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Common Problems and Frequently Asked Questions

I am getting “unsupported video signal” what does it mean?

This usually happens when you connect an external video device to your TV such a gaming console or a computer.

All you should need to do is set the devices resolution to or below your TV’s maximum capable resolution. If you have a 720p HDTV the standard resolution is 1366x768. In 1080p set the standard resolution is 1920x1080. Some TV’s have slightly smaller or larger capable resolutions, however if you stick by these numbers you should be fine. You may need to restart your computer or console to complete this process.

Read more on: Resolution

Why should I buy 120Hz TV?

There been few questions asked in regards to if 120hz is better than 60hz TV of if 240hz/600hz is better than 120hz.

When it comes to standard 2D televisions there is a difference between 60hz and 120hz. It has been proven by tests that human eye can and will see that 120hz does give more smooth and crisp picture over 60hz. However 240hz or 600hz does not offer any quality gain to the image. It is just a sales gimmick. On top of that 120hz TV sets usually offer “anti-judder capability” which gives a smoother image. If you are watching a TV video or movie you will see it in 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps. Each one of these numbers divided into 120 with no fractions. (120/24=5, 120/30=4, 120/60=2) That means that each frame (fps) will be displayed 5, 4, or 2 times without alteration. However if you are watching a movie (usually 24fps) on 60hz TV you will get 60/24=2.5. That means that each frame will have to be displayed 3 times than 2, that 3 again and so on. That is called 3:2 pulldown and that is what gives you the “judder” hence 120hz TV’s are usually “anti-judder” capable.

I have 1080p TV, how come my image is crappy?

So, got yourself a brand new 1080p big screen HDTV. You hooked it all up and the image is nothing like you imagined. It looks nowhere near the quality at the store or what you imagined it to be. Why?

Most TV channel broadcastings are only in 480 (i/p), 720p or 1080i. If you have standard cable package, or receive TV via antennae you will not be getting any 1080p channels to your TV. They will be in standard 480(i/p) broadcasting that will look nowhere near the 1080p quality. To get HD on your TV you will need to obtain an HD package from you cable provider. It will cost a lot more than standard programming, but if you want HD that will be the price…

1080p is reserved for blu-ray movies/players and similar high quality video files. Even HD cable broadcasting will give you only 1080i.

Read more on: difference between 1080i and 1080p

Is there a big difference between 1080p and 720p?

There are more than few TV’s that are offered in both 720p and 1080p standards, in same size.  But can you really see the difference between 1080p and 720p on same size TV?

If the TV you are buying is 32” or smaller you will not see any difference between 720p and 1080p. There is just not enough of picture area to go around for 1080p to do anything special. If however you are considering buying 37” TV or bigger, you might want to go with 1080p as there will be cases where the benefits of 1080p resolution will become noticeable. If you are buying TV that is 50” or bigger it will be a mistake to buy it in 720p as there is too much screen area and not enough picture quality to go around. Benefits of 1080p 50” or larger TV’s will definitely be noticeable.

My TV’s aspect ratio is incorrect. How do I fix it?

Most TV’s not offer an option to zoom or stretch the incoming image to size that is preferred by the user. Look at your remote and locate a button that is called “aspect” or “p.size”. This button should allow you to cycle between different modes offered by your TV until you find a desired mode. Different TV manufacturers offer different modes, however they should be relatively same from TV to TV. The default option should be called “standard” or “normal zoom”.

Coming soon: letter-boxing, why do I have black bars?

What is the main difference between 1080i and 1080p.

In short 1080i is half the quality of 1080p and here is why. 1080 specifies 1080 lines (720 has 720 lines) that are running horizontally through your screen at any given time to make up an image. 1080p (progressive) runs all 1080 lines at once to display the image. 1080i (interlaced) displays only every second line of the image at any given time thus giving you only half the picture. The lines alternate to create an effect on full image. This can cause ghosting and image that is not smooth in fast moving scenes such as action movies or video games. Most TV’s in size 32”+ are available in 1080p only, not 1080i.

Read more on: resolution
Read more on: 720i vs. 720p vs. 1080i vs. 1080p

Will version 1.4 HDMI cable work on version 1.3 device or input/output?

Yes, version 1.4 HDMI cables are backwards compatible with all version 1.3 inputs, outputs, and devices. The version 1.4 HDMI cables are upgraded version of 1.3, designed to be capable of handling 3D video and audio. Version 1.3 HDMI will not handle 3D content well.

Read more on: How to buy HDMI cable

I do not have enough HDMI ports. What do I do?

Most new models of HDTV’s come equipped with 3-4 HDMI ports, however little older models can have as little as 1 or 2. Now what do you do if you have more HDMI devices than ports?

You can buy something called and HDMI splitter which will allow you to connect up to three HDMI devices per every one of your TV’s internal HDMI ports. You will not have access to all three at a same time as you will have to use the included remote control to select which one of the three inputs you want to use. These switches are only version 1.3 and will not support switching of 3D content well, thus it is recommended that you connect your 3D player to your TV directly with HDMI v1.4 cord that is the only one currently certified to support 3D data transfer.

Read more on: HDMI versions and categories
Read more on: How to buy and HDMI cable

My sound does not work, but I have a picture.

This is a common problem for new TV’s as some default setting are not optimally configured. There is a simple solution to this problem.

To fix this problem you need to go to your TV’s menu. The menu button can be found on your remote usually somewhere in the middle around arrow buttons. Press the menu button, and scroll down the menu until you reach “audio” or “sound” setting. Under there you should find “internal speakers” feature that you should be able to turn “on” or “off”.

LCD, Plasma or LED-LCD?

The simple answer to this question is that LED-LCD HDTV’s are the newest technology that is superior to Plasma or LCD in virtually every way. They are thinner, brighter with superior image quality. There is no reason why you should not buy one. The difference between LCD and plasma is a little more difficult to describe as both some features that are better that its competitor and vice versa. If you choose not to buy LED-LCD TV and you strictly want to go with LCD or plasma you will have to take a closer look what is each better at. Check this article out for comparison table.

I screen cracked, can I buy a replacement?

Buying a replacement parts for TV’s is difficult but not impossible. Talk to your local TV repair store or your TV manufacturer for an estimate. However I do not believe that you will like what they will tell you. If they can get you a replacement screen it will most likely cost around 60% - 70% of a cost of a new TV. On top of that you may be required to pay a labor charge and maybe even shipping; which will increase the final price of the replacement. The bottom line is that it will be very expensive to replace a screen on your TV. You are better off buying a new TV than replacing a component on the old one.

Why are HDMI cables so expensive?

The expensive HDMI cables are trying to sell you extra features that you most like do not need. For standard home users $10 HDMI cable is just enough. The reasons why the others are expensive is because they offer you gold and silver plated connectors and wires, with gas injected tubes, and heavy duty plating in the name of preserving the signal strength. Well unless you have your TV mounted on the top of a 1,000,000 volt transformer in the middle of a nuclear power plant you will most likely not need those additional features.

What about data transfer rates? The lowest offered bitrates on an HDMI cable is 2.3Gbps. That is gigabits per second or 2300 megabits per second. The most widely sold bitrates is 10.2Gbps, (10200Mbps) but you can pay more and get 15.6Gbps (15600Mbps). But why if the maximum data transfer rates of high definition 1080p video and audio is only up to 54Mbps? That means with having the lowest data transfer rated HDMI cable you are using only 2.4% of its full potential.

Only reason why you might consider paying for more expensive HDMI cable is if you are running it over 15 feet where you might start seeing some data loss.

Continue to: How to buy a HDMI cable

I am not going to watch blu-ray on my TV. Why should I get a 1080p TV?

Vast majority of TV’s come in as 1080p. The prices between 720p and 1080p TV’s in same size and brand are usually equal. It is not until you reach bigger TV’s where the difference in price will become noticeable. Even though you will not be watching blu-ray movies or play video games on the TV there are some providers that offer 1080i broadcasting which will look better on 1080p TV than 720p TV. I would not buy a TV based on the fact that it is 720p TV. If you do that you are pretty much cutting out about 60% of the available televisions on the market. That is like buying a car based on color or wheel size. That just does not make sense.

If you want to future proof your TV purchase you should go with 1080p, just because 720p TV’s are not being made as much, and 1080p is currently a HD standard. Plus if you ever decide to buy a blu-ray player or play xBox or PS3 on your TV you will be glad you did get 1080p TV.

Also keep in mind that if you buy a smaller TV set under 32” or 26” you will most likely not see the difference between 720p and 1080p, not even with blu-ray, so in that case if you find a good deal on 720p set, take it! However, on larger than 32” TV’s, 1080p benefits could become noticeable and will become more noticeable as screen size increases.

I do not have a remote. How do I access menu, channels, volume, or inputs?

Most of the TV have an auxiliary control buttons located somewhere on the side of the TV, occasionally on the top and few on the front. If you have a really new TV they may be touch sensitive “buttons” that are virtually invisible and embedded somewhere on the front bezel of the TV. The standard buttons should include volume up and down, channel up and down, menu, power or and off, and source (or input). With these buttons you should be able to operate most if not all the features of your TV. It might take a little longer but you can do it.

Some older model TV’s will have their source or input selection embedded inside their channel selection. The inputs or sources will be listed on the end of the channel list. They will most likely be called video 1, video 2, … and such. You can also get to them by going backwards in channel selection, so channel 5..4..3..2..1..Video1..Video2..99..98...

If you have lost or damaged your current remote you can always buy a universal remote which should return most if not all the features back to your hand. The prices range from very cheap ones to elaborate high tech remotes like this one and everything in between.

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