Tips for Buying a Flat Screen TV

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Tips for Buying a Flat Screen TV

Buying a flat screen TV seems like an easy task. After all, it should be a simple matter to select a television and take it home. However, there are a few important considerations to take into account when purchasing a flat screen television. First, of course, is the type of flat screen TV. There are four basic types, each with their own characteristics. Size is the second thing to consider, as most entertainment centres support televisions only up to a specific maximum size. Finally, whether the flat screen television offers Smart TV features is generally a large deciding factor when looking for a new TV set locally or on eBay.

Choosing a Flat Screen Technology

There are four basic types of flat screen TVs. The differences between these types are subtle, but are nonetheless important to consider as the specific type of television dictates things like life span and picture clarity.

LCD and LED Televisions

LCD , or liquid crystal display, televisions use solid fluorescent backlights to illuminate the individual pixels that make up the picture. LED, or light emitting diode, televisions operate on the same basic principle, except they use LED lights instead of fluorescent, which light the screen either from the sides of the screen or from behind it.

OLED Televisions

OLED televisions are almost identical in operation to standard LED TVs except they use an organic compound that lights up when electrified. Because this organic compound is small, OLED televisions tend to be thinner and more flexible than their LED counterparts.

Plasma Televisions

Plasma televisions contain plasma gas in small chambers behind every individual pixel on the screen. Plasma televisions generally provide a better viewing experience but also come with some drawbacks.

Flat Screen TV Comparisons

As with most things electronic, each type of television has pros and cons. Many consumers base the final decision about which television to purchase on these comparisons.

Television Type




Solid fluorescent backlighting

Lasts a long time

Backlight prevents true black

Narrow viewing angle


Generally glare-free


Narrow viewing angle

Reduced contrast

Slow refresh rate


Thin and flexible

Energy efficient

Long lifespan

Expensive to repair

Narrow viewing angle


Vibrant colours

Wide viewing angle

High refresh rate


Glass screen causes glare

Screen burn

Uses more energy

Short lifespan

Although the LCD, LED, and OLED televisions seem like the logical choice in terms of the pros and cons, plasma is still a popular option. The main reason for this, of course, is the picture quality. Like all things, however, the consumer must weigh all of these options before deciding on a flat screen television.

Determining Flat Screen TV Size

While the size of any particular television set is not a major determining factor, it is still an important consideration. The proposed placement of the flat screen television often determines the overall size of the set. Since many entertainment centres are enclosed, they provide space for televisions up to a specific size. However, those wishing to mount the flat screen television on the wall via a TV mounting system can ignore this hurdle and simply measure the available wall space for a sizing guideline. Consumers should purchase the largest television set that falls within their price range or budget.

Smart TV Features

Rather than just display a video image from a DVD player, cable connection, or media centre device, Smart TVs add a host of features that many consumers look for when purchasing a new flat screen television. While the term Smart TV does not imply that the television has the ability to think for itself, it does mean that it can do things that other television sets cannot. Smart TVs take some of the well-known applications, like Netflix and Hulu, and put them directly into the television itself, rather than requiring another set-top device. Since the Smart TV relies on streaming online media, it requires an active Internet connection.

How to Buy a Flat Screen TV on eBay

Shoppers can often find deals on Televisions on eBay, as well as a number of accessories, like HDMI cables, universal remote controls, and Blu-ray players. Some eBay sellers also offer free postage on their items, allowing savvy consumers to make informed choices, and save at the same time, with just a few mouse clicks.

Buying a flat screen TV on eBay is not as complicated as it sometimes sounds. The most important factor in purchasing on eBay is finding the correct type and model. Shoppers can easily do this using the Search feature, which is available throughout the website.

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