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janbb's avatar

Buying a new television; got any advice for me?

Asked by janbb (58234points) July 5th, 2010

We’re looking for a new t.v. today, mainly to watch Netflix on. The room we will have it in in small; we sit only about 5–6 feet from the t.v. I am thinking we will get a smallish (32–35 inches or so) flat-panel. Any advice about what to look for? HDTV? Computer compatible? (I know nothing.)

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14 Answers

Mikewlf337's avatar

Definitley go with full HD picture is amazing. Plus they are all HD now. You only option in a store.

janbb's avatar

Oh – also, what about the shape? Is square or rectangular better for movies?

marinelife's avatar

LED not plasma.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
dpworkin's avatar

@janbb Everyone has an opinion on these matters, and most of them contradict one another. I suggest that you carefully read the reviews and advice on PM me if you want to borrow my login credentials.

As for my worthless opinion, at the size you discuss, 720p is more than adequate. You should be looking for a good, backlit LCD at the highest refresh rate (120) and don’t worry about specs like contrast ratios and things like that because they are all manipulable. Also, don’t trust what you see on store models. They are artificially pumped ud to attract you, but at home you will never watch with those settings.

jaytkay's avatar

Oh – also, what about the shape? Is square or rectangular better for movies?

Only wide screen HDTVs are easily available in the US now. You would have to look real hard to find something else (and there is no reason to).

—Don’t worry about 720 vs 1080 resolution. Most programming is not 1080 anyway.
—Get at least two HDMI inputs, three or more is better. Someday you may want a DVD, a computer and cable TV all plugged in at once.
—LCD or LED. Not plasma (they are tremendously heavy with no real advantages)
—Read the Consumer Reports reviews as DP suggests. Much better than a bunch of random “I have a Samsung!!” recommendations you will hear from us.

janbb's avatar

Thanks guys – that’s a good start. I will look at the link now.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
St.George's avatar

We just bought a new tv and the best advice I got was this: Think about buying a tv, as if you’re buying a computer. Any technology you get today will be obsolete in five years, so don’t spend a ton of money trying to get the best thing out there.

With that, we bought a 370.00 32” 720 Panasonic plasma at Costco and it works just fine for movies and tv.

Dr_C's avatar

I agree with not going with Plasma. I’d wait a bit for the LED since it is a relatively new technology in TV and is set for improvements and upgrades in the near future. LCD is a gread medium especially for the size TV you are looking for.

I’d suggest going with a wide screen display and the “Full HD” or 1080p resolution. A big thing that no one tends to look at is the processor speed on their HD’s. You can have the best resolution and contrast ratio… but if your TV is still rocking a 60MHz processor the image will skip and the experience will not be favorable especially when watching action intensive shows, sports or blu-ray.

Make sure to ask he dealer for the processor speed and go with the highest you find on a 1080p screen. You’ll be fine!

janbb's avatar

Oy vey – is nothing simple any more? Thanks to the advice and @dpworkin‘s link, I was able to sound like I knew what I was talking about. Now, we’ll see how it plays.

Ivan's avatar


It’s simpler than you might think. A lot of the variety and choices don’t even exist anymore. You can’t buy a non-HDTV, you can’t buy non-widescreen TV, etc.

All you want is a 32” 720p LCD TV from a brand you trust.

LeotCol's avatar

I recommend going for 2d tv. Its great.

CMaz's avatar

“Is square or rectangular better for movies?”

Square = 4×3 Pretty much obsolete but a cheep alternative.
Rectangular = 16×9 Pretty much today’s standard, which will provide you with a “square” field of view if needed.

720p’s are cheaper then 1080’s in most cases you will not notice the difference and in some it will look better.

Everything else you would be looking for or need will be standard.

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