Auditioning your HD panel


We?ve given you lots of guidance so far in what to look for in your high definition display purchase, but it in the end it will be you and your family, standing in a store with TVs all around you, that have to make the decision. So how can you make that decision?

Simple. Use the TVs that look like they might suit you, just the same way that you would at home. That?s the key. Watch some DVDs, and sit the same distance away from the TVs as you would at home. Most displays look pretty poor when you?re up too close, even with high definition material. But move back a little, or choose a slightly smaller screen size, and everything will snap into focus.

Is your normal viewing room in a darkish room? Then have the TV placed somewhere the lights can be dimmed, or it may look completely different when you get it home.

Finally, take a selection of DVDs that you are familiar with to show on the display. They are the best test of how much you are going to like your new purchase.

Take your time

Some of these tests may take a bit of time. Don?t feel guilty about it. The staff of the store is certain to help and often you can involve them in your selection process. Many are very experienced and can help guide you.

And don?t forget to check out secondary matters, particularly the remote control. The remote is how you will almost always interface with your TV. Try it from as far away from the TV as you?re likely to be in your own home. Try it at extreme angles. Does it work reliably, or is it one of those painful models that require you to be right in front of the TV?

GadgetGuy Tip

If the difference between two models you?re considering is too hard to pick, you could make a choice based on other features. For example, two LCD TVs might be pretty much indistinguishable in picture quality, but that doesn?t mean they?ll be the same in visual quality.

Have the family member with the best taste choose the TV that will fit most attractively into your family or lounge room. If all else fails, try getting the same brand as other equipment you have. Many of the TVs made by the major electronics companies come with remote controls that will also operate same-brand DVD players and VCRs. That can be a real convenience.

An easy-to-use remote control with a good operating range is crucial to a good HDTV experience.