What Common Mistake Do People Make When Buying an HDTV?

What Common Mistake Do People Make When Buying an HDTV?

Gregory Han
Mar 27, 2012

Not only does HDTV expert Alfred Poor of HDTV Almanac offer advice about which television he'd buy today if he was replacing his current model, but he also says you're likely apt to purchase the wrong size...too small! And how about smart features or 3D? Poor offers advice about which one to splurge upon now, and which one you can skip out on...

The number one purchasing mistake?

"And for most people, they typically get a screen a lot smaller than what they really should have...If you're going to be sitting 6 feet away, you need at least a 42" screen. A 47" screen would be even better," advises Poor.

Are HDTV prices going to drop further?
Poor notes HDTV prices have dropped about 20% each year, with the market proving to be extremely competitive in pricing vs feature (so much so, the amount of players in the market is dwindling). He believes we've likely hit near the bottom of pricing, with further discounts attributed mainly to extra inventory. Liquidation sales may offer the best discounts in the next few months (Poor specifically notes Sears should be looking to dump inventory, causing a domino effect with other retailers dropping prices to remain competitive, so keep an eye out).

About Smart TVs
Although Poor loves all the extra features offered by Smart TVs, he believes "smart" features can be added affordably with digital media delivery devices like Apple TV and Roku for under $100. And if you've already got one of these devices, many current Blu-ray players, or a current generation gaming console, "you don't need a Smart TV...it's double dipping."

Additionally, both Roku and Apple TV arguably offer a more responsive user experience (my big knock against most HDTV smart feature systems is the achingly slow time between pressing an option and it actually being served by smart systems). With 1080p content and a wide variety of app-like features upgraded regularly via add-on digital media systems, if you need to skimp, Poor's recommendation to purchase a plain ole "dumb" display seems like good advice.

Do You Need Blu-ray?
If you've got a smaller HDTV (in the 40" category), Poor believes the difference between Blu-ray and DVD is negligible.

3D HDTV

"Hardware always proceeds software."
3D television may not have taken off yet, but Poor believes in a few years 3D capabilities will be standard, thus advises future-proofing. We don't necessarily agree after numerous demos at CES (it's not quite there) and noting public opinion about 3D in general as been lukewarm, of not disinterested except for specific applications.

The game changer may be ESPN's live sporting 3D content and an increase in prime events such as the Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA Finals find an extra dimension to offer. Poor offers a chicken or the egg conundrum, but ultimately he believes you should purchase a 3D model as a "good investment".

Check out more HDTV buying advice over at Alfred Poor's HDTV Almanac.

Via Slashdot

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