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help buying flat screen TV

by woody96 / January 27, 2008 12:34 PM PST

We are watching a 25" TV and have to get a new TV. We have a good size room and are looking for a 46-47" TV. Was told Plasma burns in the image on the scree so looking for a LCD. Sometimes I do needle work while watching TV so will have a light on. I was looking at
Sony KDL 46W 3000, Samsung LNT4665F, Sharp Aquos, Philip47PFL7422D
We do not play games on TV, watch movies and sports, might use DVD player, might hook up to laptop to view photos. Not talented technically. First HD TV for us. Also like the warranty and return policy of costco, but they do not have a large variety to choose from.
They have the Phillips for 1499. sometimes one of sits kind of at an angle to wher TV will be. Any Suggestions? Anything to stay away from?

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In my opinion,
by minimalist / January 27, 2008 1:37 PM PST

The Sony and the Samsung will have the best pictures of the 4 you mentioned. If you are hooking a computer to the TV make sure the set you buy has a VGA or DVI input (DVI is better but some older laptops wont have this kind of video out so check your ports first). I thought I was going in to buy the Sharp but ended up getting the exact 46 inch Sony you have but the next level down (the V series).

Also, regular dvd players don;t look that great on a big hi-resolution screens like this. A 75 dollar upscaling one (I originally got a Phillips from Target) with an HDMI cable will make all the difference in the world with standard definition DVD's.

One last word of advice. Don't let the electronics sales people convince you that you need ridiculously overpriced 100 dollar HDMI cables. Shop around and you'll find them for 20 dollars (online even cheaper).

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agreed on the hdmi cables
by bean99 / January 27, 2008 1:41 PM PST
In reply to: In my opinion,

i just bought two on amazon for a penny apiece, $10 total with shipping.

got 4.5 stars; most people gave them 5's and a few disgruntled people gave 1's, not alot in between.

heh, even if they don't work (they should based on the reviews) i'm only out $10!

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plasma burn in-- much ado about nothing
by bean99 / January 27, 2008 1:51 PM PST

everything i've read tells me plasma burn-in is much less of an issue than it used to be.

not to throw a wrench into your thinking, but i wouldn't rule out plasma. on every lcd i've looked at in stores (including those with the 120 hz processors) i've been able to detect what to me is bothersome motion artifact. so for sports, in my view plasma wins over lcd.

also-- i've got friends with plasmas and well-lit rooms, and the plasmas still look great.

just one guy's opinion.

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Burn-in on plasmas...
by stuntman_mike / January 28, 2008 1:54 AM PST

is a little over done, but it is not a dead issue. There are several things that you can do (all of them really simple) to prevent it, but I would still say that in your case to go with an LCD, preferably the Sony or Sammmy as minimalist said.

I think form the way that you describe yourself (1st HDTV, not talented technically), that something that is more easily protected, like an LCD, would be a better fit for you. You also seem to have a bright environment, and although plasmas are plenty bright, they are not as bright as an LCD, and most plasmas have very shiny screens that would make having a bright environment more of an issue.

The Sharp LCDs are also very good (if you get one that doesn't have banding) and if you don't have the budget or can save by buying it instead of the W3000, then that could be an option for you. But I would say not to go with the Philips a they are not the best performers and I would say that if you have the money the Sony W3000 should be your first choice out of the 4 you mentioned.

Good luck

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have to disagree. There are solid reasons to choose plasma
by NM_Bill / January 28, 2008 2:27 AM PST
In reply to: Burn-in on plasmas...

over LCD even though makers are pushing LCDs like mad now. Its higher profit margins for them.

Yes, a plasma has a glass front, is heavier & uses more electricity, but it avoids the whole universe of fast motion blur & related issued that are making LCD a real confusion.

Yes, true I am typing this on an LCD screen, but that is a 17"er @ about 18" distance. The LCD picture weaknesses do become real issues in the large size screens. Not a blanket condemnation, just a real plea to give plasma a proper consideration.

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I am not saying that....
by stuntman_mike / January 28, 2008 3:27 AM PST

LCD is better than plasma or vice versa in all cases. I am just saying that in this particular case for this particular person, I think they would be better off with an LCD.

And just like you say burn-in issues are exaggerated with plasma, I could say the same about motion blur with LCD.

I am a fan of TVs. I don't care what technology they are. They all have their pluses and minuses. But the exceptional TV from a given technology will usually overcome them.

I could come up with as many reasons to buy a Pioneer Kuro as I could an XBR4. What factors that a poster considers important to them when they create a thread asking for help in making a decision, will determine which direction I think would be best for them, in that particular instance, in my honest opinion.


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right nm... AND...
by woodygg / January 28, 2008 6:10 AM PST
In reply to: Burn-in on plasmas...

it's every bit as bright as an LCD... he's confusing glare issues (which are real) - but have been minimized with some of the newer plasmas.

you need to seriously reconsider plasma, as you too quickly eliminated it. if you're not playing games hours on end (which you said you're not), the burn in won't be an issue.

spend time at a good reseller who can review all these issues with you, read, read, read and make up your own mind... (no dlp though! unless you're going with a giant (65+) screen. at 13' - you may want to consider a larger tv than 46/7... matter of taste. we sit 10' away with a 50" tv and both my wife and i will get a 58" next time...

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by stuntman_mike / January 28, 2008 6:37 AM PST
In reply to: right nm... AND...

I am not confused about glare and brightness. LCDs measure brighter than plasmas do. That is a fact. Maybe you are confused.

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which LCD?
by woody96 / January 28, 2008 12:13 PM PST
In reply to: No...

I think that we are pretty sure we will go with a LCD TV. I was all set to buy a Samsung 46" 1080 LCD--model LNT 4665F. However, after reading the comments on CNET, I had second thoughts. First problem I am conerned with is glare. As I usually have ceiling track lights and often a lamp on when watching TV. In the daytime, I like to have the shades turned to open. I am concerned the glare might be too annoying.
Then I also read that a few people had problems with connecting things to the TV through the HDMI inputs, pixels, and had problems dealing with Samsung's customer service(not that I know how other companies handle customer service). Any comments on my concerns?
I am also looking at the "W" series of Sony and the models the level below. Any comments?

I did see the Philips TV at Costco and it was 1499 for 47"--Only reason I would ever consider it is because of Costco's generous
return policy--90 day return; 2 year warranty--not sure it is worth the return policy to get a brand that seems to be lower that the above

Any of comments on my concerns etc.? I think getting a flat screen TV
is expensive

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by stuntman_mike / January 29, 2008 3:00 AM PST
In reply to: which LCD?

I am not gonna tell you that the Philips will be terrible by any means. I don 't know the exact model that you are talking about but in general, Philips seems more concerned with their stupid Ambi-light than producing TVs that have high end picture quality.

If it was me and I could afford it, then out of the 4 models I would go with the W3000 (do they not have that at Costco?) but I can definitely understand why the $1499 would be enticing. I am just not a fan of Philips LCDs, not that they are terrible, but I would like better performance for my money.

$1499 is pretty cheap compared to a lot of TVs out there, but what you would get from the Philips, I don't think makes it as great a deal as it could be. You could probably get similar performance from a TV that is in the next lower class down.

If you are set on buying from Costco, and they have a good deal on a Sharp, I would go that route before the Philips. The Sharpd are very good LCDs when it comes to performance and although they do have some issues with defects, that should be minimized greatly with Costco's warranty and return policy.

Now all of my advice has been based on the 4 models with which you were choosing between. Without knowing exactly what your priorities are, I wouldn't be able to make a good recommendation for you anyway.

How big a priority is picture quality? Is money the biggest consideration? Are you looking for the best picture quality within a limited budget?

Knowing those things I could give you a couple ideas if you want them. And by the way, some of them would be plasmas lol.

Good luck

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help buying flat screen TV
by doubletarheel / January 29, 2008 10:47 PM PST

I hear you on this. I thought I really wanted to get an LCD. Everyone is getting LCD, it is the wave of the future,etc. But I can't get past the motion blur. I see it on everything except maybe not so much the Sony XBR5's and it makes me crazy. My wife is the same way. She knows nothing about the TVs, but when we walked into BestBuy just to get the lay of the land we were looking at Samsung and Sony LCDs and she says "I can't handle that picture - it blurs. And its not natural looking." For virtually all of the LCDs. She walked over to a Pioneer 4280 and said, "now that is a great picture! It's the best picture in here." Her next choice was the Panasonic Z700U series. She hated the anti-glare screens on the Panasonic 77U series, but liked the anti-reflective screens on the Z700Us.

So I started researching plasmas. If you break in the plasma for the first 100 hours, burn in and image retention are supposed to be a non-issue. And it seems most people, though not all, think in a controlled environment that generally Plasma has a better picture.

That being said, I was in another store and I watched what happened to a plasma screen when some late afternoon sunlight shone on it and some LCDs. The plasma picture looked so dim, but the LCD shone right through it. It washed out a little, but it really was quite amazing. I couldn't imagine a Tube TV (CRT) doing better. I didn't notice ambient light being a problem for the plasmas, but direct sunlight killed it.

My advice is, if you don't see the motion blur get the LCD. I'd get the Sony or the Samsung. I think Costco has a version of the 46W3000, the 46VL130 or something crazy like that. I think it may be on sale for $1699. You can search on these forums or google and someone will tell you what the Costco version compares to. FWIW, my mother-in-law has a 2 year old 37inch Phillips LCD and the motion blur is horrible on it. But it is 2 years old (though it always had the problem).

Personally, I'm getting the Panasonic 50PE700U from Costco. It is the same thing as the 50PZ700U (which was Consumer Reports highest rated TV and highly rated by CNET) and at $1999 is simply a steal. The picture on it when I went in recently was simply stunning. It is a 1080p TV and it made it clear to me I didn't want the 50 inch 720p (768 actually) Panasonic that Costco sells for $500 less. Apply for the Costco AMEX card and they will give you a 3rd year Warranty for free, plus an extra 1% off the price.....

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