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Old 12-20-2012, 08:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tyro

I felt the same way when I had to get glasses to read a few years back. I was going to just get reading glasses, but after getting an eye exam, learned I have a slight astigmatism (and the exact same HD TV as my optometrist). I wound up getting bifocals for reading and watching HD TV, which benefits I was missing out on due to the astigmatism and didn't even know it.

I don't really care about 3D TV at this time, but as the article states, the better sets may all have it anyway, so we'll make sure the (whichever kind of) glasses are piggybackable over what we're wearing now.

FWIW, for our viewing habits/requirements, based on the CR article, DW & I are both leaning toward plasma.

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I am sure you are aware of this, but in case you aren't, if you go plasma, make sure the room in which it's in does not have light coming in that could reflect on the screen. Some models now have screens that aren't as reflective, but something to think about. I usually have no light on while watching mine and it is downstairs. I personally think the colors are more vibrant with the plasma I have, but that may just be me.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:25 AM   #22
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We have 2 plasmas. A 40-something inch and a 50 inch. Both were dirt cheap ($400 for the smaller and $475 for the bigger). Great pic quality on low end devices.
That may explain DW's remark upon turning in this evening that I may be pleasantly surprised at prices. At the time we bought our current CRT HD, LCDs were twice the price of CRT models (for same size screens, and viewing angles were horrible). Plasma screens were larger, but began @ 4x what the CRT cost. I read that plasmas had come down to lower than LCDs, but I didn't know they'd come down that much!

Might even have enough left over for a Blu-ray player...

Tyro
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:28 AM   #23
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Our CRT HD TV has apparently just died 3 years ahead of anticipation, so we find ourselves having to go through the whole consumer/technology research ordeal again. I searched the archives for threads on television or TV, and the last pertinent ones seem to be at least 3 years old, and as we all know, "for an android consumer electronics, that is nearly an eternity."

Is anyone up on the current choices, plusses/minuses, and opinions on them (in addition to what I find elsewhere online)? I've come to appreciate the broad consumer opinion spectrum available here.

Our viewing tends to be mostly movies (cable & DVD) and science/learning shows, and the set is usually on all day every day. An upgrade to Blu-ray is probably also imminent. Not sure, but it may be too early yet for 3-D(?)

Thanks as always,

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CRT died prematurely? I thought they all disappeared years ago.

If I were in TV buying mode I'd look for the biggest screen I could afford, make sure the set has wifi and Internet browsing features, and lots of ports and connection capabilities. AVS forum is an excellent resource for discussions AVS Forum

My preference has always been plasma over LCD, but LCD/LED may be a better long term option. 3D seems a bit unsettled to me
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #24
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I wouldn't go expensive or high tech. The minute you buy anything electronic it starts becoming obsolete. I went for plasma to get better viewing angle capability, but after an old CRT, I was blown away with a $450 42" TV.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #25
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Whenever I walk through an electronic store, I get thoroughly disgusted. Things are always cheaper and so much better than what I bought. And whatever I bought, I always thought it was such a good buy at that time.

My first 42" HDTV was bought in 2002, at a price of $1700. I was the first among family and friends who had an HDTV, and people ooh'ed and aah'ed when I put on the DVD of Lords of the Rings. Piece of crap now! It predates HDMI, hence does not have such port. It also predates HD broadcast standard, so its tuner cannot get over-the-air signals. And it was expensive at an inflation-adjusted price of $2,200.

But the darn thing still works, compared to my brother's later HDTV that croaked after just a few short years. My wife has hinted that we should let it go. I think I will bring it up to our boonies home. No broadcast TV signal up there!
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:22 AM   #26
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I forgot to add that my first HDTV bought in 2002 is a rear projection unit. At about the same time frame, I saw a Philips LCD TV of about the same size at Sam's Club. Its price was $25K.

I remember clearly that the above price included delivery and set-up. But of course! At that price, the buyer would be afraid to bring it home himself. He would need to procure transportation hazard insurance first.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:13 AM   #27
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I wouldn't go expensive or high tech. The minute you buy anything electronic it starts becoming obsolete. I went for plasma to get better viewing angle capability, but after an old CRT, I was blown away with a $450 42" TV.
I will second this comment. Even the lower end tvs look really awesome. Just check out some reviews online before you make a purchase. Prices have come down a lot even in the last few years. From my recent research, it seemed like the 42" and smaller prices had dropped the most, with some decent sale prices around $300-400 for some 42" or smaller units. 50"+ screens haven't dropped as much in the last year, but still great entry level units available around $500 or less if you can grab a sale.

We made out like bandits by buying lower 2 or 3rd tier brand names (Insignia and Zenith) that were actually rebranded Samsungs and LG (1st tier mfrs). The insignia rebranded unit was identical to the samsung and even had samsung stuff hidden in some deep menus. Zenith/LG was similar but I think it may have had 1 less hdmi or something relatively unimportant to us.

We skipped all the fancy hi tech wifi/3d/browser/smart tv stuff since it would probably be outdated and obsolete in 2 years. Plenty of media players in the sub-$100 range (WDTV Roku Appletv?) that you can hook up to your tv and upgrade that separately in a couple years if you want better smart tv capabilities but don't want to ditch the tv.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:31 AM   #28
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Whenever I walk through an electronic store, I get thoroughly disgusted. Things are always cheaper and so much better than what I bought. And whatever I bought, I always thought it was such a good buy at that time.
Learned that a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away this galaxy! So I avoid electronics stores/departments unless I'm actually shopping for something specific.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:31 PM   #29
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I had not been to Best Buy in 2 or 3 years. Yes, I did go there to buy a small stereo receiver to replace the one in the bedroom that croaked. And when I was there, I wandered around to look at this new-fangled stuff. Ended up abandoning the idea of the replacement receiver, and bought the blu-ray player with built-in WiFi as reported earlier.

And then, Costco has this disgusting practice of putting its TVs right at the entrance, with the price tags prominently displayed. How do I deal with that? Cover my eyes as I walk by?
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:47 PM   #30
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Whenever I walk through an electronic store, I get thoroughly disgusted. Things are always cheaper and so much better than what I bought. And whatever I bought, I always thought it was such a good buy at that time.
Comments like this amaze/amuse me. And then I actually get a little mad.

So the alternative is that when you go to buy a replacement product, the cost went up, and the product got worse. That would make you less disgusted? I don't get it.

Gas prices go up, food prices go up, people complain. Electronics product prices go down, and people complain. I guess you can't please some people.

Now for the 'mad' part - I worked in the electronics industry, and we worked very hard to bring products out that were better, and at a lower price - and this is the 'thanks' we get? To be told that the customer is 'thoroughly disgusted' by this effort? I don't get it - not at all. I guess we were doing it wrong.

OK, I'm not really 'mad', but it does make me shake my head, and wonder how people could feel this way. I am thrilled to see prices come down, and features improve. If that makes my old unit appear dated, well that doesn't change the value proposition from the day I bought it (unless it no longer is supported by current technology - but that's fairly rare). If one wants to avoid the 'early adopter tax', you just need to buy things that have come down the maturity curve a bit. But some people want the latest/greatest, and if they are wiling to pay for it, good for them! It helps support those of us who usually wait it out a bit.

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Old 12-21-2012, 12:49 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by FUEGO

I will second this comment. Even the lower end tvs look really awesome. Just check out some reviews online before you make a purchase. Prices have come down a lot even in the last few years. From my recent research, it seemed like the 42" and smaller prices had dropped the most, with some decent sale prices around $300-400 for some 42" or smaller units. 50"+ screens haven't dropped as much in the last year, but still great entry level units available around $500 or less if you can grab a sale.

We made out like bandits by buying lower 2 or 3rd tier brand names (Insignia and Zenith) that were actually rebranded Samsungs and LG (1st tier mfrs). The insignia rebranded unit was identical to the samsung and even had samsung stuff hidden in some deep menus. Zenith/LG was similar but I think it may have had 1 less hdmi or something relatively unimportant to us.

We skipped all the fancy hi tech wifi/3d/browser/smart tv stuff since it would probably be outdated and obsolete in 2 years. Plenty of media players in the sub-$100 range (WDTV Roku Appletv?) that you can hook up to your tv and upgrade that separately in a couple years if you want better smart tv capabilities but don't want to ditch the tv.
I have to agree with you. All of my component plug ins have only had one thing ever in them, and that's dust, outside of the cables connecting my receiver and blu ray. I am too old and set in my ways. A tv is a tv. If I want on the Internet I will get on my computer. Btw- I don't always buy cheap electronics, but when I do they have always worked great. A perfect example was a VCR back in the day I bought for $30. The name brand was Brokerage. Now what fool would by a cheap electronic device with the root word "Broke" in it? Well I did. Threw it away after 10 years, not because it wasn't working, but because I didn't have a need a for a VCR player anymore.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:54 PM   #32
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Comments like this amaze/amuse me. And then I actually get a little mad.

Now for the 'mad' part - I worked in the electronics industry, and we worked very hard to bring products out that were better, and at a lower price - and this is the 'thanks' we get? To be told that the customer is 'thoroughly disgusted' by this effort? I don't get it - not at all. I guess we were doing it wrong.
Because the new products make me feel bad that what I have is outdated, not compatible with the new "stuff"? Because I have to spend more money to keep up with the Jones?

I worked with electronics too, but not in the consumer product sector. Advances there "disgusted" me too. I had to work too hard to keep up. That played a big part in me retiring early.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #33
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I wouldn't go expensive or high tech. The minute you buy anything electronic it starts becoming obsolete. I went for plasma to get better viewing angle capability, but after an old CRT, I was blown away with a $450 42" TV.
+1

Recently researched and bought a 42" LG plasma TV 42PA4500 (just under $400.00 @ HHGregg). Maximum size that fits in our media center area - bought cabinet awhile ago when future flat screen size projections were a lot smaller and old 27" CRT TV got lost in it. Price was the same everywhere (hmm) so ordering from Amazon and risking shipment damage wasn't worth it IMHO. I'm cheap, but expect quality/reliability for my money. It's 720P - not 1080P capable, but AFAIK broadcast TV is only 720P and no plans to go 1080P anytime soon.

Like the LED TVs, but they are (over) priced as leading edge technology and types of LED (backlit/edgelit) are still sorting it out as I see it. Plasma at 600hz refresh is excellent picture quality, and anticipated life expectancy of screen is twice that of LCD/LED. LG 42PA4500 screen comes with 2 year warranty - LED/LCD standard is 1 year. Does have reflective "glass" screen like old CRT screens which makes it slightly heavier than LCD/LED style. We have it in our "very sunny" family room and can be an issue, but LCDs would have some issues in a room like ours also.

Try my weird screen image quality test. Lightly tap on a plasma screen, press/move your fingers across the screen - then try this test on any other LCD style plastic screen. You'll see most streak color differences as you move your fingers across the screen (some way more than others). Yes, two different screen technologies, but plastic screens concern me (reliability, scratching, cleaning, etc.). LED didn't appear to have as much moving color problem like the LCD. LED with 120 or higher refresh rate is recommended.

LG, Panasonic, Samsung are the higher rated TVs. We own two LG units. The bedroom unit is +1 years old and an LCD version. Screen suffers from off center viewing issues as well as above/below viewing (darkening) beware. Recommend you select a TV with high consideration for connections in the rear of the set. A lot of them are removing most connections in an effort to save costs (cheapen them up for profit). Look for 2+ HDMI inputs, at least (1) component, USB, VGA/RGB-PC and coax TV cable inputs. A lot of computers are now have HDMI connections, but older rely on VGA/RGB. You'll want optical audio out for connecting to external audio, as well as headphone style audio in for older PCs.

We use Tivo with over the air TV - cut the cable (kept internet). Coax connection allows us to watch OTA TV while (2) channels are recording on Tivo (you can also watch any Tivo recording while they are both recording). Our area 25 miles SW of Chicago gets over 50 OTA channels. Tivo allows DVR recording, pause live TV, programming information, and online streaming - one box. Bought a reconditioned one for $80.00 direct from Tivo. Least amount of HD capability, but more recording space than ATT Uverse DVR - go figure. Like keeping streaming to separate unit for reliability issues. Tried HULU+ and Netflix, but dropped them as they have mostly outdated streaming material. Get old TV stuff on the local channels. Can get up to date Netflix only by mail (conflict here if you ask me). There are lots of free online streaming sites (even Hulu), but will need those computer connections missing on many new TVs to successfully stream them.

Hope this info helps with your selections
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #34
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I have to agree with you. All of my component plug ins have only had one thing ever in them, and that's dust, outside of the cables connecting my receiver and blu ray. I am too old and set in my ways. A tv is a tv. If I want on the Internet I will get on my computer. Btw- I don't always buy cheap electronics, but when I do they have always worked great. A perfect example was a VCR back in the day I bought for $30. The name brand was Brokerage. Now what fool would by a cheap electronic device with the root word "Broke" in it? Well I did. Threw it away after 10 years, not because it wasn't working, but because I didn't have a need a for a VCR player anymore.
I almost always buy the absolute cheapest bottom of the barrel tech gadgets unless the next step up is so cheap that it doesn't make sense not to get it. Refurbished, sometimes used stuff. Ebay. Great results, very few disappointments, and I can't imagine how many thousands I have saved over the years. One exception where I did pay up slightly is a desktop computer. I needed one with ports to install a graphics card that could drive dual monitors and allow light gaming. So add $100 or so there versus a bargain basement budget PC.

Since I'm not an audiophile or videophile, I haven't really missed out on the tech goodies (besides being a year or two behind the curve by avoiding the new adopter tax). I just laugh when someone says something like "I spent $2500 on that tv 8 years ago", and you can replace it with a better, higher quality, more energy efficient version for 15-20% the price today.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:54 PM   #35
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To the person who posted about getting a new TV when their old Sony Trinitron died: it will never die. I finally broke down a while back and bought a new 60 inch LED for my den and had the store haul away my old still working 14 year old Trinitron as part of the deal.

About a month ago I also caved in and got a smart phone. A Motorola Droid Razr HD. Love it!...even though I mostly just make phone calls and scarcely use any of the other technologies (other than checking my gmail at work). I am told I can watch TV shows and such on it but that has no appeal. I guess if I was a traveler and sat around in airports it would come in handy for entertainment purposes.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:57 PM   #36
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To the person who posted about getting a new TV when their old Sony Trinitron died: it will never die...
If it is any consolation to you, rest assured that you will not have that problem. New stuff does not seem to last that long.

I told earlier of an HDTV I bought in 2001 or 2002 that still works. My brother and sister bought a few years later than I did, and they are already on the 2nd or 3rd TV, and it was not by choice. Theirs died after only 3 or 4 years.

My brother's earlier unit died because of some eletrolytic capacitors drying out. He was able to find info on the Web about where those capacitors were, and how to replace them by desoldering and soldering in new ones. This was obviously a generic failure with that particular model, for the specific repair tip to get popular on the Web. For failure of a part worth 20c, an entire TV gets chucked. And with repair labor so high, everything becomes practically unrepairable and disposable.

Recently, I heard my nephew's big TV also croaked. Meanwhile, my 1st generation HDTV that's more than 10 years old just won't quit. And I am also the frugal type who hates to throw away things that still work. Did you see in an earlier post how much I paid for it?
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:29 PM   #37
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I worked in the electronics industry, and we worked very hard to bring products out that were better, and at a lower price - and this is the 'thanks' we get? To be told that the customer is 'thoroughly disgusted' by this effort? I don't get it - not at all.
Don't take it personally (I'm sure you don't ). I think it's just a form of buyer's remorse. It's understandable some may feel either taken or a bit of a sucker to lay out hard-earned cash for a top-of-the-line product and then see it for considerably less (or something else significantly better) within a very short time. It may be as much (or more) embarrassment as disgust. There's a premium paid for being first-kid-on-the-block. CE just have a really short... half life.

I've learned (not easily) to ignore it. I make the best decisions I can at the time I need to make them, and I cannot control the future or the marketplace.

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:40 PM   #38
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I almost always buy the absolute cheapest bottom of the barrel tech gadgets unless the next step up is so cheap that it doesn't make sense not to get it. Refurbished, sometimes used stuff. Ebay. Great results, very few disappointments, and I can't imagine how many thousands I have saved over the years. One exception where I did pay up slightly is a desktop computer. I needed one with ports to install a graphics card that could drive dual monitors and allow light gaming. So add $100 or so there versus a bargain basement budget PC.

Since I'm not an audiophile or videophile, I haven't really missed out on the tech goodies (besides being a year or two behind the curve by avoiding the new adopter tax). I just laugh when someone says something like "I spent $2500 on that tv 8 years ago", and you can replace it with a better, higher quality, more energy efficient version for 15-20% the price today.
My only experience of being on the cutting edge of technology was in I believe 1987 when I bought a Panasonic HiFi VCR so I could play concert videos through my stereo. That thing was almost $500 back then. I few years later you could get them way under a $100. Since that purchase I learned quickly I would prefer to be on the back end of the technological curve.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:06 PM   #39
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Now for the 'mad' part - I worked in the electronics industry, and we worked very hard to bring products out that were better, and at a lower price - and this is the 'thanks' we get? To be told that the customer is 'thoroughly disgusted' by this effort? I don't get it - not at all. I guess we were doing it wrong.
Don't get too upset over one person's perspective. I'm both astonished and impressed by what the electronics industry is cranking out at price points that even normal people can afford. While I mostly follow digital cameras similarly impressive strides are being made in all areas. Radio control models are another example.

There is technology on toy store shelves now that wasn't available anywhere for normal people five years ago because the technology either didn't exist at all or was so advanced that only NASA could afford it.

And that's pretty impressive.

That said, it's also the reason I won't buy high-end electronics because I think it's a safe bet that in three years it'll be low-end and in eight years it's obsolete.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:40 PM   #40
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Now for the 'mad' part - I worked in the electronics industry, and we worked very hard to bring products out that were better, and at a lower price - and this is the 'thanks' we get? To be told that the customer is 'thoroughly disgusted' by this effort? I don't get it - not at all. I guess we were doing it wrong.
Don't get too upset over one person's perspective. I'm both astonished and impressed by what the electronics industry is cranking out at price points that even normal people can afford. While I mostly follow digital cameras similarly impressive strides are being made in all areas. Radio control models are another example.

There is technology on toy store shelves now that wasn't available anywhere for normal people five years ago because the technology either didn't exist at all or was so advanced that only NASA could afford it.

And that's pretty impressive.

That said, it's also the reason I won't buy high-end electronics because I think it's a safe bet that in three years it'll be low-end and in eight years it's obsolete.
Oh, I'm not really mad - I tried to convey that with the laughing guys. But I really do find it curious that people say that. As I said, the alternative, higher prices, is better?

I sometimes feign being insulted, just to get the point across. But there is probably a sliver of truth to it.

And I can understand being POd when a perfectly good, working device becomes non-functional because of other upgrades in related systems. That is more likely to happen with computers, say you have a working program or device (like a printer), and your new computer/OS doesn't support those items. That doesn't happen too often with standalone devices, like TVs. That's usually a case of, 'hey, the new ones better, and I have the old one' (which still works as well as the day you bought it) - it's a kind of 'class warfare'

-ERD50
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