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Best time of year to buy a new HDTV?

by cgull / December 26, 2005 5:23 AM PST

Hi all,
I have been researching and reading everything I can about HDTV, LCD, plasma, etc. I think I pretty much have narrowed my choice down to a Sharp Aquos 37" or an LG 37" LCD.
I didn't get one before Christmas because of time constraints and just too much going on to pull the trigger on a deal at a store. But now I am in serious "I WANT IT NOW" mode and have the $$. So, do prices drop at a good time of year, say, before Super Bowl? Or is there a better time for significant savings on these big ticket televisions?
Any suggestions of places to buy? I want to deal with a store, not an online site. I do buy from Circuit City online but do an instore pick up. I am in the Philadelphia area. We have Best Buy and Tweeter and BJ's. Anybody local to south Jersey-Philly that had a great experience?
THanks in advance.
And anybody can talk me in or out of my choices above and make suggestions!

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Best time of year to buy a new HDTV?
by jcrobso / December 27, 2005 6:22 AM PST

There will allwise be a sale!! Somewhere! Yes, Super Bowl is comming up.
I got mine from Sam's Club. BJ's closed up here about 12 years ago. Any Costco stores around you?

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Got all the stores around here
by cgull / December 27, 2005 11:42 AM PST

We have Costco, BJ's (I am a member of that)Sam's Club, everything.
I even tried something called Buyer's Edge through my teachers union benefits, that was a waste of a phone call.
Best choice of LCD 37"?
Thanks for your replies.
I see your point on the high demand. The guy at the Tweeter Audio place said that they have all the inventory bought at a certain price and there is only so low they can go unless the brand makes it's own incentive like a rebate or something. But they don't carry Sharp Aquos this year. Wonder why that is?
Circuit City had the extra 10% off last week, they always have something cooking on their online site and you can pick it up at the store. Best Buy also does stuff like that. I don't believe either of them have the Sharp DU7 in stock. That is also a problem. I guess the best thing to do is what you said, see the price-buy the thing and enjoy.
Thanks again.

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READ THE SUNDAY PAPER CIRC'S...............
by Riverledge / July 8, 2006 2:08 PM PDT

MODELS change all the time. Coming soon; most of the "DOG DAYS OF AUGUST" sales will begin, (At least in the NorthEast/New England.)
Also, check for your prices on the Internet OFTEN!!!

riv.

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Consider the 40" SONY BRAVIA
by Riverledge / December 30, 2005 9:43 AM PST

It's a flat panel LCD; beautiful picture with cable.
You may do well to wait the "President's Day" sales in February, if you CAN wait that long. NYD sales might be more limited to 'close-outs' Of course, you can always haggle if you're buying other merchandise or a warranty. The Sony KDL-V40XBR1 Bravia is not available everywhere so check it out. Good shopping and Happy New Year.

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Also available Bravia 27" and 32" ( no 37" sorry )
by Riverledge / December 30, 2005 9:53 AM PST

Tht Super Bowl would great on the 40" set

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extend warranty for kdl-v40xbr1
by petersencj / July 5, 2006 3:15 AM PDT

Is this TV need buy the extennd warranty ? since the extend warranty pretty high . If need buy warranty where can get goo and saft deal? please advice

Thanks so much

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PULL THE TRIGGER.
by BONSPEED / December 27, 2005 8:12 AM PST

LOOK AT IT FROM THE RETAILERS PERSPECTIVE. EVERYBODY WANTS AN HDTV NOWADAYS. THERE'S NO REASON FOR THEM TO BE GIVING OUT HUGE DISCOUNT WITH DEMAND BEING SO HIGH. GET THE BEST PRICE YOU CAN GET NOW AND ENJOY IT. I AGREED GETTING IT FROM A STORE IS BETTER THEN ONLINE. NO MATTER WHAT BRAND, THERE IS ALWAYS A CHANCE THE UNIT MAY BREAK AND HAVING A STORE TO RETURN IT IS THE INSURANCE IN RETAIL.

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Buy A Plasma Online
by RoadRunner6 / December 27, 2005 3:40 PM PST
In reply to: PULL THE TRIGGER.

I'm going to try and turn you around 180 degrees.

Do a google search on LCD vs Plasma and get the up to date opinion of the experts. You will find that, when referring to top brands only, that the plasma still is superior to the LCD in a number of ways.

.....No motion blur. Although they are improving, LCD's still have some motion blur due to slower pixel response times. In critical comparisons especially when watching fast action sports you will be able to see the slight (but still irritating to me) "motion blur" on the LCD's.

.....Color accuracy. The plasma displays are superior in color accuracy and saturation (vivid colors) and also have a subtle difference in the display which I would call more " film like" on plasmas versus more "video like" on LCD's which is preferable when watching DVD's movies.

.....Off axis viewing. LCD's brightness will decrease slightly as you move off axis to the left or right (or stand up or sit down). None of this with the plasma, they remain the same way off angle.

.....Black levels. The top plasmas, especially the Panasonic, have superior black levels to the LCD. You will notice this in scenes with true blacks. Gives the plasma a better contrast level.

.....LCD advantages. Lighter, slightly brighter (only important if you watch in a very bright environment...most LCD's and plasmas are set way too bright out of the box), better for static images (computer use and playing games).

.....Plasma negatives. Disregard all the burn in and short life talk. Advanced burn in reduction features (like pixel orbitors) have all but eliminated this. Plasmas are now estimated up to 60,000 hours.

.....Plasmas are superior in my opinion for Movies and TV. Disregard all the above if you plan to use your TV for static images like computer usage and games.

.....Of your LCD choices I would give a very slight edge to Sharp.

Hope you enjoy whichever you do select.

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More Info
by RoadRunner6 / December 27, 2005 3:46 PM PST
In reply to: Buy A Plasma Online

I forgot to mention several 37" plamsas which I recommend you consider.

Panasonic EDTV models TH-37PD50U or TH-37PWD8UK
Panasonic HDTV models TH-37PX50U or TH-37PHD8UK

Costco also sells a Panasonic EDTV monitor (without tuner) model TH-37PM50U

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plasma vs lcd
by cgull / December 28, 2005 12:40 AM PST
In reply to: Buy A Plasma Online

I agree with your pros and cons, but the one that matters to us is watching regular non HDTV shows in the 4:3 format. We are not huge DVD watchers, mostly regular cable fare. My son wants to hook up the laptop or PS2 and play games from time to time. I don't want to watch squished heads on plasma when you use the wide screen mode to avoid the side burn in. Been to a friends house who does have a panasonic. When it is in HDTV widescreen format it looks wonderful. I really would hate the thought of paying all that money for a television to watch the squished and forshortened people when it is stretched but not HD. You know?
So LCD is our choice mostly for that. We will not be having the extreme viewing angle problem in the room, so we will not have to worry about that anyway.
Thanks for the advice.

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Sharp Aquos LC 37D4U working out very well
by cgull / January 1, 2006 8:33 PM PST
In reply to: Buy A Plasma Online

Hi everybody and here is my update after having my new Aquos for a few days. Prices didn't drop, in fact, they went up at CC, so I still have about 25 days to see if this thing will come down in price. The CES electronics show is coming soon, but not sure what the plans are for this model, so not sure I will be getting any $$ back.
I haven't tried to hook up via the HDMI cable I bought. I may try that later today. Not sure I will see a big difference, what *should* I see to make me keep that type of hookup from my Comcast DVR to the TV?

From someone without all that good knowlege to give specifics, here is what I see:

Regular TV broadcasts is just ok, but going to HD is stunning!
Football: AMAZING!!!
DVD Movies: WOW!
Virtual Surround Sound: In my smallish room, it sounds great. Not as good as my low end Magnavox 5:1 set up on the old TV, but still very nice.
Settings: Lots of settings for the picture. A calibrating CD came with it and I used it, but ended up doing my own thing after messing around a bit. I dropped the back light way back, contrast way back and got very good detail. No ghosting that I can see. Sometimes grainy black stuff in non-HD broadcasts, but with Comcast, most of the major channels are HD in the higher channel numbers.
With the Comcast HD DVR, I can do picture-in-picture which is kind of cool. I change everything through that remote which is nice.
All in all, everybody is happy with the purchase here at my house, especially son #1 who is in from California and watched football with his mouth open. Maybe he will come home more often now! *grin*

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Great!
by RoadRunner6 / January 2, 2006 3:08 PM PST

Cgull,

Good news! Glad to hear you have a super picture. Enjoy that new set.

RR6 (Chuck)

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Sharp 34D4U
by amirhak1 / January 10, 2006 2:06 AM PST

Hi, I was excited to haggle CC to 2399 for this monitor, but now I'm torn. I can't figure out how to set the tv properly for the best image.
I've connected my HD DVR straight to the TV with an HDMI connector. HD looks great, but the other 1000 non-HD channels look horrible.
Can you let me know what settings you have it on? Also is there anything else I could try to get a better image on non-HD channels?

Thanks!
amir

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No HDMI for me
by cgull / January 10, 2006 4:54 AM PST
In reply to: Sharp 34D4U

Hi Amir,
I just connected my HD DVR from Comcast with the cables they gave me. I bought the HDMI but I am taking it back. No need. That will bring me down from 2519 at CC to 2419, plus I got $100 in Comcast Cash or whatever they call the HD upgrade rebate on my cable bill and that brings me to 2319.
The picture for non HD for me is pretty good-except for the network channels, NBC, CBS, etc. but they all have an HD channel up higher in the list, so no worries there. I really don't have complaints about the non-HD channels! Try using the red-yellow-white connector cable. (Is this component cable?) They work out well, and make SURE they are plugged in really good. I lost my red in the picture until I figured out that one of the cables was not pushed in all the way! Spent a half hour waiting on support through Sharp. I knew it was something between the DVR and the set, because the DVD picture was good. Others have the same complaint as you do with HDMI cable.

Cathy

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Sharp 37" models
by baran220 / February 2, 2006 8:21 AM PST
In reply to: Buy A Plasma Online

Hey everyone,
I am going to buy a 37" myself but here is my problem.

I have a Time Warner HD cable box including local HD channels so I don't need any other Airwave or HD tuners. The cable card ready sets don't interest me because they do not give me the full function of the HD box. Also, I will never use this as a computer monitor.

My question is;
Which sharp aquos model comes with all the high end Video and Audio bells and whistles (highest contrast, best viewing angle like 176 degrees, PIP, HDMI or DVI, 3D sound, 30 watts, tru surround sound, all I/O's necessary, etc) without those extras as I listed above?

I also find it strange that when I price the different models from CC and BB the model with the ATSC tuner is actually less money than the model without that tuner? You would think it would be the other way around!

Also, I am beginning to hear that plasma doesn't cook itself out as fast as it use to, is this actually true or just industry hype because the LCD's are outselling the plasma's?

Sounds like there are some pretty informed people in the forum, hope someone can lead me in the correct direction.

THX

Baran220

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haggle
by masterying01 / December 27, 2005 6:57 PM PST

most places will haggle. especially if you go into circuit city saying you want the lowest price possible or you'll go to best buy, then go to best buy and do the same thing but say you'll go to circuit. see which store will bend over for you more. for example, my store is quite close to abt electronics which loves to bend over for customers with prices.

we pricematch them all the time....a customer today came and got a 40inch xbr lcd ($3500 retail, $2999 on bestbuyplasma.com). he bought it from us for $2800 when abt would give it to him for $2850. note that on a sales point of view, we'll bend over more if you get other stuff like service plans and cables...most of which you'll need anyways. rather a store is commissioned or not, they will NEVER pass up $3000+ in revenue.

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Haggle and Sharp Aquos 37" model choice decisions? LG?
by cgull / December 28, 2005 12:46 AM PST
In reply to: haggle

I am thinking doing this on New Years Day. I think there will be one day specials etc. I will have all my ammo before hand and know who has what. Then let the haggle begin!
I have no problem going in with local pricing, and Best Buy and CC are right next to each other near me! I am not sure one has in stock the model I want. Truth is, I am not sure which Sharp Aquos I really want yet.I thought I wanted a cable card-capable set, but have heard too many problems with the technology. So maybe I just keep my cable box and use that, and can opt for a slightly lower price Aquos which is a lot more available than the LC-37D7U, like the D5U or D4U or D6U. It isn't just color that makes the difference on these models, right?

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the tv's you listed
by masterying01 / December 28, 2005 3:33 AM PST

not to be a downer or anything, but the tv's you listed give us very very little margin. so i doubt you'll see any drastic difference in the price. there is a model of the sharp 37inch at best buy thats on closeout for $1500. dont konw if they still got it. we sold our last one 2 weeks ago.

check out the sony xbr 32 or 40 inchers. those are much better tv's in my opinion with the cable card features and they can be haggled down to a very good price.

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Cable card
by baran220 / February 2, 2006 7:42 PM PST

I was told by Time Warner that the cable card is limited in its functionality, in the TV staion availibility and extra functions that the box gives you.

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Answer For barab 220
by RoadRunner6 / February 2, 2006 9:22 PM PST
In reply to: Cable card

You actually have posted here in the middle of a somewhat old thread. Just a suggestion, but you might want to restate your questions in a new thread.

To answer your questions above. To the best of my knowledge the cable companies don't like the cable card slot because it cuts down on their rental for the boxes. If you really want it then you have to be aggressive with them and insist on it. They can't say no as far as I understand if you persist.

The one possible negative that I know of is that presently with the cable card it is only mono directional. That is you can't do pay per view and those types of premium features that communicate both ways with the cable company thru the boxes.

As far as the LCD's I understand that the Sharp's are one of the best brands. However, I personally recommend a plasma for TV and DVD movies. Plasmas still outperform LCD's in most aspects of performance. See my post above under "buy a plasma online" or something close to that title. Don't make a decision on what you see in the dealer's store. The LCD's are very bright and can look better in a brightly lit store. You will not need all that brightness in your home and you have to turn it down anyway for good picture quality.

If you evaluate in a store then see if you can grab the remote and set the brightness, color and video settings to a middle of the road reading. Be sure you stay with the top Japanese brands only in both LCD and plasma unit like Sharp, Panasonic, JVC, Pioneer, NEC, Toshiba, Sony, Hitachi, etc.

Good Luck,

RR6

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Flat screens are too hot!
by Dan Filice / December 28, 2005 5:56 AM PST

The market for the new flatscreen TVs is way too hot to have a huge sale. I've been evaluating the Samsung 23" LCD set for the bedroom and waiting for a "blow out" sale. Won't happen any time soon. Everyone sells it for the same. It lists for $999, but Best Buy has it for $899 this week. Circuit City has the same price. Sears has it for $949, but said they will price match plus give 10% of the difference...meaning their "sale" price is $894. Wow, I could hardly contain my excitement over this LOW price from Sears. Two weeks ago, the Samsung was $999 everywhere. Next week, it will probably be the same. I think the sets that are heavily discounted are the sets with technology that may be outdated soon or if there are new sets arriving to replace the old sets. I'd bet that you won't see the new Sony LCOS sets on sale any time soon either.

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When do manufacturers intro new models and drop prices?
by MarkBean / December 29, 2005 5:44 AM PST

I was also wondering when the best time to buy will be.

I would imagine that all stores in our area (I?m in Philly/SJ area too) are going to be running specials for people to get new sets before the Super Bowl. My question is more about when the manufacturers going to drop prices? My guess is end of Q1. Can anyone substantiate that?

When do the manufacturers typically introduce new models? Am I correct that we typically see announcements mid Q2 with first shipments by beginning of Q3?

I?m looking for a 32? HDTV LCD. My hope is to not use cable and use over the air instead. Currently I only get antenna service through Comcast (only $14 a month). I just can?t justify spending so much per month for cable.

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The guy at best buy told me...and I got the Sharp today!
by cgull / December 29, 2005 11:50 AM PST

After the consumer electronics show in February you will start to see the discontinued models with rebates, instant rebates and then clearance. If what you want is one of those models you will be in luck.
I got the Sharp Aquos LC-37D4U at Circuit City in Moorestown today. Price was $2519. Thought I was getting a nice deduction from the listed price of $2799. online price, but when I got to the store, it was 'special priced' at the same $2519.
CC and Best Buy have the 30 day price guarantee and CC is the only local store I found that carried this model in stock. I thought I should get it since it might not be in stock when I want it if I waited so this way if it does go down in price I can get the difference.If it goes down in price online or in the store at Best Buy or any other non-membership store like BJ's they will refund the difference 110%.
I browsed over at Best Buy (right next door) first. They didn't have the D4U in stock but could order it. They had a better warranty-4 years at a much lower price.
I went over to CC and told them I wanted to get the Sharp, but Best Buy had a much better warranty and what could they do for me? The CC guy said their warranty was much more comprehensive and instead of making an appointment and waiting for 7-10 days for someone to come out and tell me if they thought it was broken or not, it was a 36 hr. response time and it was repair or replace. I don't know if all that is true. The manager used to work at BB, (so they said) and that also could be a real good story, but they were able to almost match BB's price in total when I got the Monster HDMI cable and warranty. That was the only way they would work a deal, if I got those other things. The CC guy also got me the Comcast Cable $100 rebate called 'cable cash' to apply to my next cable bill since I am upgrading to the HD cable box with the DVR. A tuning and calibrating DVD was included with it. So I came out with a warranty, cable and Sharp Aquos for about $3100 (damn those NJ taxes).
If I decide I don't need the Monster Cable ($115.), I can return it and bring the price down a bit more.
I hope it was a smart idea to get the warranty, I would hate to buy something that expensive and have it go bad after 1 year was up. I read on one of the sites that in the case of these big TV's it is not a bad idea to go ahead and get a warranty. Oh, it also includes a bulb replacement.
Thanks for all your help everybody.

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Best Of Luck....
by Psych Doc / December 29, 2005 11:58 AM PST

...Enjoy your new purchase. I think that's probably the best of the LCD's you got there.

The more of us running HD, the sooner I figure the braodcasters will phase in true HD 16:9 programming and get rid of that unwatchable 4:3 crap.

Like I said, enjoy!

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couple suggestions
by masterying01 / December 29, 2005 12:46 PM PST

the turnaround time is 48 hours for first contact for inhome services on tv's. but a lot of times, ordering parts take quite a bit of time.

sharp has soo many different 37inch lcd's out. the current one that bb sells is the 37DB5U for $2339 online which most stores will pricematch. i atcually think (but not 100% sure cause i dont have our stock system in front of me)...the d4u is last year's model and best buy has it on clearence for $1499.99. cause i remember i checked 3 weeks ago, last year's sharp 32inch lcd and 37inch lcd were both $1499.99.

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DU4
by cgull / December 29, 2005 1:49 PM PST
In reply to: couple suggestions
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beware of CC in-store warranty
by stepanskiy / December 30, 2005 12:27 AM PST

although, I have nothing against CC and have been happy with my purchases there, I felt that I had to warn you about their warranty. The items that break DO get fixed, and the only way to get a new item is to have it break 4 times. The store will try to repair the broken item 3 times, and then call it quits. The process works for items that are "easy" to bring-in and wait, for other like a SONY 450 CD/DVD player filled with all of our CDs/DVDs, it has been a nightmare.

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(NT) (NT) Again I'd suggest the Sony BRAVIA , KDL-V32XBR1
by Riverledge / December 30, 2005 10:07 AM PST
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I just got the Samsung 27" Slimfit
by rydrisc78 / January 1, 2006 1:51 PM PST

I needed to stay in the CRT money range and ended up going w/ this TV with the built in HD tuner. But it doesn't go 16:9. Did I make a mistake?

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The Samsung 27" does go 16:9
by cosmosjoshys / January 3, 2006 12:58 AM PST

I just got it a couple days ago. You go into "menu," then to "picture," then to "size." Even though it does I might take the darn thing back because the picture seems to be tinted at all four corners. Does this happen to you?

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