TV for Nintendo Switch, noob dad edition
October 28, 2017 5:36 AM   Subscribe

Kiddo is getting a Switch for Crimble. With Mario Cart, and Zelda. I have never owned a console, or a flat-screen tv. No cable here either (but thinking about maybe starting to use Netflix or Prime?). What might a good tv setup for Switch gaming, and occasional internet tv? Thank you!

I checked this previous question. I assume it's all plug and play. I'm specifically interested in a good tv or monitor (are these different these days)? Current couch to screen distance is about 7 to 8 feet. Budget is not limited, but also not limitless - 500-700 is a rough ballpark for the tv. Thank you!
posted by life moves pretty fast to Technology (12 answers total)
For the internet tv part, disregard any "smart" features built in when shopping, almost any streaming device will be far superior.
posted by TheAdamist at 5:50 AM on October 28, 2017 [5 favorites]

How much space do you have for it? At that distance, 60” is probably the smallest where 4K would be super noticeable, but for occasional use smaller would probably be fine. Wirecutter really likes this one (and I have friends who agree). Should future-proof you for a while.
posted by supercres at 5:53 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Both of my kids have this Vizio TV.

My son has no complaints using his for Xbox One gaming + Netflix + HD antenna.

My daughter has no complaints using hers for Netflix + HD antenna.

Smart TV features are fairly intuitive and seem to work well for them. Alternatively, there is the exact same TV without the "smart" features for $40 less and then you could purchase a Chromecast or Fire Stick.
posted by kuanes at 5:55 AM on October 28, 2017

Thanks so far! - To clarify slightly, this will be in the living room. I have unlimited space on the wall the couch is facing, will probably get some second-hand furniture, or something from Ikea, to place it on.
posted by life moves pretty fast at 6:06 AM on October 28, 2017

The Wirecutter has a review of TV’s in that price range. Not being an expert myself, I’d rely on their judgment to get you something that’s reasonably good for the job.
posted by mrbeefy at 6:14 AM on October 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

For the setup you're describing, you need three things:

1 - The TV itself. The Wirecutter link above will help you pick one out. I'll echo the advice to skip any smart features (or at least don't make a buying decision based on them). Importantly, all modern flat-screen TVs have multiple HDMI ports.

2 - A Roku box. Get one of the new ones. This will help you easily manage any online service you want to use (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.). This will plug in to your TV via one of those HDMI ports.

3 - The Switch itself. Like the Roku box, this will connect to the TV via one of the HDMI ports.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:25 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

I’d add a switch pro controller to the list. It’s worlds better than the joycon holder thing. Also, the wirecutter recommendation has a Roku built in... which might not be as good as a new one, but you might hold off on buying one until you try it. You can always pick one up later.
posted by Huck500 at 6:46 AM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Importantly, all modern flat-screen TVs have multiple HDMI ports.

This is not true of our lower-end Vizio. It may be true now, ours is about 3 years old, I'd guess. But double check. Now that we're using a Fire Stick in that HDMI port, it's much more limited.
posted by terilou at 7:38 AM on October 28, 2017

I think you can simply get a TV with two HDMI ports and use one for the Switch and one for whatever internet TV solution you desire, whether it's a Roku or a Chromecast off your computer. I'm hoping the Switch will eventually add Netflix or YouTube TV or something, but that sounds a long way off, so for now you need two separate inputs.
posted by AppleTurnover at 1:44 PM on October 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

My advice is to go to the store and look at the tvs they have set up. Find one that you think looks nice, has the required ports, and fits your budget. Similarly specced tvs made by the same company sometimes look quite different. As mentioned above, completely disregard whether a tv is a "smart" tv. I suggest completely ignoring the sound that come out of the TV as well, and get a sound bar + subwoofer. Even inexpensive ones are going to improve the sound a ton.

Note that the switch doesn't do 4k, so you can always think about futureproofing but right now a 4k tv would be pointless for you.

Also, the switch will probably eventually get netflix, amazon video, hulu, etc, so you may not even need the separate roku box.

TV panels are basically commodities at this point; you can do a ton of research if you want but it comes down to finding one that you think looks good.
posted by dbx at 10:39 AM on October 29, 2017

If you have "unlimited space on the wall the couch is facing" may I suggest a projector instead of a TV? I spent about $500 on mine and I have an awesome 70" wide screen now.

Caveats: you’ll probably need to mount it near the ceiling, you’ll need to be okay with closing the curtains before being able to see a decent image, and light leaks may make it hard to see the screen on a bright sunny day (but hey! It’s sunny! Go outside and make some vitamin D!)

You can put it on the blank white wall, you can be like me and tape up some paper off a big roll left over from another project, or you can spend a couple hundred on a screen.

Just hit up the Wirecutter's list of "cheap projectors", I think mine was their #2 pick on that list a few years ago.

Add in a cheap hdmi switch if you don’t have multiple inputs on your screen, get an adaptor for your phone/tablet, and use that for the video streaming.
posted by egypturnash at 4:59 PM on October 30, 2017

(However: resist the temptation to try and make things ultra compact by getting a pico projector, you will not be happy with the results.)
posted by egypturnash at 5:03 PM on October 30, 2017

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