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PS3 HD display/audio for somewhat niche user

by nkando / April 7, 2011 10:03 AM PDT

I've been using my roommate's tv and HDMI cable for my ps3, but he's moving out in June/July. I own the ps3; I'll buy my own HDMI cable, but I'll need to replace the TV rig.

Pretty much I want to buy a 1080P display and external speakers; but without paying for internal speakers/tuners that I'm not going to use. I want the display to look great, so I'm worried about buying a display which is flawed or that I'm not looking enough into other characteristics outside of resolution. I also am at a total loss for speaker selection, I just want some serious quality there, and not some tinny integrated airwaves. I want to think the money I'm spending is all going into exactly what I want to use it for, without any bells or whistles.

I don't watch TV; it's not my thing, so I don't care about the tuner. (If, somehow, a TV was better looking and cheaper than a speakerless monitor of the same caliber, I'd head in that direction. It doesn't logically add up to me - but I wouldn't be on this forum if I didn't expect to be told I'm wrong!)

I'm also looking to shell out on some actual speakers, too, so if the best display is just a monitor and thus, has no speakers, I'm already cool with that. My problem there is that I don't know what to do about my HDMI cable, which will go directly into the display, leaving nothing left to hook into the speakers. I think there's ways around it, but I think they need to be considered WHILE choosing the speakers and display.

Honestly, I know nothing of audio. I just find it awesome when it all works out - I want to get into that. I'm not looking to run wires everywhere - I'm certainly not handy and cringe at the appearance of cruddy wiring jobs I've seen, but I thought a couple of towers for speakers might have decent aesthetic and still give some decent quality. I'm really open on this - what say you?

What speakers can still work, even if the monitor eats up the ps3's HDMI cable; assuming I buy whatever cables/other equipment necessary for the solution.

Overall, I'm looking for near the state of the art, right where it's all great notch, but right before the advances in tech start making those exponential leaps in price.

My roommate's not going anywhere until June/July, and I've got a small, tinny TV which could easily hold me over for months if it needed to, something I'd be fine with if you think there's some advance in tech or major drop in price or both coming to the market this year. Black Friday? Wink

Ultimately, what's the best way to go here for something I'm going to use for a long while and remain satisfied with? I feel like I'm being pretty picky, so thanks for digesting all of this. Any feedback on any or all of these concerns would be great ~


-Kando.

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Budget & about what sized tv do you want????? ....
by givemeaname / April 7, 2011 10:08 AM PDT

Then go from there....

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Budget and size:
by nkando / April 7, 2011 11:16 PM PDT

I'm not too worried about budget; it's a long term investment, so I'm willing to save what's necessary for something reasonably good and use it for a long while. It's my first display/speaker set, so I'm not just trying to upgrade with the times - I'm trying to start out and not sit around wishing I had gotten something better. I want to buy something that will last; I don't usually upgrade things with the times until what I already have has shot the bed, so to speak.

As far as screen size; I have no flippin clue. I've got the space, I might as well use it. I'm pretty sure HDTVs only come flatscreen these days so I'm not worried about a huge elepahnt crate entering my house like a family members old projection screen. I just want to be in the right place in the market, which, with so many combinations of options, seems a bit overwhelming to me.

It's like buying a graphics card - you can get intel integrated and you've got absolute junk, or you can upgrade to something standard or something even a little better, which is mostly still worth the bill. Then there's all these cutting edge cards that are huge leaps in price without much increase in oomph back, and require all kinds of other cutting edge parts to make full use of them.

After a certain size TV, are they going to just become ridiculous in price? What's the last size before it's not great making increases anymore, or is it actually roughly an even scale between price and size? Also, when I decide on a size, how do I know what is too little response time, or viewing angle, or contrast ratio? What should my minimums be for deciding.

I don't mind what the price is, as long as it's going to a reasonable purchase and not just burning away to get one particular spec up, like having a completely unnecessary amount of viewing angle, if that's even possible, haha. What do you think?.

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You really don't say what you *do* with the display?
by Pepe7 / April 7, 2011 1:15 PM PDT

Only games via PS3? Or blu ray movies too? Are you looking for surround sound? Are you really serious about tower speakers since I find them sometimes to be, shall we say, a bit 'cheesy'(?) Wink

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Motives:
by nkando / April 7, 2011 10:56 PM PDT

Games and movies, I'll probably be using the speakers for playing music in the house too.

As for surround, I was trying to avoid a mess of wires around the room, and, considering my home installation capabilities, it WOULD be a mess if I was the guy doing the installaiton - very embarassing. I figured towers could remain concentrated near the tv for an easy install and at the least get me some decent quality, thus hiding my achilles. If I really got talked into surround, which someone else has been chipping away at me already for, I'd have a friend help me out. Someone else already has me getting a receiver for the rig. He said go with potential for 7.2 audio since I'd eventually make the leap to better surround and not want to worry about the receiver's capability. It seems like I shouldn't use towers as a middle man in some way.

I'm all ears for suggestions, maybe a little embarrased for not having a problem with towers; I don't even know why they'd be cheesy - you say it like it's common knowledge, haha. Tell me why? Too bulky; low quality; what's the deal? Grin

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Budget and size:
by nkando / April 7, 2011 11:15 PM PDT

I'm not too worried about budget; it's a long term investment, so I'm willing to save what's necessary for something reasonably good and use it for a long while. It's my first display/speaker set, so I'm not just trying to upgrade with the times - I'm trying to start out and not sit around wishing I had gotten something better. I want to buy something that will last; I don't usually upgrade things with the times until what I already have has shot the bed, so to speak. Wink

As far as screen size; I have no flippin clue. I've got the space, I might as well use it. I'm pretty sure HDTVs only come flatscreen these days so I'm not worried about a huge elepahnt crate entering my house like a family members old projection screen. I just want to be in the right place in the market, which, with so many combinations of options, seems a bit overwhelming to me.

It's like buying a graphics card - you can get intel integrated and you've got absolute junk, or you can upgrade to something standard or something even a little better, which is mostly still worth the bill. Then there's all these cutting edge cards that are huge leaps in price without much increase in oomph back, and require all kinds of other cutting edge parts to make full use of them.

After a certain size TV, are they going to just become ridiculous in price? What's the last size before it's not great making increases anymore, or is it actually roughly an even scale between price and size? Also, when I decide on a size, how do I know what is too little response time, or viewing angle, or contrast ratio? What should my minimums be for deciding.

I don't mind what the price is, as long as it's going to a reasonable purchase and not just burning away to get one particular spec up, like having a completely unnecessary amount of viewing angle, if that's even possible, haha. What do you think?

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How about we start with the HDTV
by Pepe7 / April 8, 2011 5:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Budget and size:

Since you don't seem to have any financial constraints <vbg>, apparently the sky's the limit(?) Keep in mind the whole discussion comes crashing down when some equipment that has been proposed to fill a niche suddenly becomes 'too much to spend'. This is why a rough budget number per segment might be helpful. Otherwise, the real audiophiles here will suggest you save for the long term equipment if money's not an issue. We would have to know rough budget numbers to learn if you are willing to shell out the kind of money for a system that for some is long term, but somewhat pricey. What I am suggesting is that someone with a good budget number would be hard pressed *not* to go for a higher quality setup given the resources. Since you mostly do gaming & movies, a proper surround sound system with HT receiver is a must IMHO and E.

I'll start with the HDTV part though, and look at a few points you have brought up. Others here are much more qualified to comment on the receiver and speakers, should you choose that route.

The most helpful thing you could do is learn a little about LCD, LED-LCD & Plasma flat panel technologies, and spend some time in a mom-n-pop type home theater or electronics store with equipment properly set up for viewing/listening similar to what you might see in your own home. Get a sense of what you like, basically, take notes, then come back if you have questions on what you were experiencing. It's a big topic, and not without it's proponents of each tech. IMO that makes it almost better off with you reading information elsewhere and coming back once you've got your feet wet. In the past I have even brought along my favorite DVDs to help complete the 'finding' mission ;).

Regarding size of display, sure. If you have a big room you can find a massively sized screen to fill it. But I assume you won't be spending 10K+ on a LCD or plasma ;). One piece of advice is to buy the biggest screen you can afford that is reasonable for the viewing space and needs of the viewer(s). Another issue is the correlation between screen size/resoution/seating distance. If you do a google search for 'carleton bale chart' you will see what I mean. Viewing angle is going to be better with plasma, but some LCD models do better than others. Although it is still open to debate, plasma is also generally better with response time and black levels, critical to providing excellent PQ. This forum is chock full of discussions on all of the above if you want to do a little searching. If you have a dark room plasma is ideal; bright rooms without light control (curtains, etc.) might make a LED-LCD a better choice, especially if you view a lot of movies/TV in the daytime, or when the sun/glare is an issue. YMMV, but plasma is a lot better than it used to be dealing with this issue (and others, including power consumption).

Go online for prices just to get a sense of what you think you may be able to afford both now, and by saving a little if necessary.

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