Help Bill Buy a TV

I’m obviously a PC guy. I can talk shop about games, video cards, whatever until my wife’s friends get annoyed.

I am not, however, a TV guy. When we move to the new house (I have pics of the land which I’ll post later) we want to spend anywhere from $3500 to $4000 on a TV. I know there are some TV heads that read this blog, so let’s hear it. Where do I start?

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6 Responses to Help Bill Buy a TV

  1. Glen says:

    The first thing that I would recommend is to begin reading avsforum.com religiously. The best thing that you’ve done is to know how much you want to spend. Don’t fluctuate downward from that amount. I’ve known far too many people who’ve gone out and bought a “lesser” TV because they thought they were getting a deal on it, and then regretted the decision 6 months later. Here are my primary concerns that I would caution you on when buying a new TV. Location. Determine where in your home the TV is going to be. If you’re going to be in a room where you have the potential for a great deal of light in the room, that’s something you’ll really want to think about when you’re out looking for a TV. Space considerations. Determine whether or not people are going to be happy with a “big box” in a living space. Obviously, with your budget, Plasmas, LCD’s, and DLP’s come into play though.Consider a theater space. Since you’re building a home, you have this option where some other people would not. For the money that you’re looking to spend, you could buy yourself a wonderful HDTV project, and still have enough for another HDTV in the home somewhere. I constructed a theater at my home and I love it. (Now I just need time to use it more.)Those are my early thoughts.

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  2. Michael says:

    Glen makes GREAT points….and let me second the avsforum.com suggestion….Yes..were you looking to be building a true HT? What size room will it be in? Maybe a Front Projection?

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  3. Craig Tompkins says:

    Bill, I’m sure Dan will comment on this as well, but we both bought Samsung DLP’s and love them. If you get a DLP, make sure you get the DLP 2+ chip and not the DLP 3 chip. The 2+ chip is actually newer and better. Of course that’s assuming you were to go DLP. Here is a picture of my setup. http://www.ouronlinehome.net/images/tv.jpg Note that it’s not a HT, but rather just in the family room. 56″ DLP, Yamaha receiver/amp and Cambridge Soundworks speakers (movieworks 310). The new model of this TV also supports cable cards.I too suggest avsforum, but I also suggest looking at the TV’s yourself when possible. My local Circuit City was able to show me my TV as well as 40 or so others all showing Discovery HD at the same time so I could see the differences. I know there is more to a TV than how it looks in store and they are not calibrated and stuff, but it’s better than a picture online.One suggestion is that you run not only network cable in the house while being built, but speaker wire for the rear speakers as well!

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  4. Todd says:

    Bill – amen to the comments here. If you go to AVS, look for the link labeled Display Devices on the left. That’ll lead you to the various display forums. Also, since you have some control over the room if in building your home, and you’re spending some cash, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add to Glen’s comment that you consider a front projection system. If your primary goal is to have a home theater experience, you get both a very good projector and screen for that kind of money. (Actually, you can spend far less with room to spare for a $2000 conventional HDTV.) There’s a ton of variables involved (room size, distance you’ll sit from the screen, a place to put the projector), but if you can work that out nothing will give you a bigger screen (80″ and up, up, up) or a better theater experience. Otherwise, everyone else here is pretty much spot on. Samsung has a great rep with DLP. Sony’s got the best large tube-TVs, bar none (according to AVS) and they seem to get good marks for their LCDs. You might also set aside a little cash for a good universal remote. In their price range ($150-$250), few beat the Harmony line from Logitech. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting their new 880, but haven’t decided yet since there may be some issue with it (via posts at AVS).

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  5. Dan Clarke says:

    Yeah, what Craig said. This TV is r0x0r. Down to $3100 now. The only thing is that it’s not HDTV built in…so if you use cable, it’s no big deal, but if you’re in the big city, you might get OTA (over the air) HDTV, and in that case you may want one with HD built in. Anyhoo, I am a huge fan of this TV as well. It rules. I have the same speakers as Craig does (thanks Cambridge on Ebay) but I have a Panasonic A/V receiver. It has (2) component in which makes hooking up both the progressive DVD and the HD box very easy.The TV and the A/V receiver were both given high marks in a leading Consumer magazine that does Report on stuff like this, but I can’t tell you the name :).

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  6. SupesDied says:

    Congrats on your plan to blow a huge wad of dough on a TV!One dissent among the opinions, though – don’t necessarily spend all of your budget. Figure out the dimensions of your room and how far you’ll be from the tv. If the TV is too big, you’ll be too close and it won’t look as good. It’s not about saving the money, it’s about having the picture perfect from the spot in the room you’ll be sitting most of the time. AVS forum and tv manufacturer sites offer formulas for figuring out the right size for the room.

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