Sleek and massively space-saving compared to their bulky predecessors, flat screen displays have been eagerly adopted by consumers and businesses alike. While their price has been steadily coming down since they were first introduced, they are still very much investment pieces and as such it is very much recommended to spend a little time thinking about your decision before parting with your money. Here are 6 questions to ask yourself.\
What is my specific, main reason, for wanting this flat screen display?
From a user perspective there are essentially three key features to any flat screen display. These are: screen size, level of definition and touch sensitivity. The importance of each of these features will depend on the screen’s intended purpose. For example, if all you want to do is display text content then having a larger screen is usually much more important than the level of definition, whereas video content can often be shown on a smaller screen, but can benefit from a higher level of definition.
How close will viewers get to the screen?
Basically, screens which are going to be viewed from longer distances need to be bigger than those which are going to be viewed close up. Think cinema screens as compared to Smartphone screens.
What level of definition do I actually need?
If you’re looking at the new flat screen market, then your choice will be between HD and ultra HD. If you’re looking at the used/reconditioned flat screen market then you may also see some pre-HD screens. In either case the same question applies. How much detail do I actually need? This comes back to question one, regarding how you want to use the screen. If all you want to do is display text, then even a pre-HD screen could well be absolutely fine but if you want to show off products in glorious detail, then ultra-HD could be worth the extra money.
Is a touch screen worth the investment?
If you want to offer interactivity, then you will need a touch screen. If you do not want to offer interactivity just now then buying a touch screen is optional. On the one hand, it does add an element of future-proofing if you decide you want to offer it at a later date. On the other hand, it adds a premium, so again; it’s worth thinking hard about whether or not this feature is really likely to be meaningful to you later on. If you are making an investment in a touch screen then it might be worth considering other options like optical bonding which can increase the screens contrast, increase the vibration and shock resistance and protects the screen from condensation and dust.
What type of backlighting does it have?
In the early days of flat screens there was something of a “format war” between CCFL, plasma and LED screens. At this point, LED has emerged the clear winner largely due to the fact that it offers decent performance in most environments together with low production costs and low energy requirements (meaning low running costs). CCFL and plasma TVs have currently pretty much disappeared from production, meaning that if you’re looking at a new flat screen then you’re highly unlikely to see one of them, but you may still find them on the reconditioned/used market. If you just need a flat screen for occasional use, then these may be a feasible option, but for regular use the initial cost saving is likely to be more than offset by the running costs.
What type of connection does it have?
If you’re buying a new flat screen, the answer to this will almost invariably be HDMI. If, however, you’re looking at the used/reconditioned market then you may still find VGA and SCART connections out there. In most cases, this is unlikely to be a huge issue, since it’s easy to buy adapters, however if you’re looking for the optimum in clarity then a true HDMI connection (i.e. one without the use of an adapter) is the way to go. Also HDMI also carries audio, whereas VGA and SCART both require separate audio inputs.