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Best TV

maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what?New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
edited February 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Basically my parents finally want to spring for a HDTV, but they see a Insignia brand TV in the Best Buy ad for $399. 32-inch. I know that Insignia is essentially "The Best Buy Brand" so I recommended against it.

So here I am. My parents want a HDTV, can't be over 32-inch due to their entertainment center, but don't want to spend over $400. Any recommendations?

While I'm here, any recommendations for an inexpensive Blu-Ray Player? I think it's going to be lame for them to have a HDTV without any content to take advantage of it...

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Posts

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'm going to be honest with you. With that small of a screen, there's not going to be very much visible benefit to HD at any typical couch distance.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Agreed.
    How do they feel about buying online?
    Get them a Vizio.

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  • PelPel Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I would typically avoid best buy at all cost unless you know the market well enough to know without a doubt the quality/value of an item. I was recently in the market for a 32' and I found Best Buy to be consistently 30-50% higher on virtually identical TVs elsewhere. If you're buying B&M, I find that Wal Mart and Target (This is where I ended up buying mine) often have decent sales, would not really recommend shopping there if there's no discount involved. There are quite a few online deal sites that I'm not really sure if I'm allowed to namedrop here that would also help you find what you're looking for, and probably much more effectively than the more generalist H+A forum here.

    Suffice to say that a 32" 720p (as has been said, 1080 should not be necessary for a 32" unless you're using it as a secondary monitor or something) should not run you $400. If you find a good deal, you might be looking more in the $299 area for a decent mid-level brand like Vizio or maybe even Samsung. Supposedly Insignia is rebranded LG and should be a pretty good TV but I have no way to verify that and, additionally, I don't entirely trust manufacturers to maintain the same quality control when their own brand value isn't on the line.

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    From what I've heard, the brands that Insignias are rebranded from can vary all the way from Samsung down to Westinghouse.

    As for the size vs resolution debate, hopefully this image will help make sense of it (spoilered for big):
    Spoiler:

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The TV can't be any bigger than 32" due to the entertainment center it's going in (And the Tube TV it's replacing.) 1080p is just for futureproofment.

    What's the word on Blu-Ray players? I noticed Alice in Wonderland is coming out on BR this week and I think my girlfriend would love to see that in HD, but my 19" HDTV from '04 only does 720p so I feel like it's simply not worth the money considering I'd rather watch my movies on my 27" iMac (Of which I can't get BR for.)

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Alice in Wonderland came out on Bluray last summer.

    What we're getting at about the resolution is that the human eye cannot see well enough to decipher the difference between 480p/720p/1080p on a 32" tv from a typical couch distance of around 10 feet from the tv. With a tv that small, at that distance, you will have trouble telling the difference between a Bluray and a DVD. You might petition for your parents to get rid of the old entertainment center and go for a wallmount or something as the old entertainment center was not designed with a flat panel tv in mind.

  • defreakdefreak Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    MushroomStick's point is at 32" and normal sitting distance from the TV, the human eye cannot tell the difference between 480p/720p/1080p, so getting a 1080p will not be futureproofing, it'll just be a waste of money.

    However, going from tube to HDTV will make a huge difference even at 20".

    You probably can't find 480p anymore, so 720p is what you want to look at.

    Avoid all Insignia products, between my wife and I we have gotten 3 Insignia products as gifts, non of them made it past 90 days.

    THIS LG TV is what I would get if I were in your parent's position

    THIS Dynex is cheaper and has good ratings, but it's another Best Buy brand, even with the good ratings, I simply don't have confidence in the brand.

    Someone mentioned Vizio, I don't know where to look, but I've heard nothing but good things about their products, probably the best budget brand out there, the other budget brands are Coby, Westinghouse, Insignia, Dynex, again, they are cheap for a reason, I would avoid them. Next up are LG, Sharp, Toshiba, Philips, then you have Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, with Samsung leading in the LCD category. With your parents, I'm guessing the most important thing is longevity, and any of those brands I mentioned from LG and on will be solid products lasting for a long time.

    For Blu-Ray player, on a 19" screen, 480p/720p/1080p are all going to look the same, and really, an upconvert DVD player will look just as nice. However, a Blu-Ray player will be futureproofing and might be worth it if you're going to upgrade your TV in the near future, it upconverts DVDs too. For under $99, you should be able to find a LG or Philips one that is decent.

  • ZoolanderZoolander Registered User
    edited January 2011
    I don't completely agree with what MushroomStick is saying because we bought a 32" LCD for viewing from distance of 8 feet, and DVDs and everything looked way better than on our old tube TV. There's also a huge difference between watching 480p DVDs and watching Blu-Ray at 720p for us.

    So if 32" is all you can get, it's still worth it.

  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    defreak wrote: »
    However, a Blu-Ray player will be futureproofing and might be worth it if you're going to upgrade your TV in the near future, it upconverts DVDs too.

    See, is Blu-Ray really futureproofing? Physical media is toast. If I was to get a new setup, I'd want something that could stream HD Netflix. I'd get a Roku and forget the Blu-Ray player.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Zoolander wrote: »
    I don't completely agree with what MushroomStick is saying because we bought a 32" LCD for viewing from distance of 8 feet, and DVDs and everything looked way better than on our old tube TV. There's also a huge difference between watching 480p DVDs and watching Blu-Ray at 720p for us.

    So if 32" is all you can get, it's still worth it.

    I don't think you're disagreeing with anyone. We are all saying that he should be getting 720, not 1080.
    And yea, get rid of the old entertainment center. 32'' is small for a main TV!

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  • ZoolanderZoolander Registered User
    edited January 2011
    Zoolander wrote: »
    I don't completely agree with what MushroomStick is saying because we bought a 32" LCD for viewing from distance of 8 feet, and DVDs and everything looked way better than on our old tube TV. There's also a huge difference between watching 480p DVDs and watching Blu-Ray at 720p for us.

    So if 32" is all you can get, it's still worth it.

    I don't think you're disagreeing with anyone. We are all saying that he should be getting 720, not 1080.
    And yea, get rid of the old entertainment center. 32'' is small for a main TV!
    I'm going to be honest with you. With that small of a screen, there's not going to be very much visible benefit to HD at any typical couch distance.

    720P is HD.

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Zoolander wrote: »
    Zoolander wrote: »
    I don't completely agree with what MushroomStick is saying because we bought a 32" LCD for viewing from distance of 8 feet, and DVDs and everything looked way better than on our old tube TV. There's also a huge difference between watching 480p DVDs and watching Blu-Ray at 720p for us.

    So if 32" is all you can get, it's still worth it.

    I don't think you're disagreeing with anyone. We are all saying that he should be getting 720, not 1080.
    And yea, get rid of the old entertainment center. 32'' is small for a main TV!
    I'm going to be honest with you. With that small of a screen, there's not going to be very much visible benefit to HD at any typical couch distance.

    720P is HD.

    I didn't say there would be no improvement, I merely said that there would not be much of an improvement when your factor the small screen size with the viewing distance. A trend I've noticed with people that are this late to the HD game is that they tend to still correlate the diagonal measurements of tvs with 4:3 aspect ratio ones and don't realize that even though their old 32" 4:3 tv may have been a nice size for the living room, a 32" 16:9 tv is going to feel more like a 19" or so bedroom tv. I am of the opinion that for a living room, a 40 - 55 inch tv is more suitable.

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Alice in Wonderland came out on Bluray last summer.

    Um...wat? I looked in the Best Buy ad this morning and it said it's releasing tomorrow, February 1st.

    Edit: Anywho, these are what I'm leaning towards:

    Panasonic TC-L32U22 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV -$383.50

    VIZIO E320VP 32-Inch 720p LED LCD HDTV, Black -359.00

    Samsung LN32C530 32-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV (Black) -$449.99

    It's 1080p and the "better" Panasonic brand vs 720p and the "lesser" Vizio brand vs Samsung & the "most expensive" option.

    Leaning towards the Panasonic but if someone has an opinion that would sway me either way I'm all ears.

    Edit 2" On BR/DVD players, the lone DVD player in the house doesn't play DVDs in Progressive Scan, so I'll either have to get a new DVD player or spring for a inexpensive BR player.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Oh, you mean the old animated Alice in Wonderland then, I was thinking the Johnny Depp one.

    Out of the 3 tvs you listed, the Samsung is probably the nicest, the Vizio is probably fine. But if it was me I would wait a few months, save up another $200 - $300 and get something way nicer.

    As far as bluray players go, I'm still using a PS3 because I don't know of a stand alone unit that's any nicer. I've heard that the inexpensive BR players take forever and a day to load stuff up.

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Oh, you mean the old animated Alice in Wonderland then, I was thinking the Johnny Depp one.

    Out of the 3 tvs you listed, the Samsung is probably the nicest, the Vizio is probably fine. But if it was me I would wait a few months, save up another $200 - $300 and get something way nicer.

    As far as bluray players go, I'm still using a PS3 because I don't know of a stand alone unit that's any nicer. I've heard that the inexpensive BR players take forever and a day to load stuff up.

    It's not a matter of saving up money, my parents are just cheap; they don't like to spend unnecessary money. They finally bought a flat-panel display for their 9-year old Dell PC, ditching the 17" CRT they've been using for those 9 years.

    Edit: I'm actually a bit nervous that they're going to be dissatisfied with their purchase because I know they're not going to want to spring for HD service. They see the Samsung LCD at my sister's place all the time and want that, but she's got the mega-ultra-deluxe Digital Cable package with all the pretties.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Oh, you mean the old animated Alice in Wonderland then, I was thinking the Johnny Depp one.

    Out of the 3 tvs you listed, the Samsung is probably the nicest, the Vizio is probably fine. But if it was me I would wait a few months, save up another $200 - $300 and get something way nicer.

    As far as bluray players go, I'm still using a PS3 because I don't know of a stand alone unit that's any nicer. I've heard that the inexpensive BR players take forever and a day to load stuff up.

    It's not a matter of saving up money, my parents are just cheap; they don't like to spend unnecessary money. They finally bought a flat-panel display for their 9-year old Dell PC, ditching the 17" CRT they've been using for those 9 years.

    I just worry that they will be unsatisfied with this purchase.

  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    usually HD content isn't too much of a bump. depending on their cable provider, there may not even be one.

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    usually HD content isn't too much of a bump. depending on their cable provider, there may not even be one.

    Usually its somewhere between $5 and $10 extra a month. Depending on the service they use, they might have to buy new boxes though.

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    usually HD content isn't too much of a bump. depending on their cable provider, there may not even be one.

    Usually its somewhere between $5 and $10 extra a month. Depending on the service they use, they might have to buy new boxes though.

    Right now they have no boxes.

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  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Oh, you mean the old animated Alice in Wonderland then, I was thinking the Johnny Depp one.

    Out of the 3 tvs you listed, the Samsung is probably the nicest, the Vizio is probably fine. But if it was me I would wait a few months, save up another $200 - $300 and get something way nicer.

    As far as bluray players go, I'm still using a PS3 because I don't know of a stand alone unit that's any nicer. I've heard that the inexpensive BR players take forever and a day to load stuff up.

    Also, any particular reason you're going with the Samsung over the Panasonic?

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Just to be sure.

    You said the entertainment center is the current limiting factor making you get a 32", right?

    Now I'd like to assume you know a 32" SD tv is very different dimensions than a 32" HD tv, so I'm hoping you aren't just going with 32" since the previous TV was 32"

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Just to be sure.

    You said the entertainment center is the current limiting factor making you get a 32", right?

    Now I'd like to assume you know a 32" SD tv is very different dimensions than a 32" HD tv, so I'm hoping you aren't just going with 32" since the previous TV was 32"

    No, I don't have the exact measurement on me but the horizontal opening generally seems to fit 32" flat panel TVs.

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  • hsofpn666hsofpn666 Registered User
    edited January 2011
    i go with a sony 60 inch plasma

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but just get them something and then get out of the way; it's likely more important to them that the tv remote can turn on the blu-ray (or vice-versa) over any performance metric.

    This:
    I'm actually a bit nervous that they're going to be dissatisfied with their purchase because I know they're not going to want to spring for HD service. They see the Samsung LCD at my sister's place all the time and want that, but she's got the mega-ultra-deluxe Digital Cable package with all the pretties.

    is pretty telling. If it's a natural point in their tv replacement cycle, then of course they should get an HDTV, but if they just hook it up to their RG-6 analog cable it likely is just going to diplay SD content (and not necessarily very well, it's not like a budget tv maker is going to spend bucks on a decent SD scaler).


    I helped my parents pick out a nice Samsung HDTV (32"), set it up with an antenna so they could get OTA-HD, they didn't want to deal with the input selector. Signed them up for an HD box and installed it. Just visited them last weekend and they watch the SD channels cause "everything's too small" on the HD channels (CNBC/FOX tickers I think), and they're watching movies on the fucking vcr for god's sake.

  • ZoolanderZoolander Registered User
    edited January 2011
    I didn't say there would be no improvement, I merely said that there would not be much of an improvement when your factor the small screen size with the viewing distance. A trend I've noticed with people that are this late to the HD game is that they tend to still correlate the diagonal measurements of tvs with 4:3 aspect ratio ones and don't realize that even though their old 32" 4:3 tv may have been a nice size for the living room, a 32" 16:9 tv is going to feel more like a 19" or so bedroom tv. I am of the opinion that for a living room, a 40 - 55 inch tv is more suitable.

    And as I said, I think (actually know from personal experience) that there is a huge improvement going from 480p CRT to 720p 32" LCD, at a distance of 8 ft. Of course if you are only going to watch SD television on it, it will probably look worse, but then it would look even worse on a larger HDTV.

    Anyway OP, your parents seem like the kind of people who won't really be able to tell the difference in picture quality between a $400 TV and a $500 dollar TV. I suggest getting the Panasonic because it offers good features for a cheap price and it's a brand they know so they'll probably trust that it looks good.

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Oh, you mean the old animated Alice in Wonderland then, I was thinking the Johnny Depp one.

    Out of the 3 tvs you listed, the Samsung is probably the nicest, the Vizio is probably fine. But if it was me I would wait a few months, save up another $200 - $300 and get something way nicer.

    As far as bluray players go, I'm still using a PS3 because I don't know of a stand alone unit that's any nicer. I've heard that the inexpensive BR players take forever and a day to load stuff up.

    Also, any particular reason you're going with the Samsung over the Panasonic?

    I just think Samsung makes nicer tvs. Maybe your parents should walk around a Bestbuy or something and play around with the tvs a bit before they commit to anything.

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Fuck it. Plans are off. My parents don't want to pay for high definition service and they're not interested in a Blu-Ray player so there's no point in them getting a new TV when it'll look the same as what they have now.

    Lock up the thread if you see fit, mods.

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