Where to get a quality LCD TV (15-20") for a good price?
December 7, 2005 7:36 AM   Subscribe

My fiancee still lives at home with her TV-crazy parents. As a gift before our wedding, to thank them for letting me stay at their house literally hundreds of nights, I want to get them a nice 15-20" LCD TV for their kitchen to replcae their crummy 13" CRT.

Any suggestions on where to get a quality (not junk like Sylvania and Apex) TV for about 300-400$? Money is a little tight with the wedding and we just bought a condo, but I'd like to get them something nice that shows my appreciation.

Thanks for the help.
posted by seinfeld to Technology (15 answers total)
I think this is such a lovely idea.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:49 AM on December 7, 2005 [1 favorite]

Maybe Costco, if you have one nearby? Or costco.com too I imagine. My brother in law got a great LCD TV there at a nice price.
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:54 AM on December 7, 2005

Oh to be saying money is tight, and yet be willing to spend $300-$400 on a gift for someone else... Life is rough...

I don't even know what $400 looks like lately.

Aaaanyway.. sorry. Your best bet is to find what you want at Best Buy or Circuit City, then go home and use pricewatch and/or froogle to find the best price. The Sharp LCD TVs are often receiving great reviews and are moderately priced.
posted by twiggy at 7:54 AM on December 7, 2005

I find for things like this, the cheapest place ends up being Best Buy or the like... and the only sub-$500 LCD TVs they have are serious junk-brands.
posted by antifuse at 7:55 AM on December 7, 2005

overstock.com. Very cheap shipping, too.
posted by leapingsheep at 8:10 AM on December 7, 2005

Check out Cheap Stingy Bargains for some good deals on things like this. Their TV page shows a Syntax 20" for $300 with free shipping. Even if that brand isn't what you're looking for, keep you eye on the site and you'll find what you want if it's out there. I got an awesome deal on a monitor by keeping track of the deals on here.
posted by fionab at 8:11 AM on December 7, 2005

Check the forums at Fat Wallet (JUST the forums -- everything else is junk. It's useful to register, as well). They often post deals on such things. The lowest price varies from place to place, and these folks make a habit of tracking it. Ben's bargains posts similar deals. I recommend those two sites for any sort of deal hunting whatsoever.

hmm. and I'll be checking out fionab's link if you can sort by item you want to buy
posted by fishfucker at 8:38 AM on December 7, 2005

Well, if everyone's posting deal-watching sites, then my faves are dealnews and Techbargains. I highly recommend dealnews' email/RSS alerts, which you can customize to your liking (example: "20in LCD TV") Dunno if you'll be able find a "famous name" LCD TV for quite as low as $400 yet, but these sites will probably give you ideas...

Not to throw you off your chase, but my company just gifted a Dell 19" LCD TV to me (servitude anniversary), and I found it to be rather wanting in the picture-quality department -- I much prefer the contrast range of my old 13" Philips CRT, actually.

Recommend you test-drive a model in some kind of showroom or scope the AVS Forums for buyer comments before you settle on a purchase. (Of course, if your wedding is anytime soon, you might not have time to waste on such research... in which case you should buy from somewhere with a healthy return policy, which is never a bad idea anyway.)
posted by skyboy at 9:09 AM on December 7, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great replies. I keep my eyes on slickdeals but I haven't seen too much for TVs lately. I'd love to get a Dell LCD because I think they are decent quality and if you can buy it at Costco, all the better because they always accept returns.


I'd love to find a coupon so I can knock another 100-200$ off that price.. Probably unlikely, huh?
posted by seinfeld at 9:23 AM on December 7, 2005

I highly recommend the Syntax Olevia LCD's for their low price and high performance. I snagged a 24" for $450 on Black Friday, and I guess they're a bit more epxensive now... but definitely consider that brand if you see a good deal on one.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:17 AM on December 7, 2005

Response by poster: Syntax Olevai? That sounds like a no-name brand to me. What makes you so certain that it's quality and will last?
posted by seinfeld at 10:37 AM on December 7, 2005

If you're going to get them an LCD for the kitchen, make sure it has some kind of screen protector! Or at least inform them (and yourself) on how to clean it properly! Every manufacturer has totally different reccomendations for their LCDs, so what you may already know might not match the LCD you plan to buy.

Unlike CRTs where the worst you can do to the tube with cleaners is remove the anti-glare coating (and possibly cause some microabrasion, leaving the picture softer, which for a non-HDTV CRT doesn't matter much at all), many cleaners can yellow LCD panels badly.

In a normal area, I wouldn't worry about this, but in the kitchen, it's pretty likely to get sploshed with food and require more than regular cleaning. The use/don't use warning for alcohol is dependent on the manufacturer of the LCD. Ammonia is a definite no-no.
posted by shepd at 11:09 AM on December 7, 2005

your in-laws may very well enjoy their "crummy CRT." not everyone feels that LCD TVs are an improvement on an old-fashioned picture tube.
posted by macinchik at 1:10 PM on December 7, 2005

leapingsheep: three months ago I would agreed with your comment about shopping at overstock.com. However, that company has apparently gone insane.
posted by crazyray at 1:45 PM on December 7, 2005

oops, the link I just gave had an extra colon at the end. here is a fixed link to the register story.
posted by crazyray at 1:49 PM on December 7, 2005

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