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  • Flat Panel HDTV

    I'm in the market for a medium sized flat panel HDTV for the living room wall. I don't really have a set size/price range currently but I want to get the best bang for my buck (tax return money). I was wondering if anyone had any make/model suggestions or knows of any wicked deals. I will be doing plenty of shopping around before I buy but thought TG was the best place to start gathering good info. Alternatively if anyone has something they are looking to sell, I also started a related thread in the Buy/Sell/Trade Section. Thanks in advance.
    |TG-8th Mercs|*New to TG? Start here*Become a Supporting Member

  • #2
    Re: Flat Panel HDTV

    what i found when i was helping my father-in-law research bigger panels was, that bigger was definately not always better. As it turned out for him, and he is a picky cheap bastard, the 50" DLP's were not only better deals, but were brighter, sharper and are a lot more user friendly. but he was not planning on hanging it on a wall or anything..so DLP worked out the best for him.

    my friend, another picky cheap SOB ended up going with the 65" Mitsubishi Diamond Vision DLP TV because it has the "best "blue" in the industry" to his eyes..

    it was only a couple hundred more, at $1500 than a smaller LCD TV that did not look good at all..to me..or him either i guess..

    if i had the money, i would probably get the same TV, and just try to make room for it..

    watching Blu-ray from his PS3 on it is absolutely amazing..


    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Flat Panel HDTV

      I posted a bit of information about that kind of stuff here:

      http://www.tacticalgamer.com/hardwar...7-lcd-tvs.html

      As far as specific recommendations, here are a few links. I base these recommendations off of image quality, reliability and functionality. Image quality is my primary concern. I'm not considering price. These also come from actual experience with these manufacturers, as I used to work in the industry.

      Plasmas -
      My current favorite:
      http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...PRO-110FD.Kuro

      Best all around (they're blowing away the competition with these, and often have better pricing too!) :
      http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-e...00000000005702
      http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-e...00000000005702
      (The 700U has better speakers built in)

      I think the best LDC panels right now are made by either Sony or Sharp.

      Sharp is my first recommendation, simply because they're pretty much the best panel out there. http://www.sharpusa.com/products/AQUOS/0,2338,,00.html

      Sony Bravia comes in at 2nd place, but only by the slimmest of margins. The menu system and additional features are unmatched on LCD panels:
      http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...categoryId=558

      LG-Philips has some great LDC's out there. Their panels are great, but inputs and menu systems needed help in the past. Their website sucks. http://www.lgphilips-lcd.com/homeCon...prd100_j_e.jsp

      Samsung also makes good LCD panels, but some of the older models had light bleeding problems, specifically around the edges of the panels. I have no idea if they fixed that yet.
      http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/s...&subtype=lcdtv

      I hope that helps.
      sigpic
      Govern well thy appetite, lest Sin surprise thee, and her black attendant: Death. ~ John Milton - Paradise Lost

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Flat Panel HDTV

        Originally posted by birdie_in_Texas View Post
        what i found when i was helping my father-in-law research bigger panels was, that bigger was definately not always better. As it turned out for him, and he is a picky cheap bastard, the 50" DLP's were not only better deals, but were brighter, sharper and are a lot more user friendly. but he was not planning on hanging it on a wall or anything..so DLP worked out the best for him.

        my friend, another picky cheap SOB ended up going with the 65" Mitsubishi Diamond Vision DLP TV because it has the "best "blue" in the industry" to his eyes..
        The Mitsu' DLPs are very very nice. The Diamond Vision series is amazing. I always prefered the Sony SXRD stuff just a little bit more, but wouldn't hesitate in purchasing either.

        DLP, LCOS, and LCD rear projections are often cheaper in price than Plasma or LCD panels. They can produce stunning images in sizes much larger than you'd consider buying a plasma or LCD panel in. They are deeper than plasma/LCD, typically being about 17 to 22 inches deep as I recall. You also can not mount them on a wall.

        All of these require lamp replacements after about 3000 to 5000 hours of use.

        The downside of DLP is the moving parts. Light from the lamp is passed through a spinning color wheel (or in rare cases, a spinning prism) which colors the light - red, green, blue. The light is then directed to shine onto the DLP chip. DLP chips look about the same size as an Intel or AMD CPU chip, but its surface is covered with 1 to 2 million microscopic moving mirrors. The mirrors switch to an on or off position, reflecting light onto the screen to produce the image. It has to do this for each color individually, about 10,000 times a minute or more. The effect: Since each color is drawn one at a time, very fast sequences, or moving your eyes away from the screen very quickly, can produce a "rainbow effect". About 1 in 1000 people can see this. (I can teach you how to train your eye to see it, but that would really rather spoil the TV wouldn't it...)

        LCD projections have problems too. The lamp shines light through 3 colored LCD panels (rgb) and then projects the resulting image onto the screen. Each pixel in each panel has to be wired to pass an electrical current through it, creating spaces between each pixel. This results in a "screen door" effect, to where the resulting image (if viewed too close) looks like you're watching TV through a screen door. Also, you are shining light through a substance, which (can) diminish brightness.

        LCOS (liquid crystal on silicone) is a hybrid between the two, and eliminates the problems of both. A first surface silicone mirror has an extremely thin lcd surface applied to it. This LCD surface is much thinner than what is used in an LCD projection panel. The surface is either red, green, or blue. The individual LCD pixels are wired from behind the LCD pixel itself, so no separation between pixels need to occur. 3 chips per TV are used - one red, one green, one blue. Since there is no separation between pixels, you don't get a screen door effect. Since it is using 3 dedicated chips to draw each color part, there is no rainbow effect. Since the first surface mirror is highly reflective, and the lcd "coating" (for lack of a better term) is super thin, you don't lose brightness.

        SXRD = Sony's version of LCOS.
        http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...categoryId=565

        I don't know why I post so much info on this stuff. Sorry for the too much info.
        sigpic
        Govern well thy appetite, lest Sin surprise thee, and her black attendant: Death. ~ John Milton - Paradise Lost

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Flat Panel HDTV

          my 2 cents:

          Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
          This site is the bible for home theater stuff: http://www.avsforum.com/. For Displays, here's the sub-forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=9/



          After spending days on that ^^^ site, here's what I boiled it down to:

          DLP Pros:
          • least expensive technology
          • good quality if viewing staight-on

          DLP Cons:
          • off-center view looks pretty bad




          Plasma Pros:
          • Best picture quality (better black-level, no motion blurring)
          • Generally cheaper than LCD for panels > 50"
          • More 'kid-proof' screen (glass) than flatpanel LCD

          Plasma Cons:
          • Potential for image burn-in if same image viewed for hours on end day after day (like video game HUD or television network logo)
          • More expensive than LCD for screen sizes < 40"
          • If the set doesn't have an AR coating, there can be problems with windows/lights directly opposite the set causing glare/reflections (just like a CRT)





          LCD Pros
          • High picture quality
          • Generally cheaper than Plasma for panels < 40"
          • No potential for image burn-in
          • Low glare screen (like your computer monitor)

          LCD Cons
          • Screen more easily damaged by airborne matchbox cars (like your computer monitor)
          • Generally more expensive than plasma for sizes >50"
          • Picture quality: potential problems with motion-blurring and black levels that are more gray than black.





          I ended up going with a 42" Samsung plasma (S4273) for these reasons:
          1. I don't console game that much and if I did, this set has an anti-burnin feature (it basically shifts the entire screen 6 pixels every few minutes.)
          2. I have little kids (learning to throw), and didn't want to have an LCD screen in the line of fire.
          3. It has an AR coating on the screen, so glare isn't a problem
          4. I watch a lot of sports (so potential motion blur on LCDs was a concern)
          5. My wife and I both enjoy movies, so the slightly better picture quality (black level primarily) was a draw.




          Final note:


          The independent experts all tend to agree on this point.. 1080p is just about the least important factor in picture quality particularly if you are seated outside the physical boundaries where our human eye can no longer discern the resolution differences. This is a sliding distance scale which depends on screen size in relation to seating distance. Here's one such chart example:

          http://hdguru.com/wp-content/uploads...ance_chart.pdf

          Color accuracy, contrast, black levels, scaling/processing all come before resolution in importance. The smaller the panel, the less important resolution becomes UNLESS you will be using the panel as a computer monitor (where you'll often be seated within 4ft. of the display, and at a distance that close, you will much more likely notice & appreciate the difference). On a 37" panel, for example, you have to be within 5ft. to tell the difference. And that's under ideal circumstances.

          Disregard any poster who suggests otherwise. They are seeing something other than the true difference between 1080p & 720p when they claim they can tell the difference even on smaller (37"-42") panels beyond 5-6ft. The difference they claim to see is likely to be in the processing of non-native signal, i.e., panels will typically display their native rate better than they can a lesser resolution which the panel then has to scale to match it's own.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Flat Panel HDTV

            I am seriously considering this unit. Please give me your thoughts.

            LG 42LB5D LCD HDTV -

            Features
            1920 x 1080p Full HD Resolution
            10,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
            ATSC/NTSC/QAM Clear Tuner
            XD Engine
            178 True Wide Viewing Angle
            Super IPS Technology
            SRS TruSurround XT
            LG SimpLink
            3 HDMI with HDCP
            USB Media Host


            I was considering this unit (LG 42PB4DA Plasma TV) but after hearing bad reviews about the integrated DVR feature (single tuner only and lower video quality on recordings), I found I could trade the integrated DVR for an upgrade to 1080p and get the same price. I love the idea of an integrated DVR but if it's not going to work well then I would rather have the 1080p for viewing HD movies.
            |TG-8th Mercs|*New to TG? Start here*Become a Supporting Member

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Flat Panel HDTV

              Originally posted by Rali3gH View Post
              I was considering this unit (LG 42PB4DA Plasma TV) but after hearing bad reviews about the integrated DVR feature (single tuner only and lower video quality on recordings), I found I could trade the integrated DVR for an upgrade to 1080p and get the same price. I love the idea of an integrated DVR but if it's not going to work well then I would rather have the 1080p for viewing HD movies.
              I was looking at the same TV since it is on sale for $1299.99, hopefully someone can comment on it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Flat Panel HDTV

                I am very curious to have someone who really knows what they are talking about give me a definitive answer on the 720p vs. 1080p debate. If there is no use getting the 1080p I would like to know, but if somewhere down the line (5 years even) I am gonna wish I had 1080p I need to consider that now because I do not make these big purchases very often.

                Zoop, which model were you looking at? The LG 42LB5D which is 1080p or the LG 42PB4DA which is 720p with an integrated DVR?
                |TG-8th Mercs|*New to TG? Start here*Become a Supporting Member

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Flat Panel HDTV

                  Originally posted by Rali3gH View Post
                  I am very curious to have someone who really knows what they are talking about give me a definitive answer on the 720p vs. 1080p debate. If there is no use getting the 1080p I would like to know, but if somewhere down the line (5 years even) I am gonna wish I had 1080p I need to consider that now because I do not make these big purchases very often.

                  Zoop, which model were you looking at? The LG 42LB5D which is 1080p or the LG 42PB4DA which is 720p with an integrated DVR?
                  Oh, mis-quoted. I was looking at the LG 42LB5D. I'd prefer 1080p for my PS3 and to make me look like a snobby prick.

                  The whole 1080p from my understanding is this:
                  • 1080p is noticeable resolution difference at 50 inches and more.
                  • 1080p is better if your TV is closer, not as noticeable farther away.
                  • 1080p is much better for computer monitor purposes.
                  • Most (if not all) HD TV is broadcasted for 720p.
                  • Blu-ray and PS3 games support 1080p.


                  Those may not be hard facts, just my understanding.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Flat Panel HDTV

                    Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
                    I just bought a 42", 720p samsung plasma, and did a LOT of research. The bottom line is that when viewing a ~50" screen from 10 feet away, your eyes can't physically discern the difference between 1080 and 720 lines. Sit closer, or get a larger screen, and the pixels will be large enough to your eye to reveal the additional detail. (With 20/20 vision, it is possible to resolve 1/60th of a degree of an arc... any detail smaller than that won't be detectable. To demonstrate, stand 5ft back from this montitor and try to see the dot above this i)




                    source: http://www.carltonbale.com/blog/2006...p-does-matter/





                    from another good discussion:
                    The independent experts all tend to agree on this point.. 1080p is just about the least important factor in picture quality particularly if you are seated outside the physical boundaries where our human eye can no longer discern the resolution differences. This is a sliding distance scale which depends on screen size in relation to seating distance. Here's one such chart example:

                    http://hdguru.com/wp-content/upload...tance_chart.pdf

                    Color accuracy, contrast, black levels, scaling/processing all come before resolution in importance. The smaller the panel, the less important resolution becomes UNLESS you will be using the panel as a computer monitor (where you'll often be seated within 4ft. of the display, and at a distance that close, you will much more likely notice & appreciate the difference). On a 37" panel, for example, you have to be within 5ft. to tell the difference. And that's under ideal circumstances.

                    Disregard any poster who suggests otherwise. They are seeing something other than the true difference between 1080p & 720p when they claim they can tell the difference even on smaller (37"-42") panels beyond 5-6ft. The difference they claim to see is likely to be in the processing of non-native signal, i.e., panels will typically display their native rate better than they can a lesser resolution which the panel then has to scale to match it's own.

                    If you have a 1080p 42" panel, for example, assuming for a moment that you are seated outside the optimal seating boundary for fully resolving (seeing) 1080p content, the panel will still often look better displaying 1080p content merely because it doesn't have to scale the resolution. Feed the 1080p panel some other lesser resolution which then must be upscaled to match the panels 1080p native rate, then on all but the most expensive panels with excellent processing, the image will look inferior not because 720p is a lesser resolution, but because the panel simply cannot do a very good job scaling it. Or, maybe the panel handles scaling these duties well, but the particular 1080p model just so happens to have better color rendition, contrast, etc., than another particular example of a 720p panel, and as a result, it looks better under any circumstances, regardless of their comparative resolution capabilities.

                    Here's another GREAT explanation about why 1080p isn't important:1080p bible

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Flat Panel HDTV

                      Actually, if you look at the selections out there compared to this exact time last year, there are very few 720p's compared to how many 1080's there are, while it was the exact opposite last year. And now the 1080s cost as much as the 720s.
                      Engadget had some stuff about this back at the CES show, and pretty much said 720p models are pretty much on their way out, except for el'cheepo generic brands like at wal-mart (evil, cough cough, evil).

                      What WhiskeySix posted above is good info though. As it says, you would be VERY hard pressed with today's cable signals and most normal DVD players see much of a difference if you have a good quality 720 and 1080 side by side. Who knows though with how ferice the war is with cable companies and stuff like FIOS, they may improve their stuff within a few years for it make it worth while to spend the extra $100 or so dollars now. Not to mention if Blue-Ray, and HD DVD ever get their acts together.

                      I am actually interested though in the new higher frequency LCDs that run at like 120 that many makers are putting out. I still need to do some more research, but that tech is looking good if you watch fast paced stuff like action movies and sports.

                      LINKS

                      * *


                      Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                      -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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