Originally Posted by andy sullivan
Wow. You've been here for 9 years and I'm one of the worst? . Doesn't say much for me does it. I'm afraid that I can't afford to buy 2 or 3 TV's to audition for a few weeks in my living room, then return them and buy the one I liked the best, especially if I'm buying from Amazon or the like. I think by the time September rolls around these forums will have painted a very reliable picture of these two sets to the point that if I have a problem with either it will because it's a defective set, not a problem inherent with the model itself. Unless you think I'm being ludicrous because I'm giving too much credit (50%) to the in store experience. That may be true but I'm basing that % on several trips to several stores over several months with my wife, and being allowed to play with the remote. How would you suggest a persons percentages be spent in choosing between 2 or 3 TV's?
Don't sweat it andy. The general consensus is that the lighting and other factors make getting a good impression of a tv's capabilities in a store very difficult and often the image you see in the store doesn't translate into what people see when they get the tv home. That being said, many people don't have the time, energy or inclination to buy a tv, get it home, set it up, find that they don't like it and return it, and go through that multiple times. You really just have to find what works for you. If you are diligent in reading reviews from a wide variety of sources, you are usually able to have some idea as how the tv performs in typical environments. Then going to a store to see it will give you another idea of other factors such as size (standing in front of a tv actually gives you some sense of scope, whereas it can be difficult from a review to grasp how big a 65" is to say a 60" ) what the esthetics are (some of our wives have strong points of view on this
) , or what the built-in features seem to be, or if they are things you might find useful, and pricing. If the reviews and hands on, in person elements make a good impression, then checking the forums for any deal-braking issues before actually parting with the hard-earned is a good step. Everyone has a different set of values, and how much weight they give to any of those steps. There are a few folks who buy from places like amazon, try it, if they don't like, back it goes, and amazon typically makes that process fairly easy. Its not for everyone though.
I do think that the "worst idea ever" thing is a little overstated, like I said everyone has different levels of comfort. I have a friend who hates dealing with salespeople period, so he is all reviews, forums and amazon. Me, I kind of like shooting the breeze with salespeople, and if you deal with a reputable place with knowledgeable staff, sometimes they can give good advice. Like I said, don't sweat it, whatever way fits your needs and comfort level is whats best for you. Most of all, have fun, enjoy the process, it sounds like you don't do this every year or two, so having a good experience is nice too, not just having a new toy.