Things to look for in a portable TV

by on June 23, 2010

Q: The portable hand-held TV’s that I am looking at all run on battery power. I am wondering if the battery is dead if I can plug them in and they will work while also recharging, much like a laptop?

The reason I ask is I want to get something in case we lose power due to a hurricane.

A: The first big thing everyone needs to remember is that we have switched from analog TV to digital TV so you need to make sure you get a digital TV. Technically stores are only allowed to sell digital TV’s so this is only an issue if you are buying a used TV from someone on a site like ebay or if you are planning on using an old portable TV that you have had for a few years.

If you are buying a TV you will want to check out a few things besides it just being digital. The biggest thing I suggest you check out is if it comes with a car adapter. The reason I suggest this is that as long as you have gas in your car you can charge or use your TV. Sure it is probably not the most efficient way to charge your TV but it is something almost everyone has if the power is out.

Speaking of efficient we should note that, much like a laptop, a portable TV will work and charge while it is plugged in but it can take longer to charge if you are using it while charging it. So if you do charge it via a car it might make more sense to listen to the radio on the car and charge the TV instead of watching the TV. We should also take this opportunity to remind everyone that they should not run their car or generator inside their house or garage. Always move your car or generator away from your house.

The biggest concern when it comes to getting a portable TV will be how long it will last. The box that the TV comes in should give you an idea of how long it will last but I highly suggest reading reviews and seeing what reviewers say about how long a battery actually lasts because we all know that what the manufacturer says and what happens in the real world are not always the same thing.

We should also note that while your power is out your cable service might still have a signal so you might also want to make sure the TV you look at has a coax hookup. This will allow you to connect your digital TV to cable and therefore allow you to get your local stations without having to get an antenna. You should of course test this before you are in an emergency though.

Hopefully understanding that portable TVs will work while they are being charged, that we have switched to digital TV, and keeping in mind that you will need a way to recharge your TV while the power is out will get you started in the right direction when it comes to picking the right portable TV for yourself and your situation.

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