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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old November 10 2008, 05:20 AM   #1
Morpheus 02
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Location: Chicago IL
Need advice in buying a new TV...

SOme of our local Circuit CIty's are going out of business, so i was looking at this as an opprtunity to upgrade our TV.

Here are the deatils of what we are (and are not) looking for:


Needs
  • can be seen 19-20 feet away (distance between couch & TV)
  • HD Ready
    We have a 3 1/2 year old girl, & we don't plan on mounting the TV on the wall. Enough said on that.
    We occasionally connect our TV to a laptop.
  • There is a local Low Power station we regularly watch (for Korean Historical Dramas)
Would Be Cool
  • Have a USB port but does it do anything special? can we show videos & photos? Any other plugs we should have?
Don't Care
  • Super detail -- We don't need to read the classified ads in the Daily Bugle when we watch Spiderman
  • Sound -- as long as we can hear it, we're OK
Questions
  • What's the price range i should expect?
  • Is there a particular brand?
  • When's the best time to buy?
  • Should we wait until after Christmas?
Let me know if i need to explain anything. Any other advice is welcome!
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Old November 10 2008, 05:58 AM   #2
JiNX-01
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

My brother bought a flatscreen TV. He recommends you don't go less than 37 inches because when older non-widescreen TV programs are shown they'll be much smaller than on a traditional TV.
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Old November 10 2008, 12:56 PM   #3
Bloodwhiner
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

Get as big as your budget allows.

Best bet is stay with brand names - Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Sony are all good bets. I'm not so crazy about Vizeo or Olivia.

Don't assume you are getting a great deal just because Circuit City is closing. Take the brand and Model number, run them through google for price comparisons. Also read any reviews at cnet, epinions, amazon you can find.

Black Friday is coming up, there will likely be some very good deals between now and Christmas. Generally the budget brands on put on sale on BF while name brands get marked down a week or two later.

Watch http://dealnews.com for good price points as well.
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Old November 10 2008, 02:16 PM   #4
Mr. Adventure
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

Bloodwhiner wrote: View Post
Get as big as your budget allows.

Best bet is stay with brand names - Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Sony are all good bets. I'm not so crazy about Vizeo or Olivia.
I'd agree with all of that.

Go in the store and look at the sets and see what looks good to *you*. Make sure they are hooked up to good sources and don't be afraid to ask for the remote and make adjustments in the store. They may look at you like you're crazy but you won't end up at home with a $2000 TV set that you're less than happy with. You might want to bring in a DVD or two of the type of material you will normally be watching. Do remember that how a TV looks in the store isn't always how it will look at home so be mindful of that when looking at a set 15 feet up in the air among 20 others.

If you go with a chain like Best Buy or whatever you do have the option to get a different set within 30 days if you aren't happy. That can be great peace of mind on a first HD purchase worth whatever savings you might be able to get from online or warehouse retailers.
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Old November 10 2008, 04:41 PM   #5
Cain
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

From what I understand, the going out of business sales for places like Circuit City usually to have deals that are all that great. If I were you, I would check all the ads for the day after Thanksgiving. With the economy the way it is, I bet there will be a lot of good deals. And a lot of the deals will probably last until Christmas.
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Old November 11 2008, 12:31 AM   #6
mostly_nameless
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

When I was shopping for an HDTV, I always went looking on a day when football was on because it's a great way to study how the screen shows motion. Keep an eye on the feet, the ball, and the crowd. If the picture is going to pixelate, you'll see it there. If you can, watch something rather dark too, to see how it handles black.

Get as many inputs as you can. HDMI and components are best.

Will your low power station still broadcast after February? If so, I guess you'll want dual tuners, NTSC (old US standard) and ATSC (new US standard). I'm not sure they're still making sets with NTSC tuners....?

The big brands are all good, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, Samsung. LCD and Plasma are both good too. Just look to see what you like best.

Also, I think there will be some good discounts fairly early this year while retailers try to get their share of what little holiday money floats around. So, don't limit yourself to a store that's going out of business, if you don't have to.
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Old November 11 2008, 12:39 AM   #7
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

What good would a USB port do? I don't see any use for one on a TV.

I would get a TV with as many inputs as possible, either HDMI or component video (i.e. Y / Pb / Pr). Any piece of a/v equipment you're likely to buy nowadays, would use one or the other.
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Old November 11 2008, 07:12 AM   #8
BigFoot
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

^ Certain TVs allow you to play pictures and/or mp3s from USB flash drives.
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Old November 11 2008, 07:58 AM   #9
Peacemaker
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

BigFoot wrote: View Post
^ Certain TVs allow you to play pictures and/or mp3s from USB flash drives.
More than that...I know of several friends that have wired their TV's into their pc's...of course they have terrabytes of, uh, for grown up's only material on their hard drives (no pun intended), but there you go...saves on storage space I suppose.
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Old November 11 2008, 08:01 AM   #10
BigFoot
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

^ I didn't know you could do that using USB.

Because I've got my TV hooked up to my PC. Though I usually use my PS3 for playing videos/mp3s/pictures (which is getting all that stuff from my PC that's running a Media server).
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Old November 11 2008, 09:25 AM   #11
Peacemaker
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

BigFoot wrote: View Post
^ I didn't know you could do that using USB.

Because I've got my TV hooked up to my PC. Though I usually use my PS3 for playing videos/mp3s/pictures (which is getting all that stuff from my PC that's running a Media server).
Yep, the desktop's right next to it at my best friends' place, and since the desktop is the hub on the network they can set up playlists from anywhere else on the network. This, of course, tells you something about some of the people I know, I guess. I mean, when they're like, "Oh, by the way, if you want any porn, we've got terrabytes of the stuff...," well, how exactly does one reply to that?
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Old November 11 2008, 10:34 AM   #12
BigFoot
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

^ No idea (how to reply to that).

OTOH, I do know that I love having access to all of our family photos and all of my mp3s using my PS3.
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Old November 11 2008, 02:14 PM   #13
Hermiod
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

Another HDTV question. Probably one for UK readers.

My existing Panasonic CRT TV does a very good job with active format descriptors - i.e. the part of the TV signal that tells the TV what aspect ratio to use. It also has a very good automatic zoom if it detects a letterboxing on a 4:3 image. Most widescreen programming in the UK broadcast via Freeview, cable or Satellite is broadcast as an anamorphic image with the AFD telling the TV to stretch it back out to 16:9.

My Samsung LCD in my bedroom, however, does not do such a good job. I don't want to buy a TV that doesn't do this properly as it's going to go in my living room with a mother and a sister who will annoy the hell out of me by watching everything in stretchy vision if the TV doesn't sort it out automatically. So, two questions really.

1) Do Panasonic or other brand LCD TVs do a similarly good job as my existing Panasonic TV ?

2) How does Sky+ HD work with standard definition 4:3 shows over HDMI ? I assume it upscales programming to 1080i and adds pillar box black bars to the sides ?
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Old November 11 2008, 02:29 PM   #14
BigFoot
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

^
1) I can't speak for other brands, but both of my Sony Bravia LCDs do the switching between 4:3 and 16:9 perfectly.

2) No idea. Btw, just because a HDMI connection is in use it doesn't mean the signal has to be HD as well. So it's possible it's just plain old 576i/p.
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Old November 11 2008, 02:52 PM   #15
Hermiod
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Re: Need advice in buying a new TV...

BigFoot wrote: View Post
^
1) I can't speak for other brands, but both of my Sony Bravia LCDs do the switching between 4:3 and 16:9 perfectly.

2) No idea. Btw, just because a HDMI connection is in use it doesn't mean the signal has to be HD as well. So it's possible it's just plain old 576i/p.
I wouldn't mind that if it deals with the aspect ratios properly.
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