JLP Needs Your Advice: Buying a TV

Samsung LNT5271

You might have noticed a statement I made at the end of yesterday’s kitchen remodel post about filling that big hole in the built-ins with a new TV. We currently have a GIANT 36″ Sony Trintron that’s about 7 years old. It’s a great TV but it is too big. We decided not to have the built-ins built to accomodate the Sony because it would look funny and eventually we wanted a nice flat screen. The problem is that as soon as all the construction is done, I won’t have a place to put the Sony. So,….

I’m shopping for a new TV.

I’m favoring a Samsung 52″ LCD (Model #LNT5271), while my wife thinks a plasma is the way to go. My wife’s opinion is based on Consumer Reports while mine is based on “research” done at Best Buy. Of course my “research” needs some follow-up. However, once I saw the Samsung in action, I was amazed that it was an LCD! The model I looked at seems a bit pricey at $4,399 so I definitely want to be sure it’s the right way to go before I spend that kind of money. One thing that confuses me is that Samsung has another 52″ (Model #5281) that looks identical to model #LNT5271 but sells for $4,999.

I did a side-by-side comparison and the only difference I saw was in the contrast ratio. Model LNT5271 has 25000:1 dynamic, while Model LNT5281 has 50000:1 dynamic (LED Smart Lighting) 500000:1 dynamic (LED Smart Lighting). Three questions:

1. What does this mean?


2. Will it matter to me?


3. Is it worth $600 more?

Anyway, Samsung seems to be the best way to go but I would like to know what you guys think. My maximum budget is $5,000 and my goal is to get the best I can for the money I’m spending. I would be happy to spend less as long as I’m not giving up quality. Walking down the aisle at Best Buy I noticed a lot of differences in picture quality. It seemed like the cheaper the TV the less-quality of picture it had.

Oh, and I haven’t ruled out DLP. I just don’t know much about them other than the fact that they are bigger. Both my brother and brother-in-law have DLP TVs and have been happy with them.

Weigh in please…

56 thoughts on “JLP Needs Your Advice: Buying a TV”

  1. The way I see it—
    I am one of the people who can see the difference, as a generalization plasmas look better then lcds, lcds will draw less power then plasmas and run cooler. lcd no burn in, plasmas maybe? 1080p is a virtual standard theses days brung in by the ps3(blu-ray) if you don’t plan on getting ps3(bluray) 720p is fine for hdtv viewing. With bluray the picture is amazing and noticeable go to a dedicated hifi store and ask them to demo the best they have for you… The sound on bluray using the new sound formats with a reciever capable of processing is also much better but the jump in picture is more noticable then the jump in sound quality. Buying a tv is like buying a car could you could buy a Ferrari to go place to place or buy a Ford Fiesta both will probly take you where you want to go but one will probably leave you breathless while the other will be a humdrum ride.

  2. I choose the LNT5281 over the pioneer kuro (best TV ever period) which i can see has a better picture by maybe 10-15%, because of power consumption and possible burn in with plasmas (play games). The 81 series was the best for my needs. Glad I bought it cause dont think they make them anymore. Sorry bout the long posts but tired or reading post from people telling him to go buy a no name brand tv. Buy whats in your budget and what fits your needs best, use your eyes if you cant tell the diff buy the cheapest one, if you can buy the best that you can afford. You get what you pay for, theres a reason why they are $5000. Do your research people.

  3. Buy both!
    Then you can watch one and your husband can watch the other!
    Since your mindless salespeople blogging for the purpose of advertising, who really cares?

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