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Advice on buying a new TV

I’m looking to buy a flat screen TV, not huge, probably 36-42 inches tops, one that isn’t the fanciest or greatest but does the job, and hopefully does it a few years more, until they have the technology ready that flashes movies directly into our brains.  Right now we have a massive Toshiba theater center TV I picked up on the street and made work.  It gives a good image through composite video. We use it to show videos running off a hard drive going into a Seagate free agent theater.  

Because it takes up around half the living room, the Toshiba has to go.  I’m looking for best bang for the buck.  It should do streaming video well.  I have a good N router so the TV should be WIFI capable.  Actual network TV would be a secondary use.

Would appreciate some suggestions on where to look, what kind of TVs to look for, and the range of prices I should expect to pay for a dependable TV with a decent feature set.

Thanks,
Al
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alanlsilverman
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alanlsilverman
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5 Solutions
 
uescompCommented:
Usually its a hit or miss with tv brands, the top rated brands are usually, samsung, phillips, vizio, LG (im sure there is a couple more), and would stick to those brands.  Your probably going to be spending around $700+ for a 42" tv with internet.  Main thing is when you go to buy a tv check to make sure it has all the connections available that you need (how many HDMI ports, vga, dvi, usb, AV, and Comp).  Some businesses cant tell you what connections it has.  For mine its a phillips and i had a walmart employee get me a ladder so i could climb up and see what connections are available.  Paid around $700, 4 hdmi, 3 comp, 1 vga, 1 usb, internet ready.  Its a phillips and that price also includes me paying extra for a 2 year extended warranty.  Its also and LCD so it saves on the energy bill.
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bill30Commented:
You will not get a good network video tv out of the box.  All tvs are limited in what they will support.  Most will not play .mkv's and other codecs you might have video stored in.  You should look into buying a WD TV Live that gives you access to every codec and everything shared over your home network.  It plugs into your TV with a HDMI cable, and the WD TV Live recieves a network cable or you can get a N usb stick and go wireless.  For around 100 you cant beat it.

Also an Apple TV is now $99, which gives you access to all rentals/purchases on itunes/netflix.  It is pretty awesome because you can push your computers sound through Itunes to your tv with airplay, taking more advantage of your surround sound system.
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
I have a Seagate Theater+ STCEA201RK.  I assume that would be like the WD TV.  It has HDMI, Ethernet and USB inputs. Am I right in assuming that a TV with WI-FI would cost significantly more than one without?  Is there any reason to think that one with WI-FI would stream any better than one where you attached the Seagate Theater+ to it, attached a wireless N adapter to it and streamed through there?  Is it the same type of wireless N that I can attach to any computer?    

The VIZIO - E370VL - 37" seems to be a decent TV without WI-FI.  I see it online for around $400 shipped for one that’s recertified and around $570 new.  Are factory recertified HDTV’s worth getting?  

A question for uescomp.  You mentioned going to a store and checking all the inputs for a TV.  I buy almost everything I can online.  The specs generally match what they say there are.  Do you still think it’s better to buy from a B&M instead of online?

Thanks,
Al        
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RobMobilityCommented:
Hi,

Hansspree seem to produce TVs that get reasnable if not good reviews compared to other 'budget' brands. Have a look at this one:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/ST42DMSB/15541795

Good reviews from those who purchased it.

Yep - just plug your media player into this and off you go - it's got 4 HDMI and HDTV capable digital tuner.

Regards,


RobMobility.
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RobMobilityCommented:
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
Watch out for that USFASTBUY.   I think they might be a scam.
But the HDTV looks like a nice one with a decent price even at Walmart.
Thanks,
Al
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uescompCommented:
I like to at least look at what im buying first to see the quality of the product vs purchasing online and weeding through the BS.  Buying online is not a problem just make sure you check out the specs to make sure it includes everything your going to need.
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
I have some information to start looking now.
Thank you,
Al
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