Why Buy an LCD Television?
LCD TVs are not as prominent as they used to be. Many manufacturers are shifting their focus away from LCD panels to LEDs or plasma screens. The LCD vs. LED popularity gap has gotten smaller over the years, but the best LCD TVs make great screens for spare bedrooms, kitchens or family rooms.
Most of the top manufacturers are moving out of the LCD marketplace, but there are plenty of lesser-known companies that still make them. If you are looking for the best LCD TVs, check out the Sanyo LCD TV, Westinghouse LCD TV and Sceptre LCD TV. If you would like more information, check out our articles on LCD TVS.
LCD TVs: What to Look For
If you are on a budget, buying an LCD TV may be the smart choice for you. Generic brand manufacturers produce most LCD TVs, which is not necessarily a bad thing, because most of those manufacturers use parts from big brands like Samsung, Sony and Panasonic. You will be getting parts from the top manufacturers at a discounted price.
As we reviewed the best LCD TVs, we scored them in three major categories: display quality, connections and product support. Here's what we looked for in each category:
The difference in picture quality between high definition displays can be drastic. Some HDTVs run a 720p resolution, but the top LCD TVs run full high definition, which is 1080p. Both 720p and 1080p are considered high def, but to get the full potential of Blu-ray movies and other top-quality high definition, 1080p is the way to go.
Another factor that affects display quality is refresh rate. The bare minimum refresh rate for flat panel TVs is 60Hz. The best LCD TVs will run a 120Hz refresh rate. A higher refresh rate is ideal for fast sequences when you're gaming or watching live sports. A lower refresh rate leaves the possibility for motion blurring, whereas a faster refresh rate has a smooth, fluid look.
Generally, the brighter the LCD screen the better. LCD screens are measured in candela per square meter (cd/m2). The brighter the picture, the better it will perform in well-lit rooms. A better cd/m2 stat means you will have more room options for an LCD TV. Contrast ratio is not tested the same across the board, so the specs don’t generally give you a specific idea of the color accuracy of the TV, however it can be used as a broad sense.
To play movies, TV shows and other content, you'll want to connect multiple devices to your LCD TV. For TV programs, you can use an antenna, cable box or satellite receiver; for movies, a DVD or Blu-ray player. To play video games and stream videos, you may want to hook up a gaming console. Your TV will need plenty of ports to connect all of these devices to your LCD screen. To get the most out of your HDTV you will need HDMI inputs to connect your HD devices. The more HDMI inputs the better. Older connections like composite and component connections are also useful in case you need to connect older devices.
Help & Support
It’s normal to stress a bit over a big purchase. To ease your mind, most companies offer an industry-standard one-year warranty. The top companies will offer email, a toll-free number and live chat customer support for any questions you may have. If you like to explore questions yourself, some companies offer a FAQs section as well as community forums online.
Checking out these multiple factors is important when choosing a new LCD TV. Our reviews will help you get the best TV for your money, whether you want it for your main TV room or as a secondary screen in a kitchen or workout room.