Looking to buy my first HDTV - best one for under $1,200?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Doju, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    Hey, I'm looking to buy an HDTV for under $1,200 CAD. This will be my first, and I want it to be at minimum 42".

    I want a plasma. You seem to pay a premium for LCDs, and I'm constantly told they're only worth it in rooms with a lot of windows, gaming or if you need low-power. I like the look and especially the price of plasmas a lot better. I'd like 1080p as well.

    I went to Walmart for a look and saw a 50" 1080p Plasma for $1,099 CAD. Not bad at all. I saw this on their site for $999 but it's only 720p.


    So, all in all, can anyone link me to any 42"+ (and that's my absolute minimum, I'd prefer bigger) plasma 1080p television they'd recommend?

    When should I buy? Black Friday?


    Oh, and why do some 52" LCDs cost less than other 40" TVs at stores? Does contrast ratio and that stuff matter THAT much? They're both 1080p.
     
  2. vaderhater245 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    #2
    my 2 cents...

    From my knowledge, LCD has taken over Plasma. I highly recommend it over a Plasma TV. LED Backlit/ OLED is slowly getting into the market and is succeeding in taking over LCD already in terms of picture quality.

    In terms of the price differences, it all depends how much new technology you want to buy. Many companies have different Series or levels of their TVs. Take Samsung for example, their basic 1080p 40" is $799 US where as their top of the line LED Backlit 40" is $1599 US. Spend more and you get a "better" picture overall.

    Edit: I think many can agree with me, don't buy a TV from Walmart.
     
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #3
  4. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #4
    Also, adding to what vaderhater said, I would avoid Plasma all the way.
    They are heavier, they are "old" technology, as Pioneer no longer is in the plasma game, although Sharp bought a large stake in Pioneer, as a company.
    They still have the ability to get the burn in phenomenon.

    The bulb is expensive as well. The heat they expel, is something to consider as well. They use a lot more energy as well.

    I would stick with LCD. They are really advancing this technology. They have 260HZ (maybe 240hz?) sets out now, although they are in the mid 2K range...
     
  5. gan6660 macrumors 65816

    gan6660

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #5
    I got a plasma tv 2 years ago the sunday before thanksgiving for $1000. It was a Hitachi 1080p plasma tv. bestbuy had on sale for $1500 the week before and there was a one dy sale that sunday for $1000 and then on Monday it went back to $1500. So hold out till around black friday and you will get some good deals.
     
  6. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #6
    Don't listen to all the Plasma naysayers. If you want a superior picture, Plasma is the clear choice unless you want to spend a ton of money on premium LCDs.

    Full Disclosure: I own an 37" LCD.

    So why are Plasma's better in terms of picture? Better, deeper blacks. You just can't compare them to an LCD without spending 2 or 3 times more.

    Burn-in is also problem of the past. While it still exists, and you have to be a little careful when you're breaking in your new TV, Burn-in is not really an issue. You just have to be smart about it and not leave a static image on for hours at a time.

    Brandwise, Panasonic is the way to go.

    Also, keep in mind that you will probably not notice a difference between 720p and 1080p if your TV is less than 50" and you're sitting more than 5 feet away from the TV. The human eye just can't perceive the difference. Now, if you have a 73" screen like a former boss of mine, you will definitely notice the difference.

    Don't get me wrong, LCDs are great. I got my 37" Olevia (used to sell them most at Target, now they're bankrupt) for $550 2 black friday's ago, and while the menu is absolutely horrible, the screen quality is great (after calibration of course, which is easy to do yourself). I'll most likely use it until it breaks, which hopefully won't be for a while.
     
  7. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    I couldn't agree more. I have a DLP (which is excellent as well) because I wanted a large screen HDTV and the 60"+ plasmas were not within my budget, but the picture quality of a properly calibrated plasma is definitely superior to everything else IMO.
     
  8. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #8
    ...get a base model something that is LED as the tech for OLED is new and the prices are still too high...

    I have a 61" JVC DLP projection 1080p TV and its great (when I got it ~3 yrs ago $2199 with a stand was a great deal and being stationed overseas, JVC has a deal with the base PX to repair it as long as you're stationed overseas which includes replacing the bulbs (and I'm on my 3rd) so its been a good deal overall)... I also have a 42" JVC LCD in the bedroom and its been great as well...

    I like the OLED's but until they get larger and cheaper than my DLP the purchase will have to wait...
     
  9. pccounter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2009
    #10
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  10. MikeTheVike macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    #11
    Plasma is definitely the way to go if you want quality picture. The only reason I would recommend LCD is if you are putting it in a bright room. Plasmas are super cheap right now. I have a 46" Panasonic Plasma and LOVE it. BluRay, video games, etc. look great.

    LCD is winning the war because it looks brighter in stores and the colors are oversaturated. Brighter and more colorful looks better in the store. When you get it home it will be too bright and the colors won't be accurate.

    Most of the LCD technologies, such as 120hz are used to make up for deficiencies in LCD technology. Ever see a movie with the 120hz turned on? it looks "fake" like a soap opera or something.
     
  11. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #12
    I completely agree with buddyguyman. I have a Samsung 42 plasma 450 and love it. It's only 720p, but it's stunning. It's well under your budget though, so you could get a larger size, or bump up to the next level, the 550 where you get 1080p (or both). On Amazon, in USD the Samsung 50 inch 550 is 1059. I'd recommend it just based on how nice my smaller, lower class one is.
     
  12. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #13
    I own two flat panel televisions, a 50" Panasonic 720p plasma and a 42" Vizio 1080p LCD. We use the Panasonic in our living room as our primary TV and the Vizio is in the master bedroom for my wife and I. Both have been wonderful. The best prices I have see are from Sam's or Costco. These stores will sometimes come with additional warranty coverage for free. They also might price match or in my case gave me money back when they lowered the price within 30 days of my purchase.

    You should be able to easily get a 42 or 50 inch set with the budget you have. The key is to look at how you want to use it and what features you want, HDMI inputs, calibration settings, etc. The whole LCD vs Plasma thing is subjective like most preferences when it comes to electronics. And as others have mentioned be careful about your side by side comparisons when you are in the store because most of those sets are not custom calibrated and the lighting will be very different from your home environment. In my opinion the LCD's are a toss up as several company's make good products. However, now that Pioneer is out the market I definitely think Panasonic is the best plasma product available for the price. Samsung is a close second from what I have seen.

    My last piece of advice would be to do your research in addition to this thread. Go to more technical websites and forums as opposed to just using the manufacturers or retailers site. Best of luck with your purchase and enjoy your new TV. Once you go HD there is no going back, especially for sports. :)
     
  13. NeilP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #14
    I have two Panasonic flat panels:

    TV 37" TC-37LZ85
    TV 50" TC-50S1

    The 50" is plasma and I highly recommend it. I think you can find it available within your budget. I paid around $1400 early in the year. I use it in my bedroom and have it connected to a Mac Mini.
     

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