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Our tv just died, any recommendations?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I turned it on briefly this morning and it was fine, then DH turned it on a bit later and the light changed to say it was on, but there was no picture or sound

We found our warranty only to discover it expired a little under a month ago - typical!!!!!!

So we've got it in to see if it's fixable and if it's worth being fixed, otherwise we're up for a new tv.

We haven't kept up with the latest and greatest tv's. Anyone know much about them?

We went for a crappy brand last time and got what we paid for I guess... This time we'll get a Sony LCD tv.

There's 5 different Sony's we're comparing. Can anybody tell me what the difference is between 720p and 1080p for "Vertical Scanning Lines", and if you'd notice the difference?

What about contrast ratio? One is 1000:1 (dynamic), one is 1600:1, 2 of them are 8000:1, and one doesn't have that info. Is there much of a difference?

Anything else we should look for in a tv? We watch mainly DVDs and the tv shows we watch are just the news, and a few sitcoms/comedy's - no sports, so don't need super high resolution (or whatever it is) to see a basketball/football/whatever flying through the air.
post #2 of 21
When ours croaked last year we bought an Ilo tv. It was an HD tv but no stereo oh and a walmart brand. Took that one back some day because of that. We ended up with a nice RCA SD tv with stereo, 33in for about 400.00. Its a nice tv we like it.
post #3 of 21
*hugs* I had a TV that did that. I wasn't in a position to buy a new one though so I ended up renting to own a "previously enjoyed" one that by the time I finished paying on the contract I could have bought that TV brand new, 5 times!!!

Anyway, recently someone here was asking for advice on TV's, here is the thread. You might get some information from there too.

My advice is to make sure that it's HD ready and a flat screen. Other than that, what size you choose is up to you based on your needs and the space you have. If you go large screen, you want to make sure that you are going to be sitting far enough way from it to view it.

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=150660
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I turned it on briefly this morning and it was fine, then DH turned it on a bit later and the light changed to say it was on, but there was no picture or sound

We found our warranty only to discover it expired a little under a month ago - typical!!!!!!

So we've got it in to see if it's fixable and if it's worth being fixed, otherwise we're up for a new tv.

We haven't kept up with the latest and greatest tv's. Anyone know much about them?

We went for a crappy brand last time and got what we paid for I guess... This time we'll get a Sony LCD tv.

There's 5 different Sony's we're comparing. Can anybody tell me what the difference is between 720p and 1080p for "Vertical Scanning Lines", and if you'd notice the difference?

What about contrast ratio? One is 1000:1 (dynamic), one is 1600:1, 2 of them are 8000:1, and one doesn't have that info. Is there much of a difference?

Anything else we should look for in a tv? We watch mainly DVDs and the tv shows we watch are just the news, and a few sitcoms/comedy's - no sports, so don't need super high resolution (or whatever it is) to see a basketball/football/whatever flying through the air.
You ask for opinions and I have them. Consumer Reports year after year rates Panasonic as the best flat screen TV out there. I wonder why you want LCD; are you in a place with lots of outside or reflected light? I have had the Panasonic 42 inch plazma 3 years and still cannot get over how beautiful the HD channels are; which are most of them since Jan. 1.

Regarding "Can you tell you difference" reminds me of when I got my first stereo; nobody but me could hear different sounds coming out of different speakers. If you get a 720 make sure it is a 720p which stands for progressive scan as opposed to 780i which is interlaced, and what that means to you is that it fills in in such a manner that some people indeed cannot see the difference. BUT I CAN!

If you are interested in the Consumer Report ratings, pm the model numbers and I will tell you how they rate them - I have always had a very high regard for Consumer Reports.
post #5 of 21
It's almost pointless to fix the old style TV. The tubes are SOOOO expensive!!! Our 32 inch was struck by lightening and was fixed for nearly what we paid for it years ago Then it just went out again about a year later!

We have a 42in LCD Sanyo 720p HD. It's AWESOME and we LOVE it!!!! Of course 1080p is a bit better, but I think the 720 is just fine. The Sanyo is a great brand for a lesser price. We've had it for nearly 6 months and have had no problems with it.

I've heard plasmas weren't great and there is a good chance they will go out of "style", not too mention terribly expensive to fix. I don't know if that's still true but a few years ago when I worked in an electronics store that's what I was told.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Why is 1080p better than 720p?? What's the difference?

We're looking at either a 32 or 40 inch Sony. We don't care too much about HDTV, and we don't watch much TV, so just not sure if it's worth paying the extra for the higher contrast ratio and 1080p (whatever it does...)

Edit: We prefer LCD over plasma, so plasma isn't an option.
post #7 of 21
I believe the difference is more pixels with the 1080p.....but unless you REALLY care to see the difference I don't think you will. *edit* my SO just said 1080 is the amount of times it renews the picture.

You should really get a TV with HD though, TV is changing from the analog crap and going to all digital. You might have troubles with picture quality if you don't get the HD. I really don't think there is a price difference. They should all be HD by now. If you're going to spend the money GET HD!!!!! You'd be crazy not to. HD isn't just for the TV it's for movies as well.

I also wanted to tell you some perks for the LCD vrs Plasma

Lesser price
Better resolution
Don't get screen burns (if you leave it on pause for a long time)
Use less energy (30% less power)
Have a longer life span (guarunteed 60,000 hours)

****At the smaller end of things (15" to 42" TVs), LCD is the only way to go if you want something slim and tasteful. And the best thing is that LCDs are getting cheaper all the time.****

That is straight off the site I got all of the above information off of.

http://www.cnet.com.au/tvs/0,239035250,240036500,00.htm
post #8 of 21
All the channels will be broadcasting HDTV beginning next year. So if you do not get a HDTV, then you will need a convertor/receiver just to be able to watch any channel on TV. You may want to research this before you decide on a TV and see which will be cheaper in the long run.

I am going to have to research it this year since all our TVs are early 2000's.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ok, just found this article with this to say about 1080p vs 720p:

Quote:
We still believe that when you're dealing with TVs 50 inches and smaller, the added resolution has only a very minor impact on picture quality. On a regular basis in our HDTV reviews, we put 720p (or 768p) sets next to 1080p sets, then feed them both the same source material, whether it's 1080i or 1080p, from the highest-quality Blu-ray and HD DVD players. We typically watch both sets for a while, with eyes darting back and forth between the two, looking for differences in the most-detailed sections, such as hair, textures of fabric, and grassy plains. Bottom line: It's almost always very difficult to see any difference--especially from farther than 8 feet away on a 50-inch TV.
It also says:
Quote:
Really, the only commercially available way to get true 1080p output--aside from hooking your PC to your HDTV--is to get a Blu-ray or HD DVD player.
We don't plan on getting a Blu-Ray or HD DVD player until they stop producing regular DVDs.

So I guess the 720p vs 1080p doesn't matter.

And the TVs we're looking at are HDTV.
post #10 of 21
Looks like you've got your answer on the 720 vs 1080 question. Like Lee, the next tv we get will be a 1080i because we can see the differece, have HD already through the satellite (which really is a huge difference, at least to us), and actually have both a HD-DVD and Blu-Ray (got both on major sale so we weren't out even 1/2 the normal price on either...). But the basic difference is the number of lines that are produced on the screen. The normal analog picture is 480, dvd/digital quality is 720, HD quality is 1080.

The contrast ratio is just what it sounds like. The higher the ratio, the blacker the blacks and more clear the gradations of color are. I would get at least the mid-range or the picture could appear muddy, especially if you're watching something with night scenes (think of Batman Begins, which almost all scenes take place at night). Obviously the 8000:1 would be the best quality, but I would go to someplace like Best Buy and actually look at the picture on the models you're considering. It may not sound like a big deal on paper, but in person it may be to you.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
I just found this about the contrast ratio:

Quote:
This will help you understand the difference between the two types of contrast ratio measurements. The one used by pretty much every manufacturer out there is full on (100% white) / full off (100% black). While this can give some amazingly high numbers, people don't watch all-white or all-black screens. Comparing the brightest whites in one scene to the blackest blacks in another scene is not representative of the picture quality available at the exact instance you're watching each scene.

The contrast ratio that matters most for the most common viewing scenarios is ANSI contrast ratio. With ANSI contrast ratio, the black and white levels are measured at the same time on the same screen using a 16-square black and white checkerboard image. What this means is that it is representative of the contrast ratio achievable at any one point in time; this is what is really important.

The reason ANSI contrast ratios are not published is because of marketing. ANSI contrast ratios are much lower than on/off contrast ratios. An ANSI contrast ratio of 250:1 would be an impressive result and 600:1 would be outstanding — but much too low of a number if casually compared to an on/off contrast ratio of 10,000:1.

So in reality these statistics are nothing more than a marketing BS. So trusting these specifications are really irrelevant.
I'm also finding other reports saying that 8000:1 in 32-37inch tv's seem grainy compared to 1600:1.

So who knows...
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Obviously the 8000:1 would be the best quality, but I would go to someplace like Best Buy and actually look at the picture on the models you're considering. It may not sound like a big deal on paper, but in person it may be to you.
and when you get there too, be sure to play with the TV settings. Often when a store is trying to "push" a brand out the door, the sales people will change the settings on a TV you might prefer...i.e. turn the green just enough so the picture looks different even though it has the same specs.

Once you view the TVs (8000:1 vs. 1600:1) then you can make your decision on graininess.
post #13 of 21
Sarah, I have to go with Panasonic (hubby works for them ) This summer we got a new plasma and it's awesome. Our friend was over on New Years' Eve and he couldn't stop talking about how great the picture was on the Plasma.

We haven't invested in the HD box yet but it's coming as soon as hubby has done his research and decided the best for us.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping View Post
When ours croaked last year we bought an Ilo tv. It was an HD tv but no stereo oh and a walmart brand. Took that one back some day because of that. We ended up with a nice RCA SD tv with stereo, 33in for about 400.00. Its a nice tv we like it.
My tv is Ilo and it works great. We have had it for over a year now. We got the 42" plasma.

Wal-Mart has a 42" Sony that is like $1100. They got that tv not long after we bought ours for $1000.
post #15 of 21
My dh was researching these (ad nauseum ) up until this summer when we finally bought 2 (our small tv died, and the big one was on the way out. Plus, the brand we wanted only had one 40" that would fit in our entertainment center, and it was "last year's" model, so we had to get it before it was gone ).

He told me that he found out that Samsung and Sony have the same screen from the same place, just the electronics are different. The Samsungs are a good bit less expensive, and the pics look the same to my picky dh .

Even the 720 will be such an improvement over your old analog tv once you get it in your house, you will be amazed! I was, and I was not all that big on the "new tv" thing .

We also have a 19" LG lcd 1080 tv in the kitchen, and it has a pretty good pic too (we liked it better than the Samsung for the smaller tvs).

Our den tv is a 40" Samsung 1080p lcd, and cost about 25% less than the Sony with the same stuff.

If you have a rewards card, and watch the sales, you can usually get a good deal. My MIL got a 32'' Samsung 1080p for around $600 by doing that (she had rewards card coupons, and did a "within 90 days" after sale price match at Best Buy ).

Good luck!
post #16 of 21
i am not so sure "This time we'll get a Sony LCD"

IMO sony been living off there rep, for the last few years.
several people i know of,who had there sony LCD less then year all went boom. the wife;s sony laptop died 2 months in. I went thru 2 sony camera's
in less then 2 years.

about the only thing it seems sony is still doing well is there cell phones.
well you know its the web you can research what tv;s you like best.

I almost always suggest you go with a local store, that way you can take the TV back if something goes wrong.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsallover View Post
Even the 720 will be such an improvement over your old analog tv once you get it in your house, you will be amazed! I was, and I was not all that big on the "new tv" thing .
Thanks for your help! The old tv that just died was an LCD flat panel - it was only 2 years old It may still be able to be fixed, but if it's more than a couple of hundred, we'll just get a new tv. It doesn't have many features, and we can't plug the DVD player, computer and a Wii in all at the same time - it can only handle input from 2 things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
i am not so sure "This time we'll get a Sony LCD"

IMO sony been living off there rep, for the last few years.
several people i know of,who had there sony LCD less then year all went boom. the wife;s sony laptop died 2 months in. I went thru 2 sony camera's
in less then 2 years.

about the only thing it seems sony is still doing well is there cell phones.
well you know its the web you can research what tv;s you like best.

I almost always suggest you go with a local store, that way you can take the TV back if something goes wrong.
We've always been happy with Sony's products, they've always done us well. The first time we've gone with something other than Sony for TV components was this LCD and it's died after 2 years. We'll probably go with Best Buy and get the extended warranty they offer that looks pretty good.
post #18 of 21
My advice?

Don't let the cats knock it flat on it's face! Even a Sony TV can't stand up to that! Now mine is green/purple all around the edges.

When buying my TV 3.5 years ago, I went into Best Buy & started messing with the settings on the TVs. Drove the poor sales guy nuts. He wanted me to buy one TV & I bought another because the one he wanted me to buy wasn't worth it.
post #19 of 21
I just saw this and didn't read the responses, but don't get a Sony!

We have always been faithful Sony customers - always loved and purchased Sony everything. We have been SO disappointed the last three years with their products. Our TV is 2.5 years old and we have major issues that Sony won't address, even though our particular model is known to have this problem. Our Sony camcorder (HandyCam) has been in for repair for five weeks; we had it for 11 months (had recorded only about three hours on it!) and it had to go in. We think the service place has lost it - we can't get any answers about it. My husband bought me a Sony digital camera before Christmas but exchanged it for a Canon after our camcorder went down.

Sony products have gone downhill, but the worst part is their customer service!
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duchess15 View Post
All the channels will be broadcasting HDTV beginning next year. So if you do not get a HDTV, then you will need a convertor/receiver just to be able to watch any channel on TV. You may want to research this before you decide on a TV and see which will be cheaper in the long run.

I am going to have to research it this year since all our TVs are early 2000's.
I will have the same problem, my TV's are both about 10 years old. They both work so well that I hate to replace them if I don't have to altho would love a larger flatscreen. I may go with the convertor box when the time comes, I just don't want it to mess up my VCR or DVD player.
post #21 of 21
The Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago had a section on HD TV's.
One argument on LCD vs Plasma is the location the TV will be in your room. For instance ours will by in family room. The lighting comes from the east window and we mainly watch at night. So the recommendations are for plasmadue to our light situtation.
Also LCD's are blurry/distorted when viewed at angles vs plasmas.
We are leaing towards a Panasonic plasma but like many others we have a custom buillt bookcase/entertainment center. A 37" will fit but might be too tight for a 40" one.
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