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Sceptre 42'' LCD 1080P - note the ''P''

by li0nkin9 / March 28, 2006 3:46 AM PST

The Sceptre 42'' HDTV (has a 1080P ratio - meaning 1920 x 1100 I think that's about right)is the first of the 1080P's on the market. The older 108I has a ratio of 1300 x 720 (give or take a pixel). I orderd mine online at Costco for $2400 incl shipping and tax. That price is purposted to be $500 off reg price. That "sale" price is over. It will arrive in 6 to 8 weeks....unless I cancel. Sceptre is not a name brand (like Proview from Costco was not and we returned the latter). Since most TV's are made in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan, it likely made by one of the Asian mfgrs in one of those countries expressly for Costco. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Does anyone have any further information on the brand name -SCEPTRE ? Is it a SONY in disguise ?

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I ended up getting one - my mini review
by MacHugger / March 28, 2006 6:40 AM PST

Mine arrived last Monday so I've had it for just over a week. I was reluctant to buy something like that never having seen it or even seeing a review on it but Costco has SUCH an amazing return policy (avsforum members claim they even reimburse shipping) that I decided to roll the dice.

My first impression was a bit of a disappointment. I was just so used to the amazing beauty of a Sony WEGA flats creen on EVERY channel. I was convinced I would return it the first day but then I read more and more on the avsforum and realized that in this period of transition between stadard def and hi-def, some things will look great but most stuff will look crappy - especially with a resolution like a true 1920 x 1080p.

Per the forum recommendation, I just bought a DVD from Amazon called Digital Video Essentials that helps optimize your home entertainment system. Hopefully, this will help me ''dial-it-in'' a bit.

Some things look truly amazing on this screen. Mostly well-lit, outdoor scenes. Indoor scenes, I still have a problem adjusting the contrast, gamma and brightness to achieve a pleasing look. Sports stuff looks awesome (usually bright interior). I often have difficulty getting skin tones just right. Even in the same scene, I will adjust the red in the skin for one actor, cut to the other and they look red-faced. But I'm getting better with the adjustments.

I still might yet return it - I have 30 days no questions - but I'm waiting to see if I can get it tuned in better with this DVD and what I read on the avsforum. Otherwise, I may just return it, buy the Apple 30 inch LCD for my Mac, get the video card to drive it and then buy the EyeTV (HD version) for another $350 or so and watch TV on my Mac. It's such a tempting thing to do regardless. But, if I can get this 42 inch Naga to work right, that would probably be the better solution.

By the way, the TV does NOT ship with an HDMI to HDMI cable. Just a DVI to HDMI. So, don't go out and spend $130 like I did to buy a Monster cable from Radio Shack. I just returned that after my $10 fifteen foot cable (gold-plated-ends) arrived from monoprice.com. The HT Guys said HDMI cables are the biggest rip-off in the world of HD right now. And for the record, my signal looks just as good as with the Monster cable costing well over ten times as much.

-Kevin S.

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Thanks, machugger
by li0nkin9 / March 29, 2006 9:09 AM PST

The resolution of about 1900 x 1100 of the Sceptre was supposed to be the best ever to date. I'm wondering why you said it was "crappy." Compared to
1300 x 720, I would think the picture would be great.
I have a Panasonic 63" HDTV in my family room and it's
1080I and about 1300 x 720 resolution. It's pretty
darn good in High def.....but I can't say the regular
channels are better than my CRT regular sets. What say you aboutg your early disappointment ?

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THe good and the bad
by MacHugger / March 30, 2006 2:22 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks, machugger

Hi li0nkin9. (Is that Lion king?) Happy

What I meant by crappy with the lower resolution signals is that the TV has a native 1920 x 1080p resolution. There isn't anything out there right now that supports this. The best so far is 1080i. So, most of the signals are sort of being scaled up for the TV. But, having said that, I'm no longer really certain that it's the signal resolution that makes for the good or bad look of the TV. One of the better looking stations on my cable and on this Sceptre is Fox and I THINK they broadcast in 480p. One of the worst stations that I've seen is NBC and I think they broadcast in 1080i. So, I have yet to really figure out what it is that makes this TV look good or bad. It's so random. But when it's on, it's ON and looks great. It's just that most stuff doesn't look great right now. I think maybe the single biggest thing is how dark or well lit the content is.

Anyhow, I continue to keep an eye on things and I plan to really try and calibrate the settings this weekend to see if that helps with the dark and light.

-Kevin S.

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More on Sceptre 42" HDTV 1080P resolution.
by li0nkin9 / March 30, 2006 7:00 AM PST
In reply to: THe good and the bad

The very best picture I can get on my Panasonic 63"
HDTV with a resolution of "only" 1080I is on Time Warner's cable station (it's #1111 on the HD channels and I believe it may be FOX and the NBA or NFL games. I'm too lazy now to go downstairs and check).

In Costco's latest magazine, there's a good article
on HDTV. They claim one must have HDMI cables to get
the very best picture. Do you have HDMI cables ? And are you sure the best resolution being currently broadcast is just 480 ? I guess we can say we're
ready when 1080P does arrive. I'm still wondering who makes the Sceptre TV. I am a name brand kind of guy.

Thanks, lionking

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HDMI and Sony
by MacHugger / March 30, 2006 8:01 AM PST

Yes, I have an HDMI to HDMI cable from my Comcast HD DVR to the TV. I had the $130 Monster cable and it made absolutely no difference over the $10 goldplated-end one that I bought from monoprice.com. I suggest you order yours now if you don't have one so it is there when your TV arrives.

I mentioned in my other post that I believe it is a Sony. The Sony codes work on the breakout box and the TV.

The best resolution that I know of being broadcast is 720p & 1080i. It's just that the Fox 480p seems to look good on this TV. I think a couple of the other stations also look great like INHD1 and INHD2 and Discovery HD. But the scenes need to be well lit (at least until/if I can get the contrast/gamma/brightness of this thing setup correctly).

-Kevin S.

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Sceptre made by Hitachi
by bimcapps / April 22, 2006 2:54 AM PDT

Sceptre is Hitachi's line of computer LCD monitors and they are now using the name for their low end line of LCD televisions

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SCEPTRE 42" NOVICE NEEDS HELP
by geobro44 / May 8, 2006 10:06 AM PDT

JUST GOT THIS 42" TODAY AND AM RUNNING IT WITHOUT ANY HD, JUST CABLE.PIC NOT VERY GOOD. HAVING TROUBLE ADJUSTING FOR COLOR. NOT HAPPY WITH THE PIX THE WAY IT
SHOWS. JUST RETURNED A VIZIO 37" LCD TO COSTCO AND IT HAD A BEAUTIFUL PIC OUT OF THE BOX WITH A LITTLE ADJUSTMENT.CONTRAST WAS LOW,ONLY 600, BUT I DON'T SEE THAT IT WAS A PROBLEM IF THE PIC WAS GOOD. HAVEN'T ORDERED HD FROM CABLE CO. AS I AM THINKING OF GETING
DISH NETWORK OR ALIKE. CABLE IS SUCH A RIP-OFF. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO TO TRY ADJUSTING THE SET. IS THE
DVD YOU MENTIONED AVAILABLE IN STORES? WOULD THAT HELP
GET A BETTER PIX OR JUST ADJUSTING THE COLORS? REALLY THINKING ABOUT GOING BACK TO THE 37' VIXIO LCD FOR $1500.ANY INPUT WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
THANKS
MARILYN

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Digital Video Essentials
by MacHugger / May 8, 2006 11:12 AM PDT

That is the name of the DVD that helps you calibrate the TV. I ordered mine from Amazon and had it within a few days. I'd order it right away since you can return anything to Costco within 30 days if you decide you still don't like it.

I really enjoy the picture quality of mine now but it may be that I just got used to a lower standard Happy I don't think that's the case becuase the usual crappy stuff still looks crappy. But some things look amazing.

-Kevin S.

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Get new cables for your LCD
by rubenloaiza / July 12, 2006 11:22 PM PDT

I had the same problem with my DLP HD-Ready tv. The image looked greenish on movies. I went ahead and bought some Monster cable, both audio and video and it made all the difference in the world. I suggest you buy one and try it on. Worst case scenario, you can return the cables and get your money back. But I think the cables you run on your tv will make a big difference.
Hope this helps.

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Forgot to mention... it may be a Sony
by MacHugger / March 28, 2006 6:44 AM PST

I forgot to mention in my reply that it may very well be a Sony TV. The reason is, I had a Sony Wega and so my Comcast remote was setup to turn on my TV, Stereo, and Cable box all at the same time with the "all-on" button. When I finished setting up the Sceptre, I just pressed that button without even thinking that I needed to reprogram the TV and break-out box codes into the remote and everything turned on, including those two things.

When I looked in the manual it did, indeed, say that it uses Sony codes for programming remote controls.

-Kevin S.

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if color is really critical or difficult
by Ravensblood / March 30, 2006 8:21 AM PST
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