Large screen recommendation

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#1
Okay -- I'm getting very close to getting that new TV at last. I want LCD and not plasma, and I want a 50" screen. I'll go down to 48 or up to 52. It's a tv that will be on a lot so durability is a must. It needs to be something I can find locally -- Best Buy or someplace like that I guess (not online). What are your recommendations?
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#2
Regarding brands: LG recently surpassed Sony for #2 in overall ratings, but Samsung very firmly remains #1. Panasonic is probably #4 at this point.

The second tier suppliers are Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Vizio, and Sharp.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#3
Orrymain,

Julie and I were at Sears last weekend and we went thru their video department comparing flat screen sets. We were particularly taken by the new Samsung 52" (?) because it is half as thick as our Sony. It shows fantastic colors and it has a wide viewing angle, but its ability to display the true color black was poor, particularly around the sides of its screen.

Over a year ago we chose to buy our Sony after I spent at least eighteen hours comparing reviews online and those reviews repeatedly warned about the 'black' issue. I'll check to see if I kept any of the comparison sites and if so, I'll zap you a private mail with some links.
Jim
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#5
Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, Mitsubishi in no particular order. My Mitsubishi rear projection has served me well for over 5 years now.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#9
It used to be much clearer as you could tell what panels were in the sets by the names on the nameplates for the most part. Now the cheaper sets in a line may be different from the more expensive sets. Mitsubishi and Toshiba (and JVC) put good electronics around other peoples panels. But as I said, its variable these days, and I havent been paying attention.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#11
Thanks for all of the opinions. It's hard to know what to go with, except that I don't want plasma. These days it's hard even to know where to go shopping since businesses keep going out of business.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#12
Shopping, too...

It's really hard to make a decision given the choices stores give you. Some stores won't even let you use the remote! (Wallyworld, take note: They can't even FIND the remotes!) FIX: an all in one remote with all the codes. :nyah: Hehe. Sometimes you can find hidden features with the unversal remote: I had my 11 year old SANYO CRT for 3 years before I bought a remote and discovered it had PIP! By the way, Y'all be hating Sanyo, but this TV is 11 years old and never a problem... Consumer Reports puts them at the top in reliability, and they are part of Panasonic!

Another thing to note: It's hard to find a place that has ANTENNAS to try ota. Most have all screens on a loop from a BluRay.. over COMPONENT (720) cables. So you have no idea what that tv will be like when you get it hooked up OTA and BR at 1080i/p.

Heres an example. I found a Philips 52" 1080p 120hz LCD on clearance -VERY good price. Took it home and found that it had an AWESOME OTA picture. But the good stuff ended there. The speakers face the wall. The remote is unlighted and has tiny little buttons. Every time you change channels, it takes forever to change, and then it puts a display of useless info on the screen for about 10 seconds (it takes up 20% of the screen). Anytime you want to do ANYTHING, you have to go to the main menu. The main menu is FULL SCREEN SCREAMING BRIGHT WHITE! Try that in a darkened room. No program info... current show, title only. This TV would be great if I got everything thru a cable box and BluRay, or used it as a giant computer monitor... except it doesn't have a PC in. My 19 inch Sylvania $170 bedroom cheapo has better features and menu than this thing. Even the $99 15" "Venturer" in the kids room has more features! I really wanted to love this Big ol' TV... but back it goes to Sam's. :(

Everyone is soooo into Samsucks, and while they DO MAKE great stuff, you better hope nothing goes wrong with it. Their customer service record speaks foer itself. I have a Samsung MiniDV camcorder I absolutely LOVE - If only it worked. A few years back, there was a problem with SONY supplied ccd sensors. ALL manufacturers stepped up and repaired the problem. Except Samsung. Samsung denied there is a problem. They settled a class action suit - Samsucks says ok, we will fix them "even though we do not admit there is a problem". Their idea of a fix? To send you a refurb bottom dweller thats no replacement for the cam I paid for. But it makes a nice player for the tapes from my less full featured BUT SUPPORTED and working Canon!

Bottom Line: Find a store that will let you play. Picture is important, but consider CUSTOMER SERVICE, RELIABILITY, and FEATURES. And make sure you can RETURN to the store, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. (Most independent dealers, and Sams and Costco have a decent return policy)
 
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bicker

DTVUSA Member
#13
By the way, Y'all be hating Sanyo, but this TV is 11 years old and never a problem... Consumer Reports puts them at the top in reliability, and they are part of Panasonic!
Sanyo may or may not have made good stuff 11 years ago. To assess their ability to make current equipment based on their performance 11 years ago -- no -- based on one anecdotal report of the experience one consumer had with something they made 11 years ago -- is ill-advised, at best. 11 years ago, Replay TV was hailed as one of the leading-edge of DVR manufacturers. I wouldn't suggest buying a Replay TV DVR these days. ;)

I also wouldn't put much stock in a first-tier quality company's second-tier quality brand. Companies offer products on two quality tiers deliberately, to provide products to the first-tier quality and second-tier quality markets. To expect second-tier quality products to have first-tier quality, just because the company also offers first-tier quality products, is, again, ill-advised, at best.

Everyone is soooo into Samsucks, and while they DO MAKE great stuff, you better hope nothing goes wrong with it. Their customer service record speaks foer itself.
I've enjoyed their excellent customer service.

One thing I think some folks forget is that the companies that sell the most will have the most problems... that's simple math. Samsung has done a great job supporting their products, on par with Sony, Panasonic and the rest. They're a top-notch company.

Note that Samsung does not support their kitchen equipment (coffee makers) on par with how well they support their entertainment electronics.

Bottom Line: It seems you have a personal beef with Samsung. That's a shame, because you're allowing it to deprive you of the ability to appreciate this, the best HDTV maker in the marketplace today.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#14
I Don't want to bicker :\

@ Bicker:

Just stating the facts AS I SEE THEM. My OPINION, which I am entitled to, as also you are. These are my experiences, not yours.

I have more recent sanyo products, they work fine also. Truth be told, I really am not sure from my experience if Sanyo's customer service is good / bad. Never had to use it. I know 1 person who did, and the issue was resolved.

I also have a Samsucks Digital Camera... its in the junk drawer. It may or may not work for 5 minutes if I power it up. Both of the Sammy products were JUST out of the warranty when they died. I also own a salvaged DVD burner/ vcr from samsung that works ok now that I've cleaned it up, but in checking online there's a lot of people with complaints about this unit. Even when you weed out the morons who don't have a clue IE: "The dvds will only play on this player, no others. What a piece of Sh*t" SECRET: :gossip: Hey, Moron, RTFM: you need to finalize your disc!

Don't misunderstand: While they work they are awesome products. My Camcorder had LED Light, Night vision, mic in with dubbing, still to Mem stick... man, it was sweet! But if it dies from just sitting on the shelf because of an issue that is known, that is a defect, and they refuse to support or acknowlege it... (unlike EVERY manufacturer did,) Well, if you want to take that chance, fine. I spent several hundred for a defective product, they had to be forced to fix it, but chose to replace it with a refurb $50 product instead. (Note: The CCD on that cam is cheap, $20 RETAIL, and a fairly easy fix. I should have done it myself, but they said they would fix it.) The camcorder had only 5 hours on it!

IMHO, Sony is the best, if you can afford it. I've seen them replace (AND UPGRADE at the same time!) products just out of warranty. The only gripe I have with Sony is their use of proprietary products. I have a PSP, and its Memory Stick, not the SD. And they lock down the system so hard that you can't run homebrew on it. But quality? Support? Features? SONY. Hands down winner.

All I'm saying is, if it breaks, you're on your own.*

MrPogi

* Disclaimer:
My Experience only. Yours may be different, if it is, please share so we may all learn from one another. Your Milage May Vary. Restrictions apply. Do not operate heavy machinery while using this advice. Consult physician before use. May or may not be suitable for human consumption. Void in that state of Misery, Confusion, Dimentia, or Utah. May be illegal in the state of Utah, and probably is, along with anything else FUN, which the Mormon church state has deemed not proper.
 
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bicker

DTVUSA Member
#15
Just stating the facts AS I SEE THEM. My OPINION, which I am entitled to, as also you are. These are my experiences, not yours.
Fair enough. So we have your experiences (against Samsung/pro-Sanyo), my experiences (pro-Samsung), and the industry reviews (pro-Samsung/against Sanyo).

I also have a Samsucks Digital Camera...
I do as well. This forum, though, is about televisions, not cameras, so the quality of Samsung's cameras, and coffee makers, is pretty-much irrelevant.

IMHO, Sony is the best, if you can afford it.
Most of my equipment is Sony, and it is a good brand, but practically all the experts have put Sony now down into third place, for HDTVS, behind both Samsung and LG. Sony isn't so much slipping as Samsung and LG are excelling.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#16
just this:

This forum, though, is about televisions, not cameras, so the quality of Samsung's cameras, and coffee makers, is pretty-much irrelevant.

Just pointing out the CUSTOMER SERVICE of the organizations, which cannot be seperated into TV/camera categories.

My point being, again... It may be great today, but if it doesn't work you're left dealing with customer service: an oxymoron these days ("Please press any number to be put on hold for 45 minutes...")
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#17
Just pointing out the CUSTOMER SERVICE of the organizations, which cannot be seperated into TV/camera categories.
That's not true. Customer support for coffee makers and televisions is provided by completely separate customer service organizations.

My point being, again... It may be great today, but if it doesn't work you're left dealing with customer service
Which you had bad experience with, and I've had good experience with, and consumer reports feels is not significantly different from other suppliers.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#18
Can we agree...

That customer service is a shambles these days, at best its a crap shoot depending on who you talk to and when?

They have to realize that if they treat us poorly when we have a problem, we won't give them another chance.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#19
I'm sorry that you've personally had a series of bad experiences, especially since that's so atypical. The uniqueness of your experience must make your disappointment even more poignant.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#20
Okay -- I'm getting very close to getting that new TV at last. I want LCD and not plasma, and I want a 50" screen. I'll go down to 48 or up to 52. It's a tv that will be on a lot so durability is a must. It needs to be something I can find locally -- Best Buy or someplace like that I guess (not online). What are your recommendations?
All of those considerations are important, but how you are going to feed a signal, and what type of signal are VERY important also. I do not recommend displays much over 42 inches, as they have to stretch the pixels to such a large size, it is very noticeable.

The only acceptable way to feed a large display is with a full time HD signal such as Dish or Direc TV. When the pixels are stretched, resolution, or at least the perception of resolution goes out the window on large displays that are fed with an SD signal.

Remember when shopping that the display sets in stores normally are fed with a dedicated HD signal so the display looks great in the store, but get it home and hook it to an SD signal source, and you will not be happy with the picture quality, and the larger the display, the more noticeable this issue becomes.

If you are going to use OTA signals, be sure to shop at a store that is willing to show you an off air signal on the display you are interested in for a real preview of what it will look like in your home environment using off air signals.
 

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