Recommend one of these flat panel LCD TVs please

I’m looking for a flat panel LCD to hang above our new fireplace, but alas, I know nothing about these things. However, I have found these four via Amazon that are pleasantly in my price range.

For those in the know, could you recommend one of these, or even warn me away from any of them? Feel free to suggest a good one too. I’m looking to spend a max of around $3000 (USD).

Assume I’m stupid- if you’ve got the time, I’d love to hear the pros and cons or what I should be looking for. Also, I’d appreciate it if you could tell me about any hidden costs (mounting kits, bulbs, etc.) that I probably wouldn’t be aware of.

Thanks in advance,

And here are the TVs in question:
Sharp LC-32G4U 32" AQUOS Flat-Panel LCD TV (Silver)

Panasonic TC-32LX20 32" WideScreen Flat Panel HDTV-Ready LCD TV

Toshiba 32HL83P 32" TheaterWide LCD Flat-Panel TV with Desktop Stand

JVC LT-32XW84 32" HDTV-Ready Flat-Panel LCD TV
Sorry about that.


Lemme just give this a morning bump.

1st shift? Any thoughts?

Don’t mind me, everyone. This is my last shot before I let this puppy die.

Well, I’m afraid I don’t have anything useful to tell you about these TVs.
This might not be the best board to get the help you are looking for though. I’ve read lots of good stuff over at the AVS Forums, so you might want to check it out. There are lots of regular posters over there who seem to vrey well-informed on the latest technology. You might also be able to find vendor recommendations.
Good luck!

I’ve got an LCD tv, but much smaller (15’’). I like it, and would recommend one over a different type of television. However, in between LCD tv’s I wouldn’t know whether there are huge differences. As they are new, I assume they’ll all have plenty of interfaces and stuff. I also assume you know what kind of things you want in a tv (# of channels and the like).

I can only think of a few things that you might forget (though I think you have done sufficient research):

  • viewing angle: from which angles can you view the image clearly, and
  • nr. of pixels.

I haven’t notice any specific hidden costs. There is probably a bulb in there somewhere, but I haven’t found it.

What could be interesting for you is the weight, if you want to hang it or carry it around. Also, a difference between various tv’s is the mechanism that is built on for mounting it on a wall. These mechanisms vary significantly, and you may find one easier to work with than the other. Furthermore one may allow the screen closer to the wall than another. There are IIRC mounting kits, but I don’t use them.

BTW, I’m not sure whether an LCD tv will work well above a fireplace in use, given the heat.

Have you gone out and looked at any of these displays? I would never buy one without seeing it first. I have been in and out of Circuit City the past several days and in passing all the flat panels I thought that some of them looked better than others. I liked the Sharps, Panasonics and Sony flat panels when I stopped and did a quick look.

I’ve given consideration to the problem of hanging a panel above a fireplace, but my current thought is that I’d go without the use of that particular fireplace in the right panel TV came along.

As for looking at them, well… I figured that I’d try to get the tech lowdown and opinions from the Dopers, and then go compare screen quality in person. I’ve done some looking in Best Buy, but the problem there is that the several stores I’ve gone to have a really small selection of flat panel LCDs in this size, so it’s hard to do a good solid comparison that way. That’s why I started with looking online, and figured once I narrowed it down by specs alone, I’d go hunt down places that actually have these specific units in stock for me to see.

And thanks, Enigma42, I’ve now registered over at the AVS forums.

I’m not sure whether an LCD tv will work well above a fireplace in use, given the heat.[/QUOTEAssuming we’re talking a zero clearance firplace, where heat isn’t an issue…There are a couple of questions I’d ask. Is it possible to:

  1. Get electricity to the spot you want to mount the TV?
  2. Get a satellite / cable line there?
  3. Room to mount a DVD / VCR?
  4. Audio speakers? (If such things are importsnt to you)

Though I understand each word, “zero clearance”, could you describe to me what exactly this is, and why it would make a difference?

Funny- that’s what originally got me on the whole “panel above the fireplace” kick. I just moved into a new (for me) house, and there an outlet centered just above the fireplace.

The cable’s right next to the fireplace, down and to the left. I figured I keep that and all of my components in a smallish cabinet off to the side, and run the necessary cabling through that peel ‘n’ stick duct you can buy at Home Depot.

Pretty much the same thing here. The speakers would run out of my receiver and get sent around the room through that duct I mentioned.

Does any of this sound unreasonable to anyone? I know very little about home audio/video, so if I’m missing something, or making incorrect assumptions, please let me know.

A Zero-Clearance fireplace is basically a non-masonry fireplace , i e no conventional chimney / flue. ZCF’s are brick lined steel boxes that can be either gas or wood burning. Their exaust vents out though steel pipe - either out of the side of the house - or up through a chase.

The reason I asked / assumed your fireplace was a zero-clearance unit is because wiring can be run behind the wall above it. (Wires obiously can’t be run behind a conventional masonry fireplace).

The peel and stick wall conduit you were referring to for getting signal to the TV: Yuck - but that’s just my taste.

If you take a step back (I should really say to the side) - LCD Flat panel and plasma TV’s are usually still kind of unsightly (but that’s my asthetic hang-up). This side-view picture => IMO, Isn’t something I’d wanna see in my place - Especially considering the fact for TV’s mounted higher than eye level from a sitting position (45") need to be mounted on an articulating ($199+) wall mount (to angle downward) - hence the top of the TV is 12+ inches away from the wall. If you have a corner fireplace - it’s not too much of an issue - but if your fireplace is on a flush wall - it would be, IMO, somewhat unsightly.

Being that you have an outlet at your disposal (which was probably installed to light a piece of artwork) - I’d try to get the rest of the wires to the same spot.

If I were to mount a flat panel TV:
No on wall wiring visible - bury the signal wires and dvd cable behind the wall.
I’d want to hide the side view of the TV with narrow depth speakers that are flush to the wall.
Perhaps a glass shelf above the TV to keep your DVD player / cable descrambler