WATCHING television has become part of the daily routine for most of the Western world.
Parents screaming at children to switch off the ‘idiot box’, threatening failure to do so would turn eyes square has become part of growing up for Aussie kids.
I remember vividly my younger sister rising before the sun woke up to switch on cartoons.
We had to wave arms, legs and other items in front of her zombie-like face to get her attention.
Given this electronic item has become an essential piece of furniture in many homes, it’s a purchase that should be seriously considered.
With top end products costing in excess of $3000, it’s an investment into a family’s entertainment.
So, what should you be looking for when you’re seeking out a new TV?
And, how much TV should you watch?
I spoke to major electronics stores in Port Macquarie to pick their brains on the best buys.
All agreed LED was a popular pick right now, given this technology was the most energy efficient.
Shopping for an additional TV for the home was the most common reason people are in the market for a new model.
Harvey Norman sales manager Andrew Winn said sales were hectic in the lead-up to last month’s digital switch-over.
The 32-inch models have “never been cheaper” Mr Winn says.
He said LED televisions were up to 35 per cent cheaper to run.
Televisions with 3D capability and smart televisions were becoming popular.
Watching movies with family is enhanced by the novelty of slipping on a pair of specs and watching the screen come to life, Mr Winn believes.
Retirees in particular are drawn to smart televisions with wi-fi capabilities and built-in web cameras.
Keeping connected with family is made that extra bit more personal when nanna and granddad can see their beloved grandchildren via Skype or similar video chat programs.
Dick Smith Settlement City store manager Tyron Searle said staff ask potential buyers questions, including where the television was going and how often it would be used, to select the perfect model for each customer.
JB Hi Fi salesman Aaron Cogill said the average amount spent by people looking for a television to put in the lounge room was about $1200.
The 116cm to 152cm [46 to 60 inch] models were popular for buyers at the moment.
Now you’ve got just the right TV, how often should your family be glued to it?
Researchers agree that children should watch no more than two hours of carefully selected television programs a day to achieve optimum health and well-being.
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation recommends the two-hour guideline, which was the result of significant scientific studies and would potentially encourage families to be more physically active.
Dr Aric Sigman, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, said his analysis of 35 scientific studies over the past decade showed it was important for parents to monitor the types of programs children watch.
“There is some evidence that flickering television shows like cartoons and commercials can harm eyesight and potentially cause short-sightedness, particularly in children,” Dr Sigman said.