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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:23 pm 
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My 15-or-so year old 27" CRT television decided to die the other evening. I'm actually quite happy, as my wife watches it some ridiculous number of hours per day and I'm sick of listening to the accursed thing. But I guess I have to replace it, and realistically speaking that means one of those newfangled HDTVs - blasted 16:9 contraptions.

I'll look for something reasonable, perhaps a lightly-used unit on CraigsList. I know I want a 42 - 47" unit, and that 120Hz is worth it, and that it should be one of the 1080 line units. And I couldn't care less about 3D.

But I'm concerned about the connectivity. I have cable service but don't have a cable box, don't think I have HD service, and am not particularly anxious to pay those clowns even more than they get each month for TV, phone, and Internet. What happens if I drag the hypothetical new TV into the living room and simply screw in the coax that I unscrewed from the old TV? Will it be watchable, or am I really forced to upgrade my service to some level of HD?

And as the nightly news looked fine on the old 4:3 TV, what happens to the image one one of these 16:9 jobbies???

I suppose these are really basic questions, but I'm an audiophile and just don't care much about TV stuff. I just want to do something "reasonable", given that I'm forced to do *something*.

Art


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Most TV in this part of the world has been broadcast in 16:9 format for years. It is actually far more pleasant than I thought it would be and I am now a huge fan of 16:9. When there is a 4:3 broadcast (from some obscure banana republic) we have to watch with black lines at each side of the screen or view people as fat and short ... which, of course, they may be. :D

Panasonic make very good TV sets although it is personal choice whether you like the colours and contrast.

HD TV is amazing. I love it particularly for watching natural history/geography programmes or for sport. From what I have seen 3D is not worth the expense, but others might like it.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:46 pm 
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If you don’t need a cable box now, you aren’t likely to need one with a new TV. A HD TV will work fine without paying extra for HD broadcasts. In Lansing, Comcast did “upgrade” the service so everyone needed a box. A side benefit may be that, with the new tuner, you may get stations on a new TV that you weren’t getting on the old one.

Regarding the 4:3 news, you can adjust the way the broadcast displays to zoom, fill the screen, normal or letterbox style.

New v Used—prices are dropping like rocks off a cliff. Check any big box store and you may be surprised.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:08 pm 
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ArtShapiro wrote:
What happens if I drag the hypothetical new TV into the living room and simply screw in the coax that I unscrewed from the old TV?

Your old CRT TV is of an an age such that it would have an analogue-only tuner.

I don't know what the exact status of analogue TV switch-off is in the US, but in many Western countries, analogue TV is due to be entirely gone within a few years at most. So, you might want to find out just what sort of signal (analogue or digital TV) is coming down your "I have cable service but don't have a cable box" coax.

Cheers,

Bill B.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:32 pm 
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when i finally upgraded to a really nice HDTV i stared hours at them ALL at Best Buy and finally settled on Samsung as the best of all for clarity and color but be warned the sound sux.. you'll want to add something for better for sound.. sony was a very close second, so close as to be a hair splitter of a decision..
these new TV's are now smart TV's with cable connections (LAN) as well as many other input choices..

Quote:
And as the nightly news looked fine on the old 4:3 TV


sadly there are no filters for the nightly propaganda broadcasts so it might be a good idea to just tell the wife "sorry hunny bunny but dr. goebbles has gone off the air"

IF you choose to disregard my warning and buy something new use amex platinum to pay as they will double the warranty term..

happy shopping art, you'll find more choices in TV's now than there are opinions.. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:59 pm 
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Thanks, Bill and everyone else so far.

I'm still investigating; the usual problem we all face of getting the most bang for the buck. Having borrowed another 27" CRT unit, the problem isn't a Must Solve Tomorrow issue any more.

I have quite a few points built up in a merchandise program associated with my Visa card, and after accumulating for five years they've just started deleting points accrued more than five years ago. But any TV of the size I want (47") is somewhat more than the points I've racked up, and the purchase of additional points isn't impressively cost-effective. So there goes that idea.

A particular unit that's starting to look reasonable is a 46" Samsung model called LN46D630. It doesn't have a bunch of features I don't want, such as 3D and video streaming, and seems to have gotten some positive reviews.

Art


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:52 am 
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There's so much information out there, sometimes it's hard to know what's right. I went through this process last year when I bought a large HDTV. One thought if you end up getting a new TV would be to check out Consumer Reports. It might even be free in the library. I ended up getting a Sanyo from Wal-Mark, which was one of the better rated sets and I've been very happy with it. It wasn't the least expensive set and doesn't have much in the way of features, but the PQ is excellent, which in my opinion is the most important feature. Another thought would be you may save a few bucks buying it on-line, but if there's a problem, it'll be expensive to return. That's another reason I bought my TV at Wal-Mark. Though I don't particularly care for Wal-Mark, they've got a 90 day no questions asked return policy. The best you'll do on-line is Amazon. If it's a TV they sell, they'll pick the return shipping for the first 30 days.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:51 am 
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zaz is right..
there is so much to learn and so many new features to sort through..

i humbly suggest at least a 48 to 50 inch, LED, smart HDTV TV..
these things will amaze you with just how much better they are than an old CRT TV..

assuming you are using cable or sattelite.. HD content will cost more..

buy online, pay with amex platinum (if possible) and they will double the warranty..

and just think how it will dazzel (with apologies to harry garland and roger mellon(?) at cromemco) your wife and how she will reward you.. :P

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 3:05 am 
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I believe the AE card extends the warranty one year, not double. Since most TVs come with one year, it would be double, but there are some that come with two years, in which case you'd get three years total.

If you have a Costco membership, that might be a good option too. Sometimes they have good deals on TVs. Costco also extends the warranty an additional year and you get six months to return it if you have a problem.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 3:37 am 
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Quote:
I believe the AE card extends the warranty one year, not double.


you might be right but its easy enough to check.. which i will do..

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She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Well, if anyone cares about the ultimate outcome:

I found a lightly-used one-year-old 46" Sony Bravia on Craigslist (for those who don't know, a world-wide but primarily US online classifieds site that's been blamed for the demise of the newspaper industry) about 50 miles away in Los Angeles. It's a model called KDL-46Z4100. The guy is going to deliver it here for another $50, which is more than fine with me, and it will come in about five hours. It turns out he's moving to Malawi, Africa to film a documentary, and I guess the Sony won't fit in his carry-on luggage. I observed that he was the first person I had talked to all day who was moving to Malawi.

I'm sure this will suffice for my wife's diet of situation comedies (yecch!), even though it appears to be a three-year-old model. I ambled over to the local office of my cable company and was told that without a box, a handful of channels broadcast in HD, but if I start renting their magic box I'll get all channels in HD. So I guess they'll get even more out of me each month than they do now. Oh well.

Art, suddenly thrust into the 21st century


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Quote:
I found a lightly-used one-year-old 46" Sony Bravia

Quote:
it appears to be a three-year-old model

Quote:
seller is moving to Malawi, Africa

Absolutely trust-inspiring combination of reasons to [not] buy this TV...

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:51 pm 
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RealBlackStuff wrote:
Absolutely trust-inspiring combination of reasons to [not] buy this TV...
Well, at first glance (no pun intended), there's nothing to indicate that this unit isn't precisely as he described it. It's putting out a beautiful picture on my handful of HD channels. He even retained the soft wrapping material for the screen, the same stuff that tends to come with computer monitors. I don't see anything that merits such cynicism.

My only complaint is the tiny mute button on the remote. As one who mutes all advertising, that's not an ideal situation. The mute should be half the size of the remote control.

Art


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