Comparing Apples to Apples in High Definition
This is the big weekend. . . for Flat screen TV sales across the country. With the SuperBowl being held this Sunday, all the consumer electronics stores are pulling out all the stops in order to get a shiny new plasma or LCD (or even LED!) television in your living room in time for the big game.
If you are making the switch from an older 4:3 analog tv screen to the 16:9 format flatscreen TV, you may or may not know that you can’t just get the same “size” TV. Since TV screen sizes are measured diagonally, and the ratio of height and width are different on a 4:3 screen vs. 16:9 screen, you have to do some math if you want the same size tv image to look at (or larger).
So if you have a 32″ tv in your living room, you can’t just go out an buy a 32″ LCD HDTV. If you do, you’ll basically end up with a smaller tv, since your tv image will be shorter on the new 16:9 screen than it was on your current 32″ analog 4:3 ratio screen. You’re not comparing apples to apples if you’re comparing two different format screens.
Of course TV manufacturers and the guy at your local Best Buy don’t really help you out in this area and instead will probably just shrug their shoulders and try to upsell you on a tv that’s larger than you need.
So what do you do?
The internet to the rescue! www.ScreenMath.com has a handy dandy conversion table which lets you look up your analog tv screen size and it will tell you the dimensions you’ll need to get in a 16:9 format in order to match your current tv screen size.
Just as a FYI, the popular 42″ HDTV size that has largely become the “base model” for LCD, plasma and LED tv’s in the store today is equivalent to a 34″ analog 4:3 ratio television set.
So technically, the 32″ tv we have in one of the bedrooms only needs a 40″ HDTV to replace it at the current screen size. If we got a 42″ HDTV, it would actually be an upgrade in screen size for that room. That’s nice to know!
Once you know the facts, you’ll probably feel a little easier walking into the store to pick-up a new HDTV. It’s just one less factor to worry about as you’ll have to sort out all the other alphabet soup jargon as you compare all the different options on the table these days for TV’s.