Pros: Amazing picture, and that is all that really counts in a TV
Cons: Sound could be better, but that's why home theatre exists...
We had (like many consumers) an older model tube television. Our old RCA Entertainment Series 27" was well used and well-loved, until it finally kicked the bucket back in May. While we weren't eager (okay, it was ME, and not my hubby, who wasn't eager) to spend cash on a new LCD television, we noticed that in the age of LCD and Plasma, there just aren't that many choices in tube tvs anymore. And so, the search for an LCD tv began!
What is out there on the market?:
Depending on your price point, there are many choices in LCD tvs. From the non-branded or 'made somewhere in China' brands like Prive, Protron, and Spectronic to the national big names like RCA, Samsung, Sony, and LG - there are many LCD companies, and much to learn. We researched the Internet, we spoke with the salepeople, we talked to A/V pros. We learned that Sony S-series LCDs have panels made by Samsung, and that Panasonic LCD panels are made by LG. Similarly, Viewsonic and Hitachi panels are made in the same factory, and while many brand names exist, almost all the LCD panels in the world are manufactured in one of five major factories. Interesting. I am not a brand-name snob, but I am cheap. So naturally, I began to comparison shop for best prices. But there's more to buying an LCD tv than the price...
What to look for?:
In a nutshell, your new LCD tv is only as good as is looks. Picture quality is in the eye of the beholder, and there are big differences between models that have 1000:1 picture quality as opposed to those boasting 7000:1 and greater contrast ratios. What is contrast ratio? Think of it in terms of sharpness and clarity. Head out to the store, and get comfortable. Stand or sit back about as far away from the set as you would sit at home, and let your eyes be the judge. We were originally in the market for a 37" RCA LCD tv - but were very sad to see that the picture was fuzzy and substandard. Upon touring various big and small tv stores, we realized that paying a bit more for a picture that jumps out at you was going to be worth it in the long run.
What do you really need?:
Think about the size of your room. How large of a screen do you really need? Too big of a screen means you are either going to be too close to appreciate the picture quality, or going to be getting a big headache from eye-strain. Also consider the source of your tv pleasure - are you a cable, antenna, or satellite subscriber? Most LC tvs are HD (High definition) capable, and let me tell you, it like watching tv in 3D! Things pop out, and seem very real - but this only is available to those with HD channels and HD receivers (check your cable or satellite provider for details).
Why the LG 32" Won!:
There are so many reasons we chose the LG, but here are the top ones:
1. 2-year manufucaturer's warranty - most companies only offer a 1-year, but LG has a 2-year (bonus!) which we liked to protect our investment
2. Price - LG quality was as good to our eyes as Samsung and Sony (if not better), and far superior to the Best Buy and Future Shop brands like Prive, Protron, Westinghouse, etc. The price was only about $250.00 more than these lower-end tvs, but also about $200-$300.00 cheaper than the oft-overpriced Sony and Sumsung comparables.
3. Picture quality - you can read all about it, but until you see it, you won't believe it. The HD channels are incredible, and even the non-HD feeds are great. The LG tv chooses the best aspect ratio for the picture in non-HD mode, and we have been more than satisfied at watching both regular channels, HD channels, and movies on DVD.
From the LG website, check out the vast array of features:
There are multiple HDMI inputs, and a good number of RCA a/v inputs for all your sound and components. See the manufacturer's website above for detailed pictures of the LG 32LC7D
Go out and physically LOOK at what you are thinking of buying. The LG 32LC7D will impress you, guaranteed. The price is more than acceptable, and the picture quality will convince you that you are getting a steal when you compare to other (and much more expensive) national brand names. The sound is fine for any tv, but not spectacular. If you want spectacular sound to match the picture, I would highly recommend considering a home theatre set-up. We purchased the RCA RTD-206, with Dolby 5.1 Surround, and it more than compensates for the theatre sound lacking in the tv itself.