Diwali Special Buyer's Guide: TVs

A complete guide to help you choose the best TV.

Diwali Special Buyer's Guide: TVs

The festive season is here and therefore there are many offers on different products with special discounts. Of those various products available with special offers, there is the television. This article is divided into different sections dealing with different parameters in an effort to help you arrive at the right television for you in the fastest possible way.

Budget: Up To Rs 15,000

CRT TV or Flat Panel TV
Traditional CRT TVs are still available, but their popularity is waning fast. The only reason they still sell well is because they are offered at very low prices. The advantage of CRTs has been their better colour depth as compared to flat panel displays. Unfortunately, these are the only reasons to buy a CRT today. With most companies stopping production, it does not make sense to buy a CRT TV today.

Flat panel displays, on the other hand, occupy less space, are not bulky, don't heat up like a CRT, consume less power, can display High Definition (HD) content, and come in widescreen aspect ratio, which is poised to replace the 4:3 aspect ratio in the near future. Flat panels are not without their cons, which include a fuzzy image when the video source resolution is different from the panel's native resolution. However, technological advancements have been able to overcome most such issues leaving you with no other choice but to go for a flat panel TV.

Our Recommendations

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

Onida 29 Oxygen 350
MRP: Rs 12,990
Street Price: Rs 13,057 (Naaptol.com)

This is a considerably compact CRT TV with a good image quality. With good looks, the price is also right.

Flat Panel TV

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

Samsung LA22D481G4R
MRP: Rs 13,999 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com)

The USPs of this TV set are its excellent image quality, its Full HD display, and its good price tag.

Mid-Range: Up To Rs 40,000

Pixel Dimensions
Pixel dimensions or display resolution as it is generally referred to, is the number of horizontal and vertical pixels present in the display. There are generally two options available: HD Ready with pixel dimensions of 1366 x 768, and Full HD with pixel dimensions of 1920 x 1080. While the former is less expensive, the latter is to be preferred due to the more densely packed pixels giving a crisper picture. Also, a larger display HD Ready display appears noticeably inferior to a Full HD display of the same size, while you may find it hard to notice the difference in quality when the display size is smaller than 32".

USB Movie Playback
USB movie playback is an added bonus with any TV. You can find out about the different video and audio formats supported by the TV via the USB port. In addition to making sure that it supports playback of HD video formats directly from the USB, it must also be able to read NTFS file system, without which you cannot hope to place files larger than 4 GB on the drive, thus taking away the option to play back high quality HD movies. Most of this information can be found on the product page of the TV, while you can find the detailed information by reading online reviews, or by simply downloading the TV manual from its website.

Power Consumption
Plasma TVs tend to consume the most power, while LED-backlit LCD TVs consume the least. However, newer Plasma TVs with so-called Neo PDP panels, have been seen to consume noticeably less power than those manufactured a year ago, often approaching the power consumption of an LCD TV. Moreover, the power consumption of Plasma TV is variable; it consumes less power when the screen displays a dark scene and more when it displays bright. In case of LCD TVs and LED-backlit LCD TVs, the power consumption remains constant no matter what is displayed on the screen. To be on the safer side, it is better to go for an LCD TV or LED-backlit LCD TV.

Our Recommendations

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

MRP: Rs 46,490
Street Price: Rs 32,270 (Infibeam.com), Rs 32,990 (Letsbuy.com)

While it may not be the best in terms of image quality in its size range, it certainly has got most of the features that you would desire, including a LED backlit panel with low power consumption at an unmatched price.

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV


Samsung LA32D550 LCD TV
MRP: Rs 35,900
Street Price: Rs 29,960 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com), Rs 31,400 (OnlineBazzaar.com)

It may not have LED backlighting, but it shines when it comes to playing movies in Full HD glory. It also features Allshare, Connect Share Movie, and Anynet features. The price is also great.

High-End: Up To Rs 80,000

LCD, LED-backlit LCD, or Plasma
Flat panel TVs are available in LCD, LED-backlit LCD, Plasma, and Rear-projection TV, although we are going to leave out the last one due to the lack of popularity and availability.

An LED-backlit LCD TV consumes less power than LCD and Plasma TV, and is usually brighter than an LCD TV. A thing to remember is that both LED-backlit LCD TV and LCD TV use the same panel types and therefore have the same picture quality, the only difference being the light source, which is CCFL in LCD TV and LED in LED-backlit.

Plasma TVs on the other hand have noticeably better contrast and colour depth, and are available in larger sizes. They are a lot less expensive than the other two types of televisions. Apart from the higher power consumption, another possible negative about Plasma TVs could be the fact that its glass screen reflects a lot of light, making it difficult to use in bright rooms. However, due to its excellent picture quality, videophiles swear by Plasma TVs.

Screen Size
Before deciding on the screen size, you must measure up the length and breadth of your living room. The TV has to be placed along the shorter wall of your living room, so you have to first make a note of such practical details such as
a) the possible location to place the TV, whether you will use a pedestal stand or a wall mount
b) possible obstructions such as whether the TV will remain clear of the opening of the main door, which will be usually besides the shorter wall, or will the opening of the main door come in the way of the screen
c) the length of the living room is important because as a general rule, the viewer has to be 1.5 times farther from the TV as its diagonal size.

However, that last rule has been found to be subjective because you can watch high definition movies from a closer distance, and some people like the immersive experience it gives, while most do not prefer to view from such close a distance, especially when viewing SD quality cable television.

Our Recommendations

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

MRP: Rs 75,990
Street Price: Rs 55,890 (Letsbuy.com), Rs 57,690 (OnlineBazzaar.com)

This 42" LED LCD TV can play Full HD movies smoothly using the 100 Hz TruMotion technology. With an ultra-slim attractive design, it claims to consume 40% less electricity.

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

Samsung 5 Series UA46D5500
MRP: Rs 93,900
Street Price: Rs 79,320 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com), Rs 82,300 (OnlineBazzaar.com)

This Smart TV not only shows movies at 1080p, it can do a lot more. Featuring AllShare, Smart Hub, Connect Movie Share, and Anynet, this TV packs in some advanced features. Its styling sets it apart from the crowd.

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

LG 50PT560R Plasma TV
MRP: Rs 59,990
Street Price: Rs 47,170 (Letsbuy.com), Rs 51,581 (Infibeam.com)

Plasma TVs may consume more power, but they still display richer picture. The LG 50PT560R is no exception and at this price point, it is a steal.

Top-End: Above Rs 80,000

3D or Non-3D
This is again a subjective topic with different people perceiving 3D in different ways. Some may find the experience amazing and immersive, while others may experience headaches and nausea. If you want to consider buying a 3D TV, it is better to get the experience first along with your family members before deciding to buy it. While it has been more or less standardised with the introduction of Blu-ray 3D format and PC 3D options, 3D technology is still very new, as far as televisions are concerned, and some tempering period is necessary to iron out the remaining chinks. However, if you are hell-bent on buying a 3D TV, it is better to buy one with an option to convert 2D to 3D. A TV with a 3D display is generally 1.5 to 2 times as expensive as a TV with a non-3D display of the same specifications.

Connectivity Options And Extra Features
The basic connectivity options present in a TV are HDMI port, coaxial port for cable TV, and composite ports. If you have more devices to connect to the TV such as a PC, Blu-ray player, gaming console, etc then you must opt for a TV with more number of HDMI ports.

Extra features such as internet connectivity, support for various apps, DLNA support, etc is an additional bonus, though it is not a deciding factor.

The LG 47LW4500 is a 47" 3D LED TV currently available at a never before price. It has everything you would ever want in a TV, and the price is reasonable.

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

LG 47LW4500 3D LED TV
MRP: Rs 1,14,990
Street Price: Rs 84,990 (available only at eZone retail store), Rs 87,590 (Infibeam.com)

For those who've got the dough to blow, a 60" Plasma panel with Full HD 3D and smart functions with Wi-Fi and DLNA is what we have got.

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

LG 3D Plasma TV 60PZ550
MRP: Rs 1,65,000
Street Price: Rs 1,01,999 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com), Rs 1,07,560 (Infibeam.com)

If you want to go an extra 6 inches and absolutely over the top, here is our recommendation, although at a substantially higher cost.

Buyers Guide 2011 - TV

Panasonic TH-P65VT30D 3D Plasma TV
MRP: Rs 3,79,000
Street Price: Rs 3,42,990 (Panasonic Brand shop retail stores only), Rs 3,48,000 (eBay India)

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