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The W - Random - Flat screens
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pieman
As young as
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


So, we're thinking about entering the HD flat screen world of the 2000s now that the decade is almost over.

We were at Sam's Club today and I was overwhelmed by the possible choices, so what is important?

I hear 1080p is good, right?

What about brand names? Vizio, Samsung, anything stand out as better than others?

We are really just looking for reasonable cost and performance, but are there any potholes we need to avoid?

Thanks as always from the old people!




Zack Greinke - 2009 Cy Young Winner!!
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AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.73
as a fellow old person, and a year into my LCD, I'd say, get a brand. I didn't. (envision - it works fine, but it doesn't work with my universal remote).

If I was buying today, it's be Samsung or Vizio for sure.

1080p, and trust me, get a bluray DVD player too. a bunch of places have them for 99 bucks.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

Spank E
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Bournemouth, UK

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.85
If you watch a lot of sport, I'd recommend you look at TVs with a refresh rate of 100Hz at least. I've just bought a 37" LCD with a 200Hz screen and it's fantastic, no motion blur whatsoever.

Unfortunately for me, my cable provider only offers me TWO HD channels (for the time being), so not much joy there, but there's a PS3 hooked up so it wasn't a total waste of money...

(edited by Spank E on 28.11.09 0236)


Leroy
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Since: 7.2.02

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33

I spent about a month doing research before we dropped the coin on our TV - and that lead me to determine that 1080p and a 120Hz refresh rate were the important specifications - and the best size and contrast ratio we could get for our money was the next factor.

Whether you purchase at Best Buy or not, I thought the HUGE amount of TVs the have arranged side by side was extremely useful in helping us to decide which TV to purchase. Frankly, I thought the Samsung TVs were comparatively outstanding, so that's what we ended up getting.





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Kevintripod
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Since: 11.5.03
From: Mount Pleasant, Pa.

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.73
In my opinion, Vizio's are the best for the price.





The best part of waking up is not Folgers in your cup, but knowing that Chuck Norris didn't kill you in your sleep.
pieman
As young as
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Since: 11.12.01
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


So we've spotted the Vizio SV320XVT at Sam's Club.

32 inch, 1920X1080p 120Hz UltraSlim LCD for $547. Other models from Sony and Samsung with the same specs cost $700-750.

The reviews all sound excellent on the Vizio. Am I missing something?




Zack Greinke - 2009 Cy Young Winner!!
TheBucsFan
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Since: 2.1.02

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.14
    Originally posted by pieman
    So we've spotted the Vizio SV320XVT at Sam's Club.

    32 inch, 1920X1080p 120Hz UltraSlim LCD for $547. Other models from Sony and Samsung with the same specs cost $700-750.

    The reviews all sound excellent on the Vizio. Am I missing something?


I say go get it, especially given how much cheaper it is. Looking at pictures online, I'm almost certain that's the same model my parents have had for a year-plus (I know theirs is a Vizio) and they have had no problems. My dad loves it, in fact.
Mike Zeidler
Pepperoni








Since: 27.6.02

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.86
If you currently have a 32 inch TV, I would recommend getting a larger flat screen. The screen size is measured diagonally, so a non-widescreen picture will look a lot smaller on a 32" flatscreen than it does on an old 32" tube TV. Depending on what size TV DMA you live in, this may come into play a lot more than you'd think.

Also, there's a certain distance away from the screen at which point the 1080p/720p difference becomes negligible. On a screen under 42" I think it's actually a moot point.



"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
pieman
As young as
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Since: 11.12.01
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


We currently use a 27" Panasonic that is about 10 years old. I think anything will be a huge step up.




Zack Greinke - 2009 Cy Young Winner!!
Mr. Boffo
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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
Even though I'm much younger than pieman and AWARulz, I just bought my first HDTV in a black Friday promotion at newegg.com . It's a 40 inch, and I hope it fits in the spot in my entertainment console, otherwise I'm going to have to rearrange a bunch of things. Plenty to rearrange anyway, since the old tv, the digital converter box, and the VCR (I tape "The Office" for a co-worker who also doesn't have an HDTV) are going to have to move to the other room.
Mr Heel II
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Since: 25.2.02

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.32
Phillips has an excellent reputation for their LCD picture quality at their price point, and I think their set design looks more attractive than the Vizios.

I've had a 42" one for two years (60hz model), and while it's now the bedroom TV, I have no complaints. Not even when it was the main TV and we were watching hockey on it.

(The new main TV is a 61" 1080p 120hz DLP with LED light engine, which I'm sure is completely irrelevant to your comparison.)
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.68
    Originally posted by pieman
    So we've spotted the Vizio SV320XVT at Sam's Club.

    32 inch, 1920X1080p 120Hz UltraSlim LCD for $547. Other models from Sony and Samsung with the same specs cost $700-750.

    The reviews all sound excellent on the Vizio. Am I missing something?


Make sure you can transport it home safely. Most flat screens need to be transported on edge as opposed to laying flat or at a diagonal.



I also recommend spending the money for proper mounting brackets. Ours is on a stand, and while it is sturdy, it ends up a little lower down visually than I'd like it. The cats also like to hide behind it, and the dog's tail has threatened to take it out a couple times.
cranlsn
Liverwurst








Since: 18.3.02
From: Sussex, WI

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.52

FWIW...We have a Vizio and have been very impressed with it and their customer service the one time we've had to call.

Make sure you have all cords that you're going to need (HDMI if your cable box or DVD supports it, component cords for any game systems, etc...). Do NOT pay $20-$30 for these cords, especially HDMI. Monoprice.com or even Amazon's Marketplace has equal quality and MUCH lower prices.

Also, if you don't have a home theater system and aren't planning to get one. Try to get a demo of the TV's built in speakers at louder volumes. Some of them tend to get tinny depending on the audio setting that are available.
pieman
As young as
he feels








Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


    Originally posted by cranlsn


    Make sure you have all cords that you're going to need (HDMI if your cable box or DVD supports it, component cords for any game systems, etc...). Do NOT pay $20-$30 for these cords, especially HDMI. Monoprice.com or even Amazon's Marketplace has equal quality and MUCH lower prices.




So we bought the Vizio yesterday, but what cords do I need? Do I need to upgrade my DirecTV receiver? It's one we've had for 8 or 9 years and may not be suitable with this TV maybe? We've not taken it out the box because we need to move the old TV to the family room and the kids need to clean it before we move the old TV and Wii up there. Is there a special secret to getting channels in HD? Do I just tune the station and it magically appears? Is there anything else I need to know before plugging this in?




Zack Greinke - 2009 Cy Young Winner!!
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.22
You will need a new DirecTV box, and probably a new dish. Call your DirecTV installer and speak with them, they are ready for your call

Act older than you are, they will be nicer to you. Then ask for everything in writing so you can run it past us.




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Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
    Originally posted by pieman
      Originally posted by cranlsn


      Make sure you have all cords that you're going to need (HDMI if your cable box or DVD supports it, component cords for any game systems, etc...). Do NOT pay $20-$30 for these cords, especially HDMI. Monoprice.com or even Amazon's Marketplace has equal quality and MUCH lower prices.




    So we bought the Vizio yesterday, but what cords do I need? Do I need to upgrade my DirecTV receiver? It's one we've had for 8 or 9 years and may not be suitable with this TV maybe? We've not taken it out the box because we need to move the old TV to the family room and the kids need to clean it before we move the old TV and Wii up there. Is there a special secret to getting channels in HD? Do I just tune the station and it magically appears? Is there anything else I need to know before plugging this in?


Yeah, you are definitely going to need a new DirecTV receiver for HD channels. One that old wouldn't have the HD capability.
https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/hd/setup

As the link shows, you need the HD receiver and you also need to make sure you have a programming package that has HD channels. HD is $10 more per month with DirecTV.

It looks like with DirecTV it will automatically show you the HD channel (assuming there is one available).
Usually for cable companies (and my parents have Dish Network, and I believe this is the same way), the low-definition version is on one channel, and the HD-version is on another channel. I go over to my aunt and uncle's house, and they're watching the low-def channel when the high def is available and I can't understand it. Just used to the old channel numbers, I guess.
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by Mr. Boffo

    Usually for cable companies (and my parents have Dish Network, and I believe this is the same way), the low-definition version is on one channel, and the HD-version is on another channel. I go over to my aunt and uncle's house, and they're watching the low-def channel when the high def is available and I can't understand it. Just used to the old channel numbers, I guess.


On DirecTV, all the HD channels are on a 2nd channel which is X-1. So, Comedy Central SD is 249, and HD is 249-1. If you dig through the setup menu, you can select "remove all SD channels where a HD channel is available" or whatever they call the option. So when I punch in 249, it goes straight to Comedy Central HD, 249-1.

It doesn't work for Sunday Ticket and I have to sift through both sets of channels on the guide page.



-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

-- July 2009 Ordained Reverend --
pieman
As young as
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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


So what happens if I just plug this current old receiver into the new TV? Do I get nothing? Do I get standard definition programs?




Zack Greinke - 2009 Cy Young Winner!!
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 7 days
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    Originally posted by pieman
    Do I get standard definition programs?


Yes. It will work fine and you will receive all the SD programming. It's what I did while I had to wait the two weeks or so for them to install the dish and HD/DVR receivers.



-- 2006 Time magazine Person of the Year --

-- July 2009 Ordained Reverend --
carnage
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Since: 16.2.05

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.71
    Originally posted by pieman
    Do I get standard definition programs?

While you are waiting for a new box from DirecTV, one thing you might try is pulling out an old set of rabbit ears to see if you can pick up any digital signals. Antennaweb.org is a good place to check what digital signals you may receive.
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