HOWTO: Buying an HDTV - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

J Lockard
17 Jan 2014

We've had multiple Insignia brand LCD TVs from Best Buy and will strongly consider them whenever we next purchase. Low prices, but high quality in our experience. Only one ever had a problem, and it was recalled by BestBuy. We got a check for our purchase price, which bought us a significantly larger one when the recall occurred late in year 2.

Posted by:

Robert Bailey
17 Jan 2014

Good information to take to the store the next time I'm in the market for a new TV. Thanks

Posted by:

Wolf
17 Jan 2014

And I'll need one of those $60 HDMI cables that the kid a Best Buy recommends, right? (This question is a setup for you, Bob)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ummm, no. All I've read tells me that you can buy a cheap one and it'll work just fine. Thanks for bringing up this point.

Posted by:

Matt
17 Jan 2014

We bought a 46" Polaroid LCD about 5 years ago. It has been a great TV until about a month ago. Whenever it was powered up the right side of the screen would remain dark for anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes. Once it came on, it would remain fine for as long as the set was turned on. I suspect it was an issue with the lighting and not the actual LCD screen, but not sure.
I had been wanting to get a Smart LED for a while so I decided to sell the LCD. (Yes, I disclosed the problem and someone was willing to buy it with the hopes they could pay a repair person to fix it)
I ended up getting a 55" Samsung 3D Smart LED. The 3D was only $100 more than the non-3D version of the same TV so I figured it would be worth it.
So far I am happy with it. There are a few little quirks with the Smart technology and with the universal remote it came with that I will either have to get used to or figure out a better solution, but otherwise it is a great TV. I have it mounted on the wall (this was easy by myself as this LED TV was much lighter than the LCD) and the picture is great. It has the 120Hz "Smooth Motion" which does give some programing the "Soap Opera Effect", but it doesnt bother me and sometimes I kind of like it. Although I may turn that feature off when playing video games or for certain movies.

Posted by:

Paul Olson
17 Jan 2014

What about OLED televisions? How would you evaluate them in the LCD, LED, and Plasma comparisons?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I didn't mention OLED because it's kind of a fringe player. Great picture, but they cost about $9000 and are only available in a 55-inch size.

Posted by:

Jon
17 Jan 2014

Nice guide Bob,

One bit that may help protect those of us who have had Giant TVs displaying blured images at 'friends' houses is the resolution vs distance calculation.

The most simple I've found is on -

http://www.finluxdirect.com/customer-service/tv-buying-guide/page/tvbuyingguide

(I have no association with Finlux and they do seem to be more than a little ***ODD***)

The other thing to be alert for are 'weird' screen ratios. I once had the misfortune to buy a HannsG/Hannspree 28" that had a native resolution of 1920x1200 although a standard resolution for computer monitors the idiots had hardware converted it to 1920x1080 which meant that a 'native resolution' was impossible as a monitor and everything displayed was blurred. Great as a TV but useless as a monitor.

BUT what about 3D - my technophobe step-son has bought a giant 3D jobbie (double meaning intended) and swears by it - Is 3D still in the same state as 4k? Does it exist in the real world? Is it the betamax of the 21st century.

All the best and thanks for the info.

Jon

Posted by:

James orpin
17 Jan 2014

Another informative article Bob. Lots of great points.

OH Matt !! Excellent choice on the Samsung 3D. Samsung electronics are a hot buy currently. DO BUY the 3D glasses and be prepared to "GASP!" watching the Olympics.

Posted by:

Pat
17 Jan 2014

You say "contrast ratio" is second importance. How is that listed on sales copy and what would be a high "contrast ratio"? Thanks

Posted by:

Lisa
17 Jan 2014

We replaced an older tv this summer with a 50" plasma tv because I was tired of having the sides of the picture cut off. But now my husband has a problem with the "full" size picture on the new tv because it widens images and makes faces and bodies look distorted. He prefers the "zoom" mode, which cuts off the picture at the top and bottom, or the 4:3 mode, which cuts off the sides. Our other choice is "Justify," which also stretches the image. Is there any way to see the whole picture without distortion?

Posted by:

Jean
17 Jan 2014

Thanks so much, Bob! I am a widow, who always relied on my husband to know about electronics. I don't have an HDTV and since my TV is the old style, sometime the scores of ball games or other onscreen printings do not show completely, which is frustrating. I'm not ready to purchase a new TV while my old one is still working fine, but I found your article to be most helpful in guiding my thinking when I look to purchase a new one.

Posted by:

Bill
17 Jan 2014

Great article Bob. Thanks for the info. It will make it easier for me in the near future when I go for my 65" model! However, could use your knowledge on one matter that I have noticed with the TV's. Sound!!! It seems that the many I have looked at have an issue with providing an audio out so you could use a soundbar or sound system. The tv's that I have observed have only one audio out. It is for headphones basically and in many cases of the ones I have tested...well they do not work. Have you noticed this issue or have an awesome solution??

Posted by:

Bill
17 Jan 2014

Some stations are still using analog channels and some 3D Tv's don't get them very clear. And stores only show you bluray content on TV's. My Walmart 3D Vizio shows everything Crystal clear. I checked a friends lg and not worth looking at analog...blurry. Bought another vizio 3d 47" for my son.

Posted by:

Louis Toscano
17 Jan 2014

I am still watching a picture tube and waiting for it to finally die. Still, considering that the flat screen will still go in the same place, the flat screen will not give me any size advantage. It will probably be the same size as the picture tube.

Posted by:

Phil
17 Jan 2014

Good report Bob. I'm waiting and saving my dollars for an OLED. If I live long enough.
Have a look:

http://blog.sony.com/press/sony-adds-lightweight-slim-models-to-trimaster-el-professional-oled-line/

Seriously, our Sony 55" SXRD still has the best, sharpest picture of any that my friends or family have purchased. BUT....Sony dropped the technology after the failures of the LCD systems became epidemic. We've had ours for over 7 years and we're beginning to look over the current models. We try to hold down the electric bill so we'll go LED I'm sure. Just a matter of finding the one with the most natural color and best gray scale. No matter what model one buys....getting the best quality picture requires careful adjustments. Too many people just go with the factory default settings and THAT is a real mistake.

Posted by:

Judy Means
17 Jan 2014

Great article & just the facts I needed. I'm in the market right now for another TV. This one will be a smart one. I wasn't sure about the who, what, where, & when's in this "new to me" TV market. Now I feel a bit more qualified to go in search.

Thanks.

Posted by:

Stan
18 Jan 2014

We have three LCD sets, having purchased them serially, and usually as refurbs. The first one was new, a 28" Hannspree, that I got for my home office for $280. It's 1080p, 60 hz refresh rate. The second we bought as a MicroCenter return, a 40" Olevia, with a 120 Mhz refresh rate. It cost $240. The third was a Sceptre 32" 60 Mhz refresh rate, from Woot for $200.
The thing about the 120 Mhz refresh rate is everything looks glassy, like it's on videotape. Weird.
I have a mediapc, a blu ray dvd player, an old Panasonic DVR, and a VHS tape player that all hook into a Yamaha stereo receiver, which has HDMI and component inputs, and I only need one HDMI output ($3 cables from Newegg) to connect it to the Hannspree. Oh yes, and cable is FIOS, run through a HDHomerun Prime.

Posted by:

Robert Hall
18 Jan 2014

How about a follow up on screen size ans viewing distance? My current LED, and first flat screen, is only 32" and viewed at 8'. I wish I had thought this through and had gotten 36-39".

Posted by:

MmeMoxie
18 Jan 2014

In looking for an upgrade and new TV, for my Hubby ... I went online at Walmart. Okay, I know ... Walmart??? Yes, Walmart. I had been looking all over online, for prices and found the one, that I knew he would like and feel comfortable with working the remote control.

We already had a 52" Sharp Aquos, for about 3 to 4 years and were exceedly pleased with it's performance and basically, no problems. No, this TV was not a Smart TV, which was just fine with the two of us. So, with that in mind, I started looking around for a "new" LCD HDTV 60". I finally, found a Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV 60", that was NOT a Smart TV ... Just what we both wanted, for $828, plus shipping. I couldn't find this particular model, anywhere else and I was so pleased. In looking at the "newer" Smart TV, in this size range ... I was saving between $400 to $700!!! Now, that is a bargain to me!

The shipping cost was a very reasonable $44.97 and the taxes were the same, had I purchased this in a retail store, for my area. So, for a goodly amount under $1000, I now have a Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV 60", sitting in my Hubby's Man Cave!!! It's a perfect TV size, for this room, the ratio to room size, is just right, so that everyone can see the TV clearly. He LOVES it and is so proud, that I wanted to do this for him.

I have put the older Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV 52", in my Living Room and it fits perfectly, just the "right size" room, for the size of the TV. The original 39" LCD TV in the Living Room, is now in our large Master Bedroom and replaced a 32" HDTV. The larger size TV screen is just right, for our Master Bedroom.

I am so pleased, that I went this route to purchase a new TV for my dear Hubby. The freight company, Pilot Air Freight that shipped this TV, was wonderful. They called us, to make sure what time we would be available, to have the TV delivered to our home. Then, the men actually, put the package inside our home, in the room it was going to be in. I was duly impressed. Of course, Hubby's Man Cave is the first room, off the carport, so the delivery was easy ... But, my point is ... They physically took the BIG package inside the house!!! I would certainly do this method of purchasing, all over again!!!

I have been a supporter of Online Purchasing for years now and still, support the concept. Purchasing Online saves me money, so many times over ... My time is just as valuable, as anyone else's and the savings in gas, is wonderful. As the old Yellow Pages ad use to say ... "Let your fingers, do the walking."

Posted by:

Delores
18 Jan 2014

Thanks for the info. I wonder why you suggest not to buy off brands - I have been doing that all my life having the philosophy that they try harder and are often actually manufactured by one of the big companies., A 77 year old widow who will be purchasing a new TV soon. Thanks.

Posted by:

Frederick
18 Jan 2014

I don't understand why plasma is being phased out? I think it is the best format for viewing, especially sports. The only other one I would consider would be the UHD, but as you said no one is broadcasting anything in UHD yet. Do I have to start buying standby plasmas now or can I wait until they start broadcasting in UHD?

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