Best 42" or smaller HDTV for $1500 or less?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Tim Holyoke, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Just thought I'd throw this question out there, not sure if I'll be getting a new TV anytime soon, but I'd kind of like to have an idea of what I'd want if I do decide to get one.

    I should first mention that I've had a regular 32" RCA for 10 years, and it's been fine for me. It may very well be a case of "I don't know what I'm missing." I've also always had DirecTV, and will continue to I would suspect for a long time.

    So the budget is $1500, the less the better [​IMG] . I would kind of like something bigger than 32", but I also want it to be small enough to fit on a stand/entertainment center. I think it was a Samsung I noticed the other day, which was 42" and on a stand, I liked how it looked on the stand (not to say I knew anything about the TV itself). I don't think I want widescreen, as I don't watch a lot of movies, especially not DVDs. I realize for that price it's probably going to be CRT or projection? Oh yeah, I want an HDTV for sure [​IMG] .

    So, what would you recommend at this point?

    Another thing I should ask...should I even be getting one now, or is there some new technology that's going to drastically drop prices in the near future? (I realize prices are always dropping a little)

    Thanks a lot.

    Tim
     
  2. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    The Samsung you are describing is selling at CC for under 1000 bucks. It is also rebadged as an Akai unit. I have toyed with the idea of getting one for my bedroom. The units I have seen in the stores just don't have that sharp of a picture, but that could be because of factory settings. For a large screen HDTV though, the price isn't too bad, especially if you want something bigger than 36". I really think at this point you would regret not getting a widescreen TV. Most newer RPTVs have stretch modes that allow watching plain STD channels without much distortion. Since most HDTV broadcasts are in 16x9 aspect ratio it would make sense to get a widescreen TV if you plan to watch Hi Def broadcasts.
     
  3. SimiA

    SimiA Second Unit

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    You could chech out these guys:
    http://www.microcenter.com/
    I've seen some very good sets there in my area (Boston) in your price range.
    Vb
     
  4. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    The Samsung/Akai 42" set is very good for the price. I was able to get the Samsung version for 978 which I like because the cabinet looks a bit better and it has a better warranty. I should have mine next week.
     
  5. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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  6. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    One more question - from what I can tell, the price differences from 42" to something like 47" for essentially the same TV aren't much - is there a way to kind of figure out (aside from actually having the TV in my living room) if something would be too big/small? Again, I've had a 32" for 10 years, 27" before that, so even 42" would seem huge at this point. Thanks.
     
  7. SimiA

    SimiA Second Unit

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    Stick with the 42".
    47" are ED panels also, but now , having the same pixel count, the 47" will seem grainer.
    Getting back to your original price point, 42" is way out of your price range for a quality set.
    If you get a set smaller than 42", your seating distance could be from 6-8 ft, or there about, depending on how good your eyesight is.
    Vb
     
  8. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Tim, you got it; those two sets are identical save for the cabinet design and the Akai having a 1 year parts 90 day labor while the Samsung has 1 year parts 1 year labor with in home service.
    As for entertainment centers, I picked up this from Ikea for mine.
    [​IMG]
    http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/store...ts=10104*10174
    It's only .25" wider than the set and it's deep enough so it should look really nice. I think the color is extremely close too. I saw the Akai stand at CC and it's 40 dollars more and doesn't have a shelf. I think this should be a good fit.

    I played around with the set quite a bit and after turning the settings to a more reasonable level, the picture is quite good.
    Samsung has a nice little PDF info sheet on the set on their web site and you can also check out the owner's manual in PDF too.
    Lastly, here's a link to an earlier thread I started with some good info in it http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...highlight=akai
    Hopefully I'll have my set by this time next Saturday (I'm moving and as long as the weather cooperates) so I'll post some impressions once I get everything setup (including the internet connection at the new place)
     
  9. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll be interested in what you have to say when you get your TV Dave.

    Aside from BB, CC, Sears, where are good places with good reputations and prices online? The Samsung is $1100 at Sears.com now, it's the only place I can find it. I'm very intrigued by this set.

    What smaller sets would have as good or better picture quality for as much or less money?

    Thanks again for any suggestions.

    Tim
     
  10. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Tim,
    Do you have any local places that may sell the set?
    I purchased mine at a regional chain (Bernie's). It's funny, when I bought my last TV, I initially didn't think I'd buy a Samsung and I definitely didn't think I'd buy from Bernie's. Low and behold, I'm buying another Samsung from Bernie's.
    Don't forget though that Sears will pricematch Internet retailers (but they will tack on a shipping expense to the price) so maybe check out mysimson or the various other comparison sites for a good price and see if you can get sears to come close.
    I've also heard that Sam's Club sells one of the two brands of the set but i can't remember which one.
    If you don't have any luck finding it cheaper or getting Sears to budge, keep your eyes peeled. My guess is that with the superbowl coming soon, CC or Sears may have a deal on their respective versions of the set.
     
  11. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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  12. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Just noticed the 42" Akai is 847 right now at Circuitcity.com
     
  13. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    I think that no DVI or HDMI inputs are the weak points of the Samsung/Akai 42" RP HDTV. Not bad at all for the price though!:b
     
  14. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Well I got the TV on saturday and just got my internet connection setup today. My impressions of the TV? I'm very impressed for the price. Great picture for DVDs and XBox in 480p and very clear and crisp picture in 1080i through my HD Cable Box. A few minor complaints though. First, the set locks into 16:9 mode when it is receiving a progressive signal which is problematic when viewing 4:3 DVDs or playing XBox games that don't support native 16:9 mode. Also, the brightness along the top of the set seems just a little bit darker than the rest of the set (not very noticeable but you can see it if you look for it). That could just be something inherent in RPTVs though as I've never owned one before. Overall though I really like it, it fits on my stand pretty well (though not perfectly as I was anticipating) and I got some nice cabinets for my components and they all look very nice together. I still think despite those nitpicks it's a steal for the price.
     

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