provide:

  • HDMI allows you to transfer images from a computer, laptop, smartphone. It is better if there are 3-4 pieces, but you can have more.
  • USB makes it possible to connect flash drives and read information from them.
  • SCART is a new universal connector compatible with almost all multimedia standards. You can not only transfer information to the screen, but also record it on other devices.
  • VGA D-sub – for transmitting the signal from the TV to other devices with the least distortion.

To reduce the cost, multimedia connectors are not installed, but their presence really does not hurt. And it is better to choose a TV in which the connector is placed in front (under a special cover), and not in the back. It will be much more convenient to use.

Support for 3D and SmartTV modes

The 3D mode allows you to see the image in three dimensions, “3D”. But you can watch in this mode only movies/shows/programs recorded in this format. There are not so many of them, and the effect will be impressive only on a large screen.

Televisions that support the SmartTV function are practically a subspecies of a computer or smartphone with the ability to access the Internet. In the “standard” version, there is the possibility of access to social networks and some services for exchanging voice and video messages. More expensive models of smart TVs have the ability to use Skype, surf the Internet using the built-in browser, watch video and audio recordings from the Internet (not necessarily only free content).

Picture in picture

This function allows you to watch two channels at the same time. How can this property be used? For ad-free viewing. During commercials, you can turn on another program that you are interested in, and then switch to the “main” channel.

how to choose a TV for home

Curved screens

TVs with large screens began to be made not only with a straight, but also with a curved screen. Manufacturers claim that this improves perception. For those who sit exactly opposite, there may be some positive changes. But if several people are sitting in front of the screen, then those sitting on the side experience serious discomfort – the proportions are distorted due to the curvature of the screen.

If you consider that a TV with a curved screen costs much more than a similar “straight” one, it becomes clear that this is not the wisest expenditure of money.

Ability to delete unnecessary channels

If you plan to use a satellite dish, this feature will be useful. Because without it, encoded channels will have to be rearranged manually in the list. This is a long procedure and it is better to avoid it.

How to choose a TV for home