Originally Posted by spleen93
I'd have to agree overall that I'm pretty pleased with my Vizio 37. ... Can't seem to pick up DTV channels for beans with the built-in ATSC tuner but that may be a fault with my house construction and trying to use an indoor antenna than anything else (don't have any other TV in the house with an ATSC tuner so can't compare). ...
I too recently got one from Costco and am quite pleased so far, but I've had just the opposite experience with the OTA tuner. I would recommend it as an excellent value. Can't say I've directly compared it to the competing 37" brands at the same price point, but next to the 32" Philips, it's nearly as good. The only noticeable difference is probably from lower contrast ratio, but the overall picture quality is quite acceptable, unless you're in a very bright room. Under normal viewing situations, I'd actually have to tone down the brightness/contrast settings no the higher performance sets.
As far as the OTA receiver, I'd say it's worth a hundred or two (cost of an external receiver) and about the same for the "costco warranty" what I hope not to have to use. I was able to connect a short cable to the DTV RF input and hold the middle conductor wire on the open end with my finger. Using myself as an antenna, I was able to receive about a dozen channels. I'm looking for a couple of old antennas I've got somewhere in the garage, but in the meantime, I found a 75-300 ohm converter, and I kid you not, used a coat hanger bent in a quasi-circle connected to the 300 ohm connectors. It's able to pick up about 2 dozen stations, including ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC/PBS/KCET all in very nice HD quality. I credit the technology more than the quality of the receiver for this, as all that really means that the receiver meets specs.
I'm debating cable versus satellite, but I'm not sure it's worth the added expense at this time. It's not only the service charge, set top box rental, but also premium channels. After all is done, it's about $50/month for a couple of extra channels (HDNET, TBS, ESPN, Discovery) and $80 if you want a couple of movie channels (HBO and SHOWTIME). I'll probably sign up down the road sometime, but for now, just enjoying incredible HD OTA for free.