The Ultimate Guide To Buying A TV

Cover Picture of TV

Last 5-7 years have been the most dynamic and eventful phase in the history of Television as a product category in India. After the transition from CRT TV to flat panel screens, TV has been on constant evolution from Plasma to LCD to LED to its more sophisticated versions coming up every year. Brands are fighting each other on technology, viewing experience and pricing in this fiercely competitive category.

Whereas a customer is confronted with a plethora of choices. From TV types like regular HD TV to ultra modern 4K HD TVs to an insane amount of smart features. It’s enough to send any ones’ head for a spin to decide on which one to buy. This Ultimate Guide to buying the right Television by Homeyantra makes the process of buying right product simpler.

Know what Television best suits your home and family. To begin with, some key features that should be considered while buying a TV.

Screen Size

In the case of TVs, big is almost always better. You need to consider the below parameters to zero in on the ideal screen size for you.

  • Budget – Refer to the below table to get an idea of TV costing
Screen Size (in Inches) Standard HD LED TV (in INR)
30 & Below 10,000 to 20,000
31 to 40 20,000 to 40,000
41 to 49 30,000 to 55,000
50 & Above 40,000 to 12 Lacs
  • Viewing Distance – There is an optimum viewing distance for every TV. If you are too close the images appear pixelated, and if you are too far you won’t get optimum details. You have to be at a distance of 1.6 times the diagonal length of the TV.

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Type of Resolution

  • 4K Ultra HD
    • Also known as UHD TVs, this is at present the newest and best resolution available in the marketplace. They provide about 4 times the resolution of HD TVs and produce stunningly clear, crisp and detailed images. Another advantage of UHD TVs is HDR (High Dynamic Range). This enhances the contrast and colour of the existing pixels of the TV to create more lifelike images.
  • HD Resolution
    • 1080p – This supports a resolution of up to 1080 (typical resolution 1920 x 1080). This is by far the highest selling HDTV at the moment. This would allow you to watch full HD content and all TV programs at the highest resolution.
    • 720p – This is for budget buyers. You would get quality resolution for your DVDs and TV shows. This is the most economical of the 3.

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Image showing clarity of picture at various resolutions

Type of Screen

  • Plasma – Plasma TV by far has the best contrast and gives the best picture quality in a dark room. However, now LED technology is catching up and gives the same picture at a lesser price. We don’t see much of Plasma TVs in the market now.
  • LCD – These TV set use Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) to produce images. These TVs were successful in replacing the CRT televisions, however, they are neither power efficient nor the picture quality is as rich as LED TVs.
  • LED – The most widely used TV at the moment are LED TVs. They are energy efficient, thin and light weight. These TVs make for very bright images. They come in 2 types, namely
    • Backlit LED
    • Edge LED
  • OLED – OLED or Organic LEDs is the latest and the best display technology at the moment. Unlike other technologies, OLEDs produces the true blacks with bright highlights. OLED displays are extremely thin and super light weight. The only draw back they are still new in the market and very expensive.

Features

  • Smart TV – A TV that could connect to various devices (laptop/phone) through technologies like Miracast are know termed as Smart TVs. Smart TVs can connect to the internet as well and supports Apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hotstar etc.
  • 3D TV – TVs which can play 3D content, which is quite prevalent nowadays, are known as 3D TV.
    • Passive 3D – Shows 2 different images simultaneously. The design of the glass is such that each eye can see only 1 image. Passive 3D glasses do not require a battery.
    • Active 3D – Active 3D alternates images between both eyes. These glasses are expensive and require a battery change.

Difference between 3D glasses

Connectivity

  • HDMI – HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is by far the best and the most efficient connection available for HD TVs. It can stream media players, Blu-Ray players, A/V receivers, gaming consoles and much more. HDMI carries both picture and sound in one cable which makes setting up a simple task and it is much cleaner.
  • USB – There are countless devices that can be connected to the TV like pen drives, digital camera, internet dongles etc. However, not all file formats are supported by the TV. Please check the catalogue to get an idea about the supported files.
  • Optical – This is a little old school option for connecting CD/DVD players. The TV is connected with an optical cable. This type of connection is used for audio equipment only. Although this technology exists, HDMI is a better option.
  • VGA – This option is used for connecting computers/laptops to the TV. This is an old technology and hardly seen in modern TVs.
  • Ethernet – Ethernet cable helps the TV to connect to the home internet so that the smart features could be used.
  • WiFi – This helps the TV to connect to the home network without any wirelessly. Once WiFi is connected you could use streaming technology like Miracast to view content from other devices which are connected to the same network.

With this ultimate guide, one can take an informed buying decision, with the right choice of the television that suits ones need the best. For quicker product discovery, Homeyantra‘s Smart Decision Tool helps you choose the right TV from a wide range of products.

The Ultimate Guide To Buying A Washing Machine

Cover Picture of Washing Machine

Washing Machines play a pivotal role in our ever-evolving, day to day needs. The current range of washing machines ranges from time-tested workhorses to energy efficient products with latest in technology and innovation. Customer’s being spoiled for choices with too many different types and different sizes of washing machines flooded in the Indian market. This Homeyantra’s Ultimate Guide to buying the right washing machine makes the first step of your buying journey much simpler, that is knowing what suits your needs the best. Here we go.

Types of Washing Machine – There are 3 types of washing machines that are available in India at the moment.

  • Semi-Automatic – These washing machines are entry level washing machines with 2 tubs. These machines are cheaper and don’t need a constant supply of water. They are not feature rich, however, gets the basic job of washing clothes, done.
      • 2 separate tubs for washing and drying
      • Needs manual intervention
  • Fully Automatic Top Loading – These machines are the most widely used washing machines at the moment. These have only 1 tub hence doesn’t require any manual intervention. They have preset washing programs which can make washing done by touching a button.
      • Single Tub
      • Integrated washer and dryer
      • Better wash than Semi-Automatic
      • Some have built-in heaters
      • Energy efficient
  • Fully Automatic Front Loading – These have the best washing quality among all the washing machines. Most of the machines have built-in heaters which are required for a hot wash. These are also the most water efficient machines.
    • Best wash quality
    • Most have built-in heaters
    • Wash programs for a better wash
    • Variable spin speeds for quicker drying

Below table would give a few differences in the type of washing machines-Types of washing machines

Capacity

It is advisable to fill the tub of the machine up to 75% of the total load capacity. This ensures optimum level of washing with efficient use of water. Refer to the below chart to get an idea about which capacity you should purchase.Washing Machine Capacity Guide

Key features to look out for

Below are some key features, which we think would reduce the pain points in your laundry routine.

  • Wash Cycles – Most top loader and front loader have wash cycles. Some advanced machines provide a plethora of wash cycles but come at a premium. These settings adjust water temperature and spin speeds to suit a wide range of fabric types
  • Water Heater – Most front loader and some top loader fully automatic machines have a hot water wash functionality. They have an inbuilt heater which controls the temperature of the water.
  • Quick Wash – This feature helps in quickly was a small load of clothes. This is very important when you have that last minute meeting and your clothes are in the laundry basket.
  • Pause Washing Cycle – More often than not you forget to put the last sock or handkerchief in the machine, this feature is exactly for that kind of a situation. Most washing machines lock the doors once the washing cycle starts, a pause option would definitely let you put that in the machine.
  • Steam – This feature is available in most mid-range to high-end washing machines these days. Steam passes through fibre better and hence, is used for removing tough stains which lead to odour free wash.

Homeyantra has simplified the process of choosing the right washing machine for Indian homes. With its smart decision tool, one can precisely know the right product that suits his needs.

E-commerce in India: Next wave of growth

BLOG PICTURE

It was mid-2007 when like most millennial engineers, I felt the urge for an MBA adventure and decided to write GMAT, around a time when finding right books used to be a tough task, and some were hard to find in India at all. It was this adversity that made me turn to online. And eventually, I made my first online purchase on eBay, late 2007. Yes, I do represent the generation of online shoppers whose first purchase was a book. It was a $17 book and I paid the almost equal amount for shipping and it took 20 days to reach from the USA.

It was in those days when online shopping was synonymous with books, eBay and Amazon. Not that there were no platforms in India but were a few like Indiaplaza, Indiatimes, Baazi, etc. but they didn’t succeed in moving as many buyers online as they could potentially have. As a result, they together couldn’t make a dent to brick & mortar retail nor could they change the buying behaviour of their targeted urban consumers, and by the end of the first decade of their existence, they started to vanish. Therefore, in hindsight story sounds similar and so the saying, then Nokia CEO said, “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow we lost it.”

2011, beginning of the new decade, marks a new threshold of India’s e-commerce story, when new set of players emerged out of India to claim their pie of Country’s then over $450 bn retail market, and soon to be followed by the foreign majors thus marking the beginning of the most exciting phase in India’s retail history, 2011-2020. The first half (2011-’15) of which is heavily invested in adoption by incentivizing shoppers with better pricing and matching or bettering overall service delivery as compared to their brick and mortar counterparts, certainly at huge cost and financial drainage on their balance sheets.

Interestingly, the second half of the decade begins with an INTERVAL, 2016! The year that marks the beginning of the end of aggressive growth with irrational discounting. sluggish growth, unjustifiable unit economics, no path to profitability, cautious investors, lack of easy funds brings the phase of consolidation, fixing the balance sheet and more importantly getting the business model right while still keep bettering customer experience. As shoppers evolve they start looking for more value online than just discounts, a problem that all e-commerce players trying hard to fix.

So, where the next wave of growth for the sector will come from? Today for all big e-commerce platforms, over half of their sales comes from just one product, mobile phone. If you add fashion, 3/4th of GMV are just two categories. Positive though is these categories got adoptions to online, but limited category adoption will certainly limit the growth for the sector.

There are some very high potential categories that have not been tapped well for online, one like home appliances. The reason, on the face of it, looks to be the shortcoming of the channel, the touch, feel etc. But we said same for fashion a few years back, and then we had some vertical platform like MYNTRA addressing consumer needs the right way and making significant in-roads in its category. Home­ appliances, which is the biggest market in India after mobiles, remains vastly untapped in online and owned by brick & mortar so far.

This is major because there’s a structural issue, most big e-commerce companies operating in India started out to do commerce in two broad categories, apart from books are 1.Electronics (mobile, camera etc) 2. Fashion, and their entire model is built around listing and selling commodities. But a washing machine or a refrigerator is no commodity it is highly service-sensitive, have longer lifecycle, hence a very high involvement purchase.

That’s where there is a need for a vertical platform, built to solve for home appliances consumers at every stage of buying journey and lifecycle support. HomeYantra is a step in that direction. A team of very passionate young folks with years of experience in appliances and E-commerce have come together to build first of its kind intelligent platform in India, with just one promise, to make HomeYantra a one stop shop for all home appliance needs.

Like HomeYantra the next wave of growth in India’s e-commerce will be fueled by vertical platforms, built to solve category specific problems end to end. While horizontal platforms will continue to drive event based sales, vertical platforms will lead making a dent in established, offline heavy categories and expand the scope of e-commerce in India.

Khushnud Khan Co-Founder & CEO, Homeyantra