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Interesting Facts on TV

family watching TV

Watching TV is the most popular leisure activity in the United States.
-- Bureau of Labor Statistics, America Time Use Survey Summary 2015

Television (TV) is a part of our everyday lives. We depend on TV for entertainment, watching the news, a channel to learn about culture, weather, watch our favorite musical acts, and to enjoy our favorite sports teams. It has been the most innovative consumer technology until the computer age, and it still remains a major player in entertainment and electronic domains.

We use TVs to watch movies, TV shows, watch sports, enjoy sitcoms and documentaries, play our video games, and more. TVs fit nicely in a bedroom, guestroom, dorm rooms, or living rooms, and they create the centerpiece to any home theater. Buying a new TV is a major investment that will last years and entertain you, your friends, and your family for years to come. Make the most of your leisure time and discover the top discounts when you shop for the perfect television set at your local electronics store using Retale’s app and website.

How to Shop for a New TV

Flatscreen TV mounted on wall

Buying a new TV is very overwhelming with information overload, even for the most informed shoppers. Multiple television manufacturers, retailers, salespeople, and numerous internet sources invent their own terms, push brand new features, and showcase innovative technologies, luring buyers to get the latest add-ons. We will tell you the basic requirements you need for optimal viewing pleasure and how to find the best offers for your budget.

Bigger is Better. Size makes a huge difference, no matter where you are going to put your TV. For bedrooms and spare rooms, we suggest looking at models with at least a 32 inch screen. For main TVs, living rooms, or entertainment areas such as home theaters try to go for 60 inches or larger. If you are upgrading from an older tube TV, the size may seem ginormous, but the additional screen space will be worth it. As a rule of thumb, always go as big as your budget will allow for.

Modern livingroom

One of the most common post TV purchase complaints I've heard 
is from people who didn't go big enough. 
-- David Katzmaier, writer at CNet.com

  • Screen size is more important than special features like outrageously high resolution, Smart TV, higher refresh rates.

  • Large TVs occupy precious real estate in your home. Make sure it fits into your entertainment center. You might even consider replacing it with a new one.

  • Plan to leave at least one inch space on each side and the top of the TV cavity so that cool air can run through, providing ideal ventilation.

  • Note the seating distance between your sofa and TV and your eyesight. It is ideal to have a screen that fills a certain comfortable percentage of your field view. That percentage is completely up to to you, but putting your screen about ⅔ times your seating distance provides most comfort. That means that for a 70 inch screen, your seating should be around 9 feet away.

Specs and Quality are Not Correlated.
Ignore most of the information on the specs sheet. The most important details are the height, weight, and dimensions, the inputs, refresh rates, and resolution.

Man with beer watching sports on TV

Higher Hz and fps are good for live TV channels and video games, but create a soft, seamless motion on pre-recorded shows, movies, and pre-scripted content.

  • Refresh rate refers the number of frames per second (fps) a television can display. Electricity channels at 60Hz and most modern HDTVs run also at 60Hz. Increases in Hz (120Hz, 240Hz, and higher) means that new frames are created to interpolate between real video. This is especially helpful if you mostly watch live sports, live TV, or are an active console gamer. However, with interpolated sequences most movies and scripted TV shows are smoothed over in a process called “dejudder.”
  • Resolution is the amount of pixels a screen has and the more pixels, the more picture detail it is able to show. Standard definition is 480i, with enhanced definition at 480p and 576p, and high definition at 720p, 1080i, and 1080p) and even 4K (2160p). The difference between “i” and “p” is interlaced versis progressive scanning. Progressive can technology brings together the lines on a TV screen simultaneously and is the modern standard used for measuring TV resolution. 

    A screen with 1080p has twice as many pixels 720p, which means finer quality. The newest spec on the block is 4K or “Ultra High Definition” with almost 8.3 million total pixels, it is double the quality of a 1080p TV. It shows incredible detail on 4K content, but at the moment, there is limited viewing material available. 
    Smaller screens, under 40 inches don’t need as much resolution. Larger screens should have at minimum 1080p. This resolution provides the best ratio for quality and money. 4K or Ultra HDTV’s are an awesome technology and will become even better as more content is created to support it. Most television manufacturers put their best picture quality technology into 4K models and it is considered a high-end purchase.

Girls laughing at comedy TV show

The average American wathes 5 hours of TV per day. 
-- New York Daily News

TVs on the Market

Throughout the past century, television has been the primary source of media consumption, until the internet age, and it still demands a powerful segment of our attention. Over time, technology has improved how we watch TV and the brightness of color goes beyond technicolor to even 3D. Here is a list to help inform you of some of the latest types of TV available at your local electronic stores.

  • LED and LCD TVs 

    LED LCD TV

    LED and LCD TVs are one and the same, the only difference is that an LED TV is an LCD TV with a LED backlight. LCD TV stands for liquid-crystal-display television. They are thin, light, and come in large sizes (anywhere from a few inches to 90 inches) They are the most widely produced and most popular type of TV in American homes. They produce a black and colored image by filtering through a white light. Liquid crystals allows for ordered layers of color opposed to random alignments of a normal liquid. The screen brightness is supercharged with backlighting, which is great for daytime viewers or watching TV with the lights on. These TVs dominate the market and are by far the most popular newer TVs to be found in American households.

  • OLED TV

    OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Diode technology. What makes it different from an LCD tv is that each pixel of the TV provides its own illumination rather than the whole of the TV being powered and lit from a larger LED backlight. They are almost as bright as LCD screens, but parts of an image are able to be as bright or brighter than many LCDs and they provide a more consistent brightness across the TV screen. Although superior in picture quality and an exceptional contrast ratio, the OLED TVs available are expensive with 65 inch models running at least $9.000.

  • Smart TV 

    Smart TV

    A Smart TV offers apps, widgets, and cool features that allow you to switch from Spotify to Netflix, to ESPN, then a short round of Words With Friends, a short comment on Facebook, before going back to your favorite music or movie, all with a remote control. It is no surprise that Smart TV’s dominate the TV world. 

    Another option to a Smart TV is to purchase an Apple tvPOS, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or even a Blue-Ray DVD Player with built-in apps, which provide the same (and sometimes better) options than most Smart TVs and are very cheap at less than $100.

  • Curved Screen TV

    Curved TV

    Besides appearing bigger than it actually is, the benefits to a curved screen include reduced glare, better viewing angles.

  • 3D TVs

    3D TV

    A lot of LED and LCDs offer a 3D feature and come with glasses. Is it worth the extra cash? Although exciting and ultimately fun visual experience, the reason why 3D features on TVs aren’t used very often is because they are not supported by a lot of content, with 3D channels dropping since 2013.

Favorite TV Brands

  • Insignia
  • Westinghouse
  • Sony
  • Panasonic
  • LG
  • Vizio
  • Sharp
  • Toshiba
  • Samsung
  • Phillips
  • RCA
  • Acer
  • Hitachi