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Old 08-27-2002, 07:31 AM   #1
redobs
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Default In the market for a large screen TV...what to look for?

OK, since most of you guys stay on top of this stuff, I'd thought I'd ask you folks.

Me and my roommates are looking into getting a large screen TV, probably upto the $2000 range. I know absolutely nothing about large screens at all. Especially, with things that keep changing, we'd rather not get a TV that will be outdated for some reason. What features should we be looking for? Any suggestions on any specific models or brands?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-27-2002, 07:49 AM   #2
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One of the experts can correct me if Im wrong, but Ive heard that now is not a good time to buy an HDTV because there are multiple technologies being used now and in the future they will probably end up using the same.
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Old 08-27-2002, 07:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
In the market for a large screen TV...what to look for?
.. a big screen and lots of floor space?

Fitz
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:07 AM   #4
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You need to decide if you want projection or tube.

Some projection models can fit in a smaller space than a large tube TV.

I'm quite partial to the Sony Wega series. Nice picture, color, crispness. Biggest issue with large TV's is their weight. Again using the Sony for example, unless it was going to rest on the floor, we had to find something that would support it's 250ish lbs of weight. Not many TV stands could hold that weight. So you end up paying more.

Just think about where you want to put it and do the measurements for the space and make sure it can fit in that space.

Remember, The larger screens sometimes have a longer depth away from the wall to the front of the screen.

--kC
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:12 AM   #5
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Do you want a CRT or Rear Projection TV? How far from the screen are you going to sit? The biggest CRT is 40" and it weighs 350 lb.

For 2000 dollars if it was me I would buy the Sony Wega KV-36HS500. You mmight want to check out the Sony Outlet in Wrentham they are hit or miss but sometimes they have good deals.

It does have a DVI input for whatever they decided to do about HDTV copyprotection but that's an entire other problem.

AVS is a good forum about all of this.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/

--
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:22 AM   #6
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My suggestion may be way off, but we just up and bought a Sharp 36" TV with all the bells and whistles that *we* needed, plus an entertainment center, surround sound system, 3-disk dvd player, and vcr for like $1800.

I'd rather that than a bigger picture. But that's just me.
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:26 AM   #7
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pete....we should talk about this
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:34 AM   #8
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I've got the Sony KV-36HS20 and like KC said, watch the weight.. 220lbs just doesn't move very easily.. The 40" TVs look nice, but after picking up a 36", there was no way I was getting a 40". 32" seems to be the price bargain and there are a ton of TV stands for 32" TVs (175lbs).

I went to Bestbuy and Tweeter and checked out all the different TVs and looked at picture quality and my wife and I liked the Sony's.

Oh, and if you do look at the Sony's, if you already have a sweet set of speakers, I think the XBR series is a waste of money.. Gives you upgraded speakers and a couple of bells and whistles for an extra $200+.

- Ken
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Old 08-27-2002, 09:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
I've got the Sony KV-36HS20 and like KC said, watch the weight.. 220lbs just doesn't move very easily..
It sure doesn't! I don't think Ken has to worry about anyone stealing his tv. He will find the "perp" on the floor screaming to get the damn thing off their leg!

Personally, I think the Sony's are overpriced. My father has a non-HDTV Hitachi $50+ inch projection that was about $2600, about the price the 36" Sonys go for.

He has something like this, but w/o HDTV because it was much more a year ago:
Link

Pic:


Paul G.
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Old 08-27-2002, 09:07 AM   #10
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We definitely want a projection TV vs. tube. And we're also looking for a floor model (ie doesn't need stand). Also, our living room is 18' long. I'm not sure if that is relevant or not. I'm definitely a fan of Sony's, but they always seem to be opne of the more expensive TV's, too.

sedon: What's a CRT? BTW, thanks for the link. I'll check it out later today.

Mgard: Let's meet up for lunch sometime this week. I'll have to bust out the ol' Santa Cruz.


This was one that my roommate was looking at:
http://www.circuitcity.com/detail.js...rk_3&oid=55724
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Old 08-27-2002, 09:41 AM   #11
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Go look at a place like Tweeter on a weekday/night. Talk with their guys, they actually have a clue.

I ended up with a 36" Sony HDTV. It's one of the only ones that has the HDTV tuner built in, so you don't have to subscribe to satellite to get HDTV programs. If you get another brand, ask about the tuner, because most are HDTV "ready", but you'll have to activate satellite to get the thing turned on. I run off an antenna on the chimney and pick up at least 15 stations. Channels 2,4,5,7,25,44 and others run HDTV programs. I was going to do a projection, but after looking, found that the pic didn't look right at angles. It will actually disappear at enough of an up/down or side angle. This thing is indeed heavy and it took a bit of looking to find an entertainment center for it....found a corner one at Bernie&Phil's for under $500 that fits perfectly. Prices are dropping pretty fast. My unit was originally $8k, the next newer was $4k and I got mine as a floor model for $2.5k. Well worth it and I'm really happy with it. I don't have cable or satellite and don't need them.

jack
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Old 08-27-2002, 10:32 AM   #12
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Default Shiat... too late...

Did you buy the TV yet?

I always send my friends to where I get all my Sony stuff. Place is called Wah Fung (<- spelling). It's in Brighton, on Washington St. They are a direct dealer Sony and Panasonic. They deal in volume.

I got the older style 36" XBR (which IMO has a better image than the WEGA). At the time, the set listed for $2500. Mr Wong gave it to me for $1650, which was crazy.

Oh well, if anyone else is interested, there's the 411.
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Old 08-27-2002, 11:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Shiat... too late...

Quote:
Originally posted by jpmarotta
Place is called Wah Fung.
That sounds exactly like the place redobs buy his electronics!

With a viewing distance of 18', you need the largest hugest humongest rear projection units. Or if you and your buddies can pull an Enron, front projection with a 100+" screen may be the way to go.

Let's stick with rear projection, I don't think Sony is any better than the other brands in this category. Direct view, yes; RPTV, no. Mitsubishi is very good in RPTV, but any of your usual suspects is good too - Hitachi, Toshiba, Panasonic, etc...

Decide if you want 4:3 or 16:9. 4:3 makes sense if you watch a lot of regular TV/cables. 16:9 for movies and if you decide to receive HDTV. Note that some 16:9 TV costs the same as a 4:3 one with the same width. So, you'll get the same size watching movies, and smaller while watching broadcast TV, while paying the same for the 16:9.

HDTV tuners cost an extra $500 or so, and you need to put up an outdoor antennae for reception right now. I don't bother, as I hardly watch any broadcast TV anyways.

-Ray
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Old 08-27-2002, 02:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: Re: Shiat... too late...

Quote:
Originally posted by rkkwan


That sounds exactly like the place redobs buy his electronics!


-Ray
Actually, I kow exactly where this place. It looks as shady as it sounds.

Last year, during one of the hottest weeks in the summer, I was looking for an AC, and no one had one in stock...except for them.
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Old 08-27-2002, 02:42 PM   #15
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I've got a 32" Sony Wega.. I love it but it's not really a large screen.

our other TV is a 55" Mitsubishi projection HD Upgradeable..
very nice TV.

look into mitsubishi... they make good stuff.
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Old 08-27-2002, 02:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by redobs
I'll have to bust out the ol' Santa Cruz.
Are you thinking of gleaming the cube?
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Old 08-27-2002, 06:06 PM   #17
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I work at Cambridge Soundworks

give me a call, I can answer any of your questions offer my honest opinion and get you a better deal than anyone else can

Jeremy
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Old 08-27-2002, 07:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Snowphun
Are you thinking of gleaming the cube?
Actually, it's my mountain bike that I have set up for a little urban assault action, and Mgardenier has worked on it for me.

Jeremy: I'll be in touch with you. We're probably gonna want a nicer sound system, too.
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Old 08-27-2002, 07:18 PM   #19
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Sony's nice but they must purposely, as a sick joke, make their TVs ridiculously heavy. They aren't always the end-all of electronics, either (sometimes, regardless of their advertising, another model of a different brand, even less expensive, will be better).

Not to say they suck, I'm just saying don't go to a store with your peripheral vision and Jiminy Cricket set on thinking that Sony's the one you want, because regardless of what info the salesmen tell you, you'll end up buying on impulse.

Point being, be objective.

A wonderfully useful thing to use are online review sites. AudioReview is one of the best I know of, though I have seen most of the others ... it's just that I don't remember their URLs. I used to surf that stuff when I had a job. heh

http://www.audioreview.com/Televisions/PSC_4283crx.aspx

Is AR's TV section. Lots of feedback, there.

Pioneer's a great brand to look at, though they might only make super-high end TVs, like the mega plasma things. Tweeter sells one of their super huge widescreen models for like $15k or something retarded like that.

Tweeter's the place to shop, though. I can highly recommend the Portsmouth, NH store.
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Old 08-27-2002, 08:11 PM   #20
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CRT is Cathode Ray Tube.

For Rear Projection a couple hints:

Make sure that you know how to fix its convergence and how often it will need tweeking. This is when one of the color guns is out of alignment and makes the picture look all fuzzy.

You also need pretty good room light control if you want to be able to watch during daylight and have the tv look bright enough.

Find out how much replacement tubes cost as well since lots of people have sticker shock about this you might want one of the dreaded extended warranties.

Learn about burn-in if you want to play videogames.

If you watch cable it can look pretty bad on a big rear projection widescreen tv stretched to prevent burn in. On the other hand movies and HDTV are much better.
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Old 08-27-2002, 09:07 PM   #21
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Quote:
Make sure that you know how to fix its convergence and how often it will need tweeking. This is when one of the color guns is out of alignment and makes the picture look all fuzzy.
My father had a Mitsubshi 40" before the Hitach pictured above. The statement above is why he replaced it. It lasted a good 15 years I think, and the only problem was the power supply or something that makes the TV turn on broke twice (~$300 each time).

Paul G.
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Old 08-28-2002, 10:26 AM   #22
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I would have to agree with everything that has been saidso far. Here is some worthless knowledge that I have gained in the Home Theater realm over the last 10 years...

about screen size...your screen diagonal (in the 4:3 format) should be 1/4 of the total distance from the main viewing seating to the perpendicular face of the said screen.

for example- if you are 18' from the screen, you would need at least a 72" diagonal (in the 4:3 format)

AS said before, if you are going to play alot (over 25% of the use of the tv) of any gaming station, then a rear projection tv if not a good choice. This also applies to any tv station that has fixed images on the screen of rolling text such as a news report or stock report.

As far as HDTV vs "standard" definition tv, there is many debates surrounding many aspects of HDTV rollout. So far the only definate thing about hdtv is that it is superior to standard analog tv. Most true digital hdtv sets will give you the best television picture that you have ever seen when fed with a true HDTV source. The down side of 80% of the digital HDTV sets out there is that when you feed an non HDTV, analog signal to them (like cable tv) the picture is not as clear as if fed through a non-digital HDTV set. Its all confusing, and trust me, it only gets worse when you really start looking into the depths of it all. (There are many many articles that i could point you toward, but the good ones are very technical and usually dont leave you feeling good about the situation.)

If you want advice about about what to do next, as far as buying a new tv, you should:

-make a list of what you own now
-a list of the things you want the tv to do
-what you will be watching on the tv or doing with the tv
-make a sketch of the room you will be watching the tv in, where people will sit, location of windows, lights, everything in the room actually
-know your budget, include 10% of delivery and extended warrenties (big screen tv's are one of the only things that CR agrees that you should buy an extended warr. on and i agree)
-and most importantly, and i cannot stress this enough, go to the store, bring your playstation, bring some snacks, and watch some tv, play some GT3, you have to really "see" the tv as you would if it was your house. you need to audition the tv, just as you would any other piece oh high end gear. on paper, all good tv's look the same, but until you really see them, and use them, you wont know the differeneces.

Pete if you need info, of places to go or not go, models that look good to my eyes, or any dvds that are of reference quality or more importantly crappy quality , the collection is over 250 now, im sure that i got something for ya.

good luck with your adventure, and you better invite me over to see the monster when you make your decision.

MG
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Old 08-28-2002, 10:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mgardenier
The down side of 80% of the digital HDTV sets out there is that when you feed an non HDTV, analog signal to them (like cable tv) the picture is not as clear as if fed through a non-digital HDTV set.
I have to disagree with this statement. Basically all HDTVs have built-in line doubler to create a progressive screen even with analog signals. They may look different to you initially, but it's clearly an improvement over non-digital set, for the lack of visible scan lines. Some people may think the picture looks "softer" or "less sharp", but it's actually a better picture.

-Ray
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Old 09-09-2002, 12:27 PM   #24
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Major props to Jeremy(BlueScooby). He hooked us up with a phat 55" Mitsubishi!! Can't wait to get it on Thursday!!!

If you guys need a new TV or anything for your stereos, definitely go and talk to Jeremy. We also ended up getting a nice Sony 5 disc DVD player!!!

Wheeee!!!
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Old 09-09-2002, 01:56 PM   #25
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wheee! MNF at pete's place tonight!
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