Getting a new TV......

Romulan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
72
0
Massachusetts
.....AND I DON'T HAVE CABLE. :eek: I don't know much about the new kinds of tvs so im looking for some help. I'm looking at a flatscreen but I'm not sure what kind of reception they'd get (if any at all) with just some good ol' bunny ears. I'm totally lost. Any help appreciated!

PS. my current TV is a 1992 sony so new technology to me may be over 10 years old :eek:. Go easy on me guys...
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
Is it that you don't have cable available or don't want cable? Are you looking to buy used? What price range are you looking at?

I have a Toshiba 27" analog TV. Use Basic Cable $9.16 per month.
 

Romulan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
72
0
Massachusetts
I don't want cable and I'm looking at around $200. I'll just go to best buy and see how much they really know.
 

MacFan25863

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2004
558
0
Romulan said:
I don't want cable and I'm looking at around $200. I'll just go to best buy and see how much they really know.

Well, I'll tell you one thing, you can't get a flatscreen for $200 :D


Though you may want to hold off on buying one, since in just about a year, the FCC is making everyone change over to digital, so you may want to save up and buy a cheap HDTV. I think they can be found for around $500 if you shop around. If you get one with a built in digital decoder, you won't have to go and buy a decoder for your antenna when it switches to digital. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy free HDTV from your local networks (right now, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and UPN broadcast HDTV over the air)
 

ham_man

macrumors 68020
Jan 21, 2005
2,265
0
MacFan25863 said:
Well, I'll tell you one thing, you can't get a flatscreen for $200 :D
I have a 20 inch JVC flatscreen that I picked up for about 230 3 or so years ago. You can definately find a resonable flatscreen for $200. Now flatpanel televisions are another story... :rolleyes:
 

40167

macrumors regular
Sep 5, 2004
202
0
I wanted a new tv, a flatpanel would have been nice... but then I figured, well my computer has an lcd display; I'll just add a tv tuner to that... its not like i have enough eyeballs to sucesfully watch tv and work on the computer at the same time.... I get fairly good reception, also just using bunny ears here since I really dont watch all that much tv.

So my recomendation would be doing that, just add a tv tuner card to your computer; especialy if you already have a nice display on it.
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
MacFan25863 said:
Well, I'll tell you one thing, you can't get a flatscreen for $200 :D


Though you may want to hold off on buying one, since in just about a year, the FCC is making everyone change over to digital, so you may want to save up and buy a cheap HDTV. I think they can be found for around $500 if you shop around. If you get one with a built in digital decoder, you won't have to go and buy a decoder for your antenna when it switches to digital. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy free HDTV from your local networks (right now, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and UPN broadcast HDTV over the air)
I'm still not sure that the FCC change over will occur next year. The interest still isn't there with TV stations and consumers. Just another hidden tax forcing us to buy new equipment to help the bottom line of manufacturers. It was there idea in the first place.
:mad:
 

Romulan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
72
0
Massachusetts
Adding a TV Tuner sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately im working off my 12 inch laptop display here, so i'd have to get a bigger screen. And i gotta say, I've been able to find plenty of reasonably priced flat screen TVs around. It takes some snooping around but i found alot of twenty inchers between 200 and 300. I think ill just pick one of those up. For some reason, one of my wacky friends was tellin' me that they don't get as good reception using antennas as the tube TVs do. Ill ask the best buy guys but im almost positive that's can't be right. Thanks for the input everyone!
 

law guy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2003
997
0
Western Massachusetts
I found an HDTV ready 15" flat panel at BestBuy for $289.99 at the on-line site:

Magnavox - 15" HD-Ready LCD TV w/HD Component Video Inputs
Reg. Price: $379.99
You Save: $90.00
Sale: $289.99

Costco has a name I don't know 17" for $349 - also HDTV ready.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11043901&whse=BC&topnav=&cat=3316&hierPath=79*3316*

An antenna should work just as well with these as with tube TVs - keep in mind there are better antennas than others - if you want it to work better, get a better antenna. Also - someone noted that super-basic cable is not too much money. I get that (and hi-speed internet) and I pay $9 for the TV part of it a month. You'll get more channels than with rabit ears and should get a better signal. Just cut out three cups a Starbucks a month and you've covered the cost.

Good luck.
 

law guy

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2003
997
0
Western Massachusetts
Romulan - Jim's post raises an issue of clarity - your first post says "flat screen", but your second post says that you have heard that antennas don't work as well with flat screens as they do with "tubes" - which makes it sound like, by "flat screen" you mean "flat panel" as flat screen's could be tube models. Given that you're a student, it makes sense that you're looking for space efficient.

I interpret your two posts to mean that you're concerned about flat panels with antennas (as opposed to any tube models). My upshot - and I think some other posters - remains the same - an antenna should be fine for either - and a better antenna should work better than a cheaper throw-away rabbit ears antenna.

Some antennas listed on CNET:

http://cnet.search.com/search?chkpt=astg.cnet.fd.search.cnet&q=antennas&tag=srch
 

ClarkeB

macrumors 6502
Jan 24, 2005
319
0
Make sure you buy HD...otherwise you'll be buying a new one quite soon.


And I think it is 2007 that the FCC is regulating all TVs have to be HD ready (with decoder, etc.)
 

Romulan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
72
0
Massachusetts
Sorry about the confusion. I meant the cheaper one though. I really dont know much about this. So whatever TV i get will be able to get just as good a signal with an antenna? So it's really just dependant on the antenna I get, right? Thanks for all the input so far. Gotta love Macrumors!
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
Romulan said:
Sorry about the confusion. I meant the cheaper one though. I really dont know much about this. So whatever TV i get will be able to get just as good a signal with an antenna? So it's really just dependent on the antenna I get, right? Thanks for all the input so far. Gotta love Macrumors!
I wish you success in your venture. Either Best Buy or Tweeter should be able to assist you in your decision making process. They may even be able to work out a no interest payment plan.
 

GregUofMN

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2003
183
0
ClarkeB said:
Make sure you buy HD...otherwise you'll be buying a new one quite soon. And I think it is 2007 that the FCC is regulating all TVs have to be HD ready (with decoder, etc.)

If you only have $200, DON'T WORRY ABOUT HDTV. Once the FCC finally get's their act together and converts all signals from analog to digital, those HD-converters are going to be dirt cheap. (Remember supply vs. demand from high school econ class?) If you to buy a TV worth looking at don't buy anything that is 17" or smaller unless you plan on using it as a kitchen-countertop only TV. Those tiny HD flatpanels are rediculously expensive. (Again, once the FCC converts to digi, the prices will all drop!) My sister bought her boyfriend/fiancee 27" Sharp flat screen CRT for about $220 for his college graduation. The picture is great without cable. Last year, I bought a 27" JVC I'art that is also spectacular without cable.

Here are a few things that you'll want to make sure you get when you buy a new TV:
-#of front/rear inputs for your DVD player, VCR, Stereo equipment, Playstation, Xbox, etc.
-3 or 4 line digital comb filter (basically # of pixels on the screen)
-make sure it also has an optional 16x9 widescreen viewing ratio (if you watch widescreen format movies, they are only TRUELY in widescreen format if you have the 16x9 option)
-also compare screens in the showroom to make sure that you like the specific model you purchase
-look for open box, floor/demo models, discontinued models, returned units can all be cheaper than the new release set models.

Hope this helps.
 

spinne1

macrumors 6502a
ClarkeB said:
And I think it is 2007 that the FCC is regulating all TVs have to be HD ready (with decoder, etc.)
The big FCC date is the end of 2006 for a mandatory switch for all broadcast stations to be *broadcasting* in digital (but they are pushing to make their deadlines even sooner for manufacturer adoption of digital TV production--see the link below). This has NOTHING directly to do with HD. HD is a quality of TV signal, not a means of broadcasting it. Digital TV is simply broadcasting using digital information rather than analog. It is in theory better because if you get all the digital information to your TV set, then you should have a very good picture, free of interference inherant in analog TV, but not necessarily an HD picture. The stations can send either standard content digitally or HD content digitally.

I realize there is much consumer confusion about the different concepts in the television world, such as digital TV, High Definition TV, plasma, LCD, DLP, DVD formats, interlaced, progressive scan, 480i, 480p, 525, 720i, 720p, 1080i, PAL, NTSC, etc. I am just starting to fully grasp it myself.

Read some recent news about the FCC switch here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/09/AR2005060901889.html

PS: for the best quality picture for the money...just get a standard tube TV with a flat screen (or a curved screen--it isn't that big of a deal). Perhaps get a 27" which is the perfect size for balancing good picture size with acceptable widescreen format screen size. It is a perfect size for a bedroom or other smallish room (but it is BIG, so if you don't have the space for the bulky rear of a CRT, then a flat panel TV is your best (only) bet, but for $200 I can't imagine you can get much.) As for the digital issue, well, it will be sometime in 2006 when digital decoders will be mandatory in a majority of *new* sets sold, YET for years to come, you will still be able to pick up a picture using your analog TV. It simply won't be a perfectly clear picture, which you would have using a good digital TV (to the extent of the source resolution). But you can not get a good digital TV at the size you want for anywhere near $200 as far as I know.