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I have no idea which TV to buy...

Chaeote
11-24-2006, 12:44 PM
Ok, I'm sure you guys get this ALL the time, and I tried searching through the fourms, but to be honest I can't make heads or tails of it lol.

Soooooo...

I'm looking for an HDTV.

32"+
LCD or Plasma (I still can't decide what's better)
Used for TV, console gaming, and computer hookup :)
Preferably under $3000, but if it's slightly over, that's fine too.


What would be best for what i want to accomplish.. obviously I want a crazy fast response time, and beautiful picture and sound quality, I just don't know enough to make sense of all the specs out there :D

BamaPanda
11-24-2006, 12:58 PM
There would be a lot of choices with those $$ to spend. It may depend on how anxious you are to do this. Here are my thoughts.
Check Nextag on the 37-45" Sharp Aquos. It has one the sharpest pictures out there.
OR ...wait and look at some of the new 1080P LCD's that are coming out now (and many next year) that will have 5000.1 contrast ratio. The Sharps are 1600.1 - and that really helps them (IMHO) as far as a bright image. The new models should be even better.

Yes616
11-24-2006, 01:01 PM
Ok, I'm sure you guys get this ALL the time, and I tried searching through the fourms, but to be honest I can't make heads or tails of it lol.

Soooooo...

I'm looking for an HDTV.

32"+
LCD or Plasma (I still can't decide what's better)
Used for TV, console gaming, and computer hookup :)
Preferably under $3000, but if it's slightly over, that's fine too.


What would be best for what i want to accomplish.. obviously I want a crazy fast response time, and beautiful picture and sound quality, I just don't know enough to make sense of all the specs out there :D
Plasma has the best picture but, if you are thinking about gaming and a pc hooked to it, go with the LCD as they won't burn in like plasmas can. Stationary images (or parts of) are very bad for plasmas.
I am sure you can find a good 42" LCD for under $3000. Use the net and look for contrast ratios over 1500:1. Thats a nice way to start. Then go to the stores and see them for yourself but you will want to see them 2 ways. 1. In a normally lit room and 2. In a dark environment.
Plasma contrasts can be 10,000:1. Those are perfect for watching HDTV and movies. When the blacks go black, you will see almost no light at all in the dark. That along with beautiful colors and dark next to light colors is what makes plasma so nice but it is not recommended for gaming and computer hook ups unless you only use it for that very little.
Some will say that the newer plasmas won't burn in so fast and that is true but I would still use alot of caution.

Chaeote
11-24-2006, 01:10 PM
That's always been my biggest worry about the plasmas is the burn in.


What exactly is the contrast ratio?

Just how dark / bright the picture gets at certain times?

leeoverstreet
11-24-2006, 02:37 PM
You might want to consider the Samsung LN-S4695D 46" HDTV LCD TV or maybe the Sony Bravia LCD HDTV (KDL46XBR2) which Circuit City has for $3099 right now. I'd go with an LCD, and specifically a 1080p LCD, since you mention the computer hookup. That way you can use the 1920x1080 resolution available on most every PC video card via its DVI output. Otherwise, a 768p panel will cause a scaling down of 1920x1080 or a scaling up of 1280x720, neither of which is ideal. Also, although burn-in is way overhyped regarding plasmas, you wouldn't have to worry about it at all with an LCD. You'll need a DVI to HDMI cable, available at Wal-Mart for $25.

As far as contrast ratio is concerned, this measures the ratio of light output of white to the light output of black on the TV. But sinice there's no industry standard for the measurement of contrast ratio, the values reported by each manufacturer are essentiall useless. Personally, I'd stick with Sony or Samsung for their known picture quality among enthusiasts.

BamaPanda
11-24-2006, 07:13 PM
That's always been my biggest worry about the plasmas is the burn in.


What exactly is the contrast ratio?

Just how dark / bright the picture gets at certain times?
OK...as stated..
the ratio of light output of white to the light output of black on the TV.
But I am not sure that I agree with the idea that the mfgs. are just throwing numbers out there as there is no standard. As an example, many of the newer PDP panels are 9th generation - and I would venture that there is a viable way to measure contrast ratios, and how much they have improved. 10000.1 is commonplace now in your better PDP sets.
I have seen a comment recently here on the forum about a 3-4 year old name brand LCD (seems that it was a Sammy) that was 720P, but was a bit dim (the owner still loved it). Reason is the panels made back then were about 600 or 800.1. When you start there, it don't have to go a long way till it will seem dimmer. Your Sharp & LG LCD sets are 1600.1 now - and their new 1080P sets it will be 5000.1. That ratio is where PDP was last year.

leeoverstreet
11-25-2006, 01:27 AM
No doubt there are methods to measure contrast ratio, and no doubt the ratios have gotten progressively better with each new generation of TV. Problem comes when you are comparing one brand TV to another, and the two brands use different methods for measuring contrast. You have no way to know if a TV measured by Sony as 10000:1 will be measured as such by Vizio. For instance, one way to measure contrast ratio is to measure total light output from a solid white screen, full blast 100 IRE, then measure a totally black screen. You could also measure the light output of one section of the screen at full white and full black, and this ratio would be greater. The TV's power supply can only feed so much juice out at any moment, so a full white screen is not as bright as a white portion of the screen. Some manufacturers do checkerboard patterns, some do a small square in the middle. All manufacturers should be required to list a full screen ratio and a 1/4 screen ratio, measured by the same method industry-wide. Then, all these specifications you see when shopping online could actually be compared apples to apples. But for now, you just have to judge it by your eye after tweaking, and by trusted review sources.

DGP123
11-25-2006, 10:41 AM
I have three HD TVs now - 2 LCDs (Westinghouse and Sharp) and 1 Plasma (Panasonic). My experience leads me to the following conclusions (for me):

1. Bright, well lit room - LCD
2. Games - LCD
3. Sporting Events (football) - LCD
4. Computer Monitor - LCD
5. Hyper real colors and detail; brighter than life - LCD

6. Movies, HD Discovery Channel, etc. - Plasma
7. Rich natural colors - Plasma
8. Depth of field - Plasma
9. Most similar to CRT TV - Plasma
10. Minimum motion artifacts - Plasma
11. Wide viewing angle - Plasma

s2mikey
11-25-2006, 10:49 AM
Plasma has the best picture

Ouch...that hurt! Not really true at all! We have no reason to get into this topic again, but it is subjective and thats the end of it. Just like saying Ford is better than Chevy or whatever other brands you use in the "this is better than that" argument.

There is no right or wrong answer, you buy what looks good to you and be done with it.

That being said, in the under 40" screen-size, LCD is the way to go.

Fish Chris
11-25-2006, 11:27 AM
I was recently in the same boat as you are. I spent 3 months doing some pretty hard-core research. I ended up getting a really nice flat panel, that I could not be happier with.

What I would suggest to you is;
First off, deciding between Plasma or LCD will make things MUCH easier. Probably the biggest difference between the two, is that Plasmas have a shiny glass surface, and are prone to a lot of glare in brighter viewing areas, and definately look better in lower light (or complete darkness, if that doesn't bother your eyes). LCD's have a very non-glare surface, and look fine in moderately bright viewing areas, but can look great in dark rooms too.

IMPO, a lot of the negative stuff you hear of about both Plasmas (burn-in) and LCD's (poor black levels, motion blur) is based on "out dated info". Much of the negative stuff from both sides is being ironed out quickly...... but people seem to hang onto this stuff for a long time after its no longer an issue. {with human nature, its harder for people to un-learn things, than it was for them to learn it in the first place}.

Next, I have to tell you, bigger really is better ! I tossed back and forth between a 40" and a 46", for an 8ft viewing distance, for several weeks ! When I ended up going with the 46", I was totally concerned it might be a bit too large (or should I say, that 8ft would be too close). However, quite to the contrary, after having my new 46" set for a week, it feels perfect ! 40" would have been too small..... while a 50" set might have even been doable.

Now, between cheaper, off-name sets, and the more expensive, big name sets, my advice is this; If you are going to get a cheaper, off-name set, only buy it from Costco, or Sam's Club. Their "unlimited, no questions asked return policy" makes your purchase completely risk free ! If 'either' the things screws up after a week, a month, a year, or even longer, "OR", after a week, a month, or a year, you decide, "Wow ! That name brand set sure looks a lot nicer" you can return your cheaper set, for your full money back........ to buy any other flat panel TV you want ! This policy also makes it completely unneccessary to purchase an extended warranty (even though, they will sell one to the customers who are dumb enough to buy it).

Now, for myself, I ended up going with a JVC 46" 1080p LCD, which I got a really good deal on from my local Best Buy. I read a lot of good reviews on it, then went down to Fry's to see it in person. Best Buy only had them for sale on line, so my local Best Buy had to order it in, and then matched there price of $2699 + the $350.... then I talked them down another $80. I did buy the 4 year extended in-house service warranty for $350. And yes, I'd still have prefferred to buy this set at a Costco or Sam's Club..... but they have a much more limited selection, and do not carry my 46" JVC, so this wasn't an option.

In the final analysis, I belive my sets PQ, looks almost identical to the Sony XBR, and the 1080p Sharps, Samsung's, and Mitsubishi's also. Although I think my set itself (styling) looks the best of any of them, being very subdued, and all flat black.
AND I paid anywhere from $800 to $1200 less than any of the other top tier sets.

Here is a proffessional review on my TV: http://www.guidetohometheater.com/flatpaneldisplays/1106jvclt46/

Hope this helps,
Peace,
Fish

Spanky_Partain
11-25-2006, 11:35 AM
LCD or Plasma...
If you want to get a TV that will last until you get tired of it, then look at the Sony Tube type. It has all the features of High Definition, it will work great with Computers and gaming. The reason why, it is the good old tube type. It will display 1080i, not 1080p. However, it is reliable and will handle fast action where LCD and Plasma both do not have a weakness compared to the old fashion tube. It ways a ton and it is big. Can't hang it on a wall or move it easily. It will take 3 to four people to get it in the house, but you can pick it up for about $2K. The 40" model, KV-40XBR800, will most likely be difficult to find, but they are still out there if you want something that will do it all at a decent price and will last
:hithere:

Fish Chris
11-25-2006, 11:42 AM
Hey s2mikey, and all, when people say, "Plasma's have the best picture".... just refer to what I said in my latest post....

> people seem to hang onto < > stuff for a long time [even] after its no longer an issue. {with human nature, its harder for people to un-learn things, than it was for them to learn it in the first place}. <

IMPO, both Plasma's and LCD's are awesome ! The only thing which I do not see being corrected, is that Plasma's still have that hideous glare factor. Would this really be that hard to correct ? Apparently so....

Hmmmm,
Fish

PS, Even when I see posts like DGP123's (thank you DGP) I still have to think to myself, "Yes, but are ALL of your LCD and Plasma sets, brand new, top tier models" ??? ......because of course, comparing old LCD's to new Plasma's, or vica versa, still would not be a fair comparison.

Fish Chris
11-25-2006, 11:56 AM
Yes...... and their are still a few guys left out there, who prefer to use "film cameras".

But technology continues to improve. Time marches on. When you said > However, it is reliable and will handle fast action where LCD and Plasma both do not have a weakness compared to the old fashion tube < ..... I belive you meant to say > do have a weakness <

But again, (and I'm not trying to be rude here) your LCD and Plasma info is simply outdated. The newest, top tier sets have almost completely eliminated these problems.

.....just as some of those "last film camera guys" are still putting down digital cameras, for problems they have already completely eliminated.

"IF" there are still a few things better about the old CRT's, just give it a minute....

Peace,
Fish

Griff
11-26-2006, 08:02 AM
I have to jump in here .
Here is my journey , In the early 90,s I wanted a big screen TV . I went to town several times and bought a larger set than what I had , but was not satified !! In 1998 I bought a hitachi 50"ultra vision . I did have one problem with that first set - but it was repaired for free !! Loved that TV ---- In the early 90,s price for a plasma was over 20 grand !!! Out of my league !!
Christmas of 2003 - I got hooked on High Def !! Especially to watch the Nascar races on ! I sold my 50" and bought a 61" sammy - DLP !! We love it ---- First thing we watched in high def was the rose bowl parade !! REAL eye candy !!!
I did a lot of reasearch in each case ------ tips that have worked for me ------ don,t spend money on high tech features ! As tech changes so fast you will want a newer set in a few years !!
See them all side by side !!! Take your time - sit down in the show room ----and watch them -----Its very important to buy what pleases your eyes !!!
We sold our home last year and moved into a another place --we have always had a large TV in our bed room ---my wife is disabled and she spends a lot of time in bed !! We do not have the space in our bed room now for a DLP----- so I have just bought a 50" Panny plasma !!
For best deals on any TV you buy check out the refurbished TV,s they still have mfg warrenties !
Example , I just bought a TH-50px60u for $1400.00 bucks ---had a bad circut board from Mfg-----it was replaced and still carries the full warrenty ! I,m willing to take the risk !
Call you local TV repair shops or go by one ! talk to the techs --- about what they see --- it,s a real eye opener what they will tell you !!
Buy the one that you will like !!
LCD,s I have had those for years on off shore electronics equipment ! Never any problems with displays ---
But my eyes just don,t like the look for a TV of LCD
BWT the DLP- has over 5700 hours on the lamp !!
Have fun ------

Fish Chris
11-26-2006, 10:26 AM
it's funny, for a long time, right up until recently, I "thought" I didn't like rear projection sets. In fact, I have to admit, I went into this whole flat panel TV quest 3 months ago, as kind of a two option thing; Plasma, or LCD, never really giving rear projection sets a fair shot.

......so, the day I go to actually pick up my 46" LCD at Best Buy (4 days after I had already paid for it), my friend is walking into the show room with me, and he stops in front of this giant DLP (sorry... I don't even remember the brand, or exact diagonal size... but at least 65") So I'm basically dragging my buddy away from it, telling him.... "lousy viewing angles... way too much space required, yada... yada".
So, as we are walking away from it, I look back, at a very slight angle, and I was like, "Whoa ! That doesn't actually look too bad ! In fact, that looks pretty freaking good" ! Colors, contrast, and sharpness looked surprisingly good too, btw !

So anyway, for my small, often bright room, I still believe my 46" LCD was the perfect choice. However, I must admit, with rear projection sets, I am totally guilty of doing what I have accused a bunch of other guys of doing, with LCD and / or Plasma sets, and that is, basing my ideas of a certain technologies on outdated info !

My new opinion of DLP's is, if I ever end up in a house with a big living room, with a 15ft or more viewing distance, I will probably actually lean towards a 70" pro series DLP ! Those things have just gotten sweeter than I ever imagined !

Peace,
Fish

BamaPanda
11-26-2006, 11:01 AM
IMPO, both Plasma's and LCD's are awesome ! The only thing which I do not see being corrected, is that Plasma's still have that hideous glare factor. Would this really be that hard to correct ? Apparently so....

Hmmmm,
Fish


I agree with this - BUT - I DO WISH someone would comment on the issue of watching old content on a PDP that is 4x3 au natual.
If you watch 4x3 a lot, with the bars on the sides - will you get burn in? The only preventive option I know is to stretch it - and view a distorted image.
I posted this question elsewhere - and it was just avoided. May be too much of a problem for PDP to overcome.

omeletpants
11-26-2006, 11:08 AM
I agree with this - BUT - I DO WISH someone would comment on the issue of watching old content on a PDP that is 4x3 au natual.
If you watch 4x3 a lot, with the bars on the sides - will you get burn in? The only preventive option I know is to stretch it - and view a distorted image.
I posted this question elsewhere - and it was just avoided. May be too much of a problem for PDP to overcome.

Bama, if you watch SD with black side bars you are risking burn-in because black has no color so the plasma ages unevenly. Some sets like the Samsung have gray side bars which will age that portion of the set consistant with the 4;3 portion

leeoverstreet
11-26-2006, 11:53 AM
I have a Panasonic 50" plasma for about a year now, and we watch plenty of 4:3 with the "pillarbox" effect (side letterboxing). I'm not sure what percentage of our viewing time is 4:3, and for some programs we do stretch it, but unstretched 4:3 is a fair amount of what we watch. After a year, so far I detect no sign of burn-in effects whatsoever. We followed the manufacturer's recommendations for the break in period, and we have the contrast and brightness at reasonable, user-calibrated levels.

I also cringe every time I see someone say that SD can NEVER look good on a plasma or an LCD or any HDTV. Looks pretty darn good on mine once I weaked the settings correctly.

BamaPanda
11-26-2006, 01:38 PM
I have a Panasonic 50" plasma for about a year now, and we watch plenty of 4:3 with the "pillarbox" effect (side letterboxing). I'm not sure what percentage of our viewing time is 4:3, and for some programs we do stretch it, but unstretched 4:3 is a fair amount of what we watch. After a year, so far I detect no sign of burn-in effects whatsoever. We followed the manufacturer's recommendations for the break in period, and we have the contrast and brightness at reasonable, user-calibrated levels.

I also cringe every time I see someone say that SD can NEVER look good on a plasma or an LCD or any HDTV. Looks pretty darn good on mine once I weaked the settings correctly.

This is the kind of answers I was looking for. Personally I love the PDP sets. They are 10000.1 contrast ratioo to start - so that means if I get a good one - that just lasts and lasts - when I get way out there 7 years from now - it will still be bright - actually brighter than any LCD that is new today.
At the same time I love the LCD color and there is no worry about burn in - but there is the concern that a 1600.1 set will in 7 years be quite a bit dimmer.
To stretch the 4.3 to me just looks totally stupid. I have a family member who has a wide screen CRT projo (older HD ready) and he keeps it stretched out there all the time. His analogy - he does not want to waste space.

BamaPanda
11-26-2006, 01:43 PM
I have a Panasonic 50" plasma for about a year now, and we watch plenty of 4:3 with the "pillarbox" effect (side letterboxing). I'm not sure what percentage of our viewing time is 4:3, and for some programs we do stretch it, but unstretched 4:3 is a fair amount of what we watch. After a year, so far I detect no sign of burn-in effects whatsoever. We followed the manufacturer's recommendations for the break in period, and we have the contrast and brightness at reasonable, user-calibrated levels.

I also cringe every time I see someone say that SD can NEVER look good on a plasma or an LCD or any HDTV. Looks pretty darn good on mine once I weaked the settings correctly.

Does your Panny have the gray bars - like OP mentioned? That is what our LG's have - and the purpose is supposedly to minimize burn in while in 4.3 . To be honest, I just don't know of any hard results in regard to this.