Buying a TV for the first time in years, go easy on me ...

G

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Got the keys for the new house today and thinking (for the first time in years) to get a TV mainly for watching box sets and downloaded episodes of stuff. Right now we watch DVDs and other purchased content from time to time but only on a Macbook Pro which is a bit rubbish really.

What I'd like to do is have access on my TV to streamed shows from blinkbox etc, plus DVDs (ordinary ones, don't need blu-ray). I have BT Infinity 50mb broadband here in the new place. Probably don't need any fancy channel packages so just Freeview, but DVDs and internet are a must. (Never watch any sport but the wife, being foreign, watches a lot of foreign TV shows on you-tube and the like).

So ... What do I need to buy that won't cost the earth and what's the 'sweet spot' size of telly that's sensibly priced but a decent size (as it'll likely go about 3-4m away). Specific kit suggestions welcome.

Screen + projector isn't ruled out of hand BTW as almost exclusively be watching at night.

At least the TV licence people won't be hounding me any more as I guess I'll need to buy one if I can get terrestrial broadcast (the news and such).

Go gentle on me, the world of digital telly has completely passed me by I haven't bought a set since 2000 (old CRT job that went to the tip years ago).

 

meninblack

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At a viewing distance of 3 - 4 metres you want BIG: 50 - 60"

For decent TV sound I'd go for a pair of Canterburys... :D

 

graham67

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tom, if you would rather spend your money on hi-fi, grab a s/h 32" loewe CRT flatscreen and subscribe to you view for £5 a month. i picked up a unmarked 2003/4 vintage model for £25. gave it a clean up and it looks perfect. And the picture is sublime, way better than comparable more exxy B&Os and the modern stuff unless you spend megabucks. and brilliant on sport!

There are plenty around yet. I have seen perfect top line 32" acondas, dvd and swishy stand being given away for £50. WHen i paid new for onr of these it cost near £2000, now virtually worthless but the picture on the end of a decent STB and via RGB or component is luverly!

if interested, contact me for model tips as i have owned quite a few of them.

 
G

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tom, if you would rather spend your money on hi-fi, grab a s/h 32" loewe CRT flatscreen and subscribe to you view for £5 a month. i picked up a unmarked 2003/4 vintage model for £25. gave it a clean up and it looks perfect. And the picture is sublime, way better than comparable more exxy B&Os and the modern stuff unless you spend megabucks. and brilliant on sport! There are plenty around yet. I have seen perfect top line 32" acondas, dvd and swishy stand being given away for £50. WHen i paid new for onr of these it cost near £2000, now virtually worthless but the picture on the end of a decent STB and via RGB or component is luverly!

if interested, contact me for model tips as i have owned quite a few of them.
Hi Graham, I swore I would never get a fancy TV but this one (if it's to work in the room) needs to go on the wall.

Actually the wife is resistant to the idea of a TV so a ceiling-mounted projector and a screen that can be rolled down might well the how this plays out. How that works for TV I'm not sure, I guess it goes into a laptop like the ones at work?

 

meninblack

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if you get a projector with HDMI you can feed it from a Freeview or Freesat box.

 

graham67

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Hi Graham, I swore I would never get a fancy TV but this one (if it's to work in the room) needs to go on the wall.Actually the wife is resistant to the idea of a TV so a ceiling-mounted projector and a screen that can be rolled down might well the how this plays out. How that works for TV I'm not sure, I guess it goes into a laptop like the ones at work?
ok tom, no probs, the TVs i mentioned are not exactly discreet! Have to admit i know nothing about projectors, but i am sure there will be a few knowledgable boids on the was. Iihope the move has gone well for you all.

 

AmDismal

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I would get a real TV, rather than a projector. A projector is fine for watching movies, but is a real palaver and actually takes up a lot of space, once you factor in the ceiling mount (sooooo ugly) and the white wall or pull-down screen.

I have a Samsung Smart TV, which will play media on my PC (with a really shit UI, mind), and looks nice and discreet, as it is white. At £330 fronm John Lewis with their 5-year guarantee, it's the right price for me. It's shoved into a corner and ignored as much as possible :^

 

i_should_coco

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Agreed, a projector won't be bright enough, you'd need to draw the curtains when using it. Some friends had one in their lounge and no TV - they ended up sitting in the spare room where the TV was every evening. :doh:

Buy a cheap Panasonic plasma with DLNA and be happy.

 

mr marcus

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don't discount a projector......great for big screen viewing.....had to sell mine now the 50" seems small to me!

they can also be a bit discreet if some thought goes into the mounting......you can also 'box in' a pull down screen so it blends into the room when not needed

...if you don't mind going second hand you might be able to afford a projector/screen and telly ...

I've always been a fan of Panasonics myself and I've seen some great year or so old 50" inch plasmas go for around the 300 0r 400 quid mark.....picked a year old one up myself for that ....which was £1200 new.....a good second hand full hd projector for around the same price which would leave a screen to pick up.

had to let my benq 1000 quid full hd projector go for 300 quid with 150 hours viewing on the clock so there are some bargains to be had

if you like crt i'd suggest going plasma as its a similar 'natural' picture ...but that debate is a whole can of worms on its own

i'd also suggest a cheap media player....great for streaming video rips

don't know what budget you've in mind but it might be worth a trip to http://www.avforums.com/forums/index.php....a whole wealth of info on there

...happy hunting

 

dan1502

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Quite a lot of bargains come up second hand, such as on AVForums. We recently bought an immaculate 42" V series Panasonic Plasma for £300 for example (V is top end). You might want something newer as they now have more smart functions but you'd be surprised how many come up that are less than 12 months old, with warranties and in great condition. That said, if you wait until the next year's model are due out there are often good bargains. Our main 50" Panasonic was £600 with two pairs of 3D glasses and a 5 year warranty from John Lewis a couple of year ago and I think prices have got lower if anything.

 

mr marcus

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just another thing.......

I would go as big as you can get away with/afford......you often hear of folks wishing they'd gone bigger once their chosen one has been up on the wall a few days.

for the record my 50" is 2.5 m away and its fine for sd as well as hd material................used to use a 7ft screen with a projector from 3m away and that was great for the big screen experience

.

 

dan1502

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I second that (within reason). We bought a 37" thinking 42" would be too big. We've now replaced it with a 50" and I would say that whilst that is just fine, 60" plus would also be fine except perhaps for the amount of light it would block from our bay window. The viiewing distance is a about 3 m. Another thing I think they say (we've always had Plasma's) is that LCD are better in bright lighting conditions.

 

eastsoutheast

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If you buy a set smaller than 50" you will likely wish you had purchased bigger before long. A 50" set would be the perfect size with your distance from the screen.

My preference is for Plasma as I prefer the picture but there are benefits to each type (plasma or LCD). I would stick to the major brands and IMHO choose Panasonic first followed by Sony/Samsung then Phillips/Toshiba and so on.

If choosing LCD you should ensure your chosen set has 100HZ refresh rate (for smooth motion).

Most sets come with great connectivity and smart features so I would chose your set based on PQ over any fancy gizzmo's. I would pay as much as you can as you will not regret it.

There are many dealers where you can compare properly set up TV's for comparison (not usually Currys/PC World) which would be where I would start. Sevenoaks HiFi, Audio T, Hi Spek, Superfi, Richer Sounds, John Lewis (usually great price and support/warranty) and many other hifi/home cinema retailers. Costco offer great prices and warrantys and are also worth considering.

Good luck

 

Chumpy

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Good luck - buy what is right for you and yours. For TV viewing, a good e.g. Pannie warrantied tellie 32" should be fine (your quoted viewing-listening distances are what we have been enjoying for 5+ years with tiny 32" Pannie). You can as well buy great cheap HD projector for occasional 12 feet or above viewing. Lots of modern telly-panels come fitted with inputs you desire. I agree that buying locally from good dealer is best/look at screens competing in local stores (!). Including John Lewis/similar if available. Many technologies available/you-yours want to enjoy great tellie/60" Eastenders etc heads are best avoided ...

 

mr marcus

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32" for 3m viewing.....pass me the 'binoculars vin'! ;-)

having been down this road twice.....a big telly does look big when you first put it in the room but in a few days it starts to look part of the furniture....even the missus agreed!

but hey I agree buy whats right for you

 

Chumpy

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People without hearing or vision etc seem unable to perceive ...

32" fine great e.g. Pannie tellie just dandy for e.g 9'-15' viewing-hearing-perceiving.

Others might prefer something silly. Great cheap HD projectors fine for occasional e.g. 150" viewing-perceiving.

Schmall is schon. Cobblen-Macher.

Do you really want all of the shite TV over-larged????

 

pgarrish

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Get a big LCD - lighter, thinner and less power hungry than a Plasma. Forget all the 'smart' stuff, it's universally shit compared with hooking up a media box like a roku or WDTV (or even a laptop...). If you have BT Vision, you get a YouView box and access to some streaming (more will come, but no netflix yet). NowTV is supposedly better (newer stuff than netflix and lovefilm, and its on YouView now) and there are some good deals, but you are padding Murdoch's pension pot....

 

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