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Thread: Buying a new TV

  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Buying a new TV

    To watch cycling videos, of course, and the TdF and such.

    Buying a TV used to be pretty easy. What size, and what budget. Now it's overwhelming. High Def this, Digital that, flat screen this, etc.

    What I think I want is a medium sized flat screen HD. Maybe something in the 32-37" range. Are there things I should look for or avoid? Good brands, good retailers? And what happened to tubes, anyway??
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    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Go to the scratch and dent sale. Buy the cheapest TV that meets your needs. You will be viewed as an intellectual, a bohemian and a Renaissance man. Women of substance will see you as Wabi Sabi master of shabby chic. You'll have to beat them away with a stick, so to speak. You can thank me now or your can thank me later.
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    Pinstriper SemperFi's Avatar
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    I was looking for awhile too but my wife had other ideas. Needless to say she got her way and re-did the entire bedroom...new terrace door, new tile floor, new mirrored sliding closet doors, and a new bedroom set. There wasn't enough left for a new TV.
    I would stay with the name brands, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, etc, even though some brands I never heard of have gotten some good reviews. If you're going with an LCD over a plasma, don't get a set larger than 37 inches. From what I've researched the picture quality is not as good in the larger sets whereas the larger plasma sets have superior picture quality.
    Happy hunting.
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  4. #4
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    At that size you have the option of going:

    CRT- if you want it big and heavy

    LCD - very popular, thin, falling rapidly in price, image quality is uneven but I don't know how critical of an eye you have. I have an extremely critical eye (and 20/10 vision with my glasses) and so I dislike many TVs that some people find just fine. For example, I have a hard time being satisfied with any LCD TV, while many people find them great. My problem is that the blacks just aren't black enough for me, which distracts me when watching movies.

    The best 32"-37" LCDs are probably the Sharp AQUOS series, but they are pretty pricey ... up around $1600-$2000.

    A very popular brand that gets good consumer reviews and is less expensive is the Toshiba REGZA line.

    There are also good sets from Sony (Bravia), Panasonic, LG (not lowest models), Samsung, and Vizio (but not their lowest priced models). Even Westinghouse, long a low-end & low-quality brand, has some decent models at the top of their line.

    Some of the lower priced sets have significantly grayer blacks, meaning lower contrast. This washes out all of the colors.

    Where do you buy from? Doesn't make that much difference, although I would buy from a local store and not mail order it, in case you have a problem. Even Wal-Mart is beginning to carry some of the better sets. Personally I've had good success & support from Circuit City.

    One decision you'll have to make is whether to buy an extended warranty. Everyone will pressure you to buy one, as they make much more profit off of the warranty than from selling the set. The odds favor not getting one - about 90% of all sets have no problems within the extended warranty period. But some people like the peace of mind that comes with them. I would only get one if they offered a very good deal on it.

    The higher end sets will feature full 1920x1080 resolution, referred to as 1080p. While I find this resolution to be great on 50" & larger sets, it doesn't make as much difference on 32"-37" sets, where 720p is quite good.

    Another new technology is 120Hz refresh rates. This does reduces motion artifacts, allowing sharper smooth motion. But these sets are just coming out and are pricey. Will get cheaper over time.

    If you go up to 42" then you would need to consider plasma, which to my eye produces a better picture than LCD. They used to make 37" plasmas, but most of them are gone due to the price competition from LCD.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 08-26-07 at 07:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    Bigger is better. Seriously.
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    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    I would think an 8" flat screen would be plenty for a road bike -- that's what they put in SUVs these days! Just don't forget to order the special mounting kit!!
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    I would think an 8" flat screen would be plenty for a road bike -- that's what they put in SUVs these days! Just don't forget to order the special mounting kit!!
    Make sure you get the white case to match the bike as well as the E305 option.

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    What ever you do, don't buy a standard TV. Standard Analog NTSC TV will be obsolete in 2009.

  9. #9
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Actually, it won't be. All broadcast signals are scheduled to be converted to digital, but a relatively inexpensive (<$50) box will convert them to analog. And your cable or DBS (DirecTV/Dish) will do that for you in their converter/receiver boxes.

    Analog TVs will be around for a long time.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    We are still using the 13" color tv we got for a wedding present 26 years ago. Gotta hand it to Sony. We don't have cable so whatever. The rabbit ears get 4 stations whether we need them or not. Not to much tv watchin around here. Never really got into it I guess.
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    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I just got a 37" VIZIO LCD throuh Costco. First new TV in forever. I'm pretty happy with it. It was only $850 or so.
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    GEEZER ALERT!

    Technology has come a long way. As a small child my family's first TV had a small screen with a large, heavy, thick glass magnifier that pulled out on two steel rails.

    My first job out of high school was working at a TV shop making service calls. All the customers had vacuum tube sets and very few of them were color. Black and white was still in its heyday. I was a tube jockey at $1.50 per hour.

    I couldn't fix a modern TV now to save my butt. Hell, I don't even know how they work...and don't care.

    END GEEZER ALERT!

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Just make certain it is Black. Black TV's are faster.
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    Oh boy, replacing our TV is not something I look forward to. Last time, we had a hard time finding one small enough to fit into the console/furniture piece?? (looks like an armoire) where we also keep the radio & CD player. It took weeks of searching but we finally found a 27" model (thank you again Sony!). I was afraid that Mrs ollo would redecorate the living room and leave me tripping over things for a few years. Not much TV watching in our home either. Don
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    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Before you go HD - check and see what your cable provider wants to gouge you for an HD signal. In most populated areas HD is also broadcast over the air and guess what - the resolution is better over the air than on the cable where they frequently cut back on the bandwidth of the signal to crame more unused shopping channels at you. Make sure you can use an HD box before you buy one.

    Remember - as we get over 50 we can't see as well, plain old analog may be good emough...
    One caveat to that, my bride of almost 30 years just had catarac surgery, with her new lense she sees like she was 18 again. Unfortunately she see's me better now too and I look nothing like I did at 18...
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    kill your television!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pista Largo View Post
    kill your television!
    +1 and buy more bikes.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  18. #18
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    What ever you do, don't buy a standard TV. Standard Analog NTSC TV will be obsolete in 2009.
    And your current VHF-UHF TV channels will be disappearing as well. They will be going to 800 MHz and above. If your more than about 20 miles from the new TV transmitter site you may not be able to receive any off the air "free" TV signals. I gave up on the "free" alphabet channels long ago and don’t pay the extra $5 to receive them via satellite as there not worth that extra $5 a month.
    I'm waiting on the change over date as the new TV's should be much cheaper by then and your local TV stations my give you a converter for your "old" TV and/or install an antenna as well "IF" your within range of the new transmitter.

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    Senior Member Paydirt's Avatar
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    Go with one of the "S's" - Sony, Sharp, Samsung or to a lesser extent Sanyo. Everything will be HD in the next 3-5 years or sooner. Get a head of the curve. If you like TV, you will really enjoy HD. Go nuts and get the HD programming from your cable or satellite provider, it's great also and not complicated.

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    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    VIZIO. And remember that a wide screen dimension needs to be bigger than your previous 4:3 because it is wider. If you get the same diagonal dimension as before, your picture height will be smaller.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    My 12 year old Sony Trinitron finally died 3 months ago and I bought my first flat panel TV. I got a Samsung LN-S2641D HDTV for 679.00 at a local retailer. Best picture quality I have ever had in a TV and that is with the standard (non-HD) cable package.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    I would think an 8" flat screen would be plenty for a road bike -- that's what they put in SUVs these days! Just don't forget to order the special mounting kit!!
    Reminds me of our first TV, a 9" Sony B&W on rabbit ears. My wife got the message that this was not going to do for very long when I hauled out a set of bi-nocs to watch the Sunday football game.

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    OK....I did get the budget-ready Westinghouse. The pic was definitely less sharp & vibrant, but still quite nice for my occasional dvd, mostly news watching. The relatively narrow difference in picture quality (to my less critical eye) did not reflect the far wider price margin.

    Screen size depends on how far you'll be sitting. There's a zone of emotional/perceptual involvement that you have to be sitting within.....hence, the farther away to sit, the bigger the screen has to be. I sit maybe 8 to10 feet from the screen and find a 37" to be just fine.

    More frequently, I sit about 16 inches from a standard sized book page and find that just fine for my bifocals. Cleaning my lenses and clearing my head does wonders for the picture image I get from within my head.

  24. #24
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I have using HDTV since 2002 and started with 43" model and worked my way up to 67". You will find that everyone has different brands they like based on their eyes, so you really have to view them yourself to find what works for you. All technologies have some faults, if you want to do a lot of research go to avsforum.com. In the size range you are looking for the best picture is CRT and 720p will be fine you don't need 1080p. Moving from CRT to LCD or Plasma will reduce the weight and size of the set significantly. If you want to go for a bigger set then DLP provides the best bang for the buck and in my case with a 67" DLP and sitting 8' away 1080p is stunning.

    You also need to decide how you will get the HD signal. All sets now come with a ATSC tuner which will get your local major networks but you have to buy an antenna just like the old days. If you are close to the broadcasting stations a small Radio Shack internal antenna with powered gain will work fine. If you get your signal from cable or satellite then you will have to buy a separate HD package and make sure you get a specific HD set top box. Today most things hook via a HDMI connector so make sure you TV has one or two of these. You can use component cables as well. Last most prime time shows are now in HD and most sports but most of cable and non primetime shows are still in standard defintion
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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  25. #25
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I just heard a stat saying that VIZIO is currently the top volume seller of HD flat panel. They are inexpensive and good quality. I have a DLP theater in the basement (on the cheap) but recently acquired the VIZIO 42" LCD for $699 for the family room. It looks great and works great so far.

    So the other point I would make is that a home theater surround sound system makes a huge difference. The picture just sits up there on the screen. A good sound image comes right out and grabs you!
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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