What TV to buy

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xev
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What TV to buy

Post by xev » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:01 pm

I'm in search of a new tv to buy. Size should be at least 46in and price preferably less than 3 thousand. It should also have an hdmi connection.

any advice

NyteOwl
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Post by NyteOwl » Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:35 pm

I'v been browsing lately myself.

My choices have pretty much narrowed to Sharp, Sony and Samsung and if I had to pick one at this instant based on specs, store viewing, friends viewing, etc. it would probably be a Sharp Aquos.
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m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:39 pm

Sony and Samsung share a LCD manufacturing plant, which is one reason why both brands are at the top of most ratings. Some of the newer Samsungs have a highly reflective screen, which is great for increasing contrast, but will cause reflections if there is anything brightly lit behind you.

The Sony XBR's and the Z Series are both excellent. You will have no problem getting a 46" or maybe even a 52" screen size, even if you get a high end model. Just shop around online and in stores. Some stores like Circuit City offer special on-line discounts, and you can order on-line and pick it up at a store (but you will need a truck or SUV for a 46" or larger.

Costco offers a free extended warranty and they have very good prices, but limited selection (many of which are discontinued models).

I don't think you can buy a HDTV anymore without at least 3 HDMI connections.

nici
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Post by nici » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:52 am

I have a Toshiba Z3030D 42", though since i got it HDTVs have become cheaper and better. At the time it was one of very few sets that supported 24p properly with 5:5 pulldown, not entirely sure what the situation is now but hopefully better. You might want to check some AV forums to make sure it's done properly on the tvs you consider, "24p support" or "compatible" does not guarantee it is displayed correctly.

Sony and Samsung seem to be pretty safe bets usually, every model might not be absolutely best in class but they are rarely very far away either.

jhhoffma
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Post by jhhoffma » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:23 am

I highly recommend Samsung. Just about everything they make is high quality. They are also very good at standing behind their products.

Sony on the other hand tends to be more expensive for what you get and you can forget about customer support. I had a DVD player (2nd gen) back in the day that cost $180 and failed 1 week after the 1 yr warranty period. They offered no warranty and wanted $188 to repair the problem. The kicker was that you could go to epinions and find 3-400 people with the same unit that had the same result (C13 error). A class action lawsuit was planned but never filed. By then it was easier to buy a newer DVD player with more options for <$100.
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Tzupy
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Post by Tzupy » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:39 am

All previous posters have recommended LCDs AFAIK. And if your TV is going to be in a brightly lit room, LCD is OK.
But if not, then you should forget about LCDs and get a plasma. A friend of mine has just got a 46" Panasonic, and he is very happy with it.
I also plan to get a 42" Panasonic plasma and use it as a monitor, but only if it's not noisy.
I'll probably visit my friend next week and have a look at and listen to his plasma.
So my recommendation goes for one of these two (get the Z800 only if you believe it's worth the extra money):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6889187085
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6889187090
I also suggest to see them in action at a store before buying, even if they'll use a low contrast they should still look better than LCDs.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:48 am

Tzupy wrote:All previous posters have recommended LCDs AFAIK. And if your TV is going to be in a brightly lit room, LCD is OK.
But if not, then you should forget about LCDs and get a plasma. A friend of mine has just got a 46" Panasonic, and he is very happy with it.
I also plan to get a 42" Panasonic plasma and use it as a monitor, but only if it's not noisy.
I'll probably visit my friend next week and have a look at and listen to his plasma.
So my recommendation goes for one of these two (get the Z800 only if you believe it's worth the extra money):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6889187085
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6889187090
I also suggest to see them in action at a store before buying, even if they'll use a low contrast they should still look better than LCDs.
Plasma sets still have that pesky little burn-in problem, although not as bad as they once did. If you watch a lot of ESPN, or CNBC, etc with banners at the bottom of your screen, then it might be a problem. Plasma is great for movies, but LCD has made a lot of improvements in the last few years, and is almost as good as plasma in the top end LCD sets.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:54 am

jhhoffma wrote:I highly recommend Samsung. Just about everything they make is high quality. They are also very good at standing behind their products.

Sony on the other hand tends to be more expensive for what you get and you can forget about customer support. I had a DVD player (2nd gen) back in the day that cost $180 and failed 1 week after the 1 yr warranty period. They offered no warranty and wanted $188 to repair the problem. The kicker was that you could go to epinions and find 3-400 people with the same unit that had the same result (C13 error). A class action lawsuit was planned but never filed. By then it was easier to buy a newer DVD player with more options for <$100.
I have a one year old Samsung and I am very happy with it. But be careful about the new Samsung models with very high contrast ratios, because they have highly reflective screens, which can be very annoying in brightly lit room or one with a window or lights behind you.

Sony did offer a warranty. It was for one year. Certain credit cards offer an automatic doubling (up to one addtional year) of the warranty. I believe this includes most AMX cards. Some Platinum Visa also (Visa card benefits are determined by the issuing bank, not Visa). I pay for all hardware with my AMX.
Last edited by m0002a on Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tzupy
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Post by Tzupy » Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:54 am

AFAIK the problem is correctly called 'image retention', and 'burn-in' refers to about 100 hours of initial viewing at lower contrast, to avoid this problem.
But also AFAIK this image retention isn't a problem for Panasonic plasmas since the 2007 generation. It may still be a problem for other brands.
Once I noticed the lack of contrast of the latest Samsung LCDs, compared to a Panny plasma, and also the PVA's colour shift, I wouldn't get an LCD.
To be 100% honest, there is one Samsung LCD I saw which has the same or better contrast than Panny plasmas, but I'm not sure if it's still manufactured.
That's the 52" LED backlit and with local dimming, achieving true blacks and 500,000:1 dynamic contrast, better than a 2007 Pioneer Kuro.
But the CNET review found it to be lacking in some other areas (like the viewing angles), so it can't really compete with a Panny plasma.

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Post by nici » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:08 am

If oyu are going to use it for a HTPC, definately LCD. As mentioned above plasmas still suffer from burn-in, though not as bad as they used to. And they draw more power and usually have fans. And the black levels on LCDs have become much beter, and should become even more so when LED backlights become common.

Also neither of thos Panasonics support 24P properly with 3:2 pulldown. You would have a slight judder every second, mostly visible in slow panning shots. 5:5 pulldown ups the framerate to 120Hz(24x5) and then shows each frame 5 times, making it smooth with no gaps. This might be completely irrelevant to you though, depending on how sensitive you are to these kind of things and also depending what type of movies you watch.

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Post by thejamppa » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:16 am

You should also check the contrast ratio. Some new Sony's can do 33000:1 dynamic contrast ratio in their Bravia-series. That is pretty damn good. My 22" WS monitor has only 2500:1 and some new Samsung's I've seen have 15000:1 contrast ratio in their TV's specs.

Higher the conrtrast ratio, better quality black and white they have. if you get 700:1 or 800:1 contrast ratio black is usually a shade of gray or similar.
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Post by Tzupy » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:25 am

Here you can see the full range of Panasonic plasmas, and check their specifications:
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Viera-T ... 763&sr=8-1
My friend told me he got 24p to display without judder on his 46PY85, maybe he is wrong about this? Only the Y800 (or Z800) should do it.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Aug 31, 2008 5:30 am

thejamppa wrote:You should also check the contrast ratio. Some new Sony's can do 33000:1 dynamic contrast ratio in their Bravia-series. That is pretty damn good. My 22" WS monitor has only 2500:1 and some new Samsung's I've seen have 15000:1 contrast ratio in their TV's specs.

Higher the conrtrast ratio, better quality black and white they have. if you get 700:1 or 800:1 contrast ratio black is usually a shade of gray or similar.
As I mentioned above, you have to be very careful about contrast ratio. One way to achieve a higher contrast ratio is to have a highly reflective screen. But this can cause havoc if you have any brightly lit objects behind you (not behind the TV, but behind the viewer).

dragmor
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Post by dragmor » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:07 pm

Look for something like kogan.com.au in the USA?

They all use the same parts anyway.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:28 pm

dragmor wrote:Look for something like kogan.com.au in the USA?

They all use the same parts anyway.
There are a lot of off-brand companies that have their TV's made by contract manufacturers in Asia, but the big name companies do not all use the same parts. There is some sharing, as Sony and Samsung jointly own a LCD panel manufacturing plant, but the electronics and everything else is proprietary.

In the US, the biggest seller of sets is actually now Vizio, which only has about 100 employees (last I heard) and they have all their sets made for them. But good luck trying to get any service after the warranty period is over (they don't sell spare parts). Even warranty service can be expensive since you are responsible for shipping the unit back to the manufacturer with most warranties. Name brand companies often have repair facilities in major cities. But their sets are not bad for the money.

The OP said less than $3,000, and one can get a top-of-the-line 46" set for less than that.

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Post by Tzupy » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:44 am

If you don't want a plasma and can settle for a lower LCD size of only 40", there's a new Samsung, the LE-40A780 coming soon.
With LED backlighting and local dimming (I assume, due to the 2,000,000:1 claimed contrast ratio) it should be really good.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:51 am

Tzupy wrote:If you don't want a plasma and can settle for a lower LCD size of only 40", there's a new Samsung, the LE-40A780 coming soon.
With LED backlighting and local dimming (I assume, due to the 2,000,000:1 claimed contrast ratio) it should be really good.
Again, I would caution anyone considerng a Samsung to watch out for the highly reflective screen. That is one way in which they are able to increase the "dynamic" contrast level. Any sort of light or brigtly lit area behind the veiwer will be very distracting.

For that reason, I would avoid relying on contrast ratio when evaluating TV sets. "Dynamic" contrast ratio is pure hype anyway.

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Post by nutball » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:45 am

m0002a wrote:Again, I would caution anyone considerng a Samsung to watch out for the highly reflective screen.
I guess that's dependent on the environment it's in. Having owned an A656 for a few days the one thing I'd say about it is that a) it's got a fan in it, and b) yeah, guess what... it buzzes when the back-light is set to anything other than 100%.

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Post by aristide1 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:12 pm

People today are using .75+ horsepower on these TV's to watch the news.

What's wrong with this picture?
People who put money and political ideology ahead of truth and ethics are neither patriots nor human beings.

nici
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Post by nici » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:25 pm

What's wrong with this picture is that the news are not sent in full HD resolution, that's what's wrong :wink:

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Post by aristide1 » Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:27 pm

Sometimes it breaks up so bad and macro blocks so much I kinda wish I had good old fashion snow.
People who put money and political ideology ahead of truth and ethics are neither patriots nor human beings.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:27 pm

nutball wrote:I guess that's dependent on the environment it's in. Having owned an A656 for a few days the one thing I'd say about it is that a) it's got a fan in it, and b) yeah, guess what... it buzzes when the back-light is set to anything other than 100%.
Yes, that is why I said"

"Any sort of light or brigtly lit area behind the veiwer will be very distracting."

You did not specify what size it is. I don't think that exact exact model is sold in the USA, so I don't know whether it has the highly reflective screen.

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Post by nutball » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:17 pm

m0002a wrote:Yes, that is why I said
Huh? Oh yeah sorry my reply made it look like I hadn't seen that, bad editing :)
You did not specify what size it is. I don't think that exact exact model is sold in the USA, so I don't know whether it has the highly reflective screen.
It's a 40", it does have a reflective screen.

But the fan and the buzz annoy me more! Now I can get up from using my expensive buzzing 30" computer monitor to go sit watch my expensive buzzing TV. Nice!

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:29 pm

nutball wrote:It's a 40", it does have a reflective screen.

But the fan and the buzz annoy me more! Now I can get up from using my expensive buzzing 30" computer monitor to go sit watch my expensive buzzing TV. Nice!
I have a friend with a 52" Samsung, and I fairly sure it did not have that problem.

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Post by nutball » Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:39 pm

m0002a wrote:I have a friend with a 52" Samsung, and I fairly sure it did not have that problem.
I probably wouldn't even notice it if I hadn't spent years hanging around here!

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Post by xev » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:27 pm

Thanks for all the tips. We got a 46" Samsung LN46A650. Once set up I wish we went with a larger screen, but its still very nice.

But there's something wrong: mostly when watching HD channels, there is some small interference. It is currently set up with component cables. I was wondering if using an hdmi cable will eliminate the issue.

On a similar theme, I am looking for a hdtv that i can use a pc monitor. I was thinking of something like 22". I would like to spend around 400-500. What would you guys recommend

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Post by m0002a » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:42 pm

xev wrote:Thanks for all the tips. We got a 46" Samsung LN46A650. Once set up I wish we went with a larger screen, but its still very nice.

But there's something wrong: mostly when watching HD channels, there is some small interference. It is currently set up with component cables. I was wondering if using an hdmi cable will eliminate the issue.

On a similar theme, I am looking for a hdtv that i can use a pc monitor. I was thinking of something like 22". I would like to spend around 400-500. What would you guys recommend
Samsung makes some nice TV/Montor combos.

I would try the HDMI and see if that helps, but if that doesn't help, need more informaton on what you source signal is, and what kind of wire/cabling you have from the source into your house and to your TV set.

xev
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Post by xev » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:31 pm

There is a coaxial running through the house up to a hd cable box. its provides service from some company in NJ, not sure which. From the hd cable box are 2 sets of component cables, one has 2 wires with the sleeves melted together (this seems to provide the sound) and the other is white, yellow, and red which gives the picture. I don't know for certain how old these are but they should be 2 year old max.

I don't know the brand of the box or the brand of the cables.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:54 pm

xev wrote:There is a coaxial running through the house up to a hd cable box. its provides service from some company in NJ, not sure which. From the hd cable box are 2 sets of component cables, one has 2 wires with the sleeves melted together (this seems to provide the sound) and the other is white, yellow, and red which gives the picture. I don't know for certain how old these are but they should be 2 year old max.

I don't know the brand of the box or the brand of the cables.
Generally speaking, RG6 coax cable is recommended for HD TV. Most older homes and cable TV installation are wired with RG59 coax, which has a thinner center wire. Sometimes RG59 will work OK for HD with short cable runs, but you should have RG6 for best results.

Also, you need to check all the connectors in the cable path from the cable company drop all the way to your TV. If you have any spliters, amplifiers, or connectors of any kind in the cable path (even the connecters in a wall plate), you will need to replace them HD ready units (older units only go up to a certain frequency that is not sufficient for an HD signal).

If you have both RG59 cable and some older spliters/amplifiers/connectors, then replace to spliter/amplifier/connectors first and see if that helps without having to upgrade all the cable to RG6 (unless it is easy to do so).

Some cable companies may be willing to come out and make the cable/connecter changes for you at no charge or for an installation fee.

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