Technology A-Z
The Internet
Tech Hardware
Tech Software
Video Games
Protecting Your Children
Getting Help
The Online Mom Network

Learn about The Online Mom Network
Join The Online Mom Network
How Do I Become An Online Mom?

The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Understanding HDTV

Getting comfortable with a few unfamiliar terms can make a big difference when it comes to buying a new TV.

With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, buying a new TV can be an intimidating proposition. After all, no one wants to invest in a high-definition television that will be out-of-date by the time you get it home. Complicating matters is all the confusing jargon that gets thrown around – 1080p, contrast ratios, HDMI, Blu-ray. Sometimes it feels like you need a degree in electrical engineering before you walk in the store!

While your choice may ultimately come down to living space, personal brand preference or budget, there are a few technical terms that are well worth understanding and looking out for. They could make a big difference when it comes to how much you enjoy your brand new TV!


These days, high-definition televisions come with two types of resolution: either 720p (1,280 vertical pixels by 720 horizontal pixels) or 1080p (1,980 x 1,080), both of which can be utilized with the now-standard 16:9 widescreen format displays. You might sometimes see 1080p referred to as "Full HD", as it's the highest resolution currently available.

Although 1080p ("p" for progressively scanned, not to be confused with the old 1080i) is state-of-the-art, it's only really necessary on a TV larger than 40-inches, as you would have to sit really close to the smaller TV to notice the difference. However, most TVs are moving to 1080p, so if you can afford the slightly higher price, it's worth it to "future-proof" your investment.

Remember, if you are using the TV with an external source, you will only see a 1080p picture if it's a 1080p source, such as a Blu-ray disc player or high-definition video game console.

LED backlighting

Until recently, there was a discernible advantage for plasma over LCD TVs when it came to contrast ratios – the difference between the brightest whites and the blackest blacks displayed by the television. However, this gap has been considerably narrowed with something called LED backlighting. This places light-emitting diodes behind the liquid crystals, resulting in higher brightness, darker blacks and more vivid colors. LED backlit TVs cost more than regular LCD TVs but you will definitely notice the difference!

120Hz, 240Hz

This popular LCD-based technology helps reduce motion blur. It essentially doubles the speed at which frames are displayed, from 60 frames per second to 120 frames per second, resulting in a clearer moving image. Some LCD TVs now offer 240Hz motion technology, which – you guessed it – quadruples the frame speed to 240 per second. Not everyone is sold on 120Hz/240Hz technology, so it's best to see it for yourself at the store before you buy into it. Most video gamers and some fast-action sports fans still insist on plasma screens, which handle motion well without the need for improved refresh rates.

Internet connectivity

Many television manufacturers – including Sony, Panasonic and Samsung – include Ethernet jacks on their televisions for high-speed Internet connectivity (or in some cases, have integrated Wi-Fi for wireless connectivity). Viewers can then use their TV remote to access sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Flickr, or select from a range of widgets to get local news, sports updates or stock quotes. Even more appealing is the partnership between TV companies, such as LG and Sony, and Netflix, allowing television viewers access to thousands of on-demand movies, many of which are in high-definition.

HDMI, USB, and more

A final consideration when buying a new HDTV is what you can connect to it. Make sure there are ample HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) ports to connect multiple components, such as video game consoles, DVD/Blu-ray players, camcorders, and so on. At least three or four such ports are a must. A USB port is an added bonus if you want to connect a Flash drive or an external hard drive for music, photos and video. If you think you'd like to connect your computer to the television for big-screen web surfing, look for one with PC connectivity.

Finally, when you are ready to buy, remember to compare the most important feature of all – price! Rarely does an HDTV sell for its full-list price, so some savvy online shopping can help save you a bundle of cash.

Comment by Milcah, posted 12/1/2009, 10:27 PM:

Thanks so much for sharing this info. I feel more informed and may be using this as a reference for myself in the future.
Thank you for submitting your comment. Your comment will appear on the site after it has been reviewed by site moderators!
Post a Comment:
Comments (max 500 characters):

Permalink | Print | Email

Share this article!
Partner with Online Mom Media
Online Mom Media specializes in building powerful communities of influencers! [read on]
Special Twitter Event
Join @theonlinemom this Thursday at 9pm ET as we introduce Thrively, a fun and interactive family web site! #Thrively
[read on]
Join the BUZZ!
Join @theonlinemom and friends this Friday at 12 noon PT as we look at Simplifying Mobile Tech. Great prizes! #VZWBuzz [read on]
The Online Mom Blog
Connecting Your Mobile Lifestyle
[read on]
Cómo encontrar en línea las mejores ofertas
Visite La Online Mom en Español! [read on]
Stacey Ross on The Online Mom
Catch up on the digital lifestyle with Stacey Ross!
[read on]
PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Parental Controls
Which of the new gaming consoles offers better parental supervision? [read on]
How To Make the Most of Those Daily Deals
Take a closer look at those daily deals to make sure you're getting a bargain!
[read on]
Watch Out! Your Wristband Is Tracking You…
New ways to monitor two of the most important elements that factor into our overall health: exercise and sleep [read on]
How To Beat Spam with Disposable E-Mail Addresses
There's an alternative to giving out your online information (or turning into a digital recluse): the disposable e-mail!
[read on]
Managing Your Online Reputation
There are some simple steps we can take to safeguard our online reputations [read on]
7 Apps for Finding Stuff Online
Loking to buy and sell online? Your smartphone can help!
[read on]
How to Manage Your Cell Phone Bill
Don't be overwhelmed by that cell phone bill. We offer 7 tips that can help [read on]
7 Social Networking Tips for Graduates
About to graduate? It's time to clean up those social networking accounts!
[read on]
The Best Apps for Staying in Shape
10 great apps for turning your smartphone or tablet into your workout buddy! [read on]
7 Steps to Smartphone Safety
Buying that first smartphone for your child? Make safety a top priority!
[read on]
10 Essential Apps for the Busy Mom
Turn your smartphone into your very own personal assistant! [read on]
Tweens and Facebook:
Do you think children under the age of 13 should be allowed on Facebook?

Not Sure

© 2011 the online mom, all rights reserved | site map ABOUT     MEET THE TEAM     CONTACT US     ADVERTISE     PRESS     PRIVACY     LEGAL
As you may have guessed, it is made of titanium and some stainless steel¡ªthe case is titanium and the rolex replica sale is stainless steel. The dial is brown, the watch hands are silver-toned, and there is a date window at the four o¡¯clock position. The sapphire case protects the breitling replica sale from water damage up to 30 meters. Synergy means cooperative action. This replica watches uk combines the best of the old and the new to deliver something uniquely modern. All of the classic elements are there. It has the sleek and stylish dial of the replica watches uk, the concave dot at the 12 o¡¯clock hour, and the Swiss quartz movement. But the Sapphire Synergy has something few breitling replica sale offer, a rubber wristband. Why rubber? Well, it¡¯s not a sport rolex replica sale, so using it outdoors is out of the question. But the informal band gives it a more casual look and feel, which can be quite appealing to the modern male.