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Best TV for under 400.00

Last response: in Home Theatre
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June 13, 2011 10:22:17 PM

Hi, I'm looking for a new 32-42" tv to replace my pre-existing tv.
Currently there is quite a lot of brands avaliable and most I've never actually got to experience first hand *especially all the walmart brands*

I was thinking maybe an RCA, LG, Samsung or similar but open to other brands. "Syntex - Olivia is out of the question as I've got a bad PSU on one and can't get parts for it now"

Any Suggestions?

I'm thinking about this one.... http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-37LA45RQ/16440057
RCA 37" 1080p LCD HDTV 60Hz
16:9 1920 x 1080 Full HD
•2,500:1 dynamic contrast ratio
•HDMI Inputs: 4
$379.00

More about : 400

June 14, 2011 10:31:32 AM

i think you are right to choose 60hz refresh rate, because you dont want them to spend extra money on 120hz .. they would take away quality from something else.

i also think you are right about the 1080p resolution.. since manufacturing factories dont want to swap out 720p templates for 1080p templates.. it costs time, and if one of the templates is damaged during the swap out.. that costs money.
if the machine itself is damaged while swapping out the template, that again costs money.

seeing where the television has a problem can be difficult.
these stores might plug them in and leave 'em alone.
or
they might adjust the settings to hide problems.
or
they might just use one of the presets and leave it alone after that.

if i was you, i would go in there with a laptop and connect the television to the laptop, then use the program here:
http://www.hex2bit.com/products/product_mcw.asp

i have used it in the past to correct the colors and it seems to make an improvement towards the real colors.
maybe the television settings dont allow you to make as many adjustments as the software does.. so try to re-create the colors with the settings on the television, otherwise you will want to use the program every time you use the tv.. and that means connecting the computer to the television and using a tv tuner to get cable or satellite on the computer to transfer to the television.

color accuracy is important.
contrast ratio is important.
response time is important up to a point, then the lower response times are there for the 'premium' televisions.

you should at least get a gradient scale on the television to view all of the shades between black to white.
this is an example of a gradient scale:
http://www.colorsimulator.com/grayscale1.jpg

you dont want something like this:
http://www.davididay.com/images/Graphi3.gif

if there are colors missing between each block.. the image isnt going to be very good at all.
June 27, 2011 10:56:37 PM

Know any cheap alternative brands *that are reputable in terms of part avaliablity and workmanship* that can do just as good as the top end brands? I've seen quiet a lot of them recently but a lot of them i'm not familiar with and some of them are just plain junky looking but have full specs like others. * getting hard to tell which actually perform as they are stated*
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June 29, 2011 3:23:58 AM

haha.. when the televisions first showing up with the LCD type, i thought i had my eyes set on a few of the 'alternative' brand names that would be successful.
LG
vizio

those were my two choices.
white westinghouse seemed like a junk brand to go with, and though sometimes they put a product out in enough different areas that i really began to believe their products might prove to be a decent buy for your money.

seems like LG really took off.
vizio is still around a bunch
and westinghouse looks cheap and generic again.

i really dont know of any availability of parts, and i dont know much about the workmanship of any of them.
i like the brand name vizio.
doesnt look as good in black and white as it does with the graphics they use for the logo.. and maybe that is why we dont hear about 'em as much.
i think their logo is appropriate for the adrenaline pumped youth, much like video gamers.
and being a video gamer myself, i dont see why that means their quality should be any less.
sometimes alternative companies get together and create a new company.
hard to know what companies are behind the brand name, but i suppose it is final quality that you get at home with the television or monitor that is most important.

i always thought NEC was for the dumbfounded 30 year olds with their nose stuck to a computer all day.
and i always thought viewsonic was for the 40 and 50 year olds with their nose stuck to a computer all day.
as if one group was stuck up and hyperactive, and the other was stuck up and calm.
i suppose i had jealousy issues because i had no idea how solid the quality was from either company.
i would hate to see another person with a magnitude more quality than me, unless they spent a lot more.
i never really new what NEC was doing, if they were going to be a computer company or simply stand behind those three letters as if they ment something.
and i always thought viewsonic had a real tough shoe to fill, because it is a real tough name to stand behind and represent.


for consumers.. getting repair parts are a joke.
most of the time there are lots of parts available, but they require a repair license as well as a business license.
so if you go hunting ebay for some repair parts.. there is no guarantee that those parts will be available in 3-5 years if the television breaks.
and as paranoid as i get.. i wouldnt say there is any guarantee that the repair part works if you bought it now and tried to use it in 5 years.
maybe the thing simply dies from sitting on a shelf or in a box too long.

extended warranties are not always the best solution.
maybe you are good for the first 3-4 years.. but the thing doesnt break until 5-6 years.
and this boils down to being with a brand name that has been around and in the game for a long time.
sure, a smaller less-known brand name might have all the same part suppliers with some realistic designers to build the product.
and this could be true to the extent of getting repairs done.
but
what if those people decide to stop and do something else?
or
what if the parts suppliers decide to stop and do something else?
maybe they dont close their doors, but maybe they significantly change what they offer.
i suppose the question would be, are the new parts compatible with the old parts?
i cant see how the parts would downgrade in quality.. so that brings me to the conclusion/assumption that there will be pieces being used with much more potential than ever used.
maybe that means higher cost for the parts.. but doesnt that mean longer lifespan for the repair?
isnt that how things were working in the 1970's and 1980's ?
June 29, 2011 3:45:24 AM

NEC makes great monitors that I know last a long time ,but their tvs are kind of high >.> runs a little more than most.
Viewsonic looks pretty nice for the price but haven't experienced the brand much myself so not really so sure about that, but they have had a lot of sells computer monitor wise so might not be too much of a bad thing.
June 29, 2011 4:03:36 AM

i recently had a look at one of the online stores (compusa as a matter of fact) about an hour ago.. westinghouse appears to be selling televisions for a high asking price.
maybe all of that 'lingering' around in different electronics areas has paid off and provided them with a backbone well enough to provide a bargain buy.
i mean, seriously, i havent seen much of their products anywhere else.
but seriously again,
who didnt want to buy a white westinghouse alarm clock?
the brand name had a bunch of cute electronics for sale.. then coby came in and started taking things over.

i dont faithfully believe watching the politics of it all is really going to pay off.
and i suppose i would be the loser if it did :lol: 

my biggest gripe was always seeing something really cute and made out to be really cheap.
not necessarily clocks.. because those prove to be whatever, especially when you can put in a new switch.
but
other 'things' that caught my eye and i would think 'man.. if only i could get one of these in heavy-duty'
June 29, 2011 5:42:17 AM

I know you said you wanted to stay under $400 but if you have an extra $19 the biggest/best TV in this price "RANGE" is the Hanspree http://www.walmart.com/ip/ST42DMSB/15541795 for $419

You simply cannot beat the picture for this price. Anywhere.

If you don't have the extra 19 dollars then I would recommend you go with any model Vizio you see that fits your requirements i.e. # of HDMIs, component inputs, VGA connector etc ... I own 4 Vizio sets ranging from a 32 inch in the kitchen to the 55 3D set in my TV room. I don't own the Hanspree myself because this model wasn't out when I bought the 42" Vizio for my Bedroom. I do own a 27" Hanspree monitor for one of my computers and it is phenomenal.

SO I would either borrow 19 dollars from a friend and get the Hanspree 42" set or go with ANY Vizio that meets your connection needs.

Happy Viewing,

Cog
June 29, 2011 11:08:49 AM

ehh 19 isn't too much out of the question, was mainly trying to establish a barrier so I don't go and blow close to a thosand on a tv that has more options than I really need like 3d and all that other slightly useless things. But one other thing, do you know of the backwards compatiblilty of the Hanspree for older devices such as PS2? Have had the issue like the current tv that I'm wanting to replace not having a feature to support backscaling to low resolution and everything looking like junk, but then again it makes up for being compatible very well for ps3 other than it's so old it only has a single hdmi port.

lol, far as Coby goes they have killed me in the past far too many times with smaller electronics to show they are not be trusted... 3 DoA protable cd players back to back, alarm clock that the 9v backup didn't work right and would reset to wrong time or not at all, and finally an mp3 player that the lcd started to read only partial numbers after 2 weeks use.
June 29, 2011 10:23:58 PM

Oh yeah, I better bring up to the attention that reverse compatiblility for older devices such as PS2 and things of that nature with low resolution is kind of important since only certain brands actually take the time to have avaliable down scale settings for 480dpi since it's outdated now except the DLP tvs which are very large and bulky and not in the question for my needs since that would definately exceed weight limits for a tempered glass table.
June 30, 2011 1:47:57 AM

downscaling is simply a matter of video processing capability.
any LCD panel can display a lower resolution.. it is all about how those pixels are enlarged to make like 20 pixels represent 1.

remember those old school display boards that used lots of light bulbs?
same type of functionality.
you could light up ONE bulb for a pixel.
or
you could light up 5 bulbs to get the same 'round' shape for one pixel.

swelling up the pixels is a processing technique.
results vary for whatever reason.
June 30, 2011 2:21:26 AM

yeah I get what your talking about but I just so happen to have a Syntex-Olivia tv that isn't very backward compatible with older systems and makes everything look pixlated and horrible even though there is a so called function to change input types to standard, hi def and another setting that's on there which doesn't really seem to do anything but make the screen a little darker than normal...
July 2, 2011 4:03:12 AM

well I ended up picking out a 37" Vizio 1080p for 399.99 on sale at tigerdirect with a 100.00 rebate making it 299.99 so not all that bad I guess.
July 8, 2011 4:15:14 AM

Glad to hear you went with the Vizio ~~ I will be hard pressed to go with any other brand until I am hypnotized into thinking that spending more for the same makes any sense.

and PS of course I was joking about borrowing 19 bucks ~~ :o 

Cog
!