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Flat screen TVs

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Gary_602z, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Okay wifey wants one for Christmas! I know NOTHING about them! LCD,LED,Plasma. What are the pros and cons.? What is a decent brand? It won't be a 40 or 60 incher just something for the bedroom that will fit in the entertainment center. Maybe 27-28" wide.What do you have and are you happy with it?

    Gary

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  2. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    LED is a little brighter than LCD...I think Plasma has had some issues...look for refresh rate (referred to in Hz)...60Hz is lowest and you'll get a little pixelation (blurriness) in fast action...120Hz is better...that is what really determines the price...personally, I find the step from 60Hz to 120Hz to be noticeable, and worth the additional money...the step from 120 to 240 is far more modest of an improvement...as far as brand, I have a Samsung and I'm happy with it and it's only 60Hz...the market is very competitive and each brand seems to have slightly different picture appearance (to me)...
  3. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    "LED" TV's are just LCD panels with LED back lights. Lots of individual LED's can give the electronics in the TV better control over the back light. For instance, dark parts of the picture can be dimmed locally to help improve contrast. LED is going to be the most power efficient and produce the least amount of heat.

    LCD TVs have fluorescent backlights. There are tons of LCD panels out there, so they may be a little cheaper than an LED panel. The fluorescent back light will use a little more power and generate a little more heat than LED.

    Plasma is another technology completely. It is the least power efficient of the flat panel TV types and generates the most heat. Older plasma TVs used to need to be recharged ever ~5 years or so, but I think they got that worked out. Plasma will suffer from burn-in even worse than a traditional old tube TV would. Plasmas are cheap because there is less demand for them and the technology in general has come down in price.

    LCD/LED TVs are great in bright rooms, and plasma excels in a darkened home theater environment where the lighting is very controlled.

    Plasma has a very high refresh rate and response time, so motion is usually very smooth and clear.

    In my opinion, an LED TV's strike a great balance balance with high contrast ratios so they can be used in bright rooms or dark home theaters. Any TV will need to be adjusted differently for each environment though. I also like the lack of burn-in on LED and LCD panels. There are many LCD or LED panels out there with 120Hz or higher refresh rates. 120Hz is the key because it is a multiple of 24, 30, and 60 frames per second. These are the three frame rates that you'll find in TV, DVD, online videos, video games, and blu-ray content. 24 frame per second content on a 60Hz panel will have to go through some funky frame rate conversion where some frames are shown longer than others. This causes judder that drives me nuts personally, but many people don't even notice it.

    There are a lot of TVs with "240Hz" refresh rates advertized. These sets have some active processing that take the incoming 24/30/60 frame per second signal and interpolate or synthesize new frames to go between the actual frames. This helps to smooth out and sharpen the video. It works well for some types of content. For other types of content, it may actually make a film source like a blue ray movie look like a soap opera shot on video. This is sometimes referred to as the "soap opera" effect. I turn all of this active processing off because I don't like the effect. My parents on the other hand don't seem to mind it though and like the extra smooth picture.

    I love Samsung TV's. They are my pick. Samsung makes panels for a lot of other company's TV sets and computer monitors. I would also consider Sharp, Sony, Visio, and LG. Panasonic has been known for really nice Plasma TV's.

    You can check out the reviews on cnet.com. If they don't review the exact model you're looking at, they usually have one in the same family of models that might give you an idea of quality.

    For a bedroom TV though, this may all be way too much info. Even a cheap TVs made today will look as good as high end models from 5 years ago.

    -SF
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I have a Samsung LCD, like it a lot. As mentioned, there is some blur in fast moving parts, but it's not annoying.
  5. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Been in electronic & appliance service, repair, warranty, and service contract business for 25 + years.(Now moving on to plumbing, heating, HVAC, & AC)

    If I had to buy a flat screen I'd look at LG or Panasonic. Both have superior parts inventory (usually), warranty terms (check the model info/owners manual for each model considered before buying, do not trust the salesmans "word" on terms. Some only have 90 day (usually based on size), most larger (32 " +) on these brands have 1 year.

    I'd also consider, if I were strapped for $$$'s, a Sanyo from Walmart with an extended Walmart contract.... but again check each manufacturers warranty terms on each model before buying. Some manufacturers (Vizio for example) farm out their warranty work to 3rd parties..... service can be a pain.

    Samsung, particularly their LCDs have had a capacitor issue in the power supply/SMPS pcb's... they'll crap out in a cascade effect, and eventually the set will go dead, with the "click of death". Samsung makes ALOT of other power supply/smps pcb's for other manufacturers.

    And if you buy local, check the set before leaving the store, ie: plug it in & get a signal on it. A cracked display will usually not be honored by any one if you get it home & discover this issue after buying one.

    Good luck !!
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    27" wide is a tiny screen. The TV that came in my tow behind RV trailer is that size.

    Go to the superstores and look at the screens, see the colors and contrast and quality. I did this at walmart and really liked what I saw with the samsung 40" LCD that is now on my wall. I could have paid more or less but the picture was much nicer to my eyes on the samsung LCD.

    I don't care about warranty or parts availability. Especially in a TV that is so tiny as you describe. If it breaks, take it back. If they won't take it then buy another. This TV will cost about as much as two tanks of fuel for a pickup and is hardly worth repairing.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Wife has been running the 37" Vizio LCD from Walmart in the bedroom around the clock for two years with no problems. And it makes a great supplemental heater for the room since it is upstairs and farthest from the wood stove. Check power consumption on the things. There is a vast difference between models even with the same screen size and technology.
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a Sony Bravia LCD, going into its 4th trouble-free year. Mine's a 46" (diag). Bought it (and my audio system) online from B&H Photo...terrific pricing and free freight to my door. Couldn't beat that deal locally. I'm perfectly happy with it (though I don't really watch all that much TV). If it ever craps out, I'll prob'ly just recycle it and buy a new one. Rick
  9. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Just measured and I could go about 34" max width to fit the entertainment center.

    Thanks guys! I actually learned something today!:)

    Gary
  10. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    We have a 46in Samsung LCD in the den that's about 6 years old now. No led backlight, no 120hz and probably cost 3x what a similar set today does... But I still love it.

    If you are a big movie watcher or just want the best picture possible you can get a calibration DVD to set all the picture settings. HDTV,s have many more adjustments than tubes and are usually preset to a very bluish overly bright preset designed to look impressive in the showroom. There is typically a "movie" or "warm" mode for the color temp that is warmer and more natural looking.

    Also if you are coming from tube tv,'s... Buy bigger than you think you need. A 27in wide screen will feel smaller than a 27in traditional TV due to the lower height.
  11. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep in mind they're measured diagonally, and there are lots of guidelines for most comfortable screen size relative to viewing distance. Think sitting in the very front row of a theater with a mega-huge screen...depending on the room/arrangement, there can be such a thing as too large a screen. Lots of resources on the web for researching this stuff. Rick
  12. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Also consider where you buy your tv. Sam's Club sells a warranty that is very inexpensive. We had a Visio for one year that stopped working. My wife took it back and came home with a new one with no hassle. This one has been running daily without problem. The color is vibrant. We bought a smaller one fot the dining room. Same brand. Very happy with that unit.
  13. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If I remember right, the last 32 inch TV I bought had a total width of 31.5 inches. Somewhere on the box it will give you the actual TV dimensions if you look close, or take the tape measure with you.

    pen
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That's the problem with an entertainment center. That large flat screen becomes more expensive when furniture has to be replaced.
  15. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    That's not gonna happen! :)

    Gary
  16. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    These new HD tvs are fantastic. I now have them even for the computer. It is amazing how much eye strain there is while watching the older screens. The few days a month that I work, I am on the computer all day. With the HD screen, my eye strain is much less,and I'm not so exhausted when the day is done. Get the size screen that is appropriate for the distance.
    I saw 32 in sets going for $200. On Black Friday. 40 in for $600. Etc. I think there are a lot of sets available as the push move towards 3D.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Don't worry about getting a 1080p set for the bedroom either. On small screens, under 32", you're hard pressed to see the difference between 720p and 1080p anyways. The wife and I have a 32" 720p Samsung (old series 3 unit) that we bought for under $300 at a Black Friday sale three years ago. It has done the job admirably.
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    A cabinetmaker built my house. Lots of built in cabinets including the entertainment center where he built a square hole for a 30" or so tube TV. Gotta tell you, the TV that will fit the square opening leaves a lot of space above and below the TV. New TVs are very rectangular and you will be using a very small LCD TV when trying to utilize the square hole in an old entertainment center. It will look like a mistake.

    Can you wallmount an LCD somewhere else?
  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    When we got our first LCD I ripped the top off the entertainment center and just used the bottom as a cabinet. When we later moved we got a new base cabinet only style entertainment center. Looks much nicer with the TV sitting on top.
  20. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I love research and about three or four years ago I did a lot of research into TVs . . . granted a lot could have changed, but from what I remember Sly's and Dixie's advice is spot on.

    In the end my wife actually bought me the TV I wanted without even knowing it . . . Panasonic Vierra Plasma TV. I liked it so much I ended up getting a smaller version for the bedroom.
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    great thread with lots of great input! I have a question......I'm just now on the tail-end of my living room renovation and finishing up the fireplace. The room is very large (30' x 16', roughly). I really need a large TV in that room, for the way it will be laid out (I really like the Sharp Aquos), looking at the 70" and 80" units. The 70" can be had right now for around $2500.00, the 80" is a huge jump at $4900.00 (not worth the extra money IMO). Yes it's a lot of dough for a TV, but we've never had a good TV, ever! And I have been saving for YEARS to build this room and make it a nice entertainment room, I ran full surround all the way round in the ceilings, wired a subwoofer through the wall, etc. So my question is, anyone out there have experience with this TV? Also I held off buying it on Black Friday because many have told me to wait til the Superbowl to buy one. They say a really REALLY good deal can be had at that time. What should I do?
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Sounds to me like you've already done made that decision Scott. Enjoy watching the big game on the big screen. ;)

    Sorry, no specific advise regarding that set. ;em One day I'll get me a real TV too...
    ScotO likes this.
  23. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

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    To keep it simple, if it's in a well lit area go with LCD. If it's in a not so lit area a plasma is fine. Also since it's in a bedroom and will more than likely only be watched from one angle, you'd be fine with either. I have both and haven't had any issues with either. Both of mine are vizio. :) happy shopping
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've noticed the off angle viewing properties of the LCD's has improved dramatically over the last 5 years.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Again . . . when I was looking it was several years back so things could have changed . . . but the Sharp Aquos line up did quite well with both professional and consumer reviews . . . if I had gone with a LCD TV it would have been the Sharp Aquos line up.
    ScotO likes this.

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