Guide to LCD HDTV Features or What Features are Worth Paying For?

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#1
Ill flesh this out later. Put some more meat on them bones.


Dont waste your money on

3D (Passive 3D more desireable IMO if you go that route)
Smart TV/Internet WiFi (though this can be kind of unavoidable) (The many off board solutions are better and more easily (and cheaply) upgradeable)
Scanning Backlights Not yet ready for primetime
Yellow Sub Pixels (aka Quatron)
Light Sensor Auto Dimming (distracting and reduced image quality with fluxuating backlight level)


Desireable

LED Backlighting (though CCFL is serviceable) Full Array is more desireable than Edge Lit. Local Dimming not a necessity, but is a huge plus. Full Array a requirement for Local Dimming. Edge Lit Zone Dimming is problematic. Edge Lit No Dimming is OK, but can have backlight uniformity issues especially on larger sets.
120 Hz (though 60 Hz is serviceable) More than 120 Hz = rapidly diminishing returns.
1080p (there arent any 720p sets these days above 37" are there?)
Some level of Anti-Reflective coating
10 bit color processing and panel (though 8 bit is serviceable)
Advanced calibration tools, Color Management System, 10 Point Gamma Controls etc (though you can get by with more basic controls)
Defeatable Frame Interpolation (great for sports) Only available on 120Hz and up sets. Most all sets 120 Hz and up have this.
OTA tuner and Programming Guide (tuners are required in every set, but programming guides differ)
Low Input Lag (for Gamers)
Decent Sound Quality/Volume (though you can augment with a Sound Bar or Surround System, etc)
Good Panel (Late Gen S-PVA, Sharp X-Gen, LG S-IPS, AU Optronics MVA 3rd Gen)
Decent Blacks (all but the S-IPS have decent blacks native to the raw panel, the S-IPS can use other tricks but many times sets using them dont)
Bigger is Better (Most of the time, the cheaper value set with the larger but decent panel will be enjoyed more over the long term, by the vast majority of people).
DNLA functionality especially on the USB ports but this is often extremely buggy so...like the Smart TV/Internet WiFi is usually better implemented in Media Players and Laptops/HTPCs and what not.
Aesthetics do matter to some degree
Good Selection and Quality of Build and Implementation of Inputs/Outputs/Ports
 
#2
I would agree on the refresh rate. I have been told that for sports fans a higher refresh rate is a really good way to go. I also feel that 1080p is also a big factor. I have noticed a huge difference with sports, movies and one network that blew me away with a 1080p picture was the Food Network, as weird as that may seem.
 
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