How to shop for a cheap ($1500) HDTV

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Lanny_B, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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    After extensively searching through the LCD and DLP offerings out there (my thread), my latest choice added up to $4800 after tax, the stand, and the warentee. I'm starting to think I may fall for one of the "sales" at one of my local B&M's (like a $1500 Hitachi RPTV?) while I wait for the LCD situation to settle down a little more. I want to know how to spot a good deal so that I'm not just wooed by anyone's fancy sales pitch.

    Priorities in finding the right RPTV:
    1. Picture Quality - good black levels, great color, minimal risk of burnin
    2. Big Screen Size - At least 45".
    3. Price - Preferable under $2000.
    4. Width - must be thin enough to get into my basement. Most likely most of them will, but it will be close.

    So what brands should I look out for, or how can I spot a good deal? I've seen some Philips out there some Hitachi's, some Sony's. Will I pretty much be fine if I go for one of those brands?
     
  2. ChrisYK

    ChrisYK Stunt Coordinator

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    I started out the same way as you... looking to buy a new LCD/DLP, but ended up buying a RPTV due to the price factor (my wife sets the household budget [​IMG] ).

    You'll find detractors and supporters for all brands out there. Just do your research and take a look at the sets yourself and make an informed decision.

    If you're interested, I got the Sony KP-57WS510 after a couple of weeks of reading and shopping.

    Good luck!
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmm I can say, I had set my top budget at $1400...

    I ended up getting a Philips 60" 60PP9202 at www.electronicsalley.com for $1248, they were out of stock, but I prepaid, and I ended up getting free shipping as Philips shipped it directly to me.

    On Philips HDTV CRT RPTV's, nobody beats electronicsalley, but they are all factory refurbs.

    They list the 43PP9202 as 9" deep at $960...

    My 60" is like 27" deep by comparisons. I had decided on what model I was going to get before I found the price $500 cheaper online at electronics alley.
     
  4. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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    Does electronicalley deliver and have a good warrentee and all that stuff -- good enough to compare with local B&M stores? I've never considered ordering something like this online.

    So, is the Philips line good? Good Picture, durability, price? I was also still considering a Sony 57" which I can get for about $2200, but maybe it's not worth the difference.

    What about Anti Glare reflectors? Do these Philips and Sony brands I'm looking at have them?
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I'm sorry, but I'd never buy anything as complex or as susceptible to shipping damage as an rptv online for the simple reason that if anything is wrong you can't exchange it. The risk is even higher, imho, if purchasing a refurbished set. What if it ain't as furbished as it should be??

    All the good B&M's offer 30 day no questions asked exchanges or returns, will even pick up the defective set and deliver a replacement for free.

    I don't know that much about Philips reliability track record, haven't read much either way.

    I've had a 57" Sony for over 2 years and couldn't be happier with it.
     
  6. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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    I used to worry about buying merchandise online, but you have to remember that it got to the store in approximately teh same method as it gets to your house. You have a point on the returns, but as far as failure rate, I can't imagine its any higher either way.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    The way I looked at it, it was $500 cheaper, and I was going to have it delivered anyways. I was very leary, it worked out well for me. So I was only posting my experiences with it. I also would say that as far as the wait for a product ordered online killing me, this one killed me more than any other. lol

    Philips on Picture Quality ranks very well with the higher priced stuff. They tend to have more basic picture controls and features though to be honest.

    I think their reliability is good, as do most people that have bought Philips products in general. The warranty is directly from Philips on the refurbs from electronics alley, after you send in the warranty card, Philips will send you a fairly reasonable offer for three more years of coverage. It was like $180 for my set If I remember correctly. I didn't take them up on it, I hope I don't regret that at some point in the future.

    I can say that my set, had not one blemish, it looked new from top to bottom. The picture quality is the single most thing I am happy with.

    The anti-glare protector on the Philips should be called a glare generator!! lol Well maybe not that bad, when I have it professionally calibrated here soon, I am probably going to have it removed.

    I can say that I looked at countless CRT RPTV's, and I picked the giant 4:3 model on two points above or at least equal to all others.

    1. Ultra large 4:3 material display (I screen old 1950's and even earlier movies a lot) I was also upgrading from a 48" 4:3 non-HD RPTV.

    2. Picture Qulaity (On SD, DVD, and HDTV)

    The last one I seen was at BestBuy, and I went back the next day to buy it, and they had sold it, and the last ones they had in the entire region.

    So I bop'd online, found ElectronicsAlley had it for more than $500 cheaper when Tax/Delivery was factored in, so I decided to give them a shot. They had very postive feed back ratings from whatever comparison shopping site I was using. I knew what set I wanted, electronics alley did not have it in stock either anymore a few days after I initially contected them They said they sold the two they had. I went ahead and pre-paid, they charged the card without the stated $80 delivery charge, and then my set came directly from Philips to my door so shipping was free. The truck driver was very nice, he helped me unbox it, offered to take the packing (I kept all packing, just in case) he helped get it to where it needed to be. Quite pleasent.

    The one thing I liked about electronics alley, was they always answered my emails very promptly. This was very important to me, since I wasn't dealing with the wait time all to well. lol They answered all questions I had. (and there were about a million of them with courtesy and patience.

    So just like with every purchase there were some trade offs. I feel I got the best set for me, at the best possible price. (I actually came in quite a bit under my initial $1400 budget I had set and ended up with more TV than I thought I would)

    2 months later, so far so good.

    All that said, here is my take overall on it:

    Buy'n an HDTV over the net is not for everybody. Buy'n a more bargain Philips is not for everybody. Buy'n factory Refurbished is not for everybody.

    But since it has all seemed to work out, I can say It must of been right for me.


    PS: Only you can decide if the Sony or any other model is worth the difference.
     
  8. Lanny_B

    Lanny_B Second Unit

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    How's the glare on those Sony's anyway?

    At the store, by the way, the regular Sony Grand Wega 50" LCD had better anti-reflection than their big XBR LCD did. But I don't know about their CRT models, especially the one I linked to above.
     
  9. ChrisYK

    ChrisYK Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought the Sony KP57WS510 that you linked to above and couldn't be happier.

    The TV is in my apartment living room where a good amount of light comes in and glare hasn't been an issue as long as the blinds are adjusted. If you're worried about the glare, I believe the WS550 series has less glare than the WS510s.
     
  10. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    Hey guys, my Home Theater is in the worst possible spot in my house...the THIRD floor...dah dah dahhhhh!!! In all honesty, should I just buy a projector? Can two guys carry one of those things up three flights of stairs?

    I'm a complete newb to this stuff, but I've been eyeing some projectors that are online, now that my HT sound is pretty much all set up.

    Thanks.
     

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