Tech Review 2011 – Big Screen TV Sets – Do Your Research and Don’t Pay Too Much

TV Deals – Bigger Sometimes is Better

  • Do the Research – On recently buying my 63” plasma I researched it to DEATH. Unfortunately retailers are not the fountain of knowledge we would like, so it is up to users to learn as much as they can before they buy.
  • 3D – The 3D TVs have had a bit of a problem in that the world has been asked to buy technology without content to use with it, being available. This is different than HD was when it was introduced in that regular content looked better with HD. Now that everything is HD, trying to get folks to move from HD to 3D has been both competitive and complicated. In the US there are loads of 3D movies out and they will slowly drift to Australia.
  • Convert 2D to 3D– Unknown by many that some of the 3D sets have a button that allows you to convert instantly 2D TV to 3D. This works better some things than others and in some cases (like the Samsung) you can even adjust the depth of the 3D layer for better viewing if that appeals to you.
  • Smart TV with 3D – At the same time 3D has launched, smart TV’s have also come to be. This is where the new TV’s have internet connectivity and also the ability to use built in applications. This can be YouTube, or other features, but more will be added in the near future. Some TV’s have built in hard drives and even can record direct to the TV.
  • Update your TV online- One of the great things about the Smart TV’s being able to connect to the internet is that your TV can update firmware, and software, getting you more apps for instance, or other features that manufacturers have not been able to do in the past.
  • Check Pricing – When doing the research it would be silly to ignore price. The idea of buying something and then discovering you paid 50% too much is not impossible, so you should avoid it if you can.
    • RRP– Check out what the RRP is from the manufacturers’ website online. NEVER pay RRP for a TV is my motto. RRP is the price all other TV’s should be compared to only. If 2 different manufactures have the same RRP on the same size and type of set, there is normally more competition there and even better deals can often be done, if you hunt.
  • Other Perks- The big manufacturers (Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic and in some cases Sharp) have offered giveaways for customers buying new sets and not just the largest sets either and these offers change occasionally. In the case of Panasonic it was a new 3D compatible complete home surrounds system with 7.2 surround sound, speakers, receiver the works. In the case of Samsung it was a 22” TV, 4 pairs of 3D glasses, and 4 x 3D movies. Both deals worth around $1500-2000 RRP. In my case I wanted neither but as I was buying a high end home theatre media receiver and speakers the Panasonic offer was a loser for me and to be fair harder to sell on eBay to dump it. The Samsung offer was good.
  • Specifics- I had a budget of around $3000 thinking that would buy me the best 50-58” TV (non-3D please) plasma. On the high street that was about right, then I did the research and though I found the RRP for the 58” was $3300 and the 63” was $4500 (from Panasonic and Samsung). But for the 63” I found online deals for $3300 all over the internet for both manufacturers WOW !I prefer to deal with a large local retailer so when I found many $3300 63” set at a mainly online retailer but with a showroom then the national retailer was obliged (as they offer to price match) to sell me the same set at the same price. This was a savings of $1100 off RRP and RRP had gone down $500 from the month before WOW $1600 off RRP from 2 months ago, amazing, and the set was of course a 3D Samsung 63” Smart TV.
  • Summary – Now a few weeks later I can feel good about not spending over my budget and a good fair price. I also suggest the extra warranty that can usually be negotiated before you settle on price. Updating your TV software the first time seemed a bit surreal, these really are interesting times.

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