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Old 11-10-2007, 02:41 PM   #1
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Televisions

We have one television, an older 27 inch CRT tv. I am considering buying a new TV. I don't want to spend big bucks. I am unlikely to have high definition, but odds are I will have it sometime in the future. I don't much watch movies but there are a few shows I like, but only pay minor attention to. I will keep the TV quite a long time, given past practice. The way our home is set up, I do not look at the TV directly, so it should be good to view from an angle. I remember hearing the LCD tvs may not be so good at viewing from the side. I really don't like the idea of shopping for a tv. There is too much new fangled stuff out there and it changes all the dang time!

Suggestions?
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:50 PM   #2
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Martha, you will find that CRT TVs are on the way out. In fact, Best Buy has quit selling them, so a flat panel is in your future, and it should be a HDTV. As of February 17, 2009 (or thereabouts) the federal government has mandated that all TV signals will be digital. At that time, a CRT analog TV will no longer be able to recieve an over the air signal. they will ONLY work with a special cable box, or a satellite system. You CAN buy a digital flat panel that isn't HD, but for the money difference, I couldn't recommend it.

Can you get over the air signals from your local stations with an antenna? If the answer is yes, you can get HDTV now with just an antenna. doesn't even have to be a special HDTV antenna.

Check out the LCD tv's carefully, and I think you'll find that you can see them at an angle just fine, now. This technology is growing by leaps and bounds at present. We have a 34 inch HDTV, and love it....

As to brands, I have found sony products to be outstanding, although you do pay a little more.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:57 PM   #3
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We do have satellite shared with our tenants. We barely pick up local stations with an antennae, I have no idea whether they have a digital signal.

I went into Best Buy yesterday, the only electronics store within 150 miles, and the choices were overwhelming and all the pictures looked the same. LCD, Plasma, DLP, LCD DLP. Ack!
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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TVs are in a state of flux right now. I am letting it sort itself out before I buy anything.

The last time we needed a new TV was because the existing one crapped out. We dreaded the "buying experience", too. We finally bought at Circuit Citym and the sales force wasn't aggressive. That was before the cutback in pay for the salesman, though.

Mike D.

I think your comment about viewing from the side is important.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
We have one television, an older 27 inch CRT tv. I am considering buying a new TV. I don't want to spend big bucks. I am unlikely to have high definition, but odds are I will have it sometime in the future. I don't much watch movies but there are a few shows I like, but only pay minor attention to. I will keep the TV quite a long time, given past practice. The way our home is set up, I do not look at the TV directly, so it should be good to view from an angle. I remember hearing the LCD tvs may not be so good at viewing from the side. I really don't like the idea of shopping for a tv. There is too much new fangled stuff out there and it changes all the dang time!

Suggestions?
I am looking for a TV too. I have a CRT that I could bring down from the house, but after going out to the stores, and watching football at my sons' houses ands in bars, no way would I want less than a nice flat screen LCD or plasma. Hi Def is to regular as color was to B&W. It is really different. I have heard the same thing you mention about viewing LCD from the sides. I also think some types are better than others for viewing in a strongly lighted room.

My kids who are definitely not LBTMers swear by Sony and Samsung. They are also more expensive, so the salepeople love them too. I think there is a recent Consumer Repoorts article on HDTV, so that might be helpful.

I'll be looking forward to seeing what the more knowledgable posters write.

Ha
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:38 PM   #6
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Martha, a couple of comments.... Everything looks the same at Best Buy because all the displays are HDTV, and they run them on a closed circuit so they all have the same picture signal. They may look different at home. If you have satellite, you can pay an extra 10 bucks or so a month, and upgrade to HD receivers for your new TV. It'll look great on any HD broadcast. Not everything is in HD, however.

Don't get a rear projection TV! You WILL notice a difference looking at them from the side. LCD seems to be the most common right now, and the performance is great.

You'll see 1080i (full HD) advertised, but almost nothing is broadcast at that resolution. Most is broadcast at 720, and most people can't tell the difference between that and 1080. That's another reason you won't see much difference at the Best Buy displays.

Look for something in the 37- 42 inch range. That's a nice viewing size.
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:50 PM   #7
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I'm not qualified to comment on the technical aspects of your decision but my experience with the quality of anything manufacured these days suggests to me that you probably will NOT "...keep the TV quite a long time..."
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:34 PM   #8
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I'm not qualified to comment on the technical aspects of your decision but my experience with the quality of anything manufacured these days suggests to me that you probably will NOT "...keep the TV quite a long time..."
We have in excess of 10 years on our two CRT TVs, and we're not motivated to upgrade until at least 2010. Our kid will be graduating high school that year (so no reason to upgrade) and I'd rather wait for the digital market to continue to shake itself out.

One side of our livingroom is three wall units built around the display space of the 32" CRT TV. A replacement TV would have to fit in the same hole. If technological standards haven't changed too much, we'd probably start on Craigslist with the people upgrading to 100-inchers...
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:16 PM   #9
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I have been watching Craigslist but nothing but big honking projection tvs. Including a 65 inch projection tv that doesn't work because of a "shortage" but is otherwise in good condition.

No plasmas or LCDs on Craigslist. I also have to think about how I am going to transport any tv I get. I don't want no stinking 200 pound tv.

It bugs me that I have no idea how any of the options are going to look at home.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:39 PM   #10
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When the 1989 21 inch dies I shall watch, what little I do, on the laptop.
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Old 11-11-2007, 12:40 AM   #11
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We're about to get this LCD HDTV

It has gotten great reviews all around, and it's priced under most other brands.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:38 AM   #12
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CRT's will be around for some time. Cheap, large cabnet and heavy. Plasma uses a lot of energy , more than a CRT and about triple that of LCD....Not sure about DLP.After a few beers, the picture quality is about the same for all.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:04 AM   #13
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FWIW, this is the exact LCD TV I have. It's 32" Samsung which for me is plenty big in my apartment, but you'd want a bigger one for a large house. Anywho, it's been great (had it almost 6 months now) and you can view it just fine from any angle.

Best feature is the HDMI connector. My laptop also has HDMI so I can just plug my laptop into the TV with 1 cable (HDMI carries both visual and audio all in one) and watch all the TV shows and movies that I download on the big screen. Also fun for gaming and just surfing the net on a 32" screen.

LCD and Plasma Televisions Samsung LE32S71B: features and prices samsung le32s71b.

I paid the equivalent of around $1200 USD I think, but since electronics are a bit more expensive here, I image you could get a 37" or 42" in the US for about the same price.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:21 AM   #14
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We're about to get this LCD HDTV

It has gotten great reviews all around, and it's priced under most other brands.
I also have a 27 inch CRT and was looking at one of the moderately priced LCDs like that one...
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:57 AM   #15
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FWIW, I have a Sony LCD and would recommend LCD, because the technology is similar to what your laptop has, and they are the most reliable.

1)Plasma: awesome colors, until 5 years or so sets in and you start seeing "burn-in"...........

2)DLP: Good picture, until you find out there's a fancy picture "tube" you have to replace every 2-3 years for $175 or so.

3)LCD: Not as crisp as plasma, comparable to DLP for color. From what I gather, the easiest to fix if needed, because it's basically a REALLY nice computer monitor........

I have heard nice things about the Vizio brand, they have them at Sam's CLub for super prices........
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:09 AM   #16
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I bought a 32" crt from walmart. Works great. digital - so it is not obsolete in 2009. I don't get HD signals over my cable anyway. $250 brand new, so it is disposable if/when I feel like upgrading to 21st century technology.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:15 AM   #17
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My advice would be to go to Circuit City and look at the TV's and prices. If the salesmen aren't too busy, sometimes they can be very helpful. You can look at TV's without buying one. Maybe you'll find something on sale.

Despite my LBYM ways, I bought a 42" plasma Hitachi HDTV in 2006. It is probably not what you had in mind, though you can get the same model for $1250 at Circuit City. The colors are brilliant and I haven't regretted it for a minute. But then, I probably watch TV more than some. I enjoy the History Channel, and HGTV, reruns of SVU, the evening news, and more. My thinking is that as long as I am spending part of my life staring at the thing, it might as well be pretty. I don't spend any money on DVD's or Netflix, and I only subscribe to basic cable, so that helps me to justify it a little bit. I do plan to get a full cable package after I retire, though, because I will have more to spend.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
One side of our livingroom is three wall units built around the display space of the 32" CRT TV. A replacement TV would have to fit in the same hole. If technological standards haven't changed too much, we'd probably start on Craigslist with the people upgrading to 100-inchers...
My MIL needed a bigger screen owing to her failing eyesight. We found a nice 32" flatscreen CRT, Sony Wega, on craigslist for $150. Makes our 1998 32" Toshiba look ancient...
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:00 AM   #19
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Consumer Reports Dec/07:
Plasma best for high ambient light, LCD for everything else.
Top 3 LCD:
Samsung LN-T4661F
Sony Bravia KDL-46W3000
Sony Bravia KDL-46S3000 a best buy
all 46"

Plasma:
Panasonic TH-58PZ750U
LG 60PB4D
Vizio VM60P HDTV10A a best buy
LG 60PCID
Panasonic TH-50PZ700U
Panasonic TH-50PX75U a best buy
Samsung HP-T5064

Reliability all under 4%
2% -Panansonic, 3% -Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Toshiba, JVC

Within these groups, buy on price and features.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:09 AM   #20
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Couple of tidbits I've picked up.

SD displayed on some HD sets looks worse than SD on a lot of SD sets. Many manufacturers dont spend a lot of money on downconversion hardware, and they dont have to since the showrooms show the finest HD signals over HD cabling to HD sets in HD mode. You wont see SD until you get it home, and its probably too late at that point.

A lot of shows are made in SD and broadcasting them on an HD signal doesnt make them better.

A lot of stations broadcast content originally recorded in HD but the channel broadcasts in SD, and that makes it about the same as SD.

A lot of cable channels on high definition digital cable are still analog SD...pretty much everything in the lower 99 channels is still analog and SD.

HD takes up a lot of "bandwidth" in the cable or satellite, so a lot of cable and satellite providers shave down the quality of the signal to make more channels fit. For example on sundays, directv throttles down all the other channels to make more room for the high def football games on the "NFL sunday ticket", and IIRC they also cut back on the more mundane HD channels on friday and saturday nights to boost the quality for PPV movies/events/premium channels. Dish network shoves so many HD local channels into such a small bandwidth that they look worse to me than the analog SD cable equivalents. While offerings are improving, many satellite and cable HD channels are ones most people wouldnt bother to watch very much. Directv and Comcast offer a bunch, but theres only 3-4 I'd watch.

The odds of getting a show filmed in HD, broadcast in HD, rebroadcast by your cable/satellite provider in full resolution and bitrate, and having a set that faithfully reproduces that show...are relatively small unless you primarily watch premium channels or sports.

I forget the exact number, but the amusing stat of the week was finding out that something like 35% of people had hooked their HD set up wrong in a manner that restricted the output to SD and didnt know it.

I've looked at and have owned flat panels, but then discovered that they didnt really save me much because I either didnt have anything critical to put in the floor space beneath them or what I put a cabinet under them to hold the tivo/dvd/vcr/cable/sat boxes that used to sit on top of the tv.

I have all high def sets...a 65" rear projection set, a 55" LCOS flat set and a 32" lcd set and I used to have a 42" plasma. According to my meter, the 65" set takes the least electricity to run and produces the least heat. The picture is viewable from much wider angles. The picture looks as good from 6" away as from 6 and 16'. The LCOS, LCD and Plasma sets all look terrible up close as you can see a lot of digital artifacts on SD broadcasts.

Without my glasses, I frankly have some trouble seeing the difference between SD, 480P, 720P, 1080i and 1080p.

I have a friend with a whole home theater. The seats, tiered floor, black velvet curtains, the big popcorn cart, the fanciest latest generation 1080p projector, and a stereo that has speakers that individually cost as much as many cars I've owned.

We watched a football game there recently. It looked great. Everyone was going up to the extremely expensive screen and noting little odd details about an announcers tie, the pores on a guys forehead, etc. For the first 15 minutes it was very interesting. Then we just watched the game and I forgot about how great the resolution was.

If I were buying a set right now, I'd buy an HD set but I'd read the consumer reports info on which HD sets display SD very well and which dont. I dont think I'd be hung up on a flat hangable screen unless I had a flat place to hang it and that brought me some sort of benefit. It is inadvisable to hang them over a fireplace, since the extra heat, soot and smoke will pretty much cut their lifespan in half. I have no fears about tube and rear projection sets although they're heavier and take up some floor space...they'll probably last longer and they're cheap. Modern rear projection CRT's are a lot thinner and lighter than they were a few years ago. Rear projection LCD/DLP sets are really thin and light.

Some people get headaches from DLP sets. But if you dont and nobody else you know does, they're very attractive from a quality and price perspective.

Dont buy an LCOS set.

Make sure wherever you buy it, that they have at least a 30 day return/exchange policy in case you dont like it.
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