Advice on TV buying
Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's.
John Aaron, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - A "swirl of flying bodies and constant collisions" and a "carnival of color, sound and action." That's how legendary NFL Films narrator John Facenda described a pro football matchup. Hardly sounds like something that should be watched in Standard Definition.
If you're looking to upgrade from that old tube-style television, there's still time to land a big screen before the big game.
"There are big sales for big screens," said Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
Bodnar said that right now it's not hard to get a 55-inch TV for under $1,000. Since 60 percent of U.S. homes already own a high definition set, she believes the market is saturated, and sellers must work extra-hard to get rid of inventory.
Sports fans also should consider plasma screens, which she said are making a comeback after being cast aside. As long as your room isn't too bright, she said they provide excellent pictures for sports and video games and can be bought for as little as $650.
One important thing to look for on any model is the number of HDMI ports. Kiplinger said three or four ports might sound like a lot, but probably won't be enough to accommodate all the devices feeding your TV. Less expensive models can have as few as 2 ports.
3-D screens are getting a mixed reception from buyers, mostly because of the glasses involved, and as a result the Super Bowl won't be broadcast in 3-D this year.
If you're looking for the ultimate game day experience, Panasonic sells a 152-inch monster that's 11 feet wide by 6 feet high. It goes for a mere $500,000.
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