plasma.jpgYou’ve finally made the decision to upgrade your television. This is a very important decision, considering the time that you’ll use viewing programs, the aesthetics of the television and the cost incurred with upgrading your television. Before making your new television purchase, there are several factors that must be considered first such as:

  • The size of television
  • The appearance of television
  • Location of the television (entertainment center, on top of a stereo cabinet or wall mounting)
  • Types of cables needed for connecting your Audio/Video (A/V) equipment
  • The connection of your A/V equipment to devices such as: (home theatre, set-top box, Digital Video Recorder (DVR), VCR, gaming console and other A/V devices
  • Disposal of your old television
  • Cost of your new television

There are many companies that can set-up and connect your new television to your home entertainment system. Their service rates can vary from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. However, for the average home theatre, with assistance many people can install and connect their new home television with little to no problem at all.

With hundreds of televisions on the market such as, CRT, LCD, Plasma and DLP, it can be a difficult choice to make. Let’s define the difference between these types of televisions.

Cathode Ray Tube (CRT):
CRT televisions are used in Standard-Definition Television (SDTV) meets the resolution standards of normal television broadcasts. This type of television does not accept High-Definition Television (HDTV). This is current technology that has been in use for over fifty years.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD):
LCD televisions are made up of large amounts of color pixels arrayed in front of a light source or reflector. LCD television use much less power than standard CRT televisions and are much thinner.

Plasma Display Panel (PDP):
PDP monitors are flat monitors, thinner than traditional CRTs and images are made visible by phosphors excited by a plasma discharge between two flat panels of glass. Unlike an LCD, the PDP contains no mercury and an inert mixture of Neon and Xeon gas is used instead.

Digital Light Processing (DLP):
Technology that was originally developed by Texas Instruments in 1987 for use in projectors and video projectors, this technology has become a part of the home theatre industry. Images are created on microscopically small mirrors positioned on a semiconductor chip, also known as a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). The mirrors are repositioned at a staggering high rate of speed and this repositioning is what projects the image onto the projector’s screen.

Each television has its advantages and disadvantages in regards to its viewable image. LCD and DLP technology has been in use for more than 15 years and can provide a quality, high-definition and realistic viewable image. PDP can provide similar quality images as with LCD and DLP. This technology unfortunately has only become more of the norm within the past five to ten years and can be a little more costly, in comparison to LCD, DLP and CRT.

Once you’ve made the decision of what type of television you will purchase, you must take inventory of your new and pre-existing entertainment A/V equipment and the types of connections they use.

The average home has either a satellite of cable receiver, DVD/VHS player, Home Theatre, Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and gaming console. All of these devices require some sort of cabled connection and some of these devices have options to use one of several different cables to connect to your television. Lets take a look at the connections that are available on most televisions.

As you will notice, there are many connections on the rear of the television below and it can become a confusing task to connect your new television to your cable or satellite receiver and other A/V devices.

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What should you connect first is your cable or satellite service?

Coaxial Cable: 3.jpg
The first connection that should be made is your cable, satellite or antenna. There are several cables that can be used to make this connection. The most commonly used connection from a video source such as a set-top box to a television is made with the coaxial cable. The coaxial cable is available in various lengths and qualities. The coaxial cable also carries audio and video from your video source to your television and can also transmit audio and video with digital quality.


Composite Video Cable:
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Another type of video input/output connection is composite video. This cable transmits chrominance (color) and luminance (brightness) along a single cable. This RCA-type cable can deliver quality video, however it does not transmit audio. Normally, this cable is paired with 2 additional RCA cables to transmit audio from the A/V source to your television.

S-Video Cable: 5.jpg
Some cable and satellite providers offer alternatives to coaxial and composite video connections. The most commonly offered alternative is the S-Video connection. You can also find S-Video connections on other A/V equipment such as DVD players, Super VHS VCRs and DVRs. The advantage of using the S-Video cable instead of the coaxial or composite cables is that S-Video connections transmit the chrominance and luminance portions of the video along different pathways, allowing them to be processed separately and provide a better quality video. Unfortunately, S-Video does not transmit audio and also must be paired with RCA audio cables.

Select cable and satellite providers offer a connection that far surpasses composite, component and S-Video. These connections are called High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI).

HDMI Cable: 6.jpg
HDMI provides an excellent quality video and audio experience. This connection is all-digital and is used in set-top cable or satellite boxes, DVD players, PCs and other devices such as the Sony PlayStation 3. This type of connection supports standard, enhanced and high-definition video and multi-channel digital audio – in one cable! HDMI also supports 8-channel uncompressed digital audio at 195kHz and also supports DTS and Dolby Digital.

RCA Cable: 7.jpg
For the best sounding audio and most realistic video, the HDMI cable should be your first choice, followed by S-Video, component and composite video connections. If you are not using the HDMI connection, be sure to connect your audio cables (RCA) from your video source to your television.

Once you have connected you new television to your video source, it’s time to tune your television to the right color setting. Tuning you televison to the right color setting is a necessity due to the level of light that is in the room where your television is located.

The majority of televisions sold today have a menu for picture modes. These are factory set picture specifications that alter color, brightness, sharpness and contrast. There are usually several choices that you can choose from. You may see selections called, natural, cinema, vivid, dynamic and others. When using one of these settings, try using modes called natural or cinema. These settings and similar usually give you a more natural and realistic picture quality. Using settings such as vivid, dynamic or similar usually boost the brightness and contrast and lower the color. If needed, you can also adjust the color, contrast, brightness and sharpness separately to give you the perfect viewing experience.

Final Tips Checklist

  • Measure the designated space for your television.
  • Make a list of your existing A/V equipment that you wish to connect to your new television, and ensure that you have sufficient ports to connect the equipment to your new television before purchase.
  • Make a list of all of the cables you will need to connect all of your equipment.
  • Purchase a new surge protector.
  • Purchase batteries for your remotes.

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