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What to look for when buying an HDTV

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am thinking about getting my father a flatscreen TV. For a combination Fathers day/Birthday gift. His birthday is the 31st, and I want to have it for him by then. He has an 32 inch "tube" TV, with no working buttons on the front. I have a HTPC hooked up to it, but only through s-video. Needless to say the picture is crap.

The only experience I have with anything HD, is my monitor. All I know is I want plenty of connections, and 1080P. I am wanting to get something between 40-52. Prefer LED, but dont know if it is a good choice.

What I want to know is,
1. What to look for when buying a new HDTV
2. What to stay away from, features and brands
3. LED the way to go??
4. Sony a good quality product??
5. Any good deals that the experts here at OCN know about

Thanks for any responses,

King
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post #2 of 12
If I ever needed to upgrade my 42" LCD I'd want LED, 120+ hz, 1080p, 4 HDMI input
I personally like Sony, Vizio, and samsung
I think LED looks AMAZING compared to LCD
post #3 of 12
I have 2 advices, based on personal experience:-

a. I do not know how old your father is but I really recommend a larger size for 'older' people. In other words, I would pick a 50-52'' with fewer features over a 40-46'' with more features.

b. If your father cares about Sports and/or those titles (eg news headlines, stock quotes, subtitles...etc) that roll across the screen at the screen bottom, 120Hz is a plus.
Edited by windfire - 6/19/11 at 11:53pm
post #4 of 12
I would look at the screen's "refresh" 60hz slow or 120/240 which I believe can do 3d and fast high def tv. Not very versed in tv specs though
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post #5 of 12
Neither LG nor Panasonic is consider a top tier LCD maker. Samsung and Sony are the top two. Between your two choices, LG is probably better but not really good.
post #6 of 12
Ah, such bad advice in this thread :/

LED is not inheritly better than LCD. It only refers to the backlight. LED TVs consume less power and is slimmer. It being LCD or LED has zero bearing on picture quality.

Basically:

Plasma is the best for picture quality, however it consumes the most power and generates the most heat.

We need to know a budget.

Panasonic is a great brand in plasmas, I really dunno what the dude above is talking about. LG is average.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK-47 View Post
I think LED looks AMAZING compared to LCD
expectation bias lols. It's nothing to do whether it is LED or LCD as that only refers to the backlight (LED is a LCD TV, what 'LCD TV' typically refers to is a LCD TV with CCFL backlighting).

It's everything to do with quality of the panel and firmware settings.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK-47 View Post
If I ever needed to upgrade my 42" LCD I'd want LED, 120+ hz, 1080p, 4 HDMI input
I personally like Sony, Vizio, and samsung
I think LED looks AMAZING compared to LCD
Pretty much the type of answer I was looking for. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by windfire View Post
I have 2 advices, based on personal experience:-

a. I do not know how old your father is but I really recommend a larger size for 'older' people. In other words, I would pick a 50-52'' with fewer features over a 40-46'' with more features.

b. If your father cares about Sports and/or those titles (eg news headlines, stock quotes, subtitles...etc) that roll across the screen at the screen bottom, 120Hz is a plus.
A. He is "only" 50, but his eyesight is a least 20/20. Boy is a dam Hawk. His main deal is hearing, he is half deaf. 50-52 Would be the biggest we could have, 42-46 would be ideal.

B. The only sports he watches is Indy racing, and some Nascar. But, subtitles is used almost all the time. Would 120Hz still be needed, as I hear the human eye cant tell the diffence between 60 and 120Hz.

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post
Ah, such bad advice in this thread :/

LED is not inheritly better than LCD. It only refers to the backlight. LED TVs consume less power and is slimmer. It being LCD or LED has zero bearing on picture quality.

Basically:

Plasma is the best for picture quality, however it consumes the most power and generates the most heat.

We need to know a budget.

Panasonic is a great brand in plasmas, I really dunno what the dude above is talking about. LG is average.
Obvoiusly cheaper is better, but quality it more important. Budget is ~1000-3000. But only 3000 if the TV is top notch, as I would need others to help pay for it. I am a landscaper, so I am not a rich bastard.

Thanks for clearing some information up.

I dont want plasma, as my brother-in-law has one, and the Bulb keeps going out every 6 months. Plus, way to much heat output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post
expectation bias lols. It's nothing to do whether it is LED or LCD as that only refers to the backlight (LED is a LCD TV, what 'LCD TV' typically refers to is a LCD TV with CCFL backlighting).

It's everything to do with quality of the panel and firmware settings.
I know LED is only the backlighting, and they both use LCD. But I dont know if there are any drawbacks of LED. I bought an Asus LED TN monitor a couple months ago, but the LED didnt have a good connection and bumping the monitor would make it flash, and make the picture go out. Needless to say, I shipped it back.

Thanks for the responses, please keep them coming. Anyone have their eyes on any certain TV, or deals??
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post #9 of 12
Tough call.

I have a cheap brand, 720p, LCD 37" in one room and a mid-range LG, 1080p, LCD 47" in another.

Your old man just wants to watch TV. He doesn't care about the difference between SD and HD, he doesn't wanna have long friday night xbox sessions, he doesn't need a computer hooked up to it for youporn. He doesn't need so many configuration settings so that he can play with them until the picture is "just right".

He just wants a TV right? And honestly, for "just tv" there isn't much of a difference between my tweaked LG 1080p and my cheap standard 720p.

How many HD channels does he have? Has he ever been able to watch HD on his tube TV? Probably not.

I got to say, I think you should save your money and get a big (50" or larger), cheap, 720p LCD tv. He'll be tickled pink for the size and won't notice all the little things we OCN members pick apart when trying to pick a TV.
EDIT: Best brands are Samsung or Vizio but honestly you don't need to get something fancy. Avoid Toshiba though.
EDIT2: LED back lighting can increase the black level on an LCD tv when off and in essence "make it look better" so stop ripping the other kid apart for saying LED looks better then LCD. An LED tv IS an LCD tv but to some it will (here's a shocker) -"look better"-. Relax everybody.
Edited by Damarious25 - 6/20/11 at 6:14am
    
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtobeking View Post
B. The only sports he watches is Indy racing, and some Nascar. But, subtitles is used almost all the time. Would 120Hz still be needed, as I hear the human eye cant tell the diffence between 60 and 120Hz.
For the 120Hz feature, I would not use 'need' to describe it but is a good bonus feature that makes your eyes easier over the long term.
In other words, it is not that 60Hz is blurry and fuzzy while 120Hz is ultra sharp. For rolling subtitles, it is rather like the 60Hz's subtitles have a little bit of 'dark shadow' trailing behind the fonts/letters while the 120Hz's subtitles do not have that.

I have a Samsung with their auto motion plus 120Hz feature. Here is their little ad:
http://pages.samsung.com/us/hd/innov_120hz.html
I must also say that that video actually exaggerates a little.

Perhaps the best way is to go to a local electronic stores and stand in front of 2 TVs so that you can directly do an A-B comparison when the same picture is being displayed.
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