MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Nov 29, 2012) - (Family Features) If a shiny new high definition TV is at the top of your loved one's wish list this holiday season, you may be realizing that shopping for a television is much more complicated than it used to be.

Today's models boast a wide range of features and options that can make selecting just the right model an overwhelming proposition.

Follow these shopping tips and before you know it, the only challenge left will be how to wrap that oversized box and fit it under the tree.

Size it Up...or Not. Many buyers are tempted to upgrade not only functions and features, but also size when they're in the market for a new HDTV. But purchasing a model that overwhelms a small room can be an unnecessarily costly mistake. On the flip side, too small a TV in a big space will leave viewers wishing for more.

Understand the Options. Whether you need a plasma, LED or LCD unit depends entirely on your viewing habits and environment. Plasma TVs are best for low-light viewing, offer the widest viewing angles and are ideal for high action viewing such as sporting events. With greater energy efficiency and a sleeker look, LEDs also are appropriate for diverse lighting situations. A broad selection of sizes makes LCD TVs a good option, particularly for well-lit spaces.

Make the Smart Choice. Similar to smart phones, smart TVs integrate the Internet with familiar technology to create a richer media experience. Although they can be used to watch regular programming, smart TVs are generally geared toward viewers who want a highly interactive experience with entertainment features such as streaming video or music and other online content.

Accessorize. Though most newer model HDTVs come with plenty of bells and whistles, remember that some attractive options may come in the form of add-on accessories. For example, a reliable DVR will help capture hours of programming to watch on that new TV. Some models, such as the Genie from DirecTV, let you record up to five shows at a time, with plenty of memory capacity that serves up to eight TVs throughout the house.

Define Your Needs. You've seen HDTVs advertised as 720p or 1080p -- but what does that mean exactly? These numbers refer to the unit's vertical resolution, or number of visible lines, which impacts overall picture quality. Generally, the greater the resolution, the better the picture. But 720p HDTVs can be a more cost-effective choice, and the majority of broadcast programming is not yet available in 1080p.

For more tips to maximize your new TV experience, as well as information on accessories such as the Genie, visit www.directv.com.

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