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What to look for in a TV today?

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Taluntain, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    So, my old CRT TV is finally on its death bed, giving me the excuse to buy something out of this century. I haven't done much research into what to get yet so I'd appreciate a few notes on what to look out for and what you guys and girls would recommend. Size-wise I'm probably going to get something from 46-50". Since I'll need to take furniture apart to accommodate any decently sized TV I might as well get something that I can see the puck on, right? :heh:
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Here's a start. Pretty sure you can look at the buying guides without subscribing.
     
  3. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures...

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    A 100mhz 1080p unit with at least 3 HDMI inputs. Personally, I want an ethernet connection too. At that size, it doesn't really matter whether you go LCD or plasma.
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Ooh, thanks, that looks very informative.

    Sounds reasonable.
     
  5. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Do go 1080p and not 720p. The drop isn't worth it.
     
  6. Mesmero

    Mesmero How'd an old elf get the blues?

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    BTA's article pretty much sums it up.

    Like Barmy said, ethernet connections are awesome. A DLNA tv allows you to stream video from your pc to your tv. If you're gonna do this, look for a free program called Serviio, it works much better than Windows Media Center.

    I bought a new tv last month (a Sony and I love it, but I'm a Sony-guy) and the store clerk advised me against buying a 50hz tv (Or is it 60? What's the standard again?). But the only difference between the 50hz and 100hz I could see was the price tag. So far, I never noticed that my tv is supposed to be "slow", but on the other hand, I don't play video games on it.

    Everything else is just personal preference: do you want 3D? (I couldn't care less for it) Do you want full HD? (Pretty much useless if you're gonna use it with analogue cable and a dvd player, but it's a must if you have HD cable and a blu-ray player) How many HDMI ports? (Two suffices for me, but if you have consoles you might want more) Do you want nice sound or are you gonna run the sound over a home cinema set?

    One final thought: if you have a lot of money to spend, just get a big ass Samsung and you'll be the happiest man alive. If you got less money to spend: Samsungs are expensive, but damn they're hot.
     
  7. The Great Snook Gems: 30/31
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    My recommendation is your tv can never be too big. I would trade features for size.
     
  8. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    I believe 50Hz is standard in Europe and 60Hz is standard in North America. 50 or 60Hz is not "slow" since the number of frames broadcast is not greater than that, but since LCDs take some time to completely change, you can get "motion blur" for fast-moving objects in scenes. Apparently it's most noticeable in fast-moving sports.
     
  9. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    After reading through the guide BTA posted I'm pretty sure plasma's the way to go considering that in our living room viewing angles can vary significantly depending on where you're sitting (or working out, etc.). The main problem is that plasmas above 50" are very poorly stocked in stores here... either that, or prohibitively expensive. So it's going to be real challenge finding a good 55" plasma for a reasonable price and with all the features I want. From the looks of things, I'll likely have to settle for 51" at best. :nolike:
     
  10. Erod Gems: 14/31
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    Buying a TV is never simple, as it is a compromise between price, features and quality, depending on your requirements. Panasonic has some good plasma TVs if you are buying a plasma. I was considering them myself when I last bought a TV but decided to get a LED backlit LCD instead. You should also consider buying a colorimeter (Datacolor Spyder4 for example) if you do not have one to properly calibrate your displays.
     
  11. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Only if you care about accurate color rather than simply pleasing; or you cannot get the picture pleasing enough by eye.
     
  12. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    I think I'll manage that by hand/eye... I've got a good eye for colour accuracy. Erod, funny you should mention Panasonic, I just got off the phone with the nearest Harvey Norman and they have one (1) plasma available right now. :doh:

    However, the salesman told me that they expect a new shipment of Panasonic plasmas in a month's time. So I'll likely wait for that unless I decide to buy an LCD instead.
     
  13. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures...

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    LG are a good brand of telly. Stay away from Sony, though.
     
  14. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder

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    A soul and opposable thumbs? Or an interactive AI like Siri's, seems to be the only things missing from TVs these days.

    Recently I discovered I could stick my flash drive into my TV and it could actually play the files I saved there (big plus, imo). Internet compatibility on a TV is so-so I think, minimal is nice but more is redundant if you already have an Xbox/PS3 unit. PC compatibility and multiple HDMI inputs are high on my list (we have a PS2, PS3, Xbox and a blue-ray system), along with size and picture quality. 3D... if you're a gamer, maybe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    Barmy, Sony stopped making plasmas a long time ago... but what's wrong with their LCDs?

    Paracelsi, after seeing pretty much every possible feature that TVs have today, I'm looking for one that has both USB playback as well as USB recording. I've seen several with a feature to record directly to an attached hard drive, which would be a big plus as I could essentially dispense with a VCR...
     
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  16. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Intriguing. I'll have to remember that the next time the gang decides to hunt for a new TV.
     
  17. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I've had a Sony LCD for a number of years and it's teh awesome.
     
  18. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures...

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    Their TV's are quite well known for developing dead pixels or screen bleed, and then are very awkward to get it fixed (I read somewhere that they charge £30 just to send it off for repair). I think their 3D is meant to be doggers too, but I'm not sure that's a problem for you.

    Saying that though, it's one of those things where you might buy a Sony Bravia and it be a faithful servant to you for many years - I know I'd never get a Bravia though. My bad experience wasn't the above, I just had input lag on the remote control and spent ages trying to get it sorted before I found out it's a problem all Bravia's have.
     
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  19. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    When selecting a HDTV you have to make sure you are not over buying in size. The next thing is picking between LCD, LED, or Plasma. The final item is options. As for brands and who make better TV’s that would depend on the first three choices made.

    Size plays a big role in selecting a flatpanel HDTV. Don’t buy a 55” if you are planning to use it in a 10’ x 10’ room and don’t buy a 32” if you watch TV in a 15’ x 17’ room. There are charts and graphics online that provide recommendations for TV based on the room where most of the viewing will occur.

    Plasma vs LCD and LED – LCD is a cheap way to go right now offering the most bang for the buck; however, these TV have bad viewing angles compared to a Plasma and uses more energy than a LED. The LED is better energy saver and has better viewing angles than a LCD. Plasma uses the most energy but has the best colors and viewing angles out of three types.

    Options – HDMI hooks up, Ethernet (wired or wireless), menu, direct link to the manufacture other products (Sony, Panasonic, etc.. offer easier to control features through one device/remove), Mhzs, stand – does it move/turn or does it offer wall monts, etc…

    Brand – after picking out the first three you will find a list of available TVs that meet the requirements outlined above.

    Personally here are my recommendations.

    46” LED offers good viewing angles and uses less energy than the LCD or Plasma. The size of the TV should fit most living rooms or bedrooms.

    Options: 3 HDMI ports 100+ Mhzs (makes a big difference when watching sports, a movie or playing video games), and Ethernet connection.

    Brand: Sony, Samsung, LG or Vizio – these are the leading Brands for LED TVs.
     
  20. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder The Old Guard

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    I've done my research on that, considering the viewing distance I could go well beyond 60" in size, but I think 55" is big enough, not to mention I don't have more room for it than that.

    In the end I've gone with a Panasonic VT30 - an excellent plasma judging by the reviews that I've read. And there isn't a feature that this TV doesn't have. Out of my price range normally but by chance I got an offer on a refurbished one - it had a slightly cracked glass on delivery to the store, so they sent it in for a replacement. So as soon as they get it back, I'll get it at 25% off. Normally I'd never buy anything refurbished but in this case I made an exception as the TV and the offer were really too good to pass up.
     
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