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Question about researching a HDTV

by evol2121 / December 3, 2006 5:15 AM PST

I've done some pretty extensive research in looking for a new TV. Obviously you can get some idea of picture quality in the stores, but really, its nothing like they're going to perform in your home.

I've done research on both plasma and lcd technologies. frankly it seems that they are pretty much equal depending on what you're using them for. I haven't gotten a straight up arrow pointing to either one from what i've read at least.

I've read plenty of articles and forum threads about the difference between 720/768p, 1080i, and 1080p both the accepting of and reproduction of the various sources.

Everytime i decide on one thing, i come across an article or forum thread that spells doom for it. be it flickering from an auto contrast issue, to black bands, and even random light and dark spots.

I'm hoping i can find some help here because you seem to know what you're talking about.

i haven't paid much attention to each company's fancy processing name they give ( perfect magic picture III...etc) but i have looked into the contrast ratio's, the color capacity (don't know the term, how many colors it can reproduce), and obviously resolution.

However through all of this i'm still at a stand still. I respect all of the in depth knowledge on this board, sometimes its even scary the detail that is gone through in the discussions (confusing me even more) but it is an encouraging confusion.

If you've read this far, i'd appreciate some help.

-I'm looking for a HDTV in the 42" + range.

-I'll be sitting ~10' away from the screen, but have seating areas to the left and right that will be closer, so viewing angle is somewhat important, but not top priority.

-I'll be viewing mainly SD (standard cable) for about 6 months until i upgrade to HDTV, but i am willing to suffer through the incompatibility as i will be getting HDTV and am buying the set for that purpose.

- I'm leaning towards LCD at this point, but barely. I don't really mind plasma or rear projection because size isn't really an issue (though if rear projection i'd rather it not be unreasonable in depth) i'm surprised how much more screen for your buck you get w/ rear projection, what are the downfalls if any?

- I'm buying this set because i'd like to establish credit as im 22 and feel its time to get started, but i'm really in the 1300-1700 dollar range.

- lastly i'm in no hurry to buy, if there is something that is worth waiting for coming out this next year, then i will do so.

any information would be greatly appreciated. i know you can't give me an end all answer, but maybe with the information i've given, you all could tell me what aspects of the tv would be most important in my situation, or maybe even specifications that i haven't even listed/read about.


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Quick and simple answer
by HTHMAN / December 3, 2006 5:29 AM PST

IMHO, Panasonic Plasma TVs give you the most bang for your buck. In every review I have read, they are at or near the top in picture quality and the price is not much more than your "bargain" brands. You will not get a good 42" LCD in your price range, but you can get a great plasma.

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by evol2121 / December 13, 2006 9:50 PM PST

i'm planning on waiting until mid january before the big game to see if the prices drop any. anyone own the hitatchi hdt79? i'm kinda liking it from what i've seen. i've been kinda scared off by a supposed "flicker" issue. anyone have any info?

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Do not buy Hitachi...
by Buckwilder / December 13, 2006 11:38 PM PST
In reply to: HDTV

If you are going to buy a Plasma, stick with the recognized tried tested and true brands, ie: Panasonic & Pioneer. Both will provide a top notch picture a a very vivid (not to mention accurate) color palate. I would recommend you sterr clear of rear pro or DLP. They offer good bang for the buck in terms of size, but their somewhat bulky size is very limiting for positioning and the like. Also, they require (depending on your viewing habits) a new bulb every couple of years which will mosy certainly add up over time. Viewing angle also tends to suffer on these sets, so if that is a consideration, albeit a minor one, I would still steer clear from them. LCD, Plasma...tough choice...are you watching a lot of sports, movies...are you a gamer? Keep in mind that LCD's histroically have suffered from ghosting...that is the refresh rate isn't quick enuough to keep up with the pace of the action on your T.V...despite the fact that some are now in the 4MS range...that still is borderline accepatble if you are running a 1080p 60FPS signal. Plasma's tend to have a lighting quick response rate...but the resolution is a little less than their LCD counterparts. Lastly, you'll hear a lot of info about resolution...that's all we hear these days...resolution, resolution, resolution! Resolution is important, but by no means the definitive factor in determing overall picture quality! According to the ISF, resolution is # 4 on the list, with contrast ratio and color accuracy leading the way in terms of overall greatest impact on picture quality. That is where Plasma's have a pretty clear advantage. they usally have a much broader color palate as well as producing a uch better black level, which is key for optimal picture quality. LCD's although they appeaer very bright and vibrant, tend to have a lower contrast ratio and don't producr a very 'realistic' black. That said, current gen LCD's have improved in that respect, so that knock against LCD's doesn't hold as much weight as it used too...
Regrdless...all this stuff is very overwhemling, the best thing to do is to look at both in as many stores as you can and then make a decision.
Pioneer or Panasonic
Sony, Sharp, Samsung
Sony, HP, Mitsubishi

P.S: if you are sitting 10ft away from your set, you might consider something a little bigger like a 46" or possibily a 50". HDTV will make you want to sit closer...don't make the mistake of dropping 2 grand only to realize you should have gone bigger. better to have a couple of inches too many than a couple of inches not enough...ya dig?
Good luck with your decision! Happy

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What about LCD rear projection?
by evol2121 / December 14, 2006 9:38 AM PST
In reply to: Do not buy Hitachi...

I'm not too worried about space or weight, viewing angles slightly due to my various seating arrangements, however a good 80 percent of the time it doesn't matter because its just me at the place i'm living.

i'll pull the trigger around mid january and see if the big game compels the stores to put some bait out in the papers or on the net to get people in the store.

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by stewart norrie / December 14, 2006 1:58 AM PST
In reply to: HDTV

RAZOR SHARP, TONS OF COLOR, SUPER BRITE I have seen every type of display before I bought my 72" d.l.p. and I love the picture quality. and all this garbage about wheels lamps, fans its all b.s. I dont even like plasma sets with all those black dots and fake color goood day and yes I lost at poker stew

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Who's bashing DLP?
by Buckwilder / December 14, 2006 4:09 AM PST

I'm not saying DLP is a crappy technology, but they are a dying breed my friend, face it. Of all the T.V types, they have been one of the most unreliable (I know someone who works in returns at a electrnic boutique).
Not to mention that if you are sitting either too low or too high on the Y axis, the image quality is compromised. Let's not forget wobulation...any image that requires ultra fast left/right perpetual motion in order to gain resolution isn't for me thanks. Lastly, DLP suffers from very un-even corner-to-corner illumination, a problem to some degree with all rear pro sets...that said, they are amazingly bright, although this years DLP line up are being beat out by Sony's SXRD line...

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by stewart norrie / December 14, 2006 7:38 AM PST
In reply to: Who's bashing DLP?

The reason I went with d.l.p. is I wanted a 70" + t.v. for a affordable price and My Toshiba gives me a picture thats eyepopping I also just installed my new Sony blue Ray player to it using a h.d.m.i. cable and you just cant get a better picture than that I have heard so may horror stories about d.l.p. rear projector t.v.s but after a year of hard use everything works perfectly stew

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by daleadjfan / December 15, 2006 12:08 AM PST

You might want to check out I just got a 42" Philips Plasma HD for 1250.00 and I love it. AFter reading your post, this fits all your criteria.

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Plasma HDTV's
by bonniejlc / December 15, 2006 11:59 PM PST
In reply to: HDTV

I picked up a 42" Panasonic at CompUSA yesterday for $1299. The PX60U model that has the SD card slot. Sale ends today. I was starting to lean towards an LCD. My family room doesn't lend itself to a projection type large screen. I also bought a 4 year warranty along with the TV, which I feel is needed with Plasma's and LCD's. I was planning on waiting until after the first of the year also, but the $1299 price, along with a bonus $150 gift card put the actual cost at $1149. That price made me jump in now. Prices should continue to drop. Most of the major stores have this TV on sale for $1499. I imagine it will be in the $1199 range soon after the first of the year. Several online stores have it at close to that now. If you can afford to wait, I would wait. I jumped as this sale put one of the TV's I was looking at possibly picking up next year at my price point.

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Try Consumer Reports
by Feister Meister / December 16, 2006 1:06 AM PST

Consumer Reports recently reviewed most types of flat screen TV's. Of interest, was the excellent review enjoyed for all three types of viewing (HDTV, DVD, and SD) for the Toshiba 62HM196 with red circles for all. Other rear projection digital TV's also had at least very good or excellent ratings for standard definition TV, unlike the LCD's and Plasmas that CU reviewed. Here is the link for these rear projection TV's, if it will work for you without a subscription.
Although standard definition TV is supposed to be put to sleep within the next two years, who knows if that will really happen with our current FCC. You had mentioned that you wanted to primarily watch regular TV, so I thought that I would post this. I personally have had terrible reception problems with my Sony HDTV when looking at standard definition programming, in particular, team sporting events (e.g., football and basketball). This is evidently an unfixable problem (with my TV, and many others) partly associated with TV construction and partly the source of the signal and how much bandwidth is allotted to the particular broadcast one is watching. Good luck!

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