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A TV for the Family, a Camera for Mom

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  • A TV for the Family, a Camera for Mom

    Hey guys! First off, it's has been decided that it's time for my family to get a new TV. Right now, we have an old 4:3 TV and with broadcasts going widescreen, it's time to step-up.

    So far, I've used the CNET HDTV Buying Guide.

    We are looking around the $2000 range, but going a bit higher isn't that big of an issue, if it delivers better quality or other useful features. Judging by the maximum viewing distance, we need a TV that is around 47" or 50", and I know that we want a 1080p TV. Judging by the viewing angles, an LCD TV should be fine. I'll be really honest, I have no idea where to start.


    On another note, my mom's old Kodak easy share digital camera broke. This thing was very old, and it took quite a bit of convincing to get my mom to give up her film.

    I'm looking for a very easy to use camera with a minimal amount of buttons. It should use an SD card because we already have an ample supply lying around. I'm looking around the $200 range. Here's what I'm looking at:

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS15
    Nikon CoolPix S230
    Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290

    Thanks in advance for the advice!

  • #2
    Re: A TV for the Family, a Camera for Mom

    Well, I'm no expert at buying TVs by any means, but I bought a Vizio 47" LCD HDTV about a year ago and it's fantastic. I use it as my monitor for my computer, xbox 360, and PS3 as well. The warranty through vizio is very nice and their tech people are VERY knowledgeable (I had a defective TV when I first got it, after a little over-the-phone troubleshooting they overnighted me a voucher to get a new one for free). My TV has 2 HDMI connections, 2 HD component connections, 2 standard audio/video component connections, one s-video and 2 cable inputs. I think I paid 700 bucks for it.


    • #3
      Re: A TV for the Family, a Camera for Mom

      You came to the right place man.
      I have been doing tons of research on TVs the past month so when I finally bother the wife enough about it she will say "just buy the damn thing". :D :D :D

      I've posted most of the links I might post below in the forum here before, and many more, so you might want to do a search. But first up start with this one:
      Giz Explains: The Ultimate HDTV Cheat Sheet and Buying Guides

      I actually talked the wife into reading it so she could easily understand most of what I wanted to talk to her about to see what she wanted. Just a great and easy to read article about all the things to look for. They have also posted :Giz Explains: The Difference Between a $600 TV and a $6000 TV and Giz Explains: What's So Great About LED-Backlit LCDs among others.

      Cnet is also a good source, as are many of the reviews on Amazon, though there you also get a lot of the "Don't buy this TV cause it SUCKS!!" reviews, and thats all they say with no explanation.

      But first thing you need to decide is if you want to wait 2-6 months for the next gen sets that were shown at CES ( my thread here: Official 2010 CES Show Thread with all the eye porn). There are some amazing sets that will be out, but there really is no telling when. Some might not even be out till like July or August, if the trend from the last 2 years continue. Others come out in March-May.

      But there are some really good sets out now as well. First thing you need to do is make sure how big of a TV you really want and can fit in your space. Lots of options like 46" from Sony, Samsung, and others, and 47" from LG. And lots of 52", 55" from everyone.

      Amazon posts this on all their TV pages:

      I have done a lot of planning, and while I could take a 55", if I want to remodel the living room the way the wife wants, will need to stick to 47" and down. You need to really look at what the future planes for your place are, and bigger is not always better. Also consider that for some reason when you are looking at a TV in the store, even the 55" ones don't seem too big. But when you get them home they are HUGE. I helped a buddy pick out a 46" samsung LN46a650 last year, and when we got it to his apt., it was way bigger than it had seemed in the store. Almost too big. Don't buy more TV than you really need. And while on the subject of seeing things in store, don't for a sec. believe what you see at a place like BestBuy. My buddies TV looked good in the store, but wow, when we calibrated it right it blew the store set away. I mean jaw on the floor difference. The sets at the store are all messed with by hundreds of people, and they are all running off the same source through who knows how many splitters. Plus, they come from the factory set to crazy brightness levels to attract your attention. There was an article a while back that said some stores actually adjust sets to look worse so that the ones that look the best are the ones they make the most profit off of, selling more of those sets.

      Then you have to read the articles about Plasma VS. LCD. I don't even want to touch that subject because you have people in both camps that feel very strongly one way or the other. In reality, both types have good point and bad points and some work better in some rooms than others. For instance, Plasmas don't do well in brightly lit room, they just don't go as bright as LCDs. But, Plasmas have some really dark dark blacks that LCD can't match. Look at your situation and the facts and decide, not about some random forum poster's opinion. Side note is the burn in problem with Plasma has pretty much been fixed. Also, Plasmas burn a LOT more power than a LCD, and TONS more than an LED set. They have mostly fixed that and power usage has come down, but some sets will still show a good bump in your power bill where a LCD won't. And last I heard California is looking to ban Plasmas that use too much power.

      That all being said, my dad just bough a Samsung Plasma, and I saw it for the first time about a month ago. Wow, it look awesome. And plasmas can be cheaper, and I have seen some really good deals lately. But the wife and I are into power conservation, and other things have me planning on a LCD set.

      There is a ton more to talk about, but my fingers are cramping up and I just realized I ranted way too much. Sorry, really into TVs at the moment.
      Read those articles above and post back with some thoughts and we can dig further.

      Also, go ahead and start looking at and View Item Price History Of Amazon, Best Buy And NewEgg [Google Chrome, Firefox].
      I am hitting the slickdeals forum like every 15 mins. the past few days so many sales about HDTVs are going on. Excuse me while I head over there now..................


      * *

      Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

      -Carlos A. Urbizo-


      • #4
        Re: A TV for the Family, a Camera for Mom

        DEFINITELY recommend the

        It's a hugely high-quality camera with a simple interface. Just make sure that, when you get it, you set it to take the highest-quality photographs in the menu.

        It actually is very powerful and can do a bunch of stuff if you know how, but it has an automatic mode and not too many buttons ;)


        • #5
          Re: A TV for the Family, a Camera for Mom

          Originally posted by Startrekern View Post
          DEFINITELY recommend the

          It's a hugely high-quality camera with a simple interface. Just make sure that, when you get it, you set it to take the highest-quality photographs in the menu.

          It actually is very powerful and can do a bunch of stuff if you know how, but it has an automatic mode and not too many buttons ;)
          I won't recommend a particular camera (although I'm really fond of Olympus cameras, even with their semi-proprietary memory cards), but I will suggest that you go with a digital camera made by a camera company. Although anecdotal, my wife owned a scrapbook shop and we dealt with a LOT of amateur photographers. There was definitely a trend with cameras made by consumer electronics companies to be of lesser quality than those made by camera companies.

          Personally, I would stick with Olympus, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Leica and maybe Kodak and Fuji.

          I've seen more Sony cameras have problems than any other. One evening, I saw three Sony cameras malfunction in a matter of hours. I'm sure someone will chime in with a story about how their Sony is the best camera they've ever had, and you might have great luck with them, but I've seen bad things happen with too many of them.

          Or, you could ignore my advice and go with advice from a pro: I used his Buying Guide with the features search to pick my last camera.
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          • #6
            Re: A TV for the Family, a Camera for Mom

            If you're on the lookout for a new television, you must do some research by reading the reviews especially the ones coming from the experts and compare LCD TV ratings for various brands. That way, you are assured that you will be getting the best value for your purchase. Just my 2 cents.




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