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Cheap HDTV for use with AppleTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by badlydrawnboy, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. badlydrawnboy, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    We don't watch a lot of TV, but when we do it's almost always Netflix or something from iTunes. We don't even have cable. I was excited to learn the AppleTV has both Netflix and iTunes, but disappointed to learn it only works with HDTV.

    We have a dinosaur boob tube with a 27" screen, which we've been perfectly happy with. We're considering buying an HDTV just for the convenience of the AppleTV, but I don't want to spend a lot. In fact, I'd like to spend the absolute minimum. Is it possible to get an HDTV for less than $500? If so, any recommendations? A 32" is the largest size that will fit in our cabinet.
  2. macrumors 6502



    You can get a large number of HDTVs for under $500. For example, for a replacement tv exactly the same size as yours, dealmac has this 1080p 27" Samsung:


    and this 42" sharp 1080p for $470:

  3. macrumors regular

    Best Buy 42in plasma $469.99
    There are many great TV's for under $500 now.
  4. Moderator


    TVs for $300-400
    TVs for $400-500

    Seriously, 500$ gets you a great TV nowadays. IMO anything much over that starts to be waste of money unless you seek for a huge TV (you don't get much extra features for the extra buck).
  5. macrumors 6502a

    This is a bit misleading. A 27" widescreen 16:9 HDTV is not the exact same size as a 27" 4:3 SDTV. The smaller vertical dimension makes the screen seem much smaller overall, at least in my opinion. To get a truly comparable size, a 32" widescreen would be needed.

    ETA: Although, I guess it depends on the content's ratio. Widescreen content would be larger on a 27" widescreen, and 4:3 content would be larger on the 27" screen of that ratio.
  6. Moderator


    Pretty much all content is widescreen nowadays. Not necessarily 16:9 (some have less vertical pixels) but it's been awhile since I saw 4:3 content.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Thanks everyone. Seems like I'll have no trouble finding one. Should have mentioned that 32" is the max size that will fit in our small TV cabinet.

    I checked around on some of the links and there's an overwhelming number of choices. Since I know absolutely nothing about this subject, is there a particular brand I should go towards or stay away from? Any crucial features to be aware of?

    Also, do I need 1080p or is 720 sufficient? Why are some of the 720s more expensive than 1080ps of the same monitor size, in the same brand?
  8. macrumors 68020


    Best Buy has a 55 LED right now for a thousand bucks. It's their house brand Insignia which is made from all Samsung parts (this I know because I used to own one and the "sound card" was messed up so they had to come out and replace it and everything from the panel down was strictly samsung).
  9. Moderator


    I would go with a known brand, e.g. Sony, Samsung, LG, Philips or Toshiba. Checking the reviews in NewEgg and Amazon for instance is always helpful, it lets you know what actual buyers think about it.

    720p is definitely sufficient but if you can get 1080p for the same money, go for it. 720p models may have more inputs or other minor features although it can be just an old model.
  10. macrumors 6502


    There's not really a reason to buy less than 1080p these days unless you find a spectacular deal on it. Considering the price differences, the 1080p set will last you longer before you feel compelled to upgrade it.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Vizio makes great bargain HDTVs. We own two - one for the Wii, the other for the guest room. If you're a Costco member, you can check them out at your local warehouse. Costco.com shows many under $500, including a 42" display. (And they are generally a few dollars cheaper at the store, if you are able to carry it home with you).
  12. macrumors 6502

    Most people won't see a difference between 720p and 1080p on a TV that is 42" or smaller. So if you're looking for a $500 HDTV and you find a good deal on a 720p set, go for it.

    If you are looking for a 46" or larger TV, then it does make sense to look for a 1080p set. But I'm not aware of a HDTV today that is (1) large (2) 1080p and (3) under $500.
  13. macrumors regular


    Stay away from the lowest model Vizio TVs. I had their 42" from Sams that was just under $500. Didn't work very well with the ATV. Ended up taking it back and spent a couple hundred more for a 46" Philips and am super happy.
  14. macrumors member

    I like the Vizios. My first HDTV was a M370VT that I bought last fall. I am not a home theater geek with special lighting an sound so I wold not be able to see the minor differences in the bigger name TVs. Look around for some sales and you should be able to get a decent TV for that money. I didn't think there would be much difference other than aspect ratio but boy was I wrong.
  15. macrumors member

    Stay away from anything that says Element or that is related to them. Try and see if you can get it from Costco. Not only do they have good prices but you can get a full refund in ninety days if you do not like it. Costco also extends the warranted TV beyond the manufacture's warranty and they offer no quibble returns.

    IMHO Samsung makes one of the better low cost TVs.
    Their technology is found in over half the iPad parts.
  16. macrumors 68000

    Since HDTVs are wider than they are taller, you might want to have both height and width dimensions of your cabinet and bring a tape measure to the store to see if it will fit.

    Diagonal measurement on an HDTV is larger for what ends up being a smaller (shorter) screen. (Think measuring a square versus a rectangle...for the same diagonal measurement, the rectangle will be much shorter, yet several inches wider.)
  17. macrumors 6502a

    I'm looking at a 32" Toshiba (Toshiba 32E200U 32-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV) on Amazon. Gets 4.5 stars, lots of great reviews, $380. Also the Panasonic TC-L32U22 32-Inch 1080p for $365. Also 4.5 stars, good reviews.

    My TV cabinet is plenty tall; width is going to be the issue. 32" is the widest that will fit, which is just fine for us.

  18. macrumors 68000

    Just make sure you actually measure the width of the TV and make sure it will fit. Or at least check the dimensions online. :)
  19. macrumors newbie

    this is exactly what i did.
    don't worry about getting 1080p. 720p is pretty wonderful
    on a 32" tv. you should be able to find one under $400.
    stick to the major brands, ie sony, panasonic. get as
    many hdmi inputs as you can. you will need one
    for the blue ray player you will end up buying next.
    i have mine connected to my airport extreme via
    ethernet cable so on top of all the apple tv features,
    i also get amazon on demand, pandora, and hulu plus.
    as for the tight fit.. the tv is so light that when i want to
    close the cabinet doors, i just turn the tv slightly.
  20. macrumors 6502


    Vizios are a great value, Philips tend to be total junk as they are just rebranded Funai now. I see more Philips Refurbished for sale than brand new ones- how is that possible? If you are looking for a 32" under $500 I'd go for a sony. They consistently have the best panels and reliability. They are a little more expensive but its worth not having to buy another one 4-5 years down the road. You might even consider an insignia- built in 2 year warranty + 1 year added if your credit card packs another in.

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