Good news: You're about to get a brand new TV! Bad news: You have to sort through the jargon and the hype of actually buying a new TV. There are always new features and capabilities to contend with, from the industry's refusal to stop talking about 3D, to questions about 4K televisions and OLED screens. Some of the confusion is probably intentional – TV-manufacturers want to arm salespeople with new terminology to justify upgrades and higher prices for premiums choices. So let's cut to the chase and talk about the options and specs that really matter, and some that don't. Here's our no-nonsense advice for buying a great TV, minus the buyer's remorse.
You Might Actually Want a Projector
HD projectors come with a lot of caveats: Most models struggle with daytime viewing in rooms with lots of natural light, it often takes a while for the lamp to warm up, and if a projector is a permanent fixture in a home theater, it requires some sort of special installation (more than simply plopping a TV on a table). But projectors are a perfect fit for certain users and spaces, with screen sizes that can reach 100 inches or more at a fraction of the price for an equivalently-massive flatscreen, and an image quality (and overall experience) that more closely emulates sitting in a movie theater. And since they're infinitely more portable than a flatscreen, they can also be used in unexpected ways – brought to a cabin or beach house for an ad hoc HD movie night, or set up in a backyard for a drive-in-style neighborhood attraction. Hi-def projectors are the oddball choice, but there's a reason the category is still thriving: Oddballs are everywhere.
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