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Author: Adiletante Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 10534  
Subject: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/5/2003 5:55 PM
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Ok, maybe this isn't the right place for this question, but here goes.

In the spirit of reducing my debt and putting additional monies aside to supplement my meager retirement, I really don't want to spend more than 200.00 on a new TV (Ouch - I can hear the snickers now).

At the same time I want a decent sized screen (20" plus would be just fine) and decent picture resolution. Considering I'll be upgrading from a 13" Sharp with no extra trimmings, would anyone be willing to offer suggestions without deleting this message out of hand?

Thanks much for anyone who can sympathize with my situation.

Adiletante
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Author: TMFTwitty Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 442 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/6/2003 10:14 AM
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In the spirit of reducing my debt and putting additional monies aside to supplement my meager retirement, I really don't want to spend more than 200.00 on a new TV (Ouch - I can hear the snickers now).

Adiletante,

Take a look at this Orion 27" for $178 at Wal-Mart:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=1762746&cat=108509&type=19&dept=3944&path=0%3A3944%3A3996%3A108509

Budget price, budget quality, but a good size screen for the money.

Richard

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Author: TMFUberman Big red star, 1000 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 444 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/6/2003 10:20 AM
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Hi, Adiletante.

What I would recommend is just going to Best Buy or Circuit City (or Sears, if they are having one of their weekend sales) and just looking at the TVs there. Picture quality from set to set is very different, and IMHO is very much a matter of personal taste.

For example, people on this board tend to go on and on about how great Sony XBR picture quality is. Personally, I think it is a very overrated line of televisions. Not to say that others on this board (or elsewhere) are wrong--it's just for my money, I don't think Sony justifies its price for the quality of TV it produces.

My main TV is a 34" Toshiba Cinema Series HDTV. I couldn't be happier, after screening it against other widescreen CRTs in its size. My living room isn't big enough to justify anything bigger, and I get irritated looking at projections screens (yeah, even the DLPs I find lacking).

When I needed a small TV for my bedroom, I ended up getting a 20" model at Best Buy that had a flat (non-curved) picture tube, component and S-video inputs, and stereo speakers. I think I paid about $170 for it, and it's fine for what we want it to do.

When buying a smallish set, just keep in mind what you are going to want to hook up to it. DVD player? If so, try to find a set with at least S-video inputs, and component video inputs if possible.

Good luck on your purchase--I'm sure you can find something that will make you happy.

TMF Uberman

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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 448 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/6/2003 4:25 PM
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TMF Superman,

You need to see a Sony 36 XBR that has been properly set up. Out of the box, the picture is set for immediate wow, and is harsh. But a properly setup 36 XBR has a great picture when driven from an appropriate source. The grey scaling is amazing, finely graded through to black as deep as the finish on a grand piano. You can't judge by what you see in a dealer's showroom, unless it is a dealer who has taken the trouble -- not much trouble, at that -- to set up the unit. I think the XBR series deserves the high ratings. Disclosure: We continue to use two 25 XBRs that we bought in 1979, and added a 36 XBR a couple of years ago.

Our next home theater monitor is likely to be a front projection unit. The price is dropping and the quality improving, and nothing envelopes you like a wall full of screen.

db

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Author: TMFUberman Big red star, 1000 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 450 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/6/2003 4:51 PM
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Yeah, maybe. It's possible they weren't set up properly, or calibrated properly, or whatever. But I don't know why they would be more or less properly adjusted than, say, the Toshibas or Mitsubishis. Sony tends to command a premium in price, so you'd suspect the profit margin would be higher for the dealer as well.

When we were looking for a new set, we eschewed the usual BB/CC shops and focused on niche stores--like Myer-Emco, Tweeter and our local Belmont--that specialized in home theater setups. Sony just never "did it" for me...and I can't put my finger on precisely why. I just liked the way the picture looked on the Toshiba Cinema Series better.

*shrugs*

TMF Uberman

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Author: Sunrunner4 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 451 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/6/2003 5:30 PM
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The cheap stuff is the most fun to buy, especially now when you can really get a lot of electronics for little money. Really, you've got two choices:
- higher quality, smaller screen
- lower quality, bigger screen

For example:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1051806133195&skuId=4501293&type=product&productCategoryId=cat03003
Is a monster: 27" sharp with S-video (boo!)

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1051806176075&skuId=4542944&type=product&productCategoryId=cat03004
a cute Advent 20" with flat tube and component video (yea!)

Sure, the advent probably has better picture (and the difference would not be subtle), but, like engines, there is no substitute for cubes, er, squares. And depending on what you watch, bigger really is better.

But really, you've got a lot of choices. You may want to wait until the After-T-Giving Day sales, there's probably some killer deals to be had in the budget priced 25"-27" tv land.

Also, though not the tweak solution, I hear there's some fine deals to be had on DVD/TV combos on the cheap, if you don't already have a DVD player. I don't know that I'd suggest it; you can get a ridiculously performing DVD player for under $150 (hell, under $80 now) that puts my first gen pioneer 414 on the trailer. A $400(?) player from 4 years ago isn't equal to a $80 panasonic now.

Sunrunner4



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Author: TMFUberman Big red star, 1000 posts 10+ Year Anniversary! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 453 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/7/2003 8:15 AM
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That 20" Advent is the one I got for my bedroom, and it does a great job for what it is--a smallish TV that has a ridiculous level of connections for a TV its size.

TMF Uberman

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Author: iamdb Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 457 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/8/2003 11:37 PM
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I suspect Sony's thinking is that a vivid picture catches attention in a showroom. If you use the settings described in the Stereophiles' Guide to Home Theater review of the 36 XBR, the picture is very superior to the out-of-the-box settings.

As I said in my previous post, my next monitor will be a front projector and a wall of screen -- THX-certified acoustically transparent screens are available so the center speaker can be behind the picture, but I've found a center channel under the picture satisfactory.

My personal dilemma is whether I can devise a home theater system that can double sucessfully for music as well, or whether I really need two separate systems to acheive high-quality music reproduction. If I buy a Sony ES 9000 CD/SACD/DVD player and a Denon 5803, I might be well on my way to a single system. My current low-end Sony progressive scan DVD/CD sounds harsh, and my Sony ES AV receiver is no match for my Proceed processor and amps, but I think the Denon 5803 might be close.

db

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Author: alchook Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 458 of 10534
Subject: Re: Buying the inexpensive Date: 11/9/2003 12:05 AM
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THX-certified acoustically transparent screens are available so the center speaker can be behind the picture, but I've found a center channel under the picture satisfactory.

I agree.

I looked into getting an acoustically transparent screen. My installer told me not to waste my money. Putting the center channel speaker under the screen is far more than satisfactory. It works perfectly.


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