T Nation

Buying a TV

Hope some of the T-Peeps can help me.

I’m looking for a Flat Screen TV from 20"-27". I’m considering:

Sony Wega 27" ($560 CAD)
Samsung Flat Screen 24" ($400 CAD)
Phillips Flat Screen 27" ($400 CAD)

Any opinions out there on which TV is the best for the money. I’ve always bought Sony and the Wega is a good price for the unit, but if the Samsung or Phillips is just as good for less money, I’d rather save the $$$.

I’ll be watching analog cable TV mostly, with DVD’s and VHS once a week or so.

Thanks in advance.

I’m not sure about the flat screens but when I bought my 60" big screen, I did some shopping around. The sony and mitsubishi were much more expensive than the phillips that I ended up getting but, the picture quality was about the same. Also, compare features. the less expensive ones may be “stripped down”.

just my .02 worth.

you wanna forget the samsung, phillips is not a bad alternative. Since ur going to spend all of $500-$600, why not wait a bit longer save up for a 29’ or 32’

ok, i have a whole other idea. i went tv shopping a few months ago, and i was looking for the same thing you were. the thing is, when i went to circuit city, i was looking at the flat screens and the picture sucked! i looked at the 27" hdtv’s…only a couple hundred more than the normal flat screen and the picture is rediculously better. it’s even noticeable with normal cable. you can actually read credits! it’s definitely worth the extra money.

Hey i work at bestbuy. Sony and mitsu are the best hands down. This is what the home theatre salesmen tell me. Plus we dont make commission so im not trying to sell you anything either ha.

dont buy sony. In their recent efforts to cut costs they have begun toying around with warrantys and bascially screwed me out of a 3000 dollar sony viao laptop that was 6 months old and was shit to hell, and should have been covered by warranty but basically they make up excuses saying it was your fault. I have heard others that have had similiar experiences…beware


with all due respect, what would home theater salesmen know?

they don’t know jack about stereos, so why would they know anything about tvs, either? yes, audio and video are different, but i’d do my own research and not trust the salesmen (not just because they might be trying to sell you something they need to sell, but also because they might know jack about it).

IF you know anything about best buy you would know it is one of the biggest if not the biggest retail companies in the u.s. All salesmen are trained and have to take these test in order to sell. All of the salesmen are very educated on what they sell and im not even joking. i don’t know how to explain but this place is very serious. Also best buy is not on commision so we dont push any products, only what we know is good. this encourgaes honest selling.

as for computers i sell them and i would never tell anyone to ever buy a sony. sony makes tv’s and home theatre equiptment, thats what they’re good at. they’re side job is VAIO. The dont specialize in computers. They are very expnsive and are a mess on the inside. Pretty much complete shit is what they are.

oh yeah, more, home theatre includes televisions and stero, not just stereo. of course it’s always good to do research on what you buy, but it’s not a bad idea to take people’s advice who deal with this stuff all day either.

those 3 tvs are the exact ones i’m going to go look at this week. i had a sony geek friend also warn me about the Sony WEGA tv reception…that it can be a bit rough on some of them. i watch digital tv tho so would that make any difference?

circuit city is selling that Sony WEGA 27" for 379 bucks but if its a crap screen i’ll just wait. (also another weird thing, it’s got the same product number as a WEGA but CC isn’t advertising it as a WEGA…)

i thought samsung and philips were better than what you guys are letting on but i’m going to check 'em out side by side. i’ll check out the mitsubishi too.

i went thru all this about 8 months ago. for the money, features, picture quality, i got a 36" flat tube toshiba. comes with color stream dvd inputs s-video inputs everything you need. and there is a big difference from regular tubes to flat ones. i looked online at best buy and they have a 27" flat toshiba for 449.00

From what they tell me… Toshiba is the best in detail, sony are the brightest and mitsu is the best of both worlds…

Thanks for all the help boys.

I’m going to look at the Toshiba’s. I was surprised that some said the Samsung’s were crap because the picture really impressed me when I saw it in the store. Seems to me that the Phillips or the Toshiba would be the best bets, based on the feedback.

I’ll play this like a program critique in the Training/Nutrition forum and give you guys some more info:

I’ll likely never get digital cable because it’s just too much money and I can’t justif spending that much on something I just shouldn’t be doing that much of anyway, so a Hi-Def unit is pretty much out of the question for cost.

As far as saving for a bigger screen, I could buy bigger now, but it’s again a question of how much I’m going to invest in something I don’t want to spend too much time doing. Plus, the apartment I’m moving into isn’t big enough to warrant anything larger than a 27 or 32 at the most.

I’ll mostly be watching Sunday Football and NHL games, so basic cable is all I need.

If Toshiba and Phillips are good alternatives, then I’ll have a look at them. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Again, thanks for all the help.

So Rob what did you end up with? As a lot of good advice came your way. You did say that all you have right now is an analog connection right? Well All the HDTV an flat screen stuff is not gonna do you any good anyway unless you have a dish. If all your looking for is a 27’ to 32 I really would not worry about it. I’ve got a 36’ Sony Wega. An It’s a frigin awsome picture. As for all the flat screens an Plasma stuff wait till your ready to drop some major coin. And Bobo…clap clap clap… you are the man. I can respect someone that knows his job well. oh ya Bobo got a sick Sony Xplod CDX-M850 in the Boat and it Frigin Rocks .Then again with 2-JL audio 500/5 for Amps 3-10" JL audio subs and 12-6" Focal speakers and other goodies …OH HELL YA IT’S A PARTY.!!! But hell that’s just my 2cents… Good luck Rob

Samsung has got a bad rep from their products in the 80’s and 90’s but they kick ass now. They are the most sought after products here in Korea and almost always the most expensive and carry the best warranty. Check them out on epinions.com or cnet.com before you buy anything.


Every Circuit City I’ve been to has crappy/non existent (ie snow) pictures on the cheap tvs while the picture looks fine on their $>1k tvs.

I’m pretty sure they keep the cables loose on the crappier tvs so the picture doesn’t look as good so naive people will want to buy the expensive tvs with the “good” pictures.

Or maybe its just paranoia.

I have had the Sony Wega 27" for a couple of years now and it is one bad mamajamma. I love it. Picture quality is awesome and I trust the sony name. Of course, a TV purchase is something that you buy to suit your needs. Do the Phillips and Samsung have Component Video inputs? How many S-video hookups do they have? A tv purchase should offer you ample methods of hooking up your current home theater, but also allow you to upgrade to higher resolution stuff as technology changes. Mitsu only makes Widescreen HDTV’s these days, so you are looking at $1500+ for one of those. They are a great set, but they lack DVI inputs. Mitsu was a little arrogant in their thinking with the direction of HDTV and put all of their eggs in the FireWire basket. I just purchased a new Sony 46" HDTV for the living room and have moved the Wega to the bedroom. Both TV’s are top notch and I highly recommend both of them.


Went to BestBuy last night and had a look around. The Toshiba’s are nice, but I found that the sound quality was a little lacking. The Samsungs are very nice, picture and sound and I couldn’t understand why they have a bad rap. BestBuy had the 27" for $550 CAD or so. The 24" was $400.

I also looked at the Phillips set there. They have it on sale for $400. Liked the picture close to as good as the Samsung and Toshiba’s. I almost bought it but it was after 9pm and they were closing the store. I would have needed another 10 minutes to decide.

Future Shop has the same Toshiba 27" on Sale for $479.99 as the one at BestBuy that was $550. If the Toshiba had better sound quality, I’d take it in a heartbeat, but I don’t like running my home theater to watch TV all the time, so I’m thinking the Phillips may be a good alternative. I’m going to look at the Toshiba before I decide for sure though.

Stay tuned.

And thanks again for all the input.

I bought the Toshiba for pic quality and selection of inputs, s-video and comp inputs for the money. I use my surround sound all the time I have my TV speakers turned off. I use it for my xbox too. If you want I have some good links for online shopping you might find even cheaper. Best buy is an oxymoron. lol I went yesterday to get a monster cable set for my xbox it was 44.95 I went to wal-mart and had the same thing for 19.95. Go figure. Hijack
Any of you guys have an xbox, and if so have you tried the fiber optic cable? I have the input in my surround sound system but it has a built in DVD so I can’t think of what else I would use it for other than my xbox. Just wondering if the sound quality is that much better or even noticeable?


I figure most people buy the Toshiba purely for the picture. From my perspective, I’m living in a condo with cement surrounding my suite, so I may very well end up using surround more. Utilities are included too, so there’s no reason not to.

The thing for me was that the Phillips sounded better and had picture quality comparable to the Toshiba.

Bestbuy is ‘best’ for some things though. The Phillips TV that’s $400 at BestBuy is $480 at Wal-Mart, so they are cheaper with some things. I’m going to see what the sales flyers say tomorrow and buy on Saturday, so I’ll let you all know what the final verdict is.

Based on feedback, the Toshiba is the front-runner. Let’s hope it goes down or stays the same in proce in the meantime.

P.S. I’ve read good things about the Sony that’s on at BestBuy and Future Shop for $550ish, so that’s still a possibility.