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Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

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  • Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

    I figured this was worth a post considering that prices on them are supposed to be pretty mind blowing this holidy season. I have already seen some sales that have me itching my back pocket (the wallet holding one). For instance from yesterday:

    Samsung LN46A550 46" 1080p LCD HDTV W/ ATSC/QAM Tuner $1099 (expired)

    One of my buddies just got the same model except it was the a650 version, and it will make your jaw hit the floor. He paid about $2,400 or so about 2 months ago. Man, I can't wait to see the deals on black friday (I will of course have a lot of updates leading up to it. Anyone want to stand in line with me?:D)

    By the way, that TV is on sale at Bestbuy for $1,500 and amazon has it for $1,288

    Anyway, here is the article:

    Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro


    .

    LINKS

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

    -Carlos A. Urbizo-


  • #2
    Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

    i will stand in line. i cant wait for those deals either. in my room i got this big old boxy 46 inch tv that looks nasty. im looking for a 42 inch tv since there the best bang for the buck...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

      Yeah, Samsung's latest line-up is mind-blowing.

      Both 550 and 650 are big sellers. What you get with the A650 is a slightly higher contrast ratio (better colors) and a 120hz processor (faster refreshing rate) where as the A550 is 60hz and has a lower contrast ratio.
      Code:
      A550: 30 000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p resolution, 60Hz, 8Ms
      Code:
      A650: 50 000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p resolution, 120Hz, 8Ms
      Another brand that would be up-to-par with Samsung would be SHARP. You have to give it to them, the latest serie (65U) with its 6ms response time has one of the best result when it comes to moving pictures. The 85U(somewhat expensive), adds on top of the 6ms, a 120hz processor for a even faster response time.
      Code:
      65U: 1080p resolution, 60Hz, 6Ms
      Code:
      85U: 1080p resolution, 120Hz, 6Ms

      If you look at Sony's latest models(they were the biggest seller last year.), they're not that great compared to the ones they made last year. Nor are they up-to par with Samsung's models when it comes to picture quality.


      If you're looking for HDTVs its the time to start shopping. Price drops are in October/November. And if you wait 'till December you might miss great deals and/or in-store stock. Last year people were freaking out and it will be the same this year.



      Also, If you're shopping for an LCD screen, here's a few tips:

      --For a smaller size LCD (32"), don't bother going with a 1080p TV. Its a waste of money. The screen is not big enough to notice a real difference between a 720p and a 1080p screen for this size. No matter what the seller says, there is no REAL and VISIBLE difference (when it comes to details and picture quality) on a 32" 720p and a 32" 1080p. On the other end, the 1080p model will offer better colors than the 720p one. But its not much of a big deal. I did the test, and they look the same. Heck, I sell TV's for a living!

      -- Don't really trust contrast ratio stickers you see on the HDTVs. Each company have different ways to test the contrast ratio, based on their screen performance. So they can write the higher contrast ratio possible. But in the end, since its a different process (IE: there is no standard way to test contrast ratio. So everybody do as they please to get the best output), all contrast ratio numbers on stickers are void.
      Example:
      Company "A" tests its model "001" with the method "X" and it gives a ratio of50 000: 1
      Company "B" tests its model "ABC" with the method "Y" and it gives a ratio of 18 000: 1
      Both companies used different method to test their TV. But if you take the model "001" from company "A" and you test it with the method used by company "B", you'd get a ratio of 18 000:1 and vice-versa.
      -- HDMI cable
      Very short to know. If you get a 720p TV, get the cheaper HDMI cable you find. If you get a 1080p TV, make sure your HDMI cable's version is 1.3. It has faster bitrate for higher resolution TV, resulting in less screen tearing and better quality overall. 1.3 cables are usually around 70$(canadian$) for 2meters.

      -- Plasma TV
      Just avoid yourself alot of troubles if you're shopping for a plasma screen. And go for a Panasonic one. I swear you wont be disappointed. Pioneer used to be THE best plasma branded HDTV around. But latest models are using screens made by Panasonic, so they're pretty much the same now, and Pioneer is REALLY expensive. And keep in mind no matter how many anti-glare filter a company adds on its plasma screen to get the best image quality in bright rooms, Plasma is and will always be made for darker rooms.

      Hope I've helped a tad.



      -- I always wanted TG to be different than anyone else out there. We need to be unique in what we offer and how we play, if not we are simply competing with everyone else. --
      The BigC

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

        Great post x-master!

        LINKS

        * *


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

        -Carlos A. Urbizo-

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

          Good info here folks. I'm waiting on my old TV (32" tube) to die before replacing it as we mostly watch TV now, not anything that would benefit from HD etc. Though it kills me to see good deals on TV's now and pass them by.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

            Originally posted by Long Bow View Post
            Good info here folks. I'm waiting on my old TV (32" tube) to die before replacing it as we mostly watch TV now, not anything that would benefit from HD etc. Though it kills me to see good deals on TV's now and pass them by.
            Am kinda in the same boat. Add to that I am only home for about a year at a time, for the moment, and it just doesnt make sense for me to spend $1500 on a tv that will be outdated when I get back home.

            |TG-IRR|

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

              I have to say that I will stick with the DLP's..A friend of mine has the 65" Diamond Vision DLP TV sitting next to a 50" or 52" Samsung 120Hz set (both 1080p)..the picture on the Mitsubishi is 100 times better..especially the "Blues"..it is just amazing how much better the DLP is...he plays PS3 on them, and it is a "no contest"..the Mitsubishi is just jaw dropping..

              I would like to get a new Samsung LED powered DLP in place of the one I have now..they are so clear and sharp ..!


              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

                Originally posted by birdie_in_Texas View Post
                I have to say that I will stick with the DLP's..A friend of mine has the 65" Diamond Vision DLP TV sitting next to a 50" or 52" Samsung 120Hz set (both 1080p)..the picture on the Mitsubishi is 100 times better..especially the "Blues"..it is just amazing how much better the DLP is...he plays PS3 on them, and it is a "no contest"..the Mitsubishi is just jaw dropping..

                I would like to get a new Samsung LED powered DLP in place of the one I have now..they are so clear and sharp ..!
                Rear projection DLP TVs look like crap, IMO. Front projection looks nice, but when I was shopping for a TV, there was no comparison. I could have afforded a DLP TV that was almost ten inches bigger, but I would have lost the crispness of LCD or Plasma. My parents have a DLP TV and they're happy with it, but I can't stand the way it looks, even though it's two inches bigger than my Plasma.
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                • #9
                  Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

                  Interesting stuff. I just got a job at Fry's Electronics and seeing all the HDTVs everywhere is so tempting. A few years down the road maybe I will still be working there and have enough saved money to get one with a nice discount....years....ugh... lol


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

                    Oh hell yeah!!!!! Now TG has an inside man!!!!

                    So Kev, what kind of a hookup do you get? And you do have paypal right? :D :D :D

                    LINKS

                    * *


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

                    -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

                      From another HDTV thread:


                      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


                      • #12
                        Re: Giz Explains: How to Buy an HDTV Like a Pro

                        Oh.. .the other thing is never buy cables/accessories from the box stores (sorry kevlar ;))

                        Go here: http://www.monoprice.com/

                        You'll get a solid 75% discount from the box-store prices.

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