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Thread: Anybody bought a TV lately?

  1. #1
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Anybody bought a TV lately?

    Well, despite the fact that there is not much real interesting to watch on TV-it's time for a new one. Yes my 20 year old 300lb TV is now at the point that the credits are hard to read.
    I'm thinking around 32" LED 1080 dpi gets me going in the right direction. If you have any words of wisdom-including buying the extended service- I'm all ears. TIA Gary
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  2. #2
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    Much like a oil thread

    http://reviews.cnet.com/tv-buying-guide/


    Usually good advice from Cnet
    Tom
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Well, despite the fact that there is not much real interesting to watch on TV-it's time for a new one. Yes my 20 year old 300lb TV is now at the point that the credits are hard to read.
    I'm thinking around 32" LED 1080 dpi gets me going in the right direction. If you have any words of wisdom-including buying the extended service- I'm all ears. TIA Gary
    what i wouldn't give for a 1080 dpi display.

    That's actually the spec for the number of horizontal scan lines in the entire display.

  4. #4
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    what i wouldn't give for a 1080 dpi display.

    That's actually the spec for the number of horizontal scan lines in the entire display.
    Seems like it's either 720? or 1080. It's gotta last another 20 years
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  5. #5
    Yes, I did. Didn't have one for years (what little I did watch I watched on a monitor), but a few races and movies are basically all I watch anymore.

    I went LED too (which is technically LED backlight with an LCD screen). LED makes the TV thinner, saves a bunch of power, and you don't have a traditional backlight to burn out. The downside is that unless it supports local dimming of some sort (where the TV controls which LEDs are on and how much), blacks aren't as good. I personally don't care, but people who watch lots of dark movies generally complain.

    For the current generation Samsung and Sony seems to have the best LED pictures IMHO. Yes, other companies have good models too, but those two seem to be the most consistent across the product line. I.e. buy one of those and you have an above average set; others seem more hit and miss. Of course that changes quickly.

    120Hz is good, but beyond that it's a bunch of marketing IMHO. Yes, the image processor runs faster (which isn't a bad thing), but LCD pixels can only change color so fast (aka response time). 1/120Hz is 8.33ms, 1/240Hz is 4.16ms, etc. Manufacturers will claim much faster response times, but generally their gaming the system. It's like audio manufacturers who overrate the wattage...technically if you cool it with liquid nitrogen and send a really short pulse through it you would get 1000W, but the speaker isn't ever going to work again.

    1080P for sure, but realize that there are the same number of pixels on a 1080P 32" as there are on a 1080P 60" TV. The 60" simply has larger pixels. Thus, how far you plan on sitting away from the TV kind of dictates the maximum size you should buy. Otherwise it will look aweful.

    Consider the additional features you would like to have, if any. Mine is a Samsung Smart TV, but beside the steaming of Netflix I don't care. In fact, I'd rather not have my TV become a computer...just wait till someone hacks it and decides you should only be able to watch the porn flick they downloaded to it. Security is usually the last thing that gets built into these systems. Also, I didn't bother with 3D as I simply don't care...I personally haven't seen 3D that is as sharp as the same film in 2D, even in theaters. People perceive it differently, so if it adds value to you go for it.

    Since I didn't want to pay for a home theater system and have no use for one given my limited viewing, I opted for just a 2.1 channel sound bar with wireless sub (left/right/sub). It's plenty loud for my viewing and I don't need an AV tuner and lots of wires. Also, that allows me to mount the LED to the wall like a picture and the sound bar right below it. Bye, bye entertainment stand! Really seems to free up space, but YMMV. If you do this make sure you get a good mount (I choose a peerless SLTLU tilt mount), which typically means ordering online or going to a higher end TV store. Best Buy on down the retail chain typically charge as much for a cheap mount as I paid Amazon for a much better quality mount. If you want to hang it on the wall, pay attention to how slim the mount is!

    Those are my suggestions.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Seems like it's either 720? or 1080. It's gotta last another 20 years
    Wide screen TVs are 16:9. Thus, 16/9 = 1.77 times as wide as it is high. So a "1080" TV has 1,080 pixels vertically and 1.77 x 1080 horizontally, which is 1920. A wide screen 720P TV is the same thing, but instead of 1920x1080 pixels (or ~2.07M pixels total), it's only 1280x720 pixels (or ~ 0.92M pixels). Literally a 1080P TV has more than twice as many pixels as a 720P, regardless of display size. For two otherwise equivalent TVs, the 1080P will have a much sharper picture as it contains more detail (assuming the content is of such quality). It's like having a larger monitor that allows you to display more information on the screen.

    P means progressive and that is a throwback to the old CRT/scanners. They would "cheat" and only scan the odd lines and then go back and only scan the even lines (i.e. every other one). A progressive display actually "scans" every line without skipping any. This is important for high quality video because you never end up with image distortion that would occur with fast moving scenes. Basically, since they were skipping every other line each time, you ended up with the even lines displaying the next frame and the odd displaying the previous frame. Usually your brain can integrate the frames just fine, but on fast moving scenes you would get blurred motion. That's what the P means, why you want it, and anything without it technically isn't HD.

    Edit: Technology is moving too fast in this area, there isn't anything that's going to be even remotely like your 2011 TV in 2031. There already are better HD standards, but it will take time for them to migrate downwards to regular consumers and not cost as much as a luxury car.
    Last edited by gunderwood; 12-12-2011 at 03:10 AM.

  7. #7
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    There you go, that's good info. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, are usually my choices for above average electronics. A buddy of mine bought an "off brand" on a sale at Best Buy and three years later no sound (audio). Upon investigation he found that an expiration date had been built into the audio chip and when he called to complain, he was told to buy the extended warranty the next time Thanks, Gary
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  8. #8
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I'm a great believer in the advice of Consumer Reports. They have rated Samsung as the best for the past couple of years. I've bought two in the past two years and they are performing well.

    I'd recommend against an extended warranty; the reliability of TVs is very high.

    Think about refresh rate. 60MHz is slow; 200 MHz is very fast. Fast is better for anything with fast movement, such as sports.

    ADDED:

    The four CR recommended 32 inch sets:

    1. LG 32LK450, 73/100 Pts.
    2. Samsung LN32D550, 72/100 Pts.
    3. Sony Bravia KDL-32BX320, 70/100 Pts.
    4. Samsung UN32C4000, 68/100 Pts.


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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    Think about refresh rate. 60MHz is slow; 200 MHz is very fast. Fast is better for anything with fast movement, such as sports.
    Yes and no. Gamers have had this argument for years. Simply put, the reason we have so many ~60Hz display devices is that most humans have trouble seeing more than that. Below 30Hz on a progressive display and things get choppy. The older TV standards were ~24Hz.

    Incidentally, much of the HD content people watch still is at 24Hz, but the "faster" TVs simply throw away frames or use an algorithm to "merge" the frames so that there is less motion blurriness on low frame rate content. As I explained above, the that's the image processor running faster, not the actually pixels changing faster. The speed at which a pixel can change is called response time and they can't change that fast. Manufacturer's are famous for testing response time in a non-standard way to game the system and make it appears as if they have faster response times than their competitors.

    Here is a good example:


    That's Dell's 30" monitor which is rated at 7ms (GTG) and 17ms (max). That motion blurriness has nothing to do with how fast the image processor can handle frames, but rather the fact that the pixels simply can't change that fast. Just in case you have any doubts, please note that the GPU is drawing that scene at 656fps (analogous to 656Hz for TVs). AnandTech actually using a 75Hz input rate, which is far better than most HD content you feed your TV, but even at 75Hz the response times simply can't keep up.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4070/d...-inch-flagship

    If most TV review sights were as technical about their reviews as AnandTech is for computers, you would see the exact same thing. LCD pixels can only change so fast, anything more than that is used for image processing to reduce the effect at best. I.e. given the processors knowledge about the pixels and the frames being displayed, you can design an algorithm that displays a modified frame so as to reduce the appearance of motion blur. However, nothing is free and those algorithms cause other image artifacts.

    Edit: Even with that level of motion blur, most people never pick up on it because of how the human brain processes images. Others, it drives absolutely bonkers, but it doesn't take much more response time than that so even they can't see it.

  10. #10
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Thanks guys

    I am thrilled that so many are going out and buying these new TVs. Craigslist FREE section is full of the old sets and some are damn good. I picked up a Sony Trinitron for the guest bedroom. It is stereo with a remote. I like free.
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  11. #11
    I can tell you from experience that if your old set is 32 inches, you will want at least a 40 inch with the new wide screens....maybe even a 46 inch.
    2007 R1200GS

  12. #12
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    I've had the Sony Bravia 32" for a little over a year and really like it. Somewhere I read that the distance from the TV to your favorite chair, should be a 3:1 ratio; so you get a 40" TV if you sit 10' from it. I've moved since buying mine and kinda wish it was bigger now that I'm further away.YMMV

    Tom

  13. #13
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I have a Samsung DPI 1080p LED TV, about 67 inches. Two years old, works perfectly.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
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  14. #14
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcliffor View Post
    I can tell you from experience that if your old set is 32 inches, you will want at least a 40 inch with the new wide screens....maybe even a 46 inch.
    I agree. I replaced an old tube type 25" with a 26" flat screen. The picture seemed smaller because of the difference in the shape of the screen. The smallest I would get would be a 40". If you are going to use a satellite or cable remote with your new TV, make sure it is compatable.

    Also, be careful with brand names. The 26" TV I bought was branded as an RCA at Wal-Mart. When none of the remote codes worked with my Dish remote, I discovered it was not made by RCA at all but by an unheard of manufacturer that simply bought the name.

    I worked an Insurance claim once where we suspected that a Magic Chef appliance purchased at Wal-Mart had caused a fire. I wrote Magic Chef to notify them of a potential product liability claim and was advised that they had sold their name to Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart had contracted it out to a Chinese manufacturer. I wrote Wal-Mart and they gave me the name of the Chinese manufacturer.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  15. #15
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I agree. I replaced an old tube type 25" with a 26" flat screen. The picture seemed smaller because of the difference in the shape of the screen. The smallest I would get would be a 40". If you are going to use a satellite or cable remote with your new TV, make sure it is compatable.
    Yeah-my old one is a 27" and actually I don't mind 2 remotes. I was thinking of 32" but from the sounds of it, a bit bigger can't hurt.

    Also, be careful with brand names. The 26" TV I bought was branded as an RCA at Wal-Mart. When none of the remote codes worked with my Dish remote, I discovered it was not made by RCA at all but by an unheard of manufacturer that simply bought the name.
    That's why I stay with the major names I mentioned although it hasn't worked out 100%. Corporate America could have things produced with more quality if they wanted-but we don't have to head down that road.
    I worked an Insurance claim once where we suspected that a Magic Chef appliance purchased at Wal-Mart had caused a fire. I wrote Magic Chef to notify them of a potential product liability claim and was advised that they had sold their name to Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart had contracted it out to a Chinese manufacturer. I wrote Wal-Mart and they gave me the name of the Chinese manufacturer.
    I saw a special on what it took to get an item on the shelf at Walmart. Basically Walmart let the manufacturer know how much they Walmart would pay for the item and if the mfg. could do it, they were in. Again-we don't have to go down that road as I'm sure, for the most part, everyone realizes it.
    It would seem all the new "digital" TV's are capable of receiving OTH (over the air) which is something I like for when cable/fios/sat goes down.
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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