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Is It Time to Replace Your First HDTV? (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the newer-is-not-always-better dept.

Displays 418

Millions of Americans bought their first HDTVs between four and seven years ago, because that's when prices for 40" - 50" sets started dropping below $700. Those sets are obviously between four and seven years old now. Are new ones so much more wonderful that it's time to get a new HDTV? Not necessarily. Alfred Poor, long-time display technology expert and senior editor for aNewDomain, has some insight here, which he shares with us in today's video. There's obviously a lot more to discuss about TV technology advances (such as 3d) that we didn't get to today, so look forward to another discussion on this topic in two or three weeks.

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Betteridge's law (2)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about a year ago | (#44810817)

When I read about the hackability of smart TV's with cameras, I have to escalate beyond Betteridge to "Hell no!". My present HD TV is just fine, thank you.

Re:Betteridge's law (3, Interesting)

raydobbs (99133) | about a year ago | (#44810901)

If only they made a tape...opaque... [homedepot.com] that could be used to cover up the cameras - then we'd only have to worry about the microphone - which might befall an accidental exposure to superglue. Microphones don't work when the little inner bits don't vibrate anymore. :D

Re:Betteridge's law (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811053)

I'm sure the NSA has a secret deal with electrical tape manufacturers and camera producers which allows them to see the image through the tape by simply enabling a secret camera function. ;-)

Re:Betteridge's law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811089)

I'd like to see every device with a built-in camera -- smart TV, smart phone, tablet, laptop etc -- also have a built-in lens cap. A little slide-able shutter would be fine. Not that I'm paranoid about hackers or the NSA, but you know, just in case it gets accidentally pointed at the sun or something.

Either that or just make the lens the center of an eye logo with the caption "Big Brother is watching".

Tape works, but it's ugly.

Re:Betteridge's law (3, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year ago | (#44811167)

It's totally irrelevant if you don't hook your TV up to the internet in the first place.

Besides, any self-respecting slashdotter has their own HTPC hooked up to their essentially HD Monitor (TV) and has it whitelisted for certain outbound services only and no direct inbounds (upon request only). Solves a whole host of issues. Oh, and the HTPC doesn't have a camera nor mike attached, so until the TV can be hacked over HDMI in that scenario, It appears to be relatively safe for now.

Re:Betteridge's law (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44811339)

If only they made a tape...opaque... [homedepot.com] that could be used to cover up the cameras - then we'd only have to worry about the microphone - which might befall an accidental exposure to superglue. Microphones don't work when the little inner bits don't vibrate anymore. :D

Yea, I dunno about you, but I don't like to pay a several-hundred-dollar premium for hardware I'm going to intentionally break as soon as I open the box. That just seems stupid.

I'll take a dumb display for half the price any day of the week.

Re:Betteridge's law (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44810991)

I keep my smart TV directly on the public internet.

Re:Betteridge's law (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811027)

"Hell no" for me as well, but for a different reason -- WHY??? I'll get a new TV when the one I bought in 2002 dies. By then I can probably get a 100 inch TV for $300.

I'm not going to just spend my damned money for the sake of spending it.

I don't have a HDTV (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810827)

You insensitive clod.

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810829)

It has 1080p and hdmi in. So no.

Re:no (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44811085)

I had to reluctantly upgrade mine. As I got so many dead pixels that I couldn't watch anything, it was like a power hungry radio.
No more DLP for me.

Re:no (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#44811155)

My LCD has an entire column of the color subpixels screwed up (i think green is permanently off)

even old/cheap tvs are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810851)

I've helped a number of family members buy new TVs in the last year or so (they all had old, smaller CRTs). Most of them had heard that you need this or that feature, and that such and such is not very good. I generally explain to them that, while you may see a difference side-by-side, even the lowest end tvs now look pretty darn good. I then show them my 4 year old hdtv, which they love the look of, and explain to them that by today's standards, my tv is technically crap compared to the specs of most new tvs. Thats enough to convince them not to blow a wad of cash, and they've all been happy with the tvs they got.

Re:even old/cheap tvs are great (1)

dosius (230542) | about a year ago | (#44810907)

Most people I've seen around here STILL use CRTs.

Re:even old/cheap tvs are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811051)

Every time someone I know upgrades their TV, I offer to take the old one, which is generally an upgrade for me as well. I haven't paid for a TV since 1992.

Re:even old/cheap tvs are great (3, Insightful)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#44811091)

We have a fairly large CRT that's at least a dozen years old which works fine for us. If I were to sit with my nose a foot or two from the screen I might consider coughing up for an HDTV, but my eyesight isn't good enough to notice the difference from across the living room. Why bother? It's the same reason that I drive an 11 year-old truck; it's good enough for my needs.

Re:even old/cheap tvs are great (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#44811285)

And this is one of the many reasons I haven't bothered to upgrade/replace either of my CRT TV's. The 13 incher has better sound and includes game console hookups in front while the 23 inch isn't far enough away that I need anything larger.

Umm no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810855)

1 or 2 features that are more trendy rather than useful aren't going to motivate most people to buy something new to replace something else that work perfectly fine, I mean, we're not all apple fanboy idiots.

Much better (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#44810891)

My new 42" LED backlit screen consumes about 1/3rd the power (50-60W vs 140-150) of my first generation 1080p LCD, it also looks better. I probably wouldn't have upgraded if it hadn't been for a ghosting artifact caused by my HTPC menu getting burned in on the old one but now I couldn't imagine going back.

Re:Much better (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810993)

My new 42" LED backlit screen consumes about 1/3rd the power (50-60W vs 140-150) of my first generation 1080p LCD, it also looks better. I probably wouldn't have upgraded if it hadn't been for a ghosting artifact caused by my HTPC menu getting burned in on the old one but now I couldn't imagine going back.

With a delta of less than 100w it will take you a lot of TV watching to come close to a break even on cost from the efficiency gain (say, 30 _thousand_ hours if you spent $350 on your tv). Efficiency is a good thing, but it is important to know the context.

Re:Much better (2)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44811011)

My new 42" LED backlit screen consumes about 1/3rd the power (50-60W vs 140-150) of my first generation 1080p LCD,

What do you work out the payback of that to be?
~$30/year assuming you watch TV 8 hours a day, every day. I sure hope power consumption wasn't a major factor for you.

I probably wouldn't have upgraded if it hadn't been for a ghosting artifact caused by my HTPC menu getting burned in

So your old TV was basically broken. You'd probably have bought a new one fairly soon even if technology hadn't moved much.

Re:Much better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811269)

What do you work out the payback of that to be? ~$30/year assuming you watch TV 8 hours a day, every day. I sure hope power consumption wasn't a major factor for you.

There's also the heat factor for those who live in hot locations or dwellings with poor ventilation. There are many factors to $$$ ROI but not everything has to be able saving money. If spending more makes the room more comfortable, the money is well spent.

Re:Much better (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811283)

Roughly 262 kwh, at 8 hours a day, figuring a 90 watt difference. At 35.5 cents per kwh, that's roughly 35$/year, so I'm assuming that's what you used in your calc.

However, at my rates (Northern California, PG&E), that's ~103$/year. So that's 1/3 to 1/5 of the cost of his new 42" TV, per year. That's essentially paying for itself in power savings over the "expected" life of the TV.

(Personally, it'd be even higher for me.. the TV is on as background probably 12-14 hours a day)

Re:Much better (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#44811105)

It doesn't make a financial sense, but having a new TV that is low power, especially one that runs off of 12 volts is a good thing to do when RV-ing, where when boondocking, one needs to save on every watt that comes from the battery bank.

A 60 watt TV's energy use can be mostly compensated for by a decent 200-300 watt solar panel and a good charge controller. A TV that uses three times that will be pushing things unless one also charges with generator power.

For home use, it doesn't matter that much. However, when camping away from everything, it can mean the difference between kicking back on a quiet day to watch a DVD, or having to fire up a generator (and even the quieter Hondas/Yamahas can be loud in a forest.)

Not until 4k displays become common (3, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year ago | (#44810897)

Why replace perfectly fine 1080p HDTV? Newer ones often simply have more crap and more complicated UI with lots of "value-added" bloatware.

Oh, and my _phone_ has the same resolution as these 50" panels. Why the fuck he's talking about "image quality"? Until we get 4k displays the quality differences are non-existent.

Re:Not until 4k displays become common (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44810961)

Why replace perfectly fine 1080p HDTV?

Because we're in a recession and need to stimulate pointless consumer spending, that's why! Now, are you in favor of spending all your money on stuff that will not appreciably improve your life, or are you a Communist?

Re:Not until 4k displays become common (2)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year ago | (#44811071)

Nah, I'm happy to spend my money to buy new crap if it has some new and and interesting features. But why buy something that isn't any better?

Re:Not until 4k displays become common (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year ago | (#44811347)

So kids won't see your extremely out of style TV and laugh at you, Grandpa.

Re:Not until 4k displays become common (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44811039)

Why the fuck he's talking about "image quality"? Until we get 4k displays the quality differences are non-existent.

There have been big advances in LCD technology. 7 years ago I would not even have considered LCD, but today I'm hard pressed to justify the heat and power draw of plasmas since the LCDs have improved so much.

Re:Not until 4k displays become common (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year ago | (#44811345)

Oh but they aren't perfectly fine. My phone actually has a better PQ than my 3 year old HDTV. The color depth is better, and this is true of many TVs, even today. LED sets pretty much suck across the board for PQ, although some higher priced sets are addressing some of the issues. Plasma is still the king in PQ, and if I hadn't missed the Kuro clearance by a few weeks, I would not now be looking to pick up a new plasma. Sadly, my old HD CRT rear projection monitor died after a decade, and left me in a bind, so after reviewing the new models and missing the Kuros, I picked what I considered the best set in what was available in price tier I was shopping in. Sadly, the set in question failed miserably to meet my expectations in a couple of categories only discovered later on when presented with certain picture feeds, but the rest had issues in other areas that made them non-starters. The sets I'm seeing today (namely the Panasonic VT60 and ZT60 Plasmas) address every issue I've had with previous models. The Samsung 8500 seems ok, but if I'm spending in that range anyways, why not get the undisputed champion (not to mention having a negative experience or two with Samsung TVs)

As for the 4K panels, they're OK, but in the given size ranges and prices, why not just get the better deal for the immediate future? You're not going to have 4K material anytime soon, and if the Blu-Ray acceptance rate was anything to judge by, 4K's adoption will be anemic and expensive for the next quite a few years. Not to mention Sony's desire for always connected and play by play authorization scheme for 4K media.

Re:Not until 4k displays become common (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about a year ago | (#44811363)

Why the fuck he's talking about "image quality"? Until we get 4k displays the quality differences are non-existent.

Resolution is far from the only thing that matters for image quality. Contrast, black levels, ghosting, viewing angle, color reproduction, and even input lag (for lip sync) can make a big difference. For an extreme example, compare LCD vs. plasma at the same resolution.

Videos for Internet articles are Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810905)

Videos for Internet articles are *Monumentally* Stupid.

They assume we are TV viewers only. 90% of my computer articles are read at random times to take breaks when I'm doing other things on the computer, in environments where audio is unacceptable.

This is just a Dumb assumption.

Re:Videos for Internet articles are Stupid (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#44811313)

What you said.

A transcription would be great, but a talking head spewing advice works just as well in print as in /.TV.

Right tool for the job, world. Try it.

TV? You mean, single-use device? (0, Troll)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about a year ago | (#44810915)

To me this sounds like a question asking, "what are you going to do with your Walkman?" TVs, and TV-viewing, are quite obsolete. The device you watch anything on now is irrelevant. When you can watch anything you want, any time you want, anywhere you want, why would anyone spend money on a single-use device like a TV to conform to a very outdated form of media consumption?

Companies that base their revenue model on 1980's technological realities are about to wake up to the harsh reality of no revenues. It happened to Kodak, it's happened to the RIAA companies, and it's even now happening to the vaunted Microsoft. And yet, none of the other, related companies, think it could happen to them.

So I must answer the article's question with a question, why would I throw hundreds of dollars into a purchase which can only do one thing (READ: HDTVs), and that only after I have thrown away hundreds of dollars more on a service (READ: cable TV), that I don't need or want?

God, I look forward to the day when the Baby Boomer dinosaurs retard no more social progress for the entire world with their ineptitude and irrelevancy...

Single-use? (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#44810981)

Single-use as in what, viewing pictures on a large medium suitable for multiple persons?

Cable TV might be going downhill, but televisions as a whole aren't going away. Yes, portable devices exist, but just as the walkman co-existed with the home-stereo (and the discman as well), so can the TV with portables.

For movies, broadcast, video games, or even as large computer monitors... televisions may change somewhat but aren't likely to go away any time soon.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

porges (58715) | about a year ago | (#44810997)

Don't worry, you'll be losing your near-distance vision sooner than you think, and then you'll enjoy a nice big screen across the room from you.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (5, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44811035)

To me this sounds like a question asking, "what are you going to do with your Walkman?" TVs, and TV-viewing, are quite obsolete. The device you watch anything on now is irrelevant. When you can watch anything you want, any time you want, anywhere you want, why would anyone spend money on a single-use device like a TV to conform to a very outdated form of media consumption?

Because I want the football players on my television every Thursday night, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night to be near life size when I watch them. And not being so selfish, the rest of my family also wants to be able to see the same thing when they watch the same program.

Not a sports fan? Same thing applies for movie buffs.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

nblender (741424) | about a year ago | (#44811237)

I have a friend who decided the family didn't need a TV anymore since everyone was watching shows on tablets or laptops in their own rooms. He walked through the house one evening to discover that his wife and two children were independently watching the same show from netflix in 3 different locations in the house having all started at different times... So now the family doesn't even watch TV together and it uses up 3 times the bandwidth.

My family is similar except that we still occasionally gather around the TV and watch a movie together; or my son and I will watch Top Gear or MythBusters together... Don't worry; we also do plenty of outdoors stuff or creative stuff together too...

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811077)

*Looks up at the soapbox*

Um, because I can plug in a PC on one input, consoles on other inputs, and my HD antenna on another, and play games, stream media both from online sources and my media server, and watch TV, all on one screen, from the comfort of my couch?

Not sure if you're planning on consuming all media on your phone/tablet/laptop screen, but I'm pretty sure I'll be much happier consuming mine on a screen 10x the size.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811083)

"So I must answer the article's question with a question, why would I throw hundreds of dollars into a purchase which can only do one thing (READ: HDTVs), and that only after I have thrown away hundreds of dollars more on a service (READ: cable TV), that I don't need or want?"

You wouldn't. But amazingly enough, your needs and wants are not universal.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (2)

MpVpRb (1423381) | about a year ago | (#44811099)

TVs, and TV-viewing, are quite obsolete

If you mean broadcast TV, where a show is "on" at a particular time..I agree

If you mean that watching stuff on a phone, tablet or computer is going to take over..I disagree

My home theater has a large, high quality monitor and a very comfortable chair

It has one use, watching video entertainment whether from streaming, disk or DVR

I would never do computer stuff in my home theater or watch a movie on my computer

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811151)

God, I look forward to the day when the Baby Boomer dinosaurs retard no more social progress for the entire world with their ineptitude and irrelevancy...

But I bet most baby boomers could have rewritten that sentence so it makes sense.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811153)

I use my 47" as a display for my HTPC with Steam BP and Plex. Your misunderstanding is semantics - it may be a "television" but in today's world a more apt term would simply be "display with multiple types of inputs".

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811179)

Yes, there are actually many uses for a TV besides watching "tv".

Most peripherals are single-use devices. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44811157)

An HDTV is a peripheral, not a standalone entity. Much like a printer, it is a single-purpose output device, it just interacts with different devices to different ends. You can hook it to a computer, a gaming console, a DVR/receiver, an antenna, a DVD/BluRay, or in some cases even a VCR.

That said, I'll replace mine when it dies, but only because I have a Netflix-capable and local-stream-supporting BluRay player and a PS3. The real question is whether it's worth buying a TV that doesn't already handle things like Netflix and local streams natively when my HDTV finally bites the dust. And that could well still be a yes, since I probably will be hooking it up to multiple devices that already do these things. Also, I just plain don't care about the illusion of 3D.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year ago | (#44811171)

When you can watch anything you want, any time you want, anywhere you want, why would anyone spend money on a single-use device like a TV to conform to a very outdated form of media consumption?

My family watches movies and plays video games on the big screen. Sure we could have tablets and laptops and headphones and use those instead to watch what we want and play what we want... oh wait we do have those.

And we still use the big screen TV. Maybe we're more sociable than you and like to do things together and all of us crowding around a 13" laptop to watch a movie is exactly as stupid as it sounds.

So I must answer the article's question with a question, why would I throw hundreds of dollars into a purchase which can only do one thing

Oh I get it, maybe your TV is broken. You are aware that its not just a dark mirror righ or some avant garde high-art concept piece that just dimly relfects you own life back you? Try plugging something into those holes at the back and turning it on.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811211)

The device you watch anything on now is irrelevant. When you can watch anything you want, any time you want, anywhere you want, why would anyone spend money on a single-use device like a TV to conform to a very outdated form of media consumption?

Because most new viewing experiences are inferior to a specialized (theatre) or semi-specialized (livingroom, bedroom) venues. If you can enjoy watching TV on a tiny phone scree, or crouched over a laptop, or while holding a tablet, more power to you. I don't enjoy consuming TV content in any of those formats.

I don't watch much TV. When I do, it is not an afterthought to some other activity or location. Thus, a good sized, high-quality TV is the ideal product for me (and probably everyone else who was actually alive in the 80's, which I assume you were not).

Also, watching TV outside of your home is not "social progress". Staring at your phone in general is anti-social.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811323)

You don't have a big computer monitor at home?

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44811227)

To me this sounds like a question asking, "what are you going to do with your Walkman?" TVs, and TV-viewing, are quite obsolete. The device you watch anything on now is irrelevant. When you can watch anything you want, any time you want, anywhere you want, why would anyone spend money on a single-use device like a TV to conform to a very outdated form of media consumption?

Because I like a 60" screen across the room that 5 (or more) of us can watch comfortably to having each person isolated with headphones, or in a separate room holding a tablet or phone to their face.

Just because I *can* watch a movie on my phone in the bathroom or on the subway doesn't mean that I want to.

A TV is no more "single use" than a computer is since there are a lot of different devices I can hook up to it -- including a computer.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44811229)

I connect my "TV" to a media PC and stream VLC/netflix content to big screen in my living room. Many people also have consoles connected to their screens. Cable TV might be dying, and I will be first one to dance on its overpriced commercial-filled grave, but big screen living room entertainment is not.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#44811239)

It's a big, honking monitor that displays whatever input it receives. In case you didn't notice, your laptop or desktop PC almost certainly have an HDMI output to match the TV's HDMI input. Even a lot of tablets do. You don't need an antenna or cable or satellite connection, any device which can output HDMI (or depending on the unit, DVI, S-Video, etc.) signal will do. Personally I find it uncomfortable to watch movies on a laptop screen or tablet, especially if I'm not the only one watching.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

Dirk Becher (1061828) | about a year ago | (#44811241)

Technically a TV is just a screen with a cable tuner attached to it and screens will not become obsolete until brainwaves reach market maturity. People like you may get rid of the tuner but that will happen automatically the larger PC screens become.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811243)

I suppose computer monitors are also obsolete?

Dude, watching a movie on a 4" smartphone isn't "super cool".

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (2)

coastal984 (847795) | about a year ago | (#44811245)

TV's arn't going anywhere. If I were a single apartment dweller who never entertained, I'd be inclined to agree that I might never need a big TV and would watch everything on my laptop and/or tablet. But I'm not. The family watches TV together. Groups come over to watch games. Not to mention, hooked up to my 7.1 Onkyo system, I have my own little theater that just isn't replicated by my laptop in my lap. TV's have a long, long future ahead of them.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44811249)

stuff looks a lot better on a 40" or 50" TV than a tiny phone or tablet screen

i use my ipad and iphone to watch in the kitchen, as a secondary set if my wife is hogging the big one or on the train to work.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811253)

Okay smart ass, How are you going to display your media (ir-respective of actual broadcast device/mechanism) on a device that is at least 50" in size to fit a normal sized room and more than one or two people can watch your ubiquitous media selection?

That answer is 95% of the time an HDTV. Yes it is a single use device, with built-in crapware because they have not made it any better in the last 5-8 years except drop the price and sell a new one based on features. Until you can have 20 of your closest friends over and watch a football game (over the air, antenna) while watching a 9" tablet or 15" laptop, get off your high flipping horse.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811259)

Are you seriously arguing aginst large screens? TVs aren't tied to cable, ya know.

I have 4 portable devices with screens ranging between 4 and 17 inches diagonal that I can take with me anywhere, and all of them can stream almost all of my content. Do you know which one of them I use when I get home from work and want to watch Netflix? None of them. Why would I want to balance a tiny screen on my lap to watch a movie when I can watch it on the 46" HDTV that's already hooked up to my speakers?

TVs are hardly an "outdated form of media consumption". If anything, HTPCs are making them MORE relevant than ever.

Yes, a single-use device. (5, Insightful)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about a year ago | (#44811307)

Give. Me. A. Break.

When you can watch anything you want, any time you want, anywhere you want, why would anyone spend money on a single-use device like a TV to conform to a very outdated form of media consumption?

Because sometimes anything, any time, anywhere, isn't optimum.

Quality requires exclusivity. That's not an absolute rule, but pretty close.

You don't go around a race circuit fastest in a minivan, so if you like racing you should get a vehicle that does it better. It may be shit for all other uses but the quality of the exclusive experience makes it worth the investment.

Even if my girlfriend wanted to fuck me anywhere, any time, the quality of the experience would be enhanced by taking some time off and going to a nice, peaceful, private place where I can concentrate on her, exclusively.

Music can and is enjoyed anywhere, any time. But NOTHING compares to actually disconnecting from the wired world and sitting in a good concert hall, listening to an orchestra do what it does so well.

I could go on with a hundred more example. Just like all of them, TVs have a place. Yes, I can suck down media content anywhere, any time, but sometimes I actually like to FUCKING PAY ATTENTION to the movie on a big screen in a dark room with a superior sound system, sitting in a comfy chair with no interruptions.

What sort of distracted ass would ask "Why have a TV?" Is there nothing you think is worth doing well? Or is a half-assed look all you need?

People who ask this question would be just as happy with a poster of a Picasso thumbtacked to their wall as with the experience of seeing it in person. I feel sorry for them. No matter what generation they're from or what generation they feel entitled to insult, they need to learn to appreciate art...not just consume it willy-nilly, without thought, without quality but happy as a clam because they can accomplish such consumption while simultaneously washing clothes and updating Twitter.

You don't know what you're missing. Please, no matter what your age, grow up and figure it out.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811321)

God, I look forward to the day when the Baby Boomer dinosaurs retard no more social progress for the entire world with their ineptitude and irrelevancy...

You should have a five-minute conversation with an average young person.

Re:TV? You mean, single-use device? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#44811327)

Why I still go to the movies. Bigger is, in fact, better.

my 3 year old Panny still kicking (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44810921)

not as good as my father in law's LG LED TV, but its mostly because his has a better CPU to decode the image

i have a 3d blu ray player and an apple TV connected to mine for all the smart TV crap. 3d blu ray players can be had for $99 at best buy with vudu, amazon, cinemanow, porn, pandora, tunein and lots of other services

simple answer: check the specs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810929)

If your tv has a 1080p panel and good ATSC tuner (for free ota content) and you are happy with the picture, then no don't get a new one. If it's a 720p panel and is larger than about 32" and you have good eyes and good content (ota HD, HD cable, blurays, etc) then you would probably notice the upgrade.

I wish I could replace it (1)

jakedata (585566) | about a year ago | (#44810931)

but it is a 36" Proton CRT with native 720p and 1080i. Lovely picture but it weighs around 250 lbs and wedged so thoroughly into the entertainment center that I might need to cut it out.

1 reason: weight (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#44810933)

We had an old HD TV (4-5 years), that I could have taken to my apartment. It was bulky, and had green and purple bars that would roll across the screen (picture wasn't bad though and the bars were light). The problem was it was so heavy that we needed a dolly to move it. When I moved in, I went and bought a new, bigger HD TV that was light enough I could carry it by myself. If you are moving or have limited space, then a newer TV makes sense with the lighter weight and the smaller form factor of the tv as components get smaller and more capable.

I haven't bought my first one yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810939)

seriously. 24" computer monitor and fast internet is the way to go. Now if only I could get serious fast internet instead of time warner cable internet.

2005 for me. (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year ago | (#44810943)

Got myself a 50" 1080p DLP TV in 2005. I've replaced the bulb twice so far, and told my wife that the next time it needs replacing we'll give it to anyone that's willing to take it. (It runs a little warm and the fan makes it less than quiet for about a half hour after I turn it off. Also the newer TVs are likely much more energy efficient.)

The TV has good picture quality, but the HDMI ports don't work particularly well. Truthfully, I didn't try an HDMI source until about 2-3 years ago. It works fine with component video and VGA.

Re:2005 for me. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44811049)

> HDMI ports don't work particularly well.

That won't change. It's a shit design.

It depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810945)

Is It Time to Replace Your First HDTV?

A lot of TVs a few years ago could only support 720p native and transcoded everything to that resolution, these days most TVs support 1080p native.

This isn't reason to upgrade tho, most content networks still only use 720p or 1080i which is basically the same.

If you use Blu-ray, then you should upgrade the TV.

Not true: I can't sell a 32" HDTV for $50 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810947)

-7y old
-Tonnes of Inputs but no HDMI
-PIP
-Even has an AV out.
-No name (digi something)

NOBODY wants it.

I don't use my TV's features (1)

RichMan (8097) | about a year ago | (#44810955)

I don't use my TV's features. I use my media players features through my TV. The media player has much more functionality and is upgradable with just software updates.

Re:I don't use my TV's features (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811293)

Recently replaced my 65" Samsung DLP with a 65" Samsung backlit LCD. I must admit I don't use its features. In fact, I don't use it at all. I'm on the Internet all the time and there's nothing interesting on TV, like, ever.

Well, my son is using it constantly as a gaming monitor.

Standards haven't changed (1)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year ago | (#44810959)

720p is still 1280×720 and 1080i(p) is still 920×1080. While older sets are most likely limited to 720p, in the most widely sold 42"-46" tv's, the difference between the 2 is hardly noticeable. If you want internet connectivity a cheap roku functions better than the hideous, never-updated software on most tv's. Finally that leaves us with gimmicks such as 3D which even the industry is moving away from.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810973)

In every Slashdot headline with a question, the answer is always No.

Betteridge's law of headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810975)

Obviously, there is absolutely no need to replace a perfectly good HDTV. Available content with a definition above 720p is unjustifiably rare, and non-HD content still dominates the market. Moreover, series available for download, whether authorized or not, tend to be in 720p resolution and in a lossy format, which introduces all sorts of visual artifacts which are noticeable in HD and full HD formats.

So, where exactly is the need to dump the current HD tv?

I tell you where. Nowhere.

Easy answer... NO! (4, Insightful)

funky49 (182835) | about a year ago | (#44810979)

Five years ago I invested in a Samsung television. It's been great and I don't want to replace it. It has the features (120hz) and size (52") I want plus looks nice on the wall. I made sure to get LCD versus plasma to help keep electricity costs down. I held off on buying a DLP because I knew I would grow tired of the volume it would take up in the living room. Research showed that the LCD panel was from a Samsung/Sony plant in South Korea with units having a 3% failure rate versus 5% for its competition. Who looks for an excuse to replace their main television frequently? Not me. If you bought something with the intention of replacing or demoting it after a few years of ownership, by all means spend your money.

Steve

I'm waiting for: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810987)

I'm waiting for OLED to drop to 1kUSD. Considering just a few years ago, Sony's 11" screen was 5 figures, and now we have a 55" for 9,999 USD, I may not have to wait much longer.

More realistic question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44810995)

Is it time to by your first HDTV ?

Re:More realistic question... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44811169)

My first TV CRT I replaced because it made a high pitch whine that got very painful.
Then I got a DLP rear projection. That worked for about 5 years then it started to give me stuck pixels (White and black) A lot of them, in a normal distribution from the left center.
So now I am on an LCD. Hopefully LCD will last more then 5 years. I mean it is a TV you shouldn't need to swap them every few years.

Not if you have 120Hz+ w/LED backlight (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#44811007)

If you don't have ghosting and don't have light bleeding from the edges then there's really nothing on offer that would provide a compelling case for an upgrade. The "smart" part is normally solved by your much less expensive to upgrade Blu-ray player, 3D is pointless, and who the hell wants a hackable camera for NSA/GCHQ types to enjoy?

HDMI 2.0 (1)

WarJolt (990309) | about a year ago | (#44811017)

Didn't we just have an article about how all the TV's will have a new HDMI standard with new features?

I'll wait for CEC to improve.

Re:HDMI 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811309)

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

No point in upgrading until HDMI 2.0 and 4k are ironed out.
My Vizio HDTV is still rocking, crisp bright picture, no input lag.
Unless it dies prematurely, I will keep it until 4k or 8k becomes widely and inexpensively available.

i have a hard time taking them seriously when (0)

atarione (601740) | about a year ago | (#44811043)

if you want to post a video discussion of hdtv's online... FIX the audio on your video first... I couldn't listen to it the audio was appalling ...

god damn people save a couple bucks and get a decent audio interface and mic if you are going to do online video interviews...

(tried w/ my Pioneer SE-A1000 headphones w/ a yamaha C-60 premamp as headphone amp (optical out to dac / to preamp ) and with my FiiO E07K/E9 > Kenwood KR-V106R > Monitor Audio Silver S1 speakers and the result is the same not sure what these guys know about video but they know dick about audio apparently.)

blah blah blah... my 5 year old 1080p tv is still fine thank you....for now.

Re:i have a hard time taking them seriously when (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811173)

(tried w/ my Pioneer SE-A1000 headphones w/ a yamaha C-60 premamp as headphone amp (optical out to dac / to preamp ) and with my FiiO E07K/E9 > Kenwood KR-V106R > Monitor Audio Silver S1 speakers

Ladies....

Out of Date Info (1)

StarWreck (695075) | about a year ago | (#44811047)

His information is a bit out of date. He said 4K Blu-Ray was still in development. However, you can already buy 4K Blu-Ray players. You can also buy a very limited selection of 4K Blu-Ray discs like Ghost Busters. That being said, the prices for all the equipment required is still going to be overpriced for at least a couple more years and there still won't be a whole lot of content available for a couple more years. So wait a couple years before buying into 4K.

3D TV = Quad Stereo (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#44811093)

Anyone else here remember quad stereo? 3D TV will go the same way. Just because some is good doesn't mean more is better.

Waiting on 4K (1)

Lucas123 (935744) | about a year ago | (#44811103)

Why would I buy seven year old technology when in a couple of years, perhaps even less, I can afford a 4K Ultra High Definition TV technology with 3840 x 2160 pixels (8 megapixels) -- four times that of 1080p televisions, which only offers 2 megapixels of resolution. TCL has already announced it will sell a 4K resolution, 50-in. Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV starting this fall for $999. And Samsung and Sony just announced they're slashing their prices. For 65-inch 4K TVs, Samsung's asking price recently fell from $7,500 to $6,000, while Sony cut its price from $7,000 to $5,500. For 55-inch models, Samsung dropped the price from $5,500 to $4,500, and Sony's prices fell from $5,000 to $4,000. Give it another year or two and they'll also be within reach of the average consumer. Yeah, yeah. There's no content for them. Well, got news for ya. Everything is being filmed in 4K today, from sports to movies and TV shows, it's just not yet being offered yet. When there are televisions to support it, it will be there.

My first HDTV isn't. (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#44811111)

My first flat panel is actually a monitor. No tuner. It made sense because, by 2007, it wasn't like anyone tuned TV directly on their displays. They hooked up to a cable/satellite box or HD Tivo. I've never missed having a tuner on that panel.

Unfortunately, after years of double-duty as a computer monitor and TV, it started to suffer from image persistence. I moved it to video-only duty and it mostly cleared up but now it has a slight, curved shadow around the top edge like the outline of a curved CRT. When I finish my wanderings, I'll replace it. Probably with a big plasma if they still make them. Power consumption's really come down on those and the color can't be beat.

just ask yourself (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811117)

does it still work and does it Not do anything I really need? Any other answer apart from yes,yes then save your money.

!News for nerds (1)

FlynnMP3 (33498) | about a year ago | (#44811127)

This is plainly news for the people who don't care to learn about display technologies, which granted, is clearly the majority. Watching this interview through that lens the content makes sense. But news for nerds, oh hell no!. It is fucking laughable how bad it is.

Bigger is better (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44811141)

I replaced my old 60" rear projection set with a newer 70" set last year.

It was a significant improvement to get a larger size and direct view. It also uses a lot less energy.

So I'd say if you are going up 10" in size or swapping some kind of rear projection technology for a direct view it's likely to give an appreciable improvement.

Otherwise I'd hold out for OLED.

Forced Turnover (1)

freeschwag (134804) | about a year ago | (#44811161)

Quality is out the window on these and they are going to start dropping out by default anyway. I was looking at Sony and Panasonic for a long time as they have long standing tenure of higher quality tronix....opted for the Panasonic 50" Plasma 1080p goodness. Looks awesome.... just out of warrantee, power supply starts buzzing, got it fixed, few months later same symptom.... TV's used to last a lot longer but that's not good for yearly profit reports... If your not buying a new one every 2-3 years max the corporate engine just isn't going to be happy....you lemmings better not dissappont the 1%ers :P

9 years later, still won't trade my Pioneer Plasma (4, Interesting)

coastal984 (847795) | about a year ago | (#44811183)

9 years ago, we shelled out 4-figures for a 43" Pioneer Plasma. Today, I swing through a Best Buy and HH Gregg once every month or so, and glance at the TV's, and simply put, the LCD's on the market that can match it's picture. (I couldn't care less about 3D). It's the perfect size for our den (sure, it could take a 48", or even a 52", but the 43" doesn't leave me wanting for any more picture).

Got what we paid for: Awesomeness and longevity.

I'm going to go knock on some wood now.

Time to replace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44811185)

I've never even bought an HDTV yet, still using that good old massively heavy CRT TV.
I keep waiting for a better tech than LCD to come out for TVs because I don't want to deal with dead pixels and low refresh rate/response time/input lag when gaming.

Short answer: No (1)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | about a year ago | (#44811199)

Long answer. Most of my TV channels, even the HD channels, still show well over 50% of only SD quality shows. There is no compelling reason to update perfectly good hardware if it will be years before the content will take advantage of it. It may be a chicken and egg thing, but at this point it looks to me that the smart thing to do would be to wait a hardware generation or two before spending any more money on TVs.

Replace my HDTV? (4, Informative)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about a year ago | (#44811219)

Christ, I havn't even replaced the CRT yet.

HDCP Compatibility (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44811221)

If you were lucky enough to by a big flat panel TV before they were HDCP compatible then you got totally screwed.

Time to upgrade our buggy whips? (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44811255)

Who still consumes the majority of content on televisions? At least the demographic that advertisers care about. And most people aren't upgrading their computers/notebooks let alone even thinking about upgrading their televisions.

my newer that 4y works perfectly well (1)

slothman32 (629113) | about a year ago | (#44811261)

Just because it is old, maybe 3 years, and newer ones are better doesn't mean it needs to be replaced.
I don't just get an "ohh shiny" new tv because it is newer.
When it breaks in maybe 5 years from now I might replace it.

No (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#44811287)

I was a late adopter of hdtv, but then I realized that it can go a week or two between the times I watch TV.

Are there any new HDTVs with minimal input lag? (1)

GerbilSoft (761537) | about a year ago | (#44811329)

It seems that at least with HDMI, most TV manufacturers have finally figured out what 1:1 mode is (though it's not enabled by default, which is still stupid). However, most HDTVs I've seen still have at least 40ms input lag, which is pathetic. (For comparison, I've used a Dell 1701FP LCD from 2001 that had virtually no input lag, on VGA.)
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