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View Full Version : wanting vs. needing--big screen tv



BUTLER REDSFAN
07-28-2008, 10:40 PM
Ok...guess I'm looking for opinions...The tv in my family room works just fine. It's a 30 inch portable. I am simply being materialistic and I'm normally not that way. I want a big screen tv. I have already priced a bunch of them at Best Buy and you can get them anywhere from 40-60 inch for around $1,300-2K. I already know I can get a loan and have it paid in in a year or less(We only owe 6 payments left on a 460.00 a month van so paying it off soon shouldn't be an issue). The wife wanted new carpet and tile with the stimulus check and thats what we got and now I kinda feel like it's my turn...I love my wife and kids but sometimes you gotta take care of yourself too???(Need some guys out there to tell me to go thru with this) :)

gonelong
07-28-2008, 11:32 PM
Life can toss you a curveball. Got hit by a drunk driver at 5:30 pm coming home from work one day. I had just paid off our other vehicle and would have had no car payments. Not so much anymore. AC stopped working yesterday, $175 later the house is cool again.

Wait 9 months and pay cash for one ... but then yeah, get one.

GL

JayBruce4HOF
07-28-2008, 11:43 PM
Go get the television. :D

SirFelixCat
07-29-2008, 09:17 AM
We have a 65" WD-65831 (Mitsubishi Diamond DLP) in the living room and absolutely love it. Also have a 50" Vizio Plasma in our office which is pretty sweet (gives off a ton of heat though) and a 37" Westinghouse LCD in the bedroom.

I mention these because each has their own drawbacks...

-DLP has a lamp inside that can be fickle and is the largest of the bunch. But an incredible picture. Thin viewing angle, if that matters to you.
-Plasmas can get really hot and give off quite a bit of heat and use a bunch of power
-LCD doesn't have as good a picture as the DLP/Plasma, but more than acceptable.

I would HIGHLY recommend getting one as you really don't know what you're missing until you watch a movie or game on them. Just fantastic.

But, my biggest suggestion is to wait until you can pay cash (just in case) as well as taking a trip over to avsforum.com. That is THE place for all electronic discussion and those people really know their stuff.

Compare, ask questions, find one and get it!

Good luck and enjoy!

Ltlabner
07-29-2008, 10:07 AM
I already know I can get a loan and have it paid in in a year or less(We only owe 6 payments left on a 460.00 a month van so paying it off soon shouldn't be an issue).

Say what you just typed out loud. "I want to borrow money to buy a TV!"

Serriously? You think that is a good idea?

BTW, your "only 6 payments" left on the van is $2,760.

I think this is your answer...


I am simply being materialistic

You've got a 30" TV. It's not like you are watching on a 10" black and white unit that gets 3 channels. And even if you were, borrowing money to buy a TV makes about zero sense. Actually, less than zero sense unless it's zero % interest and even then I'd be suspect that the cost of the TV was inflated to cover the difference.

This is America and obviously you can do what you want. But if you are looking for opinions on whether it makes any sense on any planet to take out a loan to buy a TV it should be pretty obvious that my opinion is that is a DUMB idea on about 10 different levels.

Unassisted
07-29-2008, 10:21 AM
The pricing on TVs is lower around the year-end holidays. I would set the money aside for the purchase and pull the trigger on it in December. You might save $100-200 if you wait.

Although with the analog turnoff looming in February 2009, this could be the year that bucks that trend.

NJReds
07-29-2008, 10:23 AM
The pricing on TVs is lower around the year-end holidays. I would set the money aside for the purchase and pull the trigger on it in December. You might save $100-200 if you wait.

And they usually offer 12+ months with 0% financing. You still have to pay off the purchase before the time period is up (or else you get hit with all of the interest) but at least you avoid paying interest for a year or so.

SeeinRed
07-29-2008, 10:36 AM
We have a 65" WD-65831 (Mitsubishi Diamond DLP) in the living room and absolutely love it. Also have a 50" Vizio Plasma in our office which is pretty sweet (gives off a ton of heat though) and a 37" Westinghouse LCD in the bedroom.

I mention these because each has their own drawbacks...

-DLP has a lamp inside that can be fickle and is the largest of the bunch. But an incredible picture. Thin viewing angle, if that matters to you.
-Plasmas can get really hot and give off quite a bit of heat and use a bunch of power
-LCD doesn't have as good a picture as the DLP/Plasma, but more than acceptable.

I would HIGHLY recommend getting one as you really don't know what you're missing until you watch a movie or game on them. Just fantastic.

But, my biggest suggestion is to wait until you can pay cash (just in case) as well as taking a trip over to avsforum.com. That is THE place for all electronic discussion and those people really know their stuff.

Compare, ask questions, find one and get it!

Good luck and enjoy!

LCD TV's are probably the most economically sound. Plasmas have shorter life expectancies and DLP's have bulbs that blow just like you you said. They can cost quite a bit to replace. I will say that I really like the pictures in LCD TV's myself. The newer Samsungs and Sharps really have great, vibrant pictures. Older LCD's and cheaper brand LCD's have motion blur, but the new ones have all but done away with that. The size of the TV you want will also play into that. DLP's are cheaper when you get into the bigger TV's and really do have a great picture if you are willing to shell out the extra cash for a new bulb every 3-5 years. Plasmas are ones that I would stay away from. One thing I definately suggest looking into with any new TV is a surround sound system. The newer TVs just don't have very good speakers built in. If you bargain enough at the right place (HHGregg especially), you can get a complete set up for the same price as what they originally wanted for the TV itself, or maybe even less.

I've had the oppurtunity to see and set up a lot of TV's from working with Time Warner. I will tell you that using the settings the way they are right out of the box isn't getting the best out of your TV. Its all personal preference and you should play around with it for a little while as long as you can get around the settings pretty well and have an understanding of what each setting does. If not, just look in the manual or online. People's settings vary from TV to TV for many reasons, so just asking your buddy how he has his set won't help you with yours. A well set up TV is so much better than one just taken out of the box and used. Its like night and day.

As far as cables for the TV go, don't fall into the overpriced HDMI trap. You don't need the ones they are going to try and sell you. If you want your picture and sound all in one nice tidy cable, HDMI is for you. The belief that it give you better picture and sound is not true IMO. The only advantage it has, which is a good one, is that you get sound and video in one small cable and it looks much cleaner behind your set. Regular RBG cables and an optical audio cable will give you the same results, but more clutter. Its all personal preference, but the thought that HDMI gives you better picture and sound is bunk, IMO. However, I can not tell you how much better one cable looks than 4 rather large ones. The reason I call it the overpriced HDMI trap is because you can get HDMI cables for MUCH cheaper if you know where to look. Tiger Direct has them from 29.99 right now.

joshnky
07-29-2008, 10:52 AM
Say what you just typed out loud. "I want to borrow money to buy a TV!"

Serriously? You think that is a good idea?

Agreed completely. Personally, I'm against borrowing money for anything but a house but it seems especially ludicrous to borrow money for an entertainment item. As has been mentioned before, they really aren't that much money that you can't save up for them. Set aside the money and then buy one next February. Usually they are on sale around the super bowl but I'd also expect prives to drop ahead of the February deadline as they flood the market with HDTVs.

One final note, the zero down - no interest for a year deal is just asking to get screwed. You never know what will happen in that year and those interest payments will be killer when they kick in.

joshnky
07-29-2008, 10:54 AM
One other point. Now is not a good time to buy one as the best deals should be from Thanksgiving through the Super Bowl. This should be the hot item this Christmas so I would expect some significant discounts to draw you to certain stores and brands.

durl
07-29-2008, 10:55 AM
Do lots of research online (I agree with SirFelixCat about www.avsforum.com), then go to the store and look at the sets and their pictures. Then buy it online. :) You'll most likely get it a lot cheaper, and hopefully pay no tax or shipping. And I agree with others...I wouldn't recommend taking out a loan to get a TV. When you're done paying for the van, keep setting that payment aside and you'll be able to pay cash for a new TV just a few months.

You didn't mention HD, but if you get an HD set, make sure you get HD programming. It seems as though standard definition programming looks worse on an HD set, but it can vary by television, I'm sure.

I can recommend the Sony SXRD sets. Awesome picture.

Roy Tucker
07-29-2008, 11:05 AM
If you're looking for opinions, I've got a lot of them :)

About a year ago, I bought a very nice 32" LCD TV off the internet for $400. Retired the old 27" Sony tube to the basement. The new TV proportionally fits our family room very nicely and I'm very happy with it.

I think these 60"+ wall-sized TVs with mogombo sounds systems are massive overkill, like most things American. Put that extra money in the bank. JMO.

Ltlabner
07-29-2008, 11:12 AM
Another thought....

I don't know your financial situation, however, if you had scads of cash in the bank I'd be currious why you haven't paid off your van. So working from the assumption you don't have 6 months reserve in savings and all your other debts (aside from mortgage) are not retired, now is the time to pay off the van and put money into savings.

I don't think we are going into The Great Depression Pt II as the nightly news would have you beleive, however we are going into some very unstable and possibly unpleasant financial times. Now is the time to be saving money and acting financially conservative. At least until we know how things are going to play out with the economy.

What would be a better "gift" to your family? A big whoppin TV or the security of having some money in the bank? I guess I'm old fashined, but I consider it my responsibility to protect my family by doing what I can to ensure we have financial stability.

Think about it. What would you rather have if the worst happens and you lose your job? A little money in the bank, or a nice TV to watch American Idol?

Sorry to be so preachy, but you asked!

danken12
07-29-2008, 12:09 PM
LCD TV's are probably the most economically sound. Plasmas have shorter life expectancies and DLP's have bulbs that blow just like you you said. They can cost quite a bit to replace. I will say that I really like the pictures in LCD TV's myself. The newer Samsungs and Sharps really have great, vibrant pictures. Older LCD's and cheaper brand LCD's have motion blur, but the new ones have all but done away with that. The size of the TV you want will also play into that. DLP's are cheaper when you get into the bigger TV's and really do have a great picture if you are willing to shell out the extra cash for a new bulb every 3-5 years. Plasmas are ones that I would stay away from. One thing I definately suggest looking into with any new TV is a surround sound system. The newer TVs just don't have very good speakers built in. If you bargain enough at the right place (HHGregg especially), you can get a complete set up for the same price as what they originally wanted for the TV itself, or maybe even less.

I've had the oppurtunity to see and set up a lot of TV's from working with Time Warner. I will tell you that using the settings the way they are right out of the box isn't getting the best out of your TV. Its all personal preference and you should play around with it for a little while as long as you can get around the settings pretty well and have an understanding of what each setting does. If not, just look in the manual or online. People's settings vary from TV to TV for many reasons, so just asking your buddy how he has his set won't help you with yours. A well set up TV is so much better than one just taken out of the box and used. Its like night and day.

As far as cables for the TV go, don't fall into the overpriced HDMI trap. You don't need the ones they are going to try and sell you. If you want your picture and sound all in one nice tidy cable, HDMI is for you. The belief that it give you better picture and sound is not true IMO. The only advantage it has, which is a good one, is that you get sound and video in one small cable and it looks much cleaner behind your set. Regular RBG cables and an optical audio cable will give you the same results, but more clutter. Its all personal preference, but the thought that HDMI gives you better picture and sound is bunk, IMO. However, I can not tell you how much better one cable looks than 4 rather large ones. The reason I call it the overpriced HDMI trap is because you can get HDMI cables for MUCH cheaper if you know where to look. Tiger Direct has them from 29.99 right now.


If anyone is in the market for HDMI cables, the place undoubtedly to look is monoprice.com, their stuff is top notch and almost unbelievably cheap. I highly recommend them for any type of cable.

SeeinRed
07-29-2008, 03:16 PM
If anyone is in the market for HDMI cables, the place undoubtedly to looks is monoprice.com, their stuff is top notch and almost unbelievably cheap. I highly recommend them for any type of cable.


Looks like some really good prices... Wow, if the quality is good, I might look into this site more. Thanks.

Rojo
07-29-2008, 03:37 PM
What Ltlabner said. I think you're crazy to even consider it.

TeamSelig
07-29-2008, 05:04 PM
I'll agree with those who want you to save up some cash and buy it during the holidays. Then you can say its a gift to the family instead of just for yourself ;)

Red in Chicago
07-29-2008, 09:21 PM
can't you just make the wife get a job and pay for it with the extra money she's making:thumbup:

SandyD
07-29-2008, 11:15 PM
my mom and dad just bought a 40" lcd for their bedroom ... financed it for a year ... at 0% interest. They COULD pay cash, but why? They'll establish automatic payments and forget about it.

edit: and they will too. they've done it before.

macro
07-30-2008, 12:23 AM
Plasmas are ones that I would stay away from.

Why? Because of the supposed shorter life span? If they last as long as the 60,000 hours they're claiming they will, that will amount to over 27 years at six hours a day of use. Even if they only last half that amount of time, it will exceed the amount of time that most televisions get used anyway.

We've got some 13 year old TVs that still work, but they're obsolete. The same will go for the stuff that's new today. By the time it wears out, something better will be available anyway.

For my two cents, a television picture gets no better than plasma.


Looks like some really good prices... Wow, if the quality is good, I might look into this site more. Thanks.

Monoprice sells top quality stuff at those amazing prices. I don't know how they do it. And, they don't lowball on the price and then gouge on the shipping. The shipping rates are low, too!

wolfboy
07-30-2008, 10:54 AM
Looks like some really good prices... Wow, if the quality is good, I might look into this site more. Thanks.

I'm a big monoprice guy as well. The quality is great. In fact, the only cable (optical) that I've had problems with is the one that didn't come from monoprice. Don't get taken to the cleaners on cables.

joshnky
07-30-2008, 12:59 PM
my mom and dad just bought a 40" lcd for their bedroom ... financed it for a year ... at 0% interest. They COULD pay cash, but why?

The better question is why not pay cash if you have it? I'm sure your parents will be fine and can handle this but this is the attitude that has created the latest credit "crisis". People have built up massive credit card debt based on the attitude of "why pay now?" You're going to have to pay for it sometime. Why not pay now and then eliminate the risk of something happening and the interest kicking in.

gonelong
07-30-2008, 01:33 PM
The better question is why not pay cash if you have it?

Because if you put credit to work for you instead of letting in take advantage of you, it can be a great tool. Take this example. A $2K TV I can pay off today, or pay in 12 months. Interest free loan? Sign me up! Take that $2K and put it in a 12 month CD a 4%. That nets you $80 (less taxes).


I'm sure your parents will be fine and can handle this but this is the attitude that has created the latest credit "crisis". People have built up massive credit card debt based on the attitude of "why pay now?" You're going to have to pay for it sometime. Why not pay now and then eliminate the risk of something happening and the interest kicking in.

Lots of people get in trouble with credit, but I know more than a handful that use it very smartly and benefit greatly.

GL

Dom Heffner
07-30-2008, 01:53 PM
What would you rather have if the worst happens and you lose your job? A little money in the bank, or a nice TV to watch American Idol?


If the economy tanks, he loses his job, and he's out on the street, the $1200 he would have saved by listening to you would have lasted him a month if that. It's not like all of these things are going to happen and the television is going to be the single reason he's in trouble.

Breathe easy. If you want the television, go for it.

There's nothing wrong with the all the advice- it's all very sound, but seriously, if buying a TV is what sends you into financial misery, you weren't in good standing to begin with.

Nothing wrong with buying things on credit if you can stop with the television. Just don't run up a bunch of debt by not being careful.

Rojo
07-30-2008, 02:03 PM
Just don't run up a bunch of debt by not being careful.

Hey Mr. Rockefella, for many of us $1200 is approaching "a bunch". I'm not sure I get the pour-gas-on-the-fire strategy.

Dom Heffner
07-30-2008, 02:11 PM
I"m with you, Rojo, I just think we're going down a little dramatic path over a couple thousand dollars.

No matter what, who you are you can climb out of that kind of hole in little time if everything else in his life goes wrong.

joshnky
07-30-2008, 02:15 PM
Lots of people get in trouble with credit, but I know more than a handful that use it very smartly and benefit greatly.

GL

True but that doesn't make it sound advice. Its playing with fire and you never know when unforeseen circumstances might change your financial situation.

RFS62
07-30-2008, 02:44 PM
Get the TV.

Your wife can always get a second job.

:pimp:

Roy Tucker
07-30-2008, 03:05 PM
She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the juke box broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke

Blow up your TV, throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own

Well, I sat there at the table and I acted real naive
For I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve
Well, she danced around the bar room and she did the hoochy-coo
Yeah she sang her song all night long, tellin' me what to do

Blow up your TV, throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own

Well, I was young and hungry and about to leave that place
When just as I was leavin', well she looked me in the face
I said "You must know the answer."
"She said, "No but I'll give it a try."
And to this very day we've been livin' our way
And here is the reason why

We blew up our TV threw away our paper
Went to the country, built us a home
Had a lot of children, fed 'em on peaches
They all found Jesus on their own

gonelong
07-30-2008, 05:10 PM
True but that doesn't make it sound advice. Its playing with fire and you never know when unforeseen circumstances might change your financial situation.

If handled correctly, you can pay $2K today or pay $1920 later (effectively, since you can make $80 in interest). How is it sound advice to pay up front?

Quite frankly, if unforseen circumstances come up and I needed the money I'd rather have the $2K in hand and let them repo the TV.

Caveat: (Other than the obvious that the person can't control themselves and will spend the money on something else.)


GL

SandyD
07-30-2008, 11:59 PM
The better question is why not pay cash if you have it? I'm sure your parents will be fine and can handle this but this is the attitude that has created the latest credit "crisis". People have built up massive credit card debt based on the attitude of "why pay now?" You're going to have to pay for it sometime. Why not pay now and then eliminate the risk of something happening and the interest kicking in.

The cash is in savings accounts earning interest. They can get at it at any time. They will use automatic payments to prevent the interest from kicking in.

They put a trailer on discover (to get the cash back), paid it off entirely before the interest kicked in, and paid THEMSELVES back with interest.

Look, I don't recommend it for many people. But a lot of people of their generation can do something like that. Few of mine and younger.

Ltlabner
07-31-2008, 12:57 AM
What people are missing is that 4% on a CD, our using credit card points or getting a little interest in savings isn't the point (in this scenario).

While those are generally good things, the rate of inflation renders it moot in this case.

The real point is whether it is sound to buy a huge tv in lue of paying off debt or building up a nest egg. From what the OP originally shared, he/she still owes debt on vechile, and is considering *more* debt via a loan for the TV. We don't even know about credit card debt and apparently there's little to no savings (or else he'd just pay cash). Serriously, on what planet does it make sense to buy a $2,000 tv in that scenario? Especially when he's watching TV on a 30" unit right now!

In the *short term*, especially in the face of uncertian financial times, you are wiser to retire debt/increase savings only so you have operating funds should you need them (and no drag from debt payments). Worry about interest and investments later.

BUTLER REDSFAN
07-31-2008, 01:27 AM
To put this to bed after thinking it over I'm going to wait until the van is paid off. I've waited this long another 6 months isn't going to kill me. Thanks for the opinions and yes I did ask for the opinions but Ltlabner no point in posting 3 different times about how what planet I'm on,every level of dumb, or how broke I may be? Going a bit overboard for such an innocuous topic.

JayBruce4HOF
07-31-2008, 06:50 AM
True but that doesn't make it sound advice. Its playing with fire and you never know when unforeseen circumstances might change your financial situation.

Not really. It all depends on what your financial situation actually is. For some folks, $1200, even in the face of "unforeseen circumstances" wouldn't affect them at all. It's all about knowing your own bottom line.

JayBruce4HOF
07-31-2008, 06:51 AM
If handled correctly, you can pay $2K today or pay $1920 later (effectively, since you can make $80 in interest). How is it sound advice to pay up front?

Quite frankly, if unforseen circumstances come up and I needed the money I'd rather have the $2K in hand and let them repo the TV.

Caveat: (Other than the obvious that the person can't control themselves and will spend the money on something else.)


GL

:beerme: Nice post.

Chip R
07-31-2008, 09:57 AM
Closed per BUTLER REDSFAN'S request