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Buying a TV

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by terryc, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. terryc

    terryc Guest

    The ~20 year old CRt Tv has finally died after three days of death throes,
    so we figure it is time to go and buy a replacement.

    Looking for cluebies on what to look for, extras worth getting, etc.

    Is it just a matter of size Vs price and choose the colour variation you

    The old TV was just analog (VHF &UHF) with 3 sets in inputs (used 2
    occassionaly but rarely VHS/DVd & CMOS) and Teletext( totally useless here).

    So, is it worth getting digital tuner inbuilt?
    HD worth it?

    what gives with the `080p & 100Hz labels on some of the shop junk mail?
    Is it just DPI and Freq (as in higher is better like monitor?

  2. **Buy a decent, used CRT set. It is possible to pick up some really
    excellent sets, for bugger-all money, now the nongs are buying plasmas and
    LCDs as fast as they can be manufactured. Reliability of most modern LCDs
    and plasmas is appalling. Reliability of most CRT sets is excellent. Look
    for a decent set from Loewe (my favourite), Sony, Panasonic and others.

    Whack a cheap 'n cheerful HD STB on it and you'll be sweet. BTW: The
    advantage of the HD box is that you get more channels. Additionally, you'll
    pick up a small visual improvement. For me that was the biggest surprise. I
    didn't expect any visual improvement over a SD box on a CRT TV.

    Don't bother with inbuilt HD tuner (unless you're buying a new TV), since
    they are very inexpensive.
  3. I thought they almost ALL had in-built tuners these days?
    When I bought an LCD and Plasma about 18 months ago, you paid a LOT
    extra for the inbuilt HD tuner, so I opted for external boxes.
    You most likely won't have much of a choice here, unless you buy an
    older model.
    Simple as that.
    Doesn't matter if your screen is "true" HD or not, the HD tuner gives
    you some extra channels and MUCH better picture quality. It's not just
    the number of pixels, it's the bandwidth/MPEG compression. Try
    watching fast action sport on SD, it's truly awful due to excess MPEG
    compression, you can't even see the ball when it moves for example.
    The exact same source material on HD is great.
    For normal material there is less difference, but HD is still better.

    There is still some price difference between true HD 1920x1080 and the
    lesser 1366/1024x768. 1366/1024 still looks terrific, but if you can
    afford it, get true HD.
    1080p is "True HD", this is what you pay the difference in price for.
    100Hz is just a higher refresh rate which is good.

  4. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Thanks for the information. Much appreciated.

    It just that based on the snail food in the letter box, it doesn't look
    like I'll get much change out of $2K. Unfortunately, tonights experiment
    of "oh look, we can watch all the ABC programs online, so lets not buy
    another TV" seems to have failed.

    So Tuesday looks like TV shopping day.
  5. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Can you recommend any places to look?
    That is worrying.
    The set in question is a Sony CPP2186TX. Nice simple single board that
    looks repairable, if I can just work out what is "broken". Not much help
    from search engines there.

    1. Retursn to standby after couple of seconds. Before that stage,
    2. Picture would go but still have sounds (50%+). could be fixed (mostly)
    by turning off then one again.
    3. Trimmed picture to HD format. First noticed this on TVS, then it
    spread to other channels. At time I thought it was just TVS's source
  6. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    I know I keep saying this, but the first thing to check with a weird
    fault like this is the condition of the electrolytic caps, mainly in the
    power supply. If they're all OK, then you could get more deeply into the
    problem (or maybe replace the TV).

    BTW, I did a Google search for 'CPP2186TX' and most of the few
    results I got kept saying 'Sanyo'.
  7. atec77

    atec77 Guest

    If you just want a telly then a conia in 42" from Clive petters with
    built in tuner and hd ready.. should be under $900.00
  8. If money is an issue then go for either a 1024x768 or 1366x768 "HD
    ready" TV.
    You can get a top brand name one of those for the price of a true HD
    I'd go for the better brand myself. No point having a cheapie brand
    True HD set if you don't plan on taking advantage of true HD material
    (e.g. Blu-Ray) within say the next 5 years, which is the likely life a
    cheapie brand.
    True HD on TV usually isn't that flash, a 1366x768 set looks just
    So many people get sucked into feature creep and paying higher prices
    for big screen TV's.

    Also, what size are you looking at?

    32" have some nice price points, and they are all LCD's.
    Larger than that you have the choice of Plasma or LCD.
    Plasma is better as a "CRT replacement" in terms of watching TV in a
    dark room. But if you have a brightly lit room LCD is far superior.

    Other functionality also may come into consideration. I couldn't live
    without the pivot stand on my Sony LCD in the living room for example.
    So handy to be able to turn the screen orientation. I don't need that
    in the main lounge room though.

  9. Davo

    Davo Guest

    I was never a TV watcher so I never really bothered about buying a good
    TV, but recently as a bit of a present to myself I bought a Panasonic
    Full HD TV. It was on special for about $1800. I eventually got to the
    shop late on a Friday and got the last one they had, a 42 inch plasma.
    Since then I have become an avid TV watcher. The images are really
    sharp, the colour is vivid and the sound is good too.
    Since I bought it I've watched the Tour de France and the Olympics, not
    to mention the more normal shows.
    Do yourself a favour and spend the money on a good quality Full HD TV.
    You won't regret it. There is no comparison between the "old" tv and the
    new, it's just so much better.
  10. terryc

    terryc Guest

    The problem is that most really look crap*. There was a definite
    improvement in true Hd (1920x1080), but all seemed to have quirks at
    different times**.

    After visitng 3 local shops yesterday, we are looking at a
    Samsung 550(?) 81cm/32" 1920x1080, 5ms for $1,289.

    We probably would have walked out with it, but we went shopping for
    else first and the ready cash went there. Well, actually, CFO said we
    need a new mattress and a matress shop was beside the first place we
    were going to and we went there first. Now,if I can just get her to play
    the same to & froing as she did in the mattress shop(50% off finally),
    we should get it or a better one at a reasonable price.

    Actualy, by the time I have visited three shops, I had a better
    nderstanding of the questions I should be asking when I^hwe*** go back to
    finally choose.

    Do people take in their own DVD's to play when choosing them?

    Naah, connections are my interest, aka how many things (esp old) can I
    plug into it. The CFO will probably ask "does it come in blue?"

    * The CFO is speech trained and continually comments on badly produced
    stuff that isn't voice-vision synced properly.

    ** What is the story with modern CRT TV's. They all look crap with the pictures looking lie a
    collection of little dots. Is this just because they are trying to show a
    digital signal on them?

    *** no way am I making the final decision.
  11. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Thanks. I'll keep that in mind as a backup. They are 10kms away and we
    have at least 5 outlets here in the bulk warehouse strip before I look

    Dick Quinn/good Guys has a nice long wall of TVs to compare, but are price
    lousy. Then there is Bing Lee, who negotiates well and gets most of our
    business and if I can find where Betta Electrical has relocated, then I'll
    go there again as they are also good on price.

    Then there is Hardly Normal and his wife Domayne if I have too much time
    and money, before I even do the main street or either of the two Malls.
  12. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Thanks will do. The CFO has decided that it "needs replacement" and
    didn't want to pay $45 to the local guy for a repair quote, so I'm free to
    play around with it now. The main/only board comes out in one piece quite
    nicely, so I can pt the spotlight on it.
    My mistake. You're correct.
  13. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Had a look and nothing that I could see in the exploded, ballooned or
    similar line. The only odd one was a 220uF 160V electrolytic that looked
    like it had pissed it pants and was sitting in a ring of brown stuff.

    Defintely wasn't silicon (clearor grey) used elsewhere on the board.
    Thought it might have been glue to hold that cp in place ( of 1
    tallest/2nd biggest), but the stuff is smear and doesn't appear anyywhere
    else, except a streak across a heat sink for a transistor in another
    quarter of the board. Scrapped off okay.

    I will see if I have one in the "collection" and replace it.

    The only other clue I can offer is that this Tv was 3' away from a
    slow combustion heater and probably suffered from light ash
    deposits over the years. Theflyback area seams the have a dirty
    coating that can probably benefit from a clean up.
  14. Good Guys take 10% off the ticket price "for cash" as standard. You
    can haggle more.

    Ask Tricky Dick's if it comes with a free porn movie :->
    Hardly Normals will usually price match anyone.
    For our Sony LCD we found the same one at both JB Hi-Fi and Harvey's.
    JB's wouldn't budge so we went to Harvey's and gave them a bogus low
    JB figure, they "price matched" no problem.

  15. Congrats, you've fallen into the HD trap.
    I've seen people do that, but really, it's splitting hairs on name
    brand sets.

    I found that in the end one set always stands out as the only real
    choice due to price, features, physical looks, usability etc. There
    will be people who disagree, but good picture quality is a given with
    name brand sets.
    You sure about that?
    You don't care about how well the remote works, how the menus work,
    how fast the channels change, what the standby consumption is, if the
    screen can pivot etc?
    I find the most important things are the day-to-day usability of the
    set. Get one with an annoying quirk and you'll forever regret it.
    You saw a CRT in a shop?

  16. terryc

    terryc Guest

    Probably. The bottom line is that the other half thought they were all
    crappy and despite her keeness to buy on the day, she is now prepared
    to wait for a while.
    So what are the names that are good now?
    Sanyo, Sony, Toshiba, Panasonc, & Phillips are what crosses my mind and
    gets a tick, but given this is modern electronics, anyone of them could be
    pushing a crappy line.
    To put it in perspective, this is a first buy and like a lot of things,
    we'll learn what we really want for the next one. Too many considerations
    just end up a point in all directions. As I've indicated, I've done the
    first tyre kicking and worked out a little bit of what to look for next
    roll through. As far as I'm concerned, it will come down to my okay on a
    few models and CFO can choose which she prefers. She is the one who finds
    F2A TV interesting.

    99% will be off & on and channel change.
    Thanks for that tip.

    Nope. Although I can tell the young cat is going to be pissed as LCDs
    are so much slimmer, it will not be able to reach down from the top and
    attack people on the screen.
    Yep, almost all in chrome, unless they are making LCD's with the same
    depth and back shape as CRT's.
  17. The Sony Bravia series are pretty much the ducks guts, and IMO some of
    the (aesthetically) best looking sets.
    They have price/performance variations in the line but all are
    Watch the X series Bravia though (top of the line), annoying quirk on
    the menu system with favourite channels.
    Samsung are rated well.
    Philips are rated well.
    Panasonic are rated very well, and #1 in Plasma.
    Heard not so great things about LG.
    Ah, you obviously haven't played with digital TV then!

    You have the guide information for starters, all brands work and
    display info differently.

    Favourites are a very important feature. Scan in the channels when you
    get the set and you end up with something like 30-40 channels with
    lots of duplicates, want to switch through every one of them? (you may
    not want to delete them either)
    With digital "just switching channels" has it's own new challenges.
    With HD you'll likely end up with 2 of every channel, just in case
    extra shows are on the "other channel", navigating is thus slower than
    the old 2-7-9-10-28.

    Also, how does the digital tuner handle garbled data - does it lock up
    the screen, does it produce annoying audio pops, does it recover

    Once you get into digital you'll find a bunch of small things that
    have the potential to annoy the crap out of you.
    As a reference, my Sony Bravia S series is superb, with only 0.3W in

  18. Ross Vumbaca

    Ross Vumbaca Guest

    If you're looking at Plasma, you can also consider Pioneer. Their RRPs
    are very high, but the "street price" can be quite reasonable, depending
    on what you're looking for, and where you go. Without getting into any
    sort of brand-war, a lot of 'research' and my own visual comparisons
    leads me to think that Pioneer produce some of the better Plasma sets.
    Note I'm only talking about Plasma here.


  19. terryc

    terryc Guest

    The computer guy seems willing (18% for cash and existing customer for some small stuff
    yesterday), but the LCD guys (3) didn't even want to
    talk to me until they probably decided to see if they could move me (only
    customer) on or something. I have tried haggling before but they can not
    be on bonuses out our way. Next time, I'm going to sit in their sofa and
    watch the complete video for their top of the line model (~$5k) and then
    ask if they have one for $200.

    We'll probably go there for a better final offer before we buy. I've
    always found it handy to let the opposition tell you what is wrong with
    your intended purchase {:), but it really depends on whether they are
    hungry for business or have plenty of customers that will just turn up and
    shell out the asking price.

    I've priced JBs on other stuff, but they start too high in my books to be
    worth visitng. Our JB is in a mall and no one there is keen to give a
    good discount as their books get malled each month anyway.
  20. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    It's sounding like the simplest solution is to just replace the TV.
    Good luck. :)
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