New TV and Reciever Help

Time for a new set in the family room. I’m looking for the best I can get under a $1200. It will be used in a fairly bright room for movies and games. I want either a 42" or 46" set. And since I haven’t really payed any attention the last couple of years I’m not sure what I should be looking for. Plasma, LCD…something else?

And while I’m at it I’m also looking at adding a 7:1 setup in the family room and would like to find a decent reciever under $500 if thats possible.

I appreciate any help. Thanks.

I am not sure if the $500 budget for the 7.1 includes speakers in the price. The only thing I’d wish is for a receiver that does not have “HDMI passthrough”. HDMI passthrough means I need to run an audio cable on top of the HDMI cable for every device.

It’s not so much of an issue for me since my electronics are old, with component and dvi, but the magic of just one cable per device would be nice. Since most new devices are HDMI, I would look into that.

Of course, the next day after you buy it everything will start coming out in displayport or something.

No I’m good with the speakers. Just need a second reciever.

For bright rooms, the consensus seems to be that LCD is the way to go. I have no specific model recommendations, but I would check out Techbargains’s TV deals.

For LCD, current market leaders are Sony, Samsung, LG because those panels are black colored, and feels like they have better contrast than Sharps. Sharp used to be the leader, but now discounts their TVs like mad. Westinghouse is a favourite for bargain-hunters who wants an above-average set. Finally, I’d like to give a shout out to Toshiba, only because I like that brand, but their TVs are hit and miss. (Some are really, really good, but you have to do some research to find out the good models.)

There’s a sale at Newegg for a Pioneer VSX-919AH for $300.

Promo code RECEIVER72X3 is what takes it down to $300.

I’ve been very happy with the Onkyo SR606, and there’s already a new version, the SR607 that adds another HDMI input. You can never have enough HDMI inputs. It’s a great receiver for the price.

LG is a “market leader” because LG TVs are cheap, not because they are good. In fact they tend to have poor black levels – I already linked to several reviews in another thread.

So what sort of specs should I look for when buying a new set? Resolution, erm, I can’t think of any other example of spec - refresh rate? Are all LCD TVs considered high definition?

You can get the 50" version of this somewhere around $1800, it’s what I would be buying these days if I needed a new TV in that size.

The first thing to determine is how big a screen you want. That has an impact on what you need to have specs wise in other areas. If it’s a larger TV, say over 40", then don’t bother with anything that is not a 1080p resolution TV.

Refresh rate is a difficult thing to discuss, as is another spec you’ll see prominently displayed, the contrast ratio. Arguably neither is very important. After all, we all were quite happy with the typical 60hz refresh rate TVs most of us have. Now you’ll see 120hz refresh rate TVs and whether that is relevant to you really depends. Same with the contrast ratio, which while theoretically important (it tells you how good the TV is at displaying dark vs light), can be misleading because of how it is presented.

Beyond that, just make sure that the set you are looking at has a good reputation (do some research online before you buy a particular TV) and that it has the right types of connections to work for you now and in the future.