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Buying my first HDTV! HELP!

by DFrautsch / August 30, 2008 2:46 PM PDT

I am looking to buy my first HDTV. I have been waiting a long time for this moment and now that all the college loans are paid off I think its time. I have been trying to do some research and after that research I have come to the conclusion that I need some help.

What I will be using it for:
I have Direct TV and will be getting their full HD package. In addition I have a PS3 that I will be using for gaming and blue rays.

What Im looking for:
I want a tv that will last a long time and Im willing to spend somewhere from $1500 to $2500. I am primarily looking for a 120Hz 1080p LCD in the neighborhood of 46?.

I really want something that is going to get the most out of the PS3 because I love playing games online.

I have been very close to picking up a Mitsubishi LT-46244 but I just want some advice or suggestions.

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by givemeaname / August 31, 2008 2:27 PM PDT
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SAMSUNG 650 series.
by masonaries / September 3, 2008 10:52 PM PDT

For gaming I think the best TV is the LN-46A650 or the LN-52A650. Go to the big box stores and look at it. It will last as long as any other TV and Samsung and Sony have the best record for least repairs.

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Howz about Plasma?
by Dan Filice / September 4, 2008 6:02 AM PDT

As much as I like "flat-panel" LCDs, I've never seen one that does not bother me with some degree of pixelization, pixel blur or screen-door artifacts. Some TVs do it less than others. I've stared at them all, for hours, and I've seen some degree of these artifacts. Plasma TVs have much less of these artifacts, to my eyes. Plasma TVs also are known to have better black levels than the majority of flat-panel LCDs, and this is one of the most critical requirements. There are, however, different levels of Plasma TVs, and they are not all equal. I understand that some Plasmas have the 120Hz function, but most don't need it because they don't suffer from major image lag like a lot of LCDs. So, after my rant, my question is whether you've considered a Plasma? Costco has 1080p Panasonic Plasma sets for a great price.

Regarding your PS3, if you get a 1080p set, make sure that you go into the PS3 settings and set the output of your PS3 to 1080p to match your TV. The PS3 has an "Auto" mode that will self-detect the native resolution of your TV and set itself for that output. You should also select 1080p/24 on the PS3, or at least set it to "Auto" so it will detect this output on Blu-Ray discs to give yo optimal image quality.

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by bevillan / September 4, 2008 7:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Howz about Plasma?

I'd definitely consider a Panasonic plasma HDTV over a LCD.

Are you afraid of image burn-in or something? Panasonic plasmas have all but eliminated burn-in risk on them from static images, so that isn't an issue.

You can get a nice Panasonic plasma in the 50" screen size range well within your budget at Costco or Sam's Club.

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Plasma vs. LCD
by DFrautsch / September 4, 2008 10:48 AM PDT
In reply to: Panny

I really dont know all that much about HDTV's but I have been warned to stay away from Plasmas. I dont know how true this is but my primary concerns that have made me focus on LCD's are the life span of a TV that gets alot of use and the repair aspect if something goes wrong. I really want a TV that will last and really preform well when watching sports, playing blue rays, and when using the PS3.

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Fear of Plasma?
by Dan Filice / September 4, 2008 2:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Plasma vs. LCD

There are a lot of people pushing their unfounded "facts" around when many don't have a clue what the heck they're talking about. First, regardless of what type of TV you end up buying, buy a good brand. This includes, but not limited to. Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Pioneer. Sharp Aquos. My choices would be Panasonic, Pioneer and Sony, but others have their preferences. Second, Plasma is a proven format of TV display. Many broadcast companies use Plasma. Many videophiles use Plasma. Early Plasma displays did have a problem with burn-in, but this has been corrected. But on the other hand, LCDs have had a horrible problem with image lag, slow pixel refresh, screen-door effect (a visual grainy quality to detail), poor blacks. Most LCDs still have these problems, but the better ones have corrected them to a certain degree. Plasmas, because of the mechanics involved with displaying an image, don't have some of the problems. Anyone who makes a blanket statement that "LCD is better than Plasma" does not know what they're talking about.

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by bevillan / September 4, 2008 11:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Fear of Plasma?

Don't forget about dead pixel risk in LCD's. With most LCDs there needs to be a certain percentage of dead pixels before a manufacturer will even agree to repair it.

I don't know about you, but it would drive me insane looking at a nice big 40"-50" HDTV I bought with little dead pixels all around.

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by sexpixel / November 27, 2008 11:29 AM PST
In reply to: Fear of Plasma?

I bounced from team to team for a long time when it came to LCD or plasma. In the end, I chose the Samsung LN46A650LCD based largely on user reviews and general Samsung reliability feedback. I have also heard from a few reliable sources that heat is the enemy for all flat screens but particularly the plasmas. The 650 series is energystar compliant so if that means it runs a little cooler...great! I also have it in the basement so that will help as well. Really, none of us know what the longevity of these sets will be....time will be the qualifier.

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by stewart norrie / September 5, 2008 4:49 AM PDT

there is more to consider. once you see that movie theater quality picture from your cable and blue ray system you will wet your self make sure you use h.d.m.i. cables from source to t.v. Then you will lust for a sweet 7.1. audio system to give you that pure movie theater experience 7,1 amp about $250 then plan on spending your life savings on speakers for real 7.1 sound is as important as your t.v and buy the largest screen you can afford I have an older 73" d.l.p. and you feel like your in the movie good luck steweee

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Samsung A650, A750 or Toshiba XV540, XF550U
by empire29 / September 9, 2008 8:48 AM PDT

If you're looking to spend $2000 to $2500 you will be able to get a very nice 1080P @ 120Hz LCD. I'm actually in the market for a 52" 1080p @ 120Hz LCD as well so i've done a bit of research.

I highly recommend the Samsung A650 and A750 models. The A750 are rolling out to replace the A650's but the A650s are stellar sets and the differences between the two models are negligible. Note the Samsung A650 and A750 models have glossy screens and have a subtle red color on the bezel. I actually saw a 52" Samsung LN52A650 listed at $2150 Shipped while trolling some deal sites, think it was on, so the 42"s have to be quite a bit cheaper im guessing.

The red bezel of the Samsung's is actually a turn off for me and I'm planning on picking up a Toshiba 52XF550U (pretty much the same as the A650, they actually use the same LCD panel) because i like the bezel more. Im waiting for it to drop from $2500 to $2200-ish though before I buy. Toshiba also have the XV540 series which is the same as teh XF550U except it has a slightly different bezel and the XF550U has better build-in speakers.

I think Sony is overpriced though they make a nice TV.

Check out this HDTV Buyer's Guide:
.. it helped me narrow down the HDTV that is right for me, if memory serves it talks briefly about LCD vs Plasma too.

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I have a very important question to ask you
by jostenmeat / September 9, 2008 8:52 AM PDT

Now, I don't know the answer, but I highly recommend you find out if you don't know.

Does the 120 Hz on those displays work as 5:5 pull-down? Or is it simply still using 3:2 pulldown first and then doing a 2:2?

this is a HUGE difference.

because 1080/24 will still be useless to you. AFAIK... i'm not the LCD expert, that's for damn sure.

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120Hz and 5:5
by Dan Filice / September 9, 2008 2:08 PM PDT


A few quotes from the AVS Forum site:

"So the question is, are any 120 Hz LCD sets out there doing 5:5 pulldown??? Or is that for something we will see in the future???" A: "Sony XBR4 and XBR5 series."

"Does anyone know if these great features in the Sony XBR4 and XBR4 LCD sets are also found in the Sony SXRD microdisplay rear-projection sets???" (Important since I own the SXRD.) A: "I believe the A3000 series incorporates this as well....I believe it is a true 120Hz display."

"Regarding the Sony doing 5:5, read here (courtesy of Bplewis24):"
The new XBR sets will not only display 24p as 5:5, but they will also take 60i, convert it to 24p, then display it at 120hz 5:5. The downside of the latter is that it takes a few frames to lock on the cadence of the signal, so it is better to feed 24p if possible."

This is taken from
"Video processing: We spent a good deal of time looking at various scenes and how they were affected by the Sony's 120Hz processing, and in general the set did a better job smoothing things out and still keeping them looking natural than the Toshiba, and both 120Hz LCDs severely outclassed the Pioneer's Smooth mode. (Update 10/19/07) We originally wrote that the Sony did not offer a 120Hz mode without smoothing, but that's not the case. Turning off its smooth mode still keeps 120Hz engaged. Unlike the Toshiba, which can disengage 120Hz mode, the Sony cannot."

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Thanks Dan
by jostenmeat / September 9, 2008 2:55 PM PDT
In reply to: 120Hz and 5:5

but I don't really care so much. LCD flat panel is the least interesting display I can think of, for me. It was for the person I was responding to: something to look up.

The only models that did 5:5 that I knew of were indeed Sony. I just didn't want to explicitly say that, and still don't, because I don't know about this stuff. I just run into this issue now and then in my wanderings.

bplewis seems to be a pretty cool guy. I've briefly run into him now and then at the BD software forum at AVS. He appreciates my noobie reviews, which is nice b/c I still am not sure what EE looks like. DNR is about it. I still don't think I've caught banding either, but I typically stick with good transfers anyways. Anyways, he is one of the more frequent contributors to the New PQ thread there. Maybe not Igans level, but pretty prolific enough.

Thanks anyways though.

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5:5 Pulldown
by empire29 / September 9, 2008 11:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks Dan

The Samsung A750's do 5:5 pulldown (24p), as does the Toshiba VX540 and XF550U ..

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Josten, I wasn't aiming at you :)
by Dan Filice / September 10, 2008 3:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks Dan

I simply put up the info for others to see and absorb. After your original post, I wondered the same thing and I spent a few mintues doing a bit of research, and posted for everyone. The one critical point is that a lot of people here ask what's the difference between a cheap and an expensive TV (or at least I see a lot of complaints that Sony charges too much), and after doing some research it's somewhat obvious that Sony's 120Hz process is one of the best. As I have mentioned in other posts (while standing on my soap box), there is a lot that goes into a TV besides the display panel that affects the quality of the image we see, and in general, Sony seems to put a lot of technology into their sets to generate one of the better images.

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Cheap vs Expensive
by empire29 / September 12, 2008 10:38 AM PDT

Agreed, Currently the big difference in the cheap HDTVs vs expensive HDTVs are 1080p @ 120hz with 5:5 pulldown (24p support) and the contrast level. Expensive TVs generally have very high contrast ratios that make prevent the colors from being washed out.

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by Riverledge / September 12, 2008 2:16 PM PDT



Now that PANASONIC is manufacturing PLASMAS for PIONEER, what's the

difference there, the cost for the PIONEER name basically.

Burn-in is a problem of the past unless you're totally CLUELESS, like

John McCain who doesn't even know how to send an E-Mail.

Now that's real scary!!!


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by Dan Filice / September 13, 2008 1:46 AM PDT

Now, now River. Let's keep the political stuff out of this forum. Just because I'm voting for Mary Carey doesn't mean I have to put it in this forum. Happy

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