General Question

gailcalled's avatar

How can I choose a new TV and components without making myself crazy?

Asked by gailcalled (54584points) April 2nd, 2011

I have a roof antenna and a Panasonic CRT from 1987. Both work fine except that the TV doesn’t support a DVD player. Plus, I have a convertor box that also works fine. How to choose a new TV and DVD player and recorder?

I would say 36” -42”. I play no games, listen to no music and want no 2000 channels of junk. I also don’t want to get seasick or have to adjust everything daily.

I have stalled for several years so that money is no longer an issue.

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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

@dverhey: Be specific, not too technical and use very simple sentences, please. vv

DeanV's avatar

If you’re not going to use it or think about it all that much, just go with what you think is the best deal for your use. First impressions are usually pretty accurate if you can look at the build quality and picture quality when you’re in the store.

Otherwise, go into a Best Buy or something local and just talk to the people. Tell them your situation and they won’t usually try and sell you something with 3D and 1080p if you obviously won’t use it. I wouldn’t go higher than $700 for all of this as well. With local channels, the quality from the antennae won’t be good enough to make the TV with the highest definition worth the price at all.

Depending on the size you want, you should be able to get out of that store with a DVD player, 32” TV, and the information you need to hook up your converter to get local channels for less than $500–700. I’d go with a brand like Samsung or LG over something like Westinghouse or Coby. Name brands are important in terms of warranties and support if something goes wrong, I find.

@gailcalled I tried my best. :D

gailcalled's avatar

@dverhey: You’re correct, of course. I have a very user-friendly store nearby; all I have to do is summon up the energy to stop in. (I do get good hi-def with the converter box and rather a lot of channels – two from cbs, two from abc, three from nbc and three terrific ones from PBS.)

I forgot to mention the choice between either LCD and Plasma. Any ideas about that?

gasman's avatar

@gailcalled ”...the TV doesn’t support a DVD player”

All you need is an RF modulator that you set to either channel 3 or 4. They’ve been around since the days of Atari. Does your DVD player have a small round yellow connector?

creative1's avatar

Do you want it to be able to connect to the internet to watch like hulu plus or anything like that?

gailcalled's avatar

@gasman: I had the local electronics guru in to see what he could do; after an hour he finally said that the TV wouldn’t support any DVDs. I do use channel three for the converter box (and my ancient yet functioning Video recorder).

Then I brought in the teen-aged genius and he had no luck either.

The real reason for leaving the dark ages is only to use Netflix and rental DVDs. I am not, at this time, interested in internet connection. One baby step at a time.

Occasionally I’ll watch a TV show on the computer.

creative1's avatar

Well if you use netflix you would be able to connect to netflix using an internet tv directly to netflix through your tv to watch without ordering anything.

Here is one I bought at BJ’s which is an LED LCD by VIZO, I don’t know if you have a membership at BJ’s but its a really nice tv and I am quiet happy with it.

http://www.bjs.com/vizio-razor-42-full-hd-1080p-120hz-led-lcd-hdtv-with-vizio-internet-apps-m421vt.product.169649

gailcalled's avatar

@creative1: Sentences are too complicated and link doesn’t work. What is an internet tv?

creative1's avatar

the internet tv comes with applications that go directly to the sites so you can watch shows at those sites like netflix and hulu.com.

gailcalled's avatar

@creative1” Fixed. One reviewer gave that TV five stars but he did write this:

BEST USES
Any HD Cotent
Gamming
Movies

gasman's avatar

Another oldie-but-goodie video accessory:an A-B rf switch that selects one of two coax cable inputs and sends it to the output, often with a simple mechanical slider.

Actually the yellow connector I referred to is composite video using a so-called RCA plug. Of course I forgot you need audio as well, which is a red & white pair of the same kind, making 3 cables in all, often run as one big cable. Not that I don’t believe your TV guy, but I wonder what kind of outputs are on the back of your DVD player?

gailcalled's avatar

I returned the DVD player so will be starting with an even playing field. And I should add that with my old VHS player, I can tape with the timer but get no audio. It works if the program has closed captioning. It’s all very Rube Goldberg.

Obviously I should stop wasting everyones’s time and talk to a real person in a real store.

Thanks for the tips, though.

janbb's avatar

This thread helped me when I was faced with a similar choice in July.

gailcalled's avatar

@janbb: Helpful. What did you end up buying? Are you satisfied?

BarnacleBill's avatar

I went to Target and bought a 37 inch Vizio right before Thanksgiving for about $450. I am happy with it. I went to Target, told the young man I was buying at television for a room where the TV was about 8 feet from the couch. He recommended the Vizio. Great picture. I’m happy.

janbb's avatar

Best Buy, Insignia (house brand) 32 inch HD, LED 1080 (I think.) Happy with it. Sony Blu Ray internet competitrble DVD player. Happy with that.

faye's avatar

I bought an Insignia tv, dvd and a little digital camera. All were more than reasonable in price and work just fine for me.

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