Buying That First Flat Screen Tv, What to Look For?

By: Stephen Morgan

It seems that everyone either has or wants to get the latest Flat Screen TV for their home. Of the many and varied types of Flat Screen TV available (and there are) which one do you purchase? Of the many choices it really boils down to two really, Plasma or Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) for your Flat Screen TV?

Who would have thought from viewing those early images of shadowy wriggling fingers broadcast in 1925 in the earliest TV sets that television would eventually become the multi-dimensional, full colour systems that Liquid Crystal Display /Flat Screen TV provide today. Such is the all embracing (some say insidious) nature of TV that once with it, it is very difficult to do without it.

Very few people if asked directly would be able to explain entirely how a television works or the process of television broadcasting works yet most would claim to understand the process, or so they say? Since its inception as an electromechanical system of receiving and broadcasting information the term television has become broadly synonymous with both the unit required to receive and play the information and also the technique and medium for broadcasting the data in the first place.

Like most forays into a technical arena nowadays it is very easy to get confused by the wide range of technical phrases and terminology in use within the industry today.

Perhaps it would be best now to move on to the latest developments within the industry and concentrate our coverage upon digital television, what it actually means; formats, bandwidth and an explanation of the technical jargon and terminology used.

So what exactly is Digital TV?

Well the short answer is that phraseology is mixed here and quite often people get confused, LCD, TFT and Plasma are all terms that get bandied around yet they don?t all mean the same thing.

In a nutshell Flat Screen TV?s can either be Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) sets or can be Plasma screen but the two are different.The main difference between the two (apart from base technologies) are that with LCD TV?s the main technology used is TFT (Thin Film Transistor) which means that by and large you can make the screens smaller and more energy efficient.

Digital television is a telecommunications system for broadcasting and receiving moving pictures and sound by means of digital signals in contrast to the more established analogue systems which is effectively the transmission of signals used by analogue (traditional) TV.

So what do all of the terms surrounding Digital TV mean? Let us look at this whilst analysing one of the newer LCD TV?s available.

The LCD TV that we shall use for our illustrative purposes here is the B&O Beovision 7-32?

Now the key items of information that we need to be familiar with are as follows.

The Screen resolution of the TV is possibly the most obvious place to start. In this case it refers to the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed.

Whether the TV is Hi-Definition Ready would be the next thing to look at. Hi Definition TV essentially makes a TV picture in a quality format that is at least four times better than conventionally available at present.

The next item that we would need to look at is what types of connectors are used between the peripherals used alongside the main Digital TV?

In this case we mean SCART Plugs and sockets and their usage. Here the definition of SCART refers to ?Syndicat francais des Constructeurs d?Appareils Radio et Television (SCART).

Lastly on the technical side we would need to look at what types and what numbers of High-Definition Multimedia Interfaces (HDMI) are being used. Here High Definition Multimedia Interfaces (HDMI) refers to the audio/video connector interface that transmits the uncompressed digital streams of information between two or more digital components such as a HD DVD Disc player, a Blu-ray Disc player, a Personal Computer or Video Console.

The Beovision 7-32 is a 32in LCD TV and the prices for these are around 6000 pounds sterling or 12000 US dollars. The screen resolution is 1366 X 768 and with regards to being HD Ready the answer is no. The Beovision has 3 (3 RGB) scarts and the type and number of Multimedia interfaces the Beovision 7-32 uses is DVI and 1. The type of Tuner for this TV is Analogue and the Beovision is available from specialised outlets only.

All these points being taken into consideration, how would we view the B&O Beovision 7-32?

Well to start with our score for the picture quality is 8, next we would look at the sound quality and our view of this would be 10. Taking a look at the number of relevant connections and their availability, our score would be 8. As far as overall features are concerned we would give it 6 and for ease of use and overall value for money we would give it, 8 and 6 respectively.

Finally our overall opinion would be this has all the hallmarks of being possibly the best of B&O's current offerings but this has to be balanced with the fact that the price tag which we feel is way over the mark for the performance of the TV makes this sadly one where we feel that is not ideal value for money.

Remember that all the prices we use in these reviews are very much designed for illustration purposes only and in some cases you may well find the actual price cheaper but also in some cases, more expensive.

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