In Search of the Perfect TV

I’m getting married in 8 days! We’ve spent the last week moving stuff into our new place and one of the last remaining issues to solve is quite an important one: The TV! Right now we do not have a TV — at all. We love to watch movies and play video games, so a TV is kinda required. I need your help and expertise!

Here are the details of my hunt so far.

  • Budget: $650 (I MIGHT squeeze that to $700 but that’s really pushing it.)
  • TV has to fit on this tv stand/entertainment stand (20.2 inches x 15.75 inches x 47.25 inches)
  • We sit roughly 6-7 feet away straight on
  • I have Amazon Prime, live 2 minutes from Best Buy/Walmart/Target, etc.
  • I don’t need Smart features

I clearly can’t afford the best TV out there, but I think I can get something nice. I could just buy the biggest TV I can find in my range with the best reviews on Amazon, but I want my money to go the furthest it can (so I need your help!). Doing research, I see the popular opinion points to Samsung as the top dog for quality if you can get a TV with a panel actually made by Samsung. How big of a difference is Samsung compared to something like LG or Vizio? How much of a difference is 50″ compared to 48″ in terms of a true experience at 6 feet away? Am I really okay just going for the biggest TV I can get in my budget regardless of manufacturer and features?

Here’s my current top find in terms of quality: Samsung UN48H6350 48-Inch. The feedback I’m getting on this one is that it’s not big enough, has Smart features I don’t need, etc., and that I could get bigger TV for the price. All true. The LG Electronics 55LB5900 55-Inch is awesome but the feet length are beyond the size of my TV stand. My biggest issue is finding a bigger tv (in my budget) that will fit my space.

Your opinions on brands to go with or avoid, what size you recommend for my space, and overall suggestions on how I can stretch my budget are appreciated.

  • I’ve been using a 47″ Insignia for the past 7 years without any issues. Has plenty of HDMI ports, and I can actually control the volume/channel/input with buttons on the side of it (I always lose my remote…). It is also identical to Samsung TV’s in that size made that year. For the most part, now, I use it for gaming and work by hooking up a computer to it, since I don’t have cable anymore.

    Plenty of bells and whistles out there, I’d suggest just going to Best Buy and looking at all the tv’s on display and trying to find one that looks good to you. Insignia is their store brand, and are all just rebranded over-stock from other companies. They also price match, and sell their tv’s at a loss to try and get you to buy cables and shit for obscene markups. For the consumer who isn’t about to drop $30 on an HDMI cable, $200 on a warranty that is only slightly longer than the manufacturers, and is smart about what they want Best Buy is a really solid place to shop.

  • Just browed the Best Buy site. I can get a 55″ Insignia (Best Buy brand) TV for $550. Definitely a bigger tv, but how much will the quality suffer compared to something like a Samsung?

  • If you plan to sit 6-7 feet back, then a bigger TV would be well worth it in IMO. I sit about that distance at my home and rock a 60″ I got on Black Friday a year and half ago. Heck, I could prob even go bigger. Might be worth considering moving your current stand into the bedroom? Then going to IKEA and getting some simple. I grabbed a basic IKEA stand in the clearance area for like $20. Simple and effective.

    I’m not sure about the Insignia brand, but my last 2 Vizio’s have been great quality. I feel Samsung is really brand name more than anything at this point, especially if you don’t want one of the fancy smart TVs. Samsungs crap out, too. A buddy bought a fancy 3d Samsung and it bricked on him. It’s a nice fancy talking piece now.

  • We also have space limitations which is why we have that stand. We’re in a smaller apartment right now so we can’t lose the space to a bigger piece of furniture. There are pictures of people on Amazon using it to hold a 60″ — it’s all about tv’s stand/base. The LG has legs on the sides that are too far out. If those were in more it’d fit.

  • The thing about Insignia is (or was years ago at least) that they’re whatever brand had a factory overproduce. They can be hit/miss, sometimes being an clone of a Samsung or other times being something cheap. The only real way to tell is to look at it.

    I think JJ has a point, as well. Higher end brands are pushing more and more features. If you don’t want a smart/3D/combo espresso maker TV then I think almost everyone is on a fairly level playing field at this point.

  • Think also about a videoprojector, this does not take a lot of place while turned off, but can provide a very big image ! I bought one last month, after 4 years without a TV, and it is really great !

    I recommend the BenQ W1070 for this TV

  • don’t be afraid to go for a plasma tv. i bought a 60″ plasma that i mounted on the wall about a year ago and it’s been great. The TV and the wall mount together were about $650. I bought it all at Microcenter. if you have a Microcenter nearby, definitely go there instead of Best Buy. way better prices and service.

  • My biggest piece of advice is to go to a store that carries the models you are interested in and view them yourself from the angles you would most likely use.

    There are subtle but noticeable differences between brands even those that share excellent reviews.

  • Great point about viewing angles. I chose an LED model over a plasma model as it was offering larger viewing angle, a key feature of my last appartment. My tv stand was in the middle of a large and open living space and I was able to see the screen perfectly from anywhere.

  • Why don’t you mount the tv on the wall, that way the size of the feet matters nil and you can go for the LG, which makes great screens, not sure about tv’s but I think they’re Pretty darn good (as in no worse than Samsung).