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Have Been Living Without a TV Since the HDTV Came Out...

It is about time I purchase my first smartphone and my first HDTV. Here I will ask for some assistance on how I can learn or get some advice on what a single man who watches mostly news and some sports should buy if he is wanting his first HDTV? I am not sure is Plasma TVs are considered HDTV and if they are if they are still popular, but any help in this area would be appreciated. I have been looking at Costco for the last 6 months, but it is like I need to find out what the carrier I select to bring the signal to my home has as their services. I see a lot of bells & whistles, but if the company that brings the signal to the house does not support those, they will be a waste of money. Any help or suggestions on what I would think about, some great choices that give a great picture but do not have a lot of extra functions, and some areas that I might not think of (but when you inform me I will be glad I made this post). So as you can see I am in need of some help in purchasing my first HDTV. I am leaning toward the smaller size, not the huge one. Thanks

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Best Answer

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Only a few added considerations ....

I know very little about HDTV's. What I do know now after searching the internet, is that there is a lot to take into consideration. Also that there is no shortage of information. Something you probably found out for yourself in the past 6 months.

While looking for How To Shop For An HDTV I wanted to find article's, which had nothing to sell, or gain from the information they provided.

" In Pictures: How To Shop For An HDTV click on the arrow on the top right-hand corner. It may (or may not) provide information you weren't already aware of.

CNET's TV Buying Guide is broken down into different categories. Click on the link which may be of interest to you.

After a while you'll find they all have the same sort of information. Although lengthy, I found HDTV Buying Guide to be the most informative, without being overly technical.

Best of luck with whichever you choose!


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You Know Very Little...

Thank you for the links and research info. I actually have read many of the articles from a few of those sites. Yes there is a lot to know and take into consideration. This is why I like these forums. Sometimes you can really get lucky and get a reply from a very informative and experienced in the topic(s) you are inquiring about. It can really make the difference between black & white. Not to "tell" me what to get or give me the rules of the road, but to share in a way that only a select few can do what should be taken into consideration when purchasing the select item(s). Also, some replies like yours, where you send me to great websites, can be a huge help. My problem is that I need most of what I read about this topic translated for me. I am illiterate when it comes to HDTVs. This is mostly because I have not purchased one yet, but I can say I have done a lot of research on this topic. I just feel lost, so I need the research put into other terms--a way that I can understand and take the info. to the store to get a decent HDTV.

Again, thanks Carol.

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What specifically don't you understand?

Let's start translating Wink

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A HDTV offers a higher resolution than a standard TV (1920x1280 for 'true' HD), but can also show lower resolutions. What does your cable company offer?

Then there are things called 'Smart TV'. They are only smart if you connect them to Internet. So you need some form of broadband Internet (cable or ADSL) to use those features. But note that Internet via cable is something totally different from HDTV via cable. You can have one, but not the other.

Plasma, LCD LED or LCD only are about the screen. That's totally independent of other differences (like 'true HD' or 'HD ready', or 'smart or not smart'). Just like having a LCD screen for your computer or a CRT screen doesn't make any difference in what you can do with the computer.


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Thanks for that info. Any details about what to look for when selecting a new HDTV? I realize I should check with the company that offers the service, but for a basic HDTV those are not "out of date" are they?

Any specifics about the basics that I should look for or do you know of a good HDTV? I am lost but would like to get a HDTV, so I am looking for some things to look for when selecting the new HDTV.

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Always look for good PQ (picture quality)

That's where the rubber hits the road. Cheap LCDs look like crap, so avoid those if at all possible, depending on your budget. Right now, and I tend to sound like a bit of a broken record on this topic Wink, a 50" plasma is very much a 'sweet spot' for price/picture quality. If you have a dark room/good light control, this works in your favor even more.

Don't skimp either by buying a discounted 720p model instead of a model with 1080p.

Who is your satellite or cable provider so we can help you get started?

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Sorry- forgot to add model number

I suggest you look at the Panasonic ST50. It's a great HDTV.

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I am not sure who my provider is

Thanks for the info. I think it is DISH.

Since I am single and will use the TV mostly for news/special sport events, I would prefer a mid size HDTV. If I remember the sizes 50" is a huge TV right? Maybe not huge but in the large category.

I was hoping for a mid or on the lower end of the mid size range HDTV.

Does the ST50 mean 50" I might be wrong about 50", but what sizes are considered mid size?

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"Big" is always somewhat subjective

FWIW, I can't be the one to choose the size you need. That's going to probably be more of a factor of what space you have available, and what feels right. That part is somewhat subjective. The viewing distance can also play a role. Right now it's probably more opinion whether or not you call a 50" HDTV mid-sized or large.

OTOH, with flat panel HDTVs, you are nearly always better going with a size slightly bigger than what you *think* you need. After having it awhile, it doesn't really seem very large. Also, a larger panel lets you enjoy the higher resolutions. You can take a peek at the Carleton-Bale chart to get a sense of what panel sizes are required for different HDTV resolutions to be resolved by your eyes at different viewing distances.

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Thank you for your help Pepe...

You seem to be a bit on the edge. I was not asking you to chose the size of the TV. You missed the whole purpose of my reply.

Thank you for your time, but I really prefer help from people who are not so defensive.

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The worst part is...

....getting comments like the one you just made. Understand, it's a public internet discussion forum. For this reason you need to learn how to grow thicker skin. Don't read too much into what I wrote. Think of my perspective as someone playing the devil's advocate, not someone who's harassing you.

Although you are apparently picky about what sort of personality is required in order to help you, it still would be useful to know a few things.

-Your approximate budget for this purchase
-Space available (is it going into a cabinet, on a stand, or being hung on the wall?)
-What actual HDTV size (that you've already seen) are you looking at?

Keep in mind that certain HDTV models (some with specific features) only come in specific panel sizes, so knowing what you are after helps to limit your choices.

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