Finding a television with the latest features is always a worthwhile pursuit for TV and movie lovers, but some high-tech features just aren’t worth the money. When certain features of a television raise the price without significantly improving the overall viewing experience, these features can be considered to be worthless.
Worthless Feature #1: Higher Resolution on Small TVs
1080p is the best resolution for a television regardless of size, right? Wrong. Smaller televisions make it more difficult to distinguish between high definition resolutions starting at 720p.
1080p means that there are 1,080 rows of pixels on the screen, while 720p only offers 720 rows of pixels. While this means that 1080p is a higher resolution and, consequently, a better picture, the differences on a screen under 40 inches in size are indistinguishable to the human eye. Unless a person is planning to purchase a large television, higher resolutions are an unnecessary extra expense.
Worthless Feature #2: Picture-in-picture (PIP)
This once-popular feature has declined for a reason: There’s no real value to being able to watch two television shows at once. It’s not possible to focus on both of the shows at the same time, and sound is only available for the larger screen. Closed captioning may be available for the smaller screen so viewers can keep up with the story or know what’s happening in a game, but being able to read captions is impossible on smaller screen sizes.
The only benefit of PIP is for people who like to watch more than one sports game at once. PIP gives the ability to see when a break in one game is over, and sports fans can be sure not to miss any of the action.
Worthless Feature #3: Internet Connectivity
This isn’t a feature that’s always worthless, but it can add a lot to the price tag of a television when there are other options available. Internet streaming is a convenient feature for people who like to browse through television shows and movies in the comfort of their own home, but a streaming device like Roku costs less than $100.
DVD players, game consoles and Blu-ray players often have the ability to connect a television to the Internet, too. Instead of paying a premium for a television that can connect directly to the Internet, research whether any peripherals for the TV can offer this service while featuring other major benefits like the ability to play video games or watch high-definition movies.
Worthless Feature #4: Refresh Rate
The refresh rate of a television ranges from 60Hz to 240Hz, and the number associated with the refresh rate details how many times the TV refreshes the image every second. The quality of the picture does differ significantly between 60Hz and 120Hz, but that is where the discernible differences end. Experts have noted that the human eye is not able to discern the difference between a refresh rate of 120Hz and 240Hz, but TV buyers will see a significant difference in price.
Refresh rate isn’t always a worthless feature. People who like to watch television shows, movies or sports games that feature fast action can benefit from purchasing a TV with a high refresh rate. The best advice is to evaluate unique television needs before laying out the money for a feature such as a higher refresh rate.
Worthless Feature #5: Contrast Ratio
This feature basically refers the range of colors that the television is capable of displaying. Ranges start at the brightest white that can be displayed and end at the darkest black available on a specific television.
Contrast ratio is one of the features of a television that is basically the same across the board for high-definition televisions, but TV manufacturers tout numbers in an attempt to convince consumers that they absolutely need a television with a “better” contrast ratio. The only thing that will be significantly increased with differing contrast ratios is the price tag.
Purchasing a TV presents a consumer with a long list of features, and an inability to understand each feature can lead to overpaying for specs that are unnecessary. Evaluate specific viewing needs prior to making a final purchase decision.