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choosing a television


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#1 millipede

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 10:37 AM

I think there might be enough tech savvy people in here that know something about tv's... right?  Couldn't hurt to ask anyway.  :)

 

So, I decided we needed a new tv...  a bigger one, just because I guess.  We've been using a 32" Vizio that we bought a few years back and we really haven't had any problems with it...  The sound, of course, isn't amazing but we survived.  One of the reasons we bought it a few years ago was the energy rating... claimed to use $8 worth of electricity a year(based on things like hours of watching and the cost of electricity). 

 

why do we "need" a new tv this year?  Of course it's not a need...  wouldn't mind something bigger for movies and the big game on Sunday... 

But also, I think we're going to get a second couch and it's going to end up further away from the screen than our current couch.  There are 7 of us in this little house so a second couch sure would be great...  and, I've decided the new couch in the new location will be "MY" couch.  HA.  My wife falls asleep on the other couch all the time so, that will be her couch and if she's napping in the middle of the day and the kids or I want somewhere to sit, that second couch will come in handy.  But I stood over where "my" couch is going to go and decided I "need" a bigger screen.
 

So... I poked around for a bit and ended up picking one up at Walmart. (please don't shoot me for shopping there)

We're poor so, we can't afford much.  I managed to talk my wife into a tv up to $300...  I looked at a few on walmart as well as best buy... found just a couple in that range that didn't look too bad.  All the ones I could afford at best buy were going to be something I'd have to order and wait on...  I knew walmart had at least a 40" for that price that had good ratings but while looking online, I found a 43" LG that had good ratings and it was at the store in our town. 
I decided... the tv I could get that day was the right tv...
Then I got to the store.   The LG had good ratings... people loved it... except, the outputs.  2 HDMI, maybe a USB, and the normal colored ports... not much that would support a sound system, not that I've ever used one or have big plans for one.
Then, while at the store, I see there's a 43" Sanyo for the same price...  $298. 

I struggle with decision making probably a little more than the average person.  I go back and forth... second, third, and fourth guessing decisions...  It's torture.

The Sanyo had more features and/or ports... 3 HDMI, plus more. 
I finally grabbed an associate to ask some questions... of course, what they have are not exactly well trained electronics associates.  The guy I asked...  Well, the problem was, the Sanyo was not listed at walmart's website... so, no reviews/ratings.  I ended up using the store's wifi to try and look the model up...  nothing...  only site that lists it is Sanyo's own site...  with no reviews or ratings... and, "where to buy" pointed to walmart only.    Some of this searching was AFTER I got home...  but, that's a concern.  NO reviews ANYWHERE on the internet for this particular model.  :(

Anyway, the associate said he had two tv's at home, one was a sanyo and he liked it.  That's about as useful as that guy was.
Somehow, I decided to get that one over the LG.  Looking at the tv's on the wall at the store, it's VERY difficult to judge the pictures...

 

So, that was two days ago...  I'm not sure how I feel about the tv.  There are some minor things I hate...  when you mute, if you move the volume down it unmutes... our old tv would only go off of mute if you hit mute or went up in volume.
Info on what's on tv seems to  be missing... the description of the shows that are on at the time, are gone(We just use an antenna by the way).   
But... the picture is what I'm REALLY unsure of.

There are some shows and movies that look okay... and others that do not.  Some of that I do know is not the tv's fault but the programming... I still can't help but wonder if I could have a better picture than this.

 

Now the guy at walmart told me I had 90 days and I could return it...  I'm starting to think I might...  before or after the super bowl, I don't know yet...

 

So.......  my questions?   I'm not sure.  HA
I've read mixed reviews...  what's the consensus on Sanyo as a brand?  I've seen someone comment that Sanyo doesn't make good tv's... and I've seen sites that showed them as a favorable brand.  All of them seem to suggest that LG would have been better. 
I'm half tempted to bring it back and drop down to the 40" where I had more brand options.  Vizio hasn't been bad to us...  and we like LG. 

 

I do believe it was a mistake to buy a tv where I could find no ratings/reviews for it.
Decisions... I hate them.  :/

The size is nice... it's a nice upgrade...  but, I am thinking we could get a better picture than this.  I have no way of REALLY telling though.  It's not like I have bring a few tv's home and test them HERE side by side.

 

Anyway... any thoughts?  On brands?  or anything?



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#2 DeimosChaos

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 11:14 AM

I can see your dilemma on this one...

 

It is really hard to say, I might have done the same thing as you and gone with a slightly bigger TV but with not as big of a name as LG. Honestly if your not happy with it though, I would take it back. Maybe do some more looking. Walmart has a some Vizio TVs for 350 price range - 43inch 1080p etc. If you can swing the extra 50 bucks. Vizio makes a pretty decent product, and looks to have good ratings.


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#3 millipede

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 12:43 PM

I'm going out birding today and will stop at the store...  I will confirm what the associate said last time, that I have 90 days to return it...  and look around and study the options at that particular store more closely...  if they have one that has good ratings, looks good, and is in my price range, I will likely go back tomorrow to exchange...  even if it means dropping down to 40".  It's not a big living room and even 40" is a good step up from 32".  Or, I may weigh the options on the 43" LG that doesn't have any good audio output...  I don't intend to have a sound system as that's another thing that sucks up electricity.  We've done fine without one.  Totally different subject, more or less, I will look at whether they have a headphone jack or not... as, I've considered running a wire to the other side of the couch and putting in some CHEAP low wattage pc speakers for watching movies at night when the kids are sleeping.  It's SOOOOO frustrating to be straining to hear conversation and the next scene... BOOM BOOM...  LOUD sounds.  I have a hard time with low level conversation, especially if there's any other sound... such as the heater going in the next room.  :/

IF I don't settle on something at this particular store(I'll probably convince myself to settle) I'll wait til after the super bowl to return this one and order something from another site.  If I "settle" again with a tv, I'll be a bit more cautious this time.  I let urgency(real or imagined) influence such decisions sometimes.  I didn't want that tv but I got it anyway.....  :/   I will not again buy something like that where I can't find ANY online reviews of it.  That was a bad decision alone. 
I think this tv would be "good enough" but, I do think I'll feel better and get better results with another brand.

We'll see.
I appreciate the thoughts.
I don't know about an extra $50...  I was surprised I convinced my wife that $300 was reasonable.  ha



#4 DeimosChaos

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 12:55 PM

If it has a optical out for audio you can always get some cheaper speakers that have the optical hookup.

Good luck with it all!


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#5 mjd420nova

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 08:18 PM

The decisions can be over whelming.  Speakers are a real problem but there are ways to bring help on many models.  Optical audio output is ideal and a rare find to just find any audio outputs at all.  Number of HDMI inputs and optional inputs like composite (yellow=video, red and white=left-right audio) or component (red, green, blue  RGB) , USB and VGA.  The optical output can go directly to most of the newer audio/video receiver units and carries all the format information to be decoded at the receiver.  Some rear facing speakers can have small plastic deflectors held on with tape or hot glue, to redirect the sound up or down, away from the wall.



#6 millipede

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 10:35 PM

I'm still a little torn on this... 
I am looking more at Vizio...  Actually thinking of dropping to a 40" and going with a smart tv(with the apps and such).  Provided I find one in my price range(which I am seeing, even on Vizio's website) that also had decent energy use. 

 

IF that's what I do, I will probably have to order one...  actually, vizio's website has a couple of the ones walmart does for $1 more for each of the ones I looked at, as well as a couple of others... including some 2016 models which may be good?  I guess I'm thinking, the 2016 models(one of them being out of stock) haven't been out long enough for there to be reviews on them.  Could be a lemon in there?  2016 model or 2015 model... hmmm 

 

As far as the sound goes... the vizio's do not have headphone jacks...  which would mean my plan to use simple pc speakers wouldn't work so well.  I'm not really interested in anything too exciting for audio...  my main goal is having speakers on the other side of the room just so I don't have to have the volume up too loud...  A real audio system of sorts will mean MORE electricity... 
who needs a higher electric bill?  :/     Do they have sound systems that would use the optical cable that use VERY little electricity? 
We don't need a higher electric bill.... not to mention, the wiring in this place doesn't support TOO much use.  It's a double-wide "manufactured home."  and some genius hooked up one whole side to one breaker...  computer, tv, and other things... have to be careful what's running before we use the vacuum...  HA.
Just saying, the less energy we consume the better.  I think I'll take another look at one of those 40" smart vizio's as it says it uses $6 of energy a year where our old one(and the new and to be returned one) uses $8. 
If only my computer used that little...  of course my computer is on more hours a day than the tv... 
Sorry for the rambling... thinking out loud.

Just checked Vizio's site again for more details...  as on walmart, it shows both the 40" and 43" smart tv's use $6 a year...  on vizio's site, it showed the same...  not only that but...

The 40" uses 27.43 W  and the 43" uses 27.3W.   So, the bigger of the two of the same basic model uses slightly less electricity.  Interesting.


Edited by millipede, 06 February 2016 - 01:36 AM.


#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 07:13 AM

I would stick with vizio, mine lasted about three years but I won't blame vizio entirely

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#8 mjd420nova

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 02:07 PM

I have to join with the Vizio line.  When looking for a large unit to replace an old 50 inch rear projection unit, I compared a whole line up of units.  Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, LG, Vizio and a dozen house brands were the biggest and most realistic.  I had to talk to the store manager in three locations to attempt and make sure the units were optimized for the environment.  Many units come with the preset default settings and this just doesn't work when looking and trying to make a choice.  The Vizio units were far better than all brands at any size.  These were units 40 inch to 50 inch.  I got a plane jane  with all the options but headphone jacks or auxillary audio output besides an optical.  This was three years ago.  One thing, as with the older CRT units, the lower you can keep the brightness the better, 50% if possible.  Some settings can be over done, like the contrast and sharpness, which when taken to extreme can cause eye strain, watering and headaches after just short viewing periods.  One mistake many users make with external audio is an possible delay between the video portion and the audio content, this gets more involved when AVR units are used to do the switching for TV viewing.  If all sources are going to the TV, no problem.  Handshaking between devices (ARC) using HDMI cables can lead to mixed protocols when mixed manufacturers are used and become intermittent.  The headphone jack problem is being tackled by the media box mfgrs unless you have the skill and want to void the warranty by opening the unit, finding the speaker wires, mounting two jacks, one for headphones and the other for external speakers/auxillary out to an amplifier.    The unit I choose had all the inputs needed, 4 HDMI, component, composite, VGA, DVI, S type video and the RF coax.  The only output is the optical audio.  I mounted the jacks on the side, one headphone, one aux audio out.  There is a difference of impedance for the two so a circuit needed to be built.  Hot glued inside the case with the jacks mounted to it. 


Edited by mjd420nova, 06 February 2016 - 02:10 PM.


#9 millipede

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:32 PM

Thanks...

Any thoughts on the year's model? or the place I purchase from?

2015s have reviews...  the 2016 models do not... but are newer.  Although, I think the 2015 models use a little less electricity which has me leaning towards that.

 

I'm also thinking about walmart vs vizio as the place to purchase from.  There's something that sounds good about buying direct from the company but... it's $1 more per tv(not a big deal) and then there's delivery...  With walmart, I can do site to store and pick it up locally in a few days...  vizio would have to ship to my house which is not optimal.  STEEP gravely driveway, away from the main road...  some deliveries, they come up(sometimes tearing up the driveway, sometimes walking)... some deliveries, they leave the package at the neighbor's or at the bottom of the driveway...  I once had a laptop screen delivered and found it hanging from my mailbox the next day.  :nono:

So... I'm leaning towards just ordering from Walmart.

 

With that almost out of the way...  about sound... 

 

One mistake many users make with external audio is an possible delay between the video portion and the audio content, this gets more involved when AVR units are used to do the switching for TV viewing.  If all sources are going to the TV, no problem.  Handshaking between devices (ARC) using HDMI cables can lead to mixed protocols when mixed manufacturers are used and become intermittent.  The headphone jack problem is being tackled by the media box mfgrs unless you have the skill and want to void the warranty by opening the unit, finding the speaker wires, mounting two jacks, one for headphones and the other for external speakers/auxillary out to an amplifier.    The unit I choose had all the inputs needed, 4 HDMI, component, composite, VGA, DVI, S type video and the RF coax.  The only output is the optical audio.  I mounted the jacks on the side, one headphone, one aux audio out.  There is a difference of impedance for the two so a circuit needed to be built.  Hot glued inside the case with the jacks mounted to it. 

Some of that was over my head.  I've never had any kind of sound system for anything...  don't know anything about it, and don't really want to... ha. 

So, I'm wondering if I can get advice on the sound... 
I want to use as LITTLE as possible electricity to do this...  and simply want to put a couple of speakers on the other side of the room...  The tv is near the wall of my kids' room...  typically doesn't bother them too much but when I'm watching something late at night, I TRY to have the volume lower... which leads me to those scenes where people are talking quietly so I turn it up because I can't hear it... then the next scene is gunfire, traffic, or music or something... LOUD. 
If I put some speakers on the other side of the room by where I sit...  it wont take as much volume for me to hear it.   (I'm wondering if I tweak the equalizer type settings if conversations would be more clear to me... hmmm...)

Anyway... 
I'd really appreciate it if someone could give suggestions for a setup that takes little energy...  I don't need a big sound system so I feel like I'm in a theater...  :)
And, the vizio's I'm looking at...  this is the output on it

e43-c2-8.jpg

Edit: There's also 2 more HDMI spots, one being an (ARC) connection that can be used for sound...  however, I'm guessing that would be for a good system that would use some power... likely more than I could get away with using another connection...

 

whatever I do, I'll probably run a wire from the tv to the other side of the room...  on the ceiling or just around the edges of the floor or something.  We'll see.

 

 

Edit:  Question about larger tv's...  The Sanyo we're watching right now and hope to return(they said I could......) when I change channels, it literally takes about 2 seconds before the channel pops up...  change it... two seconds to see what's on... that seems significantly longer than our last tv and I'm wondering if it's just this particular tv or, is it because it's a larger tv?  I guess I'll find out when we get a different one... but, that was kind of surprising.  I sometimes miss the old tvs... the big pictures tubes...  you didn't have to wait when you hit power...  no start screen telling you what brand you were looking at... on was on... changing channels was pretty much instant... 
I thought technology was improving...  HA...


Edited by millipede, 06 February 2016 - 10:52 PM.


#10 millipede

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 09:40 PM

Don't know if anyone is still looking at this...

I returned the Sanyo today... was starting to get used to it a bit... though, some features were driving me nuts...  how long it took to change channels as well as the fact that it would not seem to display the info on what's on tv at that time... the description of a show, that sort of thing.    It wasn't a horrible tv overall...

 

But we returned it and picked up the Vizio we ordered... spent a little more and after reading reviews(mostly good however) about Vizio giving some people trouble with fixing problems... we paid for the 3 year warranty or something from walmart.  That way if something does go wrong we can go through that...  hopefully we wont have to worry about it.

 

One issue with the new vizio so far is the lighting.  There's a certain angle away from the middle where it still looks good but just a little outside that and one side of the screen is noticeably darker. 
Where I sit at my computer half the time is at a bad angle...  I'm not measuring but if I had to guess, I'd say I'm only about 20° away from center... (to the left) and the ride side looks darker.  It's not life or death but when I just move my head inward more towards a center view, that side gets brighter.  I could probably watch something and not notice too much if I'm just paying attention to what I'm watching... but, when I move back and forth and stare at that changing brightness, I find it bothersome.  I think it's a backlit tv...  Should it be like that???????

 

I'll have to research my sound options...  I am wondering if I have some speakers and simply put a red connection on one and a white one on the other, if I could just plug them in and have them work...  without an additional power supply.  I'm not sure it works that way..  but, I had a radio that worked that way... didn't have the connections... the bare wire end of the speakers simply had a spot to plug into the back of the radio.  No power supply on them.
Anyway...  I'll have to figure something out that requires little to no additional power... just something to have speakers on the other side of the room(wired) so I don't need the tv up really loud when the kids are sleeping.  :)



#11 mjd420nova

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 10:17 PM

The sound output on the optical is the best, it will pass on any decoding info needed by future equipment.  The red and white are composite audio and can be output via cable to a small amplifier and speakers.  Line/auxiliary/composite are low level, usually less than 200 millivolts, not enough to drive speakers alone.  An optical decoder for sound can be used to get an auxiliary output for audio input to amplifier/s.  Viewing angles vary from model to model but are basically going to lose the edges when they get to over 50 inches.  I have seen a huge variance in this on the display models, brand to brand and within the same brand.  Those bigger screens are curved to keep the viewing angle but increase the brightness on the corners.  I'm all about spending time in the retail store to compare any major product and then research my top choices on line.  A little work on the phone once you picked the one you want and you could even find someone who has the unit and will match prices.  Sometimes it comes down to who has what, back orders often come when your choice can't be found locally.






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