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Best outdoor tv covers 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated September 1, 2023
Best outdoor tv covers of 2018
Here are the customer reviews of some of the best outdoor tv covers of 2018. The table below summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each good.
I have taken the initiative to educate you on the top three best outdoor tv covers that you can buy this year. If you’re scouring the market for the best outdoor tv covers, you’d better have the right info before spending your money.
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – Outdoor TV Cover 44″ – 46″ – WITH BOTTOM COVER – The BEST Quality Weatherproof and Dust-proof Material with FREE Microfiber Cloth. Protect Your TV Now!
Why did this outdoor tv covers win the first place?
I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
№2 – Outdoor TV Cover 42″ – NOW WITH OPEN FLAP – The BEST Quality Weatherproof and Dust-proof Material with FREE Microfiber Cloth. Protect Your TV Now!
Why did this outdoor tv covers come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
№3 – Outdoor TV Cover 52″ – 55″ – WITH BOTTOM COVER – The BEST Black Quality Weatherproof and Dust-proof Material with Microfiber Cloth. Protect Your TV Now
Why did this outdoor tv covers take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. The material is incredibly nice to the touch. It has a great color, which will suit any wallpapers. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
outdoor tv covers Buyer’s Guide
Brand: Custom Wraps
Buyers have the opportunity to select their size and color when purchasing the product. This heavy duty TV cover will provide the best protection results beyond your anticipations. It can fit your TV perfectly from all sides.
The Original TV Cover 3X 2X is easy to take off and on. The massive pocket found on the rear of the product is comfortable for your remote.
Brand: KHOMO GEAR
Whether you want to position a TV by the pool, or on an outdoor deck or a patio, the product will help to offer top-notch protection for your device. This TV cover is specially designed to withstand tough conditions from the unforgiving cold to the scorching sun.
See more: Top Best Outdoor Canopies & Shelters in 2018
The product will also help your television to be protected against UV rays, insects, dust, condensation, and ice, time and again. This TV cover is designed from a top-notch material that keeps it safe from moisture, wind, and water.
The material used in the production of the product will help to prevent moisture from building up and as well mold. Any destruction that can arise from condensation will be averted by using the KHOMO GEAR TV cover.
One amazing thing about the product is that it remains easy to assemble. It comes with a high-end waterproof remote control pocket that fits your TV set.
Brand: Stronghold Accessories
This product is rated among the best TV covers that you can depend on, time and again. It has the capability to protect your electronics from moisture and heavy rain. If you are using your TV outdoors, the fear of tough climatic conditions may suddenly erupt.
Studies have shown that this cover can protect and keep your TV safe. It can deflect water easily and shield your electronics from dust, rain, sun rays and other natural elements. It is designed with an amazing marine-grade material. It has quality texture and highly rugged.
With this cover, you will have the opportunity to enjoy your outdoor entertainment. The product is elegant, classic and able to fit around your electronics. If you are afraid of water or dust, the product has the capability to protect your TV.
It fits well and comes with a top-notch design. The cover has zippers that act as an envelope for your TV. The in-built pocket is also a great catch for your TV remote control.
Brand: The Original TV Coverstore
If you are looking for a TV cover with amazing features and a reasonable price tag, this could be what you are looking for.
With this cover, you should be able to enjoy watching TV from practically anywhere, on your deck, hot tub or any place outside. This is a top notch outdoor cover designed for freestanding applications or an articulating bracket.
The cover is designed with the highest quality material. This is to ensure that your electronics are fully protected and secured. It can help to protect your TV from mildew, dust, heat, snow, and rain.
As one of the best TV covers in the market, you can always depend on its unique features. The product is water resistant, heat reflecting and can last for a long time.
This TV cover is designed to fit all 32-inch flat screen TVs. Other notable features this TV cover depicts are dual zippers made to provide maximum coverage as well as an interior, remote control pocket to house the TV remote when not in use.
One of the most important factors to consider when planning to buy an outdoor television cover is water resistant. There are certain materials used in the design of outdoor television covers that cannot hold resistant water properly.
Covers with a clear back coat and designed from one hundred percent woven polyester fabric will always display high water resistant quality. Materials that are acrylic-coated also have the capability to unleash high water resistant feature.
On this note, it is important to check the water resistant quality of the cover you want to buy before making any investment.
Studies have revealed that light colors have the capability to reflect heat with ease. This means that heat from the sun will not be able to penetrate into your device by selecting light colors.
It will also help you to enjoy your television for a long with unnecessary investment on repair.
Cosmos is another company competing for your outdoor entertainment budget. The Cosmos line of outdoor TVs all feature a 700 nit 4K panel, which is by our experience more than bright enough to function very well in direct sunlight. On top of their super bright screens they also enhance your viewing experience with a proprietary non-glare glass, which prevents sun flares and reflections from the screen allowing you to enjoy a crisp image from a variety of angles. The glass is scratch-proof and almost “indestructible” according to the company.
Cosmos televisions have two cooling fans (three in their 75” models) to take charge of the temperature control giving their TVs an operating range of -40 to +12F.
Outdoor TVs, being exposed to water and humidity are of course more at risk of electrical short circuits. Cosmos outdoor TVs are powered at 2volts, which means they almost completely eliminate any possibility of electrocutions and you can safely install these units around your pool or hot tub. This is a smart and sensible feature that we like a lot. They also provide 20 feet of high quality insulated outdoor cabling and more can be ordered from their website.
The TV case is S30stainless steel which is a weatherproof alloy that will not rust, change color or shape even if exposed to extreme weather conditions all year round. The back of the TV sports a useful integrated set top box compartment where you can connect and store your favorite streaming devices, and because it’s a smart TV you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network to ensure you bring all your indoor TV streaming capabilities to your patio or porch.
Available in sizes ranging from 32” to 75” Cosmos outdoor TVs are serious contenders to fill any outdoor TV needs and requirements you may have.
Where and how to mount your outdoor TV
Picking the best placement position for your outdoor TV may very well be completely dictated by the layout of your actual outdoor living space. However, you do need to bear in mind that most outdoor TVs are manufactured to function in brightly lit yet shaded areas, like under a patio overhang or in a gazebo. If you require your TV to hang in direct sunlight you are going to find that your choice of good outdoor TVs that fulfill this requirement becomes pretty limited quite quickly.
You standard indoor television is designed to operate at a range not too far above or below normal room temperature. As long as you keep the TV at about that temperature point everything is fine. The moment you move either up or down the temperature scale it becomes a challenge. When temperatures drop too low, condensation can take place on the TV components, drops form and well, we know what drops do when they mix with electric components. Built-in heaters are not uncommon in outdoor TVs.
Canvas Outdoor TV Covers
Your second option is to install a hardshell outdoor TV enclosure. These are often manufactured from either aluminium, strong plastic or some other waterproof material. Your outdoor TV box may even come with t;s own waal mount though most manufacturers have honed their designs to allow you to use some of the more standard outdoor TV wall mounts available on the market. Your outdoor TV box may be fitted witha transparent face that allows you to view your television thought the enclosure but this may impact your viewing experience and image quality so several designs simple comes with a door or removal face with a weatherproof seal.
Outdoor TV Cabinet
Another way to protect your outdoor set is to build a bespoke outdoor TV cabinet to enclose the entire television set. This affords you and opportunity to create a more refined look using wood or any other material that will blend into or compliment your decor. An outdoor TV cabinet also provides you with a great opportunity to manage the cabling and wiring required to install your set. Before you jump in and build a permanent outdoor TV cabinet consider carefully where you want to place your television as this kind of fixture is of course more permanent and harder to move around or adjust afterwards.
To conclude: They may not always look as elegant but some sort of outdoor TV cover will certainly extend the life of your set. Just apply your mind and consider your budget before deciding what might work best in your entertainment area.
By comparison to outdoor speakers, outdoor TVs still offer relatively limited choices. There are some very well constructed and designed weatherproof TVs available though that will last a long time and ensure you, your family and friends can spent hours of fun around the fire on the patio watching the game. Do some due diligence before you buy and enjoy your TV.
Certified Ultra HD
TVs with the Certified Ultra HD or 4K HDR Ultra HD logos offer the ‘true’ Ultra HD experience. Certified Ultra HD is the logo used by Digital Europe, representatives of the digital technology industry in Europe, to guarantee that a TV has genuine 4K quality.
High Dynamic Range
Also known as HDR, High Dynamic Range combines enhanced brightness and enhanced colours to create an incredibly vivid and vibrant picture. With a higher pixel count and higher pixel quality, HDR lets images appear realistic and lifelike, and will particularly improve a gaming experience.
Shop LED TVs
OLED is a TV technology used by LG and instead of using a backlight, the screen pixels create their own light. This controls light levels better than other screens and offers deep colours, smooth visuals and a more vibrant picture.
Curved TVs offer an immersive display if you are sitting close, as well as greater field of view and more sense of depth.
Sunbrite SB-3270HD 32
The all-weather 32-inch outdoors TV is something you will love in your outdoor environment. The 1080p support dependable clarity for the best displays. Enjoy the beauty of this LED HDTV with the best display performance in the market. Install it permanently outdoors. Its design fits well with the outdoors décor and is 50% thinner than the 3260HD model. The weatherproof HDTV is engineered to withstand extreme temperatures and other weather elements. The exterior is powder-coated with aluminum for excellent durability. Enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor area, yacht, outdoor kitchen or poolside and experience a breathtaking view. Even the remote is weatherproof.
Sunbrite TV SB-4217HD-WH 42
The direct sun outdoor LED HDTV is a durable, water-resistant TV with extreme resilience and durability. It will function effectively in various weather conditions without failing. The TV can withstand dust, rain, snow, salt air, extreme heat and cold, and other elements. Its tempered screen protects the LED screen in active environments. You will enjoy a clear view even in direct sunlight due to the EST technology. Its exterior aluminum shield is powder-coated to protect the interior components. Feel the power of the ultra-bright 42-inch antiglare screen as you watch your show or movie in the outdoor environment.
Sunbrite TV SB-5570HD-BL 55
Sunbrite TV is the only TVs built all the way for the outdoors environment. This makes them the true outdoor TVs for superior brightness and excellent weather resistant. They can resist dirt, insects, rain, snow, UV rays, and extreme temperatures. It delivers a safe, worry-free TV that you can watch anywhere, anytime in spite of the weather conditions.
This outdoor LED HDTV is also the thinnest one at 1-inch deep. It fits perfectly in any outdoor environment be it your patio, outdoor living room or the yacht. It is modified for the US market and has a full replacement guarantee, so you don’t have to worry. These brands will give you the best in technology and are available in sizes ranging from 2to 84-inch displays. All the interior components are covered with a special silicone sealant to protect them from bugs, debris, and moisture. A membrane covers all the vents and allows heat to escape but does not allow moisture in.
It features three thermostatically controlled fans and a filtered ventilation system. These protect the TV from harsh environmental threats like salt water, salt air, and extreme temperatures. The front shield is shatter-resistant and is also anti-glare for the best display experience when watching a show or movie.
If you are an outdoors person, this is the TV to serve you best. It is rebuilt and includes a Nano-coating to protect its insides and outsides from all the weather elements like humidity, moisture, salt corrosion, and extreme temperatures. Its picture output is also calibrated for outdoors environment to deliver the best experience for your viewing. It features built-in speakers to handle the noisy outdoors environment and Ultra HD screens for the perfect picture.
Outdoor LED LCD TV
LED TVs have excellent displays as they can turn off some of the backlights when the scene has high contrasting colors or very bright scenes. The flat panel LED displays are thinner than the standard LCDs and have better color and contrasts. They have improved brightness and contrast levels for clearer images than LCD TVs.
Outdoor 4K Ultra HD TV
Also referred to as Ultra high definition, this display type is four times the detail of 1080p. It is the most detailed TV resolution available. It delivers sharp images and smooth lines for an excellent display.
To buy an outdoor TV, moat buyers begin with research to find out the main differences between outdoor TV and the regular indoors TVs. You then go to the brands that offer weatherproof models, and then consider the benefits, features, and pricing before making the decision. Before you invest in an outdoor television, go through this buyers guide to get acquainted with the basic things to note.
Do Your Research
Only a few companies offer outdoor TVs. It is crucial that you research about the companies first and the different models they have on offer. Read as many customer reviews as you can know what others say about their experience with the various models.
Outdoors TVs can fit a variety of places. Some use them on patios, by the pool, and on boats. Consider the amount of sunlight it will be exposed to. The more the sunlight, the brighter the LEDs you will require. It will also require a cooling system since the sun can make it too hot. Also, consider the dimensions that will fit your environment before purchasing the outdoors TV. The TV is best mounted in a protected area and not in direct sunlight. Give it the most protection even if it is rated weatherproof.
When choosing your TV from the many, consider one with cooling fans. TVs, just like other electronics, will overheat in the sun. Buying one equipped with the cooling fans will protect it from the heat. If you will keep the TV in the sun for long hours, then this is crucial if you want it to serve you longer.
The TVs brightness is an essential factor when buying a new one. The sun’s rays can make it difficult for one to see the display if it is not so bright. The outdoor TV should have between 500 and 700-nit display. An average indoors TV will give a washed display, hence the importance of better brightness.
Waterproof vs. water-resistant
What to Look For in an Antenna
Generally, amplified antennas have better reception, but you may be fine with a nonamplified, aka passive, model depending on your location. If stations broadcast within a 20-mile radius of your home, you can probably make do with a passive antenna. If not, an amplified model may help. These antennas usually promise reception within a 50-mile radius. Check the site AntennaWeb.org to see the position of broadcasters in your area.
If you want better performance than even an amplified indoor antenna can give, you’ll need to think get out of the house with an outdoor antenna. These antennas are generally larger and more sensitive than indoor models, and their installation outdoors in an elevated position lets them receive channels with far less interference than an antenna in your living room.
Buy from companies with generous return policies in case you need to try different options (like amplified vs. nonamplified). Want to watch live TV over your Internet connection? Also check out Sling TV or PlayStation Vue.
The ClearStream 2Max is a capable antenna, built to handle both indoor use and outdoor installations. It pulled in an impressive 4channels clearly with its bold, function-first design. The non-amplified antenna comes with a table-top stand and an outdoor mounting bracket, but you’ll need to supply your own coaxial cable.
How We Tested HDTV Antennas
We tested HDTV antennas in a New York City apartment and then in a rural Vermont home. In both settings, the antennas were identically situated to replicate a typical home installation alongside a living-room television. We followed each manufacturer’s instructions; we didn’t go to extraordinary lengths — such as stringing additional cables or hanging them out a window — to find optimal reception areas. However, we did determine a position where stations could be consistently received in a convenient and repeatable installation.
With each antenna, we conducted a new scan of available channels, repopulated the program guide, and then checked each station’s reception for video and audio quality. Some stations listed as captured proved to be unwatchable when we checked them individually. Many channels suffered from pixelated video artifacts and stuttering soundtracks, the sort of distortion experienced on satellite services when there’s a major storm.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
For most people, an indoor 25- or 50-mile indoor antenna will suffice. These are typically mounted on the inside of a window, and come with double-sided 3M tape. You need to consider how far the window is from your TV, and get an antenna with a longer coaxial cable.
If you live in more rural areas, you may need an antenna with a longer range, or one with an amplifier. Long-range antennas are mostly designed for outdoor installation, so you’ll have to think about their placement, as well as how you plan to run a wire from the antenna to your TV.
UHF Vs VHF
TV channels are split on to three different bands. Channels 2-are on the VHF-Lo band. Channels 7-1are on the VHF-Hi frequency, and channels 14-6are on the UHF frequency. The majority of indoor TV antennas are designed to pick up UHF channels. Below is the chart from my TV fool that breaks down the spectrum.
When it comes to indoor antennas, I’ve had the best luck with old fashioned rabbit ear antennas when it comes to receiving a VHF signal. This is due to requiring long pole elements to capture VHF signals. To make matters worse, many signals in today’s digital world interfere with channels in the VHF spectrum.
However, I recently did a review of the new Mohu Leaf Glide, which excels at receiving both UHF and VHF channels.
Generally, I recommend using an outdoor antenna if you are dependent on receiving VHF channels. Although, there are antenna hacks like using a UHF/VHF signal joiner to combine your UHF antenna with a pair of rabbit ears for VHF channels.
Directional Vs Omnidirectional
Directional TV antennas are antennas designed to pick up signals in the direction you point them. Omni-directional antennas are designed to pick up channels in all directions. This tradeoff off is done by focusing the antenna gain, which is different from amplifier gain.
With a directional TV antenna, the gain is built into the TV antenna to focus reception in the direction. This gain is measured by adding the gain value of the antenna to the noise margin (NM db). For example, a channel with a noise margin of 30 in the TV Fool report can be read as 4if you point a directional antenna with 1dB gain toward it.
Omni directional antennas balance their gain to pick up channels in all directions.
TV – There is typically a dB loss associated with the TV. An estimate of dB should suffice.
Cable runs – Typically RG-coax is used in the US. The maximum DB loss in the highest TV frequency is about 5.dB per 100 ft. cable run. Add a.dB loss for any un-split joint connection.
Adjacent House –An adjacent house in line with the generation of the signal and casting a shadow either on the antenna or on the exterior wall that is in the path of an indoor antenna creates a loss. Various studies show a dB loss between 10-2dB for signals within UHF and VHF frequency. Studies also show that raising the height of an indoor antenna will lessen the loss.
Tree Shadowing – This is when a nearby tree in line with the generation of the signal casts a shadow on the antenna or on the exterior wall in line with the antenna. Trees have been shown in studies to have a dB loss of 0-dB within the UHF and VHF frequency. A TV antenna installed at a lower height can improve signal propagation since the signal can better avoid the tree canopy. In rare cases raising an antenna can actually degrade reception. Often in these cases a, dense tree canopy can be blamed.
Home Penetration – This only matters for an indoor antenna. Expect a loss of around 14dB for a signal to penetrate a home and reach a first floor antenna. Installing the antenna on the 2nd or 3rd floor can greatly mitigate a portion of these losses.
Where to Install an Indoor Antenna
Locate the bull’s-eye chart to the left of the table pictured below. Figure out where your antenna will be mounted in relation to that tower.
If you are left with about 1dB or more after subtracting loss estimates, you should have enough of a signal to watch OTA TV. If you are below 12db try and find a higher area to mount the antenna. This may be an upper floor, or even the attic. You may want to consider the roof if possible. You can rerun the TV Fool report from a new height to test if it improves the signal.
If there is enough noise margin on the weakest signal, the next consideration is the distance of the antenna from the tower. An important variable when considering the distance is whether the signal frequency is VHF vs UHF. Commercial antennas typically indicate the range at which they can capture a signal. It is a bit misleading as they usually specify the distance for Ultra High Frequency (UHF).
UHF frequency runs at a higher frequency than VHF or “Very High Frequency”. Truth be told, there is little an indoor commercial antenna will do to pick up VHF that can’t be done with just a pair of rabbit ears.
Typically your VHF channels should be within 1miles, and your UHF should be within 30 miles for an indoor solution to work. This is extremely dependent on how much loss the signal takes before reaching your antenna. I have seen indoor antennas work over 50 miles from the broadcast tower.
The last concept we need to consider is direction. We may or may not need this information depending on the antenna type, but it’s important to know in the event we need to troubleshoot the signal.
To figure this out refer to the channel table report once more. Now we are looking under the “Azimuth” header. Find the number under magnetic (Magn). Note the number next to each.
It’s also handy to circle the channels appearing on the bull’s-eye for ease of reference. Now we have everything we need to know about the signal. We can now cover the types of antennas available and their strengths and weaknesses.
Antenna Gain Vs Amplifier Gain
This subject can be confusing as there are really two types of gain in relation to antennas. There is antenna gain, which we discussed earlier as being inherent to the antenna. It essentially aids you in receiving a signal from the tower and can be added to your noise margin.
Then there is amplifier gain, which is added from a powered amplifier. This amplifier will not impact the antennas ability to actually receive the signal, but will mitigate noise created by splitters, cable length, and tuners between the antenna and your television.
Older Omnidirectional Antennas
These antennas still work fine for stations close by. If you live in a metro area with lots of signals close by, you could give one of these dinosaurs a shot.
Loop – A loop is an omnidirectional antenna and is shown in the picture below. This antenna also contains a pair of rabbit ears. The loop is mainly designed to pick up UHF.
Dipole Antenna – For TV antennas, these omnidirectional antennas are typically referred to as “rabbit ears”. They work for local VFH signals, but not much else.
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The Winegard FlatWave Antenna is designed with an ultra low-noise system. It has a 60-mile range and it supports high-VHF, UHF, VHF, and 4K. The black color and rectangular shape make it stand apart from other antennas in terms of design. I actually prefer it because it is not as ugly as the others and feels more futuristic.
With this Winegard outdoor antenna, you can now watch top rated shows along with content in many other categories such as sports, news, weather, and so on. It delivers HD picture and a crisp clear Dolby Sound.
You can use it to replace your traditional antennas. It is small and you can easily install it in a place where it will become invisible. Although the company advertises that this antenna has a 60-mile range, it depends mainly on antenna placement and other physical factors.
It also has an integrated reflector to give the best possible signal quality, and it amplifies the signal without producing any signal noise. It is assembled in the USA and comes with a flex mount for easy installation.
With it, you can watch many free channels. You can use the free over-the-air programming to find channels that you want to see so you don’t have to pay the cable bill ever again.
If you want more content, you can connect this antenna to a streaming device. You can easily use Roku, Chromecast, and FireTV and watch the latest shows and movies.
This high-performance antenna from 1Byone can receive signals from as far as 8miles. You can install it outdoor, in an attic, or on a rooftop. You can receive VHF and UHF band signals using it. Installing it is easy thanks to the mounting pole that comes with it.
It also comes with a mounting pole that makes it easy to install the antenna on any surface, preferably on the highest point on your home for a noise-free reception. It has a high-quality construction that ensures it keeps working even in tough weather conditions.
Back reflector for low interference
The Channel Master Antenna receives the popular VHF and UHF signals. If your local tower is broadcasting HDTV signal, this antenna will receive it. It will also receive FM signals because it has bandwidths ranging from 17to 21and 470 and 700 MHZ.
This is yet again, one of the best antennas in terms of range since it can receive signal coming from 80 miles away. You can watch HD channels and enjoy Dolby crisp sound. Be sure to check whether your local broadcasters have a broadcasting tower within an 80-mile radius of your home before making the investment.
Mounting it should not be a big hassle. You can read instructions on the manual to mount it properly. It comes pre-assembled with a built-in balun. It includes the necessary hardware for installation but you will need to buy a mast separately as it doesn’t come with the product. Once installed, the antenna offers a 75-ohm output.
This antenna by Channel Master is a phased with bays. It’s multi-directional, which means you don’t need to point it to the broadcasting tower to receive a better signal. It will receive signals from 180 degrees range without any issues. This is one of the qualities that are hard to find in other products.
With this antenna, you can watch HD channels broadcasted by your local station. But that’s not it. It will also pick up major TV networks such as PBS, HBO, FOX, and CBS. That means you won’t miss your favorite show ever again, even when you have unsubscribed from satellite and cable.
Use outdoors or install in an attic
T outperforms many of its competitors in the 60-mile range. If there are minimal obstructions and buildings between the antenna and the broadcasting tower, you can expect an exceptional picture and sound quality.
With this ClearStream Antenna, you can expect to watch ABC, CBS, PBS, FOX, and many other channels from top networks. You can also watch local channels, both HD or regular transmissions. Since it picks up both VHF and UHF signals, you can receive many local channels without a problem.
It’s an outdoor/indoor antenna. This means you can install it on your roof or in the attic. If you are living in an area with low signal strength, the manufacturer recommends installing the antenna outdoors on your roof for the best reception. But if you are living in an area with towers in the close proximity, you can install it in your attic and still enjoy high-quality pictures. The antenna uses multi-directional elements that give you exceptional reception with minimal interference even in bad weather.
Why you should trust me
I have been reviewing TVs, monitors, projectors, and other home theater equipment since 200I’m an ISF Level II–certified calibrator, so I can coax the best image possible out of a display, and I always have the objective data to back up my subjective opinion.
How we picked
The best outside sources for small-TV reviews come from European websites such as HDTVtest and TrustedReviews. With smaller living spaces, people in Europe are more likely to turn to a 32-inch TV for their main set than people are in the US. Since European displays have to support different refresh rates (50 Hz versus 60 Hz for some content) and inputs (SCART) than American ones, the hardware isn’t exactly the same. However, the LCD panel itself and the pieces that directly relate to image quality are often identical, so reviews can serve to help you determine which units deserve a look.
For this guide, we consider a “small” TV to be anything 3inches or smaller. For many people, this might be a main TV, but for others it will be a secondary TV. If it is your main TV, the price increase to move up to a 40-inch or even a 50-inch display isn’t that significant and, in our opinion, worth doing if your space can hold it.
If you are confined by space but still want the best TV you can get in this size, we will cover that too. We are assuming that most people are after a TV with a good picture and (more important) a good value.
The only technology you will see in a 32-inch TV is an LCD set with either an LED or CCFL backlight. LEDs are slightly more power-efficient and can produce a thinner display, while CCFLs are usually less expensive.
For a 32-inch TV, a 720p model is likely going to be fine. To verify this, I set up a 720p display directly next to a 1080p display, calibrated both, and sent the same image to them from an Oppo BDP-103D Blu-ray player. All processing was disabled, so both displays were receiving the exact same signal.
Sitting only 5 feet from the displays, I could make out an advantage for 1080p, but it wasn’t huge.
Don’t look at refresh rates on a 32-inch TV. Virtually no one offers a true 120 Hz panel unless you are spending a lot of money on a TV. Many vendors use tricks that they claim make the panel effectively a 120 Hz panel and then label the product as 120 Hz. Usually such tricks involve flashing the backlight instead of always having it on. Sometimes this is helpful, sometimes it isn’t; it really isn’t worth paying extra for.
Lots of TVs also offer sound modes to provide better-quality audio. Unfortunately, such models are also using tricks, as these tiny displays can’t overcome the laws of physics. Making bigger sounds requires more surface area, and manufacturers are moving toward smaller, thinner TVs, not larger ones. If you really want better sound, you should pick up a soundbar; it will sound better and will also play back music from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
How we tested
I bring in every TV that I review and give it the same thorough review process. After initial setup, I evaluate and measure the preset picture modes using CalMAN version 5.software with an AJA T-Tap pattern generator, an X-Rite i1Pro spectrometer, and a SpectraCal Ccolorimeter. After determining the best preset image mode, I perform a full calibration on the TV, optimizing it for daytime and nighttime use. The more controls that are available, the longer this process takes, and the more improvement I can make.
When buying a headphone these days people typically debate the style of headphone they want (in-ear, on-ear, around-ear) whether to go wired or wireless (or even totally wireless) and whether to opt for such extra features as active noise-cancellation to help muffle ambient noise. Oh, and then there’s price. Everybody has a budget.
If you’ve narrowed your choice down, we have plenty of models to choose from in our list of the best headphones, with breakdown of the best headphones in various categories including wireless, sports, noise-cancelling and cheap.
But if you’re still a little lost in the headphone maze, here’s some info that will hopefully help steer you in the right direction.
The size, type and technology of a pair of headphones are all critical to a purchasing decision. But it’s important to demystify the bevy of features and headphone-specific vocabulary. Listed below are the most important features you’ll need to consider before finding the perfect pair of headphones.
Bass: Even at its very best, headphone bass is never the sort of pants-flapping, sock-it-to-your-gut experience you literally feel from massive speakers or subwoofers, but many manufacturers custom tune their “signature sound” to emphasize the lower frequencies, albeit at the cost of instrument separation and natural delivery. Earbuds are tiny and portable, but — except for a couple of high-end models — they can’t compete with full-size, over-the-ear headphones for deep bass response or visceral dynamic range.
Sealed (closed) vs. open: Sealed headphones — the noise-isolating, in-ear models or the full-size earcup designs — acoustically isolate your ears from your environment. Of course, the degree of isolation varies from one pair of headphones to another, and the seal limits the leakage of the headphones’ sound out to the room. Sealed models are ideal for private listening, where you don’t want the sound to be heard by other people. Open headphones — such as foam earpad models and many sports designs — are acoustically transparent and allow outside sound to be heard by the headphone wearer, and a good deal of the headphones’ sound will be audible to anyone near the listener.
Generally speaking, such headphones produce better, more “open” sound than sealed designs. Because they don’t block out everything from the outside world, open-backed headphones are recommended for outdoor activities, such as jogging, which require awareness of your environment.
Pro-style headphones are comparatively bulky and can feel uncomfortably heavy after hours of use. Lighter headband-style headphones are almost always more comfortable than heavier ones. And even if they’re not, they’re less of a hassle to carry around.
Cable dressing and length: Most stereo headphones have just one cable, usually attached to the left earpiece (sometimes called single-sided cabling). Some models — and all earbuds — use a Y-cable that connects to both earpieces (double-sided). The actual cable plug, meanwhile, is usually one of two designs: a straight I-plug or an angled L-plug; the latter may be useful if your portable player has a side- or bottom-mounted headphone jack.
Quick reference glossary
Frequency response: Frequency-response specifications in full-size loudspeakers are generally pretty useless in predicting sound quality, but headphone frequency-response numbers are even worse. Manufacturers have routinely exaggerated frequency-response figures to the point that they’re irrelevant. Even the flimsiest, cheap headphones routinely boast extremely low bass-response performance –15Hz or 20Hz — but almost always sound lightweight and bright. Generally, bass buffs will be happier sticking with larger ‘phones.
Total harmonic distortion: True, headphones with lower actual total harmonic distortion (THD) will sound better than those with higher THD. But the quoted THD numbers — “less than percent” — aren’t helpful in predicting sound quality. Listen to recordings of simply recorded acoustic guitar to assess the distortion of one set of headphones versus another. Some will sound appreciably cleaner than others.
Impedance: Generally speaking, the lower the headphones’ electrical impedance (aka resistance), the easier it is to get higher volume. But here again, the low impedance is no guarantee of high volume capability; other factors can still limit loudness potential. Since many MPplayers have feeble power output — the iPod is a notable exception — smart shoppers should check the loudness before purchasing any pair of headphones. To be sure, listen with your player.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
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