For those of you looking to buy a new LCD/LED HDTV, let me give you a quick crash course on what to look for and what each spec means.
720P vs. 1080P
720P stands for 1280×720 resolution HD screen while 1080P stands for 1920×1080 resolution HD screen. 1080P is most desirable obviously but in smaller HDTVs less than 42-inches, it might not make such a big difference to the naked eye.
60Hz vs. 120Hz
60Hz and 120Hz are display rates for HDTVs, 60Hz basically refreshes an image 60 times per second while 120Hz refreshes an image 120 times per second.
120Hz is certainly ideal and is going to show you better motion pictures but you will certainly pay a bit more.
LCD vs. LED
LCD HDTVs are based on the liquid crystal display while LED HDTVs are also LCD HDTVs with LED backlighting.
LED TVs can produce pictures with greater dynamic contrast compared with traditional LCD TVs.
Also, LED TVs are in general more slimmer, provide more vivid pictures, near 50% less power consumption, and less environmental impact. Of course, this all results in higher prices for LED TVs.
LED TVs are the newer, slimmer HDTVs and more desirable but more expensive.
All HDTVs have a contrast ratio, this is the ratio between the brightest color that the HDTV can display to the darkest color that it can display.
For example, if a Samsung HDTV had 100,000 to 1 contrast ratio versus Sony HDTV that had 200,000 to 1 contrast ratio, the Sony HDTV would be able to display more colors vividly and in more detail.
If you want to spend the least, certainly getting an LCD HDTV with 60Hz refresh rate, and 720P HD will be sufficient. The thing you will then have to look for is which 60Hz 720P HD LCD HDTV has the highest contrast ratio compared to how much you are paying.
For example, if a Samsung 60HZ 720P LCD HDTV and Sony 60Hz 720P LCD HDTV are both offered at $399 but the Samsung has a higher contrast of 3,000,000:1 while the Sony has 1,000,000:1, the Samsung is probably a better choice.
If you want to get the best (because money is falling out of your pockets), you will want to target a LED HDTV with 120Hz refresh rate and 1080P HD support.
Again, if price is about the same, choose the one with higher contrast ratio.
Of course, there are “other” factors as an HDTV having support for connection to an external hard drive and whatnot but this guide should help you in choosing the right HDTV.