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View Full Version : the TV thread - best TV for $1000 contest


nakman
03-18-2008, 01:37 PM
Wife wants a new TV. I know nothing about new technology.. what TV should we get?

For size we need 40" or smaller, preferably 36" or so. I guess I can use this as a computer monitor now too, right? LCD? Plasma? what's full HD? any other acronyms I'm supposed to learn? I think we're getting Dish Network... do you have to pay more for the high def stuff? Is it worth it?

The $1000 is what I think we should spend, don't see a need to go much higher than that given what I've seen in the advertisements, etc. So let's see your pics, what's the best TV available right now for ~$1K? :beer:

calphi27
03-18-2008, 01:46 PM
check online for the best deals. i helped my dad save $2k when he bought 2 1080p samsungs over best buys price.

Uncle Ben
03-18-2008, 02:08 PM
check online for the best deals. i helped my dad save $2k when he bought 2 1080p samsungs over best buys price.

The Ultimate Electronics store on 88th? and I-25 gets all the blow out units from the other stores. You have to go there as the deals are not published nor quoted. The Toshiba 52" 1080p Plasma we have up-stairs above the fireplace was an "open" box deal and I scored it for $1600ish. It's amazing how much these things have come down in price! The 53" 1080i Sharp downstairs in the theater cost about $4k when we got it 6+years ago! Cost for a big screen HD monitor these day is less than what my Denon receiver cost!

Corbet
03-18-2008, 02:18 PM
No plasma at high altitude

We've had a 40" LCD Sony Bravado for 6 months now. Its been great. The price it right around a grand right now. We paid more of course :rolleyes: 6 months ago.

I can't deal with the big box stores anymore. I just had our local little electronics store in Frisco match the best price I could find on it.

MDH33
03-18-2008, 02:20 PM
Who has time for TV? :confused:

We haven't been connected to the box for over 6 years. :hill:

Uncle Ben
03-18-2008, 02:23 PM
Who has time for TV? :confused:

We haven't been connected to the box for over 6 years. :hill:

We don't do TV but we do Wii and Watch movies!

Uncle Ben
03-18-2008, 02:30 PM
No plasma at high altitude

We've had a 40" LCD Sony Bravado for 6 months now. Its been great. The price it right around a grand right now. We paid more of course :rolleyes: 6 months ago.

I can't deal with the big box stores anymore. I just had our local little electronics store in Frisco match the best price I could find on it.

Thats true! Just stating facts that I know. LCD's are often cheaper than Plasma unless they are UHD with contrast ratios up around 10k like plasma and projection.

Rezarf
03-18-2008, 02:34 PM
Nak-

Plasma's tend to dry out here in Colorado and especially at high altitude. At least that was what I was told.

We got an open box 37" LCD at Sams Club, HD and everything for 6 Benjamen's, it is a Magnavox. Nothing special but hangs nicely on the wall with great picture.

Sams Club here in Louisville has open, factory serviced, units on sale all the time, comes with the same warrenty as new. Just a thought.

Rezarf <><

DaveInDenver
03-18-2008, 02:39 PM
Who has time for TV?
You said it, brother. Still have the 25" Magnavox that's about 13 years old now with the rabbit ears. We did finally get a DVD player and really dig the Netflix. Looking like we'll be cutting the cord for good in Feb 2009, no way in heck I'm paying one dime for a digital converter box to watch Adele Arakawa and Ron Zapollo. Screw 'em. If I have to watch commercials, then they'd best figure out a way to get me hooked up for nuthin.

Crash
03-18-2008, 03:08 PM
Dave, tell us what you really think!! :D
I'm in the same boat with you. We get our DVDs at the Denver Public Libraries for free.

You said it, brother. Still have the 25" Magnavox that's about 13 years old now with the rabbit ears. We did finally get a DVD player and really dig the Netflix. Looking like we'll be cutting the cord for good in Feb 2009, no way in heck I'm paying one dime for a digital converter box to watch Adele Arakawa and Ron Zapollo. Screw 'em. If I have to watch commercials, them they'd best figure out a way to get me hooked up for nuthin.

DaveInDenver
03-18-2008, 03:11 PM
Plasma's tend to dry out here in Colorado and especially at high altitude. At least that was what I was told.
They don't dry out. They never lose their gas unless they break. Plasma TVs do not need recharging or refilling ever. That's all urban myth and usually something an idiot salesman will tell you when trying to sell a projection or something more expensive.

Plasma TVs have little tiny glass bubbles that each contain gas (they are noble gases, xenon, neon, etc.) that gives off photons when excited. In a color display the cells are coated with phosphors that give off different wavelength light when they are hit with the excited photons. These colors are the red, green and blue, i.e. RGB, for each pixel and that part is not really all that different than a regular CRT except that each cell is excited individually rather than using a scanning electron beam to excite the phosphors.

Since the glass bubble is sealed and has a gas pressure inside, the higher you go in elevation the lower the air pressure on the bubble wall and the walls physically bow out. Picture a potato chip bag at the Tunnel, exactly the same phenomenon. This means there's a lower absolute pressure inside. The glass cells are very small and even a slight bow is significant. The gas at lower pressure takes more energy to excite and so the driving circuit that does it has to work harder to get the gas to give off light. This is a thermodynamics issue, not much you can do to break the laws of physics.

Anyway, those drivers in the plasma TV generate lots more heat as you go up hill, which is bad for the life of the TV. The matrix of glass cells also tends to buzz as they physically distort and the fans run harder, so both of those thing are also annoying. It's best to avoid a plasma screen above a couple of thousand feet AMSL. Even Denver is not an ideal place, although most TVs should be able to handle it here for a while. Be sure to check the warranty, even if the sales drone says it's OK. There are maximum environmental conditions that a plasma TV will be designed for and they should be taken pretty seriously.

You can build a plasma TV for high elevation, but it would not work as efficiently at sea level and so manufacturers don't tend to want to do that. But look around, some of them have figured out ways to make them good up to 7,000' and higher. One way to do it is just making the cell walls thicker, but that drives up cost and makes heat more of a problem, so it's a balancing act when designing the TV.

nakman
03-18-2008, 03:22 PM
Well unfortunately, not having TV isn't an option. I agree though, it's the last thing I have time for and I rarely watch it. Before we were parents we used to rent Netflix quite a bit, that was pretty cool.. but now it's too loud, or too late, or it's not Thomas.

edit: I bet it's fun to go electronics shopping with Dave... :popcorn:

art hog
03-18-2008, 03:33 PM
TV IS EVIL. IT SUCKS THE LIFE FROM YOU. I WANT THE 45 YEARS BACK I SAT WATCHING IT!!!!!!!!! M.A.S.H. was great. no regrets watching that. and the simsons well??????

RockRunner
03-18-2008, 03:33 PM
I say go with Vizio, best bag for your buck. I was going to buy a 37" for $700 but opted to spend the money elsewhere. If I were to buy one now it would still be a Vizio unless I have some extra cash, then I would get a Sharp or Sony.

Go to Costco, they carry all the major brands and Vizio. They have them all set up next to each other so you can take a good look but remember that they may not be adjusted right.

Jacket
03-18-2008, 03:36 PM
, no way in heck I'm paying one dime for a digital converter box to watch Adele Arakawa and Ron Zapollo. Screw 'em.

Dave - it's Adele and Bob Kendrick, or Ron and Libby Weaver. Get it right - sheesh :rolleyes:;):lmao:

That's all I have to offer here. I'm still running a 5000 lb TV from the dark ages.

Nay
03-18-2008, 03:36 PM
Panasonic has a plasma rated for 8K ft. I'm at 7,400' and my neighbor just bought a 50" - pretty incredible picture. Still, useful life even at full life of the plasma is not much better than half of an LCD, so mostly its an economic decision and how much you believe the higher altitude claim from the manufacturer.

Having bought a high end LCD a couple years ago (Sharp Aquos) and seeing plasma, the plasma really is better all the way around. But then again I only bought a 31" because I didn't want a monster TV to be the focal point of my main level.

If you don't need a huge TV, go smaller and get an LCD. There's nothing but crap on anyway, and crap in hi-def is still crap. The only reason to get Dish HD right now (I just did) is because everything is going HD and you may as well have the stuff now. Unless the programming itself is filmed/recorded with HD equipment, it doesn't really matter.

The HD Discovery channels, for example, are right beside their digital counterparts, and I can't tell a bit of difference. It's sort of like your digital cable where they send their crappy analog feed to you digitally, the only difference being you get little blocks on the screen instead of lines when the signal degrades.

But go to HD News or another real HD feed, of which there are very few, and the difference is striking. But it's still crap unless you are a sports junky.

Uncle Ben
03-18-2008, 03:40 PM
I say go with Vizio, best bag for your buck. I was going to buy a 37" for $700 but opted to spend the money elsewhere. If I were to buy one now it would still be a Vizio unless I have some extra cash, then I would get a Sharp or Sony.

Go to Costco, they carry all the major brands and Vizio. They have them all set up next to each other so you can take a good look but remember that they may not be adjusted right.

Kinda like computers....
If your happy with a Celeron processor thats great....I personally only rely on Pentiums. :rolleyes:

DaveInDenver
03-18-2008, 04:06 PM
Dave - it's Adele and Bob Kendrick, or Ron and Libby Weaver. Get it right - sheesh :rolleyes:;):lmao:
Bob who? Libby what? Just kiddin', I'm not quite that out of touch, I know Ron is on channel 31, but didn't he used to do the sports on channel 9?

Maddmatt
03-18-2008, 05:30 PM
I've actually done a little research on this, here's what I've found.

Plasma is out for you. Bad investment over 7000'. All the stuff that Dave said.

1080 is the height of technology right now, but in my opinion you can only really tell on sets 40" or bigger. At 37", I couldn't tell much difference between 1080 and 780, so felt that 1080 probably wasn't worth the price. Over 40" I could tell. I don't mean I could tell you that a TV was 1080 or not, but the same video on adjacent screens over 40" was obviously different, and obviously better, in 1080.

Refresh rates are important. Cheaper HD's often have slower refresh rates, in which case sporting events will remind of you certain nights in college that are probably best left forgotten. At least I hadn't seen tracers like that since the early 90's. Fast refresh rates = good.

If you are going bigger than 46", the best bang for the buck is DLP. It's flat but not skinny, although the 65" I was looking at was skinnier than the 27" GE tube I'm watching now. The bigger you go the cheaper they DLP's get relative to everything else. They will also last longer, according to a completely non-biased web site I found called www.dlp.com At least I think they weren't biased.

I found the absolute best prices at Ultimate, which was also the only place with anybody interested in helping me. I shopped Ultimate, Best Buy, Circuit City, Costco, Sams and the Great Indoors. That was a large enough sample population for my needs. However, Costco has the best return policy that I'm aware of.

TV is not all going HD, it's all going digital. You don't need HD to see the difference in digital, your satellite box is taking care of that, but if you're going to drop $500, drop $800 and go all the way. I know Libby and Kathy are looking better every day, even on my 15 year old set.

You have to go widescreen now, which is great, but the wider aspect ratio means a bigger screen will look smaller from the same distance. In other words, if a 27" works for you on regular TV, you'll probably need at least 37" if you are sitting the same distance away.

You do have to pay more for HD channels, probably about $15/month when the initial rate wears off.

In the end, I decided to wait another year. I'm trying to watch less TV anyway and I figure the prices will contine to fall. When I do pull the trigger, I'll go full 1080 and 40" if I can fit it in my bookcase thing. Also a BlueRay DVD player, and probably a cheap upconverting DVD player to bring all the movies we already own up a bit. They are dropping in price fast.

In the end, for your situation, I would go with a 37-40" LCD, 1080 if the price differential isn't too much, with as fast a refresh rate as you can find. Cutler's going to throw a lot of TD's this year, you don't want to get dizzy every time.

That's my opinion, worth what you paid for it :D
-Matt

ScaldedDog
03-18-2008, 05:51 PM
Bob who? Libby what? Just kiddin', I'm not quite that out of touch, I know Ron is on channel 31, but didn't he used to do the sports on channel 9?

And 4 before that, but you have to be old to remember. :D

If you are going bigger than 46", the best bang for the buck is DLP.

True, but there don't seem to be a lot of DLP's anymore smaller than 57". Mitsubishi dropped their 52" DLP (which I own and love) and replaced it with a $3700 52" LCD. Other brands may have smaller DLP's, I suppose.

Mark