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Foolish mortals

August 2nd, 2009 (02:21 pm)
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current mood: bemused

I'm looking at HDTVs (our new Blu-Ray/Netflix player was apparently not QAed on sending component video to an SDTV), and I've been struck by something. I'm looking at 32" and 37" LCDs, which are about the right size to replace our nice big 36" CRT—and I'm seeing customer reviews saying things like, "Well, you know, I wouldn't want something this small in the living room, but it's OK for a second TV in the bedroom.".


Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)

Remember that your 36" was 4:3, and these are 16:9. The area is different.

Personally, I would want the same picture size for 4:3 programs as I had previously. That means the equivalent 16:9 will be 44".

http://www.cavecreations.com/ will do all the math for you at once.

Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)

Oh, and we've been very happy with our 42" 1080P Vizio, purchased at CostCo.

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)

We'll be checking out CostCo, thanks for the reminder!

We want something that fits in our entertainment center (we're still in love with it,) which limits things a bit.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)

CostCo does have a 40" that would fit, but it's a Sony, on sale this weekend for $1100.

Posted by: blue shark of friendliness (ckd)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)

Yeah. We replaced a 27" 4:3 CRT with a 32" 16:9 LCD; dimensionally, that should be equivalent to a 26.1" 4:3 display, but with CRT not being an edge-to-edge image it might even be a bit larger for conventional aspect content.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)

Actually, in measuring everything, I realized that the CRT was extremely close to edge-to-edge—it was just a hair under 36". More interestingly, when I bought it, it was described as 35".

Nowadays, they don't call it a 32" TV; they say it's 32" class. Then you have to look at the specs to see if it's 32" or 31.5".

Posted by: blue shark of friendliness (ckd)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)

That "class" thing annoys me. Of course, lots of things involved with merchandising annoy me, so no huge surprise there.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I'd prefer to be able to do that, too. At least movies that we've been watching in letterbox will come out the same size.

I'm surprised to hear you like Vizio; the ones I've seen at Costco and Wal-Mart have much dimmer colors than the other brands next to them. Were you able to adjust it to look better?

Posted by: dsrtao (dsrtao)
Posted at: August 2nd, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC)

CostCo, Wal-Mart, and your local electronics store all have a major problem: they're much too bright. The first thing an employee does after setting up a display model is to crank the brightness and contrast all the way up -- otherwise, it looks washed out.

Unless you have sunlight falling across your screen, your living room will not have this problem. If you do have sunlight on your screen, you have a glare problem that even the most expensive Panasonic or Sony can't handle.

In our den, the colors and contrast are quite good at about 70% maximum backlighting.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)

OK, that makes sense. And...hmm. They take a lot of grief from customers complaining about the TVs breaking down after a year or two, but Consumer Reports shows them having only a 3% rate of "repairs and serious problems". Their VO370M is on CR's Recommended list—it has the lowest score of the four 37" sets, but only by a bit. The main problem they find with it is poor sound quality with its built-in speakers; but we've already got external speakers.

And WalMart has it for $568, and it's in stock in Chelmsford. I think we have a winner. :-)

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