TV Newbie: what should we want/get

bethohio3January 7, 2012

DH and I are considering getting a new TV setup. Currently, we have a 15 year old 27" old style one, hooked up to a PlayStation 2 (I think), a DVD player, with cable and DVR. So, we're basically starting from scratch.

DH and I do *not* watch TV although my teenager does watch it and movies with friends. We're thinking it'd be nice to be able to watch movies (probably Netflix, maybe as streaming video), although I don't think we'll ever be big TV watchers.

The TV will go where the current one is--in the lower level rec room, which is a big room (more than 22'x26'), 8'7" ceilings, and has daylight windows. My sewing area is at the back of the room. We aren't considering any home theater seating--although a new couch is probably in our future.

We went to Best Buy today just to look around. We didn't come to any firm conclusions, but it appears that we will need:

--TV itself (we're considering 55"-60")

--wall hanging method (we have a bare wall to use)

--some sort of sound system

--at some point, perhaps a Blu Ray player

--at some point, a new piece of furniture for peripherals

I'm looking for advice and opinions for us. We are not audiophiles and don't have a full surround sound system in the house. (Our stereo is older than our TV.) Even if we don't do it immediately, we will probably fish wires as possible--my husband HATES wires.

If we could do the whole thing for $2000, that would probably be about our budget, but could be flexible on that if there was a good reason for it.

So, what basic setup (and any brand advice) would you advise for someone in our position?

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You mean you're not putting in a popcorn machine?!

Seriously, the whole home-theater term makes everyone think it's all, or nothing at all.

The size of the television is based upon the viewing distance and seating area - not the size of the room - unless the television somehow becomes a focal point of the room.

My suggestion would be a competitively priced LCD television, (names such as Vizio and Costco come to mind) and an HTiB with Blu-Ray wireless rear speaker system (Panasonic maybe).

BTW - HTiB stands for home-theater-in-a-box, units that contain an amplifier, speakers, Blu-Ray player, and now usually internet connectivity (Netflix and such), all in one unit and easy to install package.

Wiring, other than the AC power, which must have an AC outlet installed behind the television, can be fished through the wall. Also, surface mount paintable covered plastic wiremold can carry the A/V and power cables down the face of the wall.

With a system like I suggested, you could be very much under budget and still enjoy a nice weekend get-away!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 8:45PM
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After visiting this site very often through search results, I finally became a member.

Timing is everything when purchasing a television. I'll give you a rundown on what I went thought this fall.

I was sold on the samsung 7000 series televisions. I was a sony fan for years and this one really got me over the brand name. They make a few sizes but the 46" was what we considered to be a good size for the room we are going to use this in our soon to be built home. You can also get it in 55"

It does 3D if you want that. It has what they call "smart hub" which somewhat arranges apps so that you can get news, weather, facebook, some free 3d content that is actually not too bad, netflix, hulu+, vimeo (which I really like and was happy to see here. It also has wifi built in for your network. A basic internet browser, movie rentals, computer input, smart phone remote capability.

A lot of this stuff won't cater to the masses, and that's fine as you should consider this an extra to the amazing picture the TV can put out.

The 7000 series has a 240hz refresh rate. You want this over a 60 or 120. It's hard to explain, but it looks much better to my sensitive LCD eyes.

Enough with the sales picth for the 7000 series... Back to timing. In August, I saw the TV I wanted 46" with blue ray player and 2 pairs of 3d glasses for 1,499. I figured I would wait until Black Friday... Well Friday and cyber Monday came and went and I didnt see it for sale, but the 55" was dropped to $1799 and the 46... $1699 lol.

I waited and eventually before Christmas, they went back to 1499 with the blue ray player and 2 pairs of glasses. This is in contrast to 1799 without anything.

Now this is my strong consideration to you as far as a blue ray player goes... Get the Playstation 3. It plays your blue rays, it streams netflix and hulu+ (Better then the samsung TV which sometimes is slow to stream videos). It plays video games, has a basic internet browser, can stream movies from a computer on your network (I have a 2 TB drive connected to my network and I can view and stream them to the TV through the PS3.) for $200 it's a no brainer. If you get the Samsung with the blue ray player, you can always sell the extra player if you don't need it (but the player can also stream netflix and hulu and all that stuff.)

So in short... I recommend a Samsung 7000 46 or 55 (Be patient and wait until the sale hits... They will do it again) and get the PS3 for your media hub.

We have this setup, and don't have cable... And don't need it! I calculated that in 26 months, without cable my TV and ps3 will be paid for with the savings...

I will be on the lookout for a 55" 7000 series for the living room once our house is finished in March. I've got the xbox 360 out there to do a similar job.

Good luck on your decesion. The game consoles are a far better solution to a stand alone player/streamer as they are constantly updated to meet the times. Also they are working on offering some sort of tv streaming services. Time will tell.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Samsung is a pretty good and reliable TV brand from what I gather from all the store sales people. As for your sound, there are plenty of home theater systems that include the DVD player together with 3 front speakers, 2 surround speakers and a subwoofer for a reasonable price. Some even have a USB port.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 3:41AM
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