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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,384

    Default TVs!

    It was bad enough that I couldnt keep up with the advances in computer technology. Now TVs are complicated too!

    I want to replace my big old TV. My cable provider is warning that its digital conversion means that I either have a modern TV or need some additional hardware.

    So I am looking at something modest, preferably under $500. Probably 42-47". So far I like a Vizio LED. But is a "smart" tv worth buying? Any other must-haves or pitfalls?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,657

    Default

    We went with cutting the cable and putting a big honking antenna on the roof five years ago. We can pull in HDTV signals from NH, Boston and RI. Tons of stuff. Then, we subscribe to Netflix and I have an Amazon Prime account that allows quite a lot of streaming video. We've been happy with this for quite some time.

    I know nothing about current cable restrictions, but to get the HDTV signals on our old TVs, we have some little conversion boxes. They were free, through the federal government, when standard TV signals were cutoff...now, they cost about $40. Don't know if that's all it would take to convert your cable.

    Our only "new" TV is a three year old LG HD flat panel thing...it cost about $400 and has been trouble free. All the other TVs we have are the big, old, cathode ray tube things with the free/cheap converter boxes on them.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Location
    Horse Heaven
    Posts
    1,878

    Default

    I know nothing about the new technology, but my DH does. Nonetheless, we have bought most of our recent electronics at Costco because it simplifies the decision making process in a market with so many products my head spins. The prices are lower than competition and there is a limited selection in a given size/price range. Returns are straightforward.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,412

    Default

    A friend bought a huge (70" or so) flat screen at Sam's Club. I bought mine (no, not 70"-two 32" flats) at HH Gregg-because the independent retailers negotiate prices, and they delivered free (you pay, and they send you a debit card for the amount a month or two later), and took away the old ones for me (they were two cranky, older regular tv's) . My understanding is that there is a built-in converter in the new ones, so you don't need the converter box. At work they have a nice flat screen, and it picks up the local channels, and the extra channels the one local broadcasts on two sub-channels, and I don't get the extra with my Directv feed. I think it all depends on your location, the local topography, and you can get an pair of rabbit ears or other inside antenna to get more signal. This weekend has some great sales, and shopping around will really save a bundle. I was warned about Vizio by a tv salesman, but that was a few years ago, so their quality might have improved.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
    Posts
    2,966

    Default

    Costco all the way for electronics. Good prices, no-questions-asked returns (that we've luckily never have had to make use of), & a decent selection of quality brands.

    Have both a 32" (I think) upstairs in the bedroom, & a much bigger 55" or 60-something" downstairs in the living area. Hubby is a longtime bigtime audio/video-phile, so I leave all the research & buying in that department to him. Costco is pretty much where he always ends up.

    Upstairs set is a "niko"; downstairs set is a "Panasonic". Both have been completely problem-free for several years now & have crystal-clear pictures. Connected up easily to all our paraphernalia - Directv, dvd, etc., etc.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2010
    Posts
    5,836

    Default

    All of the new ones have the converter built in, so you don't have to worry. My advice, by the cheapest thing out there that is what you want. Technology is changing so quickly, it will be old fashioned soon, and probably well outlast when you want something more modern.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2011
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    2,692

    Default

    The LED TVs use less electricity than other types of screens. I don't know the lifespan compared to other types.

    We used to swear by Sony but have had problems with several of their products over the last few years, so I'm not so loyal anymore.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2002
    Location
    East of Dog River
    Posts
    5,693

    Default

    When I bought my 33" to replace the moribund and now dead Sharp CRT, I looked high and low and finally found a suitable candidate at Wally World, of all places. I knew I wanted a low end TV that is just a TV, no oddball stuff I didnt want or need, or for that matter, would ever use, so I narrowed it down to Toshiba and Icantremember and chose the Toshiba because I liked the picture better. Cost just over 300.00 including cat food and taxes and I am happy with it. My worst problem was sorting out WHY the picture only covered a square in the middle of the screen then I discovered the picture mode. Set up was a snap, hooking to the dish was a non-issue, in fact, it took longer to remove th behemoth than to assemble and hook up the new TV.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,857

    Default

    We have a Samsung LED flat screen with 1080p... I swear for the first few weeks every time we watched it I was saying how awesome the picture was.. You feel like you're watching REAL life and not a TV lol. We've had it for almost 3 years with no issues so far. Makes sure you go somewhere that you can look at the picture on each screen before deciding which you like best, but we are now LED all the way.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
    Posts
    6,201

    Default

    Go with an LED set, which is actually an LCD set with LED backlighting instead of a fluorescent panel. Avoid plasma sets like the plague. They're energy hogs and can interfere with nearby AM and FM radios.

    Select a 120 Hz or higher refresh rate rather than 60 Hz. Less jerkiness on fast-moving scenes.

    Make sure it has at least one composite video input (red, white, and yellow input jacks) for compatibility with VCR, DVR, and audio devices. Component video input (red, white, and green jacks) is a plus, as some upscale recording/playback devices use this.

    Also make sure it has an RF (antenna) input for off-the-air signals.

    If you need an HDMI cable, don't let the salesman oversell you. They'll try to convince you some expensive cable is necessary for a good picture. It's bullsh*t. A $10 one from WalMart will work just fine for distances under 40 feet.
    Last edited by Frank B; May. 24, 2013 at 09:17 PM.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams


    2 members found this post helpful.

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