New HD TV Options

HomeBrew1901

Has Season 1 of "Manimal" on Blu Ray
SoSH Member
My wife and I are looking at buying a new TV as a joint anniversary gift to each other. Our last TV still works great but it's a 40 inch Sony and we want to go up to 55 (would love 60 but I think that would be too much).
 
Since we don't often spend on luxuries I would like to keep it around $800 but will go as high as 1000 or a tad more if the features and worth it because we won't be getting another one for 5 plus years.
 
What features are necessary what aren't?  4k Ultra worth the price jump? Curve?  I know we want a useable Smart feature.

Thoughts?
 
 
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
47,795
New York City
HomeBrew1901 said:
My wife and I are looking at buying a new TV as a joint anniversary gift to each other. Our last TV still works great but it's a 40 inch Sony and we want to go up to 55 (would love 60 but I think that would be too much).
 
Since we don't often spend on luxuries I would like to keep it around $800 but will go as high as 1000 or a tad more if the features and worth it because we won't be getting another one for 5 plus years.
 
What features are necessary what aren't?  4k Ultra worth the price jump? Curve?  I know we want a useable Smart feature.
Thoughts?
 
 
 
Curve might be out of your price range. Vizio has the cheapest TV's that are the best for the price and Samsung is winning the TV battle right now, at present, if you want to pay a little more. The new Samsung's(2015 editions) have really awesome pictures, they are so clear it almost looks 3D.
 
You might want to get a 4K TV to future proof the TV. Right now, it's worthless, there are about 4 things you can watch in 4k but I assume that will change in a few years.
 

jercra

No longer respects DeChambeau
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,622
Arvada, Co
johnmd20 said:
 
Curve might be out of your price range. Vizio has the cheapest TV's that are the best for the price and Samsung is winning the TV battle right now, at present, if you want to pay a little more. The new Samsung's(2015 editions) have really awesome pictures, they are so clear it almost looks 3D.
 
You might want to get a 4K TV to future proof the TV. Right now, it's worthless, there are about 4 things you can watch in 4k but I assume that will change in a few years.
If you want to future proof for 4k make sure it's 4k HDR 60.  I think it's likely to be way out of your price range though.  If it's not specifically HRD and 60 FPS then don't even worry about 4K.  In the very near future that will be the standard for 4K and it may be the only thing to drive 4K adoption at scale.
 

Catcher Block

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 7, 2006
3,719
St. Louis
My last three TVs (30", 40", and 50") have all been Vizios, and I really can't be happier with them. 
 
I bought a new living room TV last year and opted not to go with 4K. I found a great Vizio M-Class TV in the $400-500 range to replace a 2008 Sony LCD, and the upgrade from that to backlit-LED alone was worth the price.  
 
Whenever 4K becomes the norm for live TV (keep in mind there's no roadmap for 4K broadcasting right now; it's limited to streaming and disc media), I'll probably upgrade again, but I haven't read anything that suggests it will be soon. 
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2008
2,373
New England
Just upgraded my TV a few weeks ago from an 8 year-old 40-inch Samsung HDTV. I settled on the Vizio-M50-C1 for ~$700. I was initially turned off by 4K (I'd gone to several showrooms and was disoriented by the fact that I could see a clear separation between actors in the foreground and background scenery in staged dramas), but my ultimate decision was between two Vizios: a 55" HD and the 50" 4K. I settled on the latter. Pros: with good signal, 4K is sweet. The extra sharpness for sports and concerts is amazing -- easier to track the spin of the ball, and close plays at the bag. Cons: with poor signal, compression is obvious. So I'd recommend 4K if you want the best picture possible, but non-4K if you want a more even picture. Bottom line: online video and non-upscaled 
DVDs look better in regular HD. 
 
Virtually no smart features are pleasant to use. Your best bet for built-in, decent smart features are Roku TVs or TVs that run Android. But your best bet for smart features is to buy any box, disregard the smart features entirely, and get a dedicated, simple device like the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, or a game console. The speed and ease of use for those is infinitely better than the half-baked smart features in most TVs. The one thing about the Vizio M50-C3 that caught me by surprise though is it's got built-in Chromecasting for Youtube and HBOGo. I don't have a Chromecast plugged in, but something about those apps makes the Chromecast icon appear and the picture beam to the TV as if it were there. It's hardly necessary, but kinda neat.  
 
Edited: goofed on the model number
 

Couperin47

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
I will echo what several others have already said:
 
1. No TV has smart features that are complete and with an excellent interface and things are evolving so quickly that large portions of any set's smart features and channel options will seem 'quaint' 2 years from now, so the best strategy is to use and expect to do all this via a Roku or some other device.
 
2. 4K is a term that covers a multitude of sins and as explained above, many/most of the 4K current 'standards' are anything but a standard and have no chance of being a standard that is ever adopted for broadcast or cable delivery. The best current implementations, which are in almost all cases upscaling lower resolution content, can look pretty good in some cases, quite artificial in other cases. People react very differently to this: some folks see inexpensive LCD sets where color saturation is overwhelming and edge enhancement processing extreme and say the picture 'pops' and love it. Show them the best of breed plasma sets, no longer available, with a far more natural picture and they will claim it's 'washed out' and dull. Unless you watch a ton of Bluray content 4K is probably as relevant to your decision as 3D capability was 3 years ago.
 
3. If you want a broader viewpoint from those who know and care about this stuff start here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/166-lcd-flat-panel-displays/1230050-help-me-choose-lcd-thread.html
But I will warn you, the site is a rabbit hole where those who champion one brand or technology over another tend to be as vociferous as any sports fan. Last point: almost everyone buys a set that is too small to actually perceive the higher resolutions at the distances they sit, mostly because someone opines such a set is 'too big'.... and she's always wrong ;)  In your case the budget will restrict you in any case....
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
47,795
New York City
Smart TV's are very dumb. They are universally terrible, horrible interfaces, terrible software, and pathetic internet connections. Save yourself the trouble and get a Roku 3 or wait for the Roku 4 if you're interested in streaming in 4K.
 

derekson

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2010
4,399
LG's Smart TVs have the most usable interface. Samsung's are basically useless in my experience. I'm partial to LG TV's in general at this point, but it's hard to go wrong with Samsung especially if you don't care to use it as a Smart TV.
 
I'd prefer a Roku or an Apple TV, depending on your ecosystem of choice, over either. But my buddy got an LG Smart TV earlier this year and planned to get a Roku but has been just using the built-in smart TV features and it's actually not bad at all. They bought Palm's WebOS phone OS and turned it into a smart TV OS and it blows away any of the other stuff out there.
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,377
Rhode Island
I have 2 LG's that I've been very happy with after having a mixed experience with Samsung. My first one was a smart TV with 3D. As others have said the "smart" features are not very good. I decided not to spend the extra money when I bought one recently. The only problem I see with newer models is the number of inputs is limited. My new model has 2 HDMI, a USB and a composite. My plan is to get a Roku. Any opinions on if that is the right choice if I primarily want to use it to stream from my IPad and camcorder or if Chromecast or AppleTV are better choices.
 

derekson

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 26, 2010
4,399
The new Apple TV looks pretty slick IMO. If you have Apple devices, being able to use Airplay is a killer feature too. If you don't care about Airplay or Siri, there's nothing wrong with going with Roku.
 
I'd imagine the Apple app store will probably see more action once it goes live though.
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
811
The smart TV features are generally pretty bad, but the better panels are now almost always in smart TVs, so you're probably going to end up with one, even if you don't use the features.  
 

Byrdbrain

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
8,588
I recently purchased an LG and the smart features are fine, I just gave my son my Firestick since I didn't need it any more.
In a couple of years if there is a device out that offers a clear upgrade in features I'll go ahead and buy it.
 
Edit:Clarity
 

HomeBrew1901

Has Season 1 of "Manimal" on Blu Ray
SoSH Member
Awesome, thanks folks. 
Got a great deal on a Samsung 55 inch Ultra HD and holy shit, I thought I was watching HD TV before but I actually feel like I'm watching a live broadcast of Arrow and Walking Dead.  It's amazing.
 
edit: the 55 inch is fine but the 60 would have been nice too.