The Best Televisions & Home Theaters

With a great television and home theater system, you can watch a great movie on a big screen with awesome speakers without ever leaving home. That way, you won't have to deal with sticky movie theater floors, uncomfortable seats, noisy audience members, or high admission prices. You can build a dedicated home theater system in a separate room or just upgrade the equipment in your living room or den. Here are some tips to help you make your viewing experience enjoyable no matter what your budget is.

Choose the Right Television for Your Space

Today's thin, lightweight TVs are easy to mount on a wall for an attractive, wire-free home theater. However, putting your set too high on your wall or choosing a television that's too big or too small can make viewing uncomfortable. People should be able to relax while they watch a movie or a TV show instead of craning their necks or squinting to see. The center of your television should be at eye level when you sit on your couch or your lounge chair. If you want to watch TV in bed, a smaller set works best.

Look for a High Contrast Ratio

The contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest tones a television can display and the darkest tones. A TV with a higher number should give you a deeper, more realistic picture with a wider range of more accurate colors. However, there's no standardized measurement for contrast ratio, and every manufacturer has its own standards. That means you can't compare the contrast ratios of a Samsung and a Sony or a Sony and a Sharp. The contrast ratio is still helpful when you're comparing the same brand.

Otherwise, you should look at the picture and choose the model with the most realistic images. Study the skin tones of movie and TV characters to see if they seem realistic. A poor contrast ration could make people look unnaturally sunburnt or pale. Grass should look like your front lawn, not so green that it doesn't seem real. You'll also be able to see more detail in nighttime scenes with a high contrast ratio.

At JCPenney, you can find a variety of quality TVs from well-known brands like GPX and Proscan. Many come with remotes and built-in DVD players. You can also buy a separate DVD player, a Roku streaming device, and more.