Need A New TV, But Not An HDTV.
September 5, 2006 10:31 AM   Subscribe

It popped. It whined. And in a cloud of smoke, our television died. Now we need a new one. Hope us?

The old television (1997 model, maybe) was a 27". I'm guessing we need to replace it with the same or only slightly bigger, but it looks like the major manufacturers are leaving the base CRT market for HDTV. Consumer Reports half-heartedly recommends two CRT models (this and this), but both are no longer available and their next TV roundup won't be until the late fall. We're thinking about a basic Sharp like this one, but we need advice. Our budget? No more than $350 if we can help it.

What we need: a couple of composite video jacks (DVR, Xbox), an S-video jack (DVD).

What we'd like: flat-screen (not panel, unless there is a hidden bargain to be had).

Also, has anyone had any experience with the in-house brands like Insignia or Ilo?

Any recommendations or personal experiences will be appreciated.
posted by grabbingsand to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Craigslist? (link goes to Atlanta craiglist electonics section, search for "television". )
posted by spatula at 10:41 AM on September 5, 2006

We've got this one -- a 26-inch, standard-def widescreen CRT from Toshiba, which we picked up last December -- which would fit your budget. We wanted widescreen because we've got buckets of anamorphic DVDs, but didn't need HD at the moment (cable co. doesn't offer it; don't feel like switching to satellite), so bought something inexpensive for the time being. If you have a lot of widescreen content, a 26-inch 16×9 screen is not smaller than a 27-inch 4×3 screen.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:49 AM on September 5, 2006

Yeah. TV's have a fairly poor resale value so Craigslist is where I've always gone. You should be able to get something decent in the 30+ inch range for $300.
posted by rhizome at 10:50 AM on September 5, 2006

When I was in this situation last year, I just went to Best Buy and looked at their selection. At that time, they still had a good selection of 4 or 5 flat-screen major-model CRT's in this size/price range.

Seeing them in person made a big difference.
posted by smackfu at 11:03 AM on September 5, 2006

(And while the delivery cost was pricey, they took the old TV away, which I really appreciated. These things are HEAVY.)
posted by smackfu at 11:05 AM on September 5, 2006

I got a 34", 1 year old Phillips HDTV for $300 off of craigslist. There was a small scratch on the screen, but you couldn't see it when the TV was on... I still buffed it out, so you can't see it at all.

We went with a higher-quality, used HDTV over a cheap-as-possible new HDTV because my S.O. has problems with high-frequency flashes (many people with anxiety problems have the same issues, halogen bulbs drive them bonkers!).... She could sense the flashing of the low-cost TVs @ Best Buy (I think Insignia was one of them). This probably isn't an issue, but just throwing it out there... make sure you get to watch the TV before you throw any money down on it. bring a DVD player if you buy off CL...
posted by hatsix at 11:19 AM on September 5, 2006

If it was working OK and you were happy with it until it popped and whined and smoked and died, it's probably just a power supply fault. Fixing it might cost you much less than getting a new set.
posted by flabdablet at 6:30 PM on September 5, 2006

halogen bulbs drive them bonkers

I imagine that fluorescent bulbs are the bonker-inducing kind. Halogens don't flicker.
posted by kindall at 7:19 PM on September 5, 2006

Ahh, correct, it's fluorescents... not halogen...

Anyways, the cheaper TV's seem to use phosphors that aren't as perfectly tuned to the TV itself, so that there's more flashing than with the higher quality TVs. (disclaimer: I know more than average about TVs and how they work, but I'm completely guessing on the science behind why it bugs my girlfriend)
posted by hatsix at 1:06 PM on September 6, 2006

Yeah, the phosphors need to glow for exactly a thirtieth of a second. If they don't glow long enough I can well imagine some people might see flickering. If they glow too long, then you might get some motion trails and the like. I have no trouble believing that the phosphors in the higher-end sets are better calibrated for glow time, or whatever.
posted by kindall at 4:21 PM on September 6, 2006

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