Hooking up your TV: Casting your Laptop to your TV Screen

Let’s say you are hosting a dinner party and want to play Spotify or Youtube on your TV and don’t want to worry about it freezing, disconnecting or changing playlists manually.

The best solution would be to cast your PC or MAC screen on your TV.
There are several wifi systems to choose from, such as Google Chromecast, Apple TV or other wireless tools. You can hook up these systems using a simple HDMI cable.

HDMI cables come in a range of prices, usually determined by materials that were used to make it or if it’s made by a specific brand, so don’t stress yourself out by pondering what is the difference.

This is a cheap and functional solution:

While this is a more expensive but higher quality:

Before making a purchase of any wifi systems like Google Chromecast or AppleTV, you should verify if they are compatible with your computer and your TV, while also considering which systems makes the most sense for your needs.

Casting your computer to your computer screen is a convenient way to look at photos, watch movies, play music and impress your friends by seeming effortlessly tech-savvy. While also being a good friend because nobody wants to crowd around a laptop.

Sounding Off on Sound Bars

If you’ve been using PAN TV, you know that we don’t usually review soundbars, because we would develop a unique algorithm similar to the one used to find the best TV for you.

That being said, we thought this article could be useful because we came across 3 soundbars that we believe are the best products available on the market today, in May 2019.

And in case you don’t feel like taking a quiz or didn’t even know you really needed a soundbar until this article, just take a look at these:

This one creates great sound and has a sleek and beautiful design. It’s not too pricey and customers seem to really enjoy this soundbar.

This second one is definitely more expensive, but it’s quite interesting because it has a unique sound output. It could be seen as a more advanced system and is worth the money.

Soundbars are another product where there’s so many options, from low to high prices and from sleek ‘barely there’ designs to bulky speakers. The aesthetics are always subjective and depend on what your tastes are and what the primary use of the soundbar will be.

For example, if you will usually be using the soundbar to watch TV (at a regular volume) you may want to invest less or consider different features such as bass or sound crispness than someone who is going to use the soundbar for playing music at high volumes regularly, aka house parties (oh those poor neighbours!).

Keep an eye out for PAN’s upcoming soundbar algorithm for more options personalized to your needs.

It’s all about Location – Even for your TV

When choosing the right location and set up for your TV it’s important to consider many different factors – not just aesthetics.

First things first, assess your space and decide at what distance you will (mostly) be watching your TV from. I say mostly because often times we tend to watch TV at different distances, for example, sometimes from your kitchen counter while cooking, but mostly from your couch.

Next, think about if you want an additional sound system connected to your TV and where you want to place each speaker. Same goes if you want any type of gaming system or extras (such as DVD or DVR players) attached.

What about WiFi integration or if you have a home network like Google Home? Consider where they will be placed.

Probably at his point, you’re thinking, “okay great, but what do I do with all these cables?”

This is an important aspect to consider because not only are a bunch of exposed cables ugly, but they also can be a safety hazard and as well as pesky dust collectors. While the best approach would be to design walls and plugs accordingly, this is not always possible.

In this case, a good cable management solution can help you to organize and hide/reduce your cables.

There are plenty of cheap options out there to keep your space clutter free – for example, Amazon has various options – check these out

On top of all these important factors, aesthetics also play an important role in deciding TV placement, perhaps you want it mounted on the wall or put on top of a set of drawers, the underlining factor is that it is comfortable, user-friendly and safe.

The key is finding some prime real estate for your new TV.

How to Find the Best TV Size for Your Space

When it comes to TVs (among other things) size matters. And by size, we don’t mean one of those massive old school square boxes with a curved glass screen, we mean the perfect modern design for your own personal needs and uses.

Many factors play into choosing the perfect TV size for you, such as space available, viewing distance, height, the list goes on.

You can calculate the best dimension for your specific case, with the following table:

Screen Size Recommended Range
26″ 3.3′ – 6.5′ (1.0 m – 2.0 m)
30″ 3.8′ – 7.6′ (1.2 m – 2.3 m)
34″ 4.3′ – 8.5′ (1.3 m – 2.6 m)
42″ 5.3′ – 10.5′ (1.6 m – 3.2 m)
46″ 5.8′ – 11.5′ (1.8 m – 3.5 m)
50″ 6.3′ – 12.5′ (1.9 m – 3.8 m)
55″ 6.8′ – 12.8′ (2.1 m – 3.9 m)
60″ 7.5′ – 15.0′ (2.3 m – 4.6 m)
65″ 8.1′ – 16.3′ (2.5 m – 5.0 m)

You simply need to insert the distance from which you will be watching your TV, and you will get the maximum dimension that will result in the most comfortable experience.

What about TV resolution?

If you are buying a new TV, we recommend you buy the best resolution available on the market, that matches your budget and time distance. We recommend you to check the maximum size you can get against 2 parameters:

  1. The space available in your house, where you will place your TV.
  2. The distance from where you will be watching your TV.

Use the table above to get the max size you should get according to PAN, and ask PAN what’s the best TV for you.

You can refine your question to PAN by adding more details, like your budget and your favorite Operating System – if you have one.

PAN’s goal is to save you a time and give you suggestions and a link with the best price we could find online.

What if I watch TV from different distances?

If your TV is on a wall on the living room, and you watch it both, chilling on the couch that is 1.5 m away from it, and from the kitchen counter while you’re cooking, from over 3.00 m, what distance should you use for your decision?

This is a very personal choice and we recommend you to pick the distance where you will be watching your TV most of the time, for longer TV breaks.

In the example above, PAN suggests that you pick the distance from the couch as it’s more likely that you’ll spend 2 hours or more watching a movie from that distance. From the kitchen counter you will still be watching TV while cooking, but maybe it’s more about hearing the sound, and glancing from time to time to keep up with the program.

A different resolution would result in different optimal distances, no?

Yes, for sure. However, with PAN we will suggest a modern TV with the best possible resolution available for your budget, and personal settings.

We recommend you to double check on the vendor website if the selected product matches your individual needs.

You can eventually ask our community and see the reviews on Amazon, BestBuy or Facebook.

Lastly, remember, bigger doesn’t always necessarily mean better, it’s how you use it!

 

TV Operating Systems – What’s Best?

All TV operating systems have Pros and Cons. But if you’re unsure of why you should care, or even know about your TV’s OS (operating system), here’s some reasons why:

What is a good reason to worry about the operating system of your next TV?

You may want to buy a TV that integrates as easy as possible into your existing technology. So if you have an Android phone, Google Home, or various kinds of devices/technology by Google, it could make sense to look for a TV with a relevant OS, like Android.

If you are an Apple fan, with plenty of iPhones, iPads or Macbooks, you may want to still consider Android TV, which integrates very well with Apple devices.

Another good reason is if you have a past (or current) negative experience with a specific TV OS.

Don’t expect too much from other solutions though, because in our opinion at the moment (2019) there is no dominant OS on the market. You can read a very deep and professional review here, but it won’t be life changing as there is not a definitive OS to choose. As with many things, there are pros and cons to each – but in the end, they are more or less the same if you don’t have any specific preferences.

Beware of bias reviews or opinions! As we all know, there are die-hard Apple fans and a super loyal Android squad – always keep your personal needs and preferences in mind when reading blogs or reviews.

PAN will suggest to you the best TV with any Operating Systems – from the best TVs on the market. Unless you’re looking for a specific one, we recommend you don’t limit your choice.

You can find plenty of reviews online, but in our opinion is not worth investing time unless you’re looking for specific information – for example – on integration with other technologies or connected devices.

If you simply want to have a truly personal opinion on what is better, the only way is to try it out at a friend’s house or in a shop that would allow you to do so.

If you are someone who doesn’t care about using devices like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, and hasn’t had any experience with a specific OS in the past, then move right along and don’t fret about choosing an OS – just opt for the TV that has other features that you’ll find useful.

LED and OLED – What’s the Difference?

OLED is a newer and better technology than LED – simply put.

It’s easy to imagine that OLED TVs are in general more expensive than LED ones. The price difference is reflected in better contrast and brightness, and in general, a more defined and vivid TV experience.

When you ask PAN what is the best TV for your personal settings, the answer will always be the best we could find that matches your available budget.

There is no need to chose between LED and OLED, simply go with OLED if possible.

If you want to learn more about these 2 technologies in detail, or to see live examples of what exactly can look better on an OLED TV, you can find plenty of examples online, and advanced scientific descriptions of the two technologies, but we are not going to bore you with the specifics because PAN’s goal is to save you time, not rob you of it.

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, and as the name reveals it’s an evolution of a technology that has been on the market for a long time, based on electroluminescence.

We don’t ask you whether you prefer LED, OLED, Plasma or any other kind of technology because we simply provide you with our best suggestion that matches your criteria.

We highly recommend you go with OLED technology if you are someone who spends a lot of time watching TV or you are someone whose eyes are somewhat sensitive, for example if you need glasses to watch TV for longer periods of time. This may not be important to you if this isn’t going to be your primary TV or you usually have it on as ambient sound and light.

Hopefully this gave you a brief understanding of the importance and difference between LED and OLED TV technology.

Subtitle: how to chose between LED and OLED