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Author Topic: Couple TV/LCD questions  (Read 2467 times)
aj_law
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« on: Sep 13, 2008 at 13:52 »

OK.  I've pretty much got it narrowed down to the Samsung 6, 7 or 8 series.

First question, does anyone have any of these models and have an issue with glare?  Apparently, from some reviews I've read, people claim that the Samsungs have more glare than the LCD screens of other brands (i.e. Sony, LG, etc).  That really seems to be the biggest strike against...along with the ToC bezel, which I don't really mind.

The only other "problem" I've read about is that some models from early '08 require a firmware update after purchase because it keeps turning on/off by itself.  My question is, does anybody that purchased one in the last month or two have the same problem or has it been addressed with the newer models?

Finally, the accessories.  

I know that there are some 3rd party websites that offer insurance/extended warranty at a fraction of the price that places like Circuit City/Best Buy charge.  Does anyone know of a reputable site that they've actually used when buying a new TV?  Bonus points for anyone with experience buying this insurance through these sites that have actually had to submit a claim and didn't get dicked over.

Also, the best site for HDMI cables and a kick ass wall mount or stand at reduced prices?  I know there are several out there, but I was wondering if anyone has actually bought stuff from a specific site and they're happy with the quality of the products they got.

Thanks in advance.
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 15, 2008 at 09:52 »

I know nothing about current LCD's or the Samsung series.

You can go to the LCD area at AVS (I know it is a huge site) and probably get answers to the firmware questions.

As far as HDMI, or any other cables, use monoprice.com.  I recently got upgraded HDMI cables for $15.  They still sell for about $75 at the big brick and Morter(sp?) stores.  I had no problems ordering from them except my cable was back ordered for a week or two.

If you go to that AVS site you can probably find a decent mount from one of the site advertisers.  I think you have previously said you have been to that site, and if so, you know that to serve that crowd they have to sell solid stuff.
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vinman3
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 15, 2008 at 09:57 »

When I bought my LCD in April, I looked at the Samsung and Sony Bravia. I ended up with the Sony because of the glare on the Samsung. They use a glass screen (similar to plasmas), Bravia is a matte screen and has zero glare. If you are installing your TV in a low light area (basement), the Samsung is an excellent TV. My TV was going to be in the living room with a lot of natural light that would have really glared on the screen.
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 15, 2008 at 10:11 »

Yeah, I've been trying to sell the Samsung 6 and 7 series on Mrs. Finny, who was big on the idea but then cooled after some recent spending (new vehicle, trip to Aruba, etc.).  We tend to be a frugal lot, and all this consumerism seemed to scare her off.

Our LR does have some natural light, but I tend to like it shaded when watching TV anyway, so that's no issue.

Thought the firmware issues had been addressed months ago, from what I'd read on Amazon.  Their pricing drives me nuts.  I've had the 650 in my cart for 2 months now, and I've seen the price vary by about $150 over that span, up and down.  Good price compared to retailers though (Best Buy, et al.).

We're not wall mounting, so no help there.  

I tend to stay away from extended service warranties, just seems like a money trap.  
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 15, 2008 at 10:31 »

I have the Samsung 650 120 hz. I like it a bunch. The glare isn't that bad. It came with updated firmware, so no shutting off problems. But the firmware update is real easy to do if you have to.

Right now, the model year is switching over. You can pick up an '08 46" 650 for like 15 hundie right now. The '09 is 2250. Not much difference between the 2.

Would definately recommend the 650. The Sony might be a little better, but not $500 better.
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 15, 2008 at 10:45 »

As far as the warranty goes, if the local Costco sells that TV, the Costco return policy is probably better than an extended warranty.  It used to be that they have a 3 year return policy on their electronics.  Don't know if that is still the case, but if they have that TV there, it is most likely as cheap as you can find it anywhere.
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aj_law
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 15, 2008 at 11:06 »

Thanks for the input, fellers.

Yeah, monoprice.com is the site that I had heard about that I couldn't remember.  There are so many out there now, it's getting harder to weed out the good from the bad.

The screen on the Samsung is similar to plasmas, but I don't think it's quite as reflective.  I stopped at a local Bernies this past weekend (grand opening sale...*eye roll*...) and they had the 6 Series right out front when you walk in.  The store has nothing but a glass front and was kinda surprised as the glare wasn't as bad as I expected.  There were a few plasmas near it and IMO, it was considerably worse on them.  I guess the only way to really know for sure is to buy it and check it out myself.  Even if we sell our home, I doubt the home we buy will have more light in the TV room/LR/FR it than my current one.  We've got two huge skylights pretty much right over where the TV would be positioned.

I've always been a Sony guy; the two current sets I have are Sony and even the two really old, small picture tubes in the kiddies rooms are Sony.  But, after reading everything I have for the last handful of months and seeing them in action, I don't see a difference.  Well, that is, until you look at the price tag.  Plus, the Circuit City near us was running a promo for a 52" 6 Series with a Samsung BluRay player for $2300.  The player by itself is $399.  The only thing that is keeping me from pulling the trigger (other than shelling out the Bennies, which we've been doing a lot lately with all the home touching up stuff so we can put it on the market) is the Series 8.  I'm not sure if having a TV that's < 2" deep is worth the extra cost.  Right now, I'm leaning towards "no."

I guess the price fluctuations are more pronounced on the bigger sets because to me, it seems like the price has been dropping $100 every other week.  I get close to buying; I back out last minute; I wait and it's in the Sunday flier for $100 less or they're offering some sort of package deal like I mentioned above.  My guess is that their prices are leveling off now and maybe they'll drop a little in the next month and change with football season already in full swing (whoever was going to buy, already did), new sets are coming out soon (the new Sony XBR is scheduled to arrive "any day") and the holiday season is right around the corner.  I just don't think I can wait that long...

As to the extended warranty, I usually beat the salesperson to the punch when I nix those, but almost everything I've read on these sets is that their biggest problem is pixel damage.  And, the cost of having it repaired is not too far off from what you would pay for a new set.  End result?  A very expensive paperweight.  The warranty pretty much covers everything under the sun, except for negligence.  If something happens and it's too expensive or can't be fixed, they give you a new comparable set for free.  Considering that a lot of these 3rd party sites are offering 5 year plans for a couple hundy for a 52 incher, it's kinda tough to pass it up.  The one the stores try to push on you for 500+ are impossible to swallow.  For a smaller set, you can probably get a similar plan for a little over a hundred.  When you factor in the likelihood of something happening over that timeframe, it makes the decision to get it much easier.
« Last Edit: Sep 15, 2008 at 11:09 by aj_law » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 2008 at 16:48 »

I got a Sony Bravia KDL-46XBR4 in January. I looked at a number of other sets but went with the Sony because I liked the way it looked and the price point for newer features (120hz) was lower.

So far I have enjoyed this set with no problems.

I looked into extended warrantys when I got this set and most sources stated that the price of an average repair was about the same as the price of an extended warranty.  
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vinman3
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 17, 2008 at 19:35 »

Quote
I got a Sony Bravia KDL-46XBR4 in January. I looked at a number of other sets but went with the Sony because I liked the way it looked and the price point for newer features (120hz) was lower.

So far I have enjoyed this set with no problems.

I looked into extended warrantys when I got this set and most sources stated that the price of an average repair was about the same as the price of an extended warranty.
I got the 52 inch version of your XBR in April....LOVIN' IT!
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 08:48 »

Vin - I bet Thursday night college football looks great on that thing!!!!!! :shit:  :shrugs:  :m16:  :frustrated:  :suicide:



I'm a marginal fair weather Buffs fan, but wanted to give you a hard time.
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vinman3
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 08:59 »

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Vin - I bet Thursday night college football looks great on that thing!!!!!! :shit:  :shrugs:  :m16:  :frustrated:  :suicide:



I'm a marginal fair weather Buffs fan, but wanted to give you a hard time.
There was a football game last night?

 :bricks:  
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 10:13 »

Hey Vin,

I saw your QB is from Daphne, AL. That's where me and the Mrs. called home in the early 90s. Of course, PW was about 6 at the time, so I'd not heard of him.

 
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vinman3
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 10:24 »

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Hey Vin,

I saw your QB is from Daphne, AL. That's where me and the Mrs. called home in the early 90s. Of course, PW was about 6 at the time, so I'd not heard of him.
You are quite the world traveler Oat. His younger brother is a freshman QB for the Mountaineers now too....Maybe he should have thrown that double pass that fluttered harmlessly to the ground. :bang:

Still, I think, the Mountaineers did play better, especially on D. I see them 4-2 after the next three, then Auburn comes a callin'. 8-4 to 10-2 is still a distinct possibility.
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« Reply #13 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 15:50 »

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I got the 52 inch version of your XBR in April....LOVIN' IT!
Me too. I messed with a bunch of settings for a few days, and havent touched them since. Thats rare for me. I am really enjoying it.  
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aj_law
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« Reply #14 on: Sep 19, 2008 at 22:26 »

Ran into some problems buying the new set.  Saw one of the new LED backlit LCDs on display.  All I could say was "amazing" (picture) and "damnit" (price tag).

*sigh*

 
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aj_law
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 03, 2008 at 15:08 »

I've always been a Sony guy; the two current sets I have are Sony and even the two really old, small picture tubes in the kiddies rooms are Sony.  But, after reading everything I have for the last handful of months and seeing them in action, I don't see a difference.  Well, that is, until you look at the price tag.  Plus, the Circuit City near us was running a promo for a 52" 6 Series with a Samsung BluRay player for $2300.  

Finally bit the bullet last week and got the 52" Samsung 650 LCD.  I was doing everything I could to justify getting that new LED 9 series, but I couldn't get past the difference in price.  I could almost buy two 52" 650s (gotta admit that thought crossed my mind a coupla times too) for the price of one 9 series.

CC was running that same promotion again (TV+BluRay player for $2,299) so I marched over to Best Buy, who was running a 36 month, same as cash promotion for all Samsung purchases, got them to match and give me the promotion too.

After one week and change, I'm pretty happy.  Still messing with the settings some as I opted not to pay for the store "Calibration" add-on.  Really, I think that's the biggest bunch of crap.  300 beans to come out and "adjust the TVs settings to optimize picture quality?"  Ah, no thanks.  I'll give it a go myself, tyvm.

Didn't get the extended protection plan as discussed above.  Crazy how much they're asking for these sets. 

Crazy. 
Crazy. 
Crazy.

Around 30% of the purchase price of the damn set. 

For that new 9 series LED LCD I mentioned earlier, they want to nail you for 1K.  Oh, yeah.  That's no typo, guys.  Almost pulled a Mike Singletary and asked them to check my prostate while they were up there.

Still exploring those third party insurance options though.  I'm willin' to do a couple hundy, max., for a five year plan.

Anyway, highly, highly recommend this set for anyone who's thinkin' about gettin' a new one.
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 03, 2008 at 16:42 »

What's your viewing distance?  Also, is that a 1080i or p?  I'm not familiar with those Samsungs.  Is it flat panel or projection? (I'm guessing flat panel)  If it's flat panel, do you have it on a stand or mounted?

If we ever get stupid enough to finish our basement, I'm going with a 1080P DLP projector with a 100 or 110 inch screen.  They go up to that size, so you can make it 50, 60, 100 or anything in between.  Those projectors have come a long way.  At 100 inches, the players on the screen would almost be life size.  That's what I'm talkin about!!!!!!!!! 
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aj_law
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 04, 2008 at 11:54 »

What's your viewing distance?  Also, is that a 1080i or p?  I'm not familiar with those Samsungs.  Is it flat panel or projection? (I'm guessing flat panel)  If it's flat panel, do you have it on a stand or mounted?

If we ever get stupid enough to finish our basement, I'm going with a 1080P DLP projector with a 100 or 110 inch screen.  They go up to that size, so you can make it 50, 60, 100 or anything in between.  Those projectors have come a long way.  At 100 inches, the players on the screen would almost be life size.  That's what I'm talkin about!!!!!!!!! 



1080p flat panel.  About 4" in depth (*snicker*).  The 8 series is only 2".  We've got it sitting on a stand on a TV console that we picked up for a couple hundred bucks.  I was going to wall mount it, but I didn't want to have to take down a mount when (if?) we move in the near future.  What's really amazing is how much bigger the room feels without a big set protruding out into the room.  The console table is about 18"-20" in depth so it's minimally intrusive and the TV sits all the way back near the wall.  Compared to what I had, it's practically invisible from the side.

Haven't had a chance to test out that 1080p resolution though as I haven't connected the BluRay player yet.  Waiting for the HDMI cables from monoprice.com.

Viewing distance is about 15 to 16 feet at the current house.  Having a bigger family room is pretty much #1 on the wish list for a new home though so I expect that to be further away in the future.

The picture is killer, man.  The room has a decent amount of natural light so there is some glare, but not enough to bother me.  If you've had a picture tube or DLP (I believe those screens are glossy, no?), there's not much of a difference so you should be used to it.  Plus, I think that screen helps to give a better angled picture as compared to the matte finish of the Sonys.  When I sit to the side, there's virtually no loss in picture clarity.  About the only thing that happens is it gets a tad bit brighter and just a teeny bit uh, snow~ier.  But, you've gotta be way off to the side to notice that difference.  Anywhere from center to 6' - 8' in either direction, at least, is a sharp picture.  And, I've tuned the settings, but I haven't really fine tuned them yet.

For 2K, you really get a good bang for your buck; especially when you consider that I paid a few hundred more than that 10 or 11 years ago for our monster 50" pre-HD projection TV that recently crapped out.

I've already planted the seed in the wife's brain about having a multi-monitor setup in the new place if the room is big enough.  The 52"-er in the center, flanked on each side by two smaller 32" or 37" sets.

Kinda like this: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=80120&d=1213118463 only bigger, obviously.

You can get those sets for around $500 each on the small side, closer to $1000 on the larger side.  That's still less than what I would've shelled out for the single 9 series.  Takes SuperFan to a whole 'nother level.
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 04, 2008 at 12:57 »

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I've already planted the seed in the wife's brain about having a multi-monitor setup in the new place if the room is big enough.  The 52"-er in the center, flanked on each side by two smaller 32" or 37" sets.

Otis' setup:  Chicks in Rubber, Nuthin' Butt Facials, Backdoor Bonanza!
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 04, 2008 at 15:23 »

What's your viewing distance?  Also, is that a 1080i or p?  I'm not familiar with those Samsungs.  Is it flat panel or projection? (I'm guessing flat panel)  If it's flat panel, do you have it on a stand or mounted?

If we ever get stupid enough to finish our basement, I'm going with a 1080P DLP projector with a 100 or 110 inch screen.  They go up to that size, so you can make it 50, 60, 100 or anything in between.  Those projectors have come a long way.  At 100 inches, the players on the screen would almost be life size.  That's what I'm talkin about!!!!!!!!! 



1080p flat panel.  About 4" in depth (*snicker*).  The 8 series is only 2".  We've got it sitting on a stand on a TV console that we picked up for a couple hundred bucks.  I was going to wall mount it, but I didn't want to have to take down a mount when (if?) we move in the near future.  What's really amazing is how much bigger the room feels without a big set protruding out into the room.  The console table is about 18"-20" in depth so it's minimally intrusive and the TV sits all the way back near the wall.  Compared to what I had, it's practically invisible from the side.

Haven't had a chance to test out that 1080p resolution though as I haven't connected the BluRay player yet.  Waiting for the HDMI cables from monoprice.com.

Viewing distance is about 15 to 16 feet at the current house.  Having a bigger family room is pretty much #1 on the wish list for a new home though so I expect that to be further away in the future.

The picture is killer, man.  The room has a decent amount of natural light so there is some glare, but not enough to bother me.  If you've had a picture tube or DLP (I believe those screens are glossy, no?), there's not much of a difference so you should be used to it.  Plus, I think that screen helps to give a better angled picture as compared to the matte finish of the Sonys.  When I sit to the side, there's virtually no loss in picture clarity.  About the only thing that happens is it gets a tad bit brighter and just a teeny bit uh, snow~ier.  But, you've gotta be way off to the side to notice that difference.  Anywhere from center to 6' - 8' in either direction, at least, is a sharp picture.  And, I've tuned the settings, but I haven't really fine tuned them yet.

For 2K, you really get a good bang for your buck; especially when you consider that I paid a few hundred more than that 10 or 11 years ago for our monster 50" pre-HD projection TV that recently crapped out.

I've already planted the seed in the wife's brain about having a multi-monitor setup in the new place if the room is big enough.  The 52"-er in the center, flanked on each side by two smaller 32" or 37" sets.

Kinda like this: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=80120&d=1213118463 only bigger, obviously.

You can get those sets for around $500 each on the small side, closer to $1000 on the larger side.  That's still less than what I would've shelled out for the single 9 series.  Takes SuperFan to a whole 'nother level.



DLP's do have more glare, but I have shades on the windows that would interfere with my viewing.  I actually leave the shades up unless I'm wathcing the Steelers, so it isn't too bad.  My viewing spot is the best (least amount of glare) so the kids always want to close the shades.

I know price is a steep slope as the sets, especially flat panels, get bigger, but if the viewing distance is more than 15 or 16 feet, you'll be squinting to see that puppy.  I'm at 12 or 13 feet, and 56 inches would be perfect for me.  I have a 52", and it certainly does the job, but 56" would be perfect.

I have a low end (Vizio) 1080i LCD flat panel in the bedroom and the picture starts to get "more white" when off center.  I know that effect on better TV's is minimal compared to the Viz.  A mountable flat panel (tv's Otis) would be nice just to get it at what ever height you want it.

Sounds good AJ.  Nothing like getting a killer HD set.  I can think of three shows I watch regularly that aren't HD.  Biggest Loser, Amazing Race, and re-runs of King of Queens on a local network.  Come Feb, it's all good.

I still just have the upconverting DVD player.  I paid about $300 for it 3 years ago, so I can't quite ditch it yet.  BUT, don't know if MGS'ers out there use Netflix (which I do) because I read an article over the weekend that Netflix is teaming up with TiVo and two Blu-Ray manufacturers, LG and maybe Samsung, where the players are "Netflix" capable, so if you subscribe to that service, the movies are sent wirelessly (I think) to your player from Netflix.  Not exactly sure how it works, but I need to check into it.  No more mailing, or planning for a couple of days in mail time.  Instantaneous.  I think even Mrs BV would be on board with that.
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