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View Full Version : Buying a TV, Need Help



marinejcksn
11-15-2008, 09:11 AM
I'm rapidly coming to the end of my deployment in Iraq (thank God) and I've managed to pay off all the credit cards, bills, etc and save a pretty nice nest egg. Already talked it over with the wife and I'm clear to splurge on a TV for me, we currently have a large set but it's not an HDTV and I'm looking to upgrade.

SO....what I'm in need of is some advice on brands, models, etc. I'm in the market for something preferably 40" or larger, LCD with a great picture. Money isn't a big limiting factor, although I'm thinking if I spend more then 1500 bucks wifey might be just a little upset. :o

Since this is the tech arena, anyone got some suggestions?

Gingersnap
11-15-2008, 11:51 AM
I wish I could help but my TVs are always whatever TV Mr. Snaps is tired of at that moment. Somebody will be along with real information, though. There are some very big tech toy people on the site.

megimoo
11-15-2008, 12:59 PM
I'm rapidly coming to the end of my deployment in Iraq (thank God) and I've managed to pay off all the credit cards, bills, etc and save a pretty nice nest egg. Already talked it over with the wife and I'm clear to splurge on a TV for me, we currently have a large set but it's not an HDTV and I'm looking to upgrade.

SO....what I'm in need of is some advice on brands, models, etc. I'm in the market for something preferably 40" or larger, LCD with a great picture. Money isn't a big limiting factor, although I'm thinking if I spend more then 1500 bucks wifey might be just a little upset. :o

Since this is the tech arena, anyone got some suggestions?Don't buy a Sony !

BadCat
11-15-2008, 01:13 PM
Toshiba Regza 52 inch LCD.

The hardest thing for a TV to do, is the colour black. Most don't do black so well. Toshiba does.

Wait until around XMas, the prices on big screen LCD's and plasmas is supposed to drop through the floor this season.

megimoo
11-15-2008, 02:07 PM
Toshiba Regza 52 inch LCD.

The hardest thing for a TV to do, is the colour black. Most don't do black so well. Toshiba does.

Wait until around XMas, the prices on big screen LCD's and plasmas is supposed to drop through the floor this season.I agree in this economy they will drop the prices to the floor to move them.LCD'S are the way to go but HD won't make that much of a difference.Every thing I ever purchsed from Sony died within the first year and a large screen is too major an investment to have fail early.Stay away from Blue Ray if you are able and stick with the DVD player you have now.

newshutr
11-15-2008, 02:14 PM
Toshiba Regza 52 inch LCD.

The hardest thing for a TV to do, is the colour black. Most don't do black so well. Toshiba does.

Wait until around XMas, the prices on big screen LCD's and plasmas is supposed to drop through the floor this season.

This is correct with the black problem and TV's.

The best thing to do for a TV if you're going over 52" is get a plasma and a 1080p.

Toshiba's are extremely good in their LCD quality.

One other thing to consider when buying a HDTV is your digital source. You have to be wary of how compressed the signal is.

Direct TV IMHO has the best quality image for HDTV.

SarasotaRepub
11-15-2008, 05:11 PM
We have a 46 inch LG HDTV LCD that's pretty good, 1080p.

Also a SONY 32 inch HD LCD in the bedroom, 720p.

JB
11-15-2008, 06:37 PM
I'm thinking if I spend more then 1500 bucks wifey might be just a little upset. :o"Better to ask forgiveness than permission".

expat-pattaya
11-15-2008, 07:42 PM
Factors to consider:

Plasma versus LCD - if you do a poll of the guys who work in high end TV stores (not Circuit City :D) you will discover most of them own Plasma. Yeah, early ones had a burn in factor which is easily rectified by not watching a stationary picture. Still, either is quality these days.

Interfaces - make sure you have HDMI 1.3 interfaces. Unless you are weird and have lost of inputs they all have enough of them. But make sure it has them.

Picture quality - 1080p/i. They will even be surpassing that in the near future but I don't know anyone making anything better now.


If you get a 40-50" TV from a reputable manufacturer with HDMI and 1080i/p you won;t go wrong. Advice to wait until after Christmas may have value if you have the patience.

I just bought a Samsung 58" plasma and it is amazing. IMO any of Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, Pioneer (the Elite are very expensive), Panasonic, LG will make you happy, and all can be had in smaller than 50" (except Elite) for less than $1500 if you know how to shop.

Keep in mind, if you get HDTV the source is important too. Unless you are receiving HD content it still isn't HD.

marinejcksn
11-15-2008, 11:23 PM
"Better to ask forgiveness than permission".

That's dang funny. :D

Thanks for all the help everybody!

jeskibuff
11-16-2008, 07:21 AM
In my experience, plasma is the best way to go and Panasonic is the best of the brands as far as picture quality and reliabilty. Pioneer is also known for great pictures, but they've had a long record of making electronics a little on the sub-par. I own one Pioneer component now (a CD recorder) and it's noticeably clunkier than other DVD/CD players. The bad thing about Panasonic is they make about 1500 different plasma models. The model designations make it very difficult to comparison shop, but you should get a consumer model, not a commercial model. If you subscribe to cable or satellite or have an over-the-air HD converter box, you can save some dinero by getting a model without a built-in tuner.

I'd stay away from Toshiba, just because of quality control concerns. Two years ago I bought a Toshiba laptop (model A135-S4447). Within 3 weeks (of not a whole lot of use), the backlight went out on the display. I took it back to Office Depot and they replaced it with a new one. As soon as I got that one home, I noticed the touchpad wasn't working. I took that one back and they gave me a new one. I should have checked it at the store - several keys on the keyboard didn't work! When I took it back, they had no more in stock of the same model. I paid $150 more and took a Sony home. I've had no problems with it. Perhap's Toshiba's TVs are problem-free, but I think if my laptop experience is any indicator, they've got some horrible QC problems.

I've also had problems with Mitsubishi TVs, although older CRT models. The problems were in the circuit board connections. The solder joints would periodically fail, requiring a $150 repair bill every 3 or 4 years.

Projection TVs (DLP and some LCD) are much cheaper than plasma and LCD flat-screens, but have their downsides. The lamps periodically burn out and aren't cheap to replace (the last I heard, about $250 a pop). Some people have complained about rainbow images from DLPs, too. Projection TVs are best viewed in dim lighting, so if you watch TV at daytime in a room with a lot of windows, the picture will look a bit washed out.

LCD flat screens are good for rooms with a lot of light. The reflective characteristics of the screen are good, so you won't see reflections of your furniture as much when you're watching them.

Plasma screens have a bit more reflection than LCD, but one of the best things about them is their wide viewing angle. If you've got a gang of people over, almost anyone who can see the screen will get a good picture. LCD flat screens have a much more narrow viewing angle. Plasmas are less energy-efficient than LCDs. My current 65" Panasonic runs about 800W, which is the equivalent of burning 8 100-watt incandescent bulbs. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, so it's no big deal to me. Plasmas also require a little more careful handling. If you get fingerprints on the glass, they recommend that you don't use water or liquid cleaners to get them off. It's tough cleaning them off without something liquid. Also, as the main cost of an LCD or plasma is in the actual display, damaging it during mounting or other mishandling means your investment is basically worthless. Damaging the screen of a projection TV should be a much, much cheaper repair!

BadCat
11-16-2008, 10:07 AM
I've never had any problem with a Toshiba TV (I have 3). But I just heard a horror story about Mitsubishi from a friend who has one.

It fried after only three weeks. They can't fix it here, so they have to ship the WHOLE thing to ATLANTA to repair. They told him it would be 6 - 8 weeks.

jeskibuff
11-17-2008, 07:54 AM
I'm rapidly coming to the end of my deployment in Iraq (thank God) and I've managed to pay off all the credit cards, bills, etc and save a pretty nice nest egg.You also might want to time your purchase to get the most for your bucks. We already know that a socialist in the White House will be the absolutely worst thing for a free-market economy that just took a major hit because of socialist policies. When the stock market takes another plunge around January 20th and the job market gets even worse, I'm betting there will be some MAJOR price drops on large screen TVs. Then again, you may just want to invest in a much cheaper over-the-air HDTV tuner (if you don't have cable/satellite) and put the difference into guns and ammo to protect the rest of your goodies from those who now think that it's your duty to share the wealth.

marinejcksn
11-17-2008, 09:38 AM
You also might want to time your purchase to get the most for your bucks. We already know that a socialist in the White House will be the absolutely worst thing for a free-market economy that just took a major hit because of socialist policies. When the stock market takes another plunge around January 20th and the job market gets even worse, I'm betting there will be some MAJOR price drops on large screen TVs. Then again, you may just want to invest in a much cheaper over-the-air HDTV tuner (if you don't have cable/satellite) and put the difference into guns and ammo to protect the rest of your goodies from those who now think that it's your duty to share the wealth.

That'll work out just perfect, I'm going home right after he becomes my new Commander in Chief. :(

You know what else sucks? Not only am I spending my birthday in this s***hole, the next day Obama swears in.
:mad:

Molon Labe
12-03-2008, 04:46 PM
SO....what I'm in need of is some advice on brands, models, etc. I'm in the market for something preferably 40" or larger, LCD with a great picture. Money isn't a big limiting factor, although I'm thinking if I spend more then 1500 bucks wifey might be just a little upset. :o

I'm not sure if you're finished with this yet...but I've been in the market too. The 42 inch Samsungs are getting good reviews in Consumer Reports as having the best picture for the money....around $800 with economy tanking.

Some things you need to know if you didn't already.

The displays at the store are set to optimal picture quality and run through filters. Basically these TV's are showing you what their capabilitiies ARE. Not what it will look like when you hook them up at home.

Also...if you don't have the HD packages that the satellite services offer then the HD capability doesn't matter. It's just a big expensive TV.

marinejcksn
12-03-2008, 11:07 PM
I'm not sure if you're finished with this yet...but I've been in the market too. The 42 inch Samsungs are getting good reviews in Consumer Reports as having the best picture for the money....around $800 with economy tanking.

Some things you need to know if you didn't already.

The displays at the store are set to optimal picture quality and run through filters. Basically these TV's are showing you what their capabilitiies ARE. Not what it will look like when you hook them up at home.

Also...if you don't have the HD packages that the satellite services offer then the HD capability doesn't matter. It's just a big expensive TV.

I've been leaning toward the Samsung models also. 42 inch is probably going to be the size I go with, definitely an LCD because I hear that shipping Plasmas is difficult for Military, and I might be up for orders in a year or so.

I'll probably dish out the extra bucks a month for an HD Cable box too, our network in Hawaii has a couple hundred HD Channels already.

marinejcksn
12-04-2008, 12:30 AM
I think I found a winner! Anyone who owns an HDTV, let me know what you think:

Samsung - 46" 1080p Flat-Panel LCD HDTV
Model: LN46A500
Price: $1099.99

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9066716&type=product&id=1218015167704#tabbed-customerreviews

jeskibuff
12-04-2008, 07:08 AM
I think I found a winner! Anyone who owns an HDTV, let me know what you think:

Samsung - 46" 1080p Flat-Panel LCD HDTV
Model: LN46A500
Price: $1099.99

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9066716&type=product&id=1218015167704#tabbed-customerreviews

For $3 less (with free shipping), I'd go with this at the moment: http://www.6ave.com/shop/Product.aspx?sku=PANTH46PZ80U

I've seen some 50" Panasonic plasmas recently for around $900. If you're patient and you time your purchase right, you can save quite a lot of dinero.

You ought to also consider whether you'll mount a flat panel on the wall or need a stand. Wall mounts can get pretty cheap if you find the right deal (I bought one for $9.99 after rebate). Stands can get pretty pricey.

jeskibuff
12-10-2008, 06:58 PM
Here's a 50" Panasonic Plasma 1080p going for $1199.99 now at CompUSA:
http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4259642&CatId=3654

$100 over your Samsung, but 50" over 46" too!

newshutr
12-10-2008, 08:47 PM
Check New Egg.com on occasion. You can get some really good deals from them. I got my HDTV from them and paid less than my buddy for a bigger screen.

expat-pattaya
12-11-2008, 12:20 AM
Yep. Newegg gets some deals.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889102203R

Above is a newer Samsung 46" LCD, the LN46A550, which has HDMI 1.3 instead of the older interface. Not really sure if there is a big difference between the two sets. Other than this one is $888. :D

jeskibuff
12-11-2008, 07:34 AM
Yep. Newegg gets some deals.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889102203R

Above is a newer Samsung 46" LCD, the LN46A550, which has HDMI 1.3 instead of the older interface. Not really sure if there is a big difference between the two sets. Other than this one is $888. :DThe contrast ratio is better, too, at 30000:1 instead of 20000:1 for the A500. It's an "open box" item though, which accounts for the lower price.

expat-pattaya
12-11-2008, 03:53 PM
I didn't realize that was open box. My bad.

jeskibuff
12-14-2008, 09:05 PM
Best Buy has a 50" Panasonic plasma 720p @ $899.99 with stand
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9093303&type=product&id=1218020986624&AID=10597222&PID=327962&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Folspage. jsp%3FskuId%3D9093303%26type%3Dproduct%26id%3D1218 020986624&ref=39&loc=01

marinejcksn
12-14-2008, 11:55 PM
I think I'm set on the Samsung LN40A550 in 42" size. Consumer Reports picked it as a standout Best Buy and everyone of my friends I've talked to who owns a Samsung says they're great. Plus I've seen it available for close to a thousand bucks, which should go over easy with the wife. :cool:

jeskibuff
12-19-2008, 07:54 AM
I think I'm set on the Samsung LN40A550 in 42" size. Consumer Reports picked it as a standout Best Buy and everyone of my friends I've talked to who owns a Samsung says they're great. Plus I've seen it available for close to a thousand bucks, which should go over easy with the wife. :cool:Amazon has it today on their "Friday sale" (today only) at $899.98 with free shipping, although it's 40", not 42". I haven't looked too much into Samsung's model numbers, but I would assume the 40 in "LN40A550" means 40 inch diagonal.
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-LN40A550-40-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B001418W2C/ref=br_lf_m_548166_1_12_ttl?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&pf_rd_p=466211951&pf_rd_s=center-5&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=548166&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0X5X0R6W2T80BJBRH4NA#

jeskibuff
01-09-2009, 06:46 PM
I think I'm set on the Samsung LN40A550 in 42" size.Here's another good deal, a sign of falling prices...
Best Buy has the 46" 1080p Panasonic TH-46PZ80U Plasma for $999.99, stand included:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8734177&type=product&id=1201307760028&AID=10597222&PID=327962&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Folspage. jsp%3FskuId%3D8734177%26type%3Dproduct%26id%3D1201 307760028&ref=39&loc=01

AHeneen
01-10-2009, 04:07 AM
One more thing to consider (and this is hard when shopping online) is the "glossiness" of the plastic around the screen. Some TV models (most notably most Samsung models) have a very glossy plastic finish which can be distracting in a room where there is a strong light or near a window.

jeskibuff
01-10-2009, 06:53 PM
I think I'm set on the Samsung LN40A550It's down to $950 at Circuit City now:
http://www.circuitcity.com/rpsm/oid/206152/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do?linkid=j13774590k8433&affiliateid=k8433&mid=

jawilljr
01-10-2009, 07:55 PM
Also when it is time to buy HDMI cable's, do NOT buy the overpriced ones at Circuit City or Best Buy. Get them from Monoprice (http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10243) instead. Your wallet will think you. And you will not notice the difference.

Jerry

Moon
01-10-2009, 08:02 PM
This thread has been going for almost 2 months. Did you buy the damn thing already, or what??

marinejcksn
01-11-2009, 11:46 PM
Ha ha, not yet Moon! I'm still in Iraq!

4 more weeks! :D

tacitus
01-12-2009, 12:43 PM
My suggestion is to looks at the reviews at CNET and ZDNET and also look at Consumer Reports at the library or pay to DL them from their site. I have a 42" Philips Plasma and we really like the image quality, but it is a 1080i not a 1080p which may or may not make a big difference for my tired eyes.

CNET Reviews (http://reviews.cnet.com/televisions/?tag=TOCleftColumn.0) ZDNet reviews (http://review.zdnet.com/home-theater-reviews/)

jeskibuff
01-29-2009, 07:04 PM
There's still time to change your mind about plasma:

42" 1080p Panasonic - free ground shipping $845!

http://www.6ave.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=PANTH42PZ80U

Told ya the prices would drop nicely with the new Obummer economy!

marinejcksn
01-30-2009, 01:31 AM
I'm going with either the Samsung or the 42" Toshiba Regza. They both look great and are under 1 grand. I'll have it in less than 2 weeks! :D

jeskibuff
01-31-2009, 06:45 PM
I'm going with either the Samsung or the 42" Toshiba Regza. They both look great and are under 1 grand. I'll have it in less than 2 weeks! :DHere's a 46" Toshiba 1080p for $1K with free shipping:
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=206928672

Not sure if the stand is included.

tacitus
01-31-2009, 07:31 PM
I'm going with either the Samsung or the 42" Toshiba Regza. They both look great and are under 1 grand. I'll have it in less than 2 weeks! :D

Toshiba reviews from CNET (http://reviews.cnet.com/tvs/?filter=1000036_3808734_&tag=mncol)

Samsung reviews from CNET (http://reviews.cnet.com/tvs/?filter=1000036_3808730_&tag=mncol)


Newegg pricing

Toshiba (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=toshiba+tv&x=0&y=0)

Samsung (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=samsung+tv&x=0&y=0)

Good luck with the new TV I hope you enjoy it as much as I do mine.

jeskibuff
02-07-2009, 06:52 PM
Samsung LN40A530 40" 1080p with swivel stand - now $800 at Best Buy:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8793996&type=product&id=1205537712071&AID=10597222&PID=327962&URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestbuy.com%2Fsite%2Folspage. jsp%3FskuId%3D8793996%26type%3Dproduct%26id%3D1205 537712071&ref=39&loc=01

marinejcksn
02-13-2009, 05:43 PM
I made a choice! I went with a Sharp Aquos 42 inch. Full 1080p, 5 HDMI ports and the picture is incredible. The Navy Exchange had it on sale for $849. I also picked up a PS3 with GTA 4 and Metal Gear Solid 4; my GOD do the graphics look incredible!

But the best purchase? I picked up Bullitt on Blu-Ray. :cool:

jeskibuff
02-14-2009, 09:13 AM
I made a choice! I went with a Sharp Aquos 42 inch. Full 1080p, 5 HDMI ports and the picture is incredible. The Navy Exchange had it on sale for $849.Oh! Too bad. The 46" Samsung just went on sale for $729.










Just kidding! ;)


Enjoy. Welcome home, Marine, and thank you for your service!