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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after like 15 years of stubbornly clinging to my 19" cheap TV to embrace my ludditeism and cheapness I've seen the light and want a bigger tv.
The last straw was watching two periods of a hockey game at a neighbors place last night then coming home and watching the rest of my TV. I've got major room for improvement. Actually the picture quality on mine is fine for me but it's just to darn small.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see via google that I should be able to get something decent for < $300. Is that true or do these cheap TVs suck?
I noticed they all have a number for "resolution" and "refresh rate". I'm assuming higher is better? Is there a minimum I should look for there?
I'm not at all a gadget guy and just care about watching sports on the thing. I have room for about 33 inches diagonal max.

Any tips, keeping in mind I won't understand anything very technical, would be appreciated.
thanks,
 

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I used to really be into all of this stuff but after kids and more and more expenses gave up chasing the latest/greatest and have settled on just going to Costco and picking up whatever seems best rated in the size I'm looking for. It won't be a bad TV nor will it be the best. While I never buy extended warranties I did actually get one on the last TV I bought there. It was something like $25 through squaretrade and extended warranty to 5yrs. Seeing how I had just had a TV crap out after 2 years I figured I'd get it. 4K seems to be the rage but seeing that you are coming from a 15 year old TV and don't seem particularly interested in latest/greatest I'd say any entry level LED TV would do. <$300 may be a bit aggressive though. I would think $300-$400 is more like it. Just about anything you get in that range would be 1080p and probably have perfectly adequate specs and be far better than your current rig. But you need to think about how you plan to "feed" it. HD Cable? Antenna? Streaming? Once you have the better TV you will want to take advantage of it...
 

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Something decent for under 300 bucks? Yes; that's true.

A friend of mine was in the market for a new TV. He won't research squat-typical consumer that just goes into the store and buys what looks good/is on sale.

So nice guy that I am, I went to the library and did the Consumer Reports thing. I gave my friend all the documentation, but from what I recall, the average consumer does not need the latest and greatest 4k, smart TV, etc. etc. . 780p or 1080p is plenty resolution for most viewers, the "p" meaning progressive scanning of the image, which works better for sports such as your hockey game where there's a lot of fast movement. The article mentioned refresh rate but I don't recall what they recommended other than the casual viewer doesn't need the highest numbers; they'll be plenty satisfied with mid-range numbers.

While I don't recall the model numbers, I do remember Samsung and LG having the top rated/best values in your size, 32", which happens to be the same size my friend needs.

The only feature Consumer Reports found most TVs performing poorly is in the sound department. For an extra few hundred dollars, you can add a soundbar and wireless subwoofer, if sound is important.

You'll typically find the manufacturers make certain models specifically for the big box stores and after speaking to TV repair technicians, the quality is definitely poorer.

So I'd seek out that Consumer Reports issue I read which I think was 2015 vintage; the info is still relevant and it will explain in plain language what to look for and what to ignore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks a lot, guys. That's really helpful.

It will be fed by regular non-HD cable. The picture quality with what I have now on the non-hd feed is fine for me. I just want bigger.

I don't care about sound, within reason. I'm really into music but the TV doesn't get involved with that and the movies and shows I generally watch tend to be the type where dialogue is all that matter. And of course for sports as long as I hear the announcer clearly that's fine.
 

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Thanks a lot, guys. That's really helpful.

It will be fed by regular non-HD cable. The picture quality with what I have now on the non-hd feed is fine for me. I just want bigger.
Careful here. Sometimes an SD (standard def) signal can look really awful on an HD set. Most newer sets have pretty decent upscaling abilities (ability to show low resolution pictures at high resolution) but at the end of the day you can't make something from nothing. Upscaling is a bit of a "black art" and the better algorithms are usually proprietary and licensed. So entry level sets may not be so good at upscaling. What you see on a 15 year old small 19" set may not look so good "blown up" to 30" set. With HD being the de-facto thing these days set manufacturers may have started caring less about upscaling as well. So my advice would be have a good return option or step up to an HD signal even if just an antenna and/or some streaming device (Chromecast, Roku, AppleTV, etc.)

If you've ever printed out a picture from a web site and wondered why the printed version looks so much worse than what you saw on the computer this is an example of poor upscaling. A low resolution, perhaps 72 dpi (dot per inch) image is being printed by a higher resolution device (perhaps 300 or 600dpi). So the printer has to "fill in the dots" which can look pretty "blocky", "pixelated", or other words people use.
 

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This is what I've been using for the past 17 years or so (not my photo):

Electronic device Display device Product Technology Output device

The living room isn't configured in a way to allow for a giant screen, w/o putting our backs to the fireplace.
 

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When you get your new set and hook it up to the non-HD cable, you will quickly see the need for an HD feed. If you have enough local stations, you might get enough HD over the airwaves.

BTW, you will need a real table, instead of just the 2 patio bricks you are currently using......
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When you get your new set and hook it up to the non-HD cable, you will quickly see the need for an HD feed. If you have enough local stations, you might get enough HD over the airwaves.

BTW, you will need a real table, instead of just the 2 patio bricks you are currently using......
ha, What about milk crates? Those should still work, right? (4 years ago I would not have been joking)

Anyway, It's done. Samsung 32 inch. It boiled down to having the best picture next to all the other ones in that size and price range in the store. $300 marked down to $212 or something like that.

We'll see about SD feed on a HD TV. The guy at the store said they were set up there with a standard feed and that was plenty good for me so I'm optimistic.

Some of those high dollar ones were really amazing I must admit. The other thing I learned today is that what feels light in a store gets pretty heavy walking 3 miles with it.

Thanks again for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
All set up. I'm pretty happy with what I got for the price.

When I first set it up a show called Mike & Molly was the first thing I saw and I panicked because the people looked distorted. Then I went a baseball game and then the news and realized that, apparently, Mike & Molly are quite fat.
 

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yes. I walked to Best Buy and had planned to take a cab back but it felt really light so decided to walk back too. It no longer felt light when I got home though.
That will be a great story for the grandkids...I walked 3 miles carrying a TV...and I was GRATEFUL for it!!! 🙂
 

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ha, What about milk crates? Those should still work, right? (4 years ago I would not have been joking)

Anyway, It's done. Samsung 32 inch. It boiled down to having the best picture next to all the other ones in that size and price range in the store. $300 marked down to $212 or something like that.

We'll see about SD feed on a HD TV. The guy at the store said they were set up there with a standard feed and that was plenty good for me so I'm optimistic.

Some of those high dollar ones were really amazing I must admit. The other thing I learned today is that what feels light in a store gets pretty heavy walking 3 miles with it.

Thanks again for the info.
I use an antenna, HD one and get about 60 mile radius in local stations for free in HD uncompressed.

10 things you need to know about Digital TV Antennas
 

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yes. I walked to Best Buy and had planned to take a cab back but it felt really light so decided to walk back too.
nice work.

i walked about two miles home from the bike shop with an empty bike box. it felt a little humiliating. next time, i think i'll just bribe the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That will be a great story for the grandkids...I walked 3 miles carrying a TV...and I was GRATEFUL for it!!! 🙂

I know. If you're razzing me, then touche, I deserve it. I felt like a tool when typing it just to tell strangers on the intrawebs but figured there was a bit of humor in it so I mentioned it.

Thankfully I didn't follow though on my idea of bike, framed backpack and ropes. That would have been a disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I use an antenna, HD one and get about 60 mile radius in local stations for free in HD uncompressed.

10 things you need to know about Digital TV Antennas
oh wow. Thank you. I'll have to look into that. A quick google shows they're pretty cheap so not much to lose by trying. I live in downtown Boston so would think if anyone gets enough stations to make one of those worthwhile I would.
 

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oh wow. Thank you. I'll have to look into that. A quick google shows they're pretty cheap so not much to lose by trying. I live in downtown Boston so would think if anyone gets enough stations to make one of those worthwhile I would.
https://nocable.org/availability-report/zip/02121-boston-ma

Greater Boston, Manchester and Cape Cod, MA, Free HDTV Channels and Antennas.

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comments/2zx3pd/boston_cord_cutters_antennas_and_ranges/



HDTV Magazine - Broadcast HDTV Programming
WHDH-DT Ch. 7.1
NBC
8452.26 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WHDH-DT Ch. 7.2
IND
8452.26 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WMUR-DT Ch. 9.1
ABC
8498.07 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WENH-DT Ch. 11.1
PBS
8511.93 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WPXG-DT Ch. 21.1
IND
8512.35 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WPXG-DT Ch. 21.2
ION
8512.35 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WFXT-DT Ch. 25.1
FOX
8451.66 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WUNI-DT Ch. 27.1
UNI
8453.17 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WWDP-DT Ch. 46.1
IND
8431.78 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WYDN-DT Ch. 48.1
IND
8452.15 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WBIN-DT Ch. 50.1
IND
8481.23 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WEKW-DT Ch. 52.1
PBS
8500.36 mi, 6°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WLVI-DT Ch. 56.1
CW
8451.66 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WLVI-DT Ch. 56.2
IND
8451.66 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WDPX-DT Ch. 58.1
IND
8410.77 mi, 8°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WDPX-DT Ch. 58.2
ION
8410.77 mi, 8°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WNEU-DT Ch. 60.1
TELMUN
8498.09 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WMFP-DT Ch. 62.1
IND
8451.98 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WUTF-DT Ch. 66.1
UNIMAS-E
8456.83 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WBPX-DT Ch. 68.1
ION
8451.98 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WBPX-DT Ch. 68.2
IND
8451.98 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
WBPX-DT Ch. 68.3
IND
8451.98 mi, 7°

<tbody>
</tbody>
 

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This is what I've been using for the past 17 years or so (not my photo):

View attachment 318796

The living room isn't configured in a way to allow for a giant screen, w/o putting our backs to the fireplace.
I faced the same dilemma, but living in the south with moderate winters I opted to rip the fireplace out. It was something I never had nor planned on using anyway. Breaking out the stone facade with a four pound engineers hammer and concrete chisel isn't something I'd want to do everyday.
 
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