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Big Screen TV Choices
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Post Big Screen TV Choices 
LCD, LED, Plasma-

Which and why?

Are the complaints about poor sound quality specific to makes/models, or a problem of the breed?

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Don't know much about Plasma, except that I'm pretty sure it's on it's way out.

LCD TVs offered up a very good picture and a significant power savings over the classic tube TVs.

LED TVs offer the same quality you can get in an LCD TV, but with added power savings.

Sound quality will be tied to speakers, not the type of display. So it could vary from brand even down to model.

What you want to look at is resolution. A TV will be marked generally either 1080p or 720p. You want 1080p. Everything is geared to output at 1080p these days. If you have a TV that has a lower resolution, and a crappy DVD/Bluray player, your image may run off the side of the screen.

One thing to look at if you're nervous about making the plunge, there's a refurb shop my friend works at in Hopkins or St Louis Park. It's in a strip mall area at Excelsior and Blake Rd. Openbox TVs. You may find a nice deal there. When they run specials you're likely to find 42" 1080p LCD TVs for ~$400.

The TVs generally don't shine like they're new, they may have scuff marks around the casing. But the display is good and that's what counts.

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lots of options for not too much money, these days

here's a few examples from sam's club

37" Vizio 1080p LCD HDTV

40" Philips LCD 1080p

42" Vizio LCD 1080p HDTV

40" Sony Bravia LCD

42" JVC LCD Teledock

$658 after $70 Instant Savings* 47" Vizio LCD

46" JVC LCD Teledock

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Post The Saga Continues 
Did some power shopping yesterday, hoping to nail something down prior to the Super Bowl.

Interesting encounter with Sears. Found a good deal at their online site for a $899 LCD marked down to $549, a model with good reviews at Consumer Reports and elsewhere. Sears also has a current special with rewards points multiplied by 5 (convertible to cash on future purchases), but only in store purchases get the special multiplier.

Went to my local Sears. After an extensive search, found the model in question on display. The DISPLAY MODEL was on sale for $719. I pointed this out to the salesperson, and noted that I could buy the same model new for $549 online from Sears- and showed them a printed copy of the online ad. I also noted, while waiting, that the same model was shown in this week's print ad for $699- so they were actually selling a used model there for $20 more than the sale price for a new one.

The salesperson danced me around for some time, and talked about availability and inventories and incoming new models next month. Bottom line was that so many are allocated per region, and none are available in the Twin Cities. When you try to purchase the online $549 special, it tells you that delivery is not available in your zip code.

Talk about bait and switch. I left, disgusted. Best Buy had the same TV on sale for $699 next door. They refused to match the advertised special from Sears, even for their floor model which was also marked down a little further.

But...Amazon has the same TV on sale for $549, with free shipping and no sales tax.

I think I'll go that route, even if it doesn't show up by Super Sunday. The brick and mortar folks need to get their act together.

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Great move to pick Amazon.

Take a free trial of Amazon Prime - gets you 2 day shipping for free on any purchase.

Then pay the small extra money to upgrade to 1 day shipping.

You stand a good chance of having it on Friday.

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Wound up biting the bullet and buying the TV from Amazon. Wasn't eligible for Prime, but that's ok, because I hate recurring automatic billings. Still saved about $300 from MSRP and about $150 from the Sears or Best Buy sale price, plus no sales tax and free shipping.

Don't mind being the beneficiary of their status, but I'm still pretty amazed that these online retailers continue dodging the sales tax burden. We see the increase in online shopping growing rapidly, so the loss of revenues to state and local governments are continuing to climb. I suppose they can argue that they get few if any services from local governments, but it's hard to imagine that the continued loss of cash flow isn't aggrievating already strapped state finances.


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It seems very defendable that on-line merchants - especially when shipping out of state - have no sales tax obligation to their state of residence nor the state where the package is delivered.

Neither state did anything to help the business.

On line/mail order/phone sales are a whole different animal from bricks and mortar business. I think they should be formally granted tax-free (sales tax) status.

Bricks and mortar stores have their own unique costs but also their own advantages. Lots of people still want to go see the product in person and talk to someone who knows about it - note to retailers, if your salesmen are idiots don't be suprised if your customer base goes mail order. Also the ability to have the product right now - not tomorrow, 2 or 3 days from now, or 6-8 weeks from now.

PS what model # did you buy/Amazon ASIN and please review it here, once you've had a little while to see how you like it.

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Yesterday's experiences were an eye opener. I was astonished that Sears wouldn't even match its own online price, or even honor the sales prices on the flyers they had stacked in the entryway of their own store. I guess they'll never know how they shot themselves in the foot by wasting my time driving over there.

I was also rather surprised that Best Buy's sale prices were still higher than other competitors, and that even their open box prices weren't really great deals. One open-box tv I saw was only marked down about 10% from new in box merchandise. IMHO you're asking for a fair amount of faith from a customer who purchases your products that have been sold and returned by another customer, and the discount should reflect that.

I also saw more stupidity from a floor manager in an out of state Best Buy. I was shopping for a washing machine for my mom, and saw an open box model on sale. Let's say the initial price was $379, and this particular unit was on clearance for $279. But.....that model was already on sale for $329, and this unit had noticable physical damage. I pointed this out to the guy, and he told me "it's already been marked down $100, and that's all we can do." It did me no good to point out that it had already been marked down $50 for the sale price, and that any fool could come in and buy a new and perfect unit for $50 more than they were asking for the damaged one. Arghhhhh....

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Post Panasonic TC-L42u25 

This was the model I bought. After talking to a couple of sales guys and reading a lot on the Net, a 1080 p model with 120H refresh rate LCD seemed like a good mix of value and performance.
One complaint that seemed fairly universal on the big screens was the poor performance of the standard built in speakers. Seems they just about require you to shuck out another $200 or more for a speaker bar to plug in and provide decent sound.

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An excellent buy. If this is your first high definition TV, you will enjoy a whole new world of TV entertainment. I highly recommend getting a DVD player that plugs in via HDMI. The picture difference, even on a non-high def DVD is nothing short of amazing. We watched Scrooge with Albert Finney on our 1080P TV via our XBox 360. It's a whole new movie.

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Post Eye Popping Amazon 

I had no idea this company was this big. Looks like they're on track for $50 billion in annual revenues. Zounds!

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