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LCD and LED are virtually the same type of panel, meaning that the image is produced in the same way. LCDs are the most common type of panel, used in everything from cell phones and laptops to monitors and TVs. LCDs have replaced cathode ray tube (CRT) displays. Because LCD panels produce no light of their own, they must be back lit, which is where the defining line between LCDs and LEDs is. LCDs use fluorescent lighting and LEDs use “light emitting diodes” which allow LEDs to have brighter, more vibrant colors, a thinner and lighter build, and to be more energy efficient.
Plasmas create an image in a completely different way. The panel of a plasma TV is formed of cells filled with gas. The gas is electrically charged by electrodes to produce a portion of the picture. Plasma screens are primarily made of two sheets of glass that contain the components to produce a picture; this tends to make plasma heavier and more reflective. However, a plasma display panel (PDP) is capable of achieving deeper, richer, which results in better detail and a more natural image.
DLP (Digital Light Processing) TVs are one of the leading technologies used in digital cinema projection. In DLPs, the image is created by microscopic mirrors laid out in a template on a semiconductor chip. Each mirror is equal to one or more pixels in the projected image. DLPs tend to be heavier and bulkier than LEDs and PDPs of a comparable screen size. This is because DLPs are essentially rear projectors. Laser DLPs are a more efficient way or producing an image. This technology removes the color wheel and three different colored lasers illuminate the digital micro-mirror device, creating a richer, more vibrant color.
OLED (organic light emitting diode) TVs are a new type of panel technology made up of self-luminous diodes that don’t require backlighting or diffusers. The emissive layer is a film of organic (carbon-based) compounds that emit light when an electrical current is applied. Because OLEDs don’t require a backlight, they are much thinner and energy efficient than other screen panel types.
LCD and LED TVs function in the same manner, the only difference is the type of backlighting, CCFL (fluorescent) vs. LED (light emitting diodes). The diodes in LEDs are smaller and brighter, gives the set a lighter weight and brighter picture. Every LCD is comprised of a varying amount of pixels and each pixel contains 3 sub-pixels of red, green, and blue. The pixels are made of liquid crystal, which acts as a light valve, allowing light to filter through as required by data translated by the image processors. LCD’s current refresh rate ranges from 60-240 Hz based on an industry standard, they are limited depending on density of the crystal and how fast it can switch to allow or block the passage of light.
Plasma TVs utilize small cells containing electrically-charged, ionized gases to collectively form a visual image. A plasma TV typically has millions of tiny cells compartmentally spaced between two panels of glass. Each pixel is made of 3 cells (sub-pixels) each with their own color (red, green, and blue) phosphorous-dyed walls, that when charged causes a reaction to the phosphorous painted cell walls. The colors blend together to create the overall color of the pixel. The control system can increase of decrease the intensity of each sub-pixel color to create billions of red, green and blue color combinations. Plasma’s extreme color accuracy can be credited to using the same phosphors as CRTs.
Digital Light Processing (DLP) TVs are essentially rear projectors. The longest-standing DLP is the single-chip projector. Single-chip DLPs utilize a single white lamp with a color wheel between it and a DLP chip or individual light sources like lasers. The color wheel is divided into multiple sectors: primary colors, red, green, and blue; and secondary colors, cyan, magenta, yellow, and sometimes white; yielding a broader spectrum of possible color combinations. The DLP chip is synchronized with the rotating motion of the color wheel so that the color component is displayed on the micro-mirror device when its respective color is in front of the lamp. The colors are displayed sequentially at such a high rate (up to 10x the frame rate) that you see a combined “full color” image. Laser DLPs eliminate the use of a color wheel by using three or more separate color lasers to illuminate the micro-mirror device, producing a richer, more vibrant color.
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) TVs consist of several layers. These layers include the substrate, which supports the OLED; the anode, which removes electrons when a current flows through the device; organic layers; a conducting layer, which transports the “holes” from the anode; an emissive layer, which transports electrons from the cathode and is where light is made; and a cathode, which injects electrons when a current flows through the device. When an electrical current is applied to an OLED, it flows from the cathode to the anode through the organic layers. At the edge between the emissive and conductive layers, the electrons find electron “holes.” They fill these holes and when that happens, the electron gives up its energy in the form of a photon of light. The OLED emits this light to create part of an image. The color of the light depends on the type of organic molecule in the emissive layer, and the intensity depends on the amount of electrical current that was applied.
The native resolution of an HDTV determines how much detail your picture will have on the screen. A television with a native resolution of 720p has a pixel count of 1280 x 720, which is 921,600 individual pixels. This resolution supports up to ‘1280’ pixels wide by ‘720’ pixels tall. A television with a native resolution of 1080p has a pixel count of 1220 x 1080, which is 2,073,600 individual pixels. This resolution supports up to ‘1920’ pixels wide by ‘1080’ pixels tall. A television with a native resolution of 4K has a pixel count of 3840 x 2160, which is 8,294,400 individual pixels. This resolution supports up to ‘3840’ pixels wide by ‘2160’ pixels tall. The ‘P’ and the ‘I’ that trail behind the resolution indicate the television’s scan modes, which are either Progressive scan or Interlaced. Many televisions today are progressive scan, which offers the best picture quality because every line of resolution is refreshed and responds at the same time, resulting in a smoother, crisper picture. Interlaced refreshes every other line in a picture, which is not the best quality, but it reduces bandwidth and is common with broadcasting from a cable or satellite provider.
Which resolution is better comes down to the size and primary use of your display. For smaller televisions, 720p is a good resolution if you’re just looking for a set to stream music and watch basic TV shows, while saving a little money. For watching Blu-rays, gaming, screens larger than 47’, or for a step above 720p, a 1080p HDTV is a good option. There are significantly more pixels in a 1080p display, which yields more detail and a sharper image. 1080p displays are also more affordable than 4K displays. Last but not least, the 4K resolution offers even more pixels and a superior picture quality, but it does cost more and native 4K content isn’t as widely available. This screen size is ideal for screens larger than 80”, for passive 3D users, or for anyone who wants a top-of-the-line model.
There are two ways in which an LED panel is illuminated; edge-lit and full array. Both of them dictate how uniform your color will be on screen. Edge-lit LED panels are the most common due to the minimal amount of LEDs throughout the screen, it keeps the cost down. Edge-lit panels typically have quadrants of LEDs, many of which also include mirrors to redirect light towards the center of the screen. The LEDs in an edge-lit panel are going to be throughout the actual edges of the panel, on the top and bottom, or on each side. No matter where the LEDs are located, some sections of the screen will be brighter than others. Many manufacturers compensate this flaw with built-in dimming technology to “even out” the color and the contrast. Full array panels have an LED backlight throughout the entire panel, because of this, the color and contrast is much more even than their edge-lit counterparts. Due to the amount of LEDs, full array panels cost a little more, but offer a noticeably better picture quality. Some manufacturers also include dimming technology to full array panels to offer more detail, richer colors, and deeper black levels. On a consistent basis, full array panels offer the best picture quality over any comparable edge-lit.
All of the TVs we offer are Energy Star Rated. Through the years, the power consumption and energy efficiency of flat panels has drastically improved. As technology advances, so does efficiency.
Power is the rate at which energy is consumed and is expressed in watts or kilowatts. Energy is equal to power consumed and is expressed in watt-hours or kilo-watt hours (kWh). What Energy Star does is measure the average yearly cost to run a TV based on 11 cents per kWh at 5 hours of use per day (over 365 days).
With that said, OLEDs are the most energy-efficient technology on the market. They don’t use a backlight and require less of an electrical current to create an image than plasmas do. OLEDs aside, Laser DLPs tend to have the lowest average yearly cost for their screen sizes, but LEDs are more energy efficient, especially if they have some sort of built-in dimming technology. In LEDs, dimming technology not only helps the picture, but it reduces the yearly cost and power consumption by 10-15 percent.
OLEDs and 4K UHDTVs are the latest updates in consumer TV technology. They will be on the market this year (2013). For the latest information feel free to check out our blog.
3D has existed in some form since 1915. 3D or 3-D, three-dimensional, is a format that enhances the illusion of depth. Standard 2D only consist of width and height, the additional depth is what gives the picture the “jumping out” effect you come to know with 3D broadcasting. 3D has made a leap from the movie theaters to your home. In order to see depth from a 3D TV, each eye has to have a slightly different image. When you open and close one eye at a time, the image you see with your right eye is slightly different the one you saw with your left eye. 3D technology uses glasses to create a similar effect. This “tricks” your brain into seeing “depth.”
No, you can’t use just any brand or pair of 3D glasses. You need glasses that are made specifically for your television. There are two types of 3D glasses, Active and Passive. Some manufacturers use one type, while other manufacturers might incorporate both type of glasses amongst their product lines.
Passive 3D glasses are the lightweight glasses you get when you go to the movie theater to watch a 3D movie. Movie theaters use these glasses because they are relatively inexpensive. The passive 3D glasses have polarized lens that block out certain lines of resolution; for instance the left eye is only capable of viewing the odd lines, and the right eye picks up the even lines. Without the glasses, however, the TV looks normal. Unlike Active glasses, that flicker, passive typically offers brighter picture than active 3D, but the resolution is not as good (because you’re losing lines of resolution to each eye.
Active 3D glasses are also known as shutter glasses, they open and close at a high rate to give the illusion of 3D. There are no lines of resolution filtered, unlike passive, so you receive a true HD 3D picture. However, since the lenses shutter the picture is not as bright because of the light blocked by the shuttering. Active lenses are generally synced to the television via Bluetooth, although some manufacturers still use infrared. The 3D processors in the TV tell the glasses when they should shutter.
Absolutely not! The capability of a TV to receive and broadcast a proper 3D signal is just an additional feature. A 3D TV offers an arguably better picture quality than a comparable 2D TV. 3D TVs offer a better picture quality because the processor has to be stronger to handle the additional workload. The picture of 3D TVs tend to be smoother, crisper, and show motion with more detail.
There are quite a few ways to view some form of 3D at home. 3D content is virtually unlimited; if your 3D TV can show it in 2D, you can see it in 3D. About 90% of the 3D TVs on the market today are currently capable of a 2D to 3D conversion, i.e., the ability to add additional depth to anything on screen. You also have streaming, on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, as well as many cable and satellite providers that stream 3D content. The final (and best quality) way to view 3D content is with a 3D Blu-ray. With this method, you will need a 3D Blu-ray player to send a 3D signal. If you’re interested in the current and upcoming 3D Blu-ray releases, check out our blog post.
The answer to this question depends on your environment, budget, and the primary use of the television. All types of televisions (LED, LCD, plasma, OLED, etc…) have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Through the years, technology advancements have allowed manufacturers to address the disadvantages and improve the quality of the displays.
If you’re looking for a massive TV at a relatively inexpensive cost, there is no substitute for the DLP television. DLPs typically have a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1080p resolution. The good thing about DLPs is when compared to a comparable size and quality plasma or LCD/LED, the DLP will be less expensive; albeit with higher costs associated with energy consumption (only by a few bucks a year). The downfall to DLPs is their massive size; DLP TVs are not mountable due to the extended back that houses the projector inside the TV.
Hands down, the best picture quality has to go to plasma displays. They offer more natural colors, the best black levels of all panels, and the smoothest picture reproduction. Plasma displays are great for all occasions; their biggest downside is the reflectivity of the glass screen that’s common amongst all plasmas. Manufacturers now add an anti-glare coating to the screens to help alleviate the reflection of light, some of them actually use coatings that take advantage of the light to enhance the picture quality. With plasma displays advent, there was an issue with image burn-in, or image retention; that has been addressed with screensavers and pixel shifting. Plasma displays are especially great for fast action scenes, e.g., sports, games, etc; not to mention, they are often cheaper per inch when compared with LEDs.
LED panels are energy efficient and come in a variety of sizes. LEDs are LCD panels that use Light Emitting Diodes (LED) as opposed to the CCFL fluorescent backlight. LED TVs also make great “all-around” televisions, with faster scenes requiring at least 120Hz refresh rate. LED’s biggest downfall is, well, their LEDs. They’re very bright, which can make dark colors look dingy and washed out. To compensate the brightness of the LEDs, manufacturers have built-in dimming technology that either dims or turns off the LED backlights to achieve deeper blacks. The dimming also helps with common issues found amongst many LEDs like ghosting, haloing, and blooming.
OLEDs are the latest in panel technology. They produce a clear, bright picture and have a high refresh rate, meaning they don’t have problems with motion. They are also thinner, lighter, brighter, and more flexible than LEDs and LCDs. Because they don’t require a backlight, they consume less power. They can also be made in larger sizes than other models. The substrates in an OLED TV can be plastic instead of glass, meaning the screen can be flexible and even transparent if the right substrate is used.
Buy the biggest TV you can afford! That’s a joke! The size of the TV you purchase will vary based on one thing, viewing distance. So why shouldn’t you get the biggest TV you can afford? Pixel size! Remember, a TV that is capable of producing a 1080p picture has roughly 2 million pixels. As the screen gets bigger, so do the pixels; they’ll eventually be big enough for you to see them at your “normal” viewing distance. Start by measuring the area you have to give your HDTV; you want to be anywhere from 1.5 to 3 times the screen size in inches for the best viewing experience. For a 60” screen, the recommended viewing distance is 7.5 – 15ft; Ex. 60 x 1.5 = 90 / 60 x 3 = 180. (Screen size x 1.5=Viewing distance in inches). If you’re sitting over 10ft away, feel free to go as big as you like!
Yes, any HDMI cable will work for your HDTV. The actual question is, will it work well with your HDTV? Different TVs have different video capabilities, HDMI cables have different capabilities as well. Some HDMI cables allow you to carry a 3D signal, some allow for a higher refresh rate (Hz) to be carried, many allow for digital surround processing (DSP). The speed that any HDMI is capable of carrying will play a huge role in your picture quality. If you have a 240Hz refresh rate TV, then a cable that is only good to carry 120Hz will reduce the picture quality; leaving you with a jumpy picture. It’s like diverting all the traffic from a 5-lane highway to a 1-lane back street. The rate of transfer also plays an important role, data transfer of HDMI cables can range from 10.2 Gbps to more than 15.8 Gbps. The higher the speed, the more data can be transferred with lossless quality. For recommendations on the best cable for your HDTV, call Paul’s TV at 888.669.1030 and a representative will be happy to assist you.
With the exception of DLP and Laser TVs, all TVs we offer have the capability to be mounted to a wall. To mount a TV to the wall, you will need to purchase a wall mount. But with so many mounts available, which do you choose? Thankfully, just about every TV has standardized mounting patterns known as VESA; the measurement of the distance between one mounting hole and an adjacent vertical and horizontal hole in mm. Check the specifications of your TV, you will see: VESA Compliant 400 x 400, or something similar. As long as the VESA pattern and weight of your TV does not exceed those recommended by the manufacturer of the mount, the TV will mount perfectly. There will be exceptions; a larger screen size may stop the mount from tilting or fully articulating. Then, you will decide which style of mount would work best for you, fixed, tilt, or articulating. Want to know which mount will work best for your installation, contact the pros at 888.669.1030 and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.
This question is relative to your needs. There are advantages and disadvantages for both types. Top-loading washers are easier to load because they don’t require you to bend over. But on the other hand, front-loading washers tend to clean better and be more energy efficient. If you’re short on space, front-loading washers also come in stackable models.
The bigger the better! Larger capacity models allow you to fit more laundry in each load, which saves you time, energy, and water. Larger models also allow you to wash blankets and comforters, something that smaller units can’t accommodate. Generally speaking, we recommend that you buy the largest model that will fit in your space and budget. But if you don’t have a lot of space, a smaller unit will also get the job done.
Gas and electric dryers perform comparably, so the type you want will partly depend on the type of hookup you have. Electric dryers require a 240-volt outlet and gas dryers require a gas hookup and a 120-volt outlet. If you don’t have a gas line in your laundry area already, you’ll probably want to go with an electric dryer, as gas lines can be pricey to install.
If you have both options available to you, then keep in mind that while electric dryers cost less than gas ones, they also cost more to operate in most areas. So an electric dryer will save you money upfront, while a gas dryer will probably save you money over time.
A washer with a high-spin cycle will wring more water out of the clothes, making it easier for the dryer. Washers will also have an Energy Star rating and come with an Energy Guide.
Dryers aren’t regulated by the government, so they don’t have to have an Energy Star rating or come with an Energy Guide. But gas models tend to be more energy efficient, and models with sensors that shut off the dryer when clothes are actually dry (and not fried) also help.
The size of your refrigerator will be determined by the space you have available and the capacity that will best suit your needs.
One of the first things you want to do when buying a refrigerator is determine the largest refrigerator size that will fit in your available space. To do this, measure the height, width, and depth of the space. When measuring depth, make sure to leave at least one inch of extra space to accommodate rear fans and water/electrical connections. Also make sure to leave an extra one to two inches for the hinges and handles. Last but not least, measure the doorways and hallways in your home to make sure the unit can be brought in. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a fantastic new refrigerator and not being able to bring it in the house!
Your refrigerator capacity will depend on the number of people in your household and how often food is prepared in the house. Empty refrigerators run less efficiently than fully-stocked units, so bigger doesn’t equal better in this situation. As a general rule of thumb, you need about 4 to 6 cubic feet of fresh storage for each adult in your household. If you end up needing a larger refrigerator than will fit in your available space, a second unit can be added to a garage or basement.
Refrigerators come in different styles and types, including Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer, French Door, and Side-by-Side models. The refrigerator type is usually determined by the placement of the freezer (e.g. Top Freezer, Side-by-Side). In French Door units, the freezer is on the bottom. Each type will come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages though.
A Top Freezer model is the most common refrigerator type, and is often one of the least expensive. This style has a smaller freezer on the top, and a larger refrigerator compartment on the bottom. The eye-level position of the freezer gives you easier access to frozen foods, but that also means that the refrigerator is lower, requiring constant stooping to reach items. Both the refrigerator and the freezer units are full-width, making it easier to accommodate oversized items.
A Bottom Freezer model puts the refrigerator space directly at eye level. Since most people use open their refrigerator more often than their freezer, this is usually more convenient than Top Freezer models. Like with Top Freezers, the refrigerator and freezer are full width, which makes it easier to accommodate large or oversized items. Bottom Freezers also tend to be more energy efficient than their counterparts.
However, there are generally fewer Bottom Freezer models on the market than other types, so there’s less of a selection to choose from. Bottom freezers usually don’t come in large sizes, so if you’re looking for an oversize freezer, this might not be a good option. They also cost a little more than Top Freezer models, but the increased energy efficiency will probably negate this over the lifetime of the unit.
Side-by-Side refrigerators give the freezer and the refrigerator section an equal amount of space (though some models give the refrigerator slightly more). Because the doors aren’t as wide, you don’t need as much room for clearance, so this unit type can be a good fit for smaller kitchens. Many models also come with in-door water and ice systems, or other additional gadgets like TVs. Side-by-Side refrigerators usually offer the largest freezer capacity of all the model types.
French Door refrigerators combine the best features of Bottom Freezer and Side-By-Side models. Like with a Bottom Freezer model, the refrigerator section is at eye level and both the refrigerator and the freezer are full-width to accommodate oversized items. However, like with Side-by-Side models, there are two doors for the top (refrigerator) section, so it’s a good fit for kitchens without a lot of space to open the doors. Many models offer an interior or through-the-door ice maker/water dispenser, like Side-by-Side models do.
If you buy in bulk and the standard refrigerator/freezer combination doesn’t provide you with enough space, a stand-alone freezer might be a good option. If you plan to store a lot of food and have the space, a chest freezer is a good option. They are generally less expensive, more energy efficient, and offer more storage space per cubic foot. The design allows the door to seal more tightly, so food stays colder during power outages. However, the design requires more space and, often, a manual frost configuration, which can limit placement options. The “reach-in” design also requires a little more effort to organize.
Upright freezers are generally more convenient to place and organize. They are designed to open like a typical refrigerator, so they take up less floor space and are easier to access. Shelves make it easier to organize food. There is also a choice between a frost-free unit, which requires little maintenance, and a manual defrost unit, which requires you to remove the contents of your freezer a couple of times a year to defrost it. In general, the unit you want will depend on your space and needs.
Gas models allow you to control the flame with precision and start the unit up quickly, which is ideal for the cooktop, but the oven’s performance suffers. The oven temperature is hotter at the top, so baking requires rotation and placement away from the heat source. Gas also produces a more humid heat, which is less than ideal for certain types of cooking.
Electric cooktops (induction models aside) don’t offer the precise flame control that gas models do, but electric ovens offer superior performance. They produce a dryer, more even heat that is ideal for many types of cooking.
Dual-fuel ranges use gas cooktops and electric ovens, giving you the best of both worlds.
Whether you want a gas or an electric cooktop will depend on the type of cooking that you do and whether or not you have a gas hookup.
Gas cooktops have many advantages. They heat quickly, you always know when they’re on, and they often come with unique burners for fast high-temperature heat (searing, boiling) and for gentle, low-temperature heat (simmering). You can also control the flame with precision. Gas cooktops can be slightly more expensive than electric models, but they tend to cost less to operate in the long run.
With electric cooktops, you have less control over the heat output. But they can come with a wide range of burner types, including open coil, smoothtop, and halogen. These cooktops are less expensive than gas models, but cost more to operate on a month-to-month basis. If you have a range, go with an electric cooktop if you want an electric oven and don’t want to invest in a dual-fuel range, if you don’t have a gas hookup, if you prefer the look of the cooktop, or you want a model with induction features.
The type of burners you want on your electric cooktop will depend on your budget and your aesthetic preferences. The main types of burners are: open-coil, smooth-top, and halogen. Open-coil burners sit on top of the range in a recessed element. This is the most common burner type in an electric cooktop. In smooth-tops, the heating element is covered by glass, making the surface sleek and easy to clean. However, these units can take longer to heat up and use more electricity. Halogen cooktops use induction elements to offer more precise control over the range. However, you can only use cast iron or steel pans for induction, no aluminum.
Induction cooktops allow you to adjust the cooking heat instantly and with great precision, making these cooktops comparable to gas ones, which is induction’s main competitor. Induction elements can be adjusted to increments as fine as the cooktop makers care to supply (which is typically very fine). They can also run at as low of a cooking-heat level as wanted for gentle simmering, something that even gas models struggle with at times.
With induction, energy is supplied directly to the cooking vessel via a magnetic field, so almost all of the source energy gets transferred to the cooking vessel. With gas or conventional electric cooktops, energy is first converted to heat and then directed to the cooking vessel, with a lot of the heat going to waste and heating up your kitchen instead of your food. With induction, the stovetop barely gets warm, except for the area directly under the cooking vessel, making this a relatively safe cooktop. Because the energy is transferred only to magnetic materials, you can turn a cooktop on maximum and put your hand flat over it without any consequences—provided that you aren’t wearing any rings or bracelets! The units are also very thin, most not even requiring two inches of depth below the counter surface. This makes it a great choice in cooking areas designed for wheelchair access.
One thing to note with induction cooktops is that you need magnetic cooking vessels—typically stainless steel and cast iron. Cookware made out of aluminum, glass, or ceramics cannot be used. Also, cookware that contains nickel will not work, as nickel kills all magnetic fields. A good test on whether or not a unit will work is to take a refrigerator magnet with you when shopping for cookware. If the magnet doesn’t stick, or clings weakly, then it won’t work on the cooktop.
This depends on the type of food you cook and your personal preferences, but most cooks prefer electric ovens. Electric ovens are better at creating an even internal cooking temperature. They also produce a dry heat, rather than a humid heat like gas ovens do. Most foods cook better with drier heat, plus you can always add moisture into an oven, but you can’t remove it. Electric ovens can also get hotter than gas ovens and many types come with a self-cleaning feature, which saves time and energy.
Gas ovens have a few advantages as well. There is increased cooking control, with less warm-up time. The moist cooking environment is also better for some baked foods.
Convection ovens can cook food more quickly and at a lower temperature than conventional ovens. This is because they use fans to circulate heat, which transfers heat and allows food to cook more quickly. A convection oven can cook food 25 percent more quickly than a conventional oven, saving time and electricity. Convection is a useful feature on ovens, especially if it can be turned on and off. Whether or not it’s worth the extra money depends on your budget and how often you’ll use the feature.
The two main types of microwave ovens are countertop and over-the-range microwaves. Countertop microwaves are stand-alone appliances that can be placed on a countertop or above another appliance, like a refrigerator. Over-the-range microwaves hang from the cabinets above the stove and often incorporate a vent that lets hot air from the stove out of the house.
If you don’t already have the space for an over-the-range microwave, you will need to cut a section of the cabinet above the stove away, install support brackets, and slide the microwave into place. This takes more time and money to install, but it saves you valuable counter space. On the other hand, countertop microwaves take up counter space and have no ventilation system, but they are easy to install and come in a wider variety of sizes.
Before you buy a microwave, consider the number of people you’ll be cooking for, how often you’ll be using it, and the available kitchen space. Also consider the size of your cookware; some smaller models are not big enough to fit a dinner plate.
A convection microwave is a cross between a standard microwave and a convection oven. Food cooked in a convection microwave can be cooked quickly and come out as browned or crisped as an oven. They can also be used to bake cakes, something a standard microwave can’t do.
A speedcook microwave adds halogen and quartz lights to allow grilling, broiling, and browning. These microwaves can do almost all of the tasks that a conventional oven can do, but much faster and without preheating.
It’s no secret that microwaves are noisy, which makes noise reduction a popular feature offered by many manufacturers. Microwaves with a lower “sones” rating will run more quietly. For reference, one sone is equal to a refrigerator and 4 sones to a normal conversation.
Dishwasher features can vastly improve your experience. The ones that will help you the most depend on your habits and lifestyle. If you wish to put your dirty dishes directly in the dishwasher without rinsing leftover food off first, then a hard disposal feature is extremely important. This eliminates the food residue so it doesn’t return to your food during the rinse cycle. Other good features are a removable silverware tray, which saves space and ensures that everything is properly cleaned and sanitized, and NSF certification, which means the dishwasher removes 99.9 percent of household bacteria. Some units also have water-leakages sensors, which immediately shuts off the electrical current after detecting a leak, giving you a peace of mind.