How to buy a great TV as Ghana goes digital: 6 simple steps you need to know
It is “Digitime” in Ghana as couched by the Digital Broadcasting Migration Committee and its stakeholders which means you would need a Set-Top Box or a new TV to be able to receive digital terrestrial television services. If you’re planning on buying a new TV, it’s worth spending some time finding out about it so you buy the right TV for you. It makes things much easier and you can be certain you’re buying a new TV you’ll be happy with for years to come. My seven simple steps below will guide you to just do that.
Of course, you don’t have to follow every single step in this guide to buy a good TV, but each step tackles an important point along the way that should help you decide. Got a question? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help.
STEP 1: WHAT SCREEN SIZE OF TV SHOULD YOU BUY?
Most people start here for simple reason it’s the easiest thing to decide. Generally size is dictated by things like the space you have available or simply personal preference. But if you don’t have any space limitations or preference against large screens, there’s a simple way to decide the perfect size TV for you and that’s based on how far you’ll sit from the screen.
A decent rule of thumb is you should sit 1.5 times the diagonal size of your TV. This ensures you see the extra detail available in Full HD pictures and enjoy a view that immerses you in whatever you’re watching. Here’s a quick size guide to help you.
Important Note: It’s unlikely you’ll ever sit ‘too close” to a TV unless it’s for a very small space so I generally recommend you buy the largest good TV you can comfortably afford. A larger TV will give a more immersive experience particularly for films and games.
STEP 2: KNOW THE DISPLAY TYPE OF THE TV?
The next step is to narrow down your browsing to figure out what type of TV display you want. There are OLED TVs, LED TVs, LCD TVs and Plasma TVs to choose from.
OLED: Organic Light Emitting Diode TVs actually are different from LCD TVs. OLED TVs use colored LED lights to create the image, so they save on power, though not always as much as LED TVs. They do manage to create a high-quality image, and a bright one at that, so they may be best for those planning on watching TV a lot during brighter hours, when glare could otherwise be a problem. Unfortunately, OLED screens are costly to make, so you’ll have to pay a bit more.
LED: LED TVs are actually just LCD TVs that use LEDs as a backlight for the liquid crystals in the display. LED TVs are less power hungry than standard LCDs and plasma.
LCD: LCD TVs are pretty common to find, and may be the cheapest option. They’re energy efficient and usually have good color. For simple use, they’ll probably get the job done. However, if you’re trying to do high frame-rate gaming, they might not be the best choice. On top of that, they tend to have very limited viewing angles, so the person sitting right at the side of the screen is going to have a really hard time watching anything.
Plasma: If you’re planning on getting a relatively big TV and are going to focus on high-quality cinematic viewing, a plasma TV might be for you. They often have a wide viewing angle, so it’s easier for multiple people to gather around the screen and still see a clear picture from where they’re sitting, without odd color distortion or no image altogether. They aren’t the brightest TVs though, so ambient light can become a particular problem for plasmas.
STEP 3: CHECK OUT THE PICTURE QUALITY
Picture quality is critical in the selection of TV. Different resolutions will help you choose the right TV with good picture quality. There is Standard Definition (SD), High Definition (HD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD) also referred to as 4K to choose from. The resolution is basically the amount of pixels in the width and the height. A 1920×1080 resolution means that you have the width consists of 1920 pixels and the height consists of 1080 pixels, totaling 1920 * 1080 = 2073600 pixels.
Higher resolutions means more pixels to get you a clearer and better image
STEP 4: CHECK THE TV TUNER TYPE?
One very important step is to be sure of the type of tuner the TV you are going to buy has. You must be sure it conforms to the standard that has been adopted by Ghana. There are three (3) main type of tuners your TV could have Satellite, Terrestrial or Cable. Some can have all three tuners, others two but at least one. In Ghana the preferred tuner type is Terrestrial. Satellite has in recent times become very common. We currently do not have any Cable TV service provider in Ghana. For all of these be sure they are digital and the latest generation. To be sure your TV has these types, look out for logo below on the TV packaging.
Most importantly look out for the Digital Migration conformance logo below. This logo means the TV has been certified by the National Communication Authority (NCA) and conforms to the standard agreed upon by Ghana and ECOWAS.
STEP 5: IS IT A SMART TV?
Believe me televisions are no longer that simple box or flat screen you only get to sit in front and it shows images and give sound in one way, there are smarter now. Smart TVs have processors faster than the ones that landed man on moon in 1969, they have apps just like your smartphones.
Smart TVs let you access services like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc using your TV and the internet. Every brands system is different, and each one has features and services others don’t. Consider which ones you absolutely must have such as a browser, YouTube, Facebook, TuneIn Radio and others you’re not fussed about. The picture below is an example of Smart TV interface.
STEP 6: CHECK CONNECTIVITY?
The final step is to check what connections you need. It’s worth checking how many connections you need, and what type you need.
For example, some TVs have two, three or four HDMI ports. It all depends
on whether you plan to have lots of products connected to your TV, such as gaming consoles, satellite boxes or Google Chromecast.
If you’re buying a Smart TV, does it have inbuilt Wi-Fi and if not is that a problem for you? Check that you have a USB port to allow for USB drive connection and also the Audio/ Video (AV) connections to allow you to connect your home theater system.
At the end of the day all these different specifications will depend on your preference and your budget. But do make sure that whichever one you choose it conforms to the National Communication Authority standards by looking out for the digitalghana logo.
Benjamin Nana Atakorah
August 28, 2016 at 10:57 pm
August 29, 2016 at 11:30 pm
It is educative but I wish you talk about the decoder for us too.