Buying Guide: What is the best TV for me?

May 19th, 2015

Buying Guide TV, Audio & Electronics TVs

Do you use your TV to recreate the cinema experience at home?  Prefer to kick back with a sitcom after work?  Or is the TV mostly for keeping the kids entertained?

826px-Family_watching_television_1958source: wikipedia

Whatever your household, you’ll want a TV that’s been designed and built with the right features and specifications to suit your particular unique needs.

Here are a few popular ways to enjoy a TV, along with what to look for when buying a new TV for this situation:

TV for watching movies – big screen, high resolution for great pictures

Whether you’re setting up a dedicated home theatre space, or just want your living room’s TV to occasionally stand in for your local multiplex, “bigger is better” is generally the order of the day when it comes to choosing a screen.

Samsung UA75JU7000 75inch 190cm 4K Ultra HD Smart 3D LED LCD TV With Twin TunerSamsung UA75JU7000 75inch 190cm 4K Ultra HD Smart 3D LED LCD TV With Twin Tuner

Provided you have sufficient living space available, try to opt for the biggest TV that’s comfortable to watch.  For an immersive viewing experience, you’ll want your TV screen to fill your entire field of view, so you can experience all the detail without turning your head or craning your neck, but leaving no distractions lurking in your peripheral vision.

But it’s not just about size – quality is just as important as quantity.  Think about your TV screen’s resolution – the detail and definition of its image, measured in terms of its number of pixels.  The higher the pixel count, the higher the definition, and the more lifelike the TV’s images.

For a TV to count as High Definition, it must have a resolution of at least 1024 x 768, while a Full HD TV must have a minimum resolution of 1920×1080.  Most Blu-ray discs are recorded in Full HD resolution, so if you want to enjoy your Blu-ray movies in the way the filmmakers intended, you’ll want a Full HD TV screen.

Digital_video_resolutions_(VCD_to_4K).svgsource: wikipedia

The newest 4K or Ultra HD TVs have a resolution four times that of Full HD, but they’re not yet supported by a lot of native 4K or Ultra HD media, so you’ll be relying on upscaling technology to get full use out of their high resolution, at least at present.

TCL GX-21AB 3D Active Glasses with Bluetooth (2 Pairs)TCL GX-21AB 3D Active Glasses with Bluetooth (2 Pairs)

For a truly epic movie experience , choose a 3D TV!  With your very own 3D glasses, you can experience eye-popping visuals in your very own home!  An Active 3D TV uses powered glasses and produces a higher resolution 3D image, while Passive 3D TVs tend to be a little less expensive and use unpowered glasses – no need to charge them!

TV for entertaining the family – Smart TVs offering extra content

If your family is anything like mine, or a number of other households I could name, different individuals have very differnt tastes when it comes to TV. How can a single piece of home entertainment technology accomodate for all the myriad desires of the kids, adults, and other assorted householders?

Answer – it’s gotta be SMART.

panasonic_my_home_screenPanasonic demonstrates the facial recognition technology of “my Home Screen” for its Smart TVs

Let’s take a quick look at just a few of the many ways a Smart TV can be used:

  • Watch all the usual broadcast digital channels
  • Watch movies on Blu-ray or DVD
  • Record live TV to watch later (using a PVR – some Smart TVs include a built in PVR)
  • Play back digital media from a USB stick or external hard drive
  • Connect to the internet to play online content like ABC iView, SBS on Demand, or even YouTube
  • Use fun, informative and useful apps
  • Skype connectivity via a camera accessory, for Jetsons style video-phoning.
  • Connect to your home’s other devices, including computers, smartphones and tablets, for easy sharing of digital content
  • Some TV manufacturers produce companion apps for their smart TVs that allow you to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control, or even set the TV to record while you’re out of the house in a remote location.

With so many entertainment options available, and features that accomodate the time-shifting of content to be watch when it’s most convenient, you can see why a Smart TV would be a welcome addition to a modern family home.

TV for watching sport – enhanced motion display

Just like a film buff, a sports fan will also appreciate a big screen and high resolution image, especially when you’re getting a bunch of mates together to watch a game.  But when it comes to watching sport, whether that’s football, hockey or cricket, the most important thing is to choose a TV that flawlessly displays smooth motion, without blurring, juddering, or pixilation.

1024px-Soccer_goalkeepersource: wikipedia

Plasma TVs always displayed motion smoothly, but these models have mostly been superseded in favour of newer LED models.  To get an idea of how well an LED TV displays fast motion, look for its Refresh Rate – the number of times per second that the TV updates its image.  The higher the rate, the smoother the motion displayed. For watching sport, you’ll want an LED TV with a high refresh rate of at least 100hz or more to keep the motion flowing, lifelike and free of stuttering as the TV tries to catch up to the action.

The_Horse_in_Motion-animsource: wikipedia

If possible, look for a TV that includes automatic motion correction.  Also known as Motion Interpolation or any number of branded terms by manufacturers, this feature found in many newer TVs uses an in-built processor (much like you’d find in a computer) to digitally enhance the TV’s motion display, smoothing edges and adding extra frames of animation.

TV for playing console games – minimise input lag with Game Mode

Gamers also appreciate large-size, high-resolution TVs with high refresh rates – they make just about any game look better, whether you’re playing on Xbox One, Playstation 4, or Nintendo WiiU (though they probably can’t do much for a retro Atari, though).

1024px-Microsoft_game_controllers_2_Tietokonemuseosource: wikipedia

But there’s one more thing for gamers to think about when choosing a TV – input lag.

For non-gamers, here’s what we mean:

When you give your TV a signal – say, pushing PAUSE on your remote control – there’s a millisecond or so of delay between the button press and your movie coming to a stop, as the TV needs to receive and interpret your signal.  And as many modern TVs include a lot of cool image enhancement technologies running behind the scenes, these can cause these delays to take a few milliseconds longer.

A delay of a few milliseconds between button-press and action resolution doesn’t make a big difference during typical TV viewing, but it can be a real problem in the fast-paced world of twitch gaming, especially in the realm of multiplayer.

Gamers wanting to minimise input lag may want a TV with minimal image processing, allowing the game console’s signals to be interpreted faster.  However, these TVs will often have a fairly average picture quality for all non-gaming use.

As a compromise, look for a TV with a dedicated Game Mode – this should shut down the TV’s extra image processing and motion enhnancement to minimise input lag, for better gaming response times at the cost of a little picture quality.  Whenever the console’s not in use, the image-processing bells and whistles can be switched back on so everything can stay looking great.

Need more advice?

TVs can be complicated beasts, and their innovative manufacturers are designing new models and adding new features all the time.  If it’s all a bit much for you, fear not – the Appliances Online experts keep themselves up to date with the latest news in TV technology to provide you with a more complete service.


All of the latest TVs for 2015 have arrived on our site, so your home can benefit from all of the latest innovations. Purchase a selected product before 1 June 2015 to win one of two Appliances Online gift vouchers, valued at $1000 each!

If you have any questions about a TV, contact our team for answers – we’re available 24/7!  And by purchasing a TV through Appliances Online, you can also enjoy free delivery of your new TV, and free removal of your old telly for recycling, all as part of our award-winning customer service.

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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