Please help, confused about TVs

andreaintxJuly 16, 2012

We have a 42 inch LG plasma that died yesterday. I need to get a new tv before the Olympics because we are having a gymnastics watching party with my daughter's gymnastics team. We only have one television in our house. Our couches are 12 feet from the television so we were looking at a 50"-55" max tv. It is in our upstairs game room at an angle and that is where the new tv will be. He doesn't want to do the wall mount, just have it on the stand. My husband watches Dallas Cowboys games and wants something good for that. We also watch movies upstairs at night when the kids go to bed on the weekends, when the room is dark. I'm really confused on the whole Plasma vs. LED tv thing. Some sites are saying Plasma is what we need while others say that LED is what we need. I was happy with our tv except a year and a half after we got it a green vertical line showed up where one of the tubes? went out. We just left it like that because it really didn't bother us too much. Due to that, I would rather not go the LG route. Which is better Plasma or LED and what are some of the brands besides LG we should look at?

Thank you.

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I forgot to add that hubs would like to spend no more than $1200.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Your choice is actually between plasma and LCD - which can have CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent) or LED (light emitting diode) back-lighting for the display.

Currently, only LG, Samsung, and Panasonic still produce plasma displays - though Panasonic just announced closure of their primary plasma manufacturing facility.

An LCD, with LED back-lighting, with a 120Hz vertical rate, will produce a very bright picture with minimal motion artifacts - and use the least amount of energy.

BTW the motion artifacts often referred to on LCDs are the result of the fact that LCD pixels "stay" in their previous state until updated by the next frame. By doubling the vertical refresh rate, the pixels are then refreshed and prevent the abrupt transitions on the eye.

Plasma displays on the other-hand allow the pixels to decay before the next frame - the same as traditional CRT televisions - using the persistence of the eye to smooth it all out.

My recommendation would simply be an LCD display with LED back-lighting.

If you shop at Costco, there are many choices available there - if you don't, maybe look at Amazon - but $1200 would be a absolute upper limit for me - it's just a television. And, no, you don't need 3D (which mfgrs are finally admitting was not the next big thing and are starting to drop) unless this is something that you find appealing.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 9:14PM
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To my eye plasmas look better - the colors are richer and more natural. The better half describes an LCD as "plasticy" (I don't think that's a word).

If you want a plasma go with Panasonic.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:30AM
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When comparing similar things like to like (ie, not talking about a blurry projection unit), I think few people can tell the difference. Most people are absorbed with the on-screen action and are not standing two feet away watching pixels change.

Costco has good prices but (as with most electronic things) very limited selection. Walmart actually has a better selection and comparably good prices.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 2:17PM
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"Costco has good prices but (as with most electronic things) very limited selection. Walmart actually has a better selection and comparably good prices. "

But Costco has the superior return policy. Also check Costco online for more selection.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:38PM
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I agree, they do have a superior return policy. The return policy for electronic stuff has some time limits and isn't the normal-open ended one that applies to much of what they sell. But it's still much better than most places and always no questions asked.

But when you can compare different models at a store that has a good selection, there's a much lower likelihood of a return.

Costco seems to follow Henry Ford's old comment that the Model T (or A) comes in any color you want, so long as the color you want is black. Costco sells any size or make of TV you might want, so long as it's one of the four models they have on display.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:30PM
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Good analysis, Snidely. I will also add the Number One rule on buying TV's, as noted by the majority of problems reported here: Do not buy Phillips/Magnavox.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Thanks everyone. I gave all of this information to my husband when he went to the store. He got the 50" Panasonic Viera Plasma Smart TV. I don't see us using the 3D feature but having Pandora on it is nice. We so far have been very pleased with the quality although we have only had it a few days. We also got rid of all of the rocks so DD won't be tempted to throw another rock into the tv.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 5:13PM
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homeowners insurance? depends on your deductible though. if you damage someone elses property, than your deductible is waived. $0. woohoo. i dropped my sisters camera years ago and my insurance paid for it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 5:05PM
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