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Flat Panel Buyers Guide For Noobs

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Old 11-28-2007, 03:18 AM   #1
pappylap
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Default Flat Panel Buyers Guide For Noobs

An unbiased buyers guide for our newcommers seemed like a novel idea These suggestions are based on many online retailers sites customer reviews and lots of threads here at the Hi def forum I have read over the last 4 years since I became a fan of HD. I realize some of the models I select in certain areas would not neccessarily be put there by all of our members but I believe the majority of veteren high deffers at this site will agree with these opinions....So lets begin

First of all the Elites or high society sets
these sets are for the non budget minded buyers or those of us who simply want to really impress or neighbors or in-laws

Pioneer elites as the name implies these sets are expensive but most agree deliver the most impressive PQ available today deepest blacks to date and unriveled customer service make this display the envy of most high deffers....
Panasonic I have read countless reviews and tech specs about these sets and they are the favorite choice of most here at the forum Great PQ and Affordable almost no complaints with the sets or customer service make this a great brand to consider.
Sony LCD the Bravia series seem to be the top of the food chain in LCD although alot of owners will rank thier Samsungs right along side but I have seem more problems posted with the Samsung products than with Sony. The Bravia series apparently deliver the best blacks on LCD and I have rarely seen and unsatisfied post. Bells and whistles and great customer service make this the top LCD its the most expensive too.

Second tier or Middleclass....these sets are great displays that will most likley take care of you High-def needs for the next 4 to 5 years good investments with few problems and good customer service for the most part...
Samsung Plasma and LCD Very good displays with great PQ and a middle of the road price ample imputs and easy to find everyone sells them even walmart Two problems I am aware of from previous posters a popping sound in some models and a problem with red and green snow last year on some of the plasmas. overall a great set for the middle income.....
Sharp I ve been mixed on these sets since I began researching HD up front they look great they certainly advertise enough, but I have seen several complaints with this brand due to a banding or striping effect some models were experiencing last year I'm sure this generation has cleared that problem and these new sets have great asthetic appeal if the problems have been addressed these may rank above or at least equal to the Samsung LCDs
Hitachi I find absoutly nothing wrong with this brand every owner I have seen post at this forum raves about picture quality and features most have 3 hdmi ports great contrast and reliabilty make Hitachi a great choice. Overall very little customer care complaints that I am aware of. I would have no problem showing off my Hitachi to the neighbors.
Toshiba Much like the Samsung above a very good choice very few unsatisfied reviews. There was an issue with green push a couple of years ago but that has apparently been resolved and current owners are very pleased with this selection...One only has to look at thier HD-DVD players to see that quality and affordability are benchmarks with this company. Toshiba is opening a new manufacturing plant in Europe next year so any rumors of Toshibas demise are in my opinion greatly exagerated.
LG Absorbded Zenith a couple of years ago an innovative contributor to high def research and development. I place these displays in this class because it seems to be the best fit . Although I have seen several post with problems on this forum about this brand A certain informed member raves about product quality and customer care and the few I have had the opportunity to view first hand were impressive. Small to very large 65" great PQ and all the window dressings make this brand worthy of more than a passing glance...

I hesitate to call the next catagory low end because the only thing low about them is the price and in some cases suspect customer care. the proletarians as I will refer to them include...
Vizio A great display with many more rave reviews than complaints. I hesitate in placing these in the middle tier range because of price and the fact the company and the displays simply havnt been around long enough for me to be safely sure these displays wont fall apart after a year of use or so...that said I must confess every Vizio I have personally viewed has looked great, good contrast and vivid colors at a very affordable price make these the top brand in this catagory and there are lots of owners here at the High def forum.. Customer service also seems to be the best at this level. If you cant go Middle tier this is probably the brand for you.
Olevia the brand I personally own and have had great success with. I fully know that compared with the upper tier brands my set cant hold up to the more inputs, greater contrast ratio and better response time but for a budget minded person these sets hold thier own. Most of the customer reviews I have seen are very positive and the price is right with and often just below Vizios...I wish I could comment on customer service but I havnt had to deal with it both sets have been great. A good choice for the budget minded..
Polaroid.....hmmmm it seems that polaroid leased thier name to several chinese companies and these panels are a result of that agreement I know very little about these other than the ones I personally checked out at circuit city had a great PQ.... Relialbility and customer service maybe suspect when dealing with this brand so I would be careful here as with all in this catagory.
Westinghouse Seems to be a good product at an affordable price. one of our moderators owns a 1080p model and is delighted with its preformance... I must confess this brand is put here due to affordability.
Non scaled down versions of sylvania and sanyo I place in this catagory due to price.
Bottom of the Barrel
These displays are the scaled down versions that are sold at Walmart and other budget electronics stores. they include...
Vizio, Olevia,Sanyo, Akai,Polaroid,Sylvania
these are the models that are almost nothing more than a panel to watch no PIP or POP usually only one HDMI and no optical audio these models are like buying an automobile with cardboard seats and plastic wheels but they will give a high def image how long they will last and how well the manufacturer will stand behind them is anyones guess.
So there you have it, you now have an idea of what will cost the most and what will cost the least now all you have to do is select a brand, pick a model, go view it for yourself several times reseach it many more times and then enter the amazing world of high def viewing I hope this helps any and all Noobs to this forum...

sincerley,Pappylap......

Last edited by pappylap; 11-28-2007 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:21 AM   #2
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I notice a couple brands you omitted, JVC and Mitsubishi.

Very few companies pay such close attention to video processing as JVC. Since the beginning of our 1080i deinterlacing tests, nearly every JVC display has passed with flying colors. The only other company that pays this close attention and has such a success rate is Pioneer, and their displays are a lot more expensive. . . . Therefore, as I mentioned, this TV surprised me, but it really shouldn't have. It's a JVC LCD. http://hometheatermag.com/lcds/1107jvc/

The Mitsubishi comes closer than I ever expected from an LCD in providing a completely satisfying balance of black level and shadow detail, color, and resolution in one very appealing package. http://hometheatermag.com/lcds/1107m...44/index1.html
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:28 AM   #3
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I have no personal experience with those brands online or otherwise so I neglected to comment. Thanks for the input it may help some prospective buyers...
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Old 11-28-2007, 08:30 AM   #4
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Now, if we can get the noobs to read it!

Naturally I don't agree 100%, but must agree it is an excellet noob post, so I will keep my opinions to myself;
hope others will have the restraint to do the same so the post does not deteriorate into one of those nit picky phile discussions.

Again - good post, let's hope it reduces the "puke factor"
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
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This would be great if the Admin. or a Moderator could make this a Sticky Thread so it stays at the head of the posts - - - if not it will be buried by the end of the day.

Great post, though.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:39 AM   #6
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moderator should keep this so its easy for newbies to read.


thanx to the author for your time and effort in putting this together..i peck and type with 2 fingers, so i got tired just reading it..(somehow cant quite see the image of men typing at length.)
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:58 AM   #7
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I guess I'm hard to please, but I would think that this would benefit from more concrete objective info about each category/model of display - - like which ones have "true HD" resolutions (i.e., 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1280), and which have other alternate resolutions like the 1360-ish by 760-ish, etc.

Info on inputs, and outputs would be valuable also, since the real reason for HD to exist is to create a "home theater" experience, right? - - and ergo, the display is just one piece of the entire "system". Connecting it to other components will be part of the purchasing decision.

And finally, buyers will often benefit from info - - both subjective and objective - - (this would include typical current resale pricing) of models no longer in production. Whether your price target is at $500, $1500 or $5000, you may find yourself needing to weigh the pros and cons of a used or discontinued display... whether from a friend/neighbor, on eBay, from Overstock, etc. What one buyer is upgrading _from_ - - will often be what someone else is upgrading TO!

No one post is likely to be the definitive "where to start" for all newbies. This (original) post has some merits; there are other useful sources as well. Here's another one - - doesn't give the "overview" that pappylap gives, but it does fill in some missing details on the models that it covers:

http://www.hometheatermag.com/buyersguides/flatpanels

It still does not help in the evaluation of models no longer in production.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andie View Post
moderator should keep this so its easy for newbies to read.


thanx to the author for your time and effort in putting this together..i peck and type with 2 fingers, so i got tired just reading it..(somehow cant quite see the image of men typing at length.)
Wow! There are, of course, skilled women writers/typists - - but do you really think that posting a message of more than 25 words is something that is gender-specific?

Journalists, writers, and people in all walks of life that involve written communication are going to be shaking their heads on this one!

LOL!

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:08 PM   #9
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I would put the Toshiba Regza line of LCD sets in the Elite class above the Sony.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:18 PM   #10
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I say we just bump it every day to the top...............
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexb View Post
Wow! There are, of course, skilled women writers/typists - - but do you really think that posting a message of more than 25 words is something that is gender-specific?

Journalists, writers, and people in all walks of life that involve written communication are going to be shaking their heads on this one!

LOL!

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
yo Rex, that was hardly 25 words!! i repeat, in my circle which doesnt include male writers and typists, i know no males who do not type with 2 fingers..
BTW, ever hear of toungue in cheecK?
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I say we just bump it every day to the top...............
bump!
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:25 PM   #13
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Bump too...
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:51 AM   #14
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To the top
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:54 AM   #15
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Hey wait a minute here! Vizio, Olevia,Sanyo, Akai,Polaroid,Sylvania

This PIP or POP most people don't even use these feature and those who do will look for a set with them. You pay for this stuff. But anyway Those of us who have DCT 64xx series or 6200 they have optical sound already and can be hooked up to a DPII or DD or DST which would product more richness of surround sound using power active sub woofer, dual center speakers and 4 SAT speakers. Most of these TVs have Dolby Digital already built-in like the Sylvania by Funai and Polaroid by Proview. I can't comment on the VIZO but I've seen the logo on the set. Olevia has it on the higher end. AKai the audio company I don't know.

As you know I own the Funai clone and Proview clone already they both have Dolby Digital output in Digital Coax. Yes they don't have PIP nor POP which isn't really a selling point.

Frankly I don't want spend a lot of HDTV sets but I still want quality in both the image, features that I need and will use and performance.
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