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I need an HDTV for a very specific purpose... which is best?

I am a videographer by trade and my company is opening up a studio where we plan on mounting 5-8 42" (abt. - could be a bit smaller) plasmas or LCD's on the walls which will display our work. Right now, most everything we will be displaying is SD, but we are filming more and more in HDV (1080i) so I'd like to keep that in the back of my head while shopping. The content will be displayed on the screens via an imac so there needs to be a DVI connection. People will be viewing the screens from all over the room, and sometimes will be standing close to the screen when selecting content. I have been reading lots of reviews all over the net and am still not sure what is the best option (Plasma vs. LCD) and which brand is best for the money? Thanks for any help in making my decision easier! Here is the summary of my ideal flat-screen TV:

1. Fabulous resolution (1080p)
2. High contrast ratio
3. Wide viewing area
4. DVI connection

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I just learned that...

In reply to: I need an HDTV for a very specific purpose... which is best?

That there is actually a DVI to HDMI cable, so that opens up a huge range of choices (I thought I needed a set w/DVI connection only which only a few have). Now I'm even more confused!

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In reply to: I just learned that...

DVI is the digital video connection most often found nn computer. It was included on TVs before HDMI became the defacto connection. Basically, DVI and HDMI are the same as far as video is concerned, but HDMI include audio whereas DVI is strictly video, thus the reason it's found on computers as computers use it as a video display connection for TVs. Forget worrying about DVI connections. Focus on HDMI, which all new HDTVs use. I would say that the majority of the newest HDTVs offer 1080p conncection, so that's an easy thing to find. Since you are determined to have 1080p, how are you going to get 1080p into the TV? Are you shooting video with an HD camcorder (DVC-PRO)? If so, this means that you will need a DVC-PRO deck that will play HD or have the camcorder connected to the TV. If you burn a standard-def DVD of your HD material, it won't be HD any longer...that is unless you buy an HD DVD recorder.

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Well, for starters, consider that nearly all those suspended

In reply to: I need an HDTV for a very specific purpose... which is best?

sets in airports are Panasonic plasmas.

Compared to the other technologies, plasmas have the broadest viewing angle & the deepest blacks; hence, the colors really pop. Those Panasonics in public spaces are probably all monitors as opposed to having a TV tuner built in. I presume they would serve your purpose, saving the expense of the tuners. They will probably be called the industrial line as opposed to the consumer line.

They have been very reliable in service. Panasonics' plasmas are now in the 9th generation. No, I don't sell Panasonics, though I do have one of their smaller LCDs. You ought to make someone's day as you tell them you're looking for 5-8 sets.

Reviews do usually address certain feastures & exclude others. Though I don't remember the source, some reviewer stated the order of importance to consider is: 1) contrast ratio, 2) color saturation, 3) color accuracy. However; as a videographer, I'm certain you won't slough over color accuracy. That is one benchmark professional reviews do address.

Plasma is probably the way for you to go. Consider other major name brands, of course. And remember, prices are not set in stone.

I recommend looking to deal with well established independent dealers, then check out custom installers before the big boxes. Though any might very well address your needs, I'd opt for that extra measure of individual service first.

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Pro models

In reply to: I need an HDTV for a very specific purpose... which is best?

We use the Panasonic Pro series in many of our projects, great sets, plus they are input card based. You can upgrade them down the road.
DVI or HDMI cards are available.
You will want to jump to HDV quickly, as SD content doesn't always show off the best on a plasma. Coming direct from a Mac should be fine though.
You do not mention if you need sound, the pro series have speaker connections on the back, so you can add them.

There are a few ways of dealing with your content. If you do not wish to have one imac for each plasma, you can set up a distribution and control system. Plug in a few imac's, and feed out to many plasmas. With a programmed remote or touch screen controller, a presenter or client would then just select what they want to see on which screen.

Also important to know how farr away from the source, imac the plasmas might be? DVI and HDMI cables may need to be boosted if too long, or you convert and send via Cat5 cables.

You do not have any info in your Bio, so I do not know if I know anyone in your area that could be recommeded.

I hope your budget for this is not based on plasma pricing seen in some Best Buy flyer, for what you possibly could want, you should seek out a pro in your area. Be aware, to do this right with picture quality a first priority, it may not be as simple as just hanging a couple of TV's around the office.

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Well since your using an I-Mac or maybe a Mac mini!

In reply to: I need an HDTV for a very specific purpose... which is best?

Apples Cinema LCD displayes are the best on the market!!! Go to an Apple store and check them out. I was there last Saturday and was watching a FCP-HD demo on 32" Apple Cinema LCD. It was fabulous! If I were in your shoes that is what I would do.
I assume that your using Finial Cut Pro??
If you capturing DV video it is ED(25mb/sec) not SD! John

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two choices

In reply to: I need an HDTV for a very specific purpose... which is best?

1.) go to costco. take advantage of their return policy, but you'll save a lot of money. keep in mind that there is little haggling involved.

2.) go to a private dealer who'll order stuff base on your needs and install everything for you....although that will cost a little bit more money then usual.

3.) there is something at best buy's called Best Buy For Business. walk into a best buy, ask to speak to a manager about purchasing 5-8 42" lcd's for your business. reason for speaking to a manager is cause they know which HT employee is competant or just completely useless and will set you up with someone good. after you figure one or two tv's out, sign up for their BBY for biz program. you'll get a call within 48 hours from someone who only deals with business. these guys are straight from coorporate and can get things done on the fly and ONLY deal with business it wont be a pimple faced little 16 year old kid who needs daddy to drive him around. they will sit down on a 1on1 with you...then go into a store and pick out your products. they are also able to give you a MUCH BETTER DISCOUNT then any retail their "professionalism" buy for business is something i would recommend.

ps: if you live in the chicago land area, shoot me an email.

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