The big "How do I choose an HDTV?" thread.

I’ll plug my Sony x900e as a damn great TV in the same class as the Samsung, although a step above that Samsung. It’s not gonna compete with an OLED, but it’s also not going to break the bank.

Mostly, I’d use ratings.com and their comparison tool to compare various TVs. That can let you know if the cheaper models are worth the savings or not.

Yeah, I love my Sony x900e. The only thing I found a bit irksome is I believe only two of the inputs can present in HDR. For some reason, I missed that point when doing my research.

I'm waiting for OLEDs to get cheap enough to go bigger than 65".

If you want to use your basement TV and buy a cheap replacement for now, I'm pretty pleased with my TCL Roku TV. I bought a 43" 2017 for my office for the World Cup that will become our spare bedroom TV for just $279 plus tax. That's crazy cheap.

I'm not sure how the picture quality measures up, but it looks good even from three or four feet away, and the Roku interface is fantastic.

If the one in the basement is rarely used, just swap them and get another year out of the purple one?

Fedaykin98 wrote:

If you want to use your basement TV and buy a cheap replacement for now, I'm pretty pleased with my TCL Roku TV.

The TCLs are both cheap and have low input latency. For secondary TVs especially, I think they're the best thing going.

3 more purple spots have shown up (4 total now). Three left of center top to bottom and one in the right bottom corner. Even more disappointed with Samsung now but also I'm not surprised as others with the same issue reported the same thing once one shows up. My wife still hasn't noticed. This TV is on borrowed time.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a 50-55in TV in the $500-$800 range with lowish input lag? I don't care if it is a smart TV or not (can you even get dumb TVs anymore?).

If I was currently in the market I would probably go with the Visio E55-F1.

Wirecutter updated their LED/LCD pick to the Vizio P55-F1, which is in your $800 range. Reviews look good:

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/be...
https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/vi...

I'd definitely be looking at either the Vizios or TCLs. Low input latency all around.

I got a 2017 43" TCL that rtings recommended and I really liked it - mainly because it's a Roku TV and I loved the interface.

+1 for the TCL. Cheaper than Vizio and almost as good picture quality, and Roku is much better than Vizio's UI. Matters less if you plan to cast everything from your phone/tablet, though.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

+1 for the TCL. Cheaper than Vizio and almost as good picture quality, and Roku is much better than Vizio's UI. Matters less if you plan to cast everything from your phone/tablet, though.

I read all these references to "casting" stuff, but so far all I've ever done is plug tablets into my TV via HDMI. What am I missing? I've heard of using a Chromecast with an Android phone, but I don't have the former.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

+1 for the TCL. Cheaper than Vizio and almost as good picture quality, and Roku is much better than Vizio's UI. Matters less if you plan to cast everything from your phone/tablet, though.

I read all these references to "casting" stuff, but so far all I've ever done is plug tablets into my TV via HDMI. What am I missing? I've heard of using a Chromecast with an Android phone, but I don't have the former.

the Vizio has a Chromecast built in, so you can start a show on your mobile device and a button appears allowing you to cast it to the TV. Then the TV is streaming directly from the service provider, but you can still control it via your mobile device.

You can also do this with TCL's Roku TVs.

Nice! Too bad my main TV doesn't have that. I have considered getting a Roku for it, since I like the interface so much, but I don't really "need" one since I have an Xbox One and cables to connect my tablet.

I’m getting tired of waiting for the OLED 77 or 85 inch tv prices to fall, thinking about a stop gap of a 4K projector to tide me over. Anyone have experience with a sub $2000 4K projector they’d care to share? This’d be for gaming and movies. Also, any thoughts about a4k passthrough receiver?

jonnypolite wrote:

I’m getting tired of waiting for the OLED 77 or 85 inch tv prices to fall, thinking about a stop gap of a 4K projector to tide me over. Anyone have experience with a sub $2000 4K projector they’d care to share? This’d be for gaming and movies. Also, any thoughts about a4k passthrough receiver?

No personal experience but the Epson 4010 seems to hit a sweet spot for <$2k. Not sure what the input lag is though.

Glad to see the positive talk about the TCLs. I ordered the 65 inch R617 last week. It should arrive on Thursday along with my copy of RDR2.

jonnypolite wrote:

I’m getting tired of waiting for the OLED 77 or 85 inch tv prices to fall, thinking about a stop gap of a 4K projector to tide me over. Anyone have experience with a sub $2000 4K projector they’d care to share? This’d be for gaming and movies. Also, any thoughts about a4k passthrough receiver?

I have a Sony VW385es projector. Absolutely insane how the image quality looks. Looks better than my 75" 940D Sony TV. You can get the 285es for probably $3000. Check Cleveland Plasma. Not a retail store, but legit. I bought the projector from them and it came 3 days later.

It's hard for me to describe just how much getting a projector has changed my point of view on screens.

The idea that for $2000 you can put together a *very* good projector setup and have a 120 inch screen... just, man... screw TV's.

OLED is still king for just pure picture quality, there is genuinely nothing else like it, but more than doubling the size of the picture can make a person forget about that *really* fast.

Chairman_Mao wrote:
jonnypolite wrote:

I’m getting tired of waiting for the OLED 77 or 85 inch tv prices to fall, thinking about a stop gap of a 4K projector to tide me over. Anyone have experience with a sub $2000 4K projector they’d care to share? This’d be for gaming and movies. Also, any thoughts about a4k passthrough receiver?

No personal experience but the Epson 4010 seems to hit a sweet spot for <$2k. Not sure what the input lag is though.

~28ms on the input lag. Very decent in current TV terms. There are projectors in the ~16ms range but they're all 1080p as far as I know.

The Optoma UHD65 is down to $1800 and is generally well regarded but I think it's input lag is straight up bad. Like 70ms or something. Not 100% on that might be worth checking into in more detail.

I will say I love my Epson but it's the 5040ub. I'm not sure exactly how the 4010 compares. Newer, so I'd expect maybe more bells and whistles per dollar, but that's kind of Epson's strongest aspect to start with. I know projector central is planning to do a head to head with those two models.

Also, if you go that route, I'd suggest researching screen materials depending on the room you want to put it in.

Dyni wrote:

Glad to see the positive talk about the TCLs. I ordered the 65 inch R617 last week. It should arrive on Thursday along with my copy of RDR2.

I'm thinking I might pick up a 43" one this weekend for my office slash gaming PC room. I have an old 32" LCD TV in there that I use with a Roku stick for some TV watching in that room, but I'd like something nicer that I can plug my RetroPie and maybe some old consoles into and not rage about input lag. 2008 LCD TVs not the greatest in terms of input lag (not to mention this one has overscan that can't be deactivated).

Thanks, Thin_J! I’ll look into the Epson. Lag is my biggest concern.

I realized it just made more sense to switch back to a projector, and I finally got around to trying it out in the new basement. Since we moved, I’ve had it boxed, not sure what to do with it. I ran hdmi and power to the back wall when we did the remodel, but I was happy with my 65” plasma. Well, no more. I hooked up the old projector and it’s still awesome, and I have a big white wall where the tv is mounted, so I’m going with that for now. My old Carada screen is only 96”, might eventually get a larger one once it’s all set. I’ll post a pic after the cleanup, gotta unmount the tv and patch the wall. Very excited!

If you really want to stick to just using the wall there's an ever growing selection of paints designed specifically for projector use that will do great stuff vs just a plain white wall.

Can be had fairly cheaply as well. I've seen paint kits with enough to do 120+ inch screens for like $85.

If I replace my screen at any point I'll probably build my own. As long as you can find the actual screen material you want, generally you can get it and the stuff needed to frame out the screen you want for as little as 30% of the cost of buying one ready to assemble.

I built my own screen using a canvas/material I purchased from Carl's Place. Buy the version that is shipped rolled up in a tube. I think my diagonal is somewhere around 127". While I could've done a better job stretching the canvas, it looks great and the material definitely improves the picture.

Keep in mind that projectors have a run cost, beyond electricity... the bulbs wear out, and they cost several hundred dollars to replace. (They're really hard to make, so this is warranted.) When I last ran the numbers, I was getting back about ten cents an hour for "normal" bulb life, which means it could be more expensive if they were optimistic or you're unlucky, less expensive if those are reversed. This isn't terrible or anything, but a sudden expense of that magnitude, and the downtime involved in waiting for shipping, can be a little annoying.

For best life, never ever ever strike a warm bulb. Projectors all have this thing where they do this major cooling cycle right after you power the it down. This is actually somewhat bad for the bulb, a nice slow cooloff is a little better, but instead they into panic mode and try to get that bulb down to a reasonable temp as fast as they can. Why? Because they're terrified you might start the projector again while the bulb is warm. A cold bulb needs a huge wallop of incoming current to get started, and then its resistance drops off massively as it warms up. So if they hit the bulb with the full cold-start voltage when it's warm, that can wreak havoc on the filament, up to and including bulb explosion. Thus, it's best to always wait about an hour from the time you turn it off, to get that bulb stone cold, exactly room temperature, before you start it again.

Because of this, projectors are something you have to think about a little bit. You can't just sit down and watch them instantly anytime, you have to manage them a little. It's really their only drawback.

Well, that and the lag. The projector I owned (a nice one, about fifteen years ago) was terribly laggy, and I ended up giving up on it as a gaming device, which was my primary intended use for it. Kind of a bummer.

*Legion* wrote:
Dyni wrote:

Glad to see the positive talk about the TCLs. I ordered the 65 inch R617 last week. It should arrive on Thursday along with my copy of RDR2.

I'm thinking I might pick up a 43" one this weekend for my office slash gaming PC room.

I did this... and then I took the TV back.

Then I bought the 50" version instead.

43" was just not the right size for the space, but was an excellent TV otherwise.

My only complaint with the set is that some advanced picture controls are buried in the Roku phone app. That's dumb, but not onerous.

The built-in Roku is pretty much aces as far as smart TV function goes. Helps that I already use Roku devices on all my other TVs.

My 8 year old LG TV is on the fritz again. About 3 years ago, the HDMI inputs weren't working so I had to take the mainboard out and put it in the oven for 25 min to get it working again. Well 3 years later, it's doing the same thing. This time though, I just held a hair dryer to the HDMI chip for 25 min and it's working but who knows for how long.

I guess this is a better time than any for a TV to break down but now I have a choice to make.

Do I:
1) Get a 55" LG OLED/HDR C8 or E8 TV for around $1,800
or
2) Ger a 65" Vizio P-Series LED/HDR TV for around $1,300.

I guess a bigger screen or better picture quality is a personal choice for most people and one that I need to figure out soon!

Malor wrote:

Keep in mind that projectors have a run cost, beyond electricity... the bulbs wear out, and they cost several hundred dollars to replace. (They're really hard to make, so this is warranted.) When I last ran the numbers, I was getting back about ten cents an hour for "normal" bulb life, which means it could be more expensive if they were optimistic or you're unlucky, less expensive if those are reversed. This isn't terrible or anything, but a sudden expense of that magnitude, and the downtime involved in waiting for shipping, can be a little annoying.

For best life, never ever ever strike a warm bulb. Projectors all have this thing where they do this major cooling cycle right after you power the it down. This is actually somewhat bad for the bulb, a nice slow cooloff is a little better, but instead they into panic mode and try to get that bulb down to a reasonable temp as fast as they can. Why? Because they're terrified you might start the projector again while the bulb is warm. A cold bulb needs a huge wallop of incoming current to get started, and then its resistance drops off massively as it warms up. So if they hit the bulb with the full cold-start voltage when it's warm, that can wreak havoc on the filament, up to and including bulb explosion. Thus, it's best to always wait about an hour from the time you turn it off, to get that bulb stone cold, exactly room temperature, before you start it again.

Because of this, projectors are something you have to think about a little bit. You can't just sit down and watch them instantly anytime, you have to *think about* them a little. It's really their only drawback.

Well, that and the lag. The projector I owned (a nice one, about fifteen years ago) was terribly laggy, and I ended up giving up on it as a gaming device, which was my primary intended use for it. Kind of a bummer.

So to avoid dealing with bulbs they do have laser projectors now. I have some in a few of my classrooms. Wouldn't recommend the ones I have (NEC P502HL-2) for a living room/game room though because they are quite loud.

Tempest wrote:

Do I:
1) Get a 55" LG OLED/HDR C8 or E8 TV for around $1,800
or
2) Ger a 65" Vizio P-Series LED/HDR TV for around $1,300.

My 8 year old Vizio is also on Death Watch so I've been thinking about the same thing. I came to the conclusion that while I would **love** to get on the OLED train, I should opt for a less expensive (but still well regarded) TV. In my situation, it's not just the TV that needs to be upgraded - I have an Apple TV 4K, but everything else in my workflow is 1080p. I'll need a new Chromecast, Amazon box, Xbox One, and eventually my receiver needs to be replaced with something that supports 4K (and ideally will support Dolby Atmos... just in case.)

Your usecase is undoubtedly different, but if you're running a tighter budget just keep in mind all the other components that go into making your home theater experience!

Tempest wrote:

My 8 year old LG TV is on the fritz again. About 3 years ago, the HDMI inputs weren't working so I had to take the mainboard out and put it in the oven for 25 min to get it working again. Well 3 years later, it's doing the same thing. This time though, I just held a hair dryer to the HDMI chip for 25 min and it's working but who knows for how long.

I guess this is a better time than any for a TV to break down but now I have a choice to make.

Do I:
1) Get a 55" LG OLED/HDR C8 or E8 TV for around $1,800
or
2) Ger a 65" Vizio P-Series LED/HDR TV for around $1,300.

I guess a bigger screen or better picture quality is a personal choice for most people and one that I need to figure out soon!

If in the US, Costco will be offering the Vizio 65" PQ series for $1400 starting November 16. It's a pretty significant step above the p series.