[Note: My reason for documenting my HDTV purchase is to simply share my experience. I am, by no means, an expert in this or have a particular 'eye' for TVs.]
I've been lusting after an LCD TV for about a year.
In general I like to research purchases as thoroughly as possible. I avoided researching TVs because I couldn't get the green light for an LCD TV purchase from Farrah. Well, recently she relented. Off I went to research.
I knew zero about LCD and plasma TVs. I relied on three resources for my research:
- Amazon.com reviews
- The forums at avsforum.com
- Advice from friends such as Tage, Rol, Steven and Bigfil
First, I thought about the room the TV would be in. It would be placed in a spare bedroom. The viewing distance would be about 5-7 feet. From the chart on Amazon.com the size of the TV would be anywhere from 26" to 46". I was always told to go bigger than you think you should get, so I narrowed it down to either a 40" or 46" TV.
You can find various reasons to go for either a plasma or LCD TV. For the type of room and the price range I was interested in, an LCD TV instead of a plasma fit my needs.
I looked at all the brands, settling on Samsung and Sony. All of the TVs I have personally owned have been Sonys, the last being a 36" XBR monster weighing a ton. I've heard good things about Samsung though and wanted to seriously consider an alternative to the pricey Sony sets. I narrowed the field of sets to three: the Samsung LN40A650, Samsung LN40A750, and a Sony KDL-40XBR7. I went to Best Buy, a Sony Style store, and my local Fry's to see the three sets in action.
All the sets I saw looked great picture-wise. I've been told when you head into the showroom to look at TVs know that the sets are calibrated to look their best. When you get home with your new TV you will need to do a bit of calibration to get the TV to look right. (Luckily there are a lot of good posts on avsforum.com to help you out.) From a design aesthetic, the Sony KDS-40XBR7 was the most pleasing. But when you think Sony you must also think extra dollars.
After fielding responses to the question of Samsung versus Sony question I posted on Facebook and twitter, I placed on order through Amazon.com for the Samsung LN46A630. Wait, that wasn't on the list of TVs I cited before?
Well, I exchanged email messages with Tage, who sold me on some details on the LNA630. The LNA630 is basically the LNA650 but with a semi-matte screen. I chose the 46" instead of the 40" because, like a mentioned before, you should go bigger than you initially think if possible.
I'll let you know what I think about the Samsung LN46A630 in a later post.