Tips for buying a New TV

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Max Tower, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Max Tower

    Max Tower Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2016
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    I was just about to buy a new TV and I thought... hang on a minute there must be a whole load of elephant traps one can fall into and I thought. It might be worth starting a thread to discuss the perils and pitfalls of buying a new TV.

    I'm far from an expert on the subject but just to give some examples of even the things I know about.

    1) SD display & upscaling - does the TV display SD images clearly or does it make them look like a bad photocopy

    2) Motion blur & Videogame mode and the pit falls of post processing and how easy is it to turn the post processing off for game mode and does it ruin the picture ?

    3) HDR problems

    4) Sound - does the TV have built in sound - is it loud does it have a centre speaker if you are using a sound bar with it, is it compatible with wireless speakers and other sound issues.

    5) Data Security on a smart TV, how hard is it to alter the setting and do they even take - some TV's don't even work properly until they have been set up online so I hear.

    6) In built Microphones/camera and security issues with that.

    7) Inputs and outputs

    8) Compatability with media devices.

    9) Encyption for TV's with record mode - can you turn it off (some TV's you can and some don't even have any)

    10) Can the TV record in standby mode (some can't supposedly).

    11) Type of display tech the TV uses and also how economical that is

    12) How did you get on with a larger screen - with regard to things like viewing angles, sunlight washout etc..

    Those are just a few of them, so did you buy a new TV - or are you like me looking to buy one. what things did you find out in the process of buying one that you think are worth sharing.

    I realised recently that if you bought something like a 60" plus size TV would you even be able to lift it - you might not get able to fit the bigger ones inside a normal vehicle - so they might require two people to deliver it in a van.
  2. TFXProtector

    TFXProtector TFW2005 Supporter

    Jan 7, 2011
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    1.) It all depends on the post-processing chip inside the TV. Sony does a rather good job. Samsung and LG can, but depending on the model/tech (say OLED) there might not be much in the way of getting SD content to the unit. (OTA, maybe). Best thing you can do is go to the store and have them show you SD content, if possible.

    2.) Game Mode tends to alleviate most of the issues you mention. That said, refresh rate (panel, higher the better) and millisecond response time (lower is better) do come into play, and you'll want the best you can possibly get for both.

    3.) HDR is not quite perfected, no matter what they tell you in the store, or any armchair "techs" on the board, here, might tell you. It's something all manufacturers are still working on. Most content is still SDR and at best, you might find a TV that's close to the original content creator's intent. Local dimming zones and "pixel-perfect" are some HDR tech you might want to consider.

    4.) ALL built-in flat-panel TV audio is awful. Tinny, raspy, no real depth or bass. It can loud, but it muddies and distorts at high volumes. A soundbar comes in several configurations...

    2.0 - Stereo.
    2.1 - Stereo with subwoofer.
    5.1 - Dolby Digital with Sub. (Fake surround, all 5 speakers sounds in-bar, soundwaves are bounced off of objects.)
    5.1 - Dolby Digital with wireless rear satellites and subwoofer. (Real sound channels.)
    5.1.2 Atmos with wireless rear satellites and subwoofer. (2 upward firing speakers in-bar, along with fronts and center.)
    5.1.4 Atmos (same as above, but 4 upward. 2 in-bar, 2 in the satellites, all aimed at the ceiling, as well as forward facing for the rear channels.) This is the best sounding, but most expensive at $800+ USD.

    You can make your own home theater solution with a 9.1 Dolby Digital EX/Atmos 5.1.4 receiver, plus 5.1.4 speakers package, but that can easily go over $1,000.00 USD. Keep it cheap and simple, in the beginning. 5.1 soundbar with satellites. Upgrade, later.

    The TV doesn't really do much, except act as a pass-through for the audio signals, in almost all cases. The soundbar/home theater system does the heavy burden lifting of the system and decodes the signal it's processing.

    5.) Samsung is among the nosiest. Opt-out of everything for data collection and just sign in to the TV or don't use their services at all and just connect a Roku, Nvidia Shield, Xbox One, PS4/5, or Fire Stick. Those will already have your credentials/services signed in, and you won't have to give the TV your personal info. LG's not too bad. They just have you sign away when you use their smart features. Just don't use them, if you're worried.

    6.) Only some models have those, mostly higher-end TVs (and they'll disclose it) and run of the mill "off the shelf" TVs do not. You can also disable those in the settings if need be. Opting out, above, will take care of that, too.

    7.) Most TVs are phasing out Component (RGB), some retain Composite (Y) but are phasing it out, none have S-Video anymore, and all use HDMI and Optical (audio). HDMI is basically your all-in-one fix. Older devices will need an adapter. Can't find one? Pretty much out of luck, then. =\ HDMI 2.0+ for best A/V options. 1.4 will work for 4k, but 30-60fps at best. Higher requirements? (120-144fps) 2.0+

    8.) Like above, you'll need to see if they have HDMI or an adapter. If the TV doesn't have Component or Composite, you're out of luck without an adapter.

    9.) Can't speak to this. I've never come across an issue pertaining to it.

    10.) Same as above. Sorry.

    11.) LED is going to be the most efficient (bill-wise) and LCD will be second place. Flat-panels are much cheaper than their tube predecessors. OLED should be even cheaper, but it comes with its own set of issues. (Burn-in, brighter lighting systems, which can draw more power. Can, doesn't mean they will. Read the energy guide label on the unit.)

    12.) The size doesn't really have much to do with that. It's the type of panel used. IPS (In-Plane Switching) has the best viewing angles. TN is the worst, you have to be directly on it or it'll wash out. Most TVs use IPS or some variation on the tech. Most have excellent viewing angles and don't wash out. Depending on the backlight system, sunlight/lighting shouldn't be an issue. Brighter the TV, the better. But, no set can be perfect when the sun is beating right down on the panel.

    The size can be an issue depending on the size of your room. Square-footage/area can make a difference. You don't want to be overwhelmed by it. Some rooms do fine with 55-65", others with 32-40" (unsure of the Metric equivalent). You'll need to have a rough guess, at least. I have a medium-sized apartment... 50-55" is perfect. (I have a 50.)

    A lot of TVs are light out of the package, but the bezels are thin and don't give you much in the way of gripping the unit and make it awkward and difficult to carry it by yourself/set it on the included stand. Even worse if you're wall-mounting it. It's better to have it professionally delivered/set-up on the stand. Most retailers offer it at little or no extra cost, depending on the price of the TV itself. A wall-mount is very much a professional job and will cost more. (If you have an existing wall mount, you'll only need to line up the posts on it with the Vesa mounting points on the back of the TV, itself. Rounded units might require a specialized bracket. Again, pros recommended.)

    Hope this helps!
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  3. rattrap007

    rattrap007 One meme mutha f’er TFW2005 Supporter

    Aug 18, 2002
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    Evansville, IN
    As for size, i live in a med sized one bedroom apartment. I got a 70" tv about 15 months ago. My old stand was way too small so i needed a much larger one. Got a nice very long one at Target. I manage to squeeze it all into the space i had.

    best idea is to get measurements. Measure floor space available for tv stand or wall space for mounting. Then if a tv stand is being used, measure the base of the part of the tv that needs to touch the top of the counter. Some have a more narrow base others are wide.

    I went from this

    to this

    Tf shelf got moved over a foot to the left. Right up to the base of my DVD unit against the left wall. Yeah i had to measure and there wasn't an inch to spare, but it fit perfectly.

    just measure space. The feet of the tv have maybe 6 inches on each side. A wide base. Make sure you measure that as well.
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  4. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

    Feb 20, 2007
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    Yep, all of this right here.