While we're still on the subject of the practicalities of buying a TV, if you want to wall-hang a set, make sure you don't get
one that weighs a ton. Even very large LCD tellys are fairly light, but Plasmas universally weigh a good deal more.
Try and wall-hang a 50in plasma TV on a plasterboard wall and the whole lot could well come down. A strong brick wall should be able to handle just about anything though, when matched with a good VESA wall stand.
LCD or Plasma? What About LED?
There are a great many differences between LCD and Plasma technologies other than weight. Plasma is considered by many to be a dying technology, but will almost always provide a better watch in a darkened room than an LCD TV of the same level. LCD TVs are great at supplying high brightness, which comes in particularly handy in dealing with the dimming effects of 3D, but rarely match the contrast and black levels of a plasma. LCD does "striking", while Plasma is much better at rendering natural, cinema-like images.
LED is a term that's often bandied about in TV retail stores, but it actually just refers to the backlight type used in the TV. If you see an "LED TV", it'll invariably be an LCD TV with an LED backlight. There are two types of LED backlighting - Edge Lit LED and Full LED.
The Future: OLED and UHDTV
OLED TVs use technology that's seen presently in premium
phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4. Instead of using a universal backlight,
each pixel has its own light source. This lets areas of black stay completely
black, for nigh-on infinite contrast. The down side? OLED TVs are not going to
come cheap any time soon.
UHDTV, sometimes referred to as '4K', is not a display type
in the same sense, but a new resolution standard - a progression on from 720p
and 1080p (aka Full HD). This offers double the number of pixels in each
dimension, resulting in a pixel count four times that of 1080p. '8K'
technologies are also in development, but 4K TVs are what we are beginning to
see on the high street.
Is Smart TV
Now that image quality and size are dealt with, you need to
think about secondary features. And one of the most important is Smart TV.
Each of the major manufacturers - Samsung, Panasonic, LG,
Philips, Toshiba, Sony - has its own Smart TV portal. These give you access to
great apps with the best of the lot coming from Panasonic, Sony and Samsung.
However, to use them you'll need to get connected -
obviously. If your router is nearby where your TV will live, it's no problem as
an Ethernet port will be on the back of the set. If not you'll need to use
Wi-Fi but it normally doesn't come built into TVs. You can usually get a Wi-Fi
USB dongle from the makers.