Advice for Buying First HDTV

Advice for Buying First HDTV

I'm getting ready to buy my first HDTV. What should I be looking for in a 39" - 42" TV?

 

We are subscribed to the UVerse Family package, which includes mostly regular TV with old shows and cartoons. Since these were not recorded in HD, do we need the HD upgrade package? Or will the current channels downscale and look blurry without it?


Also, do I need a separate antenna to view local stations, or does Uverse provide that already through their packages?

 

Thanks for the help.

Message 1 of 12 (530 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV


PntBtrSandwich wrote:

I'm getting ready to buy my first HDTV. What should I be looking for in a 39" - 42" TV?

 

We are subscribed to the UVerse Family package, which includes mostly regular TV with old shows and cartoons. Since these were not recorded in HD, do we need the HD upgrade package? Or will the current channels downscale and look blurry without it?


Also, do I need a separate antenna to view local stations, or does Uverse provide that already through their packages?

 

Thanks for the help.


As for which TV to buy take a look at this: http://reviews.cnet.com/tv-buying-guide/

 

If you get an HD TV you will need the HD package to get the HD picture.

 

You do not need an over the air antenna for local channels.  Keep in mind that Uverse does not carry sub-channels.

 

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Message 2 of 12 (521 Views)

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

Thanks for the reply. Would an antenna would pick up the sub-channels then?
How will the older SD shows look on HD TV without the upgrade package?
Thanks.
Message 3 of 12 (510 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV


PntBtrSandwich wrote:
Thanks for the reply. Would an antenna would pick up the sub-channels then?
How will the older SD shows look on HD TV without the upgrade package?
Thanks.

An antenna would pick up the sub-channels provided you aren't too far away from the signal (You probably aren't)

 

The best way to describe to describe how they look is "fuzzy". Overall the picture will be fine but everything looks softer in SD than on HD.

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Message 4 of 12 (504 Views)
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Employee

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

Just from personal experience, I would go with a LED tv over a LCD or plasma. I used to have a 42" LCD flat screen that broke. I bought a 32" LED to replace (it was a little bit cheaper than the bigger versions) and the picture quality is way better.

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Message 5 of 12 (490 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

LCD and LED TV's are the same except for how the LCD matrix is back lit.  Sets called "LCD" are backlit using fluorecent tubes.  Sets labeled "LED" have LEDs lighting the LCD matrix.  LEDs are usually better than LCD because they have more even lighting.

 

Plasmas are totally different, and whether an LED is better than a Plasma is a matter of cost and personal preference.  I couldn't find an 1080 vertical resolution plasma display at a reasonable price in that size range when I wanted to buy one, and 1080 was a personal requirement.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 12 (472 Views)

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

We don't have BluRay yet or do much hi-def streaming. The TV will be about 9 feet away from sitting area. So will 720 res be OK?

Message 7 of 12 (442 Views)

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

Ok. So if I get the HD upgrade it will upscale all SD programs to look better in HD format?


I've heard some TV settings leave black bars on the side for SD shows. I've seen some people try to change settings to fill the whole screen, but that seemed to stretch the picture. Is there a way to avoid either of these situations?

 

I'm sorry for so many questions. I just want to make sure to get the most out of the TV with Uverse. Thanks

Message 8 of 12 (440 Views)

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

OK. Is there a recommended number of TV ports to accomodate Uverse? We have a Wii and DVD player that would be nice to have plugged in at the same time, but can live with separate outlets. 

Message 9 of 12 (438 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

The SD programs will, by default, be pillar boxed (black pillars on each side).  There is a zoom feature in the SD where you can remove some (or all) of the pillars at the cost of some of the top and bottom of the picture.  Two settings let you choose how much.  This doesn't make the picture looked stretched.

 

The SD picture would probably look about the same on a 720 or a 1080.  I was just buying a TV for the eventual move to BluRay.

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 10 of 12 (431 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

You only need one port for U-verse.  You would need one for each of those other two things, too. Smiley Wink

 

Or, you can get a home theater amplifier that switches between inputs and sends one output for the TV's input.  Or a simple switch box (but you have to walk over and push the buttons on those).

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 11 of 12 (429 Views)

Re: Advice for Buying First HDTV

[ Edited ]

The HD upgrade gives you access to the HD feed of a channel (HD channel no. = 1000 + SD channel no.).  You do not need the HD upgrade to upscale SD programming.  The Uverse set top box will upscale SD programming.  This is fine for 4:3 aspect ratio content.  However, most SD feeds are now transmitted with a 16:9 aspect ratio so the picture will be window-boxed.  Uverse has a zoom feature to fill the screen, but the picture will be a lot softer.  So, if you watch a lot of TNT, TBS, A&E, AMC, &c. get the HD upgrade.  If you watch mainly local channels you can save money by skipping the upgrade and getting an antenna for HD.

 

You probably won't be able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080i with a 39-42" screen at 9 feet.

 

If you will be primarily watching during the day in a bright room with lots of windows, get an LED set with a matte screen to cut down on reflections from objects in the room.  (All plasmas have glass screens.) If the room is dim get a plasma.  They're less expensive, have deeper blacks, and no motion blur.

 

I recommend you take a look at LG's budget line.  They come with a number of features like a swivel stand, ISF color calibration, clear-voice, &c. not usually found in entry level sets.

 

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