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  • Televisions

    Within the next year, we will probably be buying a new TV for our living room.

    We are poor-we won't be spending more than $500, and that's an OUTSIDE extreme.

    I'm ignorant of some of the technology, and was hoping some of you could educate me. I'm too lazy to go to Best Buy and look at this point, because I'd be depressed we couldn't buy now, and probably leave my wife with the sales associate and go look for some classic war movie DVDs.

    I'm mid-30s so I remember the "projection screen TV fad, and I have YET to see a PSTV that had a picture as good as a equal size "standard" TV.

    I thought HDTV would be the thing, but a friend bought a large screen model and to be honest, it appeared as "grainy" as some of the old projection screens to me.

    I'm confused some of the terms, and wonder about the merit of some of the other features. Do I need a flat scrren? HDTV? LCD? Plasma? What?????

    We do not have cable nor have any interest in gaming-this TV would be for DVD and VHS play ONLY, and I prefer a rich (but true) color saturation, and ultra sharp details. We run the sound through the stereo system (at least on DVD mode).

    Help!
    People have more fun than anybody.

  • #2
    This is not what you asked, but it may help. We bought a new 27 inch screen tv about 4 years ago. At that time it cost over 400 dollars. I saw one like it last week for under 200.

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    • #3
      I've had GREAT luck with Sanyo TVs bought at the local WalMart. I've got 2 of their 25-inch models. One is 8 years old, the other less than 1. ZERO problems with either. I paid $360 for the 1st one, around $180 for the 2nd one.
      "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
      -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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      • #4
        Just pick up the Sunday paper and get the model #'s of some of the current ones pictured that are on sale. Then go to c.net.com to see instantly where you can get the cheapest price on any of those models in your area or nationwide via on-line/mail order.

        Epinions.com lets you check published expert reviews as well as posted feedback from people who have bought virtually any model you look up. Finally, go to half.com before you buy the cheapest one from a cnet.com source just in case there's one even cheaper there (if half.com isn't listed on the cnet page). Chances are you can find the best 27" or 35" TV, for only about 1/2 or 2/3's of your TV budget...without even leaving the house.

        If you REALLY want to do it right, plunk down $12.95 or whatever Consumers Report charges for their member area and get the most comprehensive reviews anywhere. You can also get them for free at the local library if saving the CR web site fee is worth leaving the house to do it.

        [ 06-29-2003, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: ProWritingServices4LEOs ]
        No longer ignoring anybody here, since that psycho known as "Josey Wales" finally got the boot after being outed as a LE imposter by B&G978. Nice job.

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        • #5
          Here’s one but it's just slightly more than your wanting to spend. Pioneer 50" 16:9 Widescreen Plasma HDTV Monitor with NTSC TV Tuner, Remote and PC Input

          The good thing about the new flat screens, plasma, and HDTV’s is that the cost for regular TVs has gone down a whole lot.

          Best Buy has a good website that can list the products in order by price. Just have to resist the fever to push the buy button.
          There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.

          Steven Wright

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          • #6
            SGT Dave. a HDTV will not look any less grainy unless it is displaying a HDTV signal. Some broadcasters are starting to use HDTV many are not yet. Most HDTV sets are sold as "HDTV Ready" meaning at some point you will need to buy a tuner or use a box from your cable company or sat provider. The various parties are still quibbling about the standards and requirements the tuner will have to meet.I believe that by 2008 all broadcasts are supposed to be in digital format. I'm not really sure if that will happen. The new HDTV/Digital sets are very expensive now. In a few years they will be in large scale production and prices will drop. Personally if I needed to buy a TV now I would probably get a 27 to 31 inch regular set for about $200. That way I would not be out much and in a few years get the new technology.
            Bill R

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            • #7
              Sgt Dave,

              I too have been looking to buy a new TV (big screen) for quite some time, but don't want to do so unless it's HDTV capable (to take advantage of the new technology). Those TV's are still a bit pricey for me, though they're coming down. Meanwhile I'm watching TV on a 10 year old 27" Sony that still works pretty well.

              The FCC is ordering all broadcasters to slowly switch over to digital TV, with final cutover to happen later this decade. The reason for this is the same reason public safety agencies are having to go to digital radios: you can fit numerous channels in the same "bandwidth" as one analog channel. Despite the hoopla being perpetuated by the folks at Circuit City and Best Buy, it really has nothing to do with improving picture quality, though that is a desired side effect.

              In order to get true HDTV, the program has to be recorded in HDTV, broadcast in HDTV, and then watched in HDTV. If you're getting the grainy picture, it's because somewhere along the line the program was recorded and/or broadcast in the old 480 pixel standard. In my area only a handful of channels are available in true HDTV, and of those only a few programs are actually recorded that way, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Plus just because it's a large screen TV doesn't necessarily mean it's HDTV-capable; many TV manufacturers are still selling TV's large and small in the old format. If the TV seemed unusually inexpensive for the size, chances are it's NOT HDTV-capable. If you used the TV's built-in tuner, and not an external one such as a cable or satellite box, it's NOT receiving HDTV signals.

              Your $500 price ceiling is going to be pretty much knock you out of the HDTV market for the time being. However, for that money you can still get a high quality (albeit not HDTV) TV from a name-brand manufacturer such as Sony or Panasonic. To maximize DVD playback quality, one feature to look for is "Component Video Inputs", meaning the three primary colors that make up video images arrive in separate cables. In the back of the TV look for three RCA inputs labelled "Y" and "Pb" and "Pr." All but the cheapest DVD players today have these corresponding outputs.

              Alternatively look for the "S-Video" input on the TV, which is a small round connector with several tiny pins. It's not as good as "Component Video" but still gives pretty good quality. If all you see on the back of the TV is a single "Video In" connector that won't provide the best possible picture quality from your DVD player, though it's sufficient for a VCR. Most TV's will have a combination of at least 2 of the 3.

              If you can really stretch the budget, Samsung has a 27" HDTV model for $700, not including HDTV tuner box which you can purchase or rent in the future. Or wait a year and it'll likely drop to the $500 level.

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              • #8
                I have a 26 inch Sony bought from Wal Mart a couple of years ago for $279. The picture's great, the color is great. We've got digital cable on it, with a DVD and VCR, and it's more than satisfactory. Upstairs in our bedroom, we have an older 26 inch Sony bought for $40 from a friend. It has a great picture, good sound. We have cable and a VCR hooked up to it and it suits our needs.

                Now, I'd love to have one of those plasma flat screens you can hang on the wall, but I don't have $2,000 hanging around, so I'll keep what I have.
                "Americans don't want a mentally unstable president; he might start a war or something." - Bill Maher

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                • #9
                  I'm also looking a picking up a new set. It will either come from "Wallyworld" or Sams Club, and will be one hell of a lot less that $500.00

                  Sony does seem to make a darn good product, but there are quite a few others. I would certainly stay away from Emerson. BTDT and had nothing but headaches with the damn thing!
                  6P1 (retired)

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                  • #10
                    don't expect to get anything other than just a plain ol' vanilla tv for less than $500. as prices continue to come down though it won't be long until you are able to get a flat screen, LCD, or plasma TV (including HDTV) at that price.

                    it's just like anything else...as the technology gets better and cheaper, the price will plummet.

                    just look at DVD players. now you can get 'em for $39 bucks!!

                    actually i STILL haven't bought one yet which is funny since i am into audio/video stuff. i got a very nice home theater setup yet i haven't taken the DVD plunge. i guess i will though as soon as i can get one that plays BOTH DVD-Audio AND SACD formats WITH proper bass management for less thatn $200.

                    other than that i'm in no hurry to get one, though my son keeps bugging me. i could probably get a cheapo one temporarily and then give it to him when i get one the one i'm really lookin' for.
                    I'll post, You argue.

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                    • #11
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by shooter1201:
                      I've had GREAT luck with Sanyo TVs bought at the local WalMart. I've got 2 of their 25-inch models. One is 8 years old, the other less than 1. ZERO problems with either. I paid $360 for the 1st one, around $180 for the 2nd one.

                      I agree with the Sanyo. I also got a Phillips at WalMart for bedroom use and it has been error-free.

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