Recently, I saw an episode of a show called “Rules of Engagement”. In it, the wife, Audrey, went out and bought a new TV. Her husband, Jeff, was upset because buying a TV – that was a guy’s job! Since when?

So yesterday, I entered a “guys’ world”. I went shopping for a flat-screen HD TV! Now, hubby & I had discussed, researched, and looked at TVs, and we had narrowed it down to 2 models at 1 store. Away I went…with a little fear and trembling!

This process actually started a few months ago, and the first thing I noticed was that there are a lot of numbers and letters on the stickers on the TVs – HD, LED, LCD, 720p, 1080p, DNR (which does not stand for Do Not Resuscitate)….this wasn’t an easy world to navigate. Here are some of the basics:

High Definition Television, or HDTV is the highest quality digital video format. Digital video (called ATSC) comes in 3 resolutions – 720p, 1080i and 1080p. 1080p is considered “full” HD.

LED vs. LCD – Both LED and LCD TVs have liquid crystal displays (where you see the picture). The larger difference is the way the light is delivered from the background. LCDs have tiny sensors built in to detect the data being sent to it and adjust the crystal display pixel by pixel. LCD TVs use what is called a cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) for the background light. But in an LED-LCD Tv, LEDs (light emitting diodes) are used for the backlighting. Newer LED models are putting sensors in the LED (as well as the crystal display) to control the picture. The end result is a much more exact color and deeper contrast.

Just a few more numbers and letters – 720p, and 1080p. This is important! The “P” stands for Progressive (Together). A 1080 TV displays 1920 pixels across the screen, and 1080 pixels down your screen. The 720p shows 1280 pixels across and 720 pixels down. Generally, 1080p HDTVs cost more than 720p HDTVs. 1080p has proven to be the best in clarity and resolution in models 39″ and above. Bigger TV=more pixels to make the image better. But in 37″ models and below, there’s no need to buy a 1080p because you won’t really see a difference!

So my friend and I headed to the store to compare (not necessarily buy) some 32″ models…I came home with a 40″ HDTV 1080p model. It pays to research…it pays more to sniff out a bargain! I got my TV (which was the floor model) for $200 less than the listed price on the manufacturer’s website!

It also came with a 2 year warranty. It was a slow ride home with my precious package in the back seat, and an even slower walk from the car to the house, but our newest addition is safely installed on the shelf. Now to buy a DVD player, break open a bag of chips, and sit back to watch my favourite “chick flicks”!