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View Full Version : Help me buy a new TV! LCD? Plasma? HDTV?



manleywoman
06-17-2011, 04:33 AM
I'm finally getting rid of our very very old TV, and want to get a flat screen that goes on our mantle. We don't want or need anything larger than a 36". But as someone who is completely not-up-to-date on the latest television trends and electronics, I have no idea what to get.

I know we don't want 3D. Could care less. We just want a nice TV that works well, will last a while, and will work with our Comcast cable box. I have no idea what the difference is between an LCD/Plasma/any other type.

Does anyone here have recommendations and can explain the difference?

Aussie Willy
06-17-2011, 04:36 AM
LCD should be fine for you. LEDs have a beautiful picture but are much more expensive.

I think Plasmas are generally just the really really big flat screen TVs.

Anita18
06-17-2011, 06:36 AM
LCDs are pretty cheap nowadays. LEDs are more expensive. My dad got one for Black Friday two years ago (his first big Black Friday purchase in...I think ever. :lol: ) and he still likes to drool over the picture when he plays Blu-rays. If you don't have a Blu-ray player, it's definitely not worth getting the snazziest thing on the market.

Some people get all up in the details about 1080i vs 1080p but honestly, I don't think most people can tell the difference at all. :P I'd go with a basic LCD myself.

Bostonfan
06-17-2011, 11:34 AM
LCDs seem to be heading for phase out in favor of LEDs. There are some LCD/LED hybrids available. And frankly the LEDs aren't that much more expensive based on my recent trip to Best Buy.

Stay away from plasma IMO.

a56
06-17-2011, 11:46 AM
I think you should probably stay away from plasma unless if you're aware of all the unique characteristics and can deal with that.

Plasmas are only available in big screens. Lately, I've only seen plasmas in a diagonal screen size of 42 inches or larger, so if you want something 36" or less, you'll have to go with LCD or LED. Manufacturers also seem to recommend that you "break in" a plasma for the first 100 hours (to specifically avoid an image being permanently burned into your screen due to a static image like a tv channel logo being present for a long time) by being extra careful. Example: do not play extended periods of video games or channels with stationary logos and images during that period. Image burn-in used to be a huge problem with plasmas, but the technology has really improved, but still, plasmas apparently are more sensitive to image burn in that LCDs or LEDs.

LEDS are still LCDs with a few LED lights around the edges of the screen, so they're much thinner. The screen tends to be more reflective and less suitable for brightly lit rooms.

I recommend a 720p LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) for you. Usually the typical screen sizes available are 19", 22", 26", 32", 37", 40", 42", 46", and higher. Sometimes, more unusual sizes like 15", 24", 27", etc. are available. Keep in mind that HDTV's are widescreen, while your old TV is more of a squarish shape, so if you're watching anything that's not widescreen, it will not cover the entire screen of the HDTV unless if you stretch the image (which has a bit of an unnatural look to it). 720p and 1080p are the two primary HDTV resolution levels. 1080p is sharper and has more detail, but it is generally agreed that unless if you have a tv that's really large (like 50" or larger), you're not going to see the difference from where you're sitting. 1080p is usually much more expensive than 720p. You do need a Blu-ray player or a HD cable box to see programming in high definition. All TV's sold now are pretty much HDTV's.

Here's a tv buying guide from Consumer Reports. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/tvs-services/tvs/tv-buying-advice/index.htm
I definitely recommend that you go into an electronics store to see the screen sizes and the quality for yourself.

BigB08822
06-17-2011, 10:52 PM
A 36 inch!? I am so used to our huge 45 and 52 inch that I don't know if I could even see a 36 inch from my couch!

Cheylana
06-17-2011, 11:40 PM
I bought a 32-inch Sony Bravio back in 2008 that I'm still very happy with. I'm sure that model has gotta be dirt-cheap at this point (assuming they still make it, that is)!

mon125
06-18-2011, 03:37 AM
I recommend a 720p LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) for you. Usually the typical screen sizes available are 19", 22", 26", 32", 37", 40", 42", 46", and higher. 1080p is sharper and has more detail, but it is generally agreed that unless if you have a tv that's really large (like 50" or larger), you're not going to see the difference from where you're sitting. 1080p is usually much more expensive than 720p. You do need a Blu-ray player or a HD cable box to see programming in high definition. All TV's sold now are pretty much HDTV's.



I agree with this.
At least in my area, only a couple of channels are being transmitted in 1080p at this moment, most are in 720p. I am not sure if this is Comcast fault or else...

manleywoman
06-18-2011, 04:09 AM
A 36 inch!? I am so used to our huge 45 and 52 inch that I don't know if I could even see a 36 inch from my couch!

Our current one is tiny, so a 36" will seem huge to us!

Thanks everyone for the help.