How to Buy a Used TV

Confused by all of the latest TV terminology and technologies?

If it’s been awhile since you’ve upgraded your television, you may be overwhelmed by all of the available options. This TV buying guide will help you understand what to look for when buying a used TV.

TV Size

Choosing the right size screen for your living room will depend on these factors: your budget, the amount of space you have available, and how far you usually sit from the television. TV screen sizes are measured diagonally in inches. Televisions with larger screens are typically more expensive than TVs with smaller screens. A general rule of thumb is that your TV screen size should equal one third of the viewing distance, in inches. If your sofa is 150 inches away from the TV, for example, the ideal screen size for you is 50 inches. Of course, this is only a recommendation. If your living room is crowded, you may want to consider a 42 or even 32-inch screen, and if you have a lot of space, a screen of 60 inches or larger will help create a more immersive viewing experience.

TV Display Types

There are three main types of HDTVs on the market today: LED, LCD, and OLED. Light-emitting diode (LED) televisions are slim and lightweight, allowing them to easily fit into any viewing space. Many models feature edge-lit backlighting, which produce bright colours, deep blacks, and sharp images in all lighting conditions.

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) televisions are so called because their light-emitting materials include organic elements like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. These ultra-slim TVs are self-illuminating, so they require no backlight to produce vivid images and rich colours.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) TVs are actually a type of LED TV. The main difference between them is that LCD screens are backlit by energy-efficient cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). They are also not as slim as LED TVs, so an LCD may not be the best option for a small family room.

TV Screen Resolutions

Screen resolution refers to the sharpness of the TV image. This is measured in horizontal lines of pixels. Many older HDTVs only have a resolution of 720p, while newer models support a resolution of 1080p HD (“full HD”) or even 2160p (Ultra HD 4K). If a full HD TV is not within your budget and you don’t plan to buy a TV larger than 40 inches, a resolution of 720p may be sufficient. But if you’re splurging on a 50-inch or larger TV, you’ll want to be sure it supports full HD.

TV Image Quality

A television’s picture quality is determined by color saturation, contrast ratio, black levels, and viewing angles. OLED TVs offer the best picture quality, with wide viewing angles, crisp whites, deep blacks, and lifelike colours. LED TVs produce a more uniform backlight, which results in excellent colour and contrast. As with OLED TVs, LEDs have a wide viewing angle. LCDs have excellent image quality, but these types of TVs perform best in brightly-lit spaces.

When purchasing a used TV, price shouldn’t be your only consideration. While it is important to choose a TV that fits within your budget, viewing angles, picture quality, and resolution are equally important points to take into account. Selecting the right type and size of screen will make all the difference in your TV watching experience.

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