HDTV Recommendations 28 replies

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Kwould

OK, but wash it first

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24th November 2003

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#1 10 years ago

I've been trying to convince my wife that we need a new TV. With the DTV mandate coming up on us Americans, it was the perfect excuse (she is currently unaware that we don't actually need to buy a new TV particularly because we have multiple cable boxes). Coincidently, my current TV (a 36" Sony Wega) took a shit on me the other day which now makes our family room source of entertainment a non-stereo 25" (63 cm) Sanyo with no RCA jacks, further uping the ante. I would like some recommendations on the newest sets out there. Based on my family room size, I would say a 42" (106 cm) set would be perfect; anything bigger would be pushing it. I don't think 1080p is really necessary based on the size I'm shooting for, not to mention I don't have a Blu-ray player and current HD broadcasts in the US (or at least in my area) don't exceed 720p. I have a budget max of 1500 USD. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. ;)




Bs|Archaon

I would die without GF

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#2 10 years ago

I've not got any specific recommendations but get 1080p if you can. 720p doesn't look all that brilliant on a screen that size and 1080p is a significant improvement. You may not use it yet, but this TV should last you a few years so you'll probably want to at some point.




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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#3 10 years ago

One that has been reviewed well is the Samsung LN40A550. It's 40", 1080p, 60Hz, 5ms, and can be had for under $1100. You don't really need 1080p now, but soon Blu-ray will take over DVD, long before the set wears out. There are also 120Hz 40" sets you can get for around $1500, but the model that followed the LN40A550 (LN40A650) is not reviewed as well and is undergoing firmware upgrades due to bugs, mostly audio related. It also has a gloss vs matte screen that many don't like and a red tint around the bezel some don't like, which can appear purple. The tint is typically used to polarize out the washed out effect you get when viewing at off angles. NEC uses similar tech in their monitors. I use the AVS forum as my primary trusted AV gear source for reviews and user opinions. There are lots of happy LN40A550 owners there. You can also find rave reviews on Amazon for this set. Some have said 120Hz has not been perfected yet in TVs. They're typically slower in response time though not twice as slow. Theoretically this should mean they are still overall faster, but the ones I've compared to 60Hz sets in stores, even by Sony, didn't have any less ghosting. Word is there are new models coming out that may be better at 120Hz, but the jury's still out. The holiday season at the end of this year may be a better time to buy if you can hold out with your old set.




Kilobyte

What does the Fox say?

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23rd November 2002

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#4 10 years ago

I'm with Bs|Archaon, and not just because of Blu-Ray.

720p looks bad above a 32". Absolutely atrocious, once you get above 40". IMHO. (Just like 480 rarely looks good above a 13"). Although, a 720p 20" looks gorgeous. I'm all about the DPI.

You may want to hook up some high-def content later, and you will likely want this TV to last a good while.




Bs|Archaon

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#5 10 years ago

Yeah, the reason I said it is because a friend of mine used to have a 42" LCD that only did 720p. It looked awful when displaying stuff in 720p, the screen is just too big for the level of detail provided by 720p.




Kwould

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#6 10 years ago

I read about 120 Hz panels. Most manufacturers force 2 frames together effectively doubling the frequency. Those TV's that have an actual refresh rate of 120 Hz are curently waaaay out of my price range. As for resolution, I was dealing with 480i (480p when using a DVD player) for years on a 36" screen (I didn't have access to HD programming until very recently), so 720p would be a huge step up. It's unexpected that you fellas should say that though. In many reviews I have read, it was suggested that 720p and 1080p were vitually indecernable on screens below 50". Don't get me wrong, if I can find an excellently rated set that is 1080p capable in my price range, I'll go for it. But I was under the impression that the higher resolution would cost several hundred dollars more than a 720p TV with similar features (I believe this applies more toward plasma). Which brings me to plasma vs. LCD. Which one do you think is "better"? Why? (I should point out that I do not plan to do any sort of gaming on this screen)




Bs|Archaon

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#7 10 years ago

It's only imperceptible if you're sitting very, very far away to the point where you can't actually see the difference. If you sit a bit closer then it's definitely noticeable.




Kilobyte

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#8 10 years ago

Yeah. Especially when browsing them in a store.

I've had several customers walk up to me and go "Yeah, there is definitely a difference."

I would have to recommend an LCD display. They just seem like they are going to be more practical, and more economical.

Plasmas usually have a better picture, for the first four to eight years,...




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

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#9 10 years ago

I have been highly impressed with Sony's Bravia XBR series. They're LCD TVs, and rather expensive at that, but there is at least one which (for what I personally am looking for in a TV) is a perfect storm of specs: a 40" 1080p display with plasma-quality black levels. Its MSRP is quite high, however (around $2400), but there is pretty much no alternative, in my opinion. So, LCD. And not just any LCD. That LCD.




>Omen<

Modern Warfare

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#10 10 years ago

Here's a chart used by many A/V forums to educate those new to the 720p vs 1080p decision. It gives both recommended viewing distances and the distance at which the benefits of each given resolution become noticeable. [COLOR=blue]Chart: 1080P Does Matter - CarltonBale.com[/COLOR] You're right about the 120Hz btw Kwould, and it's why I don't recommend 120Hz yet unless you have lots of money to spend. After the HD broadcast rollover happens and Hi Def TVs become more common, then the prices might be better on the ones with an actual 120Hz refresh rate. An exception to that is the DLPs that use 120Hz light processing on the projector. DLP technology is very affordable and you never have to worry about response time with them. Plasmas do have a nicer picture quality than LCD, but even non gaming images can etch into them, like news banners, logos, etc. They can also lose half their brightness halfway through their lifespan, which is shorter to begin with than LCD. The reason for the loss of brightness is they have a phosphor coating on the screen like CRTs do but it cannot be degaused like CRTs can. However, there are many plasma TVs now that use various anti burn in methods. They are generally found on the better quality top tier brands. Even still, you need to follow certain precautions to avoid burn in. In such sets, the claimed life span is now that of LCDs, but again, that's if you follow the precautions for avoiding burn in. Here's a site that details facts about plasma TVs, though take what he says about CRT lifespan with a MAJOR grain of salt. He understates their longevity considerably. I have looked at a pretty accurate TV lifespan chart for various types of TV shown to me by a Sony rep whom ranked high enough to visit Sony's CEO at his house. Most people don't know the actual lifespan of a good CRT because they've been fed so much BS by those making panel TVs and at the rate they're selling they'd rather take the profits and not argue the point. TV sales is a business filled with deception where dollars win over dignity. [COLOR=blue]http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/plasmatv/plasmatv-burnin.html[/COLOR] You may also want to consider DLP TV's. They last a long time, have excellent picture quality, lightning fast response (about 16 microseconds vs several ms), and are now available in slim models by Samsung. The only thing is you have to step up to a 50" size to get 1080p, but they can be had for under $1300 in that size. [COLOR=blue]http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/detail/spec.do?group=televisions&type=televisions&subtype=dlptv&model_cd=HL50A650C1FXZA&fullspec=F[/COLOR] [COLOR=blue]http://www.crutchfield.com/S-VM0b0uRqw6W/App/Product/Item/Main.aspx?I=30550A650[/COLOR] In case you're wondering, I'm not affiliated with Samsung in any way. They just happen to make lots of different types of TVs that perform and last pretty well at pretty good prices, so invariably their name often comes up when shopping for a good TV at a good price.