By Steve Milano
There’s no universally agreed-upon “best” television, based on ratings or reviews, simply because people have so many different TV viewing needs these days.
Some want the most crystal-clear screen because they are die-hard movie watchers. Others will be gaming more than program watching.
Some TVs will go in rooms where they won’t be used that often. Understanding how to match the right TV to your viewing needs will help you get the best equipment in your budget range.
The biggest screen isn’t necessarily the best, based on where you’ll put it. Your main TV (in your living room or bedroom, if that’s where you watch movies) should be around 50 to 65 square inches, recommends Consumer Reports. Go smaller for TVs in the kitchen or kids’ play rooms.
You’ll also need to take into consideration where you’ll be sitting (how far away from the screen) when you watch movies, shows and sports. You can use a mathematical formula to determine that. For a standard, high-definition TV, use the formula:
Distance from screen / 1.6 X 12 = Optimal Screen Size.
If you’ll be sitting 8 feet from your TV the formula will be:
8 / 1.6 = 5
5 X 12 = 60
So, your TV screen size if you’ll be lying in bed or sitting on a couch 8 feet away should be 60 inches.
You’d think people would have been happy enough with high-definition TV screens after watching television for 60 years without this awesome new technology. Nope. Just years after High Definition became the standard, we now have Ultra High Definition, providing four times the number of pixels as High Definition.
Based on the lack of programming available for UHD screens right now, and the fact that prices will continue to drop during the next few years as more people buy them, you might want to hold off on buying a UHD TV and spend your money on a larger screen, better audio or a Smart TV.
Budget: Size, picture quality or smarts?
As you plan your budget, decide what’s most important to you when buying a new TV. Is accessing the Internet and streaming movies TV your main priority — then you’ll want a Smart TV. Are picture size and quality the most important features? If so, focus on picture quality — you can still access the Internet with a streaming media player.
Don’t forget about audio, if that’s important. If you already own a home theater system, you’ll need a TV that’s compatible. If you don’t, you might need to scale back your screen size to get a TV with better sound quality.
Before you buy any TV, make sure it will work in your home with your current connections, or make sure you’ll know what you need to buy to make a particular TV work in your home.
Beware Garbage In/Garbage Out
If you’re willing to spend the time and money to make sure you buy the best TV for your entertainment needs, it’s a no-brainer that you want to the best programming options. Competition is heating up for your service dollars now that CenturyLink has entered the market and is competing with the satellite services and the other cable companies.
CenturyLink’s PrismTV package offers not only hundreds of channels of movies, TV shows and sports, but also provides a host of other speed, connectivity and service features. For example, Prism on the Go provides a wireless option that lets you put your TV anywhere — indoors or out. PrismTV also comes across on CenturyLink’s 1-gigabit fiber optic service, making it lightning fast and dependable. The service allows you to watch four different screens at once, access social media, and record up to four programs at once using one DVR.