Now that you know what components you need, next comes the part where you have to
choose what model to buy. The choices are overwhelming and the information gleaned
from sales people skewed. There is no need to fret; the Internet is filled with
many unbiased opinions from well informed individuals. I’ll point you to the right
websites to read if you wish to research your purchase in detail. I’ll also tell
you how to buy what you like, while at the same time knowing that you bought a quality
product at a fair price. Just finish reading this page.
First, determine your budget so you can concentrate your search to a particular price
range. If you can’t afford to buy everything at once, you can buy in pieces. Start
with the HDTV, later add an AV receiver and front speakers, and then add the sub-woofer
and rear speakers.
To find the best products available, the best place to start are the recommendations
from the industries’ leading magazines. Their professional reviewers spend time
testing just about every piece of equipment in the marketplace. Their evaluations
include lab measurements along with serious viewing and listening.
I’m not suggesting you buy the products they recommend. Use them to benchmark the
products that are attractive to you. This way you know how what you like compares
to the best in its class. Many times the differences between the recommended product
and second or third place are minute and can be easily trumped by your personal preferences.
Buy what you like, but compare to be sure. And yes, aesthetics do count.
For screen sizes 42” and over, only buy a 1080p TV. Bright rooms are not good for
Plasma. Trust reviews over store comparisons. Prices will continue to drop, but
not as quickly. Features such as 3:2 pull down (for DVD’s and movies) and 120 Hz
(for sports) need to be manually enabled and only provide a small improvement. Turn
down the brightness after you first turn on your HDTV, it is purposely set way too
high. Set the color temperature to Warm. Adjust the color to your liking.
Multi-Channel Sound Tips
Lower means better for watts per channel for similar priced receivers. Matched speakers
are a must! Most receivers come with a microphone and set themselves up automatically.
If you don’t have the room or desire for a multi-channel speaker system, consider
a sound bar. Many speakers must be at least 2’ from any wall to sound best.