Please help a confused wrinkly

Paul Haslam

Standard Member
Hi Guys.:hiya:
I'm an old bloke who needs a new 40" - 42" TV etc. but doesn't understand the technology:confused: and (having been one) I don't trust salesmen.:devil:
I don't play games on screen, don't want sky (it's 50% adverts + 50% repeats) and prefer to watch footy at the pub (actually, watching at the ground is best but who can afford tickets???)
Also - why is everyone raving about HD? Sure, it's a better picture - but only available on a few channels and you need to subscribe or have a :censored: wok hanging off your roof to see it? :eek:
So - :lease: give me simple advice :lesson:

Plasma or LCD?
Is it true that Plasma is :censored: in a well-lit room?
Which makes are best value?
Is Panasonic worth the money?
Is buying online safe (and what do I do if there's a problem?)
Do I need to pay a fortune for leads?
What the :censored: is blu-ray (apart from being a mate of Superman :D).
Which hard drives are value for money - or should I get the more expensive (and more complicated) alternative, the name of which I can't even remember!?

Please explain to me in simple terms and I might leave you something in my will (probably a VCR tape or vinyl LP ;)).
100000000000 thanks in advance,
Yer Granddad
 
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Starburst

Novice Member
Welcome, great first post:)



Plasma or LCD?
LCD is by far the more common and the latest models are pretty impressive especially in the size range you are looking at.


Is it true that Plasma is :censored: in a well-lit room?
Nope, however glare can be an issue on some plasmas but no flat panel is perfect they all have their issues and even CRT if the sun is shining just right can be hard to watch.


Which makes are best value?
Tricky, LG and Samsung do decent stuff at decent prices but value is hard to define.


Is Panasonic worth the money?
Yes, I think they offer some excellent products at competitive prices.


Is buying online safe (and what do I do if there's a problem?)
Yes if you don't do anything stupid:)
Reading forums for other peoples experiences with online dealers is a gold mine in making the right choice. That said a TV is for life not just for christmas (well you know what I mean) so if possible you should try to see any TV in the flesh.
Paying by Credit Card gives you added protection, manufacturer warranties are more reliable the retailer backed ones but that is the weak spot in online purchasing, no immediate one on one interplay.



Do I need to pay a fortune for leads?
Nope.


What the :censored: is blu-ray (apart from being a mate of Superman ).
It's an optical disk the same size as a DVD but thanks to using a Blue laser instead of a Red laser (like DVD) the disk can hold a lot more data which means they are used to store HD programming.
You need a Blu-ray player to play the Blu-ray disks but those players also play CD and DVD disks.


Which hard drives are value for money - or should I get the more expensive (and more complicated) alternative, the name of which I can't even remember!?
I assume you mean a PVR which has a hard drive built into the box so you can record either Freeview or Freesat internally using two tuners?
Freeview PVR's are good value, Freesat being more recent hasn't the mass market presence to force the price down and SKY and VM PVR's are subsidised or loaned out.
 

Paul Haslam

Standard Member
CRT - What's that?

Do I need to pay a fortune for leads? Nope - Does this mean I don't need to buy them - or does it mean I should get them from www.dirtcheapleads.com?


blu-ray disk hold more data and are used for HD programming But I ain't bothering with HD so surely a cheaper, simpler DVD recorder/player will suffice or You need a Blu-ray player to play the Blu-ray disks Will I need it for the near future because programmes will be broadcast in Blu-Ray and/or "Blockbusters" will soon stop stocking "red" DVDs?

PVR which has a hard drive built into the box so you can record either Freeview or Freesat internally using two tuners? Aww, just when we were doing so well, you've sunk into techtalk. What does that mean? What box, the TV itself ? and, since I probably won't be bothering with Freesat, perhaps a TV & hard drive will do.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
CRT = Cathode Ray Tube, in other words a normal tube television:)

Leads, it's a fools errand to pay high prices for leads, as long as they of solid construction a fully shielded scart cable for a fiver will do the job rather than some fancy Monster cable sold by Currys for £50. TVCables will give you an idea on pricing.
The same principles apply to the leads required for other devices such as HDMI and Optical unless you are considering much longer lengths well beyond the size of a normal room.
Blu-ray isn't a must have, DVD is going nowhere anytime soon and I can't see the DVD market shrinking so much the rental companies abandon it again in the short to mid term.


What so you mean by hard drive?
Are you thinking of a DVD recorder with a hard drive built in or a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) which has the hard drive and two built in tuners of a type dictated by their market (Freeview, Freesat, SKY, VM etc)?

If you are just considering Freeview then the TV will have Freeview built in and then you add the recording device be it a DVD recorder with or without a Freeview tuner or a Freeview PVR. Both types of recorder will use the aerial feed and connect via a scart cable or perhaps a HDMI cable (depends upon factors not yet decided) and are pretty straight forward assuming you have decent Freeview reception.
 

Paul Haslam

Standard Member
Cathode Ray Tube, in other words a normal tube television- Doh!:rolleyes:

Leads, it's a fools errand to pay high prices for leads, as long as they of solid construction a fully shielded scart cable for a fiver will do the job rather than some fancy Monster cable sold by Currys for £50 The ones I saw were £80 - £150!. TVCables will give you an idea on pricing.I've noted the link!:smashin:

The same principles apply to the leads required for other devices such as HDMI and Optical There you go again, HDMI...Huge D**k, Must Inspect? - and - Optical...the front of the set, the bit you can see?

Blu-ray isn't a must have. Phew, that's saved me a good few quid. According to every :devil:salesman I've spoken to, it's 100% neccessary or I won't be able to watch programmes as of 2010 and the neighbours will laugh at me :suicide:

Are you thinking of a DVD recorder with a hard drive built in :thumbsup: or a Personal Video Recorder (PVR) which has the hard drive and two built in tuners of a type dictated by their market (Freeview, Freesat, SKY, VM etc)?Sounds too complicated for me. I'll prob get a simple Humax (everyone says they're the best) DVD recorder/player :D

Both types of recorder will use the aerial feed and connect via a scart cable or perhaps a HDMI cable (depends upon factors not yet decided) and are pretty straight forward assuming you have decent Freeview reception.I have:clap:
 

Paul Haslam

Standard Member
Incidentally Starburst.....................re your Mac Feegle signature...I am fighting with myself NOT to get into a coversation on Pratchett. The mere thought that his latest work may be his last makes me want to buy it but not read it...that way...I'll always have something to look forward to. It's hard to believe - whoa - stop Paul - this forum is for tech geeks and silly old :censored: who need their advice - -
Why can't I play cassettes on my Daughter's walkman???
 
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Starburst

Novice Member
A HDMI lead can be regarded as the natural successor to the scart cable but it is capable of much higher capacity which makes it ideal for High Definition players, set top boxes and televisions.
If you buy a flat panel (LCD or Plasma) it will have a HDMI input or maybe two as well as a scart socket to allow for older hardware that is scart only.
Optical refers to a fibre optic cable that is used to carry digital audio to and from an amplifier/dvd/Blu-ray or HD box, it can be ignored if that isn't your thing:)


Believe me a Freeview PVR makes a DVD recorder look like the times crossword puzzle and unless you make DVD copies of shows to share/archive or only want one box under the TV then the twin tuner Freeview PVR is the product I would recommend.


Touchwood if "I Shall Wear Midnight" is being worked on it will not be the last although the sad truth is that one day the world will lose such creativity.
 

Paul Haslam

Standard Member
A HDMI lead can be regarded as the natural successor to the scart cable but it is capable of much higher capacity which makes it ideal for High Definition players, set top boxes and televisions.I shall get one from that website you recommended.:smashin:

a flat panel will have a HDMI input or maybe two as well as a scart socket to allow for older hardware that is scart only.such as my VCR?:cool:
Optical refers to a fibre optic cable that is used to carry digital audio to and from an amplifier/dvd/Blu-ray or HD box, it can be ignored if that isn't your thing:) If they're cheap, I might as well get one for the future. It's just that, after talking to Mr Commission at Comet :devil: I thought that I needed 3 or 4 x £80 leads to receive anything.:eek:


Believe me a Freeview PVR makes a DVD recorder look like the times crossword puzzle Are you telling me that a PVR is simpler to use than a DVD recorder/player? :confused: and unless you make DVD copies of shows to share/archive I don't but I'd like to play the DVDs I've got, and maybe buy more in the future or only want one box under the TV then the twin tuner Freeview PVR is the product I would recommend.Humax?


Touchwood if "I Shall Wear Midnight" is being worked on it will not be the last although the sad truth is that one day the world will lose such creativity. The REAL sad truth is that dozens of authors will already be whispering to Pratchett's agent (John Something-or-other) and his publisher, offering to "take over" the franchise. I write a bit myself and once exchanged a few e-mails with John Some-or-oth... asking if he'd read a bit of my work with an view to representing me. He said that he wouldn't even look because 'Terry needs a lot of looking after and I haven't time for others.' I guess that one day soon he'll have to retire or find a replacement with the same gift - yeah, good luck with that!:nono:

Anyway...these George Forman grills - are they as good as microwaves?
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator's Comment

Paul: I have had cause to edit your posts. Swearing (even when partly concealed with asterisks)
a) adds no value to your contribution
b) is not permitted on AVForums.

Please be guided, thanks.
 

Paul Haslam

Standard Member
Moderator's Comment

Paul: I have had cause to edit your posts. Swearing (even when partly concealed with asterisks)
a) adds no value to your contribution
b) is not permitted on AVForums.

Please be guided, thanks.
Thanks for pointing that out. Duly noted.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
You only need to buy HDMI and Optical cables if you need them, no real point stocking up on the off chance.
If you have a VCR and DVD then they both can use scart although if you are looking for a new DVD Recorder with Freeview built in then you may decide to get one with HD upscaling built in and that function will require HDMI.
The optical however is pretty much only required if you have a dedicate amplifier otherwise the scart or HDMI will carry audio to the TV.

Yes the PVR is easier to use:)
Recording all done internally, full programme guide so highlight and click, two tuners so you limit potential clashes of programming and playback in identical quality as the live broadcast.
However as you want to keep the number of boxes to a minimum the DVDr with Freeview paired to a Freeview TV will do the job.
I have a Humax 9200 Freeview PVR and for the last 4 years or so it's been solid but if it's DVDr then lots more choice.

George Foreman grills, wildly off topic but yeah they are better than a microwave for that crispy bacon and sausages and slightly more healthy than using a frying pan:)
 

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