Skip to comments.Need large screen TV advice and opinions. (Need videophile advice)
Posted on 07/18/2007 7:55:12 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
Okay, I am going to spend some of my mad money for a large screen HDTV. I want either a LCD or Plasma TV, no projection tv's. I want 1080p resolution. I'll have around $2000 to spend. What I need is advice on what is good, what sucks, what breaks, what keeps on working, plasma tv life expectancy, etc.
Sharp Aquos was (a few months ago at least) touted as the one to get.
Pinging the HDTV list...
My 60 inch Wega had by far the best picture available when I bought it in ‘04. It’s needed a replacement bulb once, but it made it good as new. The worst is anything by RCA.
I have the 42 and 47” LCD 1080p Westinghouse televisions, and I’ve been very pleased with them. They’re some of the cheapest on the market, but I’d gladly compare their picture quality with the more expensive brands. They also have a great variety of inputs (HDMI, 2 DVI, 2 component, one VGA, one S-Video, and your basic L/R RCA style input).
The Westinghouse sets don’t have a built in tuner, but since you’re looking for a 1080p set, I assume you have an HD cable box (that’s what I have hooked up to both of mine, and a variety of gaming systems/HD DVD players). For $2000, you could get either Westinghouse and still have enough left over to buy a Toshiba HD DVD player and maybe even a blu-ray player.
It hasn't happened in a while but I can find nothing else wrong with the TV.
Make sure you get a unit with plenty of HDMI inputs, which is fast becoming the standard digital input port. My 50 inch Sony LCD HDTV only has one HDMI input, which I have my cable box/DVR hooked up to. Now I can’t hook up my DVD/Home theater system, nor my Playstation 3, nor a DVD Recorder; they are hooked up through vastly inferior other connections (RCA cables, component).
I have a Sony 40" KDL 2500 1080p LCD in the and a 46" Sony Bravia LCD in the living room and I am able to lock out the unused videos so it will scroll only the active ones.
Both have been excellent and have made me very happy.
Look at it, buy it then enjoy it and don't do any more window shopping for at least 2 years so you won't have any regrets for not waiting a couple months for the better model that came out..... :)
Yep. On the back of my Sony surround sound speakers, it says "Made in China".
That's great news - got our 46 LCD last year. Even then the newer DLP's had the better picture - but we weren't ready to deal with the bulb issue. Guess we should have waited...
TV is great....it’s the programming that sucks. The old B&W films are great. One has to really pay attention to the fast pace dialogs....that in of itself tunes the viewer into the acting and the directing as well as the script; much different than the constant deception of special affects.
Make sure you can stand watching an LCD first. My brother has LCD, I have plasma. His has a higher resolution than my plasma but my plasma has hands down better picture quality (Pioneer broadcast monitor and bro regrets his choice). For sports this plasma (72hz refresh rate) is superb viewing. I find LCD smear fatiguing to my eyes. If I were to shop for LCD, 1080p wouldn’t be the thing I’d look for, I’d look for the new 120hz refresh rate (which is probably attached to 1080p only anyway).
Save yourself a few hundred bucks and skip the Monster cable hustle at the store. Get your cables off the net at cablewholesale.com or one of the others.
Great article on cables here:
Coax, my normal cable TV wire, delivers a full spectrum of digital cable channels with stereo, plus numerous HDTV channels with 5.1 surround.
Would tend to agree on cable pricing rip-offs. One general tip is to never buy cables where the TV sets are sold ... whatever the retailer gives up on pricing the set, they'll make back, in spades, on the cables.
Don't hold your breath, either. Whenever HD programming does come to your area, it won't be in 1080p. There are NO broadcasters presently using 1080p, and there is NO PLAN to upgade on the horizon. Your set may upconvert to 1080p, but only gamers and those willing to invest in the undecided standards of HDDVD/BlueRay can take advantage of native 1080p.
I watch very little TV and then I watch mostly the Discovery channel and the History channel. And Battlestar Galactica and 24. But I do like movies and would like a nice TV to watch them on.
I have been thinking about the laser TV since I read about them but wasn’t sure when they were being put on the market. I am very tempted to wait, too.
we put our feet up, with the soles facing Mecca.
We have had it for 3 months.
There are enough 80s movies and sitcom reruns to make it worth it. Throw in VH1 Classic’s Metal Mania and you have a deal.
I have FIOS too.
I know you are rejecting projection TVs, but that could mean the ones with a built in Behind the screen projector. Do not dismiss DLP prjectors, such as Radio Shack sells.
At Christmas, they had a DLP projector for sale at $999 with a built in sound system, subwoofer, et al, and a DVD player.
I couldn’t afford it then, but in the mean time, I got my hands on a regular video projector and now have a 9 foot (108”) screen.
The only requirement is that the screen not have direct light on it as this diffuses the color, which is ok, because whn I watch football or a movie, or play my PS2 games, I don’t want to be looking around, I want to focus on the show.
The only cons are the 10 second delay from powering on the TV to seeing the picture (the bulb must warm up first), and the $150 bulb will need replacing every 8,000 hours (4 or 5 years of normal use).
One big reason I chose a 50 in. LCD projection over a plasma is power consumption. Looked at a 50 in. plasma from Vizio, but it uses 500 watts of power continuous. The 50 in. LCD I got uses 200 watts.
Whenever I go into stores selling big screens, one thing I always notice.... the Samsung always has the best and clearest picture.
“Stay away from LCDs, at this point they dont have the picture quality, black levels or reliability of the big plasmas. At your price point though I dont know if you can get 1080P on anything larger than a 42 incher.”
From what I’ve seen, the latest, high quality LCDs have excellent picture quality and black levels. The Sony XBR2 LCDs, for example, look excellent to my eyes. Also some Phillips (!) LCDs I looked at a couple of weeks ago were looking pretty good. All 1080p.
I still like plasmas, but you have to go to at least 50” to get 1080p in a plasma screen, and those are still a little pricey. The Panasonic 42” HD Plasma is very nice, however the resolution, IIRC, is only 1280x720 - which still looks great on a screen that size from a reasonable viewing distance of say, 6 feet or more.
At $2000 I’d go with a 65” or so DLP. Toshiba or Samsung are good choices. The most common “if I had it do over again” statement by buyers is going for a bigger screen.
Last year, or perhaps early this year, I read that Samsung had become the new Sony, vis a vis reputation for quality and design, etc, bought a Samsung product (my first cell phone was a Samsung, and I’d liked that), a combo DVD/VHS, and having used it for some months, as well as using another model of DVD/VHS also by Samsung, I very much doubt I’ll ever buy a Samsung again.
In any case, I’m going to wait to buy — when the analog TV signal dies in 18 months or so, more options should be available (besides laser TV someone mentioned above, there are at least two other technologies in the pipeline), interfaces should be better, prices should be half or less what they are today, and an enormous used market should be already out there.
And don’t forget the spinning color wheel and bulbs in DLP projectors - more things to go wrong and, in the case of the wheel and cooling fan, make noise. Then there’s the “rainbow effect”. There are DLPs on the market now (Samsung, I think, probably others) that use LEDs for their light source.
Personally, I just don’t much care for the way rear projection looks. Give me direct-view every time.
I’ve read about half the posts on this thread and gave up looking. In all the advice you’re getting, has anyone asked some very pertinent questions?
- What is the optimal TV size you need? There are readily available room size charts to determine the correct size for your needs. Too big is a problem. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t.
- What is the lighting of the room where it is going? Is it a dedicated Home Theater room with controlled lighting or is it going in the family room with a big, old double window along the wall? Reflected light on a plasma screen is an issue.
- How much time will you spend watching the set? If the set is going to be used for movies and gaming, that would be different from a set that will be used to watch all the regular stuff that you’ve been watching on a tube TV.
hdguru.com is a starting point, in my opinion. There are tons of other considerations.
As a last piece of advice, please accept anecdotal evidence of great/poor performance for what it is. A lot of owners (of ANYTHING) will tell you their model is the one to have. It’s human nature to want to get an endorsement of our decisions. Also, when someone tells you ‘XXXX is junk’ or things like that, take them with a grain of salt. Do some research or require someone who says ‘avoid...’ to give you some non-anecdotal evidence. For instance, Sharp Aquos has been known to suffer from banding in the past. Find out via reviews from technical / consumer sites and articles if this matters or if the manufacturer has addressed the problem.
In the interest of disclosure, I don’t own an HDTV set yet, as I’m sort of in the same boat as you. I’m shopping, but not at all ready to pull the trigger.
Best of luck on the search and let us all know how you made out.
Here’s a site to look at ...
I agree. Most people just buy the big screen and use the speakers on the TV.
If they don't get the 5.1 surround sound with a big honkin' sub-woofer they are really missing out. Especially for movies.
I’ve reviewed some of these HDTVs personally (both LCD and Plasma). In general I prefer plasma for reproduction of moving images, color reproduction and black levels/contrast, but there are some LCD sets that are better than some plasma sets. Resolution (1920x1080 vs. 1366x768) really isn’t the most important measurement of a set (particularly at normal viewing distances), but all else being equal, a 1080p set is sharper than a 768p or 720p set.
I think the current “best” bang-for-the-buck and possibly the best set out there under $3K in the 50-inch size would be the new 1080p Panasonic plasmas. A little outside your price range but not much ($2600). Here’s a link:
I’ve set up and calibated one of these for a friend and was very impressed by the detail and color accuracy. No visible image retention and minimal reflectivity of the screen. This is the one I would get if I were buying today.
Glad I could help. I had the same problem you did. But having 8 of my 9 inputs on my XBR3 being used I couldn’t deal anymore and someone at AVSforum clued me in.
Another trick is to go into setup and edit your external inputs not being used to skip mode. So then you scroll right past the input like its not there.
Actually, Panasonic 42-inch plasmas have a resoluton of 1024x768, not 1280x720. They use rectangular plasma pixels in order to present a natural 16:9 aspect ratio. Most 42-inch plasmas are 1024x768 resolution (Pioneer, Vizio, Samsung, etc.).
But Panasonic did just release their first 1080p plasma in the 42-inch size (earlier this month). Not cheap though - $2499 list. I think the 50-inch model is a better value.
I’ve been researching HDTV’s for a long time now, through reading the posts at avsforum.com - but, I’ve seen very little information regarding Laser Hdtv sets. In fact.. none.
So, I’d like to ask you a few questions.. for instance, are they really going to be available by Christmas of 2007?
Also, I KNOW that most LCDs, and Plasmas as well, have tremendous problems with “Motion Blurring” and “Judder” in fast motion scenes. Will the Laser HDTV solve this problem utilizing Frame Interpolation, at 120 hz? How will Laser HDTVs solve the Motion Blurring problems?
Are these sets going to be available in various sizes ? (42 inch, 55 inch, 60 inch?) I’d like to know a little about specifications as well..
Oh, yes..and where will these sets be available to view during the upcoming Christmas season? I’d sure like to SEE them in action! What Brand names are we looking for?
Most importantly, for all lot of us, the real question is, what price range are the Laser HDTV sets going to be set at? Many of us are not wealthy..but most of us might be able to look at sets within the 1,000 to 2,500 K range.
Sorry for all of the questions, but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to inquire of anyone regarding these new type of HDTV sets. Thanks for your patience with me..
Right, 1024x768. I was thinking of the 37”, which (if they still even sell it) is only 1024x720. They still look pretty good, though.
So, I have to ask: Which XMAS? Do you really think that production models will be in large distribution in six months?
Heeeeeyyy......that sound great. I'm looking forward to spending many, many
hours days weeks months at your home watching lots of stuff. :-)
Where do you live? ;-)
DO NOT buy the gold-plated cable myth. The $20 HDMI cables work just as well as the gold plated Monster cables. It’s a digital signal. Any cable that delivers the data is exactly as good as any other. The picture is identical.
Remember. Your HDMI cable is going to be about 4 feet long. Even cheap, crappy cables work for that distance.
Actually, I got the HDMI cable from the cable company. I dont know if that was “normal” or not. I am sure they didnt pay a lot for them. It helps to ask though. What can they say?
You are correct; a 12 pack and I mix up Composite/RCA and Component.
Some TV’s look better with component vs. HDMI because they can’t handle the imput stream of the wider bandwith produced by HDMI. It’s much like when you stream a video online at a higher speed than your connection allows, only on a minor level.
Look at the pictures side-by-side in the electronics store; Sony has the best picture. Mitsubishi is sometimes a close second.
I’ve done that. They don’t. Thanks.
My carbon footprint is bigger than yours! I’m proud of it as I am fertilizing all the trees and plants with the food (CO2) they need. The more electronic stuff I buy the more I turn the planet green! I’m a greenie!!
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