TV for Bedroom that will be on a night stand in the corner

susanlynn2012July 28, 2007

I currently have a huge and heavy 25" Samsung TV in my bedroom that has lasted about 14 years and is running strong but is heavy.

My new Stanley Furniture in an Antique White color is arriving on Tuesday. My current set up will be a triple dresser with a mirror in front of my bed that will have no foot board (only an iron head board) due to the space limitation in my bedroom. I will have a chest of drawers to the right of my bed with a tiny iron table to hold water and a small alarm clock. The other side of my bed will have a bachelor's chest.

I was planning on putting the 28" high (26" wide) night stand in the corner with my Black big TV on it and the VCR/DVD player on top but now I wonder if it will be so heavy and I should buy an LCD TV. The space may be very tight if I put the bachelor's chest there with not much space between the triple dresser and the 36" wide bachelor's chest. But of course, when the furniture arrives I may think otherwise?

From hours of research online and finding a pretty white 26" Samsung LCD TV I loved at Best Buy, I found out they do not deliver to my NJ area and there are no Best Buy stores with this TV in stock anywhere near me.

Hence, my search continues. I have only basic cable and live in a townhouse and do not watch much TV but mainly watch DVD's and tape favorite shows using my VCR. I do have a few TV favorites so I still do use the TV. Do all LCD TV's use a cable box since I love that my current TV in my bedroom and in my family room (I have a 27" TV there that is more modern) are cable ready and need no cable box.

What type of TV should I buy that is not so heavy for me to move it if I need to move it, that will have a nice picture and will not look bad if I do not have digital cable yet. Unless, should I add digital cable?

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Also I want to add, that when I do laundry and I fold clothes on my bed, I like to watch HGTV to learn about decorating and sometimes watch the news or show I like. Hence, I like my TV angled in the corner but would also like to watch TV sitting in bed or lying in bed if I want to watch the news.

I really have my heart set on a 26" LCD but it seems they need cable boxes and need digital signals. What should I do?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 12:33AM
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Pretty much any LCD TV you buy will offer at least as nice a picture as your current set if you avoid the really cheap ones. If you really want to do away with a set-top box, you need to find an LCD TV with either a QAM tuner (in addition to NTSC/ATSC) or a CableCard slot (though your cable company has to support this, as well, so ask). They should be out there; 26" is a popular size for LCD TVs. Even if you don't have digital cable, however, whatever TV you buy should have at least an "RF" or "composite" input into which you could plug in cable boxes, DVD players, VCRs, etc. We're not so far along in the "digital revolution" that TVs can go without analog inputs even if digital inputs are present.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 10:37AM
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Steve, I appreciate your post and letting me know what I need to buy to avoid a set-top box and that I need both a QAM tuner in addition to NTSC/ATSC and an "RF" or "composite" input.

From doing my research it seems that the response rate should be not more than 8NS and anything above this number is not good. It seems the contrast ratio needs to be no less than 1200:1. Is this correct?

Also what brightness cd/m2 is important and what what minimum speaker wattage is important if I will not be having a stereo attached to the TV in my bedroom? Is 500 brightness OK?

What names should I avoid and what TV names are worth paying a little more for.

A 26" LCD would fit my night stand the best, but if I find a 32" LCD that is a good deal at a better price, is it OK for the TV to have the sides of the LCD be longer than the night stand if the TV stand fits on the nightstand?

My current TV I just gave away today to a client's son in law (who will be coming by later on to remove the almost 100 lb heavy 25" large CRT TV out of my bedroom .... sure feels that heavy since I helped my client move it off of the current night stand that is now wobbly from having all that weight on it all these years)since my client helped me move my "old no drawer space" furniture out of my bedroom to make room for my new very roomy furniture on Tuesday morning.

Will a 26" LCD wide screen see no less picture than my former 25" large CRT TV?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 2:52PM
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Thanks, Lynn.

Like so many other numbers in life, what's claimed to be isn't always what is. :-o Since electronics manufacturers know that people like the absolute-ness of numbers, they use them. Sometimes they abuse them -- they don't all use or measure the numbers the same way and the standards which exist are largely voluntary. This makes comparison difficult and sometimes makes the numbers themselves meaningless.

The numbers you've listed are good, but I would not cut a TV from my short list if it didn't meet or better those numbers. Contrast ratio, for example, often is measured in a way that makes no sense for actually watching television. Your very best bet is to see the TV (or at least the screen) you plan to buy and see if it meets your standards. In your favor, you don't plan to play video games or watch fast-moving sports, two activities which will demand more of a TV than just watching news or most movies.

Because most LCD TVs now have wider aspect ratios than CRT TVs, screen area is a little different. Don't go purely by square inches (screen height x screen width). If you do, you likely will perceive the picture as smaller because it's not as high as on the old TV. An LCD TV with the same height as your old TV would run about 30" diagonally. You could go up to 32" with no worries -- the screen is supported completely by the cabinet, so the few extra inches is of no consequence.

As far as brands to look for, Sharp has an excellent reputation for LCD TVs. Sony offers some very nice sets, though I'm not crazy about their relative lack of customer service and their constant attempts to impose proprietary standards. Samsung has a good reputation, as well, and, in fact, Samsung and Sony manufacture their LCD screens in the same facility. I would also consider NEC-Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and Panasonic (though Panasonic's parent company has made it pretty clear that they would rather sell plasma TVs).

Avoid? Well, I'm not impressed with Philips/Magnavox. I would avoid any brand you've never heard of before (Chi Mei, V7, Norcent, etc.). And I would be very careful about "old school" brand names like Sylvania, Polaroid, Westinghouse, and RCA. These are not the good solid American brands they once were; they're just brand names now, sold off to Asian manufacturers whose own brands have little or no name recognition. You'll pay more for a Sharp/Sony/Samsung, but you'll be getting a quality TV from a company that is too good to have to "game" the market.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 7:27AM
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Thank you Steve_O once again for your help. I did learn from seeing the TVs that I prefer the speakers under the monitor so the monitor is taller rather than having the monitor on the sides that makes the monitor longer. I Love the specs of a Sharp TV that is being sold by Target and is in White but it is only 26" and now I am thinking a 32" TV screen allows me to see what I am seeing now. My friend tells me to not get white since it will not match any DVD or VCR players. If the price was less, I would get this TV despite not seeing it from reading the specs and seeing different TVs at Sears yesterday.

My favorite TV at Sears yesterday was the Toshiba Regza 32 in. Full HD LCD TV Model #32HL67 but it was around $900! I loved the picture, the look of it, the taller and less wide monitor since the speakers are on the bottom an not the sides like the one Samsung monitor I looked at and I loved their Universal Remote's big button's that looked like they were glow in the dark buttons.

My second favorite TV was the Sony Bravia 32 in. and then third was a Samsung Monitor.

The Vizio was acceptable to me but not as nice but the price and good reviews had me thinking about it before bed and this morning.

I had planned on spending no more than $350 on an LCD. I had no idea they were this expensive.

The picture on the Vizio 32 in. LCD HDTV model #VX32LHDTV10A was acceptable but not as good and the TV had a lot of nice features including the NTSC/ATSC/QAM Tuner like the Toshiba. I did some research and it seems that this TV has a lot of high recommendations but is is only 1200:1 contrast ratio and not as pretty to look at s the Toshiba but it is ONLY $599.99 at almost every store selling it.

Is it worth spending $300 more on a TV with the way Technology has been changing so fast or do you think I could be happy with the Vizio or is this another name you would not trust being it is out in the market for such a short time?

Also I did not like any of the Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania TVs I looked at in terms of picture quality and style so I am glad you told me you were not impressed either on these models.

I did learn that some 26" models being that they had more height than width due to the placement of the speakers had a nice picture size while other 26" models looked so small to me due to the height of the picture.

If I am putting my LCD TV on my 28" high and 26" wide night stand (unless I can somehow make the bachelor's chest look OK and not too crowded in that corner spot that is 36" side and 31.5" tall), where would I put my VCR and my DVD player?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Yeah, unfortunately, very good LCD TVs are expensive. The cheap ones, as you've discovered, have a number of compromises. The question is whether you can live with them. I guess I would ask myself these questions:

- How much do I watch this TV? I have only one TV in my house, so I want to make sure that the one I've got is a very good one. But if I had a second TV I didn't watch all that much, maybe that second TV would not have to be the best.

- How much is $300 to me? Do I watch enough TV/love it enough that I'd want to spend the extra money? $300 is a dollar a day for a year -- or even just 20 cents a day if you keep the set for five years. Keep in mind that, if you buy the Vizio and it's disappointing or it falls apart in a few years, you'll spend more total to replace it than the $300 price difference between it and the other TVs you're considering. OTOH, most of us have a budget and you have to decide what kind of room you have within it.

As for Vizio itself, I hear good things about them. But I'm aware that, as a manufacturer, they don't have the track record of a Toshiba/Sony/Samsung. Maybe that doesn't matter. I bought my first Samsung product -- an LCD computer monitor -- eight years ago because I needed a monitor, wanted the space and energy savings of an LCD, and Samsung was getting good reviews for a nice display at a (then) lower price. But I was willing to gamble then and you would need to be willing to gamble now. Maybe Vizio will be the next Samsung. Maybe they'll be a footnote in history.

As far as connecting everything, you might want to look into a monitor stand for the screen, under which you could put the DVD player and VCR. These TVs are a little bit too heavy to put directly on the DVD/VCR box itself. This might be a good time to consider whether you even want to put the VCR on this TV. The picture is not going to look very good at all. If you don't have many tapes, you might look into getting them put onto DVD or just replacing them with DVDs.

Hope that helps....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 3:22PM
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Steve_O, Thank you again for the great suggestion of a TV Monitor Stand to solve my problem and also raise the TV higher like I would like it to be. Since I do have a DVD/VCR unit downstairs, maybe you are right, I should only get a DVD player for upstairs or put the combined unit upstairs and put the VCR downstairs and get a DVD player for downstairs also where I have more room under the TV on the big TV stand to place the units.

My former CRT TV was a Samsung that I bought when they were starting out also and not as well known for quality. The picture tub broke on me after the 1 year warranty just ran out costing me another $100 but then the TV lasted me another 13 years and was still working great when I gave it to a client last night for helping me move furniture since I did not want such a heavy TV on my night stand along with a DVD and VCR player. It weighed at least 100 lbs. I love the Samsung LCD players and if they were not so pricey, along with Sony, I would be considering them also.

So now I am deciding on the Toshiba that I found on sale online that is now only $158 more than the Vizio when I add sales tax. I really loved the Toshiba at Sears but I do love the Vizio's zoom an freeze feature that the Toshiba does not have. Also the Vizio has a PIP feature but only for TV and a DVD player or another unit and not for another TV station.

I hate buying TV's online in case there is a problem. There is a $342 difference including sales tax between the units at Sears unless I go to PCRichards and see if they will match the online price.

I have one TV down stairs in my family room (a 27" CRT HUGE TV.. Hitachi) and soon I want an LCD in my bedroom where I watch TV when doing laundry and before bed to help me fall asleep. I would love a sleep timer on it if possible since I am hoping I can start to go to bed earlier and have a show to look forward to for helping me get off of this PC and under my covers to get a good night's sleep.

There were a lot of unknown cheap TV's that I did not consider but I am considering the Vizio due to the great reviews. But one Toshiba Regza 32" LCD owner returned the Vizio due to the audio not being as good as he would have liked and loves the audio on the Toshiba.

Is Toshiba as good of a brand like Sony and Samsung and Sharp?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 11:24PM
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I guess I would put Toshiba on par with Sony and Samsung. Toshiba has made more "workmanlike" products over the years -- they have not had the technical prowess or style or sizzle of Sony or even Samsung. But the Toshiba products I've owned have been solid.

Sony for years was a professional broadcast standard and my experience with their products over the years has been fine. There's a Sony something in almost every room of my house. That said, Sony customer service does not seem to be what it once was. Maybe everyone's is that bad these days. Maybe we just expect more from Sony. Maybe they've just really done a bad job of it. I don't know.

Samsung, as I related, has done an excellent job of shouldering up to the front of the pack. They don't have the years of manufacturing and international sales that Toshiba and Sony do, but I've been confident enough about their products to have owned several and to recommend them to others.

Sharp, IMHO, is a tad above the others when it comes to LCD TVs. It seems unlikely, given that Sharp is not known for top-rank audio gear or professional broadcast equipment. But their TVs are well-assembled, work well, and look terrific. And that's been the case for years.

You would not be slighting yourself by purchasing any of these four brands.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:28PM
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Thank you Steve for your wonderful reply. I think I will pass on the Vizio despite the nice features and great reviews. I did like the Toshiba TV I saw as well as the more expensive Sony and Samsung and Sharp.

After my new furniture is delivered tomorrow, I am going to look again at the Toshiba in a different store and compare with the other sets and if it still looks and sounds great to me, due to the good reviews and being $155 less than the others but $161 more than the Vizio (if the price quote I got is correct since I prefer to buy in the store ... 2nd highest price quote I got is about $55 more)and I found the TV attractive and the remote having nice sized buttons.

I could save another almost $100 (which includes the 7% sales tax since the price differential is less than $100)if I went with the 26" size. The 26" size would look better on my night stand but for the little bit of more money, I could have a bigger Toshiba LCD screen at 32".

Would you go with the 32" (sides would hang off on the edges but the stand would fit nicely on the night stand I will put in the corner) or the 26" size that will just fit the night stand? I am actually hoping I can fit the 36" bachelor's chest where I had planned to put the night stand since that is wider than the LCD 32" TV but I also don't want to make my furniture look real crowded.

Also before considering the Toshiba in black and the Vizio in black/silver, I was considering the 26" Sharp in White that has great reviews and wonderful features and would look so nice with my Antique White furniture but would not go with any VCR or DVD player. The Toshiba is 32" and would give me a bigger screen for only $30 more.

What do you think of a white Sharp 26" LCD TV since the $200 price reduction sale on this TV ends in a few days?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 11:26PM
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Would you go with the 32" (sides would hang off on the edges but the stand would fit nicely on the night stand I will put in the corner) or the 26" size that will just fit the night stand?

I was considering the 26" Sharp in White that has great reviews and wonderful features and would look so nice with my Antique White furniture but would not go with any VCR or DVD player.

Well, you already mentioned maybe not moving the VCR up there. And there are some portable DVD players which come in white (just 'cuz it's portable doesn't mean you have to move it). It also would fit better with your furniture. It's hard for me to envision the setup, but I would think that a large cabinet (the Toshiba) that spilled over the side even a couple of inches on each side might make things look crowded. It would be a much easier decision if the big cabinet were white. That's not an option, though. But ... (see below)

What do you think of a white Sharp 26" LCD TV since the $200 price reduction sale on this TV ends in a few days?

I think you'd have an excellent TV with a bright, sharp picture, in a cabinet that matched your furniture very well. But your mind may see the difference in the height of the picture (not the cabinet, but the actual LCD screen) -- smaller than you were used to on the Samsung -- and it might nag at you that you didn't get the bigger set. OTOH, the picture will be much wider and it may be so much brighter and sharper that you may forget what the Samsung looked like. :-)

I guess at this point it's all up to you!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:18PM
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Steve_O, I ended up buying the Black 32" Toshiba and it is a little big for the night stand but still kind of low for my taller bed. I now need a stand to raise it and put the DVD player under it. I got a good price so I went with the Toshiba.

The salesman pushed a Monster HTS800 Home Theatre Power Center on me and iClean for Electronic Displays. He is giving me until tomorrow if I want the 5 year extended warranty plan for $149.99 from PC Richards & Sons.

I have not opened the cable/power surge protector since despite it looking like it will protect there is 8 outlets and I will only have a TV and VCR plugged into it. Maybe one day I will have more but that is it for now. He lowered the $99.99 price to $89.99. My friend feels it is overkill for my use and I need a protector will less outlets. What should I return tomorrow and should I buy the extended warranty or skip it?

I tried out the TV with my regular old cable cord in the wall and it works nicely and I love it despite it being a little long but I wish it was taller or my 28" high night stand was taller that I have it on.

Thank you Steve_O and anyone else who responds to help me. Also is it necessary to protect cable coming from the wall?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 12:40AM
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Congratulations, Lynn! I'm sure you'll enjoy the TV.

I am not a fan of extended warranties. They're basically bets that you will need that much service on the item you just bought. Electronics in particular either fail pretty quickly or work for a long time, so the regular Toshiba warranty should cover any initial problems. OTOH, $149.99 for five years (assuming it's really five years and not just four years tacked on to the Toshiba warranty) might be worthwhile, especially if they will service the set in your house (as opposed to you lugging it back to a service location). Make sure you know what the warranty covers and what it doesn't. If you decide to go for it, negotiate -- they can come down in price if they want to. "Gee, an extended warranty is such a good idea, but I already spent so much on the TV. I wish it wasn't $149.99...."

The Home Theater Power Center definitely will do the job for you. There are surge protectors out there which have pretty similar specs for less than half the $$, but you're probably talking about 5% of your purchase price difference.

As for protecting cable through the wall, that should be taken care of by the cable company at the point where the cable enters your home. I wouldn't worry about it. There are units out there which claim to condition the signal through the cable, but I'd have to see the difference before I spent the money on them.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 7:30PM
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Hi Steve,

I do love the TV (great sound, picture as nice as my analogue TV downstairs with only regular cable ... both could use digital cable for a clearer picture, wonderful remote, very pretty TV but so SHINY the black that I can see my reflection... wish my TV stand was wider and taller) but I do not like the pedestal look on my Night Stand (2.5" on each side hangs and to me is distracting in the pretty bedroom) and I am seriously thinking of taking it back (but upset that the sneaky salesman has on the slip that LCD's are not returnable when he made me sign the screen without reading anything and then the person came to bring it to my car and I was very sick and when I asked to see the slip before signing, he said it was everything we discussed) and buying the 26" white Sharp LCD that swivels that was only $30 less for so much less screen with only the added swivel feature... but is in white and will not overpower the bedroom I feel. I just would have to order it from and have to pay about $26 in shipping to me and then back (UPS $26 around the sales guy said who I spoke to online at today) if I do not like the off-white color that has some gray in it. It has wonderful reviews but the Toshiba had better reviews and the reviewers are right about the sound quality on the Toshiba... it is very nice and I love the TV but it is TOO black for my bedroom and too big to me.

I was sick all day and now not sure what to do. It is a beautiful TV but really stands out in my white room and I wish I could just put it in the family room an buy a white TV for my bedroom that is smaller despite the smaller picture. But my TV in my family room is only about 7 years old (Black Hitachi.. 27" that cost me $199 and looks nice to me.. heavy but not as heavy as my 14.5 year old 25" Samsung TV was).

Maybe I can negotiate a deal on the extended and the 26"... I sure wish PC Richards would have the Sharp TV in white. Maybe I can ask if the can order it that way for me?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 2:25AM
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Last time I lived anywhere near a PC Richards (a loooong time ago), they probably would have ordered the white Sharp for you. It's worth a try. If they can, then I would ask to return the Toshiba. I know you said the slip you signed said "no returns", but if they can get you the Sharp, it's actually an exchange, not a return. So they might go for it. Especially if you can give them some room with the extended warranty.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:38PM
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Thank you Steve.

I finally decided to keep the beautiful black Toshiba TV and stop worrying about it not matching and looking too big for my antique white night stand especially since I returned the damaged furniture this morning.

The furniture company arrived earlier than I thought they would and now my TV's Universal Toshiba Remote is missing.

I hope I do not have to file a police report and that when the nice moving men get to the warehouse, integrity takes over so I can have my Remote back. I hope it was an oversight since the two movers George and Edgar seems so nice and very careful when moving the furniture out of here.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 1:05PM
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The furniture store sent me back my TV remote via Federal Express and is crediting my account. I decided to go with Durham's Royal Cottage Furniture instead since it is solid Maple and this time I will most likely get the TV deck over the Junior Chest so the TV will be in a white cabinet. This will fit since they do not have a triple dresser so I have to choose between a 52" wide dressing chest or a 54" wide double dresser.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 11:20PM
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Sounds like everything worked out. Thanks for the update!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 7:57AM
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