TVs & Home Theaters forum


Choosing the right TV proving harder than expected...

by NMGMarques / June 10, 2013 10:26 PM PDT

Hi all. Am having a really bad time trying to settle on a TV and hoping the community can pitch in and help out with recommendations. The issue isn't as much choosing a TV as it is finding one that meets the desired requirements.


Right now I have a 21" monitor hooked up to an external TV capture device (Genius TVGO-A31 tuner). To this, I hook up my notebook from it's VGA out to the TVG's VGA in, essentially feeding my PC signal to the monitor via the tuner. This is too much a hassle and was hoping to change all that.</div>For starters, this TV is intended to be setup in a bedroom and used primarily at night. So brightness shouldn't be much of an issue which narrows it down to LED for me. But I have limited space so I was hoping to find a good 26 incher although I could make a compromise and go up to 32. Smart TV is optional but would be a great added bonus, but I am considering an external android based Smart TV solution (PC on a stick or whatnot) to run XBMC. Also, if it does have Smart TV I'd love to have either Ethernet or WiFi. The TV is used mostly to watch series and movies I store on my PC in the office and stream to the notebook right now, with light TV viewing. FullHD is a must. At least 2 HDMI and 2 USB ports (HDMI 1 for service provider Set Top box and HDMI 2 for Android on a Stick solution; USB 1 for Android on a Stick power supply and USB 2 for whatever I plug in to watch off thumb drive). Also, the slimmer, the better.

As you can see, it's quite a bit. Not having all that much luck. Was hoping someone out there knows of and could recommend something with decent image quality and as many of these requirements as possible.

Thanks in advance!

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All Answers

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You have it reversed
by Pepe7 / June 11, 2013 12:58 AM PDT

If you watch your content at night/primarily in a dark bedroom, you should be choosing a plasma. But your desired size is what would probably lead you to LED/LCD.

I would suggest you stick with a standard HTPC (simple laptop/desktop) configured to run XBMC instead of the 'on a stick' solutions. Much better performance and flexibility IME.

What's your approximate budget in US dollars?

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by NMGMarques / June 11, 2013 2:11 AM PDT
In reply to: You have it reversed

Thanks for clarifying that up for me.
I'd say I'm in the $350 range. Give or take a few.
The reason I am going On A Stick is because HTPC's are much more expensive (over $100) and my notebook just makes too much fan noise to enjoy the viewing experience.

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Small world.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2013 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

I've been trying a few android on a stick and eludes me. There are other issues with that solution as some of the cheap sticks overheat and reboot without much notice.

Fun to play at the cutting edge but for me, I'm back to a HTPC.

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Just buy the parts along the way
by Pepe7 / June 11, 2013 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

In a few months, you will have a fully formed HTPC that meets your budget. Fan noise on an adequately configured non-gaming rig should no longer be an issue like it used to be (ugh!).

Truty be told, you have a myriad of HDTV choices @ 32". Although 1080p may narrow it down a little more. Why not start by first visiting some shops, taking notes, and coming back here with some choices?


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Oh really?
by NMGMarques / June 11, 2013 4:19 AM PDT

And what fully formed HTPC solution would that be?

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I almost have one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 11, 2013 7:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh really?

One of my old desktops is close to fan-less. Some Zotec fanless card really cut the noise level and so it's only 2 more parts to go silent. But it's good enough so I stopped there. For me that's fully formed.

But a real surprise performer is a Kindle Fire 7 HD. What a nice HD player. It's connected via HDMI cable.

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Don't fool yourself into thinking...
by Pepe7 / June 12, 2013 2:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Oh really?

...that a HTPC requires the latest & greatest chipset & 16GM of RAM.

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I wasn't.
by NMGMarques / June 12, 2013 5:16 PM PDT

That was actually one of the reasons I was considering Android on a Stick. As long as it has a decent dual core and a FullHD capable playback graphics chip, I think this can actually be a pretty good solution.

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Not really
by Pepe7 / June 13, 2013 3:59 AM PDT
In reply to: I wasn't.

In theory, yes. But anything <ahem> 'on a stick' won't be able to run with the big dogs if you are concerned at all about a well functioning solution. Unfortunately, 1080p still requires a more robust solution to do it well for longer periods. Android on a stick certainly is cheap though Wink


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Ahhhh, but you see...
by NMGMarques / June 13, 2013 5:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Not really

... that's what I though until I saw myself one of these bad boys running on a HTPC near me;)

I am now a born again virgin! Grin

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Did you use it for longer periods of time?
by Pepe7 / June 14, 2013 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Ahhhh, but you see...

My guess is, it still is subject to issues with heat/stuttering, lackluster wifi performance. The fact still remains that these devices still cannot (yet) compete with a traditional rig.

After trying a few, $20 or $30 is the most I would shell out to play with one of these since I know their limitations. For $100 I would plunk that same cash into a modest HTPC that can perform more reliably.

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That is exactly
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 14, 2013 1:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Ahhhh, but you see...

What I'm seeing out there that seem fine out of the box and for the first hour or so use. As it's powered up for hours and later these models tend to be what folk burst into flames over stability and heat issues.

Keep in mind most if not all are made for price and not for long term stability.

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