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Old 03-24-2011, 03:55 PM   #1
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Default Buying a new TV -- HELP!!!

Ok, so here's the deal...the last time I bought a TV was at LEAST 10 years ago. In all honesty, I know nothing of HD, 1080i, 1080p, LCD, LED, plasma, etc. Not that I don't watch HDTV, just always my roommates had them, so I never needed one for myself...however I'm about to move to my own place, and I just won't live with a 10+ year old 27" heavy azz non-HD TV.

So, I'm looking for people to give me some quality recommendations for a good TV at a good price.

I'm looking for something that's right around $1000 (+/- maybe $200). Probably want something that's 46-50"...my current TV is 50" and it's plenty big enough.

Even if you don't give a specific model, a list of "must have features" might help as I shop around to find something that meets all the requirements in my price range.

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Old 03-24-2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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I prefer LCD, and not going with 1080p is not worth the cost savings. Too many sources of media are using that resolution, so even if you are not using it now, you will.

If you are playing video games, go with LCD over plasma.

LED is nice, but costs more than LCD, and LCD has a more proven track record at this time, since it has been around longer.

I like Samsung, but if you stick to any major brand you shouldn't have a problem.

Don't get caught up with refresh rates, or huge contrast numbers. These things have more to do with marketing propaganda than actual noticeable quality issues.

My LCD is 60Hz, and it looks the same as a 120Hz to me. Now they are 240Hz.....whatever.

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Old 03-24-2011, 04:08 PM   #3
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ihomebrewing pretty much nailed it...I will add though:

LED vs. LCD---LED is LCD, it has to do with a different source of the light. Typical LCD used a flurescent lamp for its light source, LED-LCD uses, well, it uses LEDs. Others can argue about the differences on picture quality, the biggest thing with LED-LCD is that they are much thinner than LCD TVs (since LED are much smaller).

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Old 03-24-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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Beat me to it. The other thing is that LED has a longer service life than the fluorescent tubes, not that they can't be replaced. The other benefit is a more even light pattern but it's not that big of a deal in the grand scheme.

I actually like Plasma UNLESS you have an extremely bright room to deal with. Refresh rates actually do matter because things tend to look like stop motion animation. Maybe it's a matter of personal sensitivity but the only way to know for sure is to go compare the floor samples. Refresh isn't even a question on plasma by the way.

If you do go LCD which are easier to find in 50+ inches, go with 1080p and 240hz refresh.

Hey, check out the new Panasonic TC-P50S30 50" plasma if you have a Netflix account and want to stream directly. It's right at your $1000 price point at Bestbuy. If you DON'T care about streaming/internet connections then you can save $10 and go Samsung PN50C550G1F.

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Old 03-24-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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REally good info so far so really the only thing to add is that you raelly should check BJ's. They don't have a huge selection but what they do have is priced very well. The last 4 or 5 TVs I have bough came from there.

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Old 03-24-2011, 04:44 PM   #6
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What ever you get buy the longest extended warranty you can get..
from talking to my friend who sells tv's 60% of new tvs die within 3 to 4 years
not like my 18yr old magnavox

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Old 03-24-2011, 05:00 PM   #7
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I am in line with Bobby...

First, LED vs. LCD is different. LED will use much less power, last longer, and provide a more even picture. Is that worth it to you? Go look at two comparable sets side-by-side.

I prefer plasma over both. It provides deeper blacks, no refresh issues, and sharper contrast. The advantage in LED/LCD (like stated above) is that gaming is easier/better to setup properly on those sets.

IMO, light sensitivity is a wash. All sets look like crap with light shining on them. Some people care about this stat, but I don't consider it. If I want to really watch something, draw the shades, else just accept the picture will be crap.

I want this set:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...f=ord_cart_shr

I do not have a tv. However, I am a bit of an audiophyle tv snob (part of the reason I don't have one yet). I have spent a lot of time reading reviews and going to check out sets.

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Old 03-24-2011, 05:07 PM   #8
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Ugh. Guess I'll be the thread troll as there's so much wrong here IMO...

For gaming, plasma still beats any LCD tech hands down due to faster response and less action ghosting. In fact, most TV geeks *still* prefer plasma over LCD for ANY kind of viewing. Problem is, plasma is getting increasingly scarce, which means sets like the infamous Pioneer Kuro PDP-5080 demand even more $$$ used than they went for new.

Resolution is much less important than black level. The higher the black level, the better your TV will look. Period. This should be the 1st thing you look at when comparing TVs.

As for resolution, granted 1080p is pretty much the norm nowadays, but unless you're going bigger than 50" or sit 3 feet away from your set, you won't notice a bit of difference over a quality 720p/1080i system.

Don't forget to factor in the ambient light levels of the room. Plasma will always throw more light than LCD and works much better in bright rooms. It also has better viewing angles than LCD. That said, the Samsung LED backlit LCDs do a fair job and have decent viewing angles. When I could no longer get Pioneer plasmas, I switched to the Samsungs for our HD videoconferencing rooms and folks have generally been happy.

Finally, don't ignore 3D sets. Yes, 3D is a gimmick but even if you never use 3D, they typically have better specs than non-3D ones.

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Old 03-24-2011, 05:45 PM   #9
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ok, I don't game. The only "HD" I really care about is for sports on TV, and my blu-ray player.

What I'm looking for is VALUE. Decent quality/price. Something that'll last a few years and still be watchable, but nothing that's "cutting edge" or goofy features. I don't care about crap like PiP or stuff, just something good watch.

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Old 03-24-2011, 05:46 PM   #10
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Now that the audiophiles have chimed in about refresh rates, black levels, buy plasma, 3D, etc.,etc.(they always do)


Go and look at TV's at best buy...you see plenty of differences---you should see since you are literally comparing them side by side---that's the point: they set it up that way to accentuate the differences to up-sell you on a TV with "better numbers".

The thing is: how important are those numbers when you take TV home and that is the only thing you are looking at now? Its quite a difference perception-wise.

Sure, the experienced audiophile will see the differences. The average person? eh, Probably not so much. The OP is buying his first flat-screen....he is going to see a big difference in quality regardless of what he buys.

I tried following along with the latest/greatest in TV quality/audio components and finally came to the conclusion that it was alot of time/money to spend something with so little return. That is just me though...I have an unrefined palette for these sort of things ...a TV is a TV...as long as the screen is big enough and it has the right connections...good enough for me....

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