Consumer’s Guide to Shopping for a TV

1. Choosing a TV Screen Size: Bigger isn’t always better. What size TV would fit best in your living room? Since you need to plan for space, choosing a screen size is a good place to start when shopping for TVs. When picking out screen size, consider where your TV is going, how many people will be watching it, what type of TV you would like, and how you are going to arrange the room around it. Here are some different aspects of television size to consider:

  • Pick the right size for your room:
    • Small televisions (15″ – 24″): Ideal for smaller areas, such as a bedroom, kitchen, or home office.
    • Medium televisions (25″ – 40″): Medium sized TVs are probably the most common, and are used frequently in family or entertainment rooms.
    • Large televisions (40″ – 65″): These are the big screen TVs and are better for rooms with a lot of space. Large TVs are generally widescreen and are ideal for watching movies or sports.
  • Viewing Angle:When you place your TV, where is it best viewed from? Does every seat have a good view, or is the view restricted in places? How close should your TV be? How tilted? Here are some recommendations for television placement based on screen size and how much space you might need:
    • Tube TVs with 4:3 aspect ratio:
      • 27″ – 36″ screen size: optimum viewing position is 7 to 10 feet from the TV
      • 40″ – 50″ screen size: optimum viewing position is 10 to 15 feet from the TV
      • 55″ – 60″ screen size: optimum viewing position is 15 to 18 feet from the TV
    • Digital or HD-ready TVs with 16:9 aspect ratio:
      • 30″ – 40″ screen size: optimum viewing position is 5 to 8 feet from the TV
      • 45″ – 55″ screen size: optimum viewing position is 8 to 12 feet from the TV
      • 60″ – 65″ screen size: optimum viewing position is 12 to 14 feet from the TV

2. Choosing a Type of Television: After you have decided what size TV you would like, you need to consider what type. Certain types of TVs are better for certain sizes than others, and some types are just better in general. How much do you care about the way your television creates its picture? Are you looking for a highly compatible television, one that can fit on the wall, or just a basic, simply TV? Read here to find out the difference between each type of TV on the market.

  • Combo TV: Combination TVs include a built-in DVD player or VCR. Combo TVs work well for shoppers with limited space, as well as those who like to keep things simple.
  • Tube TV: Tube, or direct view, televisions are your basic, standard TVs. Tube TVs have a reliable picture display, but the technology is becoming a bit outdated. In the future, customers may have to purchase a digital TV converter box in order to continue use of Direct View TVs, so take that into account if you are considering a Tube TV.
  • Flat Panel TV:Flat Panel televisions are designed to be ultra-thin, yet still deliver exceptional picture quality and sound. Flat Panel TVs take up less space as they can easily be mounted on the wall, but can also be more expensive. There are two types of Flat Panel televisions:
    • Plasma TV: Plasma TVs display pictures through pixels powered by tiny fluorescent lamps. Plasma televisions deliver exceptional color and picture quality, and can be viewed from almost any angle. Plasma TVs also tend to be larger than LCD TVs.
    • LCD TV: LCD televisions use tiny pixels containing a liquid crystal solution to display their images. LCD TVs tend to be smaller in size and weigh less than Plasma TVs, but they deliver consistently high-quality pictures and even picture brightness and sharpness.
  • Rear Projection TV:Rear projection TVs are “the ultimate big screen TV.” With a built-in projector, Rear Projection televisions deliver a large and realistic experience. These TVs work well for people who want to set up a home theater, have a lot of space, or watch a lot of sports or movies. Rear Projection TVs are available in four types:
    • LCD Projection TV: Known for razor sharp imagery, LCD Projection TVs use very similar technology to LCD flat panel TVs.
    • DLP Projection TV: DLP TVs are more accurate in displaying blacks and other colors than LCD TVs.
    • LCoS Projection TV: LCoS TVs use similar technology to LCD and DLP TVs but produce a more seamless picture.
    • CRT Projection TV: CRT TVs use Tube TV technology. They deliver excellent color quality, but are also the largest and heaviest of the Rear Projection televisions.
  • HD Projector: Do you even need to buy a TV at all? Projectors can deliver similar resolution but take up much less space. Projectors are also easy to work with because you can adjust the size you want them to be. A projector is a good choice if you have a blank wall or screen to show it on and a dimly lit room. As the image is projected, it may be hard to see and thus a bad choice for people with brightly lit living rooms.

3. Choosing the Right Accessories: You’ve picked out your TV, but the shopping isn’t over yet. Do you have some place to put or mount your TV? Are you subscribed to a cable or satellite television service? What kind of warranty will you need? Remember to consider everything you will need to actually use your TV before you stop your shopping.

  • Antenna: A TV antenna extends coverage and signal reception for both HD TV and local broadcast. Antennas are available for both indoor and outdoor.
  • DISH Network Satellite Services: Are you interested in cable television or satellite tv? DISH Network gives you access to hundreds of channels and a wide selection of entertainment. Satellite TV provides 100% digital clarity and can be installed at any location.
  • Extended Service Plans: Sears extended service plans allow you to experience customer service that goes above and beyond the traditional warranty. Service plans prepare you for unexpected repairs and allow you to get the most out of your TV.
  • Professional Delivery and Installation: Why waste time and energy trying to figure out how to set up your new television when there are professionals who can do it for you? Decide where you would like your TV, clear out a space, and let Sears do the rest.
  • Mounting Bracket: Save space by mounting your LCD or Plasma TV. A mounting bracket lets you find the optimum location for your flat panel TV and has the added bonus of allowing you to show it off as a piece of art.
  • TV Stand: Not mounting your TV? Shop for a TV stand! TV stands come in a range of colors and designs, so shop around to find the stand that best suits your house and your needs. When shopping for a television stand, remember to take the size and weight of your TV into account.

Shop Brands: Now that you know what type of TV you would like, you can begin shopping for brands. Browse popular television brands such as Sony, Samsung, Vizio, Panasonic, and Toshiba at


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  1. Also your info on the different sizes & how many feet away for optium viewing was very helpful

  2. I have read that Plasma TVs display a better picture in a dimmer lit environment..LCD TVs work well both in daylight & evening light.

  3. Thank you.