Some people use Google to search blogs for tips before they make purchases or don’t know how to do something. RJ uses YouTube to teach himself how to cook fancy desserts 🙂 *ahem* Anyhow, I thought I’d write about my television buying experience and give some tips I picked up along the way. I also know that some people don’t like to read long articles, thus, I’m going to attempt to make my points rather short.
1) LCD or Plasma?
LCD’s put off a more intense, vibrant color. They have to because their screens have a matte finish. The matte finish means the screen has virtually no glare.
Plasma’s have a gloss finish and warmer colors. glare is easily seen (if you’re looking for it) but unless you have a window directly facing the screen, you probably won’t notice. In comparing the LCD’s to Plasma’s at Best Buy, the Plasma’s had the better picture.
- Plasma tv’s have gloss finish, warmer color, slightly better picture, but cost more
- LCD’s have high intensity color, matte finish screens and cost less
- Also note, sales reps said plasmas no longer needed to be “recharged”
2) Size, cost, when/where to buy
The size really depends on your room and personal preference. I purchased my 50″ plasma during black Friday when the deals were too good to pass up. The week before I bought mine, Best Buy ran a special which included a 52″ tv and a Playstation 3 as a package. For about $100 more I could have gotten that deal, but like I said, it was a week before I bought mine. BEWARE OF SIZE for picking up your tv. The 50″ would not fit in the back of a Tahoe. You cannot lay plasmas down. They must stand upright. If you’ve got a truck, bring plenty of tie downs. Best Buy will deliver your tv to your house for$50.
Note on where to buy: While some people prefer to buy online, there are SOME advantage you cannot get with online deals. For example, my tv has a 2-year manufacturers warranty on all parts and labor. To uphold this warranty, Best Buy doesn’t leave me to fend for myself; any issues I have, I can call their 800 number and they send Best Buy repair men to my house to look at the tv themselves. No charge.
3) Mount or stand?
Buy a tv from Best Buy and they’ll mount it for you…for $500! A ridiculous amount considering it’s not a very hard task. However, the mount will run you $75 (I got mine off amazon). Mounting can be tricky and it will take 2 people, but it’s NOT AT ALL worth paying $500 for. All tv’s come with a stand. You’ll need some kind of table to set it on, but they do provide you with a stand.
- Mounting yourself takes about an hour. You can find great articles online on “how to mount.” That’s where I got mine
- You will need one other person to help you
- DO NOT bother paying Best Buy for this service, it’s a waste of money
- Buy a Peerless mount. From all my research they are the most user-friendly, durable kind. I got mine off Amazon.
4) Hiding wires
This I didn’t worry with. My tv is right on top of the cable and power drops, so the wires were easy for me to hide with vases and my table. If you want to run wires through the walls, this will involve cutting holes in the drywall and snaking the appropriate wires to their corresponding drops.
5) Getting an HD signal: What you need to get HD
- an HD receiver
- some HD package through your satellite or cable company
Let’s discuss these first. I am on Dish Network. Here is a breakdown of what the costs are:
- HD receiver upgrade (includes installation) = $200
- 18-month commitment on their HD package which gives 34 channels in HD (excluding local HD channels) = $20/month
Dish will give me a $100 rebate for the upgrade, which will take between 6-12 weeks to come in. They are also offering 6 months of the 18-month package free.
My local channels on Dish are not sent on a satellite signal. This means I would have to buy an antenna to try to get the air signals (which are 30 miles away). Rumor has it that because we’re so far, this option is pointless. I’ve heard that just having the receiver can make the picture a ton better, but most of the shows I watch are on my local stations. If I don’t get those stations in HD, I’m thinking it’s a waste of money.
If you have any questions that my experience might help you out with, please ask. I’ll answer the best that I can.