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HDTV buying help

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Rajio, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. Rajio

    Rajio Well-Known TRIBEr

    avast mateys. I've got an HDTV on my wishlist.

    I'm hoping to pick one up in the next few months perhaps.

    What do I need to know? My living room isn't that big. I'm sitting about 7' away from the screen. I'm thinking 32" is a good size? I can't fit a too wide one either.

    What should I be looking for? what should I be aware of? any tips for me?

    I'm mostly using it to play games. A few movies here and there.
  2. videotronic

    videotronic TRIBE Member

    get a 40" for sure at least...32" at 7' will feel tiny after a few weeks...

    lots of people will tell you an LCD is better for gaming, because you dont have to worry about image retention and burn in...the newer generations of plasmas have lots of little tricks up their sleeve to combat that though...pixel orbiters and the like...

    for my money, other than the top tier brands like runco and fujitsu, nothing beats pioneer plasmas...the 8th gen pioneers that are out now (model numbers ending in 80) even beat the fujitsus in a lot of reviews ive read. i have a 50" pioneer 5080 now...i compared it side by side with pretty much everything on the market...sharp 1080p lcds, sony 1080p lcds, panasonic 1080p plasmas...nothing touched the pioneer in terms of colour reproduction...

    the newest gen pioneer panels also have the best black level out of any panel on the market, bar none. this is important for dark video games where people are lurking in corners to kill you etc.
  3. Vise

    Vise TRIBE Member

    The first question I usually ask is how much are you looking to spend? You could spend $650 on a cheapo 32" LCD or upwards of $5k (and alot more) on a high end flat panel. The budget question generally dictates the rest of the discussion. :D

    In terms of features, at the very least I'd recommend you get something that can handle 1080p with at least 3 HDMI inputs (preferably HDMI v1.3). These will ensure your unit has at least the minimum to be somewhat future proof. Other features like an HD Tuner, PIP, Bluetooth, USB/Firewire inputs, are all nice to have but not essential. Depends on what you are interested in and how you plan to use it. Perfomance wise contrast ratio is super important, the higher (ie. a minimum of 10000:1) the better.

    Size is a personal preference, but I always say get the biggest you can afford. I sit 8' away from a 61" 1080p DLP and I'd have no probs with something bigger. 32" is nice for a bedroom but for your primary TV you need something bigger (50" or bigger). IMO of course.

    LCD vs Plasma is the age old discussion when it comes to flat panel, but I think both technologies have evolved to the point where either would make a good choice depending on the make/model. If you are planning to spend some decent money be sure to audition the TVs at a good store (ie. not Best Buy or Future Shop) where they are piping in a quality HD signal or Blu-ray/HD-DVD and find what works best for you.

    Also, if it doesn't need to be wall mountable I'd suggest you take a look at rear projection units (DLP, LCOS, SXRD) from Samsung, Sony, etc. Price to performance/size they are great deal IMO... I paid just over $3k tax in for my 61" 1080p LED DLP (Samsung) including the stand and delivery. For comparison's sake a 50" LCD or Plasma with a similar feature set would run $3500-4000 (plus tax), and a 60"+ flat panel would be waaay more. Most current model DLPs are quite slim (mine is about 14" deep) so depending on your room it could work for you.

    Good luck with your purchase. If you need a recommendation for a good store check out Golden Electronics in Richmond Hill. Friendly service, large selection of LCD/plasma on display (Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic, etc), and excellent prices. They were the cheapest in the city by far for my DLP.
  4. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    If you can hold off, get it near Boxing Day/Week. I took a price on a sheet of paper from G & G Electronics to Future Shop and they price matched it w/o even contacting the other store cause they were too busy. I supposed I could've put any price on the paper in retrospect.

    If you're only looking for a TV, don't get roped into a 5.1 surround sound system or up-converting DVD player unless you really want it.
  5. defazman

    defazman TRIBE Member

    I'm also looking around for a future purchase, and if you're getting a 32" (or even one size up) and sitting from 7', I don't think you'll even see the difference that 1080p offers above 720p.

    <ING> Save your money! </ING>
  6. zoo

    zoo TRIBE Member

    lolz this is a good idea!

    find out what FS has in stock, then bring in an ad beating them on that device --- even if the other company is oos, FS wouldn't know!
  7. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    don't bother with 1080p. to appreciate the difference between 720 and 1080 you have to be pretty damn close.

    you're better off spending the money on a good 720 display
  8. Hi i'm God

    Hi i'm God TRIBE Member

    I disagree.
  9. rod_g

    rod_g TRIBE Member

    don't bother with 720p, what you need is a toaster.. only 4 slice, who needs an 8 slicer
  10. Genesius

    Genesius TRIBE Member

    How much do you want to spend?
  11. Rajio

    Rajio Well-Known TRIBEr

    good advice so far.
    i'm hardly a videophile.

    i dont want to go over 2k.
    is there a huge difference between 720p and 1080i if im on a 37 or 42" LCD at 7' away?
  12. The Watcher

    The Watcher TRIBE Member

  13. oh toro

    oh toro TRIBE Member

    there are a lot of factors beyond resolution. the quality of the screen is often reflective in price. another thing is the electronics with respect to calibration. i've found that the sony xbr (especially their higher lines - xbr2, etc.) are better than many others. for example, two manufacturers could be using the same lcd panels, but what you see will definitely be different if you were to compare side by side. you get what you pay for.
  14. Vise

    Vise TRIBE Member

    Assume you mean difference between 720p/1080i and 1080p.

    Yes, I would say the difference is noticeable for sure. As mentioned I'm 8' away from my DLP and I noticed a huge improvement in HD picture quality going from 720p to 1080p. Not to mention I now have the ability to run Blu-ray in all of its full 1080p glory. :)

    For $2k give or take you should be able to get a 40"/46" 1080p LCD no probs. Go to Golden Electronics for sure, they'll hook you up... think they quoted me $2300 tax in for a 46" Samsung 1080p LCD.
  15. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    the 52" model of this series had serious banding issues as well as hot spots.
    the 42" model you posted isn't made by sharp. the panel production was outsourced. the contrast ratio is lower and i imagine the overal performance is a step down from the panels that are manufactured by Sharp.
  16. videotronic

    videotronic TRIBE Member

    from what ive read, all the sharps have banding issues

    even if you get a good one, the blacks are horrible...
  17. rod_g

    rod_g TRIBE Member

    whats ur guys take on the xbr4/5's
  18. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    yep, from what i've read Sharp's last generation displays all had serious issues.

    i had the 52" for 3 weeks and was really dissapointed with the banding and uneven backlighting.

    i would wait for the next gen or look at other brands
  19. octo

    octo TRIBE Member

    great but pricey

    i'd rather buy a plasma
  20. lobo

    lobo TRIBE Member

    Another thing about the debate of 720p/1080i vs 1080p....all HD material from TV only comes in the first two flavours. There are absolutely no companies broadcasting in 1080p because the bandwidth is just not there and most circles believe we will never get to 1080p for television simply because by then some other resolution would become the defacto. Also, because the TV now has to upconvert the 720p/1080i shows to 1080p, if you have a crappy 1080p HDTV then it *could* be possible to have a shittier image than a HDTV with a native resolution of 720p. That being said, a 1080p HDTV will give you the ability to watch HD-DVD or Blue-ray discs in fantastic glory so long as you have the right size for the viewing distance. Get a set that's too small and sit too far and your eyes will never be able to see the difference. I think I read somewhere that the sweet spot would be something like a 50" HDTV and watching it from 8 feet away. Only then would your eyes be able to make out the difference in resolution.

    Oh, and I think it might be harder to find a 720p/1080i HDTV these days since every major manufacturer is pushing their 1080p sets.

  21. Rajio

    Rajio Well-Known TRIBEr

    okay just got details. its an LG 37LC2D for $750

    what do you guys think?
  22. videotronic

    videotronic TRIBE Member

    tough to go wrong at that price....make sure you go check out a few other options though
  23. videotronic

    videotronic TRIBE Member

  24. Rajio

    Rajio Well-Known TRIBEr

    thanks. yeah the price is pretty nice. i'll make sure ive got proper warranty on it and all just to be sure though. its only a deal if its still covered under warranty for 2 years ofcourse. not the best tv ever but for 750 - mostly just for video games, seems like a winner.
  25. Aerius Zension

    Aerius Zension TRIBE Member

    Nice to know buying a TV is so simple lol

    I liked the LG models when I was looking earlier this year, they're a good company. Them and Samsung. I believe the LG also has a protective layer over the LCD screen so you can actually touch it with your hand whereas other LCD screens don't. I don't think it affects screen value but a nice feature for houses with kids hands.

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