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Knuckles buys two TVs in 2015.


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After not owning a TV since I gave away my 150lb CRT 3 years ago, I'm now in the market for not one but two televisions.  

The first one is for my sainted mother.  It has to be around 40", 1080p (duh) and have as simple a UI as possible.  Also, it should be reliable as possible.  Unfortunately, as best I can make out, LG and Samsung have driven a race to the bottom WRT retail prices and therefore component quality.  What I have determined so far:

  • LG or Samsung, Sony as a possible dark horse 3rd candidate
  • around 40"
  • No SMRT TV pls.
  • 60 or 120Hz, preferably the latter.
  • Massive amount of I/O is not necessary.
  • LED backlit LCD, no plasma.

The second one is for me.  I'm looking for again an LG or Samsung, no bigger than 55", 4K is not a must but a likelihood, 120Hz is mandatory, SMRT is not desired but more or less unavoidable, and I need a decent amount of I/O.  I have have had a lot of trouble finding current model 1080p TVs with a true 120Hz refresh rate.  It's clear that the manufacturers are pushing 4K and are using leftover bits to make new 1080p models.  

The candidates:

Samsung UN50JU7100 50” $1200-1300 depending on location.  4K, 120Hz, SMRT, 3D (bleh), decent number of inputs, GUI that I will probably hate.

Samsung UN55JU7100 55" $1400-1600 depending on location.  As above, with more Size Queen!

LG 49UB8500 49” $1150.  4K, 120Hz, SMRT, 3D.  Very similar to the Samsung 50" but slightly smaller and cheaper.

LG 60UF7700 60” $1400.  4K, 120Hz, SMRT, not 3D AFICT.  Bristling with I/O. Non-IR remote that is wonky at best. Officially too large for my house.


Samsung UN48J6200 48" $500.  1080p, current model. SMRT, 60Hz.  Considering this one for my mother. If anyone can point to a current model that's natice 120Hz (not this "TruMotion" shit), I'd love to see it.


I'd love for some feedback from HCers, a demographic of "go big or go home."  What have been your experiences with 4K SMRT TVs?  Based on the games thread I know a fair number of you have been doing a shit ton of racing on yr giant TVs recently.  Also I'd love suggestions for some sane 1080p models for me mum.  Wading through AMZN's infinite list of televisions is enough to drive a man insane (or in case, send an insane man that much closer to screaming on a street corner.)

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Maybe a bit out of date now, but we went to BB looking for a super cheap 1080p ~40" non-smart TV a year ago or so. We bought a Visio for not much ($200 or so, maybe less). It is not as nice as the plasma downstairs but it looks fine for a non-videophile. Don't know if your mom is anything like mine, but even this would be more than enough for mine.

Edited by dsavitsk
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A few years ago 40" was different than the 40" category now, I believe What was formerly 37" have been pushed to 40 due to reduced bezel size and the whatnot. Is your mom going to have cable, or something like a Roku? I know some non-techy people who like the Roku with the remote which is still simple, but not as sparse as say, the Apple Remote. Also, is the 40" a size constraint or what? Are you going in a cabinet formerly for a tube TV? (I had to deal with this for my mom a while back.)

Any reason you're limited to 55? How far away are you siting from the screen, and how big is the room? I remember I originally wanted a 50" (due to budget), but I got a crazy deal on a 60" plasma I like that was pretty spartan in I/O arena, but could be calibrated to look rather nice, and while it has a presence in the room, it doesn't overpower with size. I actually wish I could have done a 65. I'm 9.5' away on the closest seating, btw.

For your mom, there may be some Black Friday specific sets that are cheaper due to a reduced feature set (dumb TV, maybe 2 HDMI inputs.) Would possibly be the same panel as something a little higher, but not quite as complicated.

I know Jeff hates his Samsung TV, so I figure it's pretty great.


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I bought my mom and dad a basic 55" Samsung LCD about 5 years ago that he watches the shit out of every day.  He often says how much he likes it and it is easy to use.  The Samsung that Jeff bought has those gestures and talking commands or some nonsense so I don't think you need to worry about that stuff on a basic 40" TV.  Also, my now 93 year old dad uses cable and Apple TV interchangeably and he is no techy, so if your mom needs streaming you cannot beat the ease of use.

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