Help me purchase an HDTV!
August 6, 2012 11:41 AM   Subscribe

I haven't seen a post for this in the last year. Help me buy a nice 32-42in TV by answering a few questions about my price range, TV options, etc :)

My roommate moved out and took his 42in HDTV.

I need another one. I'm planning on buying a nice picture TV and have a Blu-Ray/Wii for netflix and movies.

I'm looking for a 1080p (i?) 32in or 42in TV that looks good, works solid, and rings in for under $300-$400.

Here are my questions:

1. Is my price range reasonable for a nice HDTV?
2. Is there any way to tell when a model has been released? I assume newer model TV's are better.
3. Are there any brands you recommend or don't recommend?
4. Are there any sets you recommend or don't recommend?
5. How do you tell if wall mounting is an option? Or are all wall mounts compatible with all TV's?
6. Is there any advantage to buying in a B&M store vs Amazon?
7. Thank you so much for your help!
posted by bbqturtle to Shopping (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I trust this guy, if only for his very thorough research, and he says the Panasonic TC-L32X5 is the current "best small TV". It has everything you want and it's $370 on Amazon right now.
posted by The Bellman at 11:48 AM on August 6, 2012

Just assume that whatever you buy will be supplanted by a newer model in short order. In fact, you can get a bargain by taking an older model.

I bought a Vizio at Target and it's perfectly cromulent. I've had it for nearly two years.

We have a larger LG in the family room and it's wonderful, but we paid a bit more for it. We've had that one for almost 5 years.

Never had problems with either of them.

I like being able to take my TV with me, rather than hope that it doesn't get all banged to shit in transport.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:50 AM on August 6, 2012

The TV Bellman links isn't 1080p and uses this as the reason:

At a normal, realistic viewing distance, your eyes won’t be able to discern the resolution difference between 720p and 1080p on a smaller screen, so why pay more for something you won’t see?

I disagree with this wholeheartedly but, on the other hand, my friends can't tell the difference between standard-def TV and 1080p, let along anything in between. That's sort of the important part. I'd never settle for less than 1080p, they probably wouldn't pay extra for it. Where do you fall on the spectrum?

Anyway, if you want 1080p, $400 is probably going to be your floor for a dependable 32". Don't be suckered in by TV apps and all that junk, and focus on basic functionality. There's a good chance those apps will be outdated long before you need a new TV.

Personally, I recommend Samsung, but that may be out of your price range. But damn if I, and my other friends with Samsungs, aren't delighted with them.
posted by griphus at 11:56 AM on August 6, 2012

I always liked my Dad's Westinghouse he bought a few years ago - I picked up this 40" LCD back in March for $370-ish and I've been completely satisfied with it.
posted by jalexei at 12:06 PM on August 6, 2012

I used this tool on Best Buy to pick out (my first) TV a few months ago. I knew I wanted 1080p, knew what I wanted to spend, didn't care about having the latest model, and wanted the biggest TV I could get. It returned a few results, which I aggressively googled for reviews, and I picked the best one.

I went ahead and ordered mine from Best Buy so I could just go pick it up from my local store (and it had the best price), but of course once you find the TV you want, you can buy it anywhere.
posted by phunniemee at 12:11 PM on August 6, 2012

Do not buy a 720p TV.

Best TV just above your price range (@ $429) is probably the Samsung UN32EH5000.
posted by wongcorgi at 12:47 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have this one. I love it. I just went to the store and looked at them and picked the one I liked the best.
posted by magnetsphere at 4:14 PM on August 6, 2012

Response by poster: I wish that bellman's review had 1080p! I'm intending to use the TV with a Blu-Ray player, so it would make sense that I would want a 1080p.

Thanks for the rest of your input! What I'm seeming to find is that the price range is $400 for a good 32". Thanks!
posted by bbqturtle at 9:38 PM on August 6, 2012

Response by poster: I am definitely now looking at panasonic vieras.

This one looks good, but I am still scouting around for the perfect features + price, and am considering samsung to be an equal competitor to the viera line.
posted by bbqturtle at 10:26 PM on August 6, 2012

Response by poster: Deciding between these TV's.

I think I decided that I like a wide viewing angle, but I'd really like a high quality TV more than anything. Seems that the samsung mentioned might be my best bet.
posted by bbqturtle at 11:35 PM on August 6, 2012

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