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HDTV Question

Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,103
edited 12:24AM in Off Topic
I realize that this subject has been discussed to death with no real consensus on the answer, but I have to ask it again.

Judy and I are still in the ‘analog’ age when it comes to TV. We paid a lot of money for a big screen TV and a very well engineered home theater system 12 years ago but by today’s standards that is ancient technology.

So it’s time to move on. The TV will be given to a nephew and the 10’w X 7’h bookcase that houses it all will be sold to the highest bidder.

We have listened to every story from every salesman about which is the best HD TV for us to buy. The story changes every week and every new salesman.

We are old and our eyesight is getting worse, so we know we need a very large screen (a 65” would be enough to hold us for a few years). The home theater system we now have (probably runs about $5,000 today) is mostly unused so that isn’t an important criteria. I can easily purchase a new Denon receiver, attach it to the existing speakers and it would be in the 21st century. Since the cables are already in place we could still have our home theater sound when we want it.

So, we’re now aware that we have to purchase a new piece of furniture (or build one) along with the TV. Here are some of the other questions we face:

1. Is being connected to the Internet worth the additional cost?
2. Is 3-D worth anything if I can’t see in three dimensions?
3. Is Samsung REALLY any better than Sony or LG or Panasonic or Visio or other TV’s?
4. Is Plasma better than LED or LCD?
5.0 Is Mitsubishi’s new Laser technology a better deal?
6. Other questions still forming in my confused head……

Thanks in advance for any helpful information.

Spring “ON/OFF Switches Are Becoming A Challenge” Chicken
Spring Texas USA


  • RRPRRP Posts: 19,531
    A good friend of mine is my "go-to-person" when it comes to things electronic. BTW he says I still live in a world of transistors, B&W TV and crank telephones! Here's what he had to say:

    Just my opinions -

    1. Internet TV is cool, necessary depends on how "tekkie" the viewer wants to be. We use it for streaming Netflix movies, for which it is very nice to have and that's about it.
    2. 3-D has a long way to go right now
    3. Any of those brands are excellent, I happen to favor Sony but it is very proprietary. Of those brands, the proper inputs/outputs are far more important
    4. LED has not impressed me in the least, again personal. A 65" television may not be available in LCD, don't know for sure.
    5. Not familiar with Mitsubishi Laser technology
    L, M, S, Mini
    Dunlap, IL
  • Hi Leroy. My advice is to head to the nearest news stand and buy the new December Consumers Reports issue. It has comprehensive reviews and recommendations that are pertinent to all of your questions on TVs. For what it's worth, I have a Sony XBR series LCD and love it. It was Consumers' best rated set when I bought it. Sonys ARE overpriced compared to most other sets though.

    Good luck,

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    was explained to me that because of sonys huge following that they are living a little more on their name than on the newest technologies and that samsung was one of the leaders now. for me i figure once its out of the store and set up the way i want it setup after a while the screen grows on you(stores will set the colors and contrasts etc to sell the one they can profit most from, you can make any screen look less compared to another if you want to sell a certian set). i went with the sharp aqiuos 65 inch lcd, couldnt be happier, sits on my old 50 inch box tv :laugh: i need a wall bracket. mines up high, a few inches from the ceiling, i like it way up there now, would never put one down low again. only problem is that people on the lake hate my choice in telivision, always hear someone yelling from way out on the lake to change the channel :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: they should give classes on color settings though, its crazy how long that took with the tv, actually went on line and found several settings to start with before modifying, the factory settings were useless. one trick i learned from looking at all the tv sets is to turn them off, you want a dark screen as black is a difficult color, dark screens give better blacks
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    well, fishless, i really figured you for the old yankee, but this is where i guess i lag behind even you.

    our living room set is still a 27 inch sony trinitron tube.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    priorities stike, big tv or shower in a bathroom, been just about a year now, did install heat tape up to the shower head last year, its a bit nippy up there :laugh: should take a pic of my chair, it was free with the last set, has needed duck tape for the last few years but i dont want to waste the duct tape

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    my tv stand is bigger than your set :laugh: :laugh: here is my chair


    see how nice "sell my house" comes in on a 65

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Not to be rude or insensitive, but I'll make a rational observation.

    If you bemoan your failing eyesight as the reason/justification for needing a larger set, then most likely you aren't going to be able to discern any differences in picture quality between brands or types. So go with the cheapest set that gives you the features you desire.

    I have 2 flat screens - one plasma and one LCD. For the first year or two the plasma had a better picture, but over time it seems to have evened out a bit. The plasma emits much more heat, costs more to run, and has a reportedly shorter lifespan than the LCD models. The plasma are also cheaper to purchase. If I were to buy one today I would compare plasma and the LED-LCD models. Here's a pretty good comparative article:

    Personally, I would avoid the 3-D stuff. I don't want to wear 3-D goggles to watch TV.
  • Leroy,
    For your living room, with all the windows on the southwest side, you'll be getting a lot of sun in the afternoons and evenings. Plasma TVs usually have glossy screens, and glare can be an issue. Our living room is brightly lit, which is why I went with LCD, rather than Plasma.

    I would anticipate that eye problems (particularly where the issue is with one eye) would rule out 3D TV.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    when i was looking at sets over 60 inches the only set that really stood out for me was a 60 inch pioneer plasma but it was near 10,000 dollars. my 65 inch sharp aquois lcd doesnt seem to darken out from looking at it from the sides, it does have a slight blurr problem with really fast sports like hockey but you get used to it quickly, not a deal breaker. that pioneer was a really nice set though :whistle: if you only have the one set in the house you wont know the difference after a week or so anyways :laugh:
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    that is really something to consider, the light flickers brightly off the lake in my house, a shiny screen would be really distracting
  • 1. Is being connected to the Internet worth the additional cost?

    ANSWER - depends on how much you want to use internet ready services - do you stream movies? Do you do on-demand? do you hook up your computer wirelessly? etc.

    2. Is 3-D worth anything if I can’t see in three dimensions?

    ANSWER - you say you "can't see in three dimensions" - does this mean you have eyesight in only one eye? If so, then I doubt if 3-D TVs offer any more than what you can perceive in real life "3-D" viewing. Besides, it's still a few years before 3-D TVs are going to be "worth it" from a technology & a pricing standpoint.

    3. Is Samsung REALLY any better than Sony or LG or Panasonic or Visio or other TV’s?

    ANSWER - nowadays, most brands that are comparable in price and performance are so similar it doesn't really matter. Only brand loyalty may play a factor in your decision, and one brand may have more (or different) bells & whistles than another. But if the price is within a few hundred dollars, I'd bet the quality is going to be so similar you can't tell a difference. It's sort of like how some folks prefer Ford vs Chevy - but if you're buying a 3/4 ton pickup, they'll both do the job - but one may have 20 more HP than the other, but does that REALLY matter? One might have more bells & whistles in the interior, but if you're going to use it on the farm as a TRUE pickup, does that matter? For the price, both are very comparable. It's what YOU like that matters.

    4. Is Plasma better than LED or LCD?

    ANSWER - find a place that has a demo room set up with their top-of-the line plasma & their top-of-the-line LCD & have them put the TVs side-by-side & watch the SAME exact Blue Ray on each with the SAME exact scenes being played. You will notice that plasma offers colors more "true-to-life" than LCD (which may or may not be what you want). LCDs offer colors which are "brighter" than plasmas, but that doesn't necessarilly mean that's the way the color really looks in "real-life" - some folks like that, others do not. LCDs definitely draw you in & get your attention when you first walk into the showroom better than plasmas - this is because the colors are brighter & more vivid.

    5.0 Is Mitsubishi’s new Laser technology a better deal?

    ANSWER - I know nothing about this.

    Also, remember that where your TV is going to be relative to how far you are going to be watching it from plays a role as well. Check out the "viewing distance" chart to see the distance vs screen size - this shows you how far you need to be for the human eye to even perceive the differnces of true 1080 resolution.

    And this link has a viewing distance calculator:

    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    that's a lot of tv, man!
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Thanks guys. You helped a lot, although we still haven't made up our mind.

    In two weeks we will be without the big screen and just may ride it out using an old one until after Christmas when new models start to show up. My computer has a TV feature in it and I often record shows to watch later. So we don't have to miss Oprah's final season shows...

    The TV we have now is 50" with oak trim on the front, sides and top that matches a modular bookcase that stands right at 7' tall by 10' wide. The two missing modules are in our office. I made black (speaker cloth) inserts to fill in the spaces on the upper center unit.

    We've already begin taking items out of the case but here's what it looks like at the moment.


    New carpet will be going in shortly and the TV will be living in New Orleans.

    We would really like to fit a large TV into the void that will be created when the old TV is removed. Unfortunately, to make it work I would actually need a smaller TV (width wise) than we have now. We just can't expand the entire unit without disrupting a doorway and the A/C intake vent. I would also need to build a ‘bridge’ over the TV to support the top center unit.

    So the wall unit has to go too. We've seen quite a lot of them but none of them compare in size or quality to the one we have now. I'm actually thinking about building in a shelf unit that would encompass most of that wall. That would give me space for the three speakers and possibly even the huge subwoofer. The other two speakers are behind us.

    A new shelf unit could also be made to accommodate the current electronic devices and any new devices that will surely come along. Might even be less expensive and more appealing to a new owner down the road.

    Anyway, I never thought buying a #&$! TV would be such a major problem. You guys made the decision a little easier.


    Spring "Takes Lots Of Money To Watch Free TV Now-a-days" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    theres a spot to put the new tv right on top :laugh: :laugh:
  • What you gonna do when the one on top conks out too? Cut a hole in the ceiling? LOL

    Spring "Go UP Young Man" Chicken
  • I ran across this photo and decided I could build it myself. I would leave off the far left and far right cabinets to make it fit and install ornate metal grills where they have glass but this would work.

    More important, by building it myself I can any other modifications I want or need as I go.


    On the other hand, lumber has gotten to be so expensive that I just might break even, or end up costing more. They can build it for me and all I have to do is assemble it.

    Spring "Still In The Hunt" Chicken
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    :laugh: would be nice to get the box fixed for sundays games. two games is better than one. youve seen a pic of the hill i live on, things come down, not much goes up :whistle: :laugh: that wall is plywood backed behind the sheetrock, one of these days a wall bracket, one of these days...... actually scares me when the wind picks up and i left a window open, that big screen is a sail
  • Well, we just solved half our decision-making. We ordered this wall unit.


    It is expandable to 115" and can accommodate up to 65" TV. Best one so far for the Big House at the Chicken Ranch.

    Now we can say with certainty that any 65" TV or smaller will fit, as will our speakers for the home theater system.

    Lots of $$$$$$$ but it will be our only form of entertainment other than cooking in the Coop. And with my BBQ Guru I can enjoy both forms of entertainment at the same time. How cool is that.....

    Spring "Indecision - The Stuff Of Confusion" Chicken
  • that's an awesome looking entertainment center!!

    yeah, you mentioned about building it yourself - I feel the same, but with the cost of lumber now, and the (miniscule) amount of free time available, sometimes it's better to just pay someone else.

    Unless woodworking is a hobby that you enjoy, then it's a pleasure. :)

    But for me, my woodworking skills are novice level, though I do enjoy doing it, I'm not very fast at it :P
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • Given the high visibility of the entertainment center we think we made the right decision to purchase one that we "KNOW" how it will look and feel in the room. Plus, there's the advantage of being able to say "Take it back."

    We also opted for the extended warranty which gives us all kinds of damage protection for five years. $27 a year and they will repair or replace in the home instead of taking it to a shop. Worth that for sure.

    I'm a pretty good woodworker and have built everything from furniture to the Chicken Coop outdoor kitchen, but sometimes it's best to let furniture be made with high-tech equipment that is precise to thousandths of an inch. And let's not forget that I like to enjoy a rum and coke or three when I'm making furniture. It sometimes shows. LOL

    One thing is for sure, buying a TV isn't like it used to be.

    Spring "Buying Is Easier Than Trying" Chicken
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    if you think buying the tv is difficult, wait to you try and set it up, never seen so many settings :laugh: i think my first set just had a knob you could spin to make the lines go up and down :laugh: i should have bought online, cheaper and way less hassle than buying at the local sears, sears was three trips to their distributor about 45 minutes away, each time saying it was in and it was not :ermm:
  • fishlessman,

    I ended up with an extra bracket when the house was re-done. It's yours for the shipping if you want it. Think it does 65", but I'll check tonight.



    Caledon, ON


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 19,988
    if it works on a 65 let me know, i would be interested. thanks.
  • Just an update to let y'all know that we sold our old wall unit today and may have made Eggheads out of them in the process. We gave 'em some spatchcocked chicken.

    Also bought a TV... 60" Sony. Got all the accessories to make it work better including a new Yamaha receiver to replace my old Denon and a BlueRay player that has all the right features. The Geek Squad will hook it all up for me as soon as the carpet is in and the wall unit delivered. They will return in January to calibrate the TV. We should have no further TV related questions for quite some time.

    Thanks again for the help and advice. It certainly helped us to better understand what questions to ask.

    Spring "Soon Be Back In Home Theater Mode" Chicken
  • RGBHVRGBHV Posts: 1,317
    Hi Leroy:

    I wish I had seen your post earlier, I work in the AV industry.

    The key to everything is the source. (cable, satellite, internet, antenna, DVD, etc.)

    If your source is poor, you can have the best gear going and your images/audio won't be as good as they can be.

    Once you've got a good source signal, the next thing you want is good cabling. Be prepared to set aside a few dollars for good cabling. DVI, HDMI etc. I'm sure your local geek squad will hook you up properly. Of course you'll also want a good audio system including receiver/speakers. Make sure you buy a decent sound system - not a surround sound system in a box. And if your local AV store recommended a surround sound in a box - shame on them.

    The great thing about the above (source / cabling), is that (in most areas) these are items that you can control after you've made your purchase.

    Experts could debate the pros and cons of all the different technologies. There are guys that I work with that can pinpoint flaws and I look at the image and say " wow" . (but that's what they're trained to do)

    If you've looked at a bunch of TV's, listened to a bunch of sound systems and you liked what you saw/heard, I'm sure you'll be happy.

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