I've been hemming and hawing about getting a new TV for a long time. Now I have saved up about $1000 for a new TV, and hell, it's my 40th birthday in a couple weeks so why not. It's replacing an 8 year old 32" CRT HDTV that has all sorts of color problems, clearly 4:3 fade since outside that it's much brighter now that I view a lot more 16:9 content than I did 3-8 years ago when I first got it. I respect the advice of users here, as I have lurked here time and again.
One thing that I'm unsure about is about internet connectivity. Some say "Smart TV" some say "Internet ready" but what exactly does that mean? I watch Amazon video on demand/Unbox video and Netflix mainly for my kids, but I also have an HTPC connected to my home server to stream movies. I also watch football and hockey. If the TV can stream movies from my home server and Amazon and Netflix then I guess I'd like that built in just to eliminate the need for my HTPC. But if not, then there's no point in getting it I suppose. Unless there's other benefits of "Smart TV" that I'm not aware of.
So to summarize my primary uses would be:
- Amazon Unbox / Video On Demand
- Netflix video
- HD Movies (streaming or blu-ray)
- Football and Hockey
- Xbox 360 and Wii gaming
- occasional general TV viewing
Stuff I know/want:
- Prefer to stay less than $1000. I know I'll have to buy a wall mount and a new side stand to hold cable box, HTPC, Blu-ray, Xbox, Wii, but that won't be part of the $1000.
- 46 to 50 inch preferred. The TV will be in my living room above my fireplace, and 46-50" would be perfect, as it's about the size of the mirror above it that it would replace.
- I don't care about 3D, just a high quality image
- I have wired ethernet, but wi-fi would be nice
- minimum 3 HDMI, 4 preferred
- decent TV speakers. I'm sure whatever I get will be better than the crappy ones in my TV now. Have no intention of setting up a speaker system.
- Living room where TV will be has a big window, but there's rarely enough sunlight coming into that room except a few hours a day, usually wish there was more light
I have seen plasma and LED side by side and can definitely see the difference in brightness. But not sure if it would matter much once it's in my room. LED would be nice because they are not as hot, heavy, and are light on power use. Not sure how ice hockey would fare on plasma though, I've heard of issues with all the white.
LG and Samsung have been on my radar, but I can't figure out the best options that fit.
I appreciate your input!