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alisande_gw

what brand of lcd tv do you have? do you like it?

alisande
11 years ago

It's time for a little consumer report! I'm shopping for my first LCD TV. I don't want a huge one--just 32" will be fine--but I admit to being picky about picture quality. I've discovered that not all TV images are created equal, and I'm told that's true of their sound quality as well. I'm hoping to get one that will let me make image adjustments to my heart's content.

Looking in the stores, I've been most drawn to Panasonic, LG, and Samsung. Reading reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, I've noted complaints about the Panasonic sound. I've also noted reports of Samsung breakdowns. LG seems to have the largest number of happy consumers. But I'm aware that people are more likely to post a review if they're unhappy with a product, so I'm not sure how to evaluate the Samsung and Panasonic negatives.

I asked three TV salesmen about their personal preferences. Two said LG, and one said Panasonic.

I thought it would be fun to see what everyone here is watching, and how happy you are with them.

PS: Good old GardenWeb.....sometimes I can use capital letters (like LCD) in the subject line, and sometimes (like today) I can't.

Comments (46)

  • gardenspice
    11 years ago

    Samsung. Very higly rated in consumer reports, but personal experience has been excellent. we do use a sound bar though, so I cannot attest to the audio quality of the set. I think it is almost 2 years old.
    We bought one for our parents for Christmas and I did notice that there are better deals out there. I like Sony too.
    Good luck!

  • wanda_va
    11 years ago

    My favorite TVs are Sony rear-projection LCDs (we have 2 that have 50" screens). Of course, the rear-projection TVs are larger and heavier--ours weigh about 75 pounds and are about 18" deep.

    We also have a Sony 46" LCD, a Sony Bravia 32" LCD, and an LG 47" LCD (with Netflix streaming).

    If I were in the market for a new TV, it would definitely be a Sony or LG. We are very happy with all of them.

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  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Wanda, you are equipped!! :-)

    My first color TV was a Sony, way back when, and I was a Sony fan for a long time. I didn't mention Sony this time because their prices seem higher and I didn't notice any appreciable difference in picture quality.

    I gave my son an LCD TV as a graduation present two years ago. I think it was a Samsung. I suppose I should ask him.....

  • Marcia Thornley
    11 years ago

    Ours is a Sharp. We love it! The picture is amazing. Also it was easy to set up with Blu ray players and other equipment.
    We bought my MIL an LG and it is also nice but I don't think her picture is quite as good as ours. Friends have a Sony and I think it has a good picture too!

  • renee_b
    11 years ago

    I have an Emerson LCD 32" TV that I bought almost 3 years ago. This TV is left on 24/7 and I've never had any trouble with it. I have Direct TV but not the HD. The sound is perfect and the picture is great too. I've always been an Emerson fan. Never had any trouble with any of their products.

  • sushipup1
    11 years ago

    We bought an LG last April, and love it. The Samsung that we have in another room (just 18 months older than the new one) is also very good. I'd look at both those brands again.

  • countrycottageklutz (Zone 5 ON)
    11 years ago

    Having just gone from a 20".. yes I know.. tiny tv! to a 32" Samsung, we're happy! We stood in far too many television displays, looking at the screen from all angles, distances, and sizes. Our living room is small by most peoples standards I suppose, and I needed to be able to set up the tv in a corner, not on a wall. It was a toss up between the LG and the Samsung. Samsung won on picture, but I would have preferred a slightly deeper "bass" sound to the tv, which the Samsung doesn't have. We will add a sound sytem to the system at some point, as hubby has his vinyl converting turntable to hook up.

    One added bonus I find with the new tv is that it doesn't collect nearly the amount of dust on the screen that the old tv used to.. yay! With a woodstove, 2 cats and a dog in the same room, there were times when I'd clean the old tv screen a couple of times a day... so far, maybe once a week!

    I've found setting some of the settings a little more advanced that our old tv, but we now have everything optimised, sadly in time to see Canada fall apart on the ice in Buffalo.. insert sad face here LOL

    Whatever tv you choose, do your research in stores without the hard sell salespeople.. We wandered every store from Walmart to Costco to TV stores, and assessed what our needs were before we talked to any sales person. We knew what our budget and house could handle, and Costco (instore) won out price/sales wise.

  • glenda_al
    11 years ago

    Have a Sony and love it.

  • susanjf_gw
    11 years ago

    alisande, if you like sony (ds1 just replaced his with one)
    check the prices at walmart as well as best buy...they've had some decent sales...

    i loved ds1's first but it was plasma, and while the picture quality was fantastic, it lasted 2-3 years and was a big chunk of change when he first bought it...

    it the cable bill that will expand, sigh...cause you have to have a hd box to go with that hd tv...

  • bigfoot_liz
    11 years ago

    55" LED Vizio we got fall of 2009, we are happy w/ it. we had also looked at the Samsung which to us had the best picture quality. there is a marked difference between LCD & LED. i was all for the LED, my DH only looked at price, could care less about pic quality. well one day we walked past an LED samsung in Sam's Club and that had him captivated and this is someone who doesn't care about picture or sound lol. we shopped & researched for months and months before we found this model vizio and it was significantly cheaper than our fav pic quality brand samsung. we ordered it from sam's club online and Fedex delivered it in a van w/ 2 guys to set it up. one thing to watch out for at stores is not all the Tv's are hooked up to HDTV cable. we unplugged & plugged in dozens testing to compare pic's. i am a sound fanatic and the sound coming just from the tv is not even barely decent, it's no different than puter speakers. speakers are really after thoughts on these tv's so it you plan to sit more than 4-5' away you should look into atleast a sound bar. if you have stereo speakers those can be wired up to the tv. we have tower speakers, sub and reg speakers. next christmas i think i will upgrade that system ;-) if you are in the market to buy start soon. christmas is usually when the best deals happen but there are good deals for the end of football season & super bowl in Feb too. ~ liz

  • Lily316
    11 years ago

    We have a 46 Sony Bravia, and a 37 Vizio. Sony we've had for two or three years and works great. Vizio is new and Husband likes it as it is his in his man cave in the sunroom where he watches football.

  • mare_wbpa
    11 years ago

    I have a Samsung 32" LCD for 4 yrs. No problems. Love it. Brother also has a Samsung for about 2+ yrs, no problems there either.

  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    My TV situation is unusual here. I don't have cable. Many years ago, my roof antenna brought in the three networks + PBS, and I was happy with that. Then something happened (the trees grew, maybe?), and my reception became practically nonexistent. I pretty much gave up watching TV after that, and got rid of my living room set. I kept a TV and a DVD player in my bedroom.

    Then my son built a radio tower alongside the house (not the massive one, but still taller than the house) and put my antennas on it. And the nation switched to digital, so I hooked up a converter box. Voila! TV reception on about a dozen stations. But by this time I was working evenings, and so out of the habit of watching TV that I hardly ever turned it on.

    Now that I quit my job, I was thinking it would be nice to have the option of watching/listening to a TV show sometimes when I'm hooking rugs in the living room. I mentioned this to my daughter, and she and her fiancee gave me Roku for Christmas, along with a subscription to Netflix. This is all the push I needed to get a TV for the living room.

    I don't know if I'll be able to view HD or not. I figure with my lousy vision (I'm overdue for cataract surgery) it doesn't much matter. LOL

    I think cable is available in my area now, but I don't need another expense at this point. Maybe someday.

    Fear not--I am completely immune to pushy salespeople! Their selling efforts are counterproductive because I find them so annoying. I like to do my own research and make my own decisions. Part of that involved asking a couple of questions, but of the three salesmen I spoke with, I have confidence in the responses of only one. The others seemed to be making up answers, killing time until their cigarette breaks.

    Thanks for all the helpful answers!

  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    I just read the three previous posts before mine.

    What's a sound bar?

    I do have stereo speakers, and a DS who would love to hook everything up. So I imagine he'll be doing that at some point.

    LED? Oh, no......something else to think about! (But I will.....)

  • dees_1
    11 years ago

    Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba are the best brands and you can't go wrong with any of those. I have a 32" LCD Panasonic 1080p, 50" Panasonic Plasma 1080p and my dad has a 32" Samsung LCD 720p. All are great with quick refresh rates and no pixelation unless it's from the source.

    As far as the sound goes, you probably won't notice the difference, especially if you're upgrading from an older TV. If the sound quality is so poor, you could always route your sound into a stero and be done with it. We have that set up on the 50" plasma but don't always use the stereo unless we're watching a movie.

    My recommendation would be to look for a lower resolution (720p) Samsung, Sony or Panasonic LCD and negotate the price down. If you're going to hook up with HD service with cable/dish, then go for 1080p. I'd stick with LCD and negotiate down because they're making more LEDs now. LEDs are pretty high and they're not willing to wiggle much (if at all) on price.

  • wanda_va
    11 years ago

    Sounds like you are a good candidate for the LG with Netflix streaming. You use the TV to "order" movies from Netflix. We have every imaginable channel on DishNetwork, so I don't use Netflix, but I'm considering getting it and canceling some of our premium channels.

  • chisue
    11 years ago

    We've replaced two Sony tube TV's in the last 10 months. Nine year old larger set died several months ago. The little 13" is still running, but we were having a harder time seeing the screen now that the broadcasts clutter up everything with a crawl -- sometimes TWO -- plus a station ID or promo!

    We bought a Sony Bravia 40" LCD for the libary. It's hooked up to our sound surround, DirecTV HD-DVR, DVD player and Wii game system. No complaints.

    We just replaced the 15-year-old 13" Sony in the kitchen. Brought home and are returning a Vizio (AWFUL sound) and now have a Samsung 23" LCD. It is OK without any audio attachments. It's hoooked up to a DirecTV plain HD box.

    I've heard that Samsung has surpassed Sony for quality -- quite a feat. We've had Sony's for 30 years. Our 23" Samsung was $230 at Costco last week. I think you'll see lots of 'deals' out there. Next Big Thing is 3-D!

    If you have audio right there to hook into, you'll be happy with most sets. Sound is a problem on the little, thin TV's because they have little speakers. Check the overall dimensions; some take up more space due to their stands. You can hang one on the wall of course.

  • susie53_gw
    11 years ago

    We have a 40" Sony with a Direct TV hookup. Love it. Picture is great and sound terrific. We also have a 32" Westinghouse brand. Hate, hate, hate the sound. Great picture. It is in our den and the grandkids watch it most of the time. Our neighbor had a 30" Vizio and it has a weird sound to it..

  • gardenspice
    11 years ago

    Ok, Just checked with TG, our samsung LCD, with LED backlight - the picture is really good.
    The sound bar is a long speaker that goes under the TV and here is also another speaker - so basically, an external audio system.
    You are gonna really like the roku - the easiest to use piece of technology I've used in an age and Netflix is adding more titles all the time. Be sure to look at the TV programs available via Netflix. It is a great way to see a series - sans commercials.

  • Sally Brownlee
    11 years ago

    I have a 55" Samsung in the living room and just bought a 32" Vizio for the bedroom.

    I will say I can tell the Samsung is better picture quality. Just last light I was marveling at the picture while watch a HD program about Mammoth Cave in KY.
    But in the end , I just couldn't justify the price difference for the bedroom. (I just fall asleep anyway, lol!)

  • chisue
    11 years ago

    Susan -- You might price out a dish service. We pay $130/mo. for land line phone, broadband wireless internet and the TV programing and recording. We have one plain HD box (kitchen) and one HD-DVR (library). We have a middle-of-the-road range of TV programs -- not HBO, not Martian Wrestling.

  • bigfoot_liz
    11 years ago

    forgot to mention that the cables and tv mount (if needed) are not included in pricing. DO NOT buy the cables from the store! we got HDMI cables online for a fraction of the price plus tried the monster cables (over $150) to compare & there was no difference that we could tell. since you have other components to hook up have someone help LOL and mark cables w/ tape. we have a lot hooked up to our's like Wii w/ HD drive, cable & DVR, Blue-ray & DVD plus a stereo rec and system and honestly i can't figure any of it out w/o help :-/ since 'someone' did not want to take time to mark anything lol. last summer the cable was out and i had to unplug ea cable to figure out what was what.

    like salgal mentioned justifying the price, we ultimately got the Vizio LED because we got an awesome deal at $900 including delivery & set-up which was free. the 55" LED Samsung was still around $1500. i am going to get a 32" samsung for our bedroom i think... several yrs ago i banned TV in the bedroom, just does not fit the decor plus it encourages sitting and lazing around in bed all evening... very bad habit LOL but our dogs still want to spend evenings in there like we used to LOL. one of them actually still occasionally sits in the doorway waiting for us to come in there :-( ~ liz

  • camp56
    11 years ago

    Susan, if you are receiving a signal on your old TV through your antenna, you do not need anything else to receive the same channels on a new HD TV. The new TV's have the digital tuners built in, so no converter box will be need. You will love HD.

  • summer_tx
    11 years ago

    We bought a 46" Sony LCD 2 years ago and were very happy with it until we went to spend Thanksgiving with our DS in Houston and he had just purchased a 55" LED, LG. Oh my was that picture amazing! We also have a Samsung 21" or 22" in the kitchen that has a very good picture but I don't like the volume feature at all. I don't envy you having to chose since there are so many good ones out there now and they continually come out with newer and better. It's maddening. LOL

  • dollydolots
    11 years ago

    My DH studied all makes of TVs and found that
    Samsung is by far the best. He bought a Samsung
    58 in. Plasma just before Christmas and it is great.
    Dolly

  • ravencajun Zone 8b TX
    11 years ago

    Hands down Samsung, I did major research before jumping in and spending the money for one. Also I prefer Plasma to LCD, plasma no longer has the problems the early ones did. Mine is a 58" Samsung and I got it at Costco. I am so happy I made that choice, I had been looking at panasonic also but when I viewed them side by side Samsung just was superior.
    If I had to do it over again I would definitely do the same thing. We have had it almost 2 yrs and never a single problem with it.
    I have full surround sound set up with it in my living room, including a stand alone subwoofer, center and 2 front speakers and had in ceiling rears put in above our sitting space. It is amazing. I have an Onkyo home theater receiver I use with it. We love our home theater!

  • 3katz4me
    11 years ago

    Samsung - it was highly rated on Amazon and Consumer Reports. We bought it from Amazon a couple years ago and love it. Ours is 46 inch I think. That combined with steaming Netflix has been life changing - we never used to watch TV much.

  • gardenspice
    11 years ago

    Amazon is a good tip - we bought my parent's Samsung from Amazon for Christmas and not only did we get a a great price, but also got free delivery - and no sales tax.

  • phyllis__mn
    11 years ago

    Why am I just happy with my old 19" TV? I feel so technology-poor when I read the above posts. Oh, I know, my kids are forever telling me I need this, that, or other, but there seems to be so little that I really want to watch, I would rather read a book. I have Netflix, which I do love, but don't feel the need for it to take up my space, I guess.

  • lindyluwho
    11 years ago

    We have 2 Vizio TVs and are happy with both of them.

    Linda

  • FlamingO in AR
    11 years ago

    We have an LG LCD HD and like it fine. It's a much better picture than the smaller Sanyo in the kitchen and has a better audio system, too.

  • terilyn
    11 years ago

    We have two Samsungs, love them. One Vizio, hate it, one smaller Samsung in the kitchen, hate it, have to turn the sound all the way up to hear it.

  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Okay, I went to a couple of other stores to look at picture quality. Have you noticed that every store runs a fast-moving video on their TV sets? The picture changes from one scene to another so fast that it's impossible to compare one screen to another with the same picture on it. In the split second it takes to shift your attention from one to another, the scene has changed. I've decided that they do this intentionally, although I'm not sure why stores (or manufacturers) wouldn't want us to be able to do a fair comparison of image quality.

    I still like the flesh tones on the Panasonics, but I'm thinking that could be partly due to the way the manufacturer configures the settings, and if I brought home another brand I'd be able to adjust it to suit me. So, given the popularity and stellar reviews on the LG and Samsung, I'll probably buy one of those.

    I have an Amazon credit card, which gives extra reward points for Amazon purchases, so I'll probably buy it there.

    That combined with steaming Netflix has been life changing - we never used to watch TV much.

    Gibby, that's what I'm afraid of! LOL I hope this doesn't turn me into a couch potato. When people asked me how I get so much done, I always answered, "I don't watch TV." I'm looking forward to my TV and streaming Netflix, but I'm wondering how much this is going to cut into my productivity!

    I remember when we got our first color TV. (My mother-in-law bought it for me.....she was a great mother-in-law.) I had always limited my kids' TV watching, but when that set arrived I was riveted to it for weeks! I eventually got over it, though, and watched in a more moderate fashion, so I'm guessing that's what will happen with my infatuation with LCD, HD, and Netflix. :-)

  • gardenspice
    11 years ago

    Alisande - When you mentioned the fast pictures you reminded me. You want at least 120 hertz refresh rate. With less, you can get articles or blurring with fast motion pictures.

  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    Thanks, Gardenspice. I was reading up on that. I was hoping it was an important feature only for people who watch sports or do gaming, because none of the models I'm considering offer more than 60 Hz. Going to 120 would mean a big leap in price.

  • danihoney
    11 years ago

    We have a 50" Sony Bravia, a 46" Samsung, a 20" Samsung (used as my computer monitor but used to be our BR tv), and a 26" Visio.

    All, except the monitor, receive an HD signal through Direct TV, and the Sony has a Blue Ray. The Sony and the larger Samsung have a sound system attached, one Bose and one Onkyo. The Visio has a nice picture but it is only occasionally used as the kids gaming tv or to watch something when I boot them from the family room. It helps that it's small too. You tend to lose picture quality as the screens get larger with some tv's.
    Our 46" Samsung is by far the superior set. It's brighter and clearer than any of the others. It has excellent sound also. It is in my bedroom and unless we are listening to music or watching a movie with great sound, I rarely use the (Bose) surround system.

    If they weren't so expensive, we would have gone LED. Maybe when the Sony goes out. We could go bigger in that room anyway! LOL

    Because we watch a lot of hockey, I don't mind the fast moving televisions at the store. I watch for shadowing and if the lines are pixelated. I look for rich blacks and reds. Not vivid but deep.

    I learned that those stores usually run one signal through all of those tv's which diminishes picture quality on some sets. Also the Best Buy type stores, where they have seeting, have the optimal viewing distances and lighting to show off their sets. It can be so deceiving.

    The advice that you don't need to spend the money on a 1080p is good and yes you should get the high MHz. higher than 60 ( I forget the number).

    I have a dislike for Walmart usually, but don't overlook them for electronics. You can get some good deals.

  • danihoney
    11 years ago

    Oops I missed your comment about the 60 Hz. You're right about that not being a big deal if you are not watching sports or gaming. If you're just doing average tv viewing, I doubt you'd notice a big difference.

  • mimi_boo
    11 years ago

    My new Vizio broke (was defective) withing 24 hours. I have a new 32" Phillips and it's great so far!

  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    It's funny about refresh rates.....with the older computer monitors (CRT) I see a continuous, literally dizzying flicker. I had to up the refresh rate to at least 70 on all my work computers over the years, and I still do it if I use a computer at the library, for instance. It's something about my brain wiring. My daughter Jill was the same way, and so was the bookkeeper at a previous job. The rest of the staff couldn't detect a flicker at all.

    So I was concerned about the refresh rate on a new TV until I remembered that my computer monitors (LCD) can't go any higher than 60 Hz, and I can view them just fine.

    I know what you're saying about action being blurred on sets with a lower refresh rate, but I think I can live with that. It doesn't seem to be something that would justify the extra cost for me.

  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    PS: My DS, who serves as my consultant in all things electronic (and, in fact, all things), has cast the deciding vote for Samsung. :-)

  • brightonborn
    11 years ago

    One Samsung.....love it !! and a Sharp.

  • zeetera
    11 years ago

    Sharp, hands down. Tried others but went back to Sharp.

  • pattico_gw
    11 years ago

    Vizio...42 inch....we got a very good deal on it. We've had it a little over a year and haven't been a bit sorry about it.

    We'd buy another.

    patti

  • joan_mn
    11 years ago

    We just went from a 27" crt tv to a 42" LCD Emerson (bought at WalMart on Black Friday) for Christmas. We LOVE it. It's not even hooked up to HD, just DirecTV. We've only seen HD on it when I get a blu-ray from NetFlix.
    We really love the picture. We also got a Sony blu-ray player that can stream NetFlix. We got the 4 Monster HDMI cables (5 feet) on Black Friday for $10.00 each. We also got a Wii, which we also love. The bowling is so much fun. We will probably get a Wii Fit for it, too.

    When we get back to MN, we will get a 46" Sony Bravia or a 50" Sanyo plasma.

    Our tv has a refresh rate of 60, it works for us. And it cost $398 on Black Friday. The LED and the plasma have beautiful pictures, but the LED is a jump in price. I think they will drop though, as the stores push 3D more.
    The LED is noticeably brighter than the LCDs, to me. But they all look wonderful in the big sizes compared to a 20 or 26" CRT tv. Like being at the movies!

  • czech_chick
    11 years ago

    I have a 46" Sharp Aquos and I love it!

    Crystal-clear picture.

    Carol

  • alisande
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    I was surprised that I didn't see an Sharp TVs in my travels. I'm guessing they don't make the 32" size.