Buying a TV, please send help

Hello! I’m thinking about buying a nice big TV for my living room so I can have people over for movie nights. I know absolutely nothing about buying a TV. How can I get the best deal for my money? Where should I get it? Should I order it online or would that be absurd of me? How can I get a real nice standalone TV with built in speakers that won’t get all buzzy and awful?

What kinda TVs do y’all have that you like?

Depends on your price range. I feel like, similar to when I bought a TV ten years ago, 1k-1.5k is the sweet spot if you want to be picky.

Back then I (well, my wife who had the higher-paying job!) bought a 42" plasma TV for $1250 and I wasn’t tempted for a decade. Now that translates to a 55" OLED TV for roughly the same price. The TV I recently bought is the 55" LG B7 (last year’s model, which are being closed out now) for $1250.

OLED is perfect blacks and correspondingly insanely vibrant color. It’s amazing and I love it. Downsides are motion (games at low frame rates are more likely to look like a collection of static images because the display doesn’t ‘blink’ like plasma or even LCD to an extent; I’ve noticed this on a proportion of console games. Games at 60 FPS don’t exhibit this, nor do 24 FPS movies. In general though, it’s very good for games as it has a low input lag and treats saturated colors as royally as it does natural ones) and burn-in, which seems to effect people prone to anxiety (as in, I don’t think it’s a big deal and don’t worry about it but some people are unhappy because they worry).

If you go with these you also have the option of the C7; the only difference is the better built-in speaker (the picture is identical). This year’s models apparently have a better processor which yields almost no results.

Personally, I wouldn’t be happy with an LCD TV and would have looked for a used Plasma had mine broken and OLED’s weren’t within my price range.

I’ve heard that people looking in the $600-$800 price range go for the TCL6-series as an above-its-class LCD (bright, many local dimming zones). Apparently a decent number aren’t great, but if you’re willing to exchange it if you get a bum one people are happy.

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Are OLED TVs actually OLED now, or is that still just the backlighting?

Fully self-emissive pixels, so true black emits no light. It’s crazy to watch the demo videos in a dark room; I got the experience I had a new set of eyeballs far better than my natural ones.

It also makes old games look much better – early arcade games flashing their simple colors on a pure black screen are stunning (Night Drive, Defender, Robotron, for example), and vector games with Mame’s vector shaders are astounding.

A little space game called Galak-Z looks great too (Jake’s strength has always been colors)!


Oh man you’re really selling me on OLED. I’m torn over whether to get a TV now, or a year from now when I move in to a new place with my GF. I wonder if OLED TVs are likely to go down enough in price in a year to justify waiting.

avoid smart tvs if this is still possible in 2018
they were at ‘even if you keep them offline they constantly look for unsecured wifi to display ads and transmit personal information in the clear’ levels of scummy last time i looked into it

i have a 2015 bravia and it’s really nice


I think the B8, C8 models might end up around $200 lower than the 2017 B7, C7 are currently if you wait a year. Price drops apparently happen at Black Friday, Superbowl Sunday, and then March until the old year is gone.

Next tech on the horizon is HDMI 2.1; best feature for games is support for variable-rate refresh which will likely be supported on next consoles; it’s looking like it won’t be until 2020 TVs that it starts showing up. LCD screens are getting brighter but OLEDs seem to have mostly plateaued so you’re not missing a display revolution if you jump. Personally I don’t believe an LCD TV will ever be satisfying next to fundamentally different tech like plasma and OLED.

I was extremely skeptical of the smart TV features but it’s well done on this next to the PS4 I was using and less adtrusive, so I’m comfortable with it until I read something scary about LG smart TVs.

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How’s the audio from the built in speaker in your B7?

After years of living with the same cheapo 11” SD CRT, I recently bought a 50” Samsung MU6300. In my dreams I would have found something non-smart and with a ton of composite and component inputs but that wasn’t in the cards for 2018. I really dig it. The small amount of 4K stuff I’ve been able to watch on it looks nice. The shitty motion smoothing is easy to turn off. There’s a per input “game mode” that I forget to disable on my PS3 when I’m watching movies on it. And as of yesterday the xfinity streaming app finally came out so I can actually watch the 5 cable stations I paid for.

I’ve got a decent set of speakers I’ve had for…gosh, fifteen years, so I plugged them in right away and have never heard the TV speaker. Apparently a better speaker is the main benefit to upgrading to the C-model, but I believe I read you’re better off putting that money towards speakers or a sound bar.

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Man, I just realized I should definitely wait until I find out who’s moving into my place this September, cuz one of them might bring a TV with them. So I guess my televisual dreams will be on hold for a little bit!

Perhaps the thing to do is pay off the rest of my student loans and then celebrate with an opulent OLED TV purchase.

CNET is generally pretty good about rating TVs. RTings is the only site which tells/shows viewing angles for every tv they review. And they also really push input lag.

The Vizio M series is best bang for the buck in overall picture quality in LCDs and you can get em real big for aggressive pricing. Sony has a couple LCDs with low input lag and still nice picture, but are smaller, around 55 inch. And they cost more than Vizio.

OLED are getting cheaper all the time. LG nearly owns the market on these. As Sony and other brands generally cost more for zero benefit.

As a big fan of Plasma, I would just save for an LG OLED. Because very few LCDs have good viewing angles and the ones which do, are probably gonna hit OLED price range anyway. Also, OLED have perfect blacks (even better than Pioneer Kuro plasmas) and pretty respectable input lag.

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I finally jumped on the UHD50 because the canadian price briefly dropped below the US price and it rules

I watched Annihilation on my folks’s LG C7 and it made me regret my projector until the next time I played split-screen Mario Kart where each player had a 50" diagonal quartile.


Yeah, most TVs people have are just ok and we get used to it. But it’s really something to watch or play a TV with a truly great black level. My brother’s pioneer Kuro just sucks you in. The colors arent even that accurate. But it don’t matter when the depth is thaaat good. My LG plasma has perfect color and viewing angles. And a better black level than a lot of LCDs. But it holds no candle to a Kuro. And OLED are even better. It’s like whaaaaaaaaat???

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i remember the hype around kuro and the angst when they were discontinued like ten+ years ago, are they still that good by modern standards?

I got a kuro. it was up until a just a few years ago reviews were still saying they would still win out picture wise if they were still around and you could get them in sizes tvs come in nowadays, but I think at this point their day is over. but it drives me nuts that reviews for new fancy oleds will still mention “slight motion blur” or whatever when watching movies at 24fps compared to plasmas. I’m waiting for qled and hdmi 2.1 and good hdr support before I get any new display and I need a monitor more anyway. just reading about them those nvidia tv’s at some tech show recently were the first displays that finally sounded close to worth the effort of getting something new to me.

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Don’t get too lost in the weeds over buying a TV. They more or less all look the same. I just bought a 55 inch 4k for like 400 bucks from Costco and it looks great. Don’t be bourgeois my friend.


only buying projectors, much like only buying ITX motherboards, helps to constrain your choices nicely

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I would love a good projector, because I could then also take it to other venues to screen my films. But I definitely don’t have the wall space. And, living in Boston, I can’t be counted on to move into any places with the right wall space.