Hoping for a straight forward answer, but willing to entertain informed opinion if this needs to be moved to IMHO:
I have an old 27" CRT which won’t turn on anymore. I was watching it and it started turning off and on a couple times on it’s own and then it turned off and refused to turn back on again. I assume it’s a problem with the power related part of the tv and that the tube itself is fine. I was thinking about getting it repaired since other than the power problem it’s still in fine shape, but since similar CRTs are only $300-400 new this would only make sense if the repair was around $150 or less. The TV repair place refuses to give any kind of estimate over the phone however. Anyone have an idea of how costly a repair this is likely to be and if it’s going to end up being cheaper just to get a new TV?
My Mom has been saving up for a new TV, the large and HDTV kind. Anyone have any recommendations with regards to LED/LCD vs plasma vs rear projection, the various I’s and P’s and related numbers, where is likely to be inexpensive, what tricky things most people don’t know to look for, and any other factors to consider?
For your mom’s HDTV, just as a piece of general advice, make sure she sees what SD shows look like on a given model before settling on it. My dad’s HDTV looks fine for HD shows, but SD looks like utter crap. HD may be the future and all, but if your mom watches any reruns of old shows or channels without SD feeds, it’s really something to consider.
I imagine this would depend partly on the method the tv uses for enlarging the image? One thing I really dislike on any TV is when it has that “lossy jpeg” look, which I gather is not limited to SD signals.
Modern CRT televisions can be surprisingly cheap to have repaired. They consist of just the CRT itself (which rarely goes bad first), a circuit board or two (bad chip on it is common and not expensive to fix) and power supply (moderate as usually replaced not repaired). In the past five or ten years or so I had a couple tube TVs fixed for less than $75 total each.
Regards to HDTVs:
[li]Rear projections serve only two purposes- Small ones exist because they are the cheapest kind of HDTV (because they have the worst picture), and really huge ones exist (measured in diagonal feet!) because right now they’re the only kind that can be that big.[/li][li]LCDs are fast replacing Plasmas because they’re no more expensive anymore and have a slightly better picture.[/li][li]All models are at least 720p resolution, for a little more (relative to the total price) other models will go up to 1080i which is the highest broadcast resolution right now.[/li][li]Size is everything! If you’re going for 40" or less 720p is fine, anything bigger and you should spring the extra for a 1080i model.[/li][li]Don’t be too lured by 32" or smaller’s cheap prices, even the hi-def picture will actually be shorter than your last tube TV (and the hi-def will be significantly less noticeable), and an SD 4:3 show will have a much smaller picture than a regular big-screen CRT TV.[/li][li]In regards to SD shows looking really crappy, it isn’t a matter of some brands being better. Any HDTV size 40" or larger is going to have a noticeably inferior picture when showing SDTV. Its just the way it is, SD was never designed to be stretched that big![/li][li]If you still have a Circuit City near you advertising cheap big-screen TVs don’t bother. Their ‘cheap’ is the same as Best Buy’s regular (and sometimes its more!)[/li][li]Get a surge protector for it! Power surges can kill these things and its not covered by warranty![/li][/ul]
Just give you my experience. My ten-year-old (at thet time) TV gave out on 9/09/01 (a Sunday) and I called a repair service who picked it up on 9/10, repaired it for under $150 and returned it on 9/12, so that we missed seeing the horror on TV (although we had radio). It has worked perfectly since. I am sort of hoping it would give out so that I could justify the layour for an HD LCD TV, but they get cheaper all the time so I live with this one.
On the latter, all I have done is go to a big box store that has many models and look for the best picture. I don’t know that anything else matters, except the price. Choose your size and go looking. I suspect they will all last this side of forever, so this will be the last TV I ever buy.
Yeah, I knew they were closing but not sure if they completely had yet. I mentioned it because they were all advertising great “going out of business” deals on flat screens, but their prices were a joke. They were selling demos with absolutely no recourse for the same price as Best Buy’s fully warrantied new stuff!