lcd tvs


#1

I’m new to woot – I’ve never purchased anything here. I’m looking for a really good deal on an above average tv. I’m not looking for a 60+" TV like woot usually offers or a 20" LCD tv for $500+ like you see in the stores.

I’m looking for something in the middle, a 32-40" (Flat? LCD?) TV for < $650. Am I asking for too much? It seems like just a few years ago it was much easier to shop for TV’s – now we’re being thrown buzz words left and right (DLP, LCD, Plasma, HDTV, etc). I think I understand the gist of it… Plasmas are good for very large tv’s, LCD’s are better for medium size TV’s. DLP uses a bunch of funky mirrors and is more reliable than whatever it replaced. Then there’s HDTV which is of no use to me as I only have free cable (~70 channels) and DVD’s do not have the same resolution as the higher HDTV standard (correct me if I’m wrong). Finally there’s EDTV, which I read about online and which seems like the best solution for me, yet I’ve never actually seen or heard about one on tv.

I was almost sold on an infocus projector while browsing shopathome on TV and was extremely thankful I didn’t buy it. After the infocus projector, they shifted to toshiba laptops, which I’m much more knowledgeable about, and I realized the salesperson was 1) an idiot, and 2) lies through his teeth to sell his product (ie: his main selling point was “POPUP BLOCKED”, which he claimed was exclusive to his toshiba laptop – yet he failed to mention it’s built into Windows SP2). It feels like it’s impossible to find a good honest deal anywhere without people trying to screw you. -end rant-

I currently have a used 27" RCA TV that I only paid $25 for last year. While the picture sucks compared to an LCD TV, I would rather watch a DVD on this than my 19" Diamondtron CRT (which is really nice) just because of the size. I can’t justify paying $475 more for a 20" TV from best buy. Am I going crazy or is there some magical ~36" TV I’m missing that I can buy online for $600 with $5 shipping? :slight_smile:

TV experts please chime in.


#2

Not an expert at all. In fact, the opposite. Went looking last year about this time for a new TV, about 32". Understood almost nothing anyone told us. Finally boiled down to Consumer Reports told us CRTs still had one of the best pictures and you weren’t going to pay a humongous amount of money for burned-out bulbs or something. When I got online and read what people were saying, they were raving about LCD/DPL/whatever, but then they’d say, make sure you take the $300 service contract because you’re going to need it, and you have to pay $200 for a new bulb every so many hours that you can’t replace yourself. Biggest drawback to a CRT is the weight. Really heavy SOBs. Guess we went with that mainly because we’re clueless.

Edit: And don’t forget to ask about cables you have to buy that cost a few hundred dollars, too.


#3

That’s my understanding too. It seems like it’s similiar to a CRT/flat panel monitor battle. I bought a high quality CRT monitor because it was much cheaper than a flat panel of the same size. Other benefits… the black is super black, the brightness is perfect, the response is much better, and I don’t mind the size as 99% of the time it just sits there and does not have to be moved around. The one thing I noticed about my flat panel monitor at work is the text appears to be clearer and the black often appears to be a dark grey.

The bulb thing is the one thing holding me back from purchasing a projector, since I’m one of those people that keep their TV on for 6 hours straight even if I’m not watching it. I’m also hesitent about service contracts in stores as it seems most of the time the store is just cashing in on buyers who think they need every additional warranty offerred.


#4

Solar,
I just wanted to throw this out there. A while back I needed some tech stuff and I don’t speak techie so I followed the recomnedation of a friend who led me to cnet.com. I was really suprised at all you can learn there as well as outstanding reviews and a no bullchit approach to opinons on various equipment. Don’t know if this will help, but what the hell, I know it can’t hurt.

Disclaimer: I don’t now nor have I ever worked for cnet.com. Just like the site and it helped me with my purchases.

Hammer


#5

I go to cnet a lot, too. Newegg recommends it, and I definitely respect newegg a bunch. However, one thing I’d recommend doing is reading some of the customer reviews as well. Don’t read the good ones, if the cnet review is good, because they’re probably just agreeing with the cnet review. I’ve found that reading the bad reviews is inevitably helpful. Sometimes it’s a bs problem that is really the fault of the person operating the device, but sometimes it’s somebody who actually used it for a time before finding out that it wasn’t engineered for the long haul. My friends have bought several devices (one bought on my behalf, though he didn’t consult me before deciding which to purchase) based on the good reviews, only to find out that the poor reviews were actually true. Basically, it ends up a comparison between the pros and cons, but usually the cnet cons aren’t that complete.

p.s. I have two LCD monitors. I bought them not because of the space (though that is nice), but because of the power consumption and heat output. I can power these two monitors drawing about the same current as my single CRT monitor. Plus it’s easier to turn them off (no tubes) when I only want one on (i.e. watching a movie or playing a game).


#6

An update on my problem. Disappointed in the price of LCD, Plasma, Projection TV’s, I started researching DIY projectors. After a week of research, I realized it would be better if I purchased a commercial unit. So I did just that. Without doing hardly any research, I bought a new projector (although the model is 2-3 years old).

It’s an LCD projector with a native resolution of 1280x720 (16:9) geared for home theatre, unlike the lower resolution projector woot was selling the day before I bought mine. Along with a screen, I paid less than $900 total.

For a measley $2500 I could have bought today’s woot and had a nice 61" screen. Instead, I have a 106" 16:9 widescreen theater. Of course, it is still a projector and will work best in very dark rooms. I only plan on using it for movies and special tv/sporting events. I conventiently already had an HTPC with 5.1 dolby digital/dts in my living room.


#7

My condolences . . .