TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

Should I buy HDTV now or wait a year?

by amanetti / May 9, 2005 3:47 PM PDT

I'm considering replacing my 10 year old RPTV but am hesitating since the technology seems to be in such flux. Since a lot of new and or improved display technology seems to be in the pipeline, I don't want to buy something now only to see something far better and cheaper appear in the next six months.

My main priority is to get the best possible picture quality within the 3k - 5k price range.

Desirable features in priority order:

Max resolution: 1080p
Screen size: 60", HDTV Aspect ratio
Integral HDTV Tuner
HDMI Interface
Cablecard slot

Any advice would be appreciated.


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by BONSPEED / May 10, 2005 6:28 AM PDT

If your current tv is ten years old, its definitely time to upgrade. Unless your interested in a specific upcoming model, there is no reason to wait. The technology in this area is always moving foward and trying to keep up with it can drive you nuts. If you have budget concerns, you might consider picking a model from the previous year. Newer doesnt automaticly mean better and you'll be surprise how you can save.

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Would like a future-proof purchase
by amanetti / May 10, 2005 8:28 AM PDT

Thanks for the advice. I took a trip to the local retailer last weekend and, although (or maybe because) the salesman was pretty knowledgeable, I came away dazed and confused.

Although the new sets looked pretty impressive, each technology seemed to have an achilles heel. For example, DLP had the infamous rainbow effect and some other annoying artifacts caused by the color wheel. Also, the notion of a color wheel is pretty retrograde -- like the CBS color wheel technology from tbe early fifties. I'll take another look if and when they come out with an affordable 3-chip solution.

Plasma seems on its way out due to cost, plus there's the problem with image burn-in. LcosR and LCD looked ok at first glance but I'd want to give each an extended test drive with carefully selected material along with additional homework on the technology.

Considering these factors, plus the new technologies just over the horizon, I'm left with the sense that I ought to wait a year or so until the rate of improvement reaches the point of diminishing returns.


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Enter the Phase of Keeping Up With Whats New
by Dave81j6 / May 10, 2005 9:20 AM PDT

My conclusion is such:

it will lead you to either cash out and buy a late model tv or enter the phase where you wait and wait. It can be frustrating. You'll find someone around work, or a friend, and discuss the upcoming tv's, or maybe find someone who's already completely happy with their investment.

I took that later of the two choices to wait it out. keeping up can be fun as you click around the internet, but I am finding that whenever you read about new brands and new technology, I'll become ever more hesitant to just blow 3K on a i-think-its-the-best-for-my-money-tv. So now I wait to find the time when I am ready to settle ... that my web buddy is frustrating. May it be easier for you.


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I appreciate the advice
by amanetti / May 10, 2005 12:09 PM PDT

I've decided to kick the tires as the next generation of sets cimes to market, all the while hoping that the old set doesn't crap out.


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by BONSPEED / May 11, 2005 3:08 AM PDT

Your correct, none of the new technology are perfect. The best you can hope for is to pick a model that pulls off the best job of producing a quality picture.
Hoping to find a ''future-proof purchase'' in this retail market is a pipe dream. Even the latest and most expensive tv of today will be surpassed by tomorrow's tv.
In my oponion, if you want to narrow the many choices, narrow your budget. There are excellant models in almost every price range. Cnet is an excellant place to check models and prices.
Finally, dont worry if it seems a little overwhelming because it's not that hard. Chances are you just started looking. Being an informed consumer in this market takes a little effort.

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Plasma Hasn't Peaked Yet
by champmanfan / May 29, 2005 5:44 PM PDT

With the price of 42" Plasma's over here in the UK going for just under

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How bout this
by sears tv guy / May 10, 2005 10:39 AM PDT

In the next couple of months almost the enitre new line of tv's will be out except for sony.

Samsung's new pedestal will be out in late june early july. It's 1080p with a 5000:1 contrast ratio and will be fully loaded. It will go for 5K and will be a 56" I think it will fit your needs nicely. If not there should be a few other models out as well that are very nice

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Thanks for the heads up
by amanetti / May 10, 2005 11:40 AM PDT
In reply to: How bout this

The salesman mentioned this set as well. I'll check it out. Test driving this stuff is becoming an end in itself and kind of fun in a masochistic way.

In that regard (perhaps this rates another thread} I'd appreciate any tips on good test DVDs and what to look for when evaluating set performance.


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Sony TVs
by Larry Fagot / May 13, 2005 12:13 AM PDT
In reply to: How bout this

When will the new Sony product be available & what is expected?

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Optoma or LG
by mmolnar / May 10, 2005 12:21 PM PDT

Check out Optoma or LG They have all the features you are looking for and are by my judgement the best on the market. As for change, ha there will be something better a year from now and something better than that the year after that. It the technology revolution. Sorry!!

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Sad but true
by amanetti / May 10, 2005 2:15 PM PDT
In reply to: Optoma or LG

I was hoping the rate of cost-performance performance improvement would flatten out somewhat in a year.

Since the underlying technology is now being driven by Moore's law, I may have to bite the bullet or wait a looong time.


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LG rocks
by menunes / May 15, 2005 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Optoma or LG

I've following the HDTV thing on and off and the LG units that Best Buy carries seem like the best bang for the buck.

I've never heard of them before last month but apparently they have a pretty good reputation in other appliances - fridges, microwaves, etc.

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Have to Imagine the 'Landscape' a Year from Now
by dougjp / May 12, 2005 11:21 PM PDT

If you can live with your existing TV, and it keeps working, I'd say wait, which is what we decided. The features you want aren't yet subject to enough competition between brands to force down prices, and better features are on the horizon.

In a year DLP3 chips should be in many different manufacturer's sets. The technology JVC uses should become better established with more reviews and user experiences available to assess. Will these technologies together with bargain plasmas force the name brand higher quality plasmas to reduce prices further, and will somebody eliminate burn-in on plasmas.

All you can do is stay informed and make your best guess Happy

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I've decided to wait
by amanetti / May 13, 2005 6:54 AM PDT

At the rate the technology is changing, I think the alternatives should come into better focus next year (pun intended).

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by mightyfee / May 13, 2005 1:25 AM PDT

Why must you buy HDTV at all? What is so compelling in either network or cable programming that would warrant this type of exorbitant expenditure? Why would someone willing shell out this type of cash to be even more effectively brainwashed?

I suggest you reevaluate your value system, my friend. NOBODY "has to have" HDTV.

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(NT) (NT) So you say.........ask the thousands that have it already!
by russe1 / May 13, 2005 3:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Why HDTV?
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I also considered these issues when I decided what to buy
by jeroethel / May 13, 2005 1:34 AM PDT

Do you just watch TV or do you have an Xbox or PS2 or do you watch DVD's or do you hook you digital camera to your RV or do you want to use your TV display as a computer monitor and/or do you Tivo or use a DVR? I'm not into high quality audio, but if you are, then you need to consider HDMI vs. DVI.

These were all considerations to me since I needed to count inputs and outputs. My cable service (Cox) offers a HD-DVR so that takes a DVI connection. Xbox works fine with a component video. Digital camera doesn't need component video, but does also need an audio input on the front of the TV for ease of connection.

I am going to 60" display -- no need for computer monitor use at that size -- and I have the room space for a RPTV so that will save me some money. I anticipate that most cable services will be cable card within a year, so I am getting a cable card slot to be prepared. As I understand the technology, the cable card will require an intergrated HDTV tuner (but I maybe wrong about this), but currently the HD cable box and/or the HD satellite electronics include the HDTV tuner so the integrated tuner is not necessary, although most of the newer sets seem to include this feature now.

I am leaning toward the SONY 60" since I have always been pleased with my previous Sony's. I realize there is a large group of Sony haters.

I encourage you to research HDTV's. I learned a lot at

Or do a cnet search for HDTV buying guide.

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Don't wait....the water's fine!
by ronwinship / May 13, 2005 7:25 AM PDT

We finally bit the bullet....but simply on the cheap..
and we couldn't be happier. We got Panasonic 32" HDTV
for $895 plus tax. We could have gotten the 36" for
$995 plus tax. At any rate, we have cable and had to
choke down the monthly HDTV charges to get the box to
make it all happen.

The Panosonic 42" however is the preferable choice for
two quit reasons: (1) It's the Flat Model and (2) it's
16X9 Screen. Our 32" and the 36" are both fat older
tech with 4X3 screen format - meaning that you get
black screen both on cable and on rental dvd's. You
lose alot of the big screen feel. At any rate, don't
be snowed by projection tech....ugly, with lot's of
upkeep! Windex in hand...with streaking! The plasma
stuff get's hot spots and melts down. The LCD Sony
or Panosonic 50" would be our dream sheet but you will
be looking at the high side of $4 grand.

If you have any doubts and want to creep into HDTV..
we have to give a solid 5 stars for our Panosonic 32".

Romeo Whiskey

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I'm waiting
by SteveGauss / May 13, 2005 8:01 AM PDT

Till the prices comes down substantially.

Steve Gauss

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Here's a good reason to wait
by funkfeend / May 13, 2005 8:33 AM PDT
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Lots of good input
by amanetti / May 13, 2005 9:24 AM PDT

Thanks for all the advice.

Although my current set has been repaired twice and seems to be on the verge of needing a third fix, I've decided to wait.


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To Amanetti
by networkboy / May 13, 2005 9:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Lots of good input

email me:

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by Marie Buteau / May 14, 2005 12:28 PM PDT

I had a 15 year old 31" Panasonic stereo as my main TV and brightness was starting to go. so I started looking a year ago for HDTV and being a Panasonic person checked them against others out there with most features I wanted, I did not get the one with the card slot, but got a 47" with 4 speakers surround sound for just over $1300.00. I feel I already have gotten my moneys worth. Larger were not much more but this is as big as my room will hold. Beautiful picture and sound. I never knew so many people on TV had so many pimples, bumps and wrinkles. Can't hide from HD.

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HDTV purchase advice
by menunes / May 15, 2005 2:16 AM PDT

What are your intended sources of High Def signal?

I went through this same evaluation recently and discovered that I'd have to upgrade my dish network package (dish, receiver, and subscription package) for significant cost just to get a reasonable amount of HD channels. Also, my current DVD player is not progressive scan - I'll need to get a new DVD player to take full advantage of a HDTV.

Then there is the cost of quality component video cables - these things are not cheap.

My conclusion - I'll wait a year. I hear 1080p units will be out by the Fall. I'm going to need a new AV receiver (I like to run all sources through one AV receiver and just use the TV as a monitor) a new DVD player and a new source of main programming; maybe even a shift from dish to cable. I'll get into my next house, then build all that stuff from scratch as part of the build phase.

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Sources for HDTV
by amanetti / May 17, 2005 9:28 AM PDT
In reply to: HDTV purchase advice

The condo I live in will be switching either to DishTV or Comcast.


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HDTV now or wait a year
by tompass / May 16, 2005 11:26 AM PDT

I asked my TV repairman if i should wait till next yr re buying an HDTV and said to defintely wait till next yr when the he expects prices to drop to half what they are today.

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by _Chris_ / May 16, 2005 2:44 PM PDT

I would have to say your T.V. repairman doesn't have a whole lot of knowledge on the subject.

Of course prices will drop, and a year from now he'll probably say the same thing. Newer RPTV's will be being introduced, and the prices on them are really reasonable considering what you're getting. The big drop in price will be in the LCD panel technology, and plasma will follow suit simple to remain competitive.

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Antonio's Dilema
by dbm12 / May 18, 2005 6:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Heh...

Having owned a HDTV for over 6 years, I paid just a hair over $7,000, buy now. Even though I can now buy the same set, only better, for $2,000, I have enjoyed 6 years of great viewing. ADVICE: Panasonic has a new price breakthrough with their TH-50PX50U plasma. It includes a ATSC tuner and a cable card slot + SD slot. I am buying one next week priced at $4,100 from an on-line retailer. Keep visiting C-NET


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SED Technology looks interesting...
by amanetti / May 20, 2005 9:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Antonio's Dilema least on paper. I'd like to see what the sets look like and they won't be in showrooms until sometime next year.

The downside of SED is that a purchase next year would put me on the bleeding edge of a technology that's just beginning deployment.


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cost of ownership
by sob / May 23, 2005 12:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Antonio's Dilema

So Dennis pays &7,000 for 6 years of HDTV. That's an average cost of $1167/yr, $22.43/wk or $89.74/month just to pay for the hardware.

Costs are absolute - value is relative.

What's your viewing time worth?

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