Gliffy Original: How to Buy a Television

So you need a new television? No problem! Just go down to the local electronics shop, choose one impulsively and then spend the rest of the year with buyer’s remorse.

Or maybe that doesn’t sound like a good plan to you?

Another option, then, is to do what I did; spend most of a month reading articles on CNET about subjects as fascinating as aspect ratios and up-conversions, plow through reviews of TV models that are no longer available, and cruise bargain websites obsessively trying to find a deal good enough to spur you into action.

Then, of course, once you remember to factor in shipping costs you’ll end up at Best Buy, being stared down by a wall of televisions. That’s the worst part. Those TVs sing an enchanting song. You will have no choice but to take the most expensive one home, regardless of your budget.

Fun!

Honestly, buying a new television is intimidating. HDMI, LCD, HDTV, PiP, Hz, ms, 1080p / 1080i / 720p yadda yadda yadda… head explode!!!

Luckily for you, I’ve made a flowchart to help simplify the television buying process. I’m not an expert, but this chart does capture the insights I gained through my own extensive research. It is, uh, a little long.

Buying_a_Television_Flowchart_thumb

click image to see full size flowchart

Yeah. I told you it wasn’t easy choosing a television!

For the record, I bought a Samsung LN32B460, which is a 32″ 720p LCD HDTV with 3 HDMI ports. I mostly use it to watch stuff off my computer and it looks great, much better than I expected. I don’t at all miss having 1080p or some fancy anti-judder fooferaw. 32″ is, if anything, bigger than I need and I’ve got a decently sized living room. I bought it from one of the only non-Best Buy electronics shops left in San Francisco and got a deal that was good enough.

I hope your TV buying process is shorter, less painful, and as finally successful as mine! And I hope this flowchart helps!

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