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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > 3D > 3D TVs, Projectors and Displays

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Old 11-12-2012, 11:53 AM   #1
Student Driver Student Driver is offline
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Default Buying a 3D TV as a gift. Recommendations?

My best friend is a movie collector, with over 2000 DVDs, but no BDs yet. He's still using CRTs for televisions, and I've decided that for his birthday this year, I want to upgrade him to HDTV. For my own purposes, I want to get him into 3D. (Mainly so I have someone new to lend to and from.) I've already told him of my decision, and he's looking forward to it, and he has a PS3 on the way that will serve as a 3D player for him.

I want to stick with passive 3D; he has a young son who can be destructive, and passive is a better fit for his situation (and he has a dozen pairs of Real 3D glasses from movie theaters). AFAIK, this limits me to LG and Vizio. Tell me if there are other alternative brands with passive, of course.

I personally have an LG system (the 55" 3D package Walmart was selling for a bit over $1000) and am comfortable with the brand, but am willing to look at Vizio or other brands. Especially since I'd like to keep this present semi-affordable; don't know if anything is at the $500 level, but would like to keep this <$800, and the less expensive the better. While 55" would be nice, anything over 30" would be a serious upgrade for him, so I'm willing to look at <55" sets. No need for Wi-Fi or apps, but need something with a plethora of connectors (USB, at least two HDMI, at least two sets of component inputs).

So:
  • Passive 3D
  • < $800, cheaper the better
  • Decent number and variety of connection options
  • No need for Wi-Fi
  • Reasonable reliability and/or lifespan

If possible, I'd also like to get a low-end 3D player for him (never been a fan of using game systems as media players, lest the lifespan of the expensive console be reduced), as well as a starter set of BDs; I want to start the guy out properly with HD, to encourage him to wind down the DVD collecting. I like the integration of the LG system; load a disc, the TV turns on, etc. I also like that I can attach a thumb drive or external hard drive filled with media files and play them. Would Vizio do these as well? Other brands?
Formats currently playable in media set-up: Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD, Video CD, Laserdisc, Laseractive, CD Video, CED, VHD, 3D VHD, Betamax, CD, CD+G, audio cassette, vinyl, Atari 2600, Commodore 64/128. No VHS!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:53 PM   #2
Spaulding Spaulding is offline
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The Panasonic TC-L42ET5 is a passive 42". That being said CNET has good things to say about Vizios new M series passive sets. http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-t...-35159744.html Its a 47" LED/LCD. The LG 47LM4600 47" set is on sale at Wal-Mart for $649.
3DTV■ Samsung (PN51F8500)
Player■ Sony (BDP-S590)
AVR■ Yamaha (RX-V475)
Speakers■ Pioneer (BS22□C22)
Sub■ SVS (PB-1000)
Game■ PS4□PS3 Slim 120gb□Xbox One

Last edited by Spaulding; 11-12-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
Monsterr Monsterr is offline
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Also in the same boat as you, I found a lot of good prices on some TV's for Black Friday, basically trying to decide between Samsung and LG.

this 40" samsung is gonna be $492 on BF http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+...3594900&loc=01

also available in 46" for $648 on BF

and this 47" LG will be $699 on BF @ Sears http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/LG-...SIN=B006ZH0KVG

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaulding View Post
The Panasonic TC-L42ET5 is a passive 42". That being said CNET has good things to say about Vizios new M series passive sets. http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-t...-35159744.html Its a 47" LED/LCD. The LG 47LM4600 47" set is on sale at Wal-Mart for $649.
the Vizio will be $648 on BF from Sams cLUB
would you recommend the Vizio over the LG or Samsung I posted above? I'm trying to single it down but I'm having a hard time deciding.

here is what cNET had to say about the LG
http://reviews.cnet.com/flat-panel-t...-35117974.html

I can't find many reviews about the Samsung but I heard that's the better brand for 3D TV's?

Last edited by Monsterr; 11-12-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
Spaulding Spaulding is offline
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I would go with the Samsung 46" for no other reason than active 3D. Tried passive didn't like the reduction in detail. If you prefer passive either of the 47" the LG 47LM7600 or Vizio.
3DTV■ Samsung (PN51F8500)
Player■ Sony (BDP-S590)
AVR■ Yamaha (RX-V475)
Speakers■ Pioneer (BS22□C22)
Sub■ SVS (PB-1000)
Game■ PS4□PS3 Slim 120gb□Xbox One
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:19 PM   #5
Student Driver Student Driver is offline
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Thanks for the heads-up, everyone. The prices look good.

As for passive vs. active, it's kind of a necessity for his household. I could do active (and may go there for my own second set), but he needs a kid-friendly set where broken glasses aren't going to be a problem.
Formats currently playable in media set-up: Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD, Video CD, Laserdisc, Laseractive, CD Video, CED, VHD, 3D VHD, Betamax, CD, CD+G, audio cassette, vinyl, Atari 2600, Commodore 64/128. No VHS!
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
Spaulding Spaulding is offline
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The other guy was interested in the active tv. But for your friend the LG 47LM7600 or the Vizio would both be great. Love the style of the LG.
3DTV■ Samsung (PN51F8500)
Player■ Sony (BDP-S590)
AVR■ Yamaha (RX-V475)
Speakers■ Pioneer (BS22□C22)
Sub■ SVS (PB-1000)
Game■ PS4□PS3 Slim 120gb□Xbox One
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:42 PM   #7
AmrlKJaneway AmrlKJaneway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
Thanks for the heads-up, everyone. The prices look good.

As for passive vs. active, it's kind of a necessity for his household. I could do active (and may go there for my own second set), but he needs a kid-friendly set where broken glasses aren't going to be a problem.
I have a destructive son too, so forget about the glasses for a second and think panels.

Kids don't watch 3D. Their attention spans are too short and they don't sit and stare at a movie. They want to play with toys that mimic the movie, and go and do other things during the slow parts. They don't care about plot development, so most likely they won't even touch the glasses until they are beyond the destructive stage.

The only television I know of that has a thick, mostly indestructible, panel is the Panasonic plasmas. I've had mine for five years, and sure, they've scratched it, but never broken it. My Samsung didn't last five minutes and the impact was not hard at all. It broke like so many cheaply made toys.

I walk through the store rapping on panels and everything seems to be thin plastic. Everyone wants a thin, light weight TV that is easy to carry, install and mount. Panasonic's website even advertises some of their sets as being for families with small children.

They do have passive now as someone above me said, but if they don't have a strong panel, forget it, cause the glasses are easy to put away, the television isn't.

Then there's projectors. The kids never touched that. It was up too high. There's some from Acer and Optoma within your budget.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:01 AM   #8
passifloraman passifloraman is offline
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Go for the LG 47CM565...great picture, fantastic 3D, great internet reviews. This is last year's model but at less than $600 it's a bargain. Works great with passive theater 3D glasses. I bought mine on sale at Best Buy...Wal-Mart and Target have it on sale now. My sister likes the my LG so much she's buying the same model.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmrlKJaneway View Post
I have a destructive son too, so forget about the glasses for a second and think panels.

Kids don't watch 3D. Their attention spans are too short and they don't sit and stare at a movie. They want to play with toys that mimic the movie, and go and do other things during the slow parts. They don't care about plot development, so most likely they won't even touch the glasses until they are beyond the destructive stage.

The only television I know of that has a thick, mostly indestructible, panel is the Panasonic plasmas. I've had mine for five years, and sure, they've scratched it, but never broken it. My Samsung didn't last five minutes and the impact was not hard at all. It broke like so many cheaply made toys.

I walk through the store rapping on panels and everything seems to be thin plastic. Everyone wants a thin, light weight TV that is easy to carry, install and mount. Panasonic's website even advertises some of their sets as being for families with small children.

They do have passive now as someone above me said, but if they don't have a strong panel, forget it, cause the glasses are easy to put away, the television isn't.

Then there's projectors. The kids never touched that. It was up too high. There's some from Acer and Optoma within your budget.
This kid loves 3D... It's one of the reasons they have so many sets of glasses from theaters.

Your other points do offer food for thought. I'm less concerned with the kid damaging the TV, though, and more with the TV damaging the kid if it topples onto him. A secure wall mount or a projector as you suggest would be safer. Not sure how apartment management would feel about a projector being mounted on the ceiling (typically wall mounts are okay). I think that overall, I'll have to involve my friend in the buying process.
Formats currently playable in media set-up: Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD, Video CD, Laserdisc, Laseractive, CD Video, CED, VHD, 3D VHD, Betamax, CD, CD+G, audio cassette, vinyl, Atari 2600, Commodore 64/128. No VHS!
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
This kid loves 3D... It's one of the reasons they have so many sets of glasses from theaters.

Your other points do offer food for thought. I'm less concerned with the kid damaging the TV, though, and more with the TV damaging the kid if it topples onto him. A secure wall mount or a projector as you suggest would be safer. Not sure how apartment management would feel about a projector being mounted on the ceiling (typically wall mounts are okay). I think that overall, I'll have to involve my friend in the buying process.
Make sure you let us know what you decide on!
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:23 PM   #11
bhampton bhampton is offline
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My neighbor got the 42" passive from Panasonic and its GREAT!

Passive is so much cooler in certain ways. No need to charge or keep batteries for the glasses and the glasses are like free and light and not fatiguing.

I have an active Samsung which I love but passive fits more causal users well.
Blu Rays are Forever
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #12
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Following up on this; I'll be buying the TV tomorrow. Looks like we're going with a 47" LG, whatever model is on sale at Walmart tomorrow. Didn't see the $600 model listed above, but with my additional 20% off, the $700 set in stock will be $560. Friend is springing for an entertainment center with solid mounting bracket on the back to keep the TV safe from potentially falling on his son. He won't be able to get the TV home for another week or so, and won't have a 3D Blu-Ray player until January, but in the mean time he's looking to enjoy something bigger than a 27" CRT for watching his DVDs.

I think I'll also buy him a screen cleaning kit... we're not worried about the kid breaking the screen, but I imagine fingerprints are going to be a problem.
Formats currently playable in media set-up: Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD, Video CD, Laserdisc, Laseractive, CD Video, CED, VHD, 3D VHD, Betamax, CD, CD+G, audio cassette, vinyl, Atari 2600, Commodore 64/128. No VHS!
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:05 AM   #13
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Aaand another follow-up... the store was out of the 47" models, both LG and Vizio. So, I stepped up and got him a 55" LG, along with a low-end LG 3D Blu-Ray player and an HDMI cable. After discounts, I still only paid around $800. Nearly $600 less than my own set-up a year ago. Almost makes me wish I'd waited a year to buy mine... almost!
Formats currently playable in media set-up: Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD, Video CD, Laserdisc, Laseractive, CD Video, CED, VHD, 3D VHD, Betamax, CD, CD+G, audio cassette, vinyl, Atari 2600, Commodore 64/128. No VHS!
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
Aaand another follow-up... the store was out of the 47" models, both LG and Vizio. So, I stepped up and got him a 55" LG, along with a low-end LG 3D Blu-Ray player and an HDMI cable. After discounts, I still only paid around $800. Nearly $600 less than my own set-up a year ago. Almost makes me wish I'd waited a year to buy mine... almost!
Man I'm so glad for your friend. lol Personally I think 55 inch is the minimum size to feel like you've got a big enough to enjoy movies with. He must be beyond ecstatic! Does he know which tv he's getting yet? Do post pics when its set up!
(Does he have a surround sound setup or decent speakers? Having used and experienced a number of lg tvs, their speakers leaves a lot to be desired for. )
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:17 AM   #15
AmrlKJaneway AmrlKJaneway is offline
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Sounds like a great choice! I hope he's happy with it!
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:42 AM   #16
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Man I'm so glad for your friend. lol Personally I think 55 inch is the minimum size to feel like you've got a big enough to enjoy movies with. He must be beyond ecstatic! Does he know which tv he's getting yet? Do post pics when its set up!
(Does he have a surround sound setup or decent speakers? Having used and experienced a number of lg tvs, their speakers leaves a lot to be desired for. )
Yeah, he got it last night... I drive a compact car, so I had to have him there to take the TV home. The sound is an unfortunate thing; he lives in an apartment, and is loath to get a sound system to avoid pissing off the neighbors. I offered to get him a bar-style center speaker, but he demurred. (I am in the same situation, and just have stereo through an old bullet-proof JVC amp... and at low levels, the sound is easily heard through the walls and in the common hallway... so his concern is warranted.) He's no audiophile, though... guy's been watching DVDs for 12+ years through a tiny CRT TV and its tin-horn speaker.

He was flipping out last night. When I pointed out the 47" on demo, he sounded like a guy who'd just won on The Price Is Right. "Oh my God, that is so amazing, I could never even imagine, my family is going to DIE." Then the employee came out of the back, told me they were out, and I told them to bring out the 55". Both his son and him just stood there, mouth open, stunned. As we were loading it into his car, it was pretty much "Dude... this is... dude. Thank you. I can't.... man!"

He called me last night to ask how to set up the tuner to pick up OTA stations, and kept gushing about the image quality as I led him through it. I'll be stopping by today to double check the settings on the TV and BD player to make sure things are right, so that he's not watching stuff zoomed or stretched... and to drop off the starter pack of 3D movies he doesn't know about.

Dunno if I'll get pics of it... it is just a basic LG 55" and BD player, one we've all seen on display. There's nothing amazing about the TV itself... just in how it's been received by someone who never thought he could afford something like this. He and I are in the same demographic and salary range, but he's got a son to take care of, and he's got other priorities for his money. This is the perfect type of gift, the "something he would dearly want, and something he would never ever buy for himself" type thing.
Formats currently playable in media set-up: Blu Ray 3D, Blu Ray, DVD, Video CD, Laserdisc, Laseractive, CD Video, CED, VHD, 3D VHD, Betamax, CD, CD+G, audio cassette, vinyl, Atari 2600, Commodore 64/128. No VHS!

Last edited by Student Driver; 12-08-2012 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:01 PM   #17
Freak_Zombie Freak_Zombie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
Yeah, he got it last night... I drive a compact car, so I had to have him there to take the TV home. The sound is an unfortunate thing; he lives in an apartment, and is loath to get a sound system to avoid pissing off the neighbors. I offered to get him a bar-style center speaker, but he demurred. (I am in the same situation, and just have stereo through an old bullet-proof JVC amp... and at low levels, the sound is easily heard through the walls and in the common hallway... so his concern is warranted.) He's no audiophile, though... guy's been watching DVDs for 12+ years through a tiny CRT TV and its tin-horn speaker.

He was flipping out last night. When I pointed out the 47" on demo, he sounded like a guy who'd just won on The Price Is Right. "Oh my God, that is so amazing, I could never even imagine, my family is going to DIE." Then the employee came out of the back, told me they were out, and I told them to bring out the 55". Both his son and him just stood there, mouth open, stunned. As we were loading it into his car, it was pretty much "Dude... this is... dude. Thank you. I can't.... man!"

He called me last night to ask how to set up the tuner to pick up OTA stations, and kept gushing about the image quality as I led him through it. I'll be stopping by today to double check the settings on the TV and BD player to make sure things are right, so that he's not watching stuff zoomed or stretched... and to drop off the starter pack of 3D movies he doesn't know about.

Dunno if I'll get pics of it... it is just a basic LG 55" and BD player, one we've all seen on display. There's nothing amazing about the TV itself... just in how it's been received by someone who never thought he could afford something like this. He and I are in the same demographic and salary range, but he's got a son to take care of, and he's got other priorities for his money. This is the perfect type of gift, the "something he would dearly want, and something he would never ever buy for himself" type thing.
Very nice! I know of certain people in the same position too. These are the best kind of presents you can ever get them for. I think you probably gained a ton of good karma too! I may have a solution for the sound problem. Creative tech is no longer the giant they used to be so a lot of their stuff can be had for really cheap. I highly recommend the sound blaster series of headphones. (The ones that come with the full sized ear cups) Tons of bass, very decent sound quality and I'm sure a lot of them should be on clearance now. (I've seen certain stores having them for as much as 50% - 60% off) I mean sound is half the experience after all!
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:18 PM   #18
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Hope your friend likes that set. It's a good one!
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