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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 2:05am   #1
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Default What to look for in a TV today?

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?
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 2:38am   #2
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Here's a start. Pretty sure you can look at the buying guides without subscribing.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 4:19am   #3
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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.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 4:45am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackthorne TA View Post
Here's a start. Pretty sure you can look at the buying guides without subscribing.
Ooh, thanks, that looks very informative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barmy Army View Post
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.
Sounds reasonable.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 7:38am   #5
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Do go 1080p and not 720p. The drop isn't worth it.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 12:42pm   #6
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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.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 1:49pm   #7
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My recommendation is your tv can never be too big. I would trade features for size.
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Old Mon, 16th Apr '12, 6:20pm   #8
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Quote:
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.
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.
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Old Fri, 20th Apr '12, 4:17am   #9
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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.
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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 9:31am   #10
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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.
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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 7:36pm   #11
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Quote:
You should also consider buying a colorimeter (Datacolor Spyder4 for example) if you do not have one to properly calibrate your displays.
Only if you care about accurate color rather than simply pleasing; or you cannot get the picture pleasing enough by eye.
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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 9:19pm   #12
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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.

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.
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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 9:45pm   #13
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LG are a good brand of telly. Stay away from Sony, though.
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Old Sat, 21st Apr '12, 11:42pm   #14
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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.

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Old Sun, 22nd Apr '12, 3:47am   #15
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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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Old Sun, 22nd Apr '12, 5:18am   #16
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Intriguing. I'll have to remember that the next time the gang decides to hunt for a new TV.
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Old Sun, 22nd Apr '12, 8:14am   #17
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Quote:
but what's wrong with their LCDs?
I've had a Sony LCD for a number of years and it's teh awesome.
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Old Sun, 22nd Apr '12, 1:50pm   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taluntain View Post
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...
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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Old Tue, 24th Apr '12, 11:19pm   #19
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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.
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Old Tue, 24th Apr '12, 11:30pm   #20
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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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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 8:37pm   #21
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Have you considered a wall mount? Can be a bit tricky and expensive with a large tv like 55 inch. And the wall must be strong enough.
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Old Sat, 28th Apr '12, 1:29am   #22
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Oh, the wall's solid so that wouldn't be a problem, it's more the price of a mount of that size, plus the fact that if I ever needed to plug or unplug something in it, I'd need to take it down... and get another guy to help me with it. And putting it up and down would be a major pain as the wall isn't free on one side so you can't get close enough.

Either way though, the TV cabinet will need to be resized and reinforced... plasmas are HEAVY... 45kg for this model.

And I thought I'll be done with heavy TVs once I get rid of this old CRT...
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Last edited by Taluntain; Sat, 28th Apr '12 at 1:44am.
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Old Sun, 13th May '12, 6:37am   #23
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Originally Posted by Taluntain View Post
Oh, the wall's solid so that wouldn't be a problem, it's more the price of a mount of that size, plus the fact that if I ever needed to plug or unplug something in it, I'd need to take it down... and get another guy to help me with it. And putting it up and down would be a major pain as the wall isn't free on one side so you can't get close enough.

Either way though, the TV cabinet will need to be resized and reinforced... plasmas are HEAVY... 45kg for this model.

And I thought I'll be done with heavy TVs once I get rid of this old CRT...
LED is the way to go; they are light great viewing angles (not as good as Plasma but better than LCD) and are coming down in price now that they have been out for a while now...
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