Consumers should expect different features for TVs this holiday season

Consumers should expect different features for TVs this holiday season

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by BILL McGINTY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @billwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 6:01 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Before you switch on the big game on the big TV, you have to make the big buy. And spending that much, you don’t want to make a big mistake.

“Brighter picture and deeper contrast” is what people seem to be asking the most about says Neal, the Target TV guy. Neal says the hottest upgrade is LED instead of LCD. Both technologies provide the light that gives you your TV picture.

Neal says, “The LCD’s are edge lit, the LED’s are back lit and it all works independent. Instead of a solid screen light, the LED’s can be controlled independently so one spot can be light and another spot dark at the same time, the LCD’s can’t do that.”

We asked Karl, an NBC Charlotte engineer and resident TV guru, to open up two 32” name brand TV's. We wanted to know if all TV’s are alike on the inside since some TV’s can be the same size but look drastically different.

The appearance difference has to do with the frame, if you measure the screen corner to corner, you’ll get the actual size.

What was surprising was the lack of guts inside the TV.

When asked if what's inside was basically the same in every TV, Karl says, “Yep, that’s all it takes. It's not much.”

There’s a power supply on one side that feeds over to a processor board which handles the inputs and really all the functions of the TV.

Other than the lighting component, it’s the same basic guts in almost every TV, so if everything is basically the same why the price differences? Why are some 50 inch TV’s over $1,000 and others priced at under $700?

It really comes down to the options.

LED-lit TV’s will cost you more because it’s a newer technology than LCD or Plasma. And if you want Wi-Fi or a “smart TV” or more computer and video ports, then you’ll pay more.

Name brands can drive prices too, but know that on the inside, everything is basically the same. In the end, most TV experts agree, if you think it looks good, then it does. Picking a TV is very subjective if you’re just talking picture quality.

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