Your Guide to Getting the Most From Your Television

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Your Guide to Getting the Most From Your Television

Scientifically speaking, a television, TV, or ‘Telly’ is a combination of a display, tuner, and speakers for viewing television signals. Television first became popular with the masses after the Second World War, and with the invention of coloured TVs in 1953, their popularity exploded, and an outdoor antenna could be seen on top of many suburban homes.

With further advances in technology, the transmission and reception capabilities of televisions improved, as well. Liquid crystal flat screen displays (LCDs), microprocessor controls, and solid-state circuits are commonly incorporated into modern televisions. TVs can now interface with several video sources, which give viewers a large variety of viewing options.

Thorough research is definitely necessary to make an informed buying decision about a new TV. Electronics stores, department stores, and large discount stores all carry an impressive collection of televisions. Alternatively, buyers can easily compare prices by shopping online at sites like eBay, which almost always features a huge selection of televisions.

Types of Televisions

Technological development has advanced to the point that a television is no longer a small, nondescript box sitting in the corner of a room. The viewing experience has now gone way beyond the addition of colour to televisions that offer 3D technology and many other amazing features. Watching TV has become very interactive, and viewers can easily surf the Web and play video games on their televisions.

In order to take your TV experience to the next level, you should choose a television set after carefully reviewing all the details and comparisons of the various available options. The first step in the process is to decide if you want a standard-definition television or a high-definition television.

Standard-Definition Television (SDTV)

SDTVs feature a resolution capability that is substantially lower than what is found on HDTVs, which offer 720p and 1080p. The two common SDTV signal types are 576i and 480i, which refers to the number of interlaced lines of resolution. 576i is derived from the European-developed SECAM (French for Sequential Colour with Memory) and PAL (Phase Alternating Line) viewing formats, while 480i is based on the American NTSC (National Television System Committee)format.

In the U.S., the aspect ratio of analogue NTSC and SDTV signals is 4:3, while an aspect ratio of 16:9 is used to show SDTV in other parts of the world that use the PAL or SECAM analogue standards. According to newer digital ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) standards, SDTV can be broadcasted as follows:


Aspect Ratio

720 pixels × 480 lines

16:9 (40:33 rectangular pixel ratio)

720 pixels × 480 lines

4:3 (10:11 rectangular pixel ratio)

640 pixels × 480 lines


Typical refresh rates range from 24 to 30 to 60 frames per second. The appearance of regular analogue TV (NTSC, PAL, SECAM) and digital SDTV in 4:3 aspect ratio is the same. However, in the event of poor reception, buyers may encounter blockiness, stuttering, or other issues.

High-Definition Television (HDTV)

Current HDTV transmission signals are digital and compress the video, unlike earlier HDTV transmissions that used analogue technology. The resolution of HDTV is far better than the resolution on a standard-definition TV. The transmission formats for HDTV are as follows:



Pixels per frame

Pixels per field

















The letter ‘p’ stands for progressive scan, and ‘i’ stands for interlaced scan. HDTV offers about five times the number of pixels of SDTV when it is transmitted at two megapixels per frame.


The identification of HDTV broadcast systems is based on the three parameters, frame size, scanning system, and frame rate. In terms of pixels, frame size can be defined as the number of horizontal pixels times the number of vertical pixels. The scanning system of HDTV is identified by either a ‘p’ for progressive or an ‘i’ for interlaced after the frame size (e.g., 1080p or 1080i). In an HDTV, the number of video frames per second determines the frame rate. The number of fields per second is an alternative form of representing the frame rate in interlaced systems.

Getting the Most From Your HDTV

HDTV is generally considered to offer much higher quality viewing by most people. The screen is rectangular and creates a wide angle view. The size of an HDTV depends on the space and budget you have available. A screen larger than 32 inches is recommended for the most thrilling HD experience. In order to get the most out of your HDTV viewing experience, some changes may have to be made in the room and with input devices.

TV Placement

The seating arrangement in a room with HDTV is critical to a great viewing experience. Ideally, the distance between a seat and the screen should not be less than 1.2 times the length of the screen diagonal. For instance, for a 42-inch television, the minimum viewing distance should not be less than 4 feet. For better lighting, select the corner of a room that is opposite a large window so that sunlight does not shine on the screen directly. Once the television is properly placed, adjust the seating plan of the room according to the placement of the TV, keeping in mind the recommended distances.


Connecting a dedicated external speaker system enhances the overall sound experience. Audio ports are usually on the back of a HD television set. Place the speakers intelligently, either above, below, or on the sides of the television. Adjust the audio settings according to your preferences for the programming you most frequently watch.


Most HD televisions have several viewing settings, such as auto-adjustment and screen expansion to eliminate sidebars. As with sound settings, adjust the picture settings according to the programming you watch most often. Most HD televisions offer auto-adjustment mode to adjust the display to match the optimal resolution for the programme that is playing.

You can also adjust the contrast and sharpness settings, colour settings, and other miscellaneous settings according to your own preferences. Just keep in mind the purposes of the different modes (dynamic, standard, movie) for a better visual experience. Dynamic mode has the brightest colours, standard mode has medium brightness and colours, and movie mode is best for viewing in dark rooms. Adjust the sharpness so that the edges are noticeable, yet soft. Similarly, adjust the contrast and colours according to what looks good to you. Mid-level settings suit most viewers, as opposed to extreme settings.


Upgrading your entire viewing system to HD is a good option. Look for a company that provides higher pixel ratings. Switch out standard cables leading to external devices with HD cables so that the external systems can broadcast the picture in 1080i.

How to Buy a Television on eBay

Buying a television and getting the most out of it is next to impossible without carrying out thorough research in advance. Basic knowledge of the technological capabilities of televisions helps you determine the television that is right for you. Understanding the differences between SDTV and HDTV ensures you make an informed buying decision.

eBay features a huge variety of televisions and home theatre accessories. Both SDTV and HDTV televisions are readily available on eBay and can be found in several ways. The easiest way to find items is to enter relevant keywords into the search bar on the eBay homepage. For example, you might enter terms like ‘television’, ‘HDTV’, or ‘SDTV’ to find results. Televisions are available in different price ranges and brands with numerous different features.

Before bidding on a television, it is a good idea to thoroughly review the seller’s feedback comments. Trustworthy sellers should have positive comments and a positive rating.


Television first became popular after the Second World War, and after the invention of coloured TV in 1953, the popularity of television skyrocketed. Technological advances over the years have given buyers more and more options to consider as televisions have continued to improve in viewing quality with the passing of time. Most present day televisions incorporate liquid crystal displays (LCDs), microprocessor controls, and solid-state circuits that can easily interface with different video sources. In order to get the most from your television, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of the different available options and features and to conduct a comparative study of the choices.

Modern televisions contain either SDTV or HDTV technology and can be used to surf the Web and play video games in addition to simple viewing. SDTV has a substantially lower resolution when compared to HDTV. Earlier HDTV transmissions used analogue technology, but in recent years, however, the transmission signal has switched over to digital, which uses video compression. Frame size, scanning system, and frame rate are the primary parameters to consider when purchasing an HDTV system. Adjusting various settings, such as the picture and sound, on televisions helps viewers get the most from their TVs.

Numerous retail outlets, including online retailers like eBay, offer a huge variety of televisions to meet the diverse viewing needs of customers.

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