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Thread: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

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    Default HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    I'm cheap. I have old TVs. Old sonys that worked fine. Well, the big old living room 15-year-old 36" Sony just developed a problem and the screen lost its brightness. Maybe 50% bright at max.

    I'm gonna check the Memorial day sales for plasmas or LCDs, probably 42". Which type is better in this size? Any brand faves?

    I have direct TV, so I need a new HDTV box, right, and a subscription upgrade? I know that I have to pay more monthly, but do I have to buy the box? Can I get a direct TV HDTV box off Craig's list or something, and then call with the box/chip number, or whatever?

    Sorry to be so clueless... I'm not much up with TV technology.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    IMHO...Can't go wrong with Panasonic, Samsung, or Sony.

    Hitachi and Toshiba are right there and for budget minded folks Vizio gives a decent value.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    I've been very happy with my 42" Panasonic plasma I got around Sep '08.

    I have a TH-42PZ80U to be exact. I took a cursory glance at panasonic's website the other week, and the '10 models are apparently a few notches nicer than my generation with regards to contrast/black levels and that sort of thing.

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by RWB View Post
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    IMHO...Can't go wrong with Panasonic, Samsung, or Sony.

    Hitachi and Toshiba are right there and for budget minded folks Vizio gives a decent value.
    Agreed.

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    42" Panasonic plasma
    FTW

    Grace got one of these a few months ago, and it's absoutely gorgeous. And it's 720p, as well. There's not much use for 1080p at that size.

    As for Directv, you'll probably need to get a new tri-band satellite to handle the HD signal.
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    Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    I have a Sony 52" XBR LCD - it's a couple of years old. Absolutely gorgeous.
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by RWB View Post
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    ............ Vizio gives a decent value.
    Agreed.

    Got a 47" LED, 1080P, 240 refresh .............. absolutely love it. Took it out of the box, plugged it in, turned it on and have never adjusted anything.

    Check Sam's Club (if there's one around you) for prices before you buy. Some good deals there.

  10. #8

    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
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    ... And it's 720p, as well. There's not much use for 1080p at that size.
    Hmmm... i was thinking 1080p was a must, but no, huh? It guess relative to my 15-year-old tube TV anything will look awesome.

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    Hmmm... i was thinking 1080p was a must, but no, huh? It guess relative to my 15-year-old tube TV anything will look awesome.
    You probably don't need it, but I wanted it, so that's what I got with the model number I listed above; it's 1080p.

    In fact, you might even look for my model somewhere because I imagine it's close to half the cost now.

    I think it was listed around $1300 or $1400 when I got it, but I haggled at HHGregg and got it for $1200 (after tax! [/pride]).

    I think I saw an online site listing it in the $600s now.

    Sure, there are superior TVs out there now, no doubt. But hey, you'd still get a very nice TV for $700 if you get mine.

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    Hmmm... i was thinking 1080p was a must, but no, huh? It guess relative to my 15-year-old tube TV anything will look awesome.
    The general rule of thumb is the human eye can't distinguish the difference below 50". But as my pro-A/V friends would say, "depends on viewing distance." So, yeah, I guess if you sit 6" from the TV, then have at it.
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user


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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
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    The general rule of thumb is the human eye can't distinguish the difference below 50". But as my pro-A/V friends would say, "depends on viewing distance." So, yeah, I guess if you sit 6" from the TV, then have at it.
    I can tell the difference easily. But then, I have good eyesight and a career in multimedia (for lawyers, but it counts for something).
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Picked this up on walmart.com a few weeks ago... what a deal!
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/ProScan-55...40V69/14053380

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by tora tora View Post
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    Picked this up on walmart.com a few weeks ago... what a deal!
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/ProScan-55...40V69/14053380
    There's some "picture quit working" reviews on that TV at the link you included.

    Enough to sound like there may be a manufacturing defect to be following closely.
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    what do you guys prefer? plasma? lcd? led?

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    what do you guys prefer? plasma? lcd? led?
    Well, (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) - Plasma is the 'old' technology. LCD is pretty much the standard and LED is the new kid on the block. LED is supposed to give a longer bulb life, better blacks and operate quite a bit cooler. Therefore, they are more expensive.

    And a lot of it has to do with the room that you're putting one in. Dark, bright, viewing angles, yada-yada ............. Try to find someone that knows what they're talking about - repeat - KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT or do some digging online. There's lots of info out there.

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by PacerDude View Post
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    Well, (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) - Plasma is the 'old' technology. LCD is pretty much the standard and LED is the new kid on the block. LED is supposed to give a longer bulb life, better blacks and operate quite a bit cooler. Therefore, they are more expensive.

    And a lot of it has to do with the room that you're putting one in. Dark, bright, viewing angles, yada-yada ............. Try to find someone that knows what they're talking about - repeat - KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT or do some digging online. There's lots of info out there.
    I got a Samsung LCD which I'm very satisfied with...just wanted opinions of others about it all...the other day they were showcasing the new Samsung LED which comes with the 3d glasses...even with the 3d turned off, it looks solid.

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by bellisimo View Post
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    .......... new Samsung LED which comes with the 3d glasses...even with the 3d turned off, it looks solid.
    I've seen this thing and it is quite impressive. If they could figure out a way to eliminate the glasses/headgear ..................

    And FWIW, I'll say the next wave is holograms. Imagine being able to select your viewing position for a football game. Line of scrimmage, backfield, defensive side ................ and having it all going on around you.

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Folks I'd be scared to death to invest in the expensive 3D market right now. Even the fine folks at the AVS site...Audio Visual Science (guys and gals who are into tv) have a survey going on and are not buying into it.

    Fad - Current Theater Hype! 3,227 67.71%
    Here to Stay - Bring on the content! 641 13.45%
    Can only happen if we have standards! 898
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    To follow up on PacerDude's post.

    Absolutely nothing wrong with plasma. If you're only into movies and not games a plasma is a good buy and has a better viewing angle than the LCD. Most experts pick a plasma over the LCD because of the black levels.

    If you're going to be gaming then I would select an LCD only. While the chance of burn-in has drastically lowered on the plasmas, they can still have bad retention.

    LED has a really good picture, but the price is still pretty steep when compared to the LCD or plasma.

    Yeah, maybe I'm a little bias toward the plasmas since I don't game. 65" Panasonic plasma (1080p), 50 inch Samsung plasma (720p) and a 42 inch Samsung plasma (720p), and a 120" screen Optoma projector (720p). I don't claim to be an expert since my first HD players were HD players and not Blus
    Last edited by RWB; 06-01-2010 at 01:51 PM.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    I really like my LCD 46 inch Samsung. I am not a fan of Plasma, too heavy, picture not bright enough for me. LED don't know enough about yet to say if they are better than LCD

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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I really like my LCD 46 inch Samsung. I am not a fan of Plasma, too heavy, picture not bright enough for me. LED don't know enough about yet to say if they are better than LCD
    Good point....plasma weight is an issue.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Heck, I game, and I haven't had major issues with it. Yes, you do get "ghosting" when a static image is up for a long time, but 90% of the time you don't notice and it does eventually go away.

    Freaked me out a bit at first, but it's really not serious (or never has been for me).

  28. #24

    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    FWIW i have a panasonic plasma and a vizio plasma. both are 720p and a few years old. i highly recomend panasonic but DO NOT BUY A VIZIO. mine blew the capacitors just after the waranty expired. although i was able to fix it it was not without a headache. (you have to take apart the tv, remove the power board, desolded the bad capacitors, remove and replace, solder the new parts in) in hind sight i kinda wish i would've went with lcd but i was told that plasma is better for sports. anyway panasonic and samsung make good tvs. i would go with one of those.

  29. #25
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    Default Re: HDTV buying advice needed, for a direct TV user

    Quote Originally Posted by tora tora View Post
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    Picked this up on walmart.com a few weeks ago... what a deal!
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/ProScan-55...40V69/14053380
    I did some more research on this. I think it's pretty clear there is a manufacturing defect to be concerned with that involves the screen. I don't know if that means it's ALL ProScans or just some with a specific manufacture date and screen size to be concerned about.

    I tread carefully before buying one of these until it gets sorted out.

    In 2006, Thomson Consumer Electronics licensed the Proscan name to ON Corporation, although they retain ownership of the name and logotype.
    FWIW... there seems to be an issue with QC on many first runs of electronics made in China. I don't know percentages but it happens more than it should. Once the bugs are discovered then the subsequent product runs are typically fine (or as well as can be expected for budget electronics) but it always seems it is a bit of a gamble to be an owner of any early production run Chinese electronics.

    I guess maybe our quest for the cheapest prices has made this type of QC (quality control... or lack thereof) an acceptable practice. It's not that something isn't made well enough, or that it's made to be disposable, it's that some component doesn't live up to spec or isn't designed/built to spec but is only discovered once the product is in the field (read- your home or business).

    Years ago extensive testing would take place to avoid having a product's reputation tarnished by a bad early production run. No more. Now it seems to be either accepted by consumers or merely a blip on the radar with the main factor now being price... price... price....

    So I guess the word of warning here is to research a set thoroughly online before buying to see if there's any theme developing with common problems. And if there are problems, check the dates of the problems to see if they've stopped with newer production runs. And even with online research you have to be careful because you're dealing with so many people buying their first HDTV that several would be impressed with anything considering they are seeing HD in their home for the first time... and others are clueless to the technology and likely their complaints could be more to do with operator error than a bad television. I can't count the number of times where the complaints of "bad picture", "soft picture", "not impressed with HD", "don't see any difference with HD", or "this TV has the worst HD pic ever" I've seen were clearly issues with not having an HD source or connecting an HD source to SD inputs (or using SD settings).
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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