Yet another LCD TV question.
February 13, 2007 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Yes, another LCD TV question, but please bear with me. I just want a big, flat TV to watch non HD programming and my DVDs.

Im sorry if this is a repeat question, I have searched, but I think my situation is a bit different.

I need to buy a new TV, and I want to mount it on my wall, so its gotta be an LCD, and not a huge CRT.

We also have no HD programming here, and I neither have nor want any console that would require an HD TV, so I dont need need all the fancy HD stuff, it would just be money wasted.

It should also be at least 30" and cost around $400-$600, but I guess thats the part thats not set in stone. I definitely don't want to be spending over $700 though.

Are there any television sets that would meet these requirements? All I'm finding all over the net are HD sets, that cost an arm and a leg, plus I wouldn't ever even be using anything HD. I just want wall.

Can you guys help me?
posted by althanis to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Look on some of the various consumer electronic sites. Usually these types of retailers will care no-name brand LCDs at the size and price you want. I'm thinking Fry's, TigerDirect, NewEgg, perhaps even Amazon. (You can google them yourself for links...)

Keep in mind that HD content is increasingly available via HD-DVD and BluRay discs, so if you see yourself wanting that capability in a few months or a year you'll have to get a new set.
posted by wfrgms at 6:07 PM on February 13, 2007

NewEgg in fact has what looks like an outstanding deal on a Hyundai 32" LCD TV, which its buyers seem quite pleased with. It looks like it even supports HD programming, which you won't use for now but will come in handy later.
posted by kindall at 6:42 PM on February 13, 2007

I think you're going to be hard pressed to find an LCD or plasma that is not HD or at least HD-ready. The difference being that if you wanted HD on a HD-ready unit you would need to purchase an HD tuner. HD-ready is the cheaper option.

Googling 'HD ready plasma' or 'HD ready lcd' returns plenty of results from established brands (Toshiba, Samgsun, etc) and generic brands within your price range and size requirements.

Also, I can't tell if you know this or not from your post, but you can watch non-HD content on HD units.

Hope that helped.
posted by ASM at 8:02 PM on February 13, 2007

Check out Olevia - there was an article on them in the NYT recently, about how they are undercutting the hell out of LCD prices with decent product.
posted by docpops at 8:05 PM on February 13, 2007

The core part of althanis's question isnt' really being answered here. unfortunately I don't have the answer myself but hopefully someone who reads this will:

The part of the answer I do have is that there is no such thing as a standard definition LCD screen. Standard TV is 480 lines at a maximum (usually less), and you're just not going to find an LCD that has a resolution this low.

You can, however, get a 720p LCD that is 30-32" in the $500-$600 range.

So the remaining part of the question that needs to be answered is:

Which HD LCDs do not suck at displaying standard definition TV? The biggest problem with LCD and Plasma TVs that often goes unmentioned is how incredibly poor standard definition television looks on them because it just doesn't scale well to the resolution of HD.

Unfortunately, I don't have the answer to this last part.
posted by twiggy at 9:48 PM on February 13, 2007

A 32" TV is small enough that you don't really have to worry much about the quality of the scaling. As long as you're not watching it too close it'll look fine. That said, I'm really happy with the job my Philips plasma (42") does with standard-def signals. They also make LCDs that probably have the same scaler circuit (though they tend to be expensive).
posted by kindall at 12:55 AM on February 14, 2007

Please understand that "not having HD tv here" is not going to be possible once the government ordered change to all broadcast in HD signals takes effect. Plus, some places are already offering over the air HD even if you're cable/sat provider does not have it.
posted by skepticallypleased at 7:01 AM on February 14, 2007

Check out the Syntax Olevia sets. They just had a nice writeup in the Times, I think. They sell damn near at-cost mostly to tick off the big boys. Nice sets, too.
posted by GilloD at 7:11 AM on February 14, 2007

I'm sorry, I guess I should've put more info in the original post. I'm from South America, so we're way behind in HD content, so thats how come I'm not very interested in whatever HD features the set might have.

I'll have the set shipped to where I'm at too, which is why CRT sets are out completely.

I think the best I can do is get one of the sets without the HD Tuner built it, it seems thats the most I can do to avoid paying for something I won't be using.

ASM, I do realize that I can also use an HD TV to view nonHD content, thanks though.
posted by althanis at 9:20 AM on February 14, 2007

There are some good 480p (i.e. not really HD) projectors for about your price range, if that's an option with your room layout. That gives you very nearly an arbitrarily large screen for little money. In the US Home Depot and others sell a projector screen pain that can be used to treat a wall so a proper screen isn't required, I suspect a similar thing would be available where you are. The BenQ W100 looks like ~600 USD plus shipping, but shipping a projector is going to be a lot less than shipping a TV.
posted by Skorgu at 12:12 PM on February 14, 2007

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