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Jaybee's avatar

Whats the best HD flatscreen tv to buy?

Asked by Jaybee (220points) November 27th, 2007 from iPhone

I’m looking to replace one of my regular tv’s with flatscreen tv. What the best one to buy since there are so many choices out there. I don’t want anything less than 40in but want to know what is the best size.

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9 Answers

kevbo's avatar

Check out Consumer Reports. There isn’t really one standalone best answer, because it can depend on your preference. 1080p, though, seems to be the emerging gold standard.

We have a Sony Bravia 1080i, which we bought a little over 6 months ago. Sony dumped plasma and pour everything into LCD a couple of years ago. At the time of purchase, the Bravia had a much higher contrast ratio (blacker blacks and whiter whites) than any other LCD. With our older DishNetwork receiver, standard def images were fairly pixellated and laggy during close ups, but with a new HD receiver, the HD picture is really beautiful and standard def is better than what it used to be.

Plasmas generally have better pictures overall, brighter colors, etc, and I think they use less energy than LCDs (which are kind of energy hogs), but they are subject to a shorter lifespan, especially in higher altitudes, plus you run the risk of burn in if an image (such as the tv channel’s little logo) stays on the screen for an extended period of time. A family friend got rid of hers after the power board burned out twice. The repair guy said that it’s new technology that they haven’t nailed down yet—this was about 6 months ago as well. She ended up getting a Bravia and loves it.

Lastly, my buddy with a basement decided to go the HD projector route, since ambient light could be controlled and because he could essentially get a ginormous picture for the same price as a reasonably large tv set. I forgot what brand (there are two, I think that are at the top), but the picture projected onto a light green, textured wall (he hadn’t yet invested in a projection screen) was totally huge and amazing. The ambient light didn’t degrade the viewing experience one bit, although I imagine it would be richer still with a white screen and little to no light. It was the perfect solution for his space. The lamps for those cost like $300 to replace, so if you’re offered a choice in terms of a warranty or an extra lamp, the extra lamp might be worth taking.

Good luck!

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I have a Samsung and love it. The picture is great. As far as 1080i or 1080p, my opinion is that for the money, go with the 1080i. Unless you have a p or an i side by side, you will never notice the difference. I’m not 100% sure, but I think whatever you are watching, has to be broadcasted in 1080p for it to come through that way.

andrew's avatar

I also love my Samsung. If you’re looking for an LCD flatscreen, look for ones with the highest contrast ratio… IMHO it’s worth spending the extra money on picture quality vs. size.

robhaya's avatar

In my house we have a 32” Sony Bravia LCD and a 42” Panasonic Plasma. I really like both TV’s and the picture quality is outstanding on both. The Panasonic is the leader in the Plasma TV field and deliver rich colors and better viewing angles.

One thing to consider is the amount of light entering a room that you will be viewing your TV in. If your room gets a lot of natural light and will watch TV in that room during the day, ie a football game on a Sunday. Go with an LCD, they perform well in those conditions. If the viewing area has minimal natural light or no windows, like basement, go with a Plasma.

Another thing to consider is the number of HDMI inputs. If you only plan on having only your cable/satellite box hooked up to your TV, than one input is only necessary. If you also want to hook up your PS3 or HD-DVD player too, than get a tv with at least two HDMI inputs. I recommend going with two HDMI inputs, even if you only plan to use one for now.

I would recommend you go to your local electronics store and look at the picture quality of the TV’s, they are all not the same. You can tell the difference in how the colors are rendered, etc.

Good Luck.

Jaybee's avatar

A great big ‘Thank You’ to everyone. This has been is SO helpful. If anyone comes up will a good, better, best time to buy, let me know.

robhaya's avatar


the holidays are always a good time to buy a TV, but when the Superbowl comes around is another good time to buy a TV. That’s when people are itching to buy a big HD TV to watch the game and the retailers roll out all the incentives. Another tip, is to buy the floor model. When the newer model comes out, the retailer will sell previous year’s model at a significant discount. And the feature difference is usually not significant. That ‘s what I did when I bought my 42” Panasonic Plasma. I also did buy the extended warranty, I think its better safe than sorry when you spend money on your TV.


andrew's avatar

Oh! Also! Don’t bother spending $70 on monster cables. If you really need gold plated shielded whozits, get them online for a fraction of the cost. I remember reading that the cables are pretty insignificant in terms of signal clarity (so long as you don’t get some bargain basement cable made out of string), but I can’t remember the source.

robhaya is right on the money about the HDMI inputs, too.

Ganzyman's avatar

This is an excellent site. I spent a month researching different lcd info here before I got my 46” samsung LE46M87BDX. It really is a stunning picture. That serial number is for the UK version. You will have to do some digging on that site to find the US model number. If you want some pictures of my set up, let me know and I will email you some.

oh! the link…

Jaybee's avatar

Thanks, again, guys. ( fluther…fluther…fluther… I love this site.)

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