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  1. #1

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    I Didn't Know Buying a New Television Would Be So Scary

    I am in the market for a new television. I am finally upgrading to HDTV, but I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I have gone walking around the store and a salesperson at Best Buy completely confused me....I think that was the objective. I left the store and decided to do my own research on LCD/LED/plasma/3D and all of the rest. I want something that isn't going to be super expensive but has a good picture. I have Directv, so I don't think that I need a smart TV with the package, but you guys tell me. Where do I start? Will I be able to tell the difference between LED and LCD? How many pixels do I really need? What are the most important things to get and how can I do this so I am not spending $1000 for a television. My current TVs are 27" (bedroom) and 32" (living room). If I can keep it reasonable, I will replace both, but if not, I will do one at a time, probably bedroom first since I spend the most time there and I don't do a whole lot of entertaining. Thanks for your insight in advance.
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

  2. #2
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    First, DirecTV will provide an excellent picture. The things I looked for with LCD was 1080p and a high contrast ratio (which means black is really black which also makes for crisp picture). Having a couple of HDMI ports helps, too. You will probably need to get an HDMI cable to go from the satellite box to the TV-that’s the only way to get true HD. Now, whether you want 3D (which to me is a gimmick) or a smart TV is up to you, though a smart TV means you can connect to WiFi and watch web based video on the TV which could be nice-IF the feed is high quality.
    It might help to measure where you want to put the TV to make sure it will fit. As for what size should you buy, CNET has some advice.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”– MLK

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    Don't get a 3D television. That is just a gimmick (as Reuven said) and the cost is astounding. When will you ever use it? Not to mention, if it does indeed catch on the price will only go WAY down over the next few years. I also suggest something bigger than 32" if you have the space and can afford it. Combining a bigger television with HD is quite nice. We have a 45 and a 50 I think, somewhere around there. The 45" seems to be pretty common in most homes these days, anything around 32" just looks so tiny to me.
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    I would just give you one warning on LCD vs plasma. Before you buy try to watch some kind of sports with lots of movement on it - football, soccer - or dance. Bring your own DVD and have him play it through the TV if you have to.

    The LCD TVs that I saw [although this was a few years ago] all had problems with fast movement. It like - left a kind of blur or something around the image. Anyway - I didnt like it. Plasma was much better.

    Just watch both kinds with something with a lot of movement and see what looks better to your eye before you buy one. If they are set up side by side in the showroom it's even better.

    Good luck.

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    The only thing I have to add is that with a plasma tv, you can view the screen from any angle. With the LCD, you'll get that ghosty image like you do with your computer screen if you are not looking at it straight on. If the tv will only be seen head on, it's not a problem, but if you have seating off to the side, you can have some problems.
    "Me, cutie/chicken, the egg cup, I am the hammer of my spoon!"--Jen_Faith translation

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    FiveRinger I know as much as you do about these things but I have to tell you the title of your thread made me think of you in Best Buy beset by zombies.

  7. #7

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    It is probably not an issue with new TVs but make sure it has the copyright protection software so that you can plug in a DVD recorder (if you have one) into the HDMI port on the TV. My TV doesn't have this and I cannot get my new DVD recorder to play through the HDMI port. That TV is about 6 years old, and the DVD reorder is about 6 months old.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tak View Post
    I would just give you one warning on LCD vs plasma. Before you buy try to watch some kind of sports with lots of movement on it - football, soccer - or dance. Bring your own DVD and have him play it through the TV if you have to.

    The LCD TVs that I saw [although this was a few years ago] all had problems with fast movement. It like - left a kind of blur or something around the image. Anyway - I didnt like it. Plasma was much better.

    Just watch both kinds with something with a lot of movement and see what looks better to your eye before you buy one. If they are set up side by side in the showroom it's even better.

    Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by suep1963 View Post
    The only thing I have to add is that with a plasma tv, you can view the screen from any angle. With the LCD, you'll get that ghosty image like you do with your computer screen if you are not looking at it straight on. If the tv will only be seen head on, it's not a problem, but if you have seating off to the side, you can have some problems.
    I have 2 HDTV's, both LCD's, one in the bedroom and one in the livingroom. The larger one is 40" and 720p with 120HZ. Though 720 was still common in this size screen when we bought it and it works fine, I would suggest sticking with 1080 unless you are talking about 32" or smaller. At the smaller sizes the increase doesn't make much difference. I do not have a large living room so the 40" is plenty big and I would have to sit in another room if I had one much larger. The 120HZ, or I believe now you can get 240HZ, is what is important for fast movement like sports. I have no problems with that, though it was definitely a problem when LCD first arrived on the scene. The store where we purchased had a split screen set up with 1/2 at 60 HZ and 1/2 at 120 HZ and there was certainly a difference.

    I have never had a problem with viewing angle with either HDTV. I also have a small 15" inexpensive LCD TV that is not HD in the kitchen, (from the days when LCD had just come in but HD was still uncommon). That one can have viewing angle problems, but more so with height than side to side. This TV is very sharp indeed at such a small size and I don't think even being HD would increase that any. This TV is conveniently on the opposite side of a pass-through to the big screen TV and I have have them both hooked up to the same cable box since one uses the HDMI feed and one the RF cable, so I can conveniently pop in and out of the kitchen to do things while watching without losing sight of the action.

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    I've just bought this tv for my mum - it's very good http://www.tesco.com/direct/toshiba-...w/212-6876.prd

  10. #10

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    I highly recommend the Samsungs if you can afford them. They tend to be a little more expensive than other brands, but they are excellent in terms of picture quality. I currently have three Samsung TVs -- a plasma, LCD and LED -- and highly recommend them.

    If looking at a LCD, I agree with Skate Talker and focus on getting not only 1080p, but also at least 120 Hz. The difference between 120 and 240 really is not that noticeable because most video doesn't take advantage of the difference in refresh rate. But 120 to 60 Hz is noticeable.

    Don't waste the money on 3D.

    Also, don't just look at a place like Best Buy for TVs. They tend to have only the newest models with expensive features you may not want. For instance, on their website, the only 32-inch with 120 Hz is a 3D model, but you could get a 40-inch LED model on Amazon for a lower price. So do your homework.

    Also, take into account that a new HD TV will probably require: (1) HDMI cables from the DirecTV receiver and a DVD player (if you have one) ; and (2) a good surge protector. Those can add up, so make sure you consider that when you figure out what you can afford.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    Also, take into account that a new HD TV will probably require: (1) HDMI cables from the DirecTV receiver and a DVD player (if you have one) ; and (2) a good surge protector. Those can add up, so make sure you consider that when you figure out what you can afford.
    When I upgraded to HD, I was told I'd need the HDMI cable so bought one (and it was pricey), but when DirecTV came to install, they brought one for me to use. I'd check with them before buying the cable.

  12. #12

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    I want to thank everyone for their insight thus far. I went to Best Buy originally hoping to get some insight, not to actually make my purchase. But you guys give a much better explanation than any of their sales people could. I plan to go to a different store to look around before I make a final decision, but I feel better armed than I did to start. Salespeople are so frustrating....the sole objective is to make the biggest sale that they can regardless of what your needs are.

    I do have another question.....I am not into sports so much.....I mean I watch figure skating and I look forward to the Olympics and maybe a few tennis matches, but that's it. Is the 120Hz the best way to go or is 240Hz really necessary? Directv told me that I don't need any HDMI cables and they they will provide them with the installation. I got the Whole Home service for $99 which I'm really happy about. I have until next Fri to figure it out since that's when they're coming to do the installation. I'm hoping to find a deal in town (especially with Father's Day coming up) so that I don't have to worry about shipping and all of that. Fingers crossed.
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

  13. #13

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    When you hone in on a TV in the showroom, walk all around the showroom and view the TV from various angles to make sure the picture is good at all angles. Like someone already mentioned, some TV's need to be viewed from head on only.

    I also measured the real floor space in my home between the TV stand and the chairs (Mom's and mine), and we looked at the TV in the showroom from the same distance. Yes, we brought our measuring tape!

  14. #14

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    Ok...guys. I got my new television yesterday, which I am thrilled with. I got a Vizio LCD 120Hz 47" television and the television itself works great. I got it from Costco because even though I found the same TV at other stores for almost the same price (difference of maybe $10), they give an additional year's warranty at no additional charge for any television 40 inches or bigger.

    I was able to get a wireless connection thru the internet on the television. Now, my problem is with Directv. I get an internet connection, but can't connect to the internet apps thru Directv (although I can thru the internet apps on the television). It's making me mad because they are telling me it's not their issue it's that port 1701/LT2P has to be open on my modem. The guy on the phone says that this is two different ports, but researching I am finding it's the same one. But, what the hell do I know? They told me to call my internet provider to get help with this. I can't do this since my connection is thru my employer (I work from home and they provide Charter broadband). I tried to call Linksys who makes the router and they want to charge me some ridiculous amount for someone to remotely do it. They won't tell me how to do it because I am out of warranty on the router and the router is less than a year old. And Directv's website has people on message boards discussing this very issue, saying that it's not the router configuration, that it's another issue entirely. I'm frustrated because these are too many changes to be going thru. Since the tech was out yesterday and installed this, I am going to insist that someone come back out here and fix it. I will let you know how it turns out.
    The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are--Joseph Campbell

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