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Buying a Flat Panel TV without breaking the bank.

December 7, 2010

With all the hype about great deals for black Friday and Cyber Monday I thought it was about time to replace my old “cable ready” TV.  After all how can one resist the HUGE flat screen TV’s that are always on display in the stores. They lure you in with their HD pictures and Bose sound, not to mention the new 3D sets (let’s not gothere). Ok I’m sold – now comes the tough part – which one should I purchase? All those numbers and different price points – what the heck does all that mean?

With a little research I was able to save myself hundreds ofdollars. This is how I saved. When you go shopping the sales person will throw a lot of numbers and buzz words at you, don’t be intimidated. The first thing you need to do is figure out if you want a Plasma, LCD or LED flat panel. Believe it or not there is not a significant difference in the picture quality. For me I went with the LCD because it is cheaper than the LED ( the LED is the newest kid on the block so it is currently the most expensive) and it uses significantly less electricity to run than a Plasma. The next thing to figure out is what pixel resolution you want 720p or 1080p. The salesperson will try to sell you on the more expensive 1080p but here is something to keep in mind. TV stations broadcast in 720 presolution and they are not going to switch to 1080p any time soon. Even Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 use the 720p format. The only benefit to spending the extra cash for 1080p is if you view movies on a blu-ray player.
The only number you should pay attention to and pay the extrabucks for is the Refresh Rate. This refers to the amount of times the TV screen refreshes the image. The higher the number the less blurring will occur especially for sporting events. I went with a TV that had 120Mhz rather than 60Mhz.
So depending on what options you choose – you can get a quality large flat screen TV without breaking the bank.

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