Looking for a 37" TV, advice?

I’m finally going to enter the 21st century and replace my 27" CRT with a 37" flat panel.

Viewing distance is about 8’ and there are windows and lamps, so glossy screens are probably not going to work. It will not be used to play video games or watch sports and I don’t care either way about internet connectivity or audio quality. What I do want is good picture quality and a good viewing angle. Cheaper is better, within reason; figure $1000 for the upper end of the budget, but at that price it had better work well for 10-15 years.

The Panasonic TCL37E5 looks like it might fit the bill, but it’s a new model so reviews are few and far between. What other TVs should I consider, and are there any other criteria that I should be concerned with? Thanks.

Sony screens have matte finish. I have a 46" Sony Bravia and the picture is excellent. I know they have a 40" version, but I don’t think it goes down to 37". The frame around the screen is only about 1" wide on the sides and top, and of course it’s a flat panel. You might be surprised at how much smaller the TV looks compared with what you’d expect based on how big your CRT TV looks.

I have had a 42" Vizio for over two years, and it has an excellent picture with great viewing angle. The internal speakers are kind of wimpy though, but I think that is true for all flat screens. You will appreciate a sound bar or other separate sound system, especially for movies.

One other spec to consider; refresh frequency. 120mhz is noticeably superior to 60mhz, but 240mhz does not appear that much better than 120mhz. I think most LCD sets are now at least 120mhz, but some of the bargains advertised are still 60mhz.

Just Hz, not MHz.


I’ve got a Sony Bravia 37" lcd in a highly lit room with lamps and windows. Looks great all the time with zero reflections.
I also have a 60" Samsung plasma that is absolutely horrible with reflections. Any light source no matter how dim is reflected off it. That one is in a basement room with full room darkening shades.

Look online for reviews (here’s one) and make sure you only look at 37" sets, if that’s what you want. Message board opinions are largely useless for things like this. I have a Sharp that I like, but what does that mean?

Is 37" big enough for 8’? You could probably afford to go higher - unless you’re trying to match to furniture, in which case 37" will do.

I have a Bravia as well and I bought it for the matte finish - it faces a huge window at a 90 degree angle. I never have a problem with glare.

My parents have a Toshiba that sits perpendicular to two huge windows and I surprisingly never hear my dad complain about it. But I think the windows are pretty shaded.

I’m using a Panasonic C series 32": http://mbni.blogspot.com/2012/02/panasonic-th-l32c30s-32-lcd-tv.html I got it for about $400 (not sure about US prices). Very happy with it.

At 37" I don’t think many TVs have full HD (1080p). You might not be able to tell the difference anyway.
If you want good viewing angle, get one with IPS.
I noticed the price of TVs increase as: LCD, LED (thinner, use less power), 3D/smart TV (has Internet and other functions).
Decide on how many and what type of inputs you need. You might consider special inputs like USB and SD card. More HDMI is better.

I also have a Vizio 42" 120 hz. Love it, except for the speakers.

Another vote for Sony Bravia; we have a 48 and a 32. I like them a lot. Zero reflection. Also the matte screen means that when the set is off it doesn’t reflect everything in the room but rather fades into polite matte silence.

Thanks for the opinions. Matte finish sounds like it will be a must, and I will add Sony and Vizio to the list to check out. The 37" size is not a matter of furniture per se, but rather of room size and layout. Anything bigger just won’t fit. A letterbox movie is about 22" diagonally on my current set, so a 37" is going to huge in comparison.

I personally think Vizio is cheap junk. I can’t use the HDMI input on my own 22" because of a known issue with certain Vizios and Cisco (Comcast) cable boxes, and the backlight of my father’s 42" is cutting out after only 6 months.

I have seen a lot of smaller TVs with 1080P now.

I agreee with going with one that can do 120 Hz, especially if it can take a 1080P/24 input and multiply it directly to 120.

Just as a little more information, I don’t know anyone who regretted going bigger than they originally thought. I made the switch from 27" CRT to a 37" LCD about 5-6 years ago. It was only a week before I said, “Hmm. Coulda gone with the 42.” If you could possibly fit a larger one, you won’t regret it. My next one will definitely be bigger, and I think my viewing distance is shorter than yours if not the same.

For $1000, you can get an extremely good 55" last-year’s model. 8’ is really far away for just 37".