CHICAGO (CBS) – Televisions are selling at rock bottom prices, and there are more choices than ever before. But which one is the best buy for your lifestyle? CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker helps you sort through the maze of models.
LCD, LED, 3-D; like many TV shoppers, Brandon Parker admits he doesn’t have a clue which one to choose.
“They said I need this number of hertz and this number of…I don’t know exactly what the 1080p is,” said Parker.
Shoppers need to be educated about TVs because they’ve never had so many styles to choose from, with such great prices.
“Consumers just weren’t spending and that’s why we do find that excess inventory right now,” said R.J. Hottovy, Retail Analyst for Morningstar. “This year, retailers made it a point to price TVs aggressively, knowing it would lure consumers into the stores.”
So how do you decide which TV is best for you?
“It depends on what you’re going to be watching on television,” said Best Buy salesman Jacob Carlson.
If you’re interested in sports, Carlson says you want something with a refresh rate of 120 hertz or higher.
Here’s the translation: “A lot of the TVs do 120 or higher. Plasmas have a refresh rate of 600 hertz, and so sports, high-action movies look great on plasma TVs because of that reason,” said Carlson.
If you’re a real movie buff and picture quality is a priority, an LED is your best bet.
“LEDs are really the newest, hottest TVs because they just get a very vibrant, vivid picture,” added Carlson.
LEDs are also super thin and great for mounting on a wall, unlike the LCDs which are much thicker and not as vibrant.
But if cost is a factor, LCD is the one for you.
“If they’re getting a 26-inch TV, they’d rather save themselves $200 because it’s just going to sit in their kitchen or their bathroom,” explained Carlson.
We found prices for LCD TVs from $150 to $2,500; plasmas from $500 to $2,500. LEDs cost the most, ranging from $230 to $4,500.
If money is no object and having the latest greatest toy is a priority, you want a 3-D TV which can cost as much as $6,000.
Alex Salas is willing to fork over $2,200 for the model he wants.
“It’s like you go inside to the concert, inside to the picture. And you can see the objects coming out to the screen,” said Salas.
A couple of more things to consider: size and light.
Don’t buy a 56-inch TV if you live in studio apartment. Your couch should be at least six feet away from a TV that big.
If your room is dark, the LED is your best choice, because it will automatically get brighter in a dark room.
With other TVs, it may be difficult to see the screen in a dark room.