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post #1 of 55 Old 11-25-2012, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I am thinking about getting the EH6000 model and I am wondering what box would give me the equivalent functionality of a "smart TV" without having a "smart TV." Would a Playstation3 for example be able to give me all the internet connectivity I might want? Or an Apple TV or a Roku? Not sure what those things are since I am 66 years old. Would a Blue Ray player plus one of these gizmos give me all the functionality I might want aside from 3D? And would the two HDMI connections be all I would need then?

Besides simply replying you could give me links since I imagine this topic has been discussed before?
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post #2 of 55 Old 11-26-2012, 09:13 AM
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the PS3's a great box but if you're not into gaming it's not worth paying $250 (btw, I'm 62 and love mine). A Roku box is excellent for "smart tv" but costs as much as some BD players that also have good "smart features" and add the benefit of playing dvds and Blu Ray discs. An example would be one of these:

http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/DMP-BD87

Amazon has them for $79.99, I just posted the Panny site link because it has all the specs and features listed. There are other good choices from Sony as well. When choosing be aware that you want one with Wi-Fi built in, not just "Wi-Fi enabled"--the latter require an extra cost (usually $80) Wi-Fi "dongle". Smart BD player will do double duty as a disc player and streaming internet video device and only take up one HDMI connection on your set, leaving the other free for an HD satellite or cable box.
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post #3 of 55 Old 11-26-2012, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Steve. I see this requires Windows 7 (I have Vista smile.gif) and a home network (I don't have one). Rather than have Time Warner add X dollars a month to my bill for wireless I am told that I can just buy a wireless router and set it up myself. If I were more technically savvy I would do that, but there are so many variables with this stuff I feel likely to screw it up. So what do people like me do so as not to pay "retail" and not to be "victimized"?
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post #4 of 55 Old 11-26-2012, 03:09 PM
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There's only two ways to get "smart features" to your tv from an external source (blu-ray player, AppleTV2, PS3, etc) and that is either wirelessly or wired. If you don't have or want a wireless router, then you'll have to run an ethernet cable from what ever device you choose to buy to your modem/gateway. And you still have to run an ethernet cable from your device to the tv regardless. With a "smart tv" you'll still have the same problem, only with one less ethernet cable.
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post #5 of 55 Old 11-26-2012, 06:53 PM
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If you are receiving both internet service and TV service over your cable company connection aren't there some Smart TVs that can use the two services from a single cable connection without having to support a separate box to provide a wired or wireless internet connection.
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post #6 of 55 Old 11-27-2012, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

If you are receiving both internet service and TV service over your cable company connection aren't there some Smart TVs that can use the two services from a single cable connection without having to support a separate box to provide a wired or wireless internet connection.[/quote

Nope. for Smart functions the internet connection to the tv is via the same method used for any other internet device--an ethernet cable to a wired connection or via WiFi. Smart tvs will access internet streaming without an external box but still require the usual internet connection. The OP was considering an EH6000 Samsung set which doesn't have internet functionality so he will need an external box to access netflix etc.

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post #7 of 55 Old 11-27-2012, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually don't mind and in fact would like to have a wireless router; I just don't know how to set it up. Also I don't really understand how the various parts of a total system function in relation to each other or so to speak co-exist harmoniously. So that the settings match up on the various devices. Also what "total systems" are available. Clearly I need a Blue Ray player. I may or may not need another "box" depending what TV I get and how "smart" it is. Currently I have Time Warner cable with a computer hooked up to the internet via a broadband modem, and a connector that sends another wired connection from the modem to a TV box. Out of the box comes another wire which goes to a splitter so that one part goes to the wired TV cable from Time Warner while the other plugs into the wall. The box from Time Warner sitting on the floor has several sets of cables extending from it (composite video etc.) with NO TV since I've been "shopping" since last spring. I've been paying for TV service I haven't been using all this time! I haven't bought HDMI cables yet.

My last TV was a Toshiba about 2 or 3 feet deep. I plugged it into a wall. On top of it was a combination DVD/VHS player which connected to the back of the TV and my single line from the cable company came into my apartment and was connected to the player. My internet on my computer was completely separate. So all of this is a whole new ballgame for me. I've been on the internet since the early 1990s but in the TV/audio world I am a neophyte. Is there a good tutorial somewhere? lol Otto Pylot and Steve S have been helpful clarifiers, but I probably need a lot more clarification!

If I get a live human to help me with all this (maybe someone from whoever sells me the HDTV), what should I watch out for? I am leery of using a single source with their own axe to grind. That is why I am leery of using Best Buy to both sell me the stuff and set it all up. Or any one single source. I really need an independent consultant or integrator I can trust who knows all this stuff backwards and forwards, or I need to understand it myself.

Another piece of the "total system" I don't understand is the A/V receiver. Do I need this? I know something like an Onkyo is pricey. What is an Apple TV? See what I mean? I don't know what the pieces of the puzzle are, which ones go together and which don't, or how to set it all up once I've got the pieces.
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post #8 of 55 Old 11-27-2012, 11:55 AM
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If you have a "dumb" tv, that is, no built-in internet connectivity, then you will connect your cable box directly to the tv with either a coax cable or an HDMI cable depending on your cable box. The audio will come out of the built-in speakers of the tv. The only television that you can receive is what is being sent to you from your cable box based on your service level.

The A/V receiver is used only if you don't want to use the built-in tv speakers (a lot of people don't like the sound output of tv's) and would rather have your own audio system so that you don't have to use the tv's speakers. It is also useful when you have a BD/DVD player because the audio is much better when played thru a HTS (home theater system). Some A/V receivers have internet connectivity as well. There are other reasons for using a HTS with your tv but these are the most common and simply put.

AppleTV2 is a STB (set top box) that is connected to your internet connection either wirelessly or wired. It is then connected to your tv or A/V receiver via HDMI. It allows you to stream Netflix, Hulu, Pandora (music), and a bunch of other internet apps. Some are cool, others are useless (IMO). You can do other things as well with an ATV2 but we won't go into that now. Roku is another STB that has similar features and functions. There a quite a few STB-like devices out there for streaming. You can also buy a blu-ray player that can do the same thing but we've already mentioned that. All of the STBs have the same apps and then some that are proprietary to them. For example, my blu-ray player has built-in WiFi so I can stream whatever Panasonic included with their player. I also have an AppleTV2 which gives me a few more apps that the Panasonic doesn't have so I have a bigger choice (not much though for what I use). Both have Netflix etc so there is some redundancy.

Smart tv's (a tv with built-in internet connectivity) allows you to stream without the use of an external source (blu-ray player, ATV2, etc) but you are stuck with whatever apps the tv mfr uses. I'm not a fan of smart tv's for various reasons but there's no need to go into that for now.

So, if you get a dumb tv and want smart tv functionality, you'll have to get either:

1. A blu-ray player with built-in WiFi/ethernet (you don't want to get a WiFi internet-ready set because that requires you to buy an extra dongle for WiFi connection).
2. A STB like ATV2, Roku, etc
3. An A/V receiver with internet connectivity (WiFI/ethernet)

I think you'd be better off going with WiFi. It's easier and less messier (cable clutter), unless your cable box is next to, or very close to, your tv system.
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post #9 of 55 Old 11-27-2012, 12:20 PM
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Get the...

AppleTV Gen2 or Gen3, if you are heavily invested in Apple's iTunes ecosystem already with your iPhone and iPod. No Amazon on Demand nor Vudu, nor Hulu Plus, nor Pandora, Spotify and other Radio/Music sites, . Very limited selection of channels and apps because they drive you to iTunes, although it can be hacked, and Plex or XBMC loaded. Airplay is a nice feature which integrates your Apple devices.

Roku Box, if you want to maximize content availability. This one plays most all except Vudu.

Boxee Live TV, if you are using OTA as it integrates OTA channels into it's On Screen Guide. No Amazon on Demand nor Hulu Plus. Boxee;s latest streaming box, looks very promising and is expanding content.

Netgear Neo TV is worth a look too. It's most like Roku, but doesnt have the amount of content to match it yet. Roku is better all the way around still though.

Bluray Players with Streaming Ethernet/WiFi are another way to go, but are generally more limited than Roku, but have improved much in available Apps/Channels.


Other than that there are laptops and dedicated HTPCs which allow maximum versatility and choice, but require more hands on work and knowledge. Or you can get Media Streamer boxes which also require more knowledge of complex computer workings for DNLA use but also add Streaming Channel simplicity on top.....like the WD Live series and many others. Google TV which is on the Logitech Revue is likewise very buggy and complicated.


Bottom line if you are looking for ease of use and streaming content availability then

AppleTV if you are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem already.
Roku Box
BluRay Players with Internet Streaming Ethrernet/WiFi

are your best bets.

Boxee Live TV isnt quite there yet, but I predict is will be a real competitor to AppleTV and Roku within a year.....especially for OTA Broadcast cord cutters, but it also integrates Cable into it's guide as well. Keep your eye on this one.

Boxee Box was too complicated and tried to do too much like Google TV and WD Live, IMO. So it was always a niche product for nerds and enthusiasts.

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post #10 of 55 Old 11-28-2012, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Say I choose to get a BluRay player with built in wireless and a Roku box or AppleTV. Then if I get a soundbar, how do I hook it up to that kind of setup? And do I also need a separate router?
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post #11 of 55 Old 11-28-2012, 10:41 AM
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Decide which internet streaming services you want (NetFlix, Hulu, Vudu, etc.) If you can find a BD player that will access them (most Pannys and Sonys will access all the most popular ones) you don't need Roku or Apple tv. If your BD player gets the services you want another box is just duplicating functions you already have in the BD player and taking up another HDMI connector on your set. The set you're considering (EH6000) only has 2 HDMI inputs and you need one for your HD cable box--that leaves just one left over for another source device.

The majority of sound bars will work with a digital optical input. Ignore ARC--it's harder to set up and will take up one of your 2 HDMI inputs. Make sure the set you buy has digital optical out. Connect digital optical out on tv to digital optical in on soundbar.

If you don't already have a WiFi router you'll need to purchase one. It will have ethernet connections (sockets that look like big phone jacks). One will connect your router to your modem, the others can be used for wired connecton of your computer or other wired devices. Once set up any WiFi device will detect you network during the setup procedure--you enter a security code on the device your connecting so it can access your router (you only need to do this once at initial setup, not every time you access the internet with the device). The code is usually on a tag attached to the router.

If all this setup is too intimidating you can either have a pro do it for you or snag a teenage relative to do it for you.biggrin.gif
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post #12 of 55 Old 11-28-2012, 12:58 PM
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If you have cable then Roku loses it's advantage and then if you arent into Apple's iTunes ecosystem, then a Blu Ray Player or Sony Playstation is the way to go.

And like Steve S said, look for the brand of Blu Ray player that has the services you are going to use, Netflix, Amazon on Demand, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Spotify, and other music sites are the main ones.

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post #13 of 55 Old 11-28-2012, 03:02 PM
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^^^^^ agreed. The only reason I have an AppleTV2 is my kids gave me one for Christmas one year. I couldn't use it because I didn't have a tv with an HDMI input and no HTS at the time. A perfect excuse to get a new tv! Then I needed a new dvd player and bought the Panny blu-ray, which was "smart". Then the HTS. So, I have both, but you don't need both.
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post #14 of 55 Old 11-29-2012, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, what's with Amazon movies? Most smart TV's don't stream Amazon (Plus?)...by themselves...what Blue Ray players stream Amazon content?
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post #15 of 55 Old 11-29-2012, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Broccoli View Post

Okay, what's with Amazon movies? Most smart TV's don't stream Amazon (Plus?)...by themselves...what Blue Ray players stream Amazon content?

I think the Panasonic's may but I'll have to check mine when I get home tonight. I don't use Amazon Plus so I'm not sure. It seems to me though that I've seen the logo when browsing the streaming apps on my 210. A lot of mfrs add services via updates over the course of the lifetime of the product so all of the apps may not be listed in the marketing info.
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post #16 of 55 Old 11-29-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I've had to back up (mentally). Since I don't watch much TV now or in the past, I ask myself WHY I would want the capability of streaming MORE (lousy) content? I do like to watch movies though. So I think Steve's idea of the BluRay with built-in wifi and no Roku box is the way to go. I still would need a router though right? Just double checking smile.gif

Next, I'd like some suggestions for a good 5.1 sound system. Also which forum to ask that in? I am "hearing" that HTIB systems have crappy speakers...or would a sound bar be adequate? I'm going deaf anyway...too many rock concerts...BITD...suggestions welcomed...you could PM me...
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post #17 of 55 Old 11-29-2012, 12:42 PM
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You'd still need a router.

As for audio HTIB systems are not all total crap. Stay far away from Bose or systems made by companies that also make tv sets--go with Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon. If you do go this route make sure you get a system with a powered subwoofer. Soundbar can be an option to significantly improve audio over what the tv alone delivers. Again, the best ones are made by companies that don't make tv sets--Yamaha, Energy, Boston Acoustics to name a few. You'll get the best results from a soundbar that also has a separate powered sub.
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post #18 of 55 Old 11-29-2012, 02:18 PM
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Steve's advice is solid (as usual). I have a HTiB system and have been very happy with it. I'll upgrade the speakers someday for a little better audio fidelity but 5.1 television sounds great and blu-ray movies sound awesome! You can spend literally thousands on a HTS but if your budget is small, the space is small (a relative term), and you're not an audiophile, a HTiB or even a good soundbar will be fine. I have a Yamaha system and paired with my Panasonic BDT-210 blu-ray and my LG tv, it's a really nice little HTS that sounds and looks fantastic. The AppleTV2 is just a little extra fluff but definitely not necessary. Costs? As an example you could probably find a Yamaha RX-V371 receiver for under $200, a Panasonic BDT-210 blu-ray for around $120 (around $150 for the 220 which is the 2012 model), and pick up a really nice 5.1 set of MLT2 bookshelf speakers for under $300. There are of course other combinations you could put together for around the same price or a little less. A good router should cost anywhere from around $80 - $200.
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post #19 of 55 Old 11-29-2012, 03:57 PM
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Ive ditched multi-channel and surround sound myself and gone strickly stereo on everything....and havent looked back. Yeah a few movies have dynamite surround sound tracks, but most do not. Depends on the type of movie as well.

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post #20 of 55 Old 11-29-2012, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all. EscapeVelocity's comment about ditching multi-channel and surround sound was intriguing. I think sometimes I think I want something because I've heard or read somewhere that it's better than something else when in truth I cannot distinguish the difference (or the difference doesn't make any difference to me).
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post #21 of 55 Old 11-30-2012, 08:29 AM
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Let me be clear, Im all for QUALITY sound and volume. I ditched the complexity of a surround system to focus on my interest in vintage gear.

It can be a lot of fun and interesting to explore surround sound, and some blockbusters sound terrific on surround systems. But if you arent into it, a 2 channel setup is great too. Soundbars can offer significant improvement over the internal TV speakers.

IMO, a 5.1 speaker setup is enough, if you are just trying to get by on a budget but want to go full surround.

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post #22 of 55 Old 11-30-2012, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Broccoli View Post

Thank you all. EscapeVelocity's comment about ditching multi-channel and surround sound was intriguing. I think sometimes I think I want something because I've heard or read somewhere that it's better than something else when in truth I cannot distinguish the difference (or the difference doesn't make any difference to me).

That's very true. I think a lot of us have fallen into that trap once or twice. If you want to see how far that can go, just check out the Display Calibration forum rolleyes.gif
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post #23 of 55 Old 11-30-2012, 08:40 AM
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I have a degree of hearing impairment and find that quality sound=not having to turn on the subtitles as often--dialogue is much more intelligible.
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post #24 of 55 Old 11-30-2012, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Steve S: another good point and factor to consider! I have some hearing impairment also. More than I care to admit. I think the reasonable 5.1 system is the right compromise (?) for me. Until someone else's opinion changes my mind *again* ;-)
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post #25 of 55 Old 12-04-2012, 11:08 AM
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What did you decide?

Steve S and Otto have been giving great advice.

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post #26 of 55 Old 12-05-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Probably a BluRay player with built-in wireless and a soundbar. Though I may still go for a 5.1 system HTIB by Onkyo, Denon, or Yamaha as Steve S suggested. And a wireless router (which one?) I still haven't decided on the HDTV yet! Since the picture quality in an LCD TV appears from what I've read to be better in a TV that offers 3D capability (is that true?), I am still torn between the Sony 750, the LG 6700, and the whatever Samsung is under $1500 or so. I tried the magic remote on an LG in a store and I did not like it. With my diabetes I found my hand shook too much to use it effectively. Maybe I could get used to it? Pressing the center button also was difficult for me as it seemed to require a lot of force.

By all means please weigh in on all these issues even though this is not the right forum for some of them. Or tell me where to go ;-)
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post #27 of 55 Old 12-05-2012, 03:22 PM
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As far as a remote goes, you might want to look at the new Harmony Touch. It's touch screen so there aren't any hard buttons to push and from what I hear, it's fairly responsive. They can be a bit difficult to program but if you have new equipment (the remote codes are in Harmony's database) and it's a fairly simple setup, it shouldn't be too difficult. I have an old Harmony 880 that works just fine for us. I just press Watch TV, and all the correct components and inputs turn on and all I have to do is change channels or volume. Pretty cool.
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post #28 of 55 Old 12-05-2012, 03:42 PM
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Im pretty sure you could get a different more traditional LG TV remote and it would work with your TV, either used or new.

I like the LG 6700.

I dont have any recs on a wireless router. I use an older Buffalo Air Station Wireless G. shrugs

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post #29 of 55 Old 12-06-2012, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Broccoli View Post

Probably a BluRay player with built-in wireless and a soundbar. Though I may still go for a 5.1 system HTIB by Onkyo, Denon, or Yamaha as Steve S suggested. And a wireless router (which one?) I still haven't decided on the HDTV yet! Since the picture quality in an LCD TV appears from what I've read to be better in a TV that offers 3D capability (is that true?), I am still torn between the Sony 750, the LG 6700, and the whatever Samsung is under $1500 or so. I tried the magic remote on an LG in a store and I did not like it. With my diabetes I found my hand shook too much to use it effectively. Maybe I could get used to it? Pressing the center button also was difficult for me as it seemed to require a lot of force.
By all means please weigh in on all these issues even though this is not the right forum for some of them. Or tell me where to go ;-)

Re the remote--you can get one of these:

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-number/AKB73615313/0057/614?SID=CJxPDx

Found that link in the LG 7600 thread, should work with any LG 6200 or above. It's an LG remote for last year's high end models but the codes are the same as current ones. The 55" LG 6700 is on sale at many Clostco stores (in the store, not online) for 1100ish. I'd stay away from Samsung, too many issues with light bleed and couding.

Steve S.
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post #30 of 55 Old 12-07-2012, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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two people at a meeting I go to just told me to pick up a Vizio 42" at Target...they said they have been very happy with theirs...lol...maybe i do too much "research" for my own good? <$500 they said...NOT videophiles for sure
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