10 Tips for buying the perfect LCD Television

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45 Responses

  1. r4i says:

    I am very thankful to you for providing these 10 steps to buying new LCD.It is really a very nice and important thing I am very excited after I hear this

  2. saikat says:

    You are really awesome. Because of you I have decoded so many technical jargon. Hats off you. we really need few more like you to make our life simpler with gadgets and electronics.

  3. Amit & Namrata says:

    We found this very exhaustive and detailed. Wish you were around somewhere here to help us make the choice. By the way which one do you own ;)?

  4. Hitesh says:

    Hi, Like your detail, I have knowledge of LCD and its detail but your information sharpen my knowledge.

    well, I want to buy 32″ lcd tv in Surat, give me some good model number, and brand name with approx price.

    any one can reply

    your help is best for me

    Hitesh

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Hitesh,

      I hope the article I have written (on 10 tips & Panasonic review) will give you enough information on how to select a LCD TV like a pro.
      I would very much like you to visit the market and put this knowledge to the test.

      As I found out, big brand names don’t mean good quality images and small names exceed expectations. So I suggest that you really go out there and check out the goods.

      Regards

  5. Sanjoy says:

    Rajib,
    Excellent review and very well explained. Looking to buy a 32″ LCD TV in Kolkata and will take my review notes with me once I visit every shop from eZone to Khosla Electronics.

    My personal choice is Panasonic as a brand. Can you suggest me a model which has the right input options – the rest I will need to check on the exact product I guess.

    Appreciate your kind help.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Sanjoy,

      I bought a Panasonic TH-32LX15D model (32″ LCD, 100Hz refresh) myself after adjudging it to have the best display among many models. However, I did not quite analyze things clearly and the TV has become a problem child for me. Panasonic’s response has been less than stellar. Read the review of the Panasonic TV elsewhere in this blog.

      I wrote the article about selecting the right LCD TV after being shafted by Panasonic; so that people like you may not suffer.

      Panasonic engineers are scheduled to visit my home any day to analyze the problem in depth. I will update the Panasonic TV Review accordingly.

      HTH

  6. CP KULKARNI says:

    I was looking to buy 32″ lcd and after going through your in-depth review I zeroed on PAnasonic 32LX15 BUT RECENTLY
    SONY HAS REDUCED THE PRICE OF W SERIES LCD 32W550A FROM Rs. 62,900/- TO Rs. 44,900/- TODAY I CONFIRMED IT WITH SONY WORLD
    NOW WHAT IS YOUR TAKE

  7. CP KULKARNI says:

    SONY 32W550A HAS 100 Hz MOTIONFLOW FEATURE, FULL HD, 1080P, 4 HDMI INPUT etc

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      For 44K, the 32W550A is lot more expensive than other 32″ TVs on the market but the feature set is definitely good.
      Besides the Panasonic LX15D that I have is terrible and I am having a tough time trying to convince the Panasonic people to come and fix it.

  8. Sanjoy says:

    Hi Rajib,

    Have a few clarifications to seek from you

    a) Which is better as a panel, SPVA or IPS. Sony with Bravia BE3 engine, with MPEG noise reduction, intelligent picture, PAP, front speakers (20W) for T550A model is supporting a SPVA panel whereas LG LH20 or LH30/35 are coming with a IPS panel. Both brochures are talking of 178 deg view. Sales staff from 2 different organisations are giving conflicting views of colour darkening in SPVA & IPS. Need your views please

    b) SONY 32T550A model at 30,990 (special reduced Sony price) for a 32 inch qualifies for your Rs 1000/inch rule (beats it in fact). LG in a similar price point for LH30/35 or slightly higher LH40 are all operating at a 1000+/inch. Do you rate any of the above models at the same level as the Sony Bravia T550A or S550A with its featuresets as in a)

    c) I liked the picture quality and also did a complete LCD test for pixel defects on LG LH20 model. Liked in but somehow feel for both HD ready models with almost same pricepoint (with Son’y reduced point) my bias seems to be tilting towards Sony

    Please guide me Rajib with your knowledge and help look me beyond the haze of confusion.

    Thanks

    Sanjoy

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Sanjoy,

      I do not sell/review LCD tvs, hence it is quite impossible for me to review/recommend the latest LCD TV models from the various manufacturers. With my article, I have attempted to create the foundation level knowledge among buyers of LCD TVs so that they can understand the jargon or better still – learn to steer clear.

      I would like you to ignore the technical abbreviations and terms that these companies throw at you and apply the 10 rules I have mentioned to evaluate a TVs performance based on it’s performance in real-world scenarios.

      Also important is that you do not look for the biggest rose, but select what meets your requirements just fine.

      HTH

  9. Raj kumar says:

    while watching 42″ or wider LCD, those scenes in which there are people standing on the edges of the screen appear much fatter than they actually are. In layman language ho w can this be avoided.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Rajkumar,

      The problem is that while LCD TV’s in India are almost exclusively available only in Widescreen modes (16:9) and suitable for High-Definition content (upto 1920×1088 pixels), the broadcast channels only transmit in Standard mode (4:3) and standard definition (720×576 pixels).

      Thus when viewed, the standard image is scaled up to fill the screen, thus stretching it and adding no details in the image.

      One way to restore normal proportion would be to switch your LCD TV Aspect Ratio to 4:3 mode. You should get black borders on side of the image but no distortion.

      Another better way would be Switch Aspect Ratio to 4:3 Mode and Zoom the image 1 level. This way the top and bottom of the image will be cropped (channel logo and channel footer messages will be cut) but the main image will fill the screen.

      You could like me just ignore the Aspect Ratio settings and continue watching Size-Zero girls become Size-30.

  10. Mandar says:

    Hi Rajib,

    Considering the issues you faced with Panasonic after buying and using for a while, would you rate one of your finalist model – Onida Diamond full HD as a good choice for buy?
    I have an Onida CRT and it has worked very well and no doubt its picture quality and neutral colors are better than most of the Korean CRTs. Since you mentioned that Diamond has excellent sound as well, would it be a better option than LG?
    Please suggest.
    Thanks.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Mandar,

      After a lot of head-breaking, technicians from Panasonic have come and adjusted the set to a point where the viewing is watchable, but justified by the cost of the TV.

      Picture-wise, the LG TVs offer superb picture. The balance of colors makes the image very believable. With a decent feature set and excellent Computer Connectivity (LG LCD TVs support DDC information over VGA port), the LG is highly recommended if you want a TV that delivers excellent value for money.

      I was quite happy with the Onida’s picture quality. The sound quality too was better than most. Styling wise, the Onida Diamond has unique noticeable styling. Computer connectivity wise, while the TV connected to my computer just fine, it did not seem to support DDC.

      The decision to buy LG or Onida should be purely on brand preference because quality wise, they are both very good.

  11. saptadip says:

    hi rajib

    ur blog did really helped me out a lot, i later decided to go with LG jazz…..which has woofers in it…… is that bad fr the lcd panel… as i heared that it can create sme problem later on

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Satadip,

      Unlike CRT TVs where a picture tube with finely positioned electron guns and chokes are involved, an LCD TV is a totally sealed display unit with no moving parts.
      Continuous vibration is not likely to damage the panel or affect the TV in any other way. Feel free to enjoy the built-in sub-woofer. A word of warning though: to ensure long life of the speakers, do not turn up the volume beyond 75% of maximum for extended periods. Not only the sound will distort, the speaker diaphragms will also break free and the speaker will be damaged permanently.

      HTH

  12. amit says:

    Can anybody share knowledge about Onida Diamond Full HD Lcd Tv?

  13. roshan says:

    Hi Rajib,
    I want to purchase a new lcd tv.Now I am having a 21” CRT tv.Viewing distance from my sofa is 8 feet(ie,from TV to sofa).Shall I go for a 32” LCD?Please help me…

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Roshan,

      A 32″ LCD TV should be the perfect upgrade to your 21″ CRT. I too have opted to upgrade from my Philips 21″ CRT to Panasonic 32″ LCD.

      HTH

  14. Yogesh Gandhi says:

    I wnat to buy either 32″ LCD TV. Please suggest me which is the best 32″ LCD TV. Please also give me list of authorised dealers at Surat for Sony TV.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Yogesh,

      Just like ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, the perfect LCD TV for you will have to be found by you.
      You can try justDial to locate LCD TV dealers in Surat. You can always walk into electronics stores like eZone / Reliance Digital / Tata Croma and pick your LCD tv from the line-up. The max. I can offer through my blog is the article ’10 tips to select LCD TV’ so that you are aware of what to look for when buying the TV.

      HTH

  15. Sukesh says:

    Hi,
    I got a good offer from Croma store for its own brand CROMA LCD 42′ TV

    can you please let me now hod good this croma LCD tv, is that brand is good or need to go for LG or samsung.
    ALos whcih is best LCD tv brands??

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Sukesh,

      Check the Croma brand TV for image quality as outlined in my article. If you are satisfied with the image quality, then check the warranty terms carefully and if all is well, then by all means go for it.

      There is no brand superiority between LG, Samsung, Sony, Philips etc. It all boils down to user preference. If you are buying a TV purely by brand preference, then you are obviously not using image and build quality as a parameter.

      HTH

  16. Raj kumar says:

    if you were to buy a tv, would you buy plasma or LCD size around say 42″. Will the screen have the same distortion in a plasma as in LCD i.e girls size 0 get to be size 30 around the edges.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Raj,

      Plasma and LCD screens are totally flat. They feature pixel to pixel display and have no image distortion. CRT based televisions on the other hand, feature curved screens and cheaper quality screens may display image distortion around the edges.

      When considering large sizes, Plasma screens are cheaper than LCD. This is because plasma ‘pixels’ are quite large in size and can only be produced for TVs that are 40″ and larger. LCD screens on the other hand feature very fine pixels and very high density LCD screens can be produced in sizes that are less than an inch. Larger LCDs on the other hand are tough to produce because of high rejection rate during quality control and this drives their cost up.

      Plasma screens also tend to be more vibrant than LCD and can be seen over a wider range of angles. Plasma screens suffered from a phenomenon called ‘screen burn’. However all this has changed – plasma today features technology that does nor result in screen burn and IPS panels and LED back-lighting has resulted in LCD panels that feature better vibrancy and angle of view than plasma.

      You may be referring to image expansion on wide screen TVs when viewing standard Indian TV broadcast. This is because standard Indian TV is broadcast in 4:3 ratio (image size is 720 x 576 pixels) while the TV being widescreen (16:9 ratio, image size: 1366 x 768 or 1920 x 1080 pixels) has no choice but to stretch the image to fit the screen. You can however configure the widescreen TVs to show images in 4:3 ratio. In this mode, the image appears normal (not stretched) but you get vertical black bars on the sides.

      HTH

  17. Ajay Chaudhary says:

    Hi Rajib,

    Wishes for a happy, joyful and prosperous Diwali.

    The review is really exhaustive and complete. I am planning to buy a 40 \ 46 LED TV (may a 3D) and have been surveying the markets in Bangalore. With all my research (time permitting) I have shortlised Sony HX800, NX800, Samsung 7000, Samsung 6900. Please help me with your suggestions about some other models.

    Regards
    Ajay Chaudhary

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Ajay,

      I do not keep myself abreast with the new products launched by TV makers over the year. Based on some of my suggestions, you will have to take the decision yourself.

      Regards

  18. Radhakrishnan says:

    Dear Rajib, I have been surfing the net a lot these last two days trying to get guidelines for selecting a lcd/led TV to replace my old CRT. Your article is by far the best and most informative. I had intended to select a model on the basis of specifications and based on a couple of visits to some select stores, with a bias for brand names. I will now try and use your guidelines to the extent possible. Thanks.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Radhakrishnan,

      The prices of LCD TVs have fallen quite a bit since my purchase and most TVs can be purchased at a price point of Rs. 800/inch.
      I am sure that you will be able to evaluate your purchase rationally considering your requirement and technical features foremost.

      HTH

  19. Praveen Mittal says:

    Dear Mr. Ghosh,
    I have been going through your very useful comments.
    Can you guide me on the Chroma Brand launched by TATA Chroma stores. There is an attractive scheme in this year end where they are offering the 40″ LED TV at an attractive price.
    Some friends informed that TATA is not manufacturing but importing some local brand from Taiwan and selling as theri own. I am worried on the after sales aspect.
    Please advise.
    PM

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Praveen,

      Few manufacturers today can lay claim to 100% manufacturing. Like Tata Chroma, Videocon / Pantaloons Group has been sourcing equipment manufactured in China/Taiwan and selling in India for years.

      What is important when purchasing any equipment today are – Price, Features, Support. As long as Tata’s branded products score on these fronts, I don’t see an issue.

      HTH

  20. ssj4Gogeta says:

    The optimal viewing distance also depends on the pixel density. You don’t want to sit so close to the TV that you’re able to tell apart individual pixels. You also don’t want to sit so far away from the TV that you can’t see all the details and waste the 1080p goodness.

    Wikipedia says the resolving power of the human eye is 1.2 arcminutes, from which you can calculate the optimal viewing angle for your TV given the pixel density.

  21. mokesh says:

    Yeah the pixel density really define the optimal viewing angle. in most of HD TV with 1080p resolution does gives the better colour, but the really problem is the panel which define the viewing angle and clarity of the image it display. The plasma has one big issue and i.e the burn in image. And as for the IPS panel are perfect of the greater viewing angle.

  22. isla_hadi says:

    My friend is apprehensive about the blasma TV panel say it that it is has a serious problem of static image burn-in. So, as per the Wikipedia it says that the panel of IPS is free from burn -in image and enjoy the benefit of greater viewing angle, stable touch screen and vivid motion picture. Than does it mean that IPS panel is far better than the other banel.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Mokesh / Isla Hadi,

      Plasma panels did have a problem of pixel burn (if the display was left static for too long, the panels would display a permanent shadow of the image that was left on), but it was mostly limited to displays used in public service announcements.

      Home users rarely leave the plasma panel ON on one display. If watching TV or Movie, the display on the screen is continuously changing hence avoiding pixel burn. Also newer plasma panels are fare less susceptible to Plasma burn since the electronics attempts to take care of it intelligently.

      IPS panels (In Plane Switching) are only available in LCD/LED displays. These panels have a very wide angle of display (almost 170 deg) and thus people can watch the image on the display without too much distortion in the colors from a wider range of angle.

      For some time, IPS panel TVs were being wrongly advertised as tough panels. While IPS panels have a layer of glass on them, it is not meant to be knocked.

      The colors of a panel are really complicated mix of panel, display electronics and input signal. Also, perception of ‘great’ color is more of a personal issue than a technical one.

      HTH

  23. Pankaj says:

    Excellent information. I appreciate your time and interest.

  24. seema says:

    hi thanks for the article.i wonder if u could help me in buying an apt computer monitor.whats better LCD or LED. i had a 14″ Samsung CRT.and what size is preferable for computer work.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Seema,

      LCD and LED TVs are similar in the sense that both actually use LCD panels. In the older LCD TV/Monitors, the source of the white-light is a CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) while in the new LED monitors, it is an array of white LED (light emitting diodes).

      LED screens tend to be slimmer, run cooler and present white color more uniformly. LED screens also do not easily suffer from fading lamp syndrome that LCD screens suffer from (after many many years).

      In the near future, all monitors will use LED lamps for white-light source (due to pollution norms) and already in the market, the correction in price has taken effect where price-wise, buying a LED screen is almost the same as buying an older LCD.

      My personal preference for LCD screens is the brand ‘ViewSonic’. I have also used LG / Samsung / Philips. I am also using a Acer and while screens are cheap, they are not suited for graphics-design work due to color-gamut issues.

      When buying a monitor, check if it uses a IPS panel and check the angle-of-view. To do this, simply try to view the screen (with a movie playing on it) from the extreme-left to extreme-right and extreme-top to extreme-bottom. You will see the screen fade and colors change as you change the position of your head and try to watch the screen from extreme angles.

      Poor quality monitors will display a respectable image only when viewed straight and right in front. Good quality panels featuring IPS displays will allow you to view the images without high degradation in image colors from angles as wide as +-70 deg, some going upto +-85 deg.

      Since most of our work today involves reading a lot of content, your monitor should support 1280 pixels width at minimum. Most monitors today feature 1440 pixels width and some go up-to 1920 pixels wide (Full HD). I recommend that 1280 pixel wide monitors should be 17″ wide, 1440 pixel wide monitors should be 19″ – 21″ wide and 1920 pixel monitors should be 24 – 30″ wide.

      Trying to view very high resolution screen (for ex: 1920 pixels) on a smaller screen (for ex: 21″) reduces the size of the pixel and thus makes text and images quite fine and hard to see on the monitor.

      HTH

  25. karthik says:

    hi Rajib,

    I have palned to buy 32 inch LCD TV i have dilema in selecting Onida 32″ Black diamond and onida 32″ M series LCD tv. With which model i can go and suggest whether onida brand is good or bad?

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Karthik,

      Among many other brands available, Onida is certainly one of the more reputed ones. Then again, It’s been ages since I saw an Onida ad. Are they out of money?

      When I was evaluating LCD TVs, the Onida TV was very impressive and I would have opted for it if I had not opted for the Panasonic. The models you are quoting are fairly recent and unfortunately, its been a while since I last checked out LCD TVs, hence I cannot provide you with exact advise.

      I recommend that you read the article on selecting the right LCD TV and evaluation whichever brand-model you are considering thoroughly.

      HTH

  26. Sayantan says:

    Hi Rajib….i was planning to buy a LCD tv within a budget of 45K. I came across several blogs over the internet where customers have complained that their panels needed to be replaced after little use (within 15-30 mnths) and they are really expensive to replace. My question is how common is this problem as most blogs were of 2009 and this is almost end of 2011. Do the problem still persists with new tecnology in place?

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Sayantan,

      LCD panels are considered to be very reliable due to high quality manufacturing and reduced heat operation.
      I have not yet encountered a case (in my local circle) where the panel has failed and most of us have purchased/been using LCD panels since 5 years.

      If you purchase a LCD TV from a high quality brand like Sony / Panasonic / LG / Samsung / Philips, you should be able to enjoy the TV for at-least 10 years.

      HTH

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