All Things Recent TV
Like most things technological today, we live in an age where the tech around us can stun us over and over again. Everything evolves at such a ridiculous rate that every year almost exponential improvements are being made. The modern day TV is testament to that. Only 50 years ago people were mainly watching black and white TV shows and screens that were no bigger than a tablet of today, which wouldn’t be so bad if you had HD quality pictures, but factor in the arial and analogue signal, you were screwed if it was raining or there was a bit of bad weather about. Without anything to record shows or movies, if you missed it once there was a possibility you might not see the same program again, that was until UK Gold and YouTube came onto the scene anyway!
Plasma and LCD
In recent times we have seen the birth of the plasma screen, with its very good picture quality but extreme power consumption. Advantages of the plasma screens came in the form of wide viewing angles and very powerful colour saturation. “Blacks” on plasma are also far superior to that of an LCD, along with the fact there is no motion blur. Big disadvantages are of course the energy consumption and a lack of brightness. LCD and then LED became an alternative, with the fact there is a higher native resolution and with the LED backlighting, you are getting a TV that is coming close to matching the picture quality of a plasma. Older plasmas also tend to be able to suffer from “screen-burn”. That happens when an image is on screen for too long and is then still displayed when the image changes. Overall for price, plasma had the beating of LCD, especially when you are looking at TVs that are 50” or above.
In the past year we have been introduced with a new tech-term, 4K. If you don’t know the science behind this terminology then it is this: 4K HDTVs will give you 4X the amount of detail that a standard 1080p HD screen will give you. Remember what it was like when you saw 1080p for the first time? Well the rule books have been ripped up and re-written, but at the moment nobody is quite sure just how far this technology can go. With the new 4K TVs we have a technology that is going to be around for a long time to come, it is now the new standard in TV manufacturer and every company worth their salt is investing a lot of time and money into the technology. Samsung, one of the biggest TV makers in the world, already have a very large range of 4K TVs, as you can see on their site www.samsung.com. The obvious big drawback at this time is the huge prices they are commanding. Some of the first TVs were well over £20000 and it will be a while before this technology becomes more accessible to a wider audience. You can get cheaper TVs now, but the problem is you need very hardware inside a TV in order to produce true 4K images, so be careful if you see anything for less than £600/700. With 4K TVs you need a very large screen in order to be able to take advantage of the technology. You will not find a 4K screen that is under 55” and will be unlikely to do so at any point in the very near future. Last year, Netflix introduced 4K quality pictures and you can also find stuff on YouTube.
Buying a TV
Whether you are looking at a plasma or some 4K technology, it is always worth shopping around in the second-hand market for a decent TV. They mostly have a very long shelf-life these days so a TV that is 2 or 3 years old will still usually have plenty of life left in it, and with the improvement of technology being so quick, these TVs are also usually very cheap compared to their initial retail price. If you are buying a TV today that cost £2000 2 or 3 years ago, then you are still getting a very good television. I have recently found www.for-sale.co.uk/tv and it is easy to pick up a very good TV at a very good price! My advice is to look for TVs that were very popular a few years ago and then go and look for a second-hand set. With this way of shopping becoming more and more popular, it makes sense to save some money where you can.