Best TV for approx. 300? 25"-"27

I need a new TV for the bedroom, I do not need bells and whistles, picture would be first of importance.

I am not fixed at 25"-27", I could consider smaller. (Actually, my wife would prefer a smaller TV, but you know us guys, we want to go for the bigger version!)

I went to Circuit City last night planning to purchase a Panasonic, I have heard good things on their longevity. I was specifically going there for the CT-27G6, $289. I left with a JVC AV-27D302, $349. The JVC showed much more detail IMO and all the Panasonics I looked at seemed dark, the JVC simply seemed to have the better picture, except it was a bit grainy. I thought, maybe foolishly, it was just a store issue.

The one I brought home seems to be a bit grainy as well. There seems to be a flaw in the picture, so I am planning on returning it, but I am not ruling out exchanging it for the same TV.

I was just seeking the collective wisdom of this forum.

Who knows how well the TV's are aligned/adjusted in the showroom! Since this is a TV that you can transport, bring it to a shop that you trust, and spend a few extra bucks ($50?) to have it properly calibrated. Picture should look even better!
You bring up an interesting point Fatparrot. We didn't spend a lot of time with the adjustments in the store either, we were in a bit of a hurry.

The calibration that you speak of, is this something done internal or something they do with the menu controls and maybe some software, say from a DVD player?

(I highly doubt that my wife will agree to spend more money on a brand new TV! I already went higher on the price than planned.)
If your budget will stretch to $500, I'd strongly recommend the Sony WEGA 27" television. I recently bought this TV for our daughter -- Goodguys had an Internet deal for $495, which included sales tax and delivery to your door. For my money, the Sony WEGA 27" is the best TV of its size on the market.

What you should do first and foremost when you are evaluating TV's in a store (and especially Best Buy and Circuit City (and thankfully, I didn't buy my TV from either of these places....... I bought my TV from my high end dealer)) is grab the remote (if it is attached to the set) and adjust the picture controls of all of the sets you are considering to buy. I think that in either set, the middle (or might I say...... the neutral settings) should be used in order to make a judgement as to which TV delivers the better overall picture. Also, if you use neutral settings on both sets, that will level the playing field of both sets at the same time (meaning that one set's picture isn't any more superior than the one the next set is delivering). Once you decide on which set you want to buy, then what you should do is spend maybe, an extra $30.00 or so, and get the Joe Kane Video Essentials DVD (I have one right now, and let me tell you, it is an INVALUABLE tool....... I cannot say that enough. It was definitely the best $25.00 or $30.00 I ever spent) and put it into your DVD Player. That way, you can fine tune your set more precisely, and then that way, your new set can deliver the best picture it can capably deliver.

But to disagree slightly with Sdcampbell, I don't think that the Sony is the ABSOLUTE best 27" TV on the market. I say that because when I was shopping for my set, I was looking at a Sony too, and I ended up with a Panasonic. But mind you, I was looking at a higher-end set that what you and your wife are looking at also. So, that may have been a factor as well. Sony is a very good set. But I don't think it is absolutely the best 27" that you can buy. I was looking at a Sony Wega also (I believe it was the their TOL 27" with their flat screen and also loaded with bells and whistles) and I ended up buying a Panasonic SuperFlat (also, in a 27" size and fully loaded with bells and whistles as well
....... and it was their TOL 27" set also. It was their TOL 27" set two years ago), and saving almost $200.00 in the bargain. And to my eyes, the picture quality was just as good.

I trust you'll let us know what you decide on, won't you??

Per your request, I will let you know how this ends up.

I would like to reiterate that this is for the bedroom, hence not wanting to spend double for an awesome 27".

I have an awesome 27" Mitsu in my living room that we purchased just over 10 years ago. This TV has an awesome picture and some bells and whistles that I do not find on TV's today; namely two antenna inputs!

I have talked with another who also has fond words for Panasonic TV's, but advised that the G series has a lousy picture. I would agree with that assessment after last nights outting and I would add that we compared the D series to the G series and it was no better.

Other than the "grainyness" of the JVC, the picture was much better that the G/D series, that said, it is a little more expensive TV too.

Actually, I have to disagree with you there too (as far as the features on today's newer sets are concerned). Actually, my TOL 27" Panasonic also has two antenna inputs. If anything at all, I believe my Pany has one feature even 27" Mitsu does NOT even have.

Want to try "component video inputs"???

But anyway, good luck in your search for an affordable TV (and I am sure that even for $300.00, there are some worthy candidates out there).


And about Panasonic's entry-level "G" series (and "D" series as well)??? Looks like I have to concur with whomever advise you against getting one. Think that you may have to look elsewhere if you are thinking about getting a good, but affordable TV. If you are getting a Pany today, then I would only advise that you check out only their "Tau" series. At least, those sets are worth talking about. And even then, neither one of those sets can hold up a candle against my two year old Panasonic SuperFlat.

Maybe a JVC or a Magnavox is your best bet. Keep us up to speed, will you??


Sorry, but the 10 year old Mitsu has two video inputs! I wasn't trying to get into a "my TV is better than your TV." I purchased this TV in 2/1992 and it was something like $800 back then; it is a great TV.

It sounds like we made the right move not buying the Panasonic G/D series and purchasing the JVC instead.

From what I understand, there was much more focus on 27" TV's by manufacturers years back as they were more popular at that time, now it is the larger TV's. Talking with a salesman/friend of mine a few years ago, he stated that he wouldn't recommend a 27" Mitsu anymore, but their larger TV's were great, as that was Mitsu's focus.
I used to work at a high end video store--my advice is to find a salesman you can trust and choose TV size considering the distance you will be from the set. The general rule of thumb is 4 times diagonal picture, so (4 x 27" = 108"); 108"/12 = 9 feet. That's your recommended viewing distance.

I would not buy Panasonic over Sony WEGA...

I bought my first TV set ever back in October--a 27" WEGA. I called the owner of the store I used to work at and told me I made the right choice of TV. He gave me the proper order to fine tune a TV (I had forgotten--I'm an audiophile!).

Here it is:

1) Color OFF
2) Brightness
3) Contrast
4) Sharpness

Get the best B&W picture you can.

5)Color ON
7 Drop brightness
8)Work on high resolution settings

This is a no-brainer if you follow it step by step and take your time. Steve Blumenthal of Gallager TV is a master at this. My TV was fine tuned in just a few minutes with no need for any 'special' DVD. Back in those days we didn't have any DVDs or LDs to tune the TVs!

After setting my TV I rented Water World and played it through my JVC XV-S45 DVD player and those water scenes (both above and under) were just stunning!
Why not take that 10 year old Mitsu, put it in the bedroom, and treat yourself to a nice new Sony WEGA? It will certainly be an improvement over the Mitsu, and your living room gets a stylish upgrade!
Why not take that 10 year old Mitsu, put it in the bedroom, and treat yourself to a nice new Sony WEGA? It will certainly be an improvement over the Mitsu, and your living room gets a stylish upgrade!
Believe you me, if we had the money, I would purchase a new and larger TV for the living room!! That will have to come at another time.
In my opinion I would stick with the JVC. Exchange it. If
the same grain appears there's the possibility it's in your line. Also, the smaller the picture tube, the less noticable
will such things be. If you're accustomed to viewing a 13/19
or 20" set (you don't mention your previous T.V. size), then
you move up in size to a 27" you will notice more imperfect-
ions. bill
I have the 27" JVC D-series and I like it very much. I prefer it to the Panasonic and Sony in the same price range.
We have played around with our connections, purchased better ones, and the grainyness is gone. But that isn't why I was going to return it; at times there is a "line" down the screen on the far left.

Now that we have a better connection, I am VERY impressed with the picture, to say the least!

On another fourm though, someone gave me the following Consumer reports ratngs for picture:
5 Stars (Excellent), 4 Stars (VeryGood), 3 Stars (Good), 2 Stars (Fair), 1 Star (Poor). YW=1 year labor warranty.
1. Sony 27SF13....5 Stars....$600
2. Sony 27FV17....5 Stars...$800
3. Toshiba 27AF61...5 Stars...$650 (YW)
4. Sony 27FS17....5 Stars....$700
5. Sony 27S66.....5 Stars....$450
6. Sharp 27R-FS1....4 Stars...$500 (YW)
7. RCAF27689...4 Stars.....$430
8. JVC 27F802....4 Stars....$750 (YW)
9. Samsung TXK2768....4 Stars...$350
10. Panasonic 27SX31...4 Stars...$700
11. Philips 27PT71B....4 Stars....$450
12. Samsung TXL2767....4 Stars...$300
13. JVC 27D502.....4 Stars...$400 (YW)
14. JVC 27D302...4 Stars...$350 (YW)
15. Toshiba 27A51/A41....4 Stars...$350 (YW)
16. Sharp 27R-S480...4 Stars...$350 (YW)
17. Sanyo DS27800.....3 Stars....$290
18. Zenith 27A24T....3 Stars...$300
19. Panasonic 27D11/D21...3 Stars...$300
As you can see from above report, Panasonic came in dead last and Sony 27S66 (basically S44 model without 2 PIP tuner and less inputs) was the only non-flat TV that receievd "Excellent" picture rating.

I would have to see the picture on some of these others, as I say, the picture on the JVC is incredibally good.
1. Sony 27SF13....5 Stars....$600

That's my Sony! Plain Vanilla 27" WEGA--and a Swans M1 and RPG Pro Foam panel to either can get it for much less and interest free for a year.
For $300, I recommend the Magnavox P27s55. It is 27", has a flatter screen(not true flat), black matrix,comb filter, 600 line resolution, AND COMPONENT INPUT.(Also, S-video, and Composite). It has an attractive high tech silver cabinet. It's available on for $299.95 or at your local K-Mart for $319.95.
As requested, I am following up with the outcome. I was very happy with the picture of the JVC and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this TV to anyone, unfortunately, due to the speakers being down the sides, the TV was to big for where we were putting it. (I also would mention that we looked at this same TV in their 20" version and it too had a wonderul picture. As stated, I can highly recommend the JVC D series.)

I had stated earlier that their was a static "line" going down the screen of the JVC, this appears to be an issue with our new antenna and not the TV.

When I went on my TV search this past weekend, I was hoping to find the Samsung TV's listed above as their prices are amongst the best of the company the are listed in. I was unsuccessful at locating these.

I purhased a Sharp 27R-S480 at Best Buy for $302, $50 less than the JVC; it appears this TV is exclusively made for BB. The Sharp clearly had one of the best pictures of those we were viewing.

The only other TV's with pictures that were in the league and price range we were looking at were smaller 20" TV's, not counting the JVC, though it did cost more; such as the Sony KV-20FS12 for $300. We believed the Sharp with it's slimer design than the JVC would fit on our dresser, so it was a no brainer the choose the 27" Sharp. There may be others that compete, but of those we were able to view the Sharp stood out.

Now that I have the Sharp at home, I am VERY happy with it's picture.

A TV that also would of been "perfect" for us if it wasn't out of our budget was the Sony KV-24FV12. Being 24" this TV would of fit nicely on our dresser; Panasonic also has a 24" in their Tau series.