16 May, 2007, 21:24 pm IST
This is one thing you need to be very clear about. The screen size is largely dependent on the size of your room. The screen size of a TV is always measured diagonally, and ranges from 14 up to 71 inches. To know the exact size of the display screen, remove another inch or so from the published screen size.
Minimum Price (Rs)
Maximum Price (Rs)
14 to 20
4 to 6 feet
21 to 25
6 to 8 feet
26 or more
Above 8 feet
With so many variants in the market, you can choose from Regular, which is the old style curved screen, semi flat, truly flat, plasma or projection and LCD. Each of these have a certain range of screen sizes and it is the combination of the flatness of the screen and the screen size that determines how high or low your TV is priced.
The standard TV screen is curved. The picture tube, here is conventional, without any special modifications to it. . It has all the normal features like adjustable colour, contrast and brightness. Other features include auto programming, super and hyper band tuner, timer, DVD/LD/VCD compatibility, child lock and a host of others features. However, a drawback of the regular screens is that the natural curve of the screen will pick up light sources throughout the room. The prices of these models range from about Rs 3,500 to Rs 16,300. If you are looking at absolute budget buying then these are ideal. These also have the charm of being old world, as most of has grown up watching these.
Typically, flatter the screen better the view. A Semi Flat TV includes the FST (Flat Square Tube) and the FFST (Full Flat Square Tube). FST is flatter compared to the conventional picture tube and the FFST is even flatter than FST. However, neither are absolutely flat. Flatness of the picture tube is good because it considerably reduces reflections and glare from light sources in the room resulting in consistent and easy to watch pictures. Although, try not to place lamps and highly reflective objects close by. Nearby windows should also be blocked for better viewing. The prices of these models range from about Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,500. This is a healthy compromise. It gives you an almost flat feel at very affordable prices.
The Truly flat tubes have a completely flat screen. A truly flat TV is of three types – Flat, Super Flat and True Flat televisions. The Truly Flat TVs reduce the glare and give a wider viewing angle, without any distortions and thus provide a better viewing experience. The price for these start at Rs 4,400 and could be as high as Rs 35,700. This is the kind of television that could even double up as an accessory in your living room. Stylish looking, with a host of features, this for those obsessed with quality and don't mind spending the extra few bucks for it.
Plasma displays are screens that are perfectly flat and very thin with zero curvature. Being absolutely flat these provide perfect focus, no distortion, and eliminate glare making them good for the eyes. While the projection TVs give you a theatre-like experience within the ambience of your home. They have large screens and are available in two types: front and rear projection. The size of your room is very crucial to the buying of this set, as it needs a certain distance to be maintained between you and the screen. Rear Projection TVs provide excellent viewing from any angle. Front Projection TVs are not available in the Indian market at present. These come with a separate screen and a projector. Models are priced between Rs 39,500 and Rs 31,99,990. For the movie buffs, this might well be worth the investment though.
LCD is a new technology that works on the principle of blocking light rather than emitting it. An LCD consists primarily of two glass plates with some liquid crystal material between them, which gets rid of the bulky picture tube. Main advantages of LCD technology lies in the reduction of weight and power consumption, making LCD TVs a practical, though slightly expensive option. The price range starts from Rs 16,500 and can go upto Rs 21,99,995.
14 to 29
FST and FFST
14 to 29
Flat, Super flat, True flat
14 to 34
Plasma and Projection
Plasma and LCD/DLP Projection
32 to 103
Liquid Crystal Display
19 to 70
Now, if you are going for a high-end television like an LCD, Plasma or Projection then factors like resolution, contrast ratio, aspect ratio and viewing angle also need to be considered.
Perceived picture detail is primarily dependent on display resolution. Technically, a display is considered high definition if it is wide screen and has a total pixel count approaching 1 million. So 1280x720, 1366x768, 1024x1024 and highest of true HD 1920x1080 are all examples of high-definition display resolutions. Naturally, higher the resolution higher the price.
Contrast is the ratio between white and black objects displayed on the screen. The higher the contrast ratio the greater the ability to show subtle color details and tolerate extraneous room light as well as bright objects displayed on screen. There isn’t a specified ratio but generally it is advisable to choose a Television with higher contrast ratio. There are two ways of measuring contrast ratio. The first is True or On-screen Contrast Ratio and the second is Dynamic Contrast Ratio. True or On-screen contrast ratio measures the difference between the brightest and darkest images a TV can produce simultaneously or at the same time. The ratio of the brightest and darkest images a TV can produce over time is called Dynamic Contrast Ratio. Dynamic contrast measures the display twice, once with a dark screen and once with a bright screen. Dynamic contrast ratio is often four or five times higher than the static specification; so while comparing televisions, make sure you consider them at equal terms. But in the end, it is always advisable you inspect competing models yourself for their contrast performance before purchasing.
Brightness is measured in candela per square meter (cd/m˛). Higher the brightness better the output. Look out for Plasma/RPTV/LCD TVs with brightness of 400Cd/m˛ and above.
The aspect ratio is screen width to screen height. Conventional sets have a 4:3 aspect ratio, wherein the picture displayed is squarish in nature. Now you also have wide-screen models with an aspect ratio of 16:9. This can be called the immediate future of television as almost all movies or DVD titles have 16:9 as their aspect ratio. This means your television screen will look like a mini version of a movie theatre screen. Currently all HDTV ready sets have 16:9 as aspect ratio.
This factor is important for LCD and Plasma television. No hard and fast rule here, but a viewing angle of 160 degrees and above is good enough.
Response time refers to ability of LCD TV-pixels to switch totally from black to white and again black. This response time measured in thousandths of a second (milliseconds or ms). This factor is important for the movie buffs and gaming freaks. If you have a high response time then you might have a white ghosting effect on your screen that might take away from the effects of a game, or even spoil the stomach clenching climax of a race car or rapid shoot out scene in a movie. Clearly here it is a case of lower the better. Conventional CRT TVs and plasma TVs don’t have this problem. Current generation of LCD TVs sport response time of 8 ms and below which makes the picture smooth flowing without too much of ghosting effect. Manufacturers are striving to make it more faster and their efforts are bearing fruit. Just to quote an example - Sharp’s new A lineup of televisions feature models with response time of 4 ms. The recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas saw LCD TVs from leading manufacturers with 100 and 120 Hz frame rate doubling. A proprietary algorithm doubles the frame rate of 50/60 fps (frames per second) and aims for a smoother moving image. So rest assured about future LCD TVs.
Audio output is the measure of the output of sound when the volume level is at the maximum. This is measured in PMPO (Peak Music Power Output) and a high PMPO suggests a higher maximum volume.
More number of speakers does not necessarily mean good sound quality. The speakers must be of good quality and the sound should be controlled and well balanced to obtain the best results from your television's audio system.
Auto off: Auto off or Auto Switch off puts off the TV automatically if no signal is received for a particular period, thus saving power.
HDTV (High Definition Television): HDTV refers to the highest-resolution formats of all the digital TV formats. True HDTV is generally considered to be 1080-line progressive (1080p). In developed countries, HD-ready TV sets can display digital high-definition formats when connected to a separate HDTV tuner. These TVs generally have built-in tuners for receiving regular NTSC broadcasts, but not digital. Currently in India we don't have high definition broadcast; we're still part of the scarce analog population. But you can enjoy HD entertainment by connecting your TV with a DVD player having capability of up-scaling upto 1080p with HDMI output.