What HDTV TV should I buy?
I'm moving into a new apartment on Friday (first time living by myself!) and I don't own a TV. However, I love movies so I'm going to buy one this weekend. You easily know more about this kind of thing than any other friend of mine, so I was wondering if you had any pointers? Things to look for - LED vs plasma, etc?
Basically, I just want to watch movies on it. I'm not a big videophile (or audiophile for that matter). I'll probably get a 40" with a Blu-Ray player and call it a day. But I don't want to make the wrong choice, so I figured I'd ask Dave. Thanks for any advice. Most people are steering me toward a Vizio at CostCo because they're pretty cheap. I just want to watch something like Wall-E and have it look incredible.
Thanks for your question. It's a great one because there are so darn many choices and because it's tricky to know what's important until you've already bought something and set it up in your house, just to realize... well, you know...
In terms of Costco, I have seen the Vizio TV's and they're decent. The trick is to test it out: bring in a Blu-Ray disk of your choice -- and a regular DVD -- and try both on the TV. You need to ensure that the TV is full 1080p and check the number of HDMI inputs it has: many have fewer than you want. I use four on my (Sony) HDTV: 1 for my cable box, 1 for my Blu-Ray DVD player, 1 for my AppleTV and 1 for my other video player device.
Something else to be aware of is that a lot of modern TVs have rear-facing speakers rather than front-facing speakers, so if you aren't planning on adding a home theater system of some sort, be aware that you'll either have to crank it to hear what's going on (and expect much more dynamic range, especially with movies) or be frustrated that it's hard to hear.
Modern HDTV systems also have sophisticated video processing capabilities, so you can zoom in, turn on "motion smoothing" and so on. In my experience, the zoom is easily processed and can be nice with films in VistaVision or CinemaScope (based on personal tastes), but the motion effects can slow down the frame refresh, turning any show into a kind of disconcerting home-movie running at closer to 25fps than 30fps that we're used to. Hard to describe, but weird to see.
The latest generation of TVs also support 3D processing capabilities. I have to admit I'm not a big fan of 3DTV at this point and the idea of having to wear special 3D glasses to watch my show? Not so much, thanks. But if you're into it, you'll need a compatible 3D system on both the Blu-Ray player and the HDTV itself.
I have an LCD TV system both because it has less screen glare and because - very important in Colorado where we're at a 5200ft elevation - plasma screens are known to be adversely affected by altitude. I have read that it's over 8000ft that it becomes a problem, but definitely check out both technologies, especially their refresh and decay rates on really fast action: do the pixels tend to stay on a fraction too long, leading to 'ghosting', or is it crisp and legible even as the car races over the bridge / the fighter leaps off the building / the lion pounces on the zebra?
For a purchase like this, I am a big fan of Amazon's "Price Check" app in the App Store. Put it on your iPhone (it's free) and check the user reviews of different TVs before you buy them. Darn helpful.
For the record, I have a 43" Sony LCD HDTV, a Panasonic Blu-Ray player and a terrific Yamaha sound system. It's a great setup, but it also cost me quite a few dollars, all told.
Readers, what other advice would you offer this new HDTV and Blu-Ray fan?
More Useful d) None of the Above Articles:
✔ What's the most popular Halloween candy?
It's Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, and in the United States, at least, that means it's time for a strange custom that children throughout...✔ Review: Sony NEX-5N Digital Camera
This is a guest post by professional photographer Paul M. Bowers... I was born and raised in the briar patch of commercial photography-...✔ How do other countries celebrate Independence Day?
Hello Mr. Taylor. The other kids in my class say that every country celebrates Independence Day on July 4th and that it's a...✔ What is a ponzi scheme?
Dave, a friend of mine listened politely to my explanation of how a multi-tiered marketing system I've signed up for works, then told...✔ Update firmware on my Panasonic Blu-Ray DVD player?
I have a Panasonic DMP-BDT320 blu-ray DVD player and it's starting to report that I need a 'firmware' update or upgrade. I have...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+