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Best Samsung TV for SD Signals

by powers7977 / February 2, 2009 9:25 AM PST

Are certain models better for displaying SD signals? I don't subscribe to any HD channels and we only have a standard DVD player. Would the new 120 hz models make a difference at all for SD channels vs the 60 hz? Also, does the size of the screen play a part in the viewing quality of the SD channel? My reasoning tells me that a larger screen would cause the image to look more distorted because it has to blow it up from a very low quality source.

Advice? Thoughts?

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by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / February 2, 2009 2:40 PM PST


Standard definition signals will likely look a bit distorted on HD televisions. Regardless of the size, you'll be viewing 480 lines of resolution (SD) on a high definition panel (720 lines, or 1080 lines, respectively).

The panel will always show the native resolution. So if you're watching:

480 lines to a 720p panel, the upconversion would be less than:
480 lines to a 1080p panel.

So your best bet would be to stay as close to standard definition television as possible. I'd recommend a 720p television if you're going to stay with standard definition; as well, if you do happen to get some over the air channels in HD, you'll be able to take advantage of some of that resolution.

You may still experience some of the distortion in the picture, since watching SD on an HD panel is a lot like zooming in too closely on a picture on a computer. It will fill the screen, but the pixelation may still be evident.

Your best bet in this scenario is to go to a retailer, and ask to see a 720p television and a 1080p television side by side, have them switch the channel to a standard definition channel, and compare them side-by-side.

And 720p resolution units often cost a little less, too.

Let me know if I can answer anything else.


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More questions about SD
by powers7977 / February 2, 2009 9:32 PM PST
In reply to: SD

Thanks so much for your very prompt reply.

I'm a little confused because my understanding was that the 1080p tvs are capable of displaying all of the lesser modes (including 720p) and you can easily just change the setting and it will make the screen size the appropriate size for that setting. Is that not true?

Our tube TV just died and we don't want to have to buy another tv for a very very long time and would like to have something that is pretty current in technology and will be great when we do get our Blu-Ray and when the majority of all channels switch to HD as a standard. We're not there yet but we want to be ready for when it does happen. From what I can tell the 720p tv's are also inferior to the 1080p ones with regards to contrast resolution, response time and overall features. What are your thoughts on that?

I was considering either the 550 or 630 in a 40'. Do you really think that's overkill? Can you recommend some actual models?

Thanks so much!

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(NT) Bumping
by powers7977 / February 3, 2009 8:53 PM PST
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if you plan on a blu-ray get 1080p
by mamontano / February 3, 2009 9:13 PM PST

As far as 60hz or 120hz thats your call.
From the correct viewing distance alot
of this stuff is hard to notice. Soon as
everybody is buying 120hz 240hz will come
out and so on and so on. Plasma's have been
480hz and some 60hz's look better than them.
I still reccomend costco because you have 90
days to make your mind up every time you buy
a tv.

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Some clarification...
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / February 4, 2009 2:44 PM PST


<i>I'm a little confused because my understanding was that the 1080p tvs are capable of displaying all of the lesser modes (including 720p) and you can easily just change the setting and it will make the screen size the appropriate size for that setting. Is that not true?</i>

The 1080p screen will be 1080 lines of resolution. I recommended a 720p in your case because it's HD and will likely give you better upconversion from 480 than a 1080p panel would. It's easier to process a signal with 480 lines into 720 than it is to process 480 lines into 1080p. So my logic was based on your intended application.

A 1080p signal would be downconverted on a 720p panel, so no, you wouldn't get the full resolution of Blu-Ray's capabilities, though I would argue that it would still look incredible.

The majority of HD channels are broadcast in 720p, due to bandwidth limitations. So even for HD television, you're not going to miss much of the picture in terms of quality.

The contrast ratios are lesser for the 720p panels, and you do make an excellent point. 1080p is the flagship technology, and there's no arguing that the specifications are better for those units.

The original question was "which technology is best for viewing primarily SD channels", so the best way to weigh this is to decide if you want a better SD to HD conversion, or a better picture specification for watching the best picture. I still advise going to the store to see if you can see a noticible difference; seeing the difference (or not seeing it) will help you make your mind up on what is best for you.

I hope that clears up a little of the confusion.

Keep me posted.


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Any good TV's for SD?
by Dave06776 / February 10, 2009 1:19 PM PST

Why are you intent on Samsung's?

I picked up a 40" Samsung LCD over the weekend and will be returning it next week primarily due to the reasons you are stating.

The HD picture looks pretty impressive, but the SD (which is what I mostly watch) is awful.

The model I picked up was LN40A530

I would like to get a nice TV for viewing DVD's and some HD, but the SD has to be good too.

Any suggestions?

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