Seven simple ways to get the best out of your flat-screen TV [Nation (Kenya)]
(Nation (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) With the digital TV migration push, flat-screen televisions have become the preferred mode of announcing one's shift from the analogue world.
Manufacturers and stockists, seeing an opportunity to impress, have not disappointed, both in variety and design.
Almost all companies now produce sets in modern and stylish LCD, LED, plasma or 3D formats.
Never in the history of entertainment have TV shoppers been so spoilt for choice, and all for the better because flat-screen TVs provide superior picture quality, are portable and look good in any home.
Due to its slimness, a flat-screen TV frees up considerable space and can be positioned in several innovative ways that also improve aesthetic appeal, such as wall mounts.
Apart from how they look to the eye, the wall mounts also allow parents with young and inquisitive children peace of mind, knowing that the child cannot reach the television.
For a flat-screen television to have the expected effect, the design of the space where it is placed should allow for pleasant, comfortable viewing while ensuring that the room can still be used for its other purposes.
Here, seven simple ideas for the ultimate positioning of a flat-screen television that will not interfere with family chitchat and the all-important sense of inclusivity:
1CAN YOU SEE? The living room is the most favoured place to put up the flat-screen (duh!).
However, the plan of the room should keep in mind the family's overall seating arrangement, furniture, size and preferred viewing angles.
Depending on the family's viewing habits, the plan should ensure that the seating arrangement is flexible enough to let one enjoy TV viewing, as well as use the room for its other purpose.
The television should also not dominate the room and make other features such as the furniture, artwork, pictures, sculptures, and other accessories disappear into the background.
2NOT TOO HIGH, NOT TOO LOW: For the best viewing angle, place the TV at a height where, when one is seated, one's head is at the same level as the middle of the screen.
This is because viewing is much more comfortable at eye level rather than when one has to look up or down.
3SIZE REALLY MATTERS: Flat-screen televisions now come in a variety of sizes to suit almost every pocket.
Although most people would like to buy a television with a very big screen, this will in most cases be determined by the size of the room and the pocket.
The best flat-screen TV is not necessarily the biggest one can afford — since the viewing distance should be roughly three times the screen's diagonal length.
Still, the size of the screen is important as one would not want to be forced to watch it at very close range and risk developing eye problems.
It would be prudent to provide around five to six feet of viewing distance for a 32-inch screen, and about seven to eight inches for a 47-inch one.
4WINDOW GLARES: Avoid placing the television directly facing the window as the glare will affect viewing for those who do not have the curved options of the flat screen.
A glare or a difference in lighting from the windows and the screen can cause eye strain. One can also use stylishly designed thick or room darkening curtains to prevent the glare... and, of course, keep that nosy, analogue neighbour from playing Peeping Tom.
5SOUND DECISIONS: Flat-screen TVs have a better, clearer sound quality than ordinary tube ones. However, carpets and drapes in the room can absorb such sound and interfere with the amplified quality most look foreword to.
Since the room will be used for entertaining as well as TV watching, some sound-absorbing fabric would be a good idea.
The room should also not be carpeted from wall to wall and every window covered with heavy draperies, but decorated in such a way that the drapes, carpets and blinds ensure better sound clarity.
6LIGHTING OPTIONS: This room can benefit from installed dimmers as it has different functions apart from watching TV.
Dimmers would be great for TV and movie entertaining, while soft light for relaxing, and ample lighting would be great for reading or doing homework.
7HIDE THE CABLES: When the television has been installed and confirmed to be working, it is a good idea to hide the cables behind the entertainment unit to avoid accidents — especially in homes with young children — for comfortable watching and to avoid clutter.
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