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Suggestions on a new TV
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sdilley14
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Aug 17, 2012, 11:20 AM
 
I am in the process of upgrading my "home theater" system. I just got an ATV3 a few weeks ago. I have a PS3 and an XBox360 already. I am looking at getting a new TV, then eventually I will look at getting a new surround sound system.

My current TV is 6 or 7 years old, 42" 720p Sanyo LCD. It wasn't too bad back in the day (cost me $1k :S ), and it is still holding up fairly for how long I've owned it and how much I've used it (A LOT)...but it is starting to show some age...I can see some faint blackening on the screen at times...like it is starting to get "burnt it" or something? And it is extremely limited as far as functionality and customization go. I think it is time to relegate this TV to the bedroom and get a new TV for the family room.

I am looking for suggestions on a new TV. My wants are pretty basic...

50" +
3+ HDMI outputs
Optical audio out
Network connectivity

I have it narrowed down to four sets. I am open to suggestions on others though. A few things...

1. I have decided that LCD is the route to go for me. I have looked at several different TVs in person, done comparisons, and considering the fact that the room that the TV will be in is going to be more brightly lit and exposed to natural lighting than I had anticipated, I think LCD is going to be the best option for me.

2. "Smart TV", apps, streaming, 3d...none of those extras are important to me. I have an Apple TV, XB360, and PS3...those all provide more than enough options for me. And I really don't see myself utilizing the 3d much (but if the TV I settle on has it, great! Same with all of the other extras).

3. Brand doesn't really matter to me. I want to find the perfect (or as close to it as possible) cross section of size, function, quality, and capability, regardless of brand.

4. Price isn't "really" an issue as much at this point, but of course I still want to get the best deal possible and stay on the lower end of the price spectrum if possible/if it makes sense. From the sets I have listed you can tell I'm looking to hang between the $1000-$1400 range.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007B9PP1C/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

55" Samsung LED LCD, no 3d, Smart TV, $1397

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0076LY17E/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&smid=ASF0S1GFIHF5V

52" Sharp Aquos LED LCD, no 3d, Smart TV, $1209

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0074WVYNO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_6?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

55" LG LED LCD, 3d with 6 pairs of glasses, Google TV built in (kinda intrigues me), $1379

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006ZH0MVY/ref=ox_sc_act_title_7?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

55" LG LED LCD, no 3d, no Smart TV, $1098

While none of these TVs are perfect, they all have solid reviews (though the reviews for the Sharp are limited). The base LG seems like the best value with the lowest price, the LG with Google TV sounds interesting and looks great with solid reviews (it has a dual core processor as well, so maybe it'll be a stronger performer in the long run?), and the Samsung looks awesome, and most say they are the best when it comes to LCD TV's, but I hope I wouldn't just be paying for a name there.

Any of these stand out to you? Any suggestions on different sets that fit my criteria?
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The Final Dakar
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Aug 17, 2012, 11:26 AM
 
I wouldn't be fond of LCD at that size, but I have to say, if you're going LCD, Samsung is the way to go. Own one, bought another for my mother and two friends have them, all reliable and look good.
     
reader50
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Aug 17, 2012, 11:27 AM
 
I wouldn't give credit to a dual-core processor for future improvements. It's been my experience that TV manufacturers treat their products as full appliances. Regardless of processing capability, firmware updates only fix bugs. They use new features to sell you a later model instead of adding them to already-sold TVs.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 17, 2012, 11:31 AM
 
Yeah, it's worth pointing out that if you can find the difference in features between an older model, and don't care about them, amazon usually has the older model for significantly cheaper.
     
ajprice
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Aug 17, 2012, 11:55 AM
 
+1 for Samsung, I have one. It's 2 years old now so it's LCD not LED and doesn't have the new Smart TV system, but it's been fine, has apps available for Lovefilm, iPlayer etc and it isn't ugly.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Leonard
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Aug 17, 2012, 12:24 PM
 
I was going to suggest the Samsung 8000 Series until I saw your price range. I'd imagine that even in the US the 8000 Series would be over your price range.

What does the CMR 240 mean on the Samsung 6100? The TV is only 120Hz. Oh I found out, it has something to do with the backlight to try and simulate a 240Hz.

The 8000 series is a true 240Hz TV.
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sdilley14  (op)
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Aug 17, 2012, 12:38 PM
 
Why isn't it a good idea to go with LCD at this size? Plasma really concerns me primarily due to glare issues. There is going to be a considerable amount of natural light coming into the room.

As far as LCD, everyone seems to agree on Samsung. Is the idea to look at last year's comparable models to save on cost...am I understanding that correctly?
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Aug 17, 2012, 12:40 PM
 
If you have a situation where the TV is lit and you want to avoid reflections, make sure that the LCD model you get does not have a glass front! Glass fronts are a silly fashion thing (and yes, Apple started them), and they're quite common on LCDs these days. They make hideous reflections, so double and triple check that. I have a Sharp Aquos 52LE831 which does not have it - the previous model LE820 has that glass front, so I waited close to a year for that thing to launch and drop in price a bit.


I have not seen the exact Samsung you have mentioned, but Samsung has had a big problem with clouding effects on their thin LEDs. Clouding is when the dispersing layer in front of the LEDs overheats and starts to flop around - creates a very disturbing clouding effect on any uniform color. That is obviously dependent on the exact piece you get, but I have seen it on some and it can get pretty terrible. Samsung support also refuses to replace them, calling it normal variation.

Even without that issue, I have not been impressed with Samsung's quality lately. A few years ago I think they were the best, but the last year or so I have seen some pretty mediocre screens from them. The one my sister and her fiancé got is a Samsung (46"), and mine, which was cheaper at 52", has a significantly better picture.

My old TV was an LG, and I used to like them. They have the best menu/interface system in the business, but their picture quality is not as good as the Sharp.

I'm going to go against the tide here and raise a very big warning flag against anything Samsung, at least their edge-lit LED models. Anything not edge-lit is probably fine, but I've found them more expensive than the competition. LG is usually good, at least for the higher quality models, but there have been reports about panel lotteries on the low-end and midrange. Sharp is what I picked, and I've been very happy with it so far. Excellent interface, built-in DLNA player, all the connections I need, and absolutely no problems.

I also second the suggestion about picking last year's model if you can find it. You can get much more for your money that way.
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sdilley14  (op)
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Aug 17, 2012, 12:41 PM
 
The argument between 120hz and 240hz doesn't concern me too much. Let's put it this way...I bought my cheap Sanyo barebones 42" LCD 7 years ago, and as far as picture quality and performance, that still performs perfectly fine to me. So any new TV I get, whether its 120hz or 240hz or better with plasma, it's going to look pretty amazing to my easily satisfied standards.
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OAW
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Aug 20, 2012, 08:40 AM
 
Samsung LED without question.

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ShortcutToMoncton
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Aug 20, 2012, 09:49 AM
 
I've got a Samsung 42" thin LED from last year, and I must admit that the quality isn't the best. It looked fine in the store, and I needed an ultra-thin screen so my options were limited....but I definitely notice a difference when I'm at a friend's house who has a slightly older plasma screen.
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