Author Topic: Buying a TV  (Read 1140 times)

civil4life

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Buying a TV
« on: October 09, 2018, 04:01:15 PM »
A few weeks ago my house was broken into and among some of the things stolen was my TV.

The last 2 tvs I bought 6 years ago were from 2 individuals on Craigslist.  They were off brand flat screens.  I have/had no problems with them.  At the time I was looking for a decent size tv without really desiring any specific features.  I grew up in a family where the majority of all tvs were hand me downs.

I have been watching Craigslist, Let Go, Facebook Market, and the multitude of online retailers.  Although, most likely if I go with "new" it would be something refurbished.

I watch a good amount of tv and it is any area that I am willing to go a bit above a used something on Craigslist (Plus my mom is absolutely terrified of me being murdered during a Craigslist deal.)  So I am not really looking for a full on Mustachion, but neither am I putting in a state of the art theatre either.

Features:
-55" (would consider anything in the 50" to 70" range)
-4k
-Smart TV (although this one I could do without since I have an Amazon Fire Stick)
-long term reliable (I want this thing to last at least a decade if not more)

Brand not important although Best Buy said out of the name brands my lifestyle would be best matched with a Sony.  I am more of a casual tv sitcom, movies, very occasional sports, and no gaming. 

Walmart has several RCA tvs on special.  They have fairly mediocre reviews.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=3944_1060825_9465212_3089811&grid=true&query=rca+tv#searchProductResult

RCA 55" Class 4K (2160P) LED TV (RTU5540-C) - $259 (No Smart TV)

RCA 55" Class 4K (2160P) Roku Smart HDR LED TV (RTRU5527-W) - $399 (Not sure if I am a fan of Roku.  Never used it.)

I would be interested to know anyone's experience with the off brands like insignia, vizeo, tcl, etc.

What features should I really care about?

Any general buying feedback?

Although I would not prefer to do this...do I wait until Black Friday and torture myself for a tv deal?

jeff2017

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 04:08:58 PM »
I've bought mostly Samsungs (best picture) and an LG once. Samsung and Sony seem to get the most praise for quality, I've never had any single problem with any Samsung TV. SO has a Vizio, it's okay. If you plan to have the TV for a long time like you mention in your post, nothing wrong with paying a small marginal amount more for a better, reliable product like a Samsung, imo.

Be sure you are comfortable with the number of inputs you choose.

Also, I've found one of the most interesting ways to analyze a TV purchase is to visit the store and look at the TVs side-by-side. I found that I could rarely tell the difference between in picture on the more expensive models versus some of the more basic ones, it's one of those things that is different for each person. Also, you mention not being a gamer (nor am I), so the more expensive TVs might be overkill anyhow.

I think there could be some truth to waiting until Black Friday to get a good deal.

This doesn't look like a bad option - https://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-55-class-led-nu7100-series-2160p-smart-4k-uhd-tv-with-hdr/6200125.p?skuId=6200125

405programmer

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 04:17:10 PM »
Definitely don't get that RCA Roku model on Walmart when almost the exact same features are in this TCL for less money.

https://www.amazon.com/TCL-55S405-55-Inch-Ultra-Smart/dp/B01MTGM5I9?keywords=roku+tv&qid=1539122872&sr=8-3&ref=sr_1_3

I don't have much great input on TVs. I either bought them from family or friends for super cheap or waited until black Friday with my current nice-ish 55". I have heard really good things about the TCL roku TVs from friends though! They haven't been out 10 years yet to my knowledge but I think one friend has owned hers for 4 and still likes it!

OH! Edit to add, I think the coolest new feature I'd look for if I were shopping today is HDR. TVs with that definitely have more clarity and better black representation that TVs without that. Well, to my eyes at least.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 04:21:01 PM by 405programmer »

socaso

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 04:26:09 PM »
I bought a 60" Insignia 4K smart TV over a year ago and have had no problems with it. Additionally, when we moved to a new office my employer purchased smaller versions of the same TV to have around the office (conference rooms, break rooms, etc) and they have functioned perfectly. The office TV's are almost a year old. The one I purchased for my home sees daily use.

Mrs.Piano

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 04:43:03 PM »
Black Friday is coming.

One

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 05:00:28 PM »
I have an expensive 65"samsung and a cheap TCL50" 319.00 at costco.  The TCL is pretty good.  I don't think you can mirror your tablet screen though? That's the only negative I've found. The samsung is better but not worth the extra money in my opinion. I like the TCL, I'd buy again     
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 05:13:09 PM by One »

dandarc

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 05:18:55 PM »
Have a 55" TCL. No complaints so far.

Christof

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 05:43:59 PM »
We're mostly using a cheap LG projector that we bought 2008...Our TV is a hand me down Panasonic. The feature I care most about is that there's a picture and audio, and most entertainment systems manage that. It's probably not what is relevant to others, but I do believe that you should be aware of your priorities rather than just buying what has the best reviews. We switched from cable to streaming using a service that serves up to 30 hours of regular TV per month for free (plenty for us). So we would not need a TV rather a much cheaper monitor.

Peachtea

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 06:25:38 PM »
+1 to viewing TVs in person and then waiting until Black Friday.

We bought a new TV 4 years ago when we got a gift card to Best Buy. Our old TV was roughly the size of a computer monitor so we couldnít wrap our heads around how big TVs were based on measurements given. I was really glad we went in person because we realized that 1) the size we were considering was way too big and 2) we couldnít tell the difference between screen qualities. We saved so much from picking a smaller/lower quality TV that we had enough left over on the gift card to buy an iPad mini. (Pre-mmm, never occurred to us to try selling the gift card for cash instead.)

Our TV was also cheaper because we intentionally went with a dumb TV. At the time, I had read that they last longer than smart TVs that need software upgrades and eventually (like phones) donít get upgraded and slow to a crawl. Articles said it was better to buy a dumb TV and then use amazon fire, Apple TV, or roku for the smart part instead since theyíre more user friendly anyways, get updates more often/longer, and are cheaper to replace when the model no longer gets updates. Iím not really into technology so no idea if this is still true (or who knows maybe not even true at the time). But on an anecdotal basis, in-laws bought a smart TV a couple years ago and it sucks. The interface is so much less user friendly and clunky than the fire stick. Theyíre not really ones to buy cheap things, so while I donít the brand I doubt thatís the problem.

use2betrix

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 06:51:54 PM »
Thatís a foolish comment from Best Buy. Sony are the highest end and with your usage you donít need the best of the best. If you were a super hardcore gamer/videophile (my brother) it might be worth it to you.

We just bought a new TV and paid $780 for a 65Ē from Best Buy. We wanted bigger but the next price up was a pretty hefty jump for 10Ē more.

We bought a Vizio. I consider it a lower/mid tier. I consider RCA very bottom tier, same with TCL.

TVís become outdated so fast itís hard to justify spending a lot for most people. I would be much more inclined to spend more on a stereo as they noticeable technology doesnít seem to change as fast.

Zikoris

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 07:04:08 PM »
JFC, what the hell kind of post is this, and what on god's green earth is it doing in the MMM forums???

JLee

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 07:05:12 PM »
Take a look at RTings for reviews.  Don't listen to what any sales person at any retail box store tells you.

Freedomin5

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 09:16:07 PM »
JFC, what the hell kind of post is this, and what on god's green earth is it doing in the MMM forums???

^^^ Sorry, but yes, this. This initial post is definitely facepunch worthy. Itís almost as bad as saying ďI drive around a lot and really like driving  and need a really big truck. I donít want to buy used on Craigslist (because I might get murdered), so which brand is best and which dealer should I go to get the best deal?Ē

Back on topic, if you must buy a TV, you can get high end brands a few years old on Craigslist. Bring a muscle-y friend to scare off any potential attackers and make the trade in broad daylight in a high traffic area where people will call the cops if you are being murdered. Or just get your muscle-y friend to punch them in the face. My tiny 5 foot 3 inch sister got a 40 inch Sony, 5 years new, off Craigslist for $70. I bet you could probably get a good deal like that too.

Cranky

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 03:17:51 AM »
My insignia tv overheated, smoked, and melted under normal use. So my advice is not to buy one of those!

Khaetra

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 05:17:01 AM »

2Cent

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2018, 06:15:01 AM »
If you want one that lasts 10+ years don't buy a smart TV. Just like a phone or laptop, the software is what makes it obsolete after a few years. So be smart and separate the smart software and the TV and just upgrade your fireTV after a few years. Those smart tv systems are also notoriously un-userfriendly and don't have much regard for privacy. Also 4k is hardly noticeable on a 55" unless you sit really close to it so I wouldn't pay more for that. Do get a few at least 4 HDMI ports as this will help your screen be useful for different appliances and you don't have to keep on swapping connectors.

GuitarStv

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2018, 07:14:44 AM »
You have two large functioning televisions already.  I don't understand why you're buying a new one.  Wait until the televisions that you currently have are no longer functioning.  Then we'll talk.

JLee

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2018, 07:17:41 AM »
You have two large functioning televisions already.  I don't understand why you're buying a new one.  Wait until the televisions that you currently have are no longer functioning.  Then we'll talk.

It doesn't really matter how good it functions if it's in someone else's house.

GuitarStv

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2018, 07:20:09 AM »
You have two large functioning televisions already.  I don't understand why you're buying a new one.  Wait until the televisions that you currently have are no longer functioning.  Then we'll talk.

It doesn't really matter how good it functions if it's in someone else's house.

My reading comprehension appears to have gone out the window recently.  My apologies.

JLee

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2018, 07:24:17 AM »
You have two large functioning televisions already.  I don't understand why you're buying a new one.  Wait until the televisions that you currently have are no longer functioning.  Then we'll talk.

It doesn't really matter how good it functions if it's in someone else's house.

My reading comprehension appears to have gone out the window recently.  My apologies.

Much like the OP's television.

..heh.  :P

GuitarBrian

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2018, 12:32:02 PM »
The last TV I bought (55 TCL) has been great. I searched for a long time on Craigslist and other used outlets, and didn't find anything I would consider a good deal. At best several years old, missing features and basically the same price as new (I chalked it up to they paid so much more for it, and now prices have come way down)

So for less than $400, the TCL with Ruku has been great.

I did try buying a refurbished Vizio from Walmart and it arrived broken. Then I read the reviews and 75% said they received a broken unit. I think this experience was more a black mark against Walmart online than negative on refurbished in general. But with a trip to the store I exchanged it for the TCL.

MilesTeg

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2018, 01:11:49 PM »
A few weeks ago my house was broken into and among some of the things stolen was my TV.

The last 2 tvs I bought 6 years ago were from 2 individuals on Craigslist.  They were off brand flat screens.  I have/had no problems with them.  At the time I was looking for a decent size tv without really desiring any specific features.  I grew up in a family where the majority of all tvs were hand me downs.

I have been watching Craigslist, Let Go, Facebook Market, and the multitude of online retailers.  Although, most likely if I go with "new" it would be something refurbished.

I watch a good amount of tv and it is any area that I am willing to go a bit above a used something on Craigslist (Plus my mom is absolutely terrified of me being murdered during a Craigslist deal.)  So I am not really looking for a full on Mustachion, but neither am I putting in a state of the art theatre either.

Features:
-55" (would consider anything in the 50" to 70" range)
-4k
-Smart TV (although this one I could do without since I have an Amazon Fire Stick)
-long term reliable (I want this thing to last at least a decade if not more)

Brand not important although Best Buy said out of the name brands my lifestyle would be best matched with a Sony.  I am more of a casual tv sitcom, movies, very occasional sports, and no gaming. 

Walmart has several RCA tvs on special.  They have fairly mediocre reviews.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=3944_1060825_9465212_3089811&grid=true&query=rca+tv#searchProductResult

RCA 55" Class 4K (2160P) LED TV (RTU5540-C) - $259 (No Smart TV)

RCA 55" Class 4K (2160P) Roku Smart HDR LED TV (RTRU5527-W) - $399 (Not sure if I am a fan of Roku.  Never used it.)

I would be interested to know anyone's experience with the off brands like insignia, vizeo, tcl, etc.

What features should I really care about?

Any general buying feedback?

Although I would not prefer to do this...do I wait until Black Friday and torture myself for a tv deal?

"Smart TV" is a complete waste. It's always crappy and very expensive compared to Roku/Fire stick/etc. and over a 10 year lifespan that you want become utterly useless.

civil4life

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2018, 01:22:48 PM »
Thanks for all the imput so far.

Despite my mother's apprehension I have not ruled out Craigslist.  Although, I think I am running into the same problem where they were way over priced tvs that area few years old and I could get a cheaper brand new for the same price.

I do have another small working tv.  It is in my bedroom and is wall mounted.  Yes I could take it down and take it upstairs to the living room, but in the end I would still want 2 tvs.

@JLee took me a moment to get the joke.  Kind of the opposite they broke in through a window then carried it out the back door.  They were nice enough to lock the door as they left.

I did go to Best Buy since it has been a long time since I have bought a tv and did want to see the comparison side by side of the various brands.  It was a bit challenging because they now clump all the same brand ones together and you do not get the same side by side comparison view.

I have been reading a bit about the HDR, but like many features, wonder is this something I will even notice.

Reading reviews is a bit of a double edged sword.  It provides a lot of information and it contains a lot of information.  For someone who is looking for a middle of the road tv how important is the random feature that scored low.

One I am kind of weary about is the black contrast and the back lighting that can diminish the contrast.  That seams to be one that I would notice and be a bit annoyed with.

I did not think about the fact of the Smart part becoming obsolete before the tv.  Ironic that I did not think of that, because my dad would always say when I was younger to not get the combo tv/vcr because if one breaks you are stuck with a half operating machine.

bacchi

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2018, 01:28:56 PM »
Thanks for all the imput so far.

Despite my mother's apprehension I have not ruled out Craigslist.  Although, I think I am running into the same problem where they were way over priced tvs that area few years old and I could get a cheaper brand new for the same price.

Meet in the police parking lot if you're worried about craigslist weirdos.

Do you need a 55" tv? Would a 36" or 40" tv work fine?

civil4life

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2018, 01:40:57 PM »
I grabbed this one on this year's Prime Day (it was $478):

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B072FN2B2N/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The best buy guy actually recommended this years model of this tv.  So I have actually been considering this one.

dcheesi

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2018, 01:44:36 PM »
A few weeks ago my house was broken into and among some of the things stolen was my TV.

The last 2 tvs I bought 6 years ago were from 2 individuals on Craigslist.  They were off brand flat screens.  I have/had no problems with them.  At the time I was looking for a decent size tv without really desiring any specific features.  I grew up in a family where the majority of all tvs were hand me downs.

I have been watching Craigslist, Let Go, Facebook Market, and the multitude of online retailers.  Although, most likely if I go with "new" it would be something refurbished.

I watch a good amount of tv and it is any area that I am willing to go a bit above a used something on Craigslist (Plus my mom is absolutely terrified of me being murdered during a Craigslist deal.)  So I am not really looking for a full on Mustachion, but neither am I putting in a state of the art theatre either.

Features:
-55" (would consider anything in the 50" to 70" range)
-4k
-Smart TV (although this one I could do without since I have an Amazon Fire Stick)
-long term reliable (I want this thing to last at least a decade if not more)

Brand not important although Best Buy said out of the name brands my lifestyle would be best matched with a Sony.  I am more of a casual tv sitcom, movies, very occasional sports, and no gaming. 

Walmart has several RCA tvs on special.  They have fairly mediocre reviews.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?cat_id=3944_1060825_9465212_3089811&grid=true&query=rca+tv#searchProductResult

RCA 55" Class 4K (2160P) LED TV (RTU5540-C) - $259 (No Smart TV)

RCA 55" Class 4K (2160P) Roku Smart HDR LED TV (RTRU5527-W) - $399 (Not sure if I am a fan of Roku.  Never used it.)

I would be interested to know anyone's experience with the off brands like insignia, vizeo, tcl, etc.

What features should I really care about?

Any general buying feedback?

Although I would not prefer to do this...do I wait until Black Friday and torture myself for a tv deal?

"Smart TV" is a complete waste. It's always crappy and very expensive compared to Roku/Fire stick/etc. and over a 10 year lifespan that you want become utterly useless.
That has generally been my opinion as well; however, it has gotten to the point now that it can be hard to find a "dumb" TV of even reasonable quality, and often they're not any cheaper than the "smart" equivalents (due to economies of scale, presumably).

And the Roku-branded TVs at least have the backing of a major name in the streaming-device market. Along with that comes a mature interface (some would say too mature) and broad streaming service support, both of which are major improvements over the home-grown implementations that came before. Whether long-term updates and support will also come along with the Roku name remains to be seen, but the odds are better than with the TV brand (and often model) -specific "smart" interfaces.

Dragonswan

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2018, 02:06:52 PM »
Also when you do the side by side comparison, pay attention to the style of picture.  I prefer matte over glossy (less eye strain) so I went with an LG, from Best Buy, during some holiday sale.  Otherwise I would have gone with Samsung (last one I had was going strong at 15 years and put it out to pasture because I wanted a flat screen - a big one). 

Frankies Girl

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2018, 02:13:18 PM »
Buy a new one, don't buy a new one, it's a TV. It's for entertainment, period. It's not an investment, it's not worth this sort of brain power/process/agonizing. Find a decent priced one with the basic setup you want - go buy it. Spend at most half an hour on research.


Have you ever heard of Goodwill? It is a thrift store chain! With a/c and bathrooms and electricity! That you can use to test things - like TVs that they sell! For cheap!

I see flat screens in there all the time large enough to sleep 8 and likely bigger than my first apartment, for under $50, and they have color tag sales where you can even purchase the color of the week for 30% off or better depending. You don't have to worry about being assaulted and killed in general at a thrift store... mostly just avoid the people talking to themselves and you'll be fine.

civil4life

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2018, 03:35:44 PM »
Have you ever heard of Goodwill? It is a thrift store chain! With a/c and bathrooms and electricity! That you can use to test things - like TVs that they sell! For cheap!

I see flat screens in there all the time large enough to sleep 8 and likely bigger than my first apartment, for under $50, and they have color tag sales where you can even purchase the color of the week for 30% off or better depending. You don't have to worry about being assaulted and killed in general at a thrift store... mostly just avoid the people talking to themselves and you'll be fine.

You had me wondering as never recall seeing tvs in Goodwill.  I just looked it up and in at least my area they do not accept tv donations.

ketchup

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2018, 03:54:13 PM »
Have you ever heard of Goodwill? It is a thrift store chain! With a/c and bathrooms and electricity! That you can use to test things - like TVs that they sell! For cheap!

I see flat screens in there all the time large enough to sleep 8 and likely bigger than my first apartment, for under $50, and they have color tag sales where you can even purchase the color of the week for 30% off or better depending. You don't have to worry about being assaulted and killed in general at a thrift store... mostly just avoid the people talking to themselves and you'll be fine.

You had me wondering as never recall seeing tvs in Goodwill.  I just looked it up and in at least my area they do not accept tv donations.
They might just not accept CRT TV donations.  I know ours don't anymore, and for a while they were selling all CRT TVs for $0.99. (We bought one in 2013.)

I have a Sharp Roku TV (43" 1080p for $229) that's been good to us for the last ~20 months.  Once the Roku guts get obsolete/unsupported, it'll be easy enough to plug another Roku-style box into it.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #30 on: October 10, 2018, 04:13:49 PM »
Have you ever heard of Goodwill? It is a thrift store chain! With a/c and bathrooms and electricity! That you can use to test things - like TVs that they sell! For cheap!

I see flat screens in there all the time large enough to sleep 8 and likely bigger than my first apartment, for under $50, and they have color tag sales where you can even purchase the color of the week for 30% off or better depending. You don't have to worry about being assaulted and killed in general at a thrift store... mostly just avoid the people talking to themselves and you'll be fine.

You had me wondering as never recall seeing tvs in Goodwill.  I just looked it up and in at least my area they do not accept tv donations.
They might just not accept CRT TV donations.  I know ours don't anymore, and for a while they were selling all CRT TVs for $0.99. (We bought one in 2013.)

I have a Sharp Roku TV (43" 1080p for $229) that's been good to us for the last ~20 months.  Once the Roku guts get obsolete/unsupported, it'll be easy enough to plug another Roku-style box into it.

Yup. Goodwill stopped accepting the big ol CRT TVs sometime in the last year or two. All they take now are the flatscreens - so plasma, LED and whatever else someone decides to dump when they buy new. I've seen 55-70 inch LEDs in there for $35, working condition and looked pretty nice. Our area GWs tend to hook up DVD players and have movies running so you can see the picture even. They seriously don't care if you fuss around with stuff in you intend to buy, so it's a pretty sweet deal. We don't need a TV since we have one still working just fine (although it is a plasma and sucks on energy usage, but husband swore up and down it was the best pic for the time period and worth the energy cost... sigh). Key thing is to find the ones in the ritzy areas and sort of drop by if there are fancy things you are looking for. May luck out and score on your first trip, may take you a month or two. I am a thrift store junky tho so I don't mind the hunt, YMMV.

GuitarStv

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2018, 05:16:09 PM »
Goodwill stopped accepting the big ol CRT TVs sometime in the last year or two. All they take now are the flatscreens - so plasma, LED and whatever else someone decides to dump when they buy new.

Goodwill wouldn't accept a nice Sony Trinitron CRT from me ten years ago.  I'm surprised they've been accepting CRTs near you at all.  :P

HamsterStache

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Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2018, 07:59:10 AM »
Black Friday and Superbowl season are the obvious times for store sales - but that also means it's the time you can find great options cheap/free on craigslist/freecycle as people dump their huge tv's for the hottest huger tv's they just bought on sale.