Mame
 
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 05:06 pm
So, we're watching Alex's 30 yr old giant tv and it's time to get a new one. The only number that works on the remote is the 3, so you have to press the up or down buttons a million times, plus it takes a while for the tv to warm up and get the picture up Smile

So I've been talking about a flat screen tv. Did a little research today about LED vs LCD vs Plasma... I'm confused - I hate electronics. Anyway, one stands out - the Samsung LN46D630. You only need one remote for all your devices (I can never figure out which is for which when I'm visiting someone and if left alone, I invariably wind up with a blue screen) and TopTen and CNET have both rated it #1.

I'm curious as to what a person should look for. I mean, resolution is important, and clarity, and sound... but from your experience, what should I focus on?

Thanks in advance
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 4,938 • Replies: 15
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 05:31 pm
@Mame,
Perosnally I own and love my Samsung 46in LED HDTV. I stronghly recommend LEd (vs the older tech LCD) as it looks sharper, with better saturated (but not overly) color, better black retention and follows the mvoement and action without blurring with 120 Hz refresh rate.

HDTVs (particularly LED) now are either instant on or nearly instantly on. They have a display that doesn't generate much or hardly any heat. the display last much longer with hardly any fading or pasteling. They draw very little energy. Lastly they dont'require you to watch in a darkeened room.

HD Plsama often still need a darker (then an LED) room to appreciate their gorgeously displayed dynamic range of color and motion in movies.

I have seen in person the Samsung LN46D630. I'ver also seen the reviews by CNET. I agree that they're about the best bang for the buck. Why not compare it against a same size Sony LED HDTV in the same price range. Both are highly rated. (View the same material - action- sports or travel)

An interesting benfit that might interest you, is that the latest LED saves you a lot in electricity bills. Plasma HDTV (Panasonic) is excellent but draws more power. In a year's time the difference can exceed $100 depending on your rater how much you watch, and what brand and asize you are buying.

Needless to say...as compared to your 30-yr-old projection TV set, you'll save approx $200 per year in electricity bills and have a fatr higher quality display of movies.

If you add surrround sound there's almsot no reason to go to a movie to see realistic action and impactful viewing. Movie houses still have best sound and video depending on if you go to an IMAX theater..

Lastly if 3D is of interest, comparatively you may save $500 or more on a model by not buying a 3D HDTV on a 46 in or 52 in display.

For a discussion on LED vs LCD vs plasma go here:
http://able2know.org/topic/172612-1
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 05:55 pm
@Mame,
1. Size: How big is your room? The TV shouldn't overpower your room. Since you already have a big TV, you should probably get something similar.

2. Technology: Plasma vs LCD is something that is all over the Internet. I don't like plasma because of the power consumption and somewhat limited life (never be an issue unless you watch it all the time, but if you want it to go another 30 years, it might not make it.) LED is better than LCD and not much different in price - I think that is your best bet. If you want 3D technology, that will add significantly to the cost.

3. Maker: Samsung is a great manufacturer. Sony is also very good. Consumer Reports recently evaluated manufacturers for reliability. I remember those two standing out but there were probably others.

4. Remote: All of them will come with a universal remote so that shouldn't drive your decision.

5. Tuners: Everyone should come with a QAM tuner that allows you to receive broadcast digital signals. You typically DO NOT NEED A SPECIAL CABLE PLAN to get digital signals in high def for broadcast stations, even on cable.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 06:11 pm
@Mame,
Personally, I'm waiting to see if Apple TV rumors (for end of next year) pan out. People tend to buy TVs every 10 years or so, and I think the wait (and the inevitable Apple premium) is worth it in that context (that of all your electronics its the one that tends to stay with you the longest).

It is supposed to solve the horrible user experience in current home entertainment systems using voice recognition. I'm looking forward to it. I don't watch TV from TV, I use my TV to stream from the internet and it's about time the TV got smarter and easier to use.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 06:30 pm
We recently bought a Samsung smart TV (with 3D) it's great.

The controller even has a mini keyboard for using the internet.

The 3D on it is so much better than I ever imagined. The glasses sync up to the TV and it's amazing, way better than the movie theater experience.
0 Replies
 
jcboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 06:41 pm
@Mame,
I’ve been told my many friends to stay away from Plasma’s. I’ve known several people that have had one and the lifespan was about three years.

Personally I like Sony’s LCD’s.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 07:20 pm
@Mame,
Have you considered just replacing the remote? That alone will improve your TV viewing experience.
jcboy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 07:33 pm
@Butrflynet,
LOL!
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Dec, 2011 09:06 pm
@Mame,
There are dozens of variables and no absolute right/wrong answers. It's all subjective due to personal taste and made more complex by the viewing environment. So if you want to make it easy for yourself think of it this way... ANYTHING will be better than what you've got, so just pick something reliable, in your price range, and bigger than your current set. I like Sony's, but Panasonic also makes some nice sets.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 07:27 am
@Ragman,
Great advice, thank you! I will check out the link and today I think I'll go looking at tvs and do that comparison.

We don't watch movies - he's into sports - and my living room is 20x20 so we don't need surround sound, and the tv would be about 8' from where we'd be sitting, above the fireplace.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 07:31 am
@engineer,
Thanks! One of the reasons I'm looking now is we recently got a cable notice that as of Feb 15 they'll be going totally digital (if I heard him correctly). I don't care about how many channels we get, really, but we may as well move into the present century.

I tried to buy a universal remote but the tv is too old - nothing worked with it. It's an old RCA and about 3'x3'. There's nothing really wrong with it but it sure is a pain to change channels and it takes up a lot of room. It's okay where it is but I'd like to rearrange the furniture to create more open space.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 07:33 am
@Robert Gentel,
Hmmm... I have Apple products but I'm certainly not that 'tech'-aware. I wouldn't use the tv for anything but the tv. I'll check it out, though - thanks, Robert. And apparently we buy tvs every 30 years Smile

Everyone else, thank you for your input. I'll go and have a look today. He doesn't think we need a new one (he keeps everything for years) but I'm working on it.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 08:02 am
@Mame,
You're welcome.

I sure hope your fireplace is not an active one as that would be an unforunate spot to place the HDTV if it were.

Be aware when you compare HDTV and electronics prices, due to the market dynamics, it's not advised to buy an HDTV model until around end of January, which coincides with the Superbowl. After the SB, the last season's models will drop 30%. Also coinciding around that time is the CES (consumer electronics show) often held around mid Feb in Las Vegas. At that point all the new models get introduced. So prices on last season's model will be at the cheapest. This is how I made my purchase.

Regarding your cable provider going totally digital, in many countries (USA and UK) those entire markets have been totally digital for more than 2 or 3 years. Maybe in Canada it's different as I'm not aware of what your cable provider timeframe; however, if you stayed with your old TV, you'd have to add a converter that allows you to receive the HD digital signals as you're old TV won't pick up the transmission format. When you switch over to your new TV, it'll not be an issue as this capability is built in.

From your cable provider you'll also get a new cable box. you can program the TV to remember only the channels you want to watch. so each time you hunt for a show, you won't have to keep skipping over the ones you don't care about.

You won't have any trouble setting this function either. However, if you don't want to do it yourself you can ask the cable installer to do it when they set the new box up.

Be aware, your new cable box is different...it's not just that there are more channels. The new HDTV (used with new digital cable box), there'll be duplicate channels...one set for non HDTV programming for non HD tv watchers. The other set of channels (on a different spot higher up) are for the broadcasts in HD format. This is of no great concern but if the box has 500 channels. you'll probably only really watch the HD channels. there'll be such a pleasant experience- sort of like looking out a window..LOL

Electricity bills: depending on cost of electricity in your area, you'll save about $150-$200 from your old TV.

Viewing from 8 ft away an HDTV that is 42-inch to 46-inch is good to ideal but 52 in is overkill.

However, re use of Surround Sound to a living room is often times a worthwhile enhancement unless you jsut don't want to spend the money. I would not recommend a surround sound for a small bedroom, but for medium sized living room, with only a few exceptions. (narrow room), it will add a realistic enhancement and impact whatever you watch (except game shows like Jeopardy..LOL).
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 08:13 am
@Ragman,
More good advice, thanks! Re timing - yes, we'll wait until after Christmas for sure, and probably end of January. I think the couch will be more like 13 feet from the tv - I just measured. I was thinking 46 or 50'' - I wish I could try one out first. I might put something that size (fabric) up there to see if it would be too dominant. I don't want the tv to be the focus of the room.

I think our cable provider had the capability of digital a while ago but it was optional or something. Not sure, since I don't deal with them - maybe I'll call them today and find out what's what. I don't think we have a cable box. I was given a digital box a few years ago but I think it's outdated now. Alex said they gave us a new one several months ago but we never hooked it up Smile We're not too electronically savvy in this household, and obviously it's not that important to us or we'd have figured it out.

I also need to find a wall mount - we have a stone fireplace, so I'll need a special bit for that.

And yes, it IS an active fireplace! So I'll have to put the tv elsewhere???
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 08:25 am
@Mame,
Based on 13 ft viewing location, you could go up to 52 inch, but it does start to dominate the room. A 46 inch display is very good at 10 -12 ft and advisable.

Heat and electronics are not a wise combination. I know from a fashion design standpoint it would be a good spot. However, soot and dust will attract and stick to the display. The heat near or under the display from the fireplace is unwise. Perhaps you could put a thermometer up where the set would be when you run the fireplace, but I am sorry to report to you, I think it wouldn't be a good idea. Perhaps someone might advise you further.

Re the new HDTV and the newer box: speak to someone (on the phone) that's technical in customer support at your cable provider. They should tell you that the new cable box must be used when you swtich over..as the old box would not be functional. No problem, not a big deal.

However, when you get the new set, you have a few options as far as learning how to use it properly: either have the cable company installer to come out to your house or have the electonics store tech support come out. I'm not saying you HAVE to have a tech person there, but based on what you wrote, you'd be much happier and you'd fly through all the functionality and know how to use the box and your new HDTV MUCH easier then and in the future.

If you want to wall mount the sry, the supports-mount brackets are around $100-150. you'll be shocked at how thin and light (not flimsy) the new set will be.

Hope this helps.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Dec, 2011 09:08 am
Well, just talked to the cable guy - can't put the tv over the fireplace unless we don't use it. Bummer. And we have to hook up the digital box we're paying for by Feb 15 or we can't access our channels. Guess I'll do that today. Hmmm... got some figuring out to do.
0 Replies
 
 

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