The Official "I need help with a new TV purchase" thread

Discussion in 'Gator Bytes' started by helix139, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. rpmGator
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    rpmGator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. So many things like Google TV's and all the new wifi stuff, its hard to wade through it all to find something that isn't over priced or junk.
  2. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    I wouldnt look into a Google TV just yet. My Panasonic Plasma has an ethernet port which is nice for the widgets you can use like Amazon on Demand and Netflix. These widgets are pretty common on better TVs though not on all of them. Similar things are also available on a lot of the blu ray players out now. So you might want to just look for the best set you can afford in the size you are looking and not worry about things like wifi. Instead just focus on picture quality, size and price.
  3. rpmGator
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    rpmGator Well-Known Member

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    That does sound cheaper for qualtiy. I may just get blue ray player or home theater type of thing. I am planning on cutting off my Direct TV in April, so I have that long to see what is working well and what isn't.

    Want to go wifi then, but that may be obsolete by then.
  4. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    If you are just looking to cut cable you may also want to look at getting a PC that you just hook up to your tv. I looked into this a while back and remember Lenovo sold some just for this purpose. That would give you a lot of flexibility.
  5. rpmGator
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    rpmGator Well-Known Member

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    I have Wifi, what can I get with the computer hook up?

    The local channels look better on rabbit ears than with the dish. I already turn off the dish to get a better picture for sports on CBS type channels.

    If I can get ESPN's and SunSports without a dish, I will be a happy camper.

    Is there a reason some wifi blue ray's advertise one group of netflix type places and then another unit has a seperate set of sites. Question being, are they limited to those apps, or can you get it all?
  6. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know they are limited. For example my Panasonic TV has Amazon on Demand and Netflix but not Hulu. My Sony Blu Ray has Hulu and Netflix but not Amazon. I think they come preloaded with the apps and at least on my stuff I do not know how you can get more.

    With the computer hook up you can basically get anything you can reach online, for you I dont know if that means Sunshine or ESPN. You most likely could get ESPN3. The thing with using the PC hooked up to your TV would be that anything you can get over the internet you can watch. So that means all the services like Netflix and MLB.tv as well as any websites that offer their content and that includes unofficial sources.

    The problem will always be getting live stuff outside of the OTA networks and I did not get far enough in my research to see if there was any way to get feeds like ESPN and Sunshine.
  7. fastsix
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    fastsix Well-Known Member

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    I haven't looked into it much, but I have read several people who got rid of cable complain that live sports is the biggest problem.
  8. Emmitto
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    You're limited to their "suite" or "network." Even the ones with browsers are limited. But it's getting better. VieraConnect (Panasonic's network formally known as VieraCast) just added Hulu Plus, although not Hulu (Standard, or whatever you might call it.) The manufacturers generally have a comprehensive list of what you'll get, and they add stuff via firmware upgrades.

    And over the air is indeed the best quality HD. An antenna you've had laying around for a decade will work if you're moderately lucky. Everyone with a HDTV should connect an antenna.

    Channel Master is getting close to perfection. The 7400 OTA DVR has Vudu, but not the rest of the Big Boys. If they can add the other services over time and you can get your locals via antenna, we're onto something. TiVo has more services and will record OTA but TiVo is a fee in and of itself, of course.
  9. Emmitto
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    Emmitto VIP Member

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    :devil:
    It sounds like you have VieraCast. I believe Panasonic will upgrade you to VieraConnect for free, via firmware. You'll get Hulu Plus but not Hulu and it'll be the platform they add to going forward.

    I don't know of a solution for ESPN, Sunshine, etc.
  10. rpmGator
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    rpmGator Well-Known Member

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    Good info, thanks to all.


    The quality of the locals during big games for free is one of the big reasons for the change. Movies I can get, the cable type sports channels are my worry.

    I have an outdoor antenna I have used for a back up system for years. About to upgrade to a better one as digital is a shorter signal and they are also packing in UHF channels into the VHF, and you need more antenna area, the more that sticks out the better, to do the same job.

    I could get Tampa in analog, can't with digital, only my local Orlando area channels.
  11. helix139
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    helix139 VIP Member

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    Grab an Xbox 360 or hook up a PC for ESPN3 coverage. You'll be able to get most SEC games that way.
  12. uffeesh
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    uffeesh Premium Member

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    Our Sony 50" LCD that we've had for about five years is getting the blue blob spots and I want a new TV ASAP. We're also going to buy a cheaper smaller - 32" for our bedroom if we can find a 0% interest deal. Hoping there may be decent deals Thanksgiving week.


    1. What is your total home theater budget (TV and surround system)? With the deals running right now, I'm not looking to spend over $1500 on TV only.

    2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you value sound as compared to your TV? 1 is you don't care at all about sound, you just want a TV, and 10 is you HAVE to have the best surround sound, even if it may cut back on your TV size and quality. (If you already have a surround system and do not wish to buy a new one, answer 1 here) 1

    3. Do you have any specific discount club memberships? (i.e. Sam's, Costco, etc.) Sam's

    4. Do you need to wall mount it or have other reasons you would only consider flat panel and not rear projection or front projection? Don't need to wall mount, but would consider if it didn't require multiple cords hanging from the TV and down the wall.

    4. Any restrictions on size? No - currently have a 50" and looking between 40" and 55"

    5. What is your typical viewing distance going to be? 8-10 feet

    6. Do you plan to use it as a computer monitor? No

    7. Do you plan to game on it? if so, what system(s)? XBOX 360, Wii

    8. On a scale of (1) to (10), rate which is more important to you within your size restrictions, picture quality, or size? (1) being quality is most important (i.e. you are willing to sacrifice a few inches for the best picture possible as long as it meets your minimum needed size ), and (10) being size is most important (i.e. picture quality is not important at all if you can get the biggest screen possible). 1

    9. Are there any brands you definitely prefer? Are there any you definitely dislike? Prefer Panasonic or Samsung. Not happy with Sony right now.

    10. Do you have to buy your TV in a brick and mortar store (i.e. Best Buy) or would you be willing to buy it online? Prefer store if they run a 0% interest deal

    11. What is the layout of your room, and where will your TV be situated? be sure to disclose any windows, lamps, or other ambient light sources that you would not be willing to cover with curtains (NOT blinds). TV is against large wall in between two wall lamps. Window is about 12 feet in front of TV and has blinds and curtains.

    12. Do you have an available wall that is 60" or larger and are you willing to consider front projection? No front projection

    13. Any aesthetic requirements we should be aware of? No

    14. Do you have any discounts with any retailers or vendors? Panasonic discount if I order through them

    15. What is your typical viewing content? (dramas, sports, action, etc.)? Sports mostly, cartoons for kids, standard TV comedy/drama

    16. Are you planning on a professional installation, or are you the DIY type? DIY

    17. If you get a flat panel, will you want to wall mount it and will you want a stationary mount or something that pulls out from the wall and pivots your TV to an angle? See above regarding wall mounting. We have a large TV stand, but would wall mount if there weren't lots of cords hanging.

    18. Anything else we should be aware of (i.e. mounting over fireplace, etc.)? I'd prefer a TV with a wireless feature that includes Netflix, Pandora, etc. We have DirecTV. I like the picture quality on the Panasonic plasmas I've seen, but I'm not biased to plasma only. I want a TV that will last more than five years and has vibrant features for picture and wireless capabilities with minimal cord issues.
  13. uffeesh
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    uffeesh Premium Member

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    Panasonic Plasma 50" TC-P50S30 - any opinions? This looks about what I'm looking for. Are there any TVs comparable to this that would be better?
  14. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Haven't looked at that model but I bought a 50" panny last year on amazon the Monday after thanksgiving. Great tv and a great price.
  15. uffeesh
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    uffeesh Premium Member

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    Did yours have wireless capabilities? Did you buy the wireless adapter if so?
  16. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    No wireless, had the port on the back and my FIOS was set up so that the router was right behind my TV and I just ran a cable to it. I did not care about wifi capabilities when I was looking though, just best picture and size that I could afford.
  17. uffeesh
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    uffeesh Premium Member

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    Gotcha. My router is in my office through a concrete wall so I want to run wireless for my TV. I currently have my XBOX in the living room and want to move it to my office. I only currently use it in the living room so my daughter can use Netflix. With the TVs with wireless and Netflix streaming, I could just use that. So the wireless feature is very important in my purchase. But I've loved the picture on the Panasonic plasmas.
  18. LeafUF
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    LeafUF Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I totally understand. I actually had widget overkill in my apartment when I got my TV last year. XBOX and PS3 both with wireless and Netflix as well as others. I also had a blu ray player with wifi in my bedroom so I was pretty covered. The only widget that the TV added was Amazon on Demand, otherwise the internet features werent really a big deal to me.
  19. uffeesh
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    uffeesh Premium Member

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    Looks like that model I'm looking at isn't in stores anymore so I may need to go with an upgraded model with 3D even though I could care less about 3D.
  20. LeafUF
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