Best 50 Inch TV - Reviews 

10 Things You Should Know Before You Buy!


What Game Room is Complete Without A Brilliant Wide-Screen TV?

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Take A Walk On The Wild Side With Our Top 4 Best 50 Inch TVs 

Our Best 60 And 65 Inch TVs Are Featured Here As Well!

VIZIO D50u-D1

The VIZIO D series might very well be the most popular TV in America right now and it’s not hard to see why.

VIZIO has packed these TVs with loads of features, an excellent picture, and all served up at the famously reasonable VIZIO price point.

On our quest to find the best 50 inch TV the VIZIO D50u-D1 stands out as a customer favorite.

Specs

  • Screen size: 50 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • Backlight technology: LED
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz real, 120Hz Effective Refresh Rate
  • Inputs: 5 HDMI, 1 USB, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 ethernet, 1 TV tuner
  • Model year: 2016

Features

Released in 2016, the VIZIO D50u-D1 has a future proof 4K UHD display resolution.

4K displays have 4 times the number of pixels as 1080p displays, which was the industry standard just a few short years ago.

Simply put, 4K produces an image so real that your eyes can’t even tell the difference between the screen and reality.

The LED backlighting technology that the VIZIO D series uses has become the new standard.

With 12 LED zones the D50u-D1 is able to produce a high contrast ratio that shows dark blacks and bright whites.

Contrast is really what makes an image pop.

Your movies will look more beautiful and your video games more realistic with a high contrast ratio.

Unfortunately the technology that gives the VIZIO D50u-D1 such a great picture, also limits the screens viewing angle.

Viewed from the side the picture quickly loses it's colors and contrast.

Now to talk about the ever confusing refresh rate.

The refresh rate is the number of times a frame can be changed per second and is expressed in Hertz (so 60Hz = 60 frames per second).

Unfortunately the higher the resolution of the image, the more difficult it is to refresh.

This means that while 120Hz and 240Hz refresh rates are common on 1080p displays, most 4K UHD TVs have a refresh rate of 60Hz.

In fact, it's impossible to even deliver a higher refresh rate over HDMI in 4K UHD.

The VIZIO D50u-D1 has a refresh rate of 60Hz which is well enough for movies, videogames, and television.

VIZIO also uses other technologies to help improve the look of motion on the screen.

The VIZIO D50u-D1 is also a smart TV with built in dual band wifi.

Easily access your favorite apps like Netflix or HBO GO.

Netflix and other streaming services are starting to roll out 4K streaming which looks amazing on this TV.

If you plan on streaming high resolution video like that you should definitely use the ethernet port to connect directly to your router.

Your wifi will most likely have problems trying to beam the tremendous number of pixels that 4K requires.

One of my favorite usability features of this TV is the full keyboard that is on the back of the remote.

Searching for movies and TV shows has never been easier.

What is the VIZIO D50u-D1 best suited for?

Thanks to VIZIOs advanced motion technologies, the D50u-D1 is great for video games and live sports. 

The action on the screen looks great and realistic.

Because of the narrow viewing angle, the VIZIO D50u-D1 is less suited for watching movies with a large group of people who need to sit off to the side of the TV.

But for those seated directly in front, this TV delivers one serious cinematic experience.

This TV is also great for those shopping on a budget.

VIZIO has always been a brand of the people and the D series is no different.

Sure you can buy a better picture, but for the money the VIZIO D50u-D1 is one of the best 50 inch TVs on the market.

Pros

  • Great contrast
  • Good at displaying motion
  • Excellent price

Cons

  • Narrow viewing angle
  • Looks a bit plain


Samsung UN50JU6500

Samsung is among the most respected brands in the electronics industry.

Their quality is unmatched by most and boy are their products beautiful!

Samsung TVs are always the ones that retailers like to show off at the front of their stores in order to lure people in.

The picture quality on these TVs attracts people like a street light attracts flies, but for better reason.

There are multiple Samsung TVs on our list of the best 50 inch TVs.

Specs

  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • Screen size: 50 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • Backlight technology: LED
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz real, 120Hz Motion Rate
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 Cable TV, 1 RS232C, 1 ethernet
  • Model year: 2015

Features

The 4K Ultra High Definition display on the UN50JU6500 places this TV in the top tier of TVs right now.

Not too long ago 1080p was the standard and everyone thought that screens couldn’t get any better.

Well now TVs with 4 times the resolution are being released and boy can you tell a difference!

It’s hard to imagine a more realistic image than what this TV can produce.

Buying 4K will cement your TVs place in the future.

LED and OLED screens are the latest technologies in the television world.

While OLEDs are found on super high end TVs that cost several thousand dollars, LED TVs can be had for just a few hundred.

On older LCD TVs you had compact fluorescent lights that lit up your screen.

Those are the same dreary lights you find in offices and Walmart!

Now with LED backlighting, TVs are lighter (by weight), use less electricity, and produce a better image.

If you are still chugging along with an old LCD TV, you need to upgrade to an LED today!

You will thank me, and you will thank yourself.

The real refresh rate for this TV (and nearly all 4K TVs) is 60Hz.

This means the TV can refresh the image 60 times per second.

This works fine because most movies are shown at 24 frames per second and most television programs are shown at 30 frames per second.

However, you’ll notice that Samsung advertises the UN50JU6500 as “120 Motion Rate”.

This is simply advertising.

While Samsung has some technology that helps the image look sharper, the real refresh rate is still 60Hz.

Samsung used their PurColor technology on this TV and it shows.

The colors are super rich and the images look just amazing.

Blacks are black and whites are white.

There aren’t any complaints about the image.

Another great feature about the screen is that it is glare resistant.

The screen as a semigloss finish that reduces glare.

It really works!

Of course, it’s impossible to eliminate all glare on a TV screen but the problem is much reduced compared to other models.

The Samsung UN50JU6500 is also a smart TV.

You can connect loads of different movie, tv, and music apps to this TV.

The UN50JU6500 has built in wifi, but I highly recommend using the ethernet cable to connect directly to the router.

4K video is extremely difficult to send over wifi and a hard line is the only way to guarantee that you aren’t losing any of that delicious picture quality.

Another great aspect of this TV is that you can hook a keyboard directly to it using one of the USB ports.

This is great for computer gamers since you can actually use this TV as a gaming monitor.

But try not to sit too close!

It might also be useful because the remote that comes with the UN50JU6500 has a built in web browser and the remote that comes with it is difficult to use for typing.

Without a physical keyboard you will need to search for movies by using the on-screen keyboard and the arrow pad on the remote.

What is the Samsung UN50JU6500 best suited for?

This TV is a great all arounder.

But because of it's anti glare screen and great picture, it’s particularly suited for movies and TV watching.

The UN50JU6500 makes a great living room TV for family and friends to gather around.

Pros

  • Great picture
  • Anti glare screen
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Remote is hard to manipulate
  • It’s a 2015 model


TCL 50UP130

TCL is not a new company, but it may be one that you haven’t heard of before.

This is because unlike most TVs sold in America, TCL is a Chinese company that is expanding into the global market.

Of course, we all know that “made in China” is usually synonymous with “cheap crap”, but TCL is a serious company that has been making serious products since the 90’s.

While the 50UP130 is the cheapest TV on our list of best 50 inch TV’s, it is still a quality TV.

We expect that much like Hyundai and Kia did with cars, TCL will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Specs

  • Screen size: 50 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • Backlight technology: LED
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz real, 120Hz Clear Motion Rate
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI, 1 USB, 1 Component, 1 Cable TV, 1 ethernet
  • Model year: 2016

Features

The TCL 50UP130 has a 4K Ultra HD display resolution.

This creates a screen image so precise that Blu-ray discs, HDMI cables, and high speed internet are struggling to keep up.

But don’t worry, technology will soon catch up to display these incredible resolutions on your new TV.

Usually when the average person buys a TV they look at 3 things; size, resolution and price.

Of course, if you’re reading this site then you know that there is much more to consider.

But the TCL 50UP130 looks very attractive when you consider those 3 factors, in fact, it is one of the only 4K 50 inch TVs that is under $500.

This is a great buy for someone who is shopping on a budget.

TCL uses the same high quality LED backlighting technology as most TVs on the market today do.

LEDs are more energy efficient and product a better picture with deeper colors than other backlighting technologies.

While the TCL 50UP130 produces a better picture than even high end TVs of the past, it unfortunately can’t keep up with other similar TVs on the market today.

The biggest complaint with the 50UP130 is that it has poor contrast.

You’ll find that the TCL can’t produce the deep blacks that other similar TVs can.

We can’t really expect a 4k 50 inch TV in this price range to come without any flaws, can we?

Just like the other brands, TCL has it’s own “refresh rate” called “Clear Motion Rate”.

This is mostly a gimmick so that manufacturers can post a higher refresh rate without technically lying about it.

Although, TCL is slightly more deceptive about it than other brands.

Even on their website they list the 50UP130 as having a 120Hz refresh rate when most manufacturers will at least admit the true number under it’s specs.

Make no mistake, the TCL 50UP130 has a 60 Hz refresh rate.

One of the best features of this TV is it's native integration with Roku.

It basically has a Roku player built right into the TV.

Even the remote for the TCL 50UP130 is the Roku remote!

With Roku you have access to all of your favorite streaming services as well as hundreds or even thousands of channels and on-demand shows.

Back to the remote; the Roku remote actually has a headphone jack so you can silently watch TV without disturbing others around you.

The remote also can use voice to search and has a lost remote feature so you can easily find it between your couch cushions.

Pretty clever!

Also, when you download the Roku app on your smartphone or tablet you can cast pictures, videos, and music to your TV.

What is the TCL 50UP130 best suited for?

Because of TCLs clever integration with Roku, this TV is perfect for casually watching all of your streaming favorites.

Serious cinephiles who demand the best quality picture will want to upgrade to a TV with a better contrast.

Pros

  • Roku integration
  • Excellent price

Cons

  • Low contrast


VIZIO M50-C1

VIZIOs M series was CNETs highest rated TV of 2015.

And what has changed between 2015 and 2016?

Not much.

The M series is still a rock star in the TV market and sets the standard for others.

The M50-C1 goes above and beyond when it comes to producing an amazing picture and it doesn’t disappoint.

Specs

  • Screen size: 50 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • Backlight technology: LED
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz real, 120Hz Effective Refresh Rate
  • Inputs: 5 HDMI, 1 USB, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 Cable TV, 1 ethernet
  • Model year: 2015

Features

The VIZIO M50-C1 has an incredible 4K Ultra High Definition display.

The M50-C1 also has VIZIOs smart upscaling technology.

This technology upconverts lower resolution images (like DVDs) to 4K.

Of course, it’s not true 4K, that would be impossible, but 1080p images look better on the M50-C1 than on a native 1080p screen because of the upscaling.

Most TVs on the market today are LED displays but they are not all created equal.

While most have 8, 12, or 16 active LED zones, the M50-C1 has a whopping 32 active LED zones.

This creates a more uniform image and a picture with deeper blacks and brighter whites.

The M series really stands out when displayed next to other similar TVs.

The VIZIO M50-C1 has a refresh rate of 60Hz.

It also has a 6 core processor and a bunch of clever technology to help reduce motion blur and show clear moving images.

Despite these technologies the M50-C1 does still have a slight problem with motion blur.

This is mostly just an unfortunate fact of 4K displays today.

The technology doesn’t yet exist to show 4K at a higher rate than 60Hz.

The good news is that most uses for this TV will be unaffected by motion blur.

Only hardcore PC gamers might notice a problem.

The VIZIO M50-C1 is a smart TV with VIZIOs smart TV interface that most people are familiar with.

You can download loads of apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and many others.

We wish they included a native browser so that you could really put that QWERTY keyboard on the back of the remote to work.

The M50-C1 has built in dual band wifi so you can easily connect and stream your movies.

We recommend hard-wiring the TV to your router using an ethernet cable in order to get a better image on that sweet 4K display.

What is the VIZIO M50-C1 best suited for?

Because of the M50-C1s excellent picture quality, we think that this TV is best fit for an eye popping cinematic experience.

Use this TV in your home theater room and you won’t be disappointed.

Because of the motion blur issues the VIZIO M50-C1 may not be great for serious PC gamers.

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Even and rich colors

Cons

  • Some motion blur

Now Take A Walk On The Even Wilder Side With Our Top 3 Best 60 Inch TVs

Samsung UN60KU6300

The Samsung UN60KU6300 is beautiful and thin (don’t we all wish we were?).

It also produces about one of the best pictures you can find for right around $1,000.

The KU6300 series of TVs are well known for their excellent contrast and black uniformity.

While some TVs have lighter areas of the screen, the UN60KU6300 produces an image with uniform brightness.

This kind of lifelike imaging is only found on much pricier OLED TVs.

Specs

  • Screen size: 60 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD
  • Backlight technology: LED
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz real, 120Hz Motion rate
  • Inputs: 3 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 Component, 1 Composite, 1 Cable TV, 1 ethernet
  • Model year: 2016

Features

At a screen size of 60 inches, this TV is much bigger than most.

The large screen makes this TV perfect for a theater room.

Also precision gamers will appreciate such a large screen so that you can nail those no-scope headshots.

No 60 inch screen is complete without 4K Ultra High Definition resolution.

4K UHD screens have a tremendous number of pixels and it makes this TV look ultra sharp.

For reference, most movies shown on digital projectors at your local cineplex are shown in 4K resolution.

So with a 4K TV you are essentially getting a movie theater in your living room.

The LED technology that Samsung uses in the UN60KU6300 is truly top of the line.

With their UHD dimming technology they are able to make the backlighting on this screen almost completely uniform.

This means no cloudy brightness around the edges of the screen.

It also means that the blacks on this screen are very deep as well as the whites being bright.

The image that this screen produces might be the best in it's price point and size.

The technology that Samsung uses to make this screen look so good has an unfortunate side effect, a narrow viewing angle.

When you view this screen from the side you lose a lot of the contrast and deep colors that you get when viewed head on.

This means that this TV may not be suited for large gathering areas where people will be watching from a steep angle.

As with nearly all 4K TVs, the Samsung UN60KU6300 has a 60Hz refresh rate.

Samsung uses some advanced technology to make the refresh rate appear faster and so they gave it a rating of 120 Motion Rate.

Motion Rate being their in house rating system.

Current generation HDMI cables actually cannot even send a 4K image that is faster than 60Hz, so the supporting technology has a ways to go before TV refresh rates need a boost.

This TV looks very crisp and the motion seems true to life.

That makes this TV great for live sports and gaming.

The Samsung UN60KU6300 is a smart TV so you can watch Netflix, YouTube or any other app directly on the TV.

Samsung even has their own internet browser so you can surf the web right on the TV.

Don’t try to type using the on-screen keyboard and remote though.

Typing using that directional pad can be somewhat frustrating.

I recommend plugging a physical keyboard into one of the USB ports.

This will give you full typing ability for the browser or for searching Netflix.

If you want to stream 4K over the internet be sure to utilize the ethernet port on this TV.

Wifi can’t handle true 4K video quite yet.

What is the Samsung UN60KU6300 best suited for?

This TV is great for use as a gaming screen or for watching epic movies.

Thanks to it’s screen size, the Samsung UN60KU6300 turns movies into a cinematic experience as well as making gaming a precision sport.

Pros

  • Excellent  picture quality
  • Large screen

Cons

  • Narrow viewing angle


Samsung UN60KS8000

In characteristic fashion Samsung is well ahead of the competition in creating great products.

This is especially true with its 8 series SUHD TVs.

You'll find that the 8 series is a masterful piece of entertainment technology, bursting with features and that typical Samsung class.

Specs

  • Screen size: 60 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • Backlight technology: Edge lit LED
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 ethernet, 1 cable
  • Model year: 2016

Features

Samsung says the UN60KS8000 has an SUHD display.

What does the “S” stand for, you ask? Uhh… Nothing actually.

“S” is just something that Samsung slaps on their high end products to let you know how special it is, like the Galaxy line of smartphones.

But you can imaging that the “S” stands for “super” if you want to because this TV is indeed “super”.

The resolution on the Samsung UN60KS8000 is 4K UHD and uses HDR technology to really impress viewers.

HDR (or High Dynamic Range) is a newer technology that allows the screen to show more details in the brighter and darker areas as well as show a wider range of colors.

This isn’t just a marketing gimmick, HDR is a real thing that enhances the image compared to plain old LED TVs.

The image on this TV is unmatched by other LEDs you will find.

Only when you start looking at OLEDs will you find a better picture.

Unfortunately one side effect of the technology that creates such a great picture is a more narrow viewing angle.

So this TV may not be the best option for viewing in large groups with people watching the screen from the side.

The refresh rate on this TV is a very sharp 120Hz.

This means that you get less motion blur so you can cleanly see the action on the screen.

You may only notice a difference in intense action sequences like live sports, video games, or those shaky cam movies.

The refresh rate is one of the best reasons to spend a little more money on a current generation TV.

The Samsung UN60KS8000 is a wifi enable smart TV.

You can easily access your favorite apps like Netflix and HBO GO while online.

Be sure to have a strong, fast connection.

We recommend that you use ethernet to connect directly to your router so you don’t miss out on any of those sweet sweet pixels.

One positive smart feature on the UN60KS8000 is the web browser built into the operating system.

You can search the web right on your TV, and thanks to bluetooth you can even connect a wireless keyboard to make surfing easier.

What is the Samsung UN60KS8000 best suited for?

The Samsung UN60KS8000 is a great all around TV.

The excellent picture and high refresh rate means that this TV works just as well for gaming and live sports as it does for serious movies and Netflix binging.

Just be careful of the viewing angle.

You may not want to use this TV in a room with seating off to the sides where the viewing angle is steep.

Pros

  • Amazing picture
  • Excellent motion display

Cons

  • Narrow viewing angle


LG 60UH8500

LG is a high end brand just like Samsung and is actually the world’s second largest manufacturer of large screen TVs.

LG is a company that focuses on performance as well as design where they are known for not following the crowd. The 60UH8500 is no exception.

Unlike most large LEDs on the market the LG 60UH8500 has a colored bezel and white (yes, white!) back.

While most TVs nowadays all look like identical black rectangles, LG has made a fashion piece.

Specs

  • Screen size: 60 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • 3D capable: Yes
  • Backlight technology: Edge lit LED
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Inputs: 3 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 composite, 1 component, 1 ethernet, 1 cable, 1 RS232C
  • Model year: 2016

Features

The large 60 inch screen on the LG 60UH8500 is capable of displaying images in 4k UHD resolution.

It’s basically like having a movie theater in your own home.

Given how bad the 2016 movie season has been, a home theater might soon be a necessity.

4K is four times the resolution of 1080p and is also four times as mind blowing.

The 60UH8500 also uses a technology called HDR (or High Dynamic Range).

This technology has been used by professional photographers for years now and is currently making it's way into high end displays.

The technology essentially gives you more colors as well as brighter whites and darker blacks.

Where HDR really makes a difference is in showing detail in bright and dark areas.

On a standard TV a shot of the sky might just look completely washed out or a shadowy area might look completely dark.

On an HDR TV you can actually see the details in the clouds in the previously washed out sky and you can also see the details of what is lurking in the shadows.

HDR is yet another feature that makes an image more lifelike.

The LG 60UH8500 uses edge lit LEDs as it's backlighting technology of choice.

This helps to make the TV thinner and lighter.

Unfortunately using edge lighting hurts the performance in low light.

This TV might not be the best choice for a dedicated movie room where you watch movies with the lights off.

With a 120Hz refresh rate, the LG 60UH8500 displays sharp motion.

The LG is a step above most 4K TVs on the market today which usually can only display 60Hz.

Having twice the refresh rate of a normal UHD TV gives the 60UH8500 an advantage in displaying live sports, video games, and fast paced action sequences.

A high refresh rate means less motion blur and an easier to see image.

If you want to be able to spot a football flying towards the end zone or if you want to no scope a noob with precision then the LG 60UH8500 might be what you’re looking for.

LG has a beautiful user interface with its smart TVs.

It is very sleek and modern in a way that stands out from other brands.

Of course the 60UH8500 is wifi capable and can connect to your favorite streaming apps, but we recommend connecting via ethernet directly to your router.

One neat feature about this smart TV is what LG calls it’s “magic remote”.

The magic remote essentially functions like a Wii remote.

You can point the remote at the TV and move the cursor around by aiming.

It is neat but I don’t think this is how smart TVs will function in the future.

Unmentioned almost anywhere is the fact that this TV is 3D capable.

LG doesn’t seem to want to advertise that it has this capability because it can’t be found on the box or even on the website.

Many people who buy this TV will likely be surprised to see that it comes with two 3D glasses.

Who knows why LG has hid this feature but we’re glad it has it.

While I’m no fan of 3D movies, I would rather have the ability to watch one if I ever felt in the mood to do so.

LG is also thankfully ignoring the trend of using split leg stands.

While buying a new TV can be exciting, it can also be frustrating if you think you might have to buy new furniture just to fit your TVs extra wide legs.

The LG 60UH8500 has a center mounted stand that will fit the furniture that your current TV already sits on.

What is the LG 60UH8500 best suited for?

The LG 60UH8500 is a great TV for the living room.

Because of it's trend setting design it will look amazing out on display.

Also because of the TVs wide viewing angle the 60UH8500 is great for a large room and for viewing in large groups.

The edge lit display means that this TV might not be best for watching dark movies in a dark room

Pros

  • Amazing picture
  • Beautiful design
  • Great display of motion

Cons

  • Poor low light performance

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And A Must-Have 65 Inch TV Tossed In For Good Measure  {{{{{{chuckle}}}}}}

Sony XBR65X850D

Sony is long known for their quality products.

You might compare them to the Mercedez-Benz of the electronics industry.

Their line of smart TVs carries on the Sony tradition of excellence in a beautiful way.

Not only does the X850D series display a beautiful image, but the TV itself is also a work of art.

Specs

  • Screen size: 65 inches
  • Resolution: 4K Ultra HD HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • Backlight technology: Edge lit LED
  • Refresh rate: 120Hz
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 Component, 2 Composite, 1 ethernet, 1 cable
  • Model year: 2016

Features

The Sony XBR65X850D sports a huge 65 inch 4K UHD display. 

With a screen this size you should only consider a 4K display.

1080p at 65 inches will give you a noticeable screen door effect (when you can see the individual pixels), but with the advanced 4K resolution this screen is crisp and clear.

This TV also uses the amazing HDR technology.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and means that you get a much richer color palette with over 1 billion colors. HDR really does make a difference over standard LED screens in.

You get much better detail in the brights and a wider range of colors overall.

This and most other Sonys on the market use edge lit LEDs as their backlighting technology.

With edge lighting Sony is able to achieve incredibly thin TVs.

The screen on this TV is only about as thick as my finger, which is mind blowing to see.

The only thick part is near the base of the TV where the inputs, speakers, and stand is.

Despite how thin the TV is it still feels solid.

Unfortunately, because of the edge lighting the TV doesn’t have as high of a contrast as it otherwise could.

You may notice this if you are watching a dark movie in a dark room.

The TV works great for regular living room use though and the contrast isn’t an issue there.

The Sony XBR65X850D has a notably high refresh rate for a 4K TV.

I have said before that most 4K TVs are only 60Hz, and that is true.

Only when you get to the higher end 4K TVs do the refresh rates start to rise.

Well, this is one of those TVs.

With a 120Hz refresh rate the XBR65X850D displays crystal clear motion.

Sports gurus and gamers will appreciate the excellent motion on such a high resolution display.

Like all new high end TVs the Sony XBR65X850D is a smart TV, but it is a bit different than others on the market.

Sony and Sharp have outsourced their TV operating systems to Google. Android TV is a newish product from the famous silicon valley company and it’s not hard to understand it’s benefits.

Android has highly skilled engineers and designers that have spent years refining the Android user experience into the most widely used mobile platform on the planet.

So why have a clunky smart TV OS that was slapped together quickly by some in house designers when you can literally have Android on your TV?

It seems like an obvious decision and I hope other TV manufacturers follow Sony’s lead on this.

Another feature that sets this TV apart from others on the market is actually the TV stand.

While most other brands have gone for the split leg design, Sony has stuck with the center stand and I appreciate that.

Having a center stand means that you only need a TV table that is as wide as the stand.

With the split leg designs that are so popular now many people are forced to buy extra wide TV tables in order fit the wide legs.

Not so with the Sony! Keep your old furniture and save yourself some money!

What is the Sony XBR65X850D best suited for?

The high refresh rate and excellent picture make this an excellent TV for gaming or for live sports.

It's also well suited to be placed in the middle of the living room because of it's large screen and beautiful design.

Because of the low contrast, the XBR65X850D may not be the best choice for a dedicated home theater TV.

Pros

  • Great picture
  • Excellent motion display
  • Android TV interface
  • Gorgeous design

Cons

  • Low contrast


The Evolution of TV:
From Ugly Box​ To Guilty Pleasure

We have so much to tell you - 

But first.............watch this great video about what TV was like in the dinosaur days.

It’s actually an ad for a local cable company but is one of the best yesteryear "Remember what TV used to be like?" flashback descriptions we’ve ever seen.

Back in the good ol' days, when I was a kid, TVs were bulky and unsightly.

best 50 inch tv

But that didn’t matter one lick – in fact, we didn’t think about that at all because what happened when you turned on this ugly box was wondrous.

Incredible.

Unimaginable.

Or as we say in Boston, "Wicked awesome!"

Lively westerns, fun cartoons and enthralling TV shows came tumbling through.

We sat wide-eyed until dinner and then promptly went back directly afterwards.

When you think about what went into making a TV in those days, it’s a brain-itch.

Wood, metal, brass, veneers, glass and several other sundry materials were needed.

Not to mention the labor and sub-par assembly lines.

b50it

I remember the times our set was not working, we called “the TV man”.

He arrived at our house a few hours later with a black suitcase filled with the most colorful thinga-ma-jigs, aptly named “tubes”.

He would fix the TV set and my mother would pay him the hefty sum of $1.50 and all would be right again.

b50it

We had the 14 inch ugly box for quite a while but some people were well-off enough to buy what was called a “console”.

Still an ugly box, but much bigger and was considered a piece of furniture.

The ugly box was set inside of a cabinet, giving it a sleek and stylish look.

These sets were kind of garish, with ornamental edging and trim.

Some of them had doors in the front so you could close away the ugly box when it wasn’t being used.

You could decorate it with a fruit bowl, a vase, a lamp or even an array of magazines, just as you would a side table.

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Because TVs were rather expensive back then, right around $129 for a tabletop black and white model and $1,100 for a console, not everyone had one.

To really get a good idea of affordability, the average monthly salary back in 1955 was about $260.

Every night our neighbors would gather at our house to watch Phil Silvers, Jack Benny and The Texaco Star Theatre.

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It was not considered an imposition at all.

We felt very lucky and very important to be the chosen household where everyone wanted to meet.

Back then, despite how unsightly they look to us today, we did try to match those ugly boxes with our interior design and surroundings.

best 50 inch tv

By the time we were able to afford a console set, they had improved the overall look -- just enough so that we didn't feel the need to hide it when not in use.

And there was almost always a fake drawer at the bottom with a keyhole and a handle in the middle.

I used to lie in front of the TV and try to open the drawer with my toes while watching Captain Kangaroo.

Today TVs pretty much all look alike.

Made up of screen only, they are the focal point of our room but no one ever tries to match it to their décor.

Screen size is more or less a reflection of the family’s affluence, so it is almost never hidden away like the ugly box was.

No matter what kind of TV you had, sometime after midnight, an announcer came on to let you know that broadcasting was finished for the day.

test pattern

The national anthem would play against an American flag waving in the breeze and then finally the test pattern, made up of thick, vertical stripes of black and white (color, if you were lucky enough to have a color set) would be the last image you would see in the ugly box.

How do I know?

Every once in a while, my Dad would let me stay up with him to watch The Tonight Show starring Jack Paar.

Then something incredible happened.

It was almost as popular as the space program.

The remote control.

Yes, folks – 1955 was the year and the Zenith Corporation was the creator of the true wireless remote control, trailing a few other attempts by Zenith starting in 1951.

Color TV had only been around since 1954 and color programming content was extremely scarce, so the remote control was the hit of the times.

In 1961, RCA Victor proudly presented their color TV, equipped with their state-of-the-art wireless remote control.

Watch the timeless video below to see the first advertisement.

Notice how big this remote is.

Brings back memories of the first mobile phones!

Or "brick" phones, as we used to call them. {{{chuckle}}}


Is anyone out there old enough to remember the good ol’days?

Do you still have your ugly box?

Leave a comment below and tell us about it.


10 Things You Should Know Before Buying Your Next TV

Introduction

TV buyers can be broken up into two groups, whether shopping onsite or online:

#1) Those who want to get in and get out fast – “Screen size and price, please”

#2) Those who spend some extra time making sure they get the most bang for their buck (I love that phrase)

We've added a group that you might say belongs somewhere in the middle.

Not too simple, yet not too technical. "Just right", as the baby bear said.​

So much has changed in the past few years and TVs come with so many different options that between aspect ratio and refresh rate, it’s really easy to get confused and stay that way throughout the buying experience.

So, what in hell’s bathroom do you do?

How do you muddle through all of the variables involved to actually get the best deal when you don’t know what most of it means?

Well, we’ve rounded up the most important facets you need to look at – right here.

You’ll be fully prepared for the fun part -- choosing!

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Keep in mind that unlike most of the other review sites, our recommendations are all sold as new -- not used or refurbished.

Back to our current-day shoppers.

Truly, what we’ve found through the years, is that the majority of shoppers are overwhelmed with too many technicalities.

However, most electronics come with a level of complexity so again - what’s a consumer to do?

We think you'll agree that we just want to get the thing delivered and set-up quickly, efficiently and without having to refinance the house.

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But bottom-line is, we want to love it.

Totally.

We want to enjoy TV activities like never before.

And let’s face it, we also want to show it off like a trophy.

Well, as it turns out, there is a way for you to get it for a great price, set it up easily and love it. 
As consumers ourselves, we’ve felt the frustration and the indecision.

This is why we’ve put this list together.

This is a resource that will be of extreme value to you in terms of what’s important and what’s just fluff and confusion.

Before we begin, just a word of caution:

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And........we can't emphasize this enough:

Stay away from extended warranties of any kind.

Wasted money!

Check with your credit card company. Almost all of them offer some type of extended protection.

10 Things You Need To Know

1. Screen Size

Before we get into this fun topic, remember that screens are measured on the diagonal.

Typically, the further the distance from the screen, the bigger the screen should be.

But there’s always the general rule that smaller rooms, such as bedrooms will use anywhere from a 25” – 32” screen.

The typical perspective for approximating the most comfortable screen size and seating distance is:

Distance from TV to seating area divided by 1.6. = Screen measurement (diagonal)

OR

Screen measurement (diagonal) x 1.6 = Distance from seating area to TV

Examples:

96 inches from TV to seating area div by 1.6 = 60 inch screen size

OR

50 inch screen size x 1.6 = 80 inch distance from seating area to TV

A lot of this mumbo-jumbo screen size stuff can be solved by using common sense.

Your main TV will probably run a little bigger, no matter what the distance source is (typically 50” – 65”).

best 50 inch tv

Remember that TV diagonals run anywhere from 20” – 90”, but in fact, the most TVs sold fall somewhere in the middle of this range.......

which is why we're featuring the best 50 inch TV. This size has shown itself to be the most popular.

Keep in mind that you’ll choose something bigger for a really spacious area.

As I stated earlier, common-sense, folks!

Actually, size can be increased if you’re looking to get a 4K or a UHD (higher resolution) set.

Because the pixels are more densely packed together, you can actually sit closer than the rule of thumb in order to have a relaxed and satisfying view.

Example:

Screen size = Distance from TV to seating area

(55 inch screen = approximately 4- 1/2  feet seating distance from screen)

However, remember to find your happy-medium in order to get the most out of your phenomenal, brilliant new TV.

Try out different scenarios involving size and see which one makes your heart sing the most.

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Your finances will most likely come into play when purchasing your awesome new TV.

However, because of sites like this one, you can get a great bargain and at the end of the day know that you really did get

"more bling for less cha-ching"!

With so many options, variables and features available, we’re along for the ride to help make this fun, not heartbreaking.

2. Display Types

Ok, now that you’ve chosen your screen size, the next thing to think about is what kind of TV you have a hankerin’ for.

LCD

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TVs are fairly prevalent and are normally less expensive.

Energy efficient, they come with rich color.

For uncomplicated tasks such as basic TV watching, it’s fine.

FYI, seating should be limited to straight angles rather than sitting to the sides of the TV.

Other than that, undoubtedly a great picture.

However, if something a bit more arduous, such as gaming is your pleasure, it will more than likely leave you frustrated from an incomplete frame-rate.

best 50 inch tv

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LED

LED TVs are nothing more than a type of LCD TV.

They use what’s known as an LED (Light Emitting Diode) backlight for the liquid crystals in the display, instead of CCFLs or Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps.

“Local Dimming”, as it’s called, dominates in terms of contrast ratio.

On top of that, LED TVs are 20% more power-efficient than LCDs.

But there’s almost always a price to pay, isn’t there?

Yup………and this one is in dollars.

LED backlighting greatly enhances contrast, color and all-around visual effects.

When first executed, it was called an LED-Backlit LCD TV.

Inevitably, it was shortened to just LED.

There are two types of Local Dimming:

  • Edge-lit TVs have LEDs only along the sides of the TV’s back panel, charged with illuminating the whole screen
  • Direct-lit (or Full-array) means there are LEDs covering the entire back of a TV’s LCD panel. Direct-lit noticeably has the advantage over edge-lit.
best 50 inch tv

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OLED

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) TVs are different from LCD TVs, in that they use colored LED lighting to form the image.

They are somewhat energy efficient but not as much as LEDs.

Known for a kick-ass picture that is especially bright, it’s ideal to watch during the daylight hours, when there could be glare problems otherwise.

High contrast ratios will enhance your experience, making it a cinematic wonder.

Again, there’s almost always a price to pay for the good stuff.

Yup……..again, it’s unfortunately in dollars.

And even more than the typical LED-LCD.

They also may include some of the LCD side-angle viewing issues.

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Plasma

Goodbye Plasma TVs!

best 50 inch tv

Plasma TVs, sadly, have slowly been phased out, although you can still get one of the older models [brand-new-still-in-box].

The only problem is that they are at a premium right now, so you’ll pay thousands for something that cost several hundred just a few short years ago.

Why? Because Plasma TVs were the closest we had ever come to TV utopia.

That is, until 4k resolution came along and spoiled the fun.

Plasma TV Features

o High contrast ratio

o 600Hz refresh rate which essentially gets rid of motion blur for watching sports, movies and playing video games

o Color quality

o No angle viewing issues, allowing a group of people to sit around the screen and still be able to enjoy a clear, concise image without skewed color or picture

o Pure cinematic enjoyment

o Affordable price

A Panasonic USA senior employee, known by the username “avjunkie”, who makes his/her comments solely on the infamous HighDefJunkies forum said this:

“The main reason we have to move on is technology hit a roadblock. We simply cannot make a 4k plasma in a reasonable manner for retail without significant investment…”

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3. Resolution

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HDTV has higher resolution than the older analog sets: 1280×720 pixels or 1920×1080 versus 720×480 pixels.

This subsequently results in crystal-clear, sharp imaging, more detail and bigger than life-like action.

Digital transmission needs less capacity, by reason of what’s called digital video compression.

One-third wider than traditional TV screens, HDTV will sharply match the peripheral vision spectrum of the human eye, resulting in a more realistic viewing experience.

HD/HighDef = 720p = (1280×720)

FHD/Full HighDef = 1080p = (1920×1080)

4k UHD/Ultra HighDef = 2160p = (3840x2160)

It’s obvious that you should probably stay away from anything less than 1080p.

Now, if you really want to ensure that your TV will survive the test of time and high-tech, consider a 4K Ultra HD TV.

You can sit closer to the screen and still drench yourself in the magic that is movie bliss.

Keep in mind that there’s a ton of skinny out there right now regarding the 4K and it’s really big, folks.

Rather than the standard measurement of vertical pixels, the 4K counts horizontally.

There seems to be some buzz among consumers that waiting another year or two before making this investment may not be a bad idea.

Seeing that content to watch on a 4K is at a minimum and prices are fairly high, maybe wait for more content and lower prices?

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4. Contrast Ratio

According to Wikipedia:

best 50 inch tv

Contrast ratio is a property of a display system, defined as the ratio of the luminescence of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the system is capable of producing. A high contrast ratio is a desired aspect of any display.”

A low contrast ratio will produce a dull gray where the blackest areas of an image should be.

A lack of vividness will result where really bright areas should be.

Higher ratios allow for dynamic shadow elements.

The higher the ratio, the better, although speculative.

You see, manufacturers play with these numbers and will either throw around specs that make their TVs look good, or not publish their numbers at all.

This is why you’ll often see n/a listed in the contrast field.

The easiest way to tell is by how the TV is advertised.

If the contrast ratio is put out there as “dynamic”, its numbers are probably skewed.

If “true” or “native”, the numbers are more likely to be closer to the truth counter, with bona-fide, comparable specs.

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5. Color

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For newfangled models, look for something that is HDR (High Dynamic Range) compatible.

You’ll get true-to-life colors and a TV experience that absolutely saturates you with what’s happening.

Now, if you’re cruising for the cheapest deal out there, just make sure you’re getting at least a “bit depth” of 8 bits per channel.

This will ensure that the TV is able to construct enough colors to delight the human eye and bring out photo-authentic images, rather than cartoonish illustrations and backgrounds.

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6. Aspect Ratio

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This is the ratio of the width to height of the TV screen.

It has nothing to do with picture quality or resolution.

It has to do with how whatever you are watching fits on the screen itself.

It’s a matter of what you’ll be watching most.

Typically, movies are the most popular in terms of genre and 16:9 will do you just fine.

This happens to be the most typical aspect ratio for the widescreen HDTV classes.

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7. Refresh Rate

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It has been pointed out by some experts that you shouldn’t buy anything with a refresh rate of less than 120 Hz.

Also known as anti-blur technology, the jury is still out on this and the debate appears to be ongoing.

Measured in hertz, the refresh rate reflects how many times the image is refreshed (per second).

Most common rates are 60Hz, 120Hz and sometimes 240Hz.

The higher the rate, the lower the motion-blur, and the more fluid the movement between images.

Great for action movies, as well as most gaming situations.

I said I wasn’t going to get too technical, and I fear that that ship may have sailed already in some of this content.

However, the topic of refresh rate has more levels than I care to elaborate on in this blog.

I really doubt that any of you are interested in the deep, dark technicalities of interpolation and the fact that the TV’s refresh rate should be evenly divisible by the frame-rate of the content going in.

Now, if I’m to be punished for not covering this thoroughly enough, I’ll take my licks but I’m sure I’ll survive.

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8. Inputs/Input Lag

Inputs

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Game console, computer and Blu-ray players will need to be connected to the TV via HDMI or display port inputs.

For older DVD players or VCRs, make sure the set has analog composite inputs, although adapters are sometimes available, so don’t cross it off your list just for that reason.

A cable box will require a coaxial cable input.

If you’ll be connecting anything that uses HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection), such as a Blu-ray player, you’ll want to make sure that your TV also utilizes HDCP.

Don’t worry too much about the above input requirements, as most TVs sold today are well-equipped for your needs and will let you know in the description if there are limitations.

Input Lag

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This is of distinct importance for those in the throes of gaming.

Input lag is the time gap between a specific input cable going into the TV and the TV actually forming the image on the screen.

The longer the gap, the further “trailing behind” the screen action is, from the actual action in the game.

Your controls may not respond the way you want them to and thus, a longer lag-time can make for extremely frustrating game-play, especially in an otherwise fast-moving game.

With this in mind, for the gaming community, shorter lag-times are critical.

Most TVs that have gaming in mind will include an exclusive gaming process that can correct any type of lag that may come your way.

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9. Sound

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Believe it or not, after lots of research, I don’t have much to report.

The experts all seem to agree that TV speakers are of poor quality these days because the screens are thinner.

It makes sense when you think about it, however, how can you possibly have this ridiculously amazing TV and not have even half-decent sound?

Come on!

Solution?

Buy a soundbar.

They’re fairly cheap and will knock you off the counter-top you were sitting on and out onto the deck in the time it takes you to say, “Are you kidding me?”.

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10. Miscellaneous

3D

There are many TVs available today that include 3D capability, and arrive at your door equipped with the infamous 3D glasses.

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The problem is that there isn’t enough 3D TV content to satisfy the masses.

There are a couple hundred 3D Blu-ray sources out there, however, there are thousands and thousands of 2D Blu-ray titles.

On-demand 3D cable and satellite choices are slim and as fast as a 3D channel is added, another one is taken away.

best 50 inch tv

ESPN 3D, the largest 3D content available  in years past, was phased out in 2013 because of viewer disinterest in accepting 3D into the home.

However, the 3D TV feature is still being offered.

Now, if it were me, I would definitely make it a point to try to hook it as an added ingredient in my next TV, if it didn’t make too much difference in the price.

But it is a matter of preference so you’ll either rule it out or cave-in and opt for the challenge.

Either way, the best source for the simplest, easy to understand information is Amazon’s 3D TV guide.

Curved Screen

The shape of the screen, whether flat or curved does not a better picture make.

best 50 inch tv

If there is any improvement in image viewing, it will indeed be small and only with the larger screen diagonals.

Our opinion?

It’s a status thing.

A fashion choice.

A suck-you-in-one-last-time thing.

So, if you want one, great, but don’t expect it to make your visual much better than something that’s $300 - $400 less.

Internet Ready

This means exactly what it says.

best 50 inch tv

This TV comes all ready to connect to that great world-wide-web.

Either via Ethernet cable HDMI or built-in wi-fi. Depending on the manufacturer, content will vary.

Some provide Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, but some include many other choices as well.

Remember, though, that most TVs have the ability to connect to the Internet via Blu-ray player, Internet ready or not.

DLNA

DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is a collaboration of the leading consumer electronics, PC and mobile enterprises.

best 50 inch tv

DLNA has produced design protocol for a new era of products, which allows them to work as a compatible unit, despite the brand.

The process allows you to remotely access your PC’s personal media so that you can download music, video, and photos and then enjoy them anywhere in the home where the TV resides.

Gorilla Glass™

Created by Corning, Inc., Sony uses Gorilla Glass on their more exclusive TVs as a protection against screen damage, both during shipping as well as in the home. This tempered glass can also contribute to a nicer picture overall.


To Sum Up

Yo! First, we'd like to thank you for shopping on our site.

We absolutely, ridiculously love what we do.

And we want you to keep coming back because we love you, too.

Back to topic: The TV is such an essential part of our lives.

It’s no longer a frivolity – it’s a necessity.

Oh ya.

Really, can you think of anything that can outdo the TV when it comes to significance in our lives?

It has such far-reaching capabilities nowadays.

You can tell who’s calling on the telephone without leaving your seat, just by looking at the bottom of your screen, because your TV and your telephone come through your cable company.

You can see who’s at your front door by connecting your security system.

Your gaming system?

As my Boston-Italian friends would say, "Forget about it."

You now live in a world of virtual reality, 3D and special effects.

No nightmares here.

Your TV is your computer monitor and pulling up that all-important analysis report is just a click away.

You can surf the Internet.

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You can binge-watch Game Of Thrones.

How great is that?

You can catch all the Dick VanDyke, Andy Griffith and Three Stooges reruns you want.

Black and white movies from the 40s?

No problem.

Fred Astaire and Clark Gable and Kathryn Hepburn are alive and well.

New releases are conveniently on tap, as well as that delicious foreign ale in the keg right next to this brand spankin’ new TV.

Oh man, how many uses can a TV have?

See, this is why it’s just indispensable.

It’s a non-negotiable, ka-ray-zee addition to your home.

And don’t you forget it.


Time To Decide!

man thinking

Come on.......You know you want one! You deserve it!

Although it is ultimately your decision, be cautious of which retailer you choose.

You never want to be disappointed with your purchase or get caught up in the many facets of the buying process that go with it.

Remember, this is supposed to be fun.

Enough jibber-jabber......now, choose!


VIZIO D50u-D1

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Samsung UN50JU6500

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TCL 50UP130

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VIZIO M50-C1

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Samsung UN60KU6300

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Sony XBR65X850D

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Samsung UN60KS8000

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LG 60UH8500

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Make it happen with the best air hockey table!

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Walda Woods

Walda Woods spent many years in the corporate world as a mid-level executive and now spends her time as a freelance writer and editor. Originally from Boston, MA, she currently lives in Topeka, KS to be near her family. She recently started a blog on game rooms, focusing on leisure time and the memories that friends and family can create. Her unique blend of personality, humor and values is sprinkled throughout this website and keeps her game room audience coming back for more.

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