Remote Control

Let's say that you have decided on about a 50 inch rear projection TV. Look in several stores. A good dealer will meet a 2001-01-remote-control-primer-remotecontrol.jpgcompetitor's price, so if you have decided on the model, find the lowest price, and you will be able to get it at the store you prefer to buy it from. Sit down on a couch or chair in front of the TV, and ask to handle the remote control. Is it comfortable to hold? Can you easily read the names of the functions written under the buttons? (Some have a button for illuminating the entire faceplate, which is great in a dark room.) Ask for a run-through on all the controls. Besides the usual channel selector and volume control, there will usually be buttons for controlling brightness, color level, tint, and sharpness. Tone controls (treble and bass) may be present. Other buttons to look for include a mute (when the telephone rings), programmable channels (this allows you to eliminate channels you are not interested in, so that when you press the channel up or down button, only the channels you have selected will appear), and input selector (this allows you to select a VCR or laser disc connected to the television). Picture In Picture (PIP) and Picture Outside Picture (POP) are found on many sets. This allows you to see two channels at once, and is great for checking the channel program guide while continuing to watch your current program. This requires two tuners, and some TVs have both tuners built in, while others require you to use an outside tuner for the additional picture. The VCR serves this purpose, but the VCR must be turned on to do this. If you want this feature, ask if the TV has two tuners.