Smart Life Solutions provides a Television Buying Advice service to people who would like help choosing the best television and audio visual equipment to meet the home entertainment needs of their households.
We’re sorry but we no longer offer this service to new customers.
How to choose a television
Buying a television has become a very complex and confusing activity. There are a massive range of options to consider such as size, picture resolution, picture quality (e.g. brightness, sharpness, contrast), audio quality, smart functionality, content sources, connectivity, etc.
The requirements for a television can be determined by the following factors:
- The proposed location of the television – e.g. living room, kitchen, bedroom or dedicated cinema room
- Where people will be sitting, or standing, when watching it – i.e. the distance from the screen and the range of viewing angles
- What types of content you watch – how fast the content moves and the availability of higher quality video streams
- How you access your content – terrestrial aerial, satellite, cable or Internet
- Watching/recording live channels or streaming on demand – do you need a way of storing recorded programmes or are you happy to stream them from an on demand service
- Watching all your content sources on all your televisions – do you want to watch what you want on any television, when you want and at the same time as someone else watches what they want
- How you like to listen to your television – e.g. basic single channel mono, high quality stereo with rich bass, or immersed in full surround sound
- Personal preferences – the aesthetics of the screen, the brand etc
- Your budget – how much you are prepared to pay for your television and associated services.
Be careful you don’t make an emotional decision too quickly
You can of course make an emotional decision and choose the television that looks the best in the showroom. However, you could be making a costly mistake if you miss something important, particularly if you’re working to a tight budget.
Consider the total cost of ownership of your television
Once upon a time, the only costs of watching television were the initial cost of buying the television, the installation of an aerial on your roof and the cost of the annual television licence fee (currently £147 per year).
Nowadays you may be also be paying for subscription television packages delivered via satellite, cable or the Internet, as well as on demand services providing access to premium movie and sports content. On top of these subscriptions you may be paying more for Internet access to ensure that your video streams are delivered smoothly and you don’t exceed your monthly data allowance. All of these costs should be included in the total cost of ownership of your television.
Don’t ignore sound quality
As televisions have got bigger there has been a drive to make them thinner, so they can be mounted on walls, and for the screens to be as close as possible to the edges, for aesthetic reasons. In doing so audio has been severely comprised. There is only room for small speakers, commonly in stereo pairs, and with limited bass response.
To overcome the audio shortcomings you can add a sound bar which typically contains left and right stereo speakers as well as a central speaker to improve the quality of speech. Some soundbars also come with a separate bass sub-woofer to give a richer and more complete sound effect.
If you watch a lot of sport and/or action movies you might prefer a more immersive surround sound system with speakers both in front and behind your viewing position.
Television Buying Advice
Smart Life Solutions would be pleased to analyse your requirements and provide television buying advice to recommend the best television and associated audio visual equipment (if required) to meet your home entertainment needs.