Best LCD TV Buying Guide – Part I

You made a smart choice in deciding to buy an LCD TV over a plasma. Plasma TVs are not optimal for well lit rooms. Also, they consume excessive energy and do have some issues with burn in, especially with PC and gaming use. Ever see a Plasma computer monitor? The answer is no! I would like to thank you for coming to my site and giving me the opportunity to deliver the information you need to make a buying decision. Let us focus on the best LCD TV buying options for your needs!

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Size

LCD TVs come in sizes from 5″ to the 108″ Sharp LB-1085 costing six figures! Realistically speaking, the largest consumer LCD TV is 65 inches. Living room HDTVs should be at least 40 inches and a bedroom TV should be at least 30 inches. No one regrets that they bought too big of a TV, the remorse is usually when they get a smaller one. A great living room LCD HDTV would be the Samsung LN46B650. A bedroom TV to consider would be the LG 32LD350.

Keep in mind a seating distance of about 1.5X to 2X the screen width. HDTVs are 16:9 ratio but sizes are measured diagonally. To quickly approximate screen width, subtract about 2 inches from the diagonal measure.

For example, a 46 inch LCD is about 44 inches wide. You should ideally sit 66 – 88 inches back, or about 5.5 to 7.5 feet for the best effect

Keep this in mind when sizing a TV.

Inputs

Assure you have at least one HDMI for your Blue-Ray player or Cable box. The more the better, or you will have to purchase a switching box. A VGA or DVI input is good for connecting your laptop, and of course component, s-video and composite inputs for older equipment is essential. Look at the specs and the equipment you own, and ideally look for a TV with 1 or 2 more inputs than what you have.

Matte vs. Glossy

If you have a bright room, go for matte. If you are watching at night or in a room with no sun, go glossy. The best LCD TVs are generally glossy, delivering a punchy, coruscated picture in a dim room. Be prepared to buy curtains if there is too much sun during the day if you choose a glossy screen. Otherwise, the picture will wash out and contrast ratio will plummet.

Contrast Ratio

Most name brand, decent LCD HDTVs have good contrast ratios. As a rule of thumb look for numbers over 40,000:1. Do not obsess over small differences in CR(my rule of thumb is a factor of 10). For more information read this article about contrast ratio. If you want to keep life simple, just aim for the 40K number.

LED vs CCFL

If aren’t considering the local dimming LED (be sure to know what led type you are getting) variety, you are better off getting a larger CCFL TV (traditional) for the extra money. If you have a larger budget go with the LED. Review this article for more information about LED and CCFL if you are interested. One LED TV to consider is the Samsung UN55C700.

Refresh Rate

Look for a TV with a 120Hz rate. Beyond that spec you will not be able to tell the difference. If you are a movie buff, be certain the LCD TV has a 24Hz movie mode. Your local theater runs film at 24 frames per second and you want to preserve that effect for your DVDs and Bluray! Honestly, this feature sometimes takes a bit of work (changing settings) to achieve this effect. Look for words like “motion flow”, “dejudder processing” or “automotion” when buying a TV.

You will be able to turn off these effects if necessary. For example, they may add lag when playing games. Without going into details, 240Hz+ TVs do not offer major improvements in picture quality, and the real world difference does not justify the excess price. This is the consensus of other professional reviewers and my personal observation. The LG 42LD520 stood out for me as a winner for fast action. The LD520 series is consistently cited on the web for high performance in the gaming and action sports area.



Continue on to Best LCD TV Buying Guide, Part II


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LCD HDTV Buying Guide – Part II

Continued from Best LCD TV Buying guide, Part I

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Viewing Angles

If you are buying a quality name brand TV, do not pay too much attention to this spec. All LCDs look horrible if viewed from an extreme offset angle. At normal viewing distances and positions there should be no issue.

Resolution

If you on on a tight budget, don’t pass up a quality 720p set. Blind tests were done with experts and some were not able to tell the difference. Under 40″ there is generally no difference. Most LCD sets are 1080p, however. The lg 32ld350 is a great 720p TV if you are on a budget. The LG 350 series is an economical family of TVs and a best LCD TV pick with a great picture. Some networks are actually broadcast in 720p, so there is no additional processing required for the picture.

Optional features

Some of the midrange to pricey TVs offer web applications such as Skype, Netflix and Twitter. Be aware that many devices such as PS3s and TiVo offer these features. Be sure you have a router with Ethernet cable or Wifi to take advantage of this. TVs can also show photos, play mp3s and accept flash memory. Again, this shouldn’t be a make or break decision to buy the TV. The Samsung UN55C700 even offers 3D viewing! 3D TVs generally require glasses, and are the best LCD TVs (feature wise) available on the market today.

If you are considering gaming, be sure to get a TV that has sufficient HDMI inputs and has the lowest response times (2.5ms for example).

Finally, here are some other pointers. Get a surge protector, I’ve seen televisions get destroyed from power surges. If you really want to go the extra mile, get a whole house surge protector. Installed, it may cost less than buying two or three top quality plug in ones!

Do not buy expensive HDMI cables, but don’t buy them at the dollar store either. This is a profitable upsell and will provide NO picture quality difference, especially with HDMI. A poor HDMI cable will render an unwatchable picture, so either it works or it don’t. Consider amazon.com or monoprice.com for cables, switchers and accessories.

I suggest looking at stands on Amazon as well, you can buy the TV at the same time.

Warranty issues

I suggest buying from a reputable merchant like Amazon.com. They offer free shipping, they are an authorized seller, and have a fair return policy. Also, I strongly suggest buying the TV with your American Express card or a card that doubles the manufactures warranty. You will be glad you did if you need to use it. Ever read a review saying…”it was just out of warranty…?” You don’t want to be in that situation!

Extended Warranty

LCD TVs are generally very reliable, and if they survive the period of the manufactures warranty and the credit card warranty they will generally last. I have an LCD TV that is 10 years old and it works like new!

I do not not buy extended warranties, I take the money and throw it in a bank account. Not exactly TV related, but Whirlpool offers to cover appliances for about $100/yr for 15 years (more if you choose shorter terms). Does it makes sense to pay $1500 to cover a $700 stove? Keep this in mind.

If an LCD TV does break, it is usually an inverter or back light. This shouldn’t cost more than $250. Then again, if you buy a $3000 LCD TV with LED back lighting, a warranty may be a good idea. Also AMEX will add one year to that as well!

Now take this knowledge, and start shopping for the best LCD TV that will give you viewing pleasure for years to come:



Consider buy.com with 45 day returns and free shipping for your LCD TV Shopping Needs:
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TCL L40FHDF11TA-L32HDF11TA LCD

A TCL Best LCD TV in the 40 inch LCD TV class!

The price and value can’t be beat! #1 Amazon Seller in TVS! Top 5 in Entire Electronics Category

Rated [3.9 / 5] by 366 customers
3.9

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TCL L40FHDF11TA 40-Inch 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV with 2-Year Warranty, Black
Our staff is always on the prowl for the best deals in TV. Well look what we have here. While this is not a famous name brand TV, we were amazed to read so many good reviews on this product.

Also, our researcher found out that that this TV is manufactured by TTC corporation. They have been around since 1981, and have been the OEM manufacturer of RCA televisions since 2004. They are now selling under their own brand and offering a two year warranty on their products. We also found information that the panel is indeed made by Samsung, that speaks for itself!

These televisions are geared toward the average viewer who is not interested in all the bells and whistles that more expensive TVs offer. Many of those features end up unused anyway. The reviews on this set are on par with TVs costing hundreds more! Before saying more, I think the price tells it all:

For the 40 inch:

Do not miss this amazing current offer at Amazon, where purchases over $25 come with Free shipping to your door! Amazon has prices so low that the manufactures will not allow them to be published! They also offer a 14 day TV Low Price Guarantee! Why shop further?
You may even be able to select competing merchants which have the lowest price! Click here to get the deal!

For the 32 inch:

Do not miss this amazing current offer at Amazon, where purchases over $25 come with Free shipping to your door! Amazon has prices so low that the manufactures will not allow them to be published! They also offer a 14 day TV Low Price Guarantee! Why shop further?
You may even be able to select competing merchants which have the lowest price! Click here to get the deal!

The 32-Inch TCL L32HDF11TA is a 720p LCD HDTV while the 40-Inch TCL L40FHDF11TA is a full 1080p. They both share the following specs:

Who is this TV for?
While we normally suggest premium “best” TVs that are more expensive, this TV is for the budget minded consumer who needs a quality, basic viewing experience. We do not suggest this TV for a videophile, there are other TVs on the site that would better suit your needs. This would make a great second, basement, or bedroom TV. Then again, many people would be more than happy with this set as their main TV. The price and feedback are unmatched. We have seen a few unhappy comments, but we consider the feedback above average for an LCD TV(even brand names have bad feedback). Amazon has a no questions asked 30 day return policy.

The TV has some helpful features like USB and HDMI 1.3. Another great idea would be buying one for a computer monitor, especially the 40″ 1080p unit! It is also energy star compliant, so that can save you a few bucks.

I suggest buying a TV with an AMEX or a card with an extended warranty benefit. This gives an additional one year extension on any warranty you have (even extended ones!). Also, if the company does not follow thru with their warranty, the credit card will come thru! Make a note a note in your owners manual of this.

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Here’s what one of the owners had to say about the TCL L32HDF11TA 32-Inch 720p 60 Hz LCD HDTV

The panel on this TV is made by Samsung, and the quality is excellent. , TCL’s website has a find service center location search and it is quite extensive Based on the two year warrantee, what I am seeing with my TV and Amazons excellent delivery, I’m giving this set a Best Buy rating UPDATE 11/16/2010 .. this set is just plain excellent ….
Update 11/17/2010 .. it’s a bit tiresome getting messages from folks who 1) don’t have the TV and want to slam it in a public review 2)Know little to nothing about TV’s .. I had an electronic repair business for 10 years and I’ve worked on a lot of TV’s .. so I know what I’m talking about .. any TV by any maker is not 100% perfect 100% of the time .. I stand by the fact that this is a great set . (willy)
Review paraphrased for size – Click here to read this and more reviews!


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UN55C7000

A Samsung Best LCD TV in the 55 inch LCD TV class!

New! Video Review Added

Rated [4.1 / 5] by 95 customers
4.1

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Samsung UN55C7000 55-Inch 1080p 240 Hz 3D LED HDTV (Black)
Did you ever wonder what would happen if you combine the internet, 3d picture capability and a stunning/immersive viewing experience? The answer would be nothing less than the Samsung UN55C7000.

Boasting the latest LED technology, with local dimming, this cutting edge LCD HDTV provides an incredible 6,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio assuring reference blacks and the most realistic picture that will literally jump off your screen. This LCD TV is of the best of the best available today. Remember the Jetsons? This TV has skype with video conferencing. Imagine calling your friends and family and seeing their faces on this massive TV!

After personally seeing this Television in a retail setting next to its competitors, it became apparent to me that it is best LCD TV in its class, and probably best in the store! Tweaking picture settings somewhat delivered an image beyond explanation. The sheer size of this LCD is just too great for words – the next step seems almost your local cinema!

If you put curtains and trim around this TV, you could mistake it for a window! The other absolutely amazing feature was 3D! I tried on special glasses that have a rechargeable battery and I just wasn’t prepared for what I saw! I felt like I stepped into an alternate reality with objects literally falling out of the screen! This TV is definitely on my Christmas List, and a best LCD TV pick!

Do not miss this amazing current offer at Amazon, where purchases over $25 come with Free shipping to your door! Amazon has prices so low that the manufactures will not allow them to be published! They also offer a 14 day TV Low Price Guarantee! Why shop further?
You may even be able to select competing merchants which have the lowest price! Click here to get the deal!

LEDs provide an advantage over traditional CCFL backlights, because they can precisely control light output anywhere on the screen, creating amazing black and shadow levels. This closes the gap between the older CRT TVs(which have perfect blacks) and new flatscreen technology.

LEDs also emit a purer white light, resulting in amazing color fidelity! With available active 3d glasses, you can enter a milieu where reality and the virtual world meet. Combined with the 55 inch screen the Samsung UN55C7000 viewing experience becomes surreal! This TV becomes your magic window on the world, and with the internet apps you can shop, view videos and more!

Here is my power buying tip: Don’t forget to buy with AMEX or a card with an extended warranty benefit so you get an additional one year extension on any warranty you have (even extended ones!). Make a note a note in your owners manual of this.

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Samsung UN55C7000 Specs:

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Samsung UN55C7000 Connections:


Here’s what one of the owners had to say about the Samsung UN55C7000 55-Inch 1080p 240 Hz 3D LED HDTV

GREAT TV!! Was debating between several TV’s…, VERY happy went with this Samsung. First – it is amazing how slim this TV is. The picture quality is amazing – though there are a lot of personalized settings..to get the ‘perfect’ picture for you. – colors are amazing. 3d feature is cool – but 3d movies WAY too expensive. .. – but children LOVE it (kind of like roller coasters I guess). Anyhow – would STRONGLY RECOMMEND this tv to anyone in the market – so many additional features .. – TV has online – easy to use, samsung apps, netflix etc all right from your tv! (lefty)
Review paraphrased for size – Click here to read this and more reviews!


Here is a video review about this TV:

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LG 32LD350

An LG best LCD TV in the 32 inch LCD TV class!

Rated [4.5 / 5] by 266 customers
4.5

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LG 32LD350 32-Inch 720p 60 Hz LCD HDTVA smart, inexpensive way to get into high-definition entertainment, the 32-inch LG 32LD350 LCD HDTV offers a 720p HD resolution, and multiple AV Modes to optimize the picture depending on what you’re watching (Cinema, Sports, or Games).

720p LCD TVs offer a major savings advantage with a picture that can be mistaken for a 1080p, especially at a 32in size. Many publications have done blind tests and even experts were confused! This TV can also double as a computer display! The LG 32LD350 has an IPS (In Plane Switching) panel, which is superior to many 1080p units with higher resolution, unless you spend hundreds more.

Forget dull, washed out scenes! The dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000:1 delivers more stunning colors and deeper blacks than you can imagine. Dynamic contrast is a major improvement over older LCDs, where contrast ratio can be precisely tailored to the picture by controlling lamp intensity. Blacks and colors will never look better.

LG’s ISFccc Ready HDTVs contain the detailed standards necessary for professional calibration of brightness, contrast, tint, sharpness, color levels and much more to meet local lighting conditions for both day and nighttime viewing. The LG 32LD350 can give you a cinema quality picture by tweaking a few settings! Settings are added to preset modes for easy access from your LG remote. This is one of the best LCD TV sets in its class!

Do not miss this amazing current offer at Amazon, where purchases over $25 come with Free shipping to your door! Amazon has prices so low that the manufactures will not allow them to be published! They also offer a 14 day TV Low Price Guarantee! Why shop further?
You may even be able to select competing merchants which have the lowest price! Click here to get the deal!

Other features include Three HDMI inputs, so you don’t need a separate switcher, a 4ms (millisecond) response time, assuring no lag or artifacts, stereo speakers with 14 watts of power, and Dolby Digital decoding. This TV has a great reputation and produces a stunning picture!

Here is my power buying tip: Don’t forget to buy with AMEX or a card with an extended warranty benefit so you get an additional one year extension on any warranty you have (even extended ones!). Make a note a note in your owners manual of this.

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LG 32LD350 Specs:

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LG 32LD350 Connections:


Here’s what one of the owners had to say about the LG 32LD350 32-Inch 720p 60 Hz LCD HDTV:

I bought this TV couple of months ago….. What a stunning picture quality it has. It stood out from all the TVs on display around it due to it’s vivid color and crisp picture. We bought it immediately and no regret. We love the picture quality. I bought a home theater system to complement it’s picture quality and now we have stunning picture with amazing sound… the sound is now balanced and there is no shocking sound level increase during the commercials. The remote is nice and I like the quick setup button…with most frequently used settings. Shekhar
Review paraphrased for size – Click here to read this and more reviews!



A video review:

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