Question from Sondra A.: I decided that I want to buy my husband a really nice TV for his birthday so I went to Walmart to pick one out.
What an exercise in confusion that turned out to be!
When I got to Walmart the TV section had dozens to choose from and the picture quality ranged from fair to really good, even on similar models.
How on earth is one to choose from all those different TV’s under those conditions?
Rick’s answer: Sondra, my answer to the question “How do I pick the best TV from a wall full of display models?” is don’t even try!
It so happens that I spent some time back in the day selling TVs and other electronic items for a national retail electronics chain, and I can tell you that a showroom or sales floor is the LAST place you want to shop for a television set.
Why? Because what you see is rarely what you get.
There are just too many variables in play when trying to choose a TV from a wall of display models. Here are just a few of them:
- Are they all at the same height and do they all offer the same viewing angle?
- Are the controls out of reach of customers’ hands to prevent them from changing the settings?
- Are they all promoted equally by the store?
The answer to all of those questions is almost certainly no.
Many of the display models will likely be at varying heights and viewing angles which affects how the eye perceives the picture.
Even worse, other customers will play with the settings and tweak things like brightness, contrast, color, etc. to their liking in an attempt to see if the TV meets their satisfaction.
And worst of all, store personnel often tweak the settings themselves to make their most profitable models appear to have the best picture quality.
The bottom line is this: The ONLY reason you should ever look at a TV in a sales room is to pick out one that matches the decor of your living room because that’s the ONLY realistic attribute that you’re going to be able to determine by looking at TVs in that environment.
This is how I recommend that you shop for and buy a TV:
1 – Visit your favorite local electronics retailer and look at the TVs that are on display.
Ignore completely whatever you see on the screens in terms of picture quality (brightness level, color attributes, and such). The only thing you need to be concerned about at this point is how much you like the looks of the TVs themselves.
2 – Write down the brand names and model numbers of the TVs you’d like to consider.
3 – Go online and read the specs and customer reviews for each model on your list. Customer reviews are very good indicators of the quality of electronic items, including TVs.
A great place to check is Amazon because you can thoroughly check out each TV’s specs and read the customer reviews.
4 – Choose a TV based upon what you learned from your online research.
5 – Now that you’ve found the TV you want to buy you can either buy one while you’re in the store or buy one online and possibly save some cash.
That’s all there is to it, Sondra. I hope these tips help you find a great TV at the best possible price. Good luck!
Bonus tip #1: This post explains how to listen to TV at a different volume than everyone else when you have hearing issues.
Bonus tip #2: Want to make sure you never miss one of my tips? It’s easy! Just…
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