Television Confusion

My beloved 13 year-old television is on its last legs. I bought it on sale for $90 at Shopko when I moved into my first apartment all by myself. It’s a great little tv and it will enjoy being turned into a tele-quarium when it goes to the final analog wave in the sky.

With that, we are in the market for a new television. I have the converter box and antenna. We don’t have cable or satellite. I have no idea what kind of a television to get or what the difference is between them, other than size. I need recommendations and a television geek guru. I’m looking to spend not more than $500. Help, please?

18 Comments

neal

about 13 years ago

If you are buying a brand new tv, you won't need the converter box.  That's all built in now.  So you could save some bucks and get a decent used one since people are all upgrading to flat screens right now.

That being said, for no more than $500, you can get up to a 32" lcd at Best Buy.  It would probably be the BB house brand but from my experience, they're not that bad.  

I would recommend that you make sure it's 1080 resolution and not 720.  If you only have broadcast, you'll appreciate the 1080 with all of the amazing HD programming that PBS does now. 

And whatever you do, don't let BB try to sell you any components from the Monster Cable company.  It's a sham and the cheap BB cables are just as good.  Any displays they have that show otherwise are rigged.

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

If you're looking for a good used analog TV, you obviously don't have to spend anywhere near $500. I've got a nice one I'd part with for less than $100.

My advice for buying new is to go with the cheapest one available, assuming they are all built to last five years or less.

Barrett

about 13 years ago

I also have a very nice, flat screen TV (note: Not flat PANEL -- the screen is flat, but it's still a box) I'd be more than willing to part with for under $100 (not to compete with my Paul, but well, I guess I am).

I'm not sure what size it is, but I want to say 19"? 23"? Something like that. It has several RCA ports in the back and front, as well as an S-video port. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. We just decided to get a big plasma, and we only need one TV.

pH

about 13 years ago

Agree on avoiding BB for cables. Last week needed a longer hdmi cable: $120 at BB, $18 on sale at Target. Both were name brand, "premium" cables.  Whatever that means.

I would take the middle path between the '89 Taurus and the '09 Jetta:  a 720p LCD would be just fine for 32" or smaller, and should keep you under 500 bucks. 

Or you could buy Paul's television AND a car for even less.  Parlay the savings into Best Buy cables.

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

Good idea, pH. I'll make the TV a free gift with purchase of the car.

Cory

about 13 years ago

You can always get a nice name brand small/med (22" - 26") sized flat panel HDTV for under $500.  Then you can sell your analog converter box for like $25.

Samsung 22"
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3920261&Sku=S203-2267

Toshiba 26"  - I recommend this one!
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4167731&Sku=T24-2619

Nick

about 13 years ago

Another option to consider is getting a TV card or USB dongle for your computer. You can record and watch TV for a fraction of the price and wont have a TV dominating your living space (unless you're into that kind of thing).

wildgoose

about 13 years ago

We got a used but very well functioning commercial grade video projector from Martin at DVR in West Duluth for less than $500.  This was some time ago and the bulbs are uber spendy when they wear out but ... ours is still going strong.  This is not HD, (it's "only" xga) but who cares?  When I watch the Vikings in TV, Brad Childress's comb over is life size or bigger on the Dining room wall as are the players and all ... And when we do movie night's it is a thing of beauty, the screen is 9' measured diagonally.  

Another thought.  Unsure if this would work so IT/techie types check me if I'm wrong ... if you have the converter box then for less than $500 you could get a really nice big and wide computer monitor (and Paul's Car, I suppose, too since monitors are getting real cheap these days) Then you just run the converter into your monitor and sound to the stereo or whatever ... 

Wouldn't that work, too?  And it is in keeping with Nick's (excellent) suggestion to not have a tv dominating the living space

While we're on the subject, who wants to talk about antennas again?

lojasmo

about 13 years ago

If you're getting your TV over the airwaves, I'd just pay the $100 being asked for by the two helpful souls here.  You don't need anything fancy.

c-freak

about 13 years ago

target is cheaper than bb. i got both my lcd flat panels there. the hdtv is fantastic.

Beverly

about 13 years ago

I use an old TV with a converter box and antenna, so $500 sounds like a lot to me. I think you should call Barrett and buy his. $400 saved. Yeah!

vicarious

about 13 years ago

Dongle?

I am getting so old.

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

Hey Beverly, since when is my $100 TV chopped liver?!?

Barrett

about 13 years ago

I say we put them side by side and let the customer decide which product is best. (Of course, mine doesn't come with a free car.)

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

I know I'm losing this one. Your store is in a better location.

tamara

about 13 years ago

hmm.. free car plus tv or just tv... hmm... 

i'm so torn...

Chris

about 13 years ago

Amazing that there hasn't been any negative comments from the NO TV! contingent.

The best deal we found on a TV, when we were looking a couple years ago, was at One Call.  They were about $500 cheaper on a $2000 TV than Sears and Best Buy.  Not sure how well that would transfer in the $500 range.  I would go to Best Buy or any local retailer and find a TV you like, and just for the hells of it check out http://www.onecall.com/

It was a little nerve racking making such a big purchase online and trusting them shipping it from Seattle.  But everything went very smoothly.

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