I’m an introvert at heart; which, for me, means the thought of curling up on the couch on a Saturday night to watch Friends reruns with a blanket and a warm beverage in-hand is how I enjoy time in my home. Perhaps you enjoy binge-watching 90s hit series, hosting friends for Sunday’s big game, or spending time with your family watching those beloved Saturday morning cartoons. Chances are, we can all agree that televisions bring a sense of comfort and community to any home.
While there are so many options for home entertainment on the market these days, I encourage any prospective TV buyer to reflect on their own lifestyle and determine what it is they desire from a new television. If you plan to rig a new home theater system for cinematic quality, consider a larger screen across a wider space for best surround sound quality. If you just want to watch the news across the kitchen table during your morning coffee, plan for a medium-sized screen that is a best fit for a smaller room.
When shopping for a television, three important considerations should be kept in mind: size, system, and supporting devices. Examining your space and listing your desired features in a TV will help determine a realistic screen size, television type, and any supportive add-on equipment such as speakers or a soundbar, that will fill your space with color and comfort while you simply hermit to your heart’s desire.
Television size is an important factor to consider in your space. Sets are measured diagonally for screen size in inches and are available for purchase anywhere from 20 inches to 80+ inches across. If you are looking for a smaller size for your bedroom or breakfast area, typically a 24 – 36-inch monitor is recommended. For family-sized TVs or a larger set for multiple viewers to enjoy, buyers tend to shop in the 50 – 65-inch range.
Before purchasing a large television, it’s important to determine a manageable distance between viewers and the room placement. Keeping a critical distance will minimize eye strain and provide the best possible viewer experience. There are quite a few free calculators online; however, if you are looking to buy a standard 1080p TV, the closest a viewer should sit to the screen is equal to 1.6 times the screen diagonal. So, if you purchase a 50-inch TV, you will want to have a distance of at least 80 inches (slightly more than 6.5 feet) away.
Consider how many people will be viewing the television at one time and arrange your furniture prior to making your purchase. If you have higher ceilings, consider a wall mount. Some homeowners have used this method and arranged furniture below to give the effect of a home theater. If you choose a TV stand, be sure to measure the piece to ensure your TV size will be a good fit.
System Type: Normal, Smart, or Smarter TV
As with any electronic, the type of system is an important factor. When it comes to choosing between a Smart TV and a conventional television set, the difference is fairly simple. Smart TVs come with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities to connect to your home system. Users have the ability to download and access apps such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more. User profiles communicate across accounts, making it easier for you to discover new shows or to shop online for concepts that fit your interests.
Depending on the Smart TV and brand, the options for integrating your viewing interests, your lifestyle and your everyday routine can vary widely. While most Smart TVs come with standard app capabilities such as high-profile streaming services, several extra intelligent Smart TVs have the capacity to respond to voice commands, connect to your home thermostat, or doorbell camera. You have the power to order dinner delivery, shop online, or search the web without having to leave your couch.
If you are looking to purchase a normal television set, or upgrade your current TV to a smart one, you can easily connect your TV to all of your favorite apps with a streaming media player. These can be purchased either in the form of a set-top box or a portable plug-in device. Set-top boxes tend to be a bit faster and more reliable, however stick-style devices maintain a portable functionality that are convenient for travel. Both devices connect to your TV via HDMI port.
Support Devices and Audio
Whether you choose a smart device or keep your normal television with cable hookups, there are still options to spruce up your entertainment center aside from the TV itself. Even new, high-tech televisions too often receive poor reviews of their built-in speakers. Consider adding a soundbar to boost your audio or setting up a surround sound system to give a real theater vibe to your space.
For any homeowners wanting to streamline their home controls and maintain one place to run all smart home functioning devices, consider connecting your Smart TV to a device such as Amazon Alexa. This will give you additional features such as thermostat control, light and fan response, and internet browsing through voice command functions. Without voice control, surfing the internet may be more cumbersome when having to type letters with the television remote control.
Sit Back, Relax, and Enjoy!
When it comes to purchasing a TV, it all amounts to personal preference. Any homeowner who is looking to spruce up the entertainment center may consider these options, examine his or her space and needs, and prepare in advance of going to the store.
While Smart TVs typically cost at least $100 more than your average TV with antennae service, users tend to find that the convenience strongly outweighs the added cost. There is, however, so much still to love about conventional TVs, including the possibility to convert your non-smart TV to a Smart TV with add-on devices such as a streaming media player.
While at the electronic store, check out every TV that fits your qualifications. Sit in front of it, walk by it, and make sure to experience viewing at all angles. When you find the right television that fits your budget, your space, and your lifestyle, then you’re ready to kick back and relax in your home theater room. Netflix and chill never felt so welcoming!
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.