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36 inch LCD TV recommendation needed
Old 08-25-2008, 12:11 PM   #1
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36 inch LCD TV recommendation needed

It's time to get rid of my 15 year old, big, and heavy analog TV. I am looking for a 36 inch LCD. Budget is up to $1,000.

I have just two requirements:

1) Excellent (sensitive) ATSC tuner.
2) User friendly interface.

So far, I have tried 2 TVs. Neither one meets the above 2 requirements.

a) 40 inch Sony Bravia, 1080p, KDL-40S4100: Friendly user interface, good channel info. But the ATSC tuner sucks. It can only see 4 digital channels.
b) 32 inch Philips, 720p, 32PFL3403D: Excellent ATSC tuner. Using the same feed, it picks up 18 digital channels. But the user interface is wanting. Channel info is sparse to non-existent.

What do you recommend based on your personal experience?

Thanks
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:59 PM   #2
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Sharp Aquos. Its 37", but under a grand.

http://www.amazon.com/Sharp-Aquos-LC...9687070&sr=1-1
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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FWIW I bought something similar from Sharp (Model # LC32GP3BU-TV). The TV is great but the remote control is junk. You push to go 1 channel up and it goes up 2 or 3 and the same thing happens going down. On the TV itself it works just fine which I why I say it is the remote. Also, and this could be related to the TV, whenever looking at CNN (yes, I know I should not do that) the sound is VERY low and when you crank it up to here CNN ant then switch to another channel it is TOO loud. Minor stuff but it is aggravating - does not happen on my 2 year old SAMSUNG (LCD) or my 5 year old SONY (CRT).
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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Lots to choose from in that price range. I've been shopping for a flat panel TV and have to say that Samsung makes a great product. Amazon has a few models in the 37" range that are around $900 or less. Great picture, not so great sound (but if you should be using an inexpensive surround sound receiver or external powered speakers if you're going to spend significant time watching it).
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:42 PM   #5
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Thank guys. I like the Sharp Aquos too, but can't stand the long delay between channel change.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:48 PM   #6
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I recently bought a LG 42" LCD TV after reading good reviews (42LG30). It is frequently on sale for $899 (this week at hhgregg). The 37" version should be about $100 less.
I am very satisfied with the quality so far. My friend with a similar Samsung sees no difference.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:22 PM   #7
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I like the Samsungs too, but they have the shiniest screens. I like a matte finish screen because any light source in the room (windows, lamps) gets reflected badly in the shiny finish screen. The shiny screen does give them a little picture quality pickup for free, but I dont like the tradeoff.

Good way to tell in the store is to kneel down in front of the displays so they pick up the ceiling lights in the store. You'll see that some reflect them nicely and others not so much.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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I like the Samsungs too, but they have the shiniest screens. I like a matte finish screen because any light source in the room (windows, lamps) gets reflected badly in the shiny finish screen. The shiny screen does give them a little picture quality pickup for free, but I dont like the tradeoff.

Good way to tell in the store is to kneel down in front of the displays so they pick up the ceiling lights in the store. You'll see that some reflect them nicely and others not so much.
Very good point CFB. That's why I like "matte finish" laptop screens. I guess the same principle applies to HDTVs. Just wish the prices would come down a bit on HDTVs the same way it has on laptops.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:20 AM   #9
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I like the matte finish laptop screens too. Problem is, they're dang hard to find. The glossy ones simply cant be used outdoors unless its dark out or you're in very strong shade.

HDTV prices aint that bad. I looked a bunch over at Costco yesterday. You can get an awful lot of tv in the $800-1500 range. Even the el cheapo Vizio's looked pretty good.

Considering a couple of years ago I bought a $3000 tv and a $1200 tv and thought I got stunning bargains on them, and I could get the same tv's for less than half the price today...
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:48 AM   #10
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I like the matte finish laptop screens too. Problem is, they're dang hard to find. The glossy ones simply cant be used outdoors unless its dark out or you're in very strong shade.

HDTV prices aint that bad. I looked a bunch over at Costco yesterday. You can get an awful lot of tv in the $800-1500 range. Even the el cheapo Vizio's looked pretty good.

Considering a couple of years ago I bought a $3000 tv and a $1200 tv and thought I got stunning bargains on them, and I could get the same tv's for less than half the price today...
Perhaps you're right, but it's hard to toss a CRT-based TV when it works perfectly fine, while spending another $800 in the process. TV isn't that important a part of my life.

On the subject of laptops, I'm curious about the new "ultra portable" machines that have hit the market in recent months. Some are in the sub-$500 and weigh only 2 pounds! True, they're powered by a much slower Atom processor and have smaller hard drives, but I'd take that over lugging a full-sized laptop on a plane and having it end up in my lap because of an overzealous guy in front of me putting his seat back.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:06 AM   #11
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Very portable and surprisingly small when seen in person. But I'd need some 20 year old eyes and much smaller fingers to use one for more than very casual use. I tried touch typing on one of the new 10" screen models and it was a no-go.

But the nice new ones with the Atom processor may run as long as 7.5 hours on a single charge.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:15 AM   #12
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Very portable and surprisingly small when seen in person. But I'd need some 20 year old eyes and much smaller fingers to use one for more than very casual use. I tried touch typing on one of the new 10" screen models and it was a no-go.

But the nice new ones with the Atom processor may run as long as 7.5 hours on a single charge.
Yes, I saw the Eee PC last year and wasn't impressed at all. The new Acer Aspire and Lenovo machines are nice because they come with decent-sized hard drives.

Personally, I'm looking to purchase a 26" HDTV. Nothing fancy, just enough for a bedroom or the kitchen. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:27 AM   #13
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Dell has a couple of models coming out, I think they're 10 and 12". The 12" might be just what I was looking for. Small enough to be highly portable, good on the battery use, but big enough screen and keyboard for real usage. Since I went from a 14" to a 17", I've come to hate hauling the 8lb slab around.

There are a lot of 26" sets going for around $400. I'd just go to circuit city (or equiv) and check them out side by side, listen to the sound, check out the remotes. What you might want to do is wait a little while. I dont think there are many, if any, native 1080i/p sets in the 26" size. They're all 720p displays.

You'd get a little more future proofing by waiting for 1080 native display sets...or be able to snap up one of the mature 720p models at a closeout price once the 1080's are around.

One big benefit to the 1080 native sets is that they make a very good computer monitor as well as a good tv. the x768 720p resolution sets are a little too grainy.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:36 AM   #14
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One big benefit to the 1080 native sets is that they make a very good computer monitor as well as a good tv.
Yes. I tried that last night on the Sony 1080p with my laptop. The picture size and quality are amazing. Unfortunalety, I couldn't not use the maximum resolution. My laptop (old Evo N600c) does not support the native 1080p res. So I had to settle with 1280x1024.

Is there any laptop out there today that support 1920x1080?
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:44 AM   #15
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There are some software products that can adjust certain video chips to support oddball resolutions. Honestly I cant say which one works best because I havent used any of them in a long time.

The most predominate one is "Powerstrip", but that only works with some graphics chips and I'm pretty sure not the intel chips that are in most laptops these days.

There is this Graphics - Custom Resolutions on Intel Graphics - Intel® Software Network Knowledge Base Wiki
and this
clever technologies - products - clever utilities

In fact, I'm going to try this with my desktop machine right now. I've got a weird 1300-somethingx768 set attached to it and I've had to pick a resolution that didnt stretch too far one way or the other. I think I'm running it at 1280x900 or something like that.
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