looking to buy first LCD TV [Archive] - Glock Talk

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cassandra
11-10-2008, 11:06
Looks like we're going to spring for a 26" or 32" LCD TV finally and I have some questions for you all. I want to go as cheap as I can, within reason. Back in the tube TV days the low end $229 27-in special was fine for my purposes.

I don't usually buy the extended maintenance but should I in this case? The old tube TVs never gave me any trouble.

Also, I tend to favor brands like Sanyo and Sharp and avoid Westinghouse, and weird new names like Vizio because I just haven't heard of them before. What are the good LCD tv brands?

Thanks for your help.

Ogreon
11-10-2008, 11:23
Everything I have read suggests that LCD televisions tend to be reliable.

d3athp3nguin
11-10-2008, 12:46
It's all about the image quality, and the video inputs!

HDTVs have gone down in price dramatically over the last few years, but I doubt you will find a decent one for $200. Expect to pay $300-500 for a name brand LCD TV in the size you want.

Example: Bestbuy results- 20-30" LCDTVs, sorted by price (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1&id=pcat17080&type=page&lcn=TV+%26+Video&sc=TVVideoSP&st=processingtime%3A%3E1900-01-01&usc=abcat0100000&cp=1&sp=%2Bcurrentprice+skuid&nrp=15&qp=crootcategoryid%23%23-1%23%23-1%7E%7Ecabcat0100000%23%234%23%23wu%7E%7Ecabcat0101000%23%237%23%236d%7E%7Ecabcat0101001%23%230%23%2 33j%7E%7Enf330%7C%7C32312671756f743b202d2032392671756f743b&pagetype=listing)

For the sake of simplicity, you want to make sure you have two things in your LCD TV:

1. Built-in HDTV tuner. The tv's tuner is what takes the signal coming in over cable and converts it to an image the TV can display. Cable companies are switching next year from the old analog transmission (the type you used for your old TV) entirely to digital transmission. You needed an analog tuner for the old signal, and the new signal will require an HDTV tuner. Here's the trick- some TV brands will call the tv "HD-READY", which is codespeak for "we didn't include the tuner you need so we can save money, but you can buy an external one from your cable provider and it will work." TVs with internal tuners may be a bit pricier up front, but it saves you from having to pay $$$ later for an external tv tuner, and it means less crap you have to wire together and fiddle with. So, in the product specs look for the line "built-in HDTV tuner." Don't be fooled by the "HD-ready" nonsense.

2. HDMI input. This shouldn't be an issue now because all of the TVs I linked you to say they have one. Just look for that line in the product specs. It's just a digital video connection that all of the new DVD players etc. are going to use. The tvs should have other inputs on them as well.

If you don't know what inputs are what, here is a quick rundown (click to enlarge):
http://i244.photobucket.com/albums/gg14/d3athp3nguin/input_example.jpg



Those extended warranties always ticked me off- the TV should come with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty already. If an extended warranty or in-store replacement warranty is only like $20, then I would say go for it... but don't kill your wallet trying to buy product insurance when the manufacturer already gives you a warranty. Just buy a decent brand like Sharp, Samsung, LG, etc and your odds of getting a lemon are lower.

cassandra
11-10-2008, 13:48
Thanks. I should have said, I know it'll cost more than 200!

Saw that westinghouse for 399. What do you think of the brand? Or Dynex? Is it all the same? Whouse seems so old-school but I guess it's made the same places the other ones are.

I want to avoid tv/dvd combo in case the dvd breaks down, it's a separate unit. IS that a good plan?

I'll check out the rest..

d3athp3nguin
11-10-2008, 17:07
I'm using a 22" Westinghouse LCD monitor right now for my PC- after one year, its still going strong. It's a computer monitor that also has different AV inputs so i can plug in game consoles, DVD players etc. to it as well, and the video on all of the A/V inputs looks great.

I think they've been making TVs for longer than they have been doing PC monitors, so IMO they're pretty solid.

havensal
11-10-2008, 17:22
I have an RCA 32". I love it.

The only LCD product I have any problems with is Sylvania. I have 2 flat panel monitors that died after a couple of years. :dunno:

BobbyT
11-10-2008, 18:08
One more bit of info: HD is either 720 pixels high, or 1080.
(1280x720 or 1920x1080 resolution)

A lot of bargain priced LCD TVs are 768 lines (1366x768). Apparently this is a convenient size for manufacturing because it's a nice factor of the huge panels they start out with and cut down to TV size.

It might save you a few bucks, but there's really no reason to get a 768 TV because you have 48 lines being wasted on 720 pictures, and when you watch anything in widescreen you're missing a ton of picture (your TV will compress the 1080 lines into 768). Better to grab a 1080p and be done with it.

Big Al 24
11-10-2008, 18:49
Looks like we're going to spring for a 26" or 32" LCD TV finally and I have some questions for you all. I want to go as cheap as I can, within reason. Back in the tube TV days the low end $229 27-in special was fine for my purposes.

I don't usually buy the extended maintenance but should I in this case? The old tube TVs never gave me any trouble.

Also, I tend to favor brands like Sanyo and Sharp and avoid Westinghouse, and weird new names like Vizio because I just haven't heard of them before. What are the good LCD tv brands?

Thanks for your help.

Westinghouse has a fairly good reputation in the LCD tv market. I believe that they are more on the budget end, but not completely. The only way I would get extended maintenance is if your TV is too large for you to carry back into the store and you get in-home service, or it has a replaceable lamp that will be more expensive to fix without the warranty (not likely) otherwise it's probably not worth it. Another fact to consider is that the panels themselves are made by only a handful of companies- LG/Phillips, Samsung, Fujitsu, AOC, and Sharp (maybe others but they're probably joint ventures). Other companies brand the panels after making the case and the underlying electronics and connections or they are produced in a joint venture with one of the companies mentioned. I think the best now are Samsung (Sony), Panasonic, LG/Phillips. Really what is important is that you like the picture as compared to others. Make sure when testing you know about how far you will be sitting from the TV because this will be really important when you get it into your living room. Shop around, read reviews, and compare picture and price.

d3athp3nguin
11-10-2008, 22:03
I want to avoid tv/dvd combo in case the dvd breaks down, it's a separate unit. IS that a good plan?

Yes, that is smart thinking. DVD players are mechanical and are more likely to malfunction/wear out sooner than other components of the TV. On the other hand, if the TV is a good deal it wouldn't hurt to have a backup dvd player :supergrin:

cassandra
11-15-2008, 16:27
Yeah size is another thing. We're only about 12 feet from the TV and I'm worried about getting headaches from all the swooshing motion. I think 26 in is big enough, but can't find a 1080 in that size.

Is high res even a factor at that size?