mid-range tv for video games
July 15, 2008 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Need help finding the right size/price for a tv I only need for videogames, and occasionally movies. Not looking to shell out, don't have a boner for graphics, don't have much space.

What's the smallest size I could get by with? Any features I need to have, or shouldn't bother to pay extra for?
posted by domakesaypat to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How far away from this screen are you expecting to sit?
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:01 PM on July 15, 2008

How much space do you have? How much are you hoping to spend?

Do you play modern videogames, and do you expect to keep buying new consoles as they're released?
posted by box at 2:04 PM on July 15, 2008

What's your platform of choice? Do you game socially?
posted by svolix at 2:05 PM on July 15, 2008

Response by poster: Hmm... hopefully about 10 ft. away. The farther the better, but it's a small room.
posted by domakesaypat at 2:05 PM on July 15, 2008

What's your price range? A TV for your specifications in the $100-200 range will garner different suggestions than one in the $300-400 range.
posted by Nelsormensch at 2:09 PM on July 15, 2008

I bought a Samsung thin-tube HDTV about a year ago, for the same reasons you're looking now, and I'm pretty happy with it. 27" screen, 1080i resolution, 2 HDMI inputs. I bought mine for maybe $600 new; a quick Google search says you can find 'em for about $400-$450 now.
posted by xbonesgt at 2:10 PM on July 15, 2008

You can buy a cheap tv on Craigslist for $100-$200. Especially now when college students are ditching all their stuff to move. I have a 20" CRT TV and it is fine for movies and the Wii.
posted by radioamy at 2:14 PM on July 15, 2008

Lots of TVs in your area for the right price.

Too bad you don't have much space, that is one hell of a deal.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 2:15 PM on July 15, 2008

Response by poster: Sorry for the lack of specifics, right off the bat I'll probably be sticking to the Wii, which means I'll be doing a good deal of social gaming. I'd love to get away with paying no more than $300, and while I know I could get a better deal on Craigslist, I'm worried my lack of TV knowledge will work against me.
posted by domakesaypat at 2:18 PM on July 15, 2008

Best answer: 10 feet is pretty close. A twentysomething-inch set would be appropriate to a small room. The price of the set you choose will mostly depend on whether you're going SD or HD, and that depends on the hardware you're going to hook it up to.

If you're gaming on a PS2 or Wii, SD is fine. The PS3 and Xbox 360 run on SD, but look much, MUCH better in HD, even for people unbonerfied for graphics. Either way, make sure that the set you choose takes component-in - it's currently the most common non-horrible video signal format out there, and it'll be around for a while.
posted by svolix at 2:21 PM on July 15, 2008

I was in the same boat recently (I rarely watch TV or play games, but I'd like to be able to do it now and again), and I decided to get one of those computer monitors that also take TV inputs. This one is the one I bought, which is a bit more (around $400) than you wanted to spend, and here is another one in your price range.

Assuming you already have a computer monitor, the nice thing about these is that you get to display the computer, TV, games, and other component/composite/S-Video inputs, all in the same space. The only downside is that you can't run any two of them together at the same time -- since you have to switch between them, it's either the computer OR the TV OR games, etc. Also, these monitors tend to be smaller than a full-size TV. To me, the 24" one I got is more than big enough for my (rather small) living room, but TV nuts may beg to differ... still, when space is a premium, this is a neat way to free up space.
posted by vorfeed at 2:34 PM on July 15, 2008

The PS3 and Xbox 360 run on SD, but look much, MUCH better in HD...

Since you're planning to stick to the Wii, this may be a moot point, but:

The Xbox 360 will "run" on SD, but the difference won't necessarily be just a matter of quibbling over graphics quality.

I tried out mine on a couple ~20" standard def TVs, and the text in the dashboard was legible only if I squinted. The in-game text on Assassin's Creed was completely illegible regardless of squinting, glasses, or reading distance. I could play the game, and it looked okay-ish... but I found that not being able to read the text parts lessened the overall experience.
posted by CKmtl at 5:00 PM on July 15, 2008

Since you've got a Wii, I'd actually suggest getting the biggest television you reasonably can. Minute movements when pointing at the screen are much easier with a larger television because it's easier to see where you're pointing in game. (ex. Link's Crossbow Training, Elebits, etc.)

I'd also suggest that you could get a decently large CRT for under $300 at Best Buy or your local big box store of choice.

I sit 8 feet away from my 27" CRT and I have 20/15 vision. No idea if that's comparable for you, but more data yay.
posted by sachinag at 6:23 PM on July 15, 2008

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