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Quality HDTVs?

Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
edited February 2007 in Games and Technology
Ok, so I'm finally jumping into the HD world soon, but despite my love of tech stuff, I don't know jack shit about HDTVs and their infinite varieties (plasma, DLP, LCD, etc)

I'm thinking I want to shoot for about 42", and would love to have 1080p capability since I'll have this TV for quite some time. What's the best company to buy from, taking into account price/visual quality? And is plasma any better than LCD?

Vincent Grayson on
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Posts

  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I would go for LCD, personally.

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  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I would go for DLP, personally

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  • JeffHJeffH Registered User
    edited January 2007
    I'm hearing LCD is generally the best, but also the most expensive. I'm by no means an authority on the subject, though.

  • SamphisSamphis Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I love my CRT. It has brilliant color depth and fast refresh, but alas, it's only 1080i and it's heavy, bulky and impossible to move when I need to.

  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Aghhh, okay, just read this article I searched on google for you:
    http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-5108443-1.html

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  • jwalkjwalk Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    It would help if you mentioned what application(s) you intend (watching TV? gaming?) and how much you want to spend.

    At 42", including 1080p, LCD is probably your only choice. There aren't any plasma sets that do 1080p except one larger, and very expensive Panasonic. DLP and other rear-projection sets don't really start until about 50".

  • Dr_KeenbeanDr_Keenbean Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    When I bought my first HDTV, CRT was the only way to go. At the time, LCDs looked washed out and could seldom display more than 1366 x 768.

    Unfortunately, CRTs weigh a fucking ton and I then moving into a 3rd floor apartment. My TV weighed over 200lbs. Fuck that.

    So I noticed that Sony now made XBR LCDs that handled 1080p. Bitch weighed like 70lbs too. I am very pleased. LCD has come a long fucking way, seriously.

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  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Avoid plasma like the plague. Just stop thinking about it all together. The technologies to pay attention to are LCD and DLP.

    DLP is a fantastic technology, but in the end it is still a projection technology. That means the set will never be as small as an LCD equivilent. It also means that the viewing angle will be similar to a traditional projection television. They will look most bright and vivid in when viewing them head-on. Side to side viewing still looks great, but vertical viewing angles might make you sad. The only thing affected by viewing angle is the brightness. Contrast and color basically stay the same. Another plus with DLP is that the image looks smoother in general, but not blury. Individual pixels are hard to make out since they sortof blend with nearby pixels, but NOT IN A BAD WAY. It looks very natural and film-like. If you have sensitive eyes, you might be able to see the effect of the color-wheel. Basically if you track your eyes quickly across the screen, you might see a rainbow effect. Some people can't even see these artifacts, some people can. Some people who can see them aren't bothered by them, some people are. It is something you get used to.

    LCD is awesome and is getting better all the time. I am very happy with my Sharp. I tried a Sony and loved the picture quality but hated the interface. I had a Samsung as well, I didn't like the image quality as much as the Sharp, but it was still GREAT and the interface was great as well. There is still the problem of viewing angles and black levels. When viewed from the side, the samsung would slightly shift the colors as well as reducing the contrast. The Live blade on the 360 would shift from orange to a somewhat greenish yellow. On my Sharp, the orange stays orange, but the midtones loose a bit of contrast, so it becomes a duller orange. As far as black levels go, well that is something you get used to as well.

    No matter what you get, be sure to get an screen calibrating DVD to help you get the most out of your investment. I'm an image-quality whore, take my opinions above with that in mind.

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  • ArchaenArchaen Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Gihgehls wrote:
    If you have sensitive eyes, you might be able to see the effect of the color-wheel. Basically if you track your eyes quickly across the screen, you might see a rainbow effect. Some people can't even see these artifacts, some people can. Some people who can see them aren't bothered by them, some people are. It is something you get used to.

    Note that the Sony SXRD line of rear projection TVs do not experience the Rainbow effect whatsoever. That was my personal choice at 60 inches with a budget of under $3k.

  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    jwalk wrote:
    It would help if you mentioned what application(s) you intend (watching TV? gaming?) and how much you want to spend.

    At 42", including 1080p, LCD is probably your only choice. There aren't any plasma sets that do 1080p except one larger, and very expensive Panasonic. DLP and other rear-projection sets don't really start until about 50".

    Well, I don't have cable TV, so we're largely talking about a TV that'll be used for gaming (I have a ps2, and will be getting an Xbox360), and watching DVDs (I'm still torn as to whether to get into HDDVD at this point)

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    LCD is pretty nice, but expensive as hell. The unfortunate thing about plasma and LCD is that you're basically paying an extra grand or so for the ability to hang your TV on your wall. If this isn't important to you, you're much better served getting an LCD-RP or DLP and dumping the extra money into a bigger or higher-quality screen.

    As far as good brands, Sony and Panasonic are the two best mainstream brands. Samsung makes good sets as well, but I've never used a Samsung product that really felt good - they generally have great video and audio quality, and sucky fit and finish. Not to say these are the only brands to get, but if you pick one of these, you'll be pretty well off.

    The TV I have my eye on is a 50" 1080p Sony LCD-RP television that was going, last I checked, for about $2000. You can get a 42" 720p Sony for a little over half that, if you shop around.

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  • djklaydjklay Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Gihgehls wrote:
    Avoid plasma like the plague. Just stop thinking about it all together.

    Why? It's a good technology, probably the best HD sets I've seen were plasma, Panasonics to be precise.

  • grambogrambo Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Plasma may have issues but is generally regarded as the best image quality, black levels, use in ambient light etc. However, LCD is much cheaper to manufacture and popular in the market, so you are seeing less and less plasma.

    Personally, I'd go for DLP unless you want to hang your set on the wall.

    grambo..png
  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    grambo wrote:
    Plasma may have issues but is generally regarded as the best image quality, black levels, use in ambient light etc. However, LCD is much cheaper to manufacture and popular in the market, so you are seeing less and less plasma.

    Personally, I'd go for DLP unless you want to hang your set on the wall.

    I'm not planning on putting it on the wall, but I have heard from numerous sources that DLP just doesn't look nearly as nice as either LCD or plasma, and I'm pretty picky about image quality.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I love my DLP set. I got a 46" Akai (not an expensive set AT ALL) and although I've had to call in tech support once (and it took a LONG ass time to get through) once I got through they were helpful and dealt with my problem quickly. (It was just because the image started to "slide" off the screen on one side, as in displayed at an angle, just needed a quick reset to factory defaults)

  • grambogrambo Registered User
    edited January 2007
    grambo wrote:
    Plasma may have issues but is generally regarded as the best image quality, black levels, use in ambient light etc. However, LCD is much cheaper to manufacture and popular in the market, so you are seeing less and less plasma.

    Personally, I'd go for DLP unless you want to hang your set on the wall.

    I'm not planning on putting it on the wall, but I have heard from numerous sources that DLP just doesn't look nearly as nice as either LCD or plasma, and I'm pretty picky about image quality.

    Try to view all the different technologies if possible. Even if it's in Best Buy it will help. But you should seek out a local high-end audio-video retailer that will have sets properly configured/lighting/source material/cables etc. to really see the difference.

    grambo..png
  • precisionkprecisionk Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    djklay wrote:
    Gihgehls wrote:
    Avoid plasma like the plague. Just stop thinking about it all together.

    Why? It's a good technology, probably the best HD sets I've seen were plasma, Panasonics to be precise.

    I am going to disagree. Plasma is a fantastic technology. I have a 50 inch Maxent and couldn't be happier. They tend to have the best image quality, last for almost ever (disregard what people say about half-life, half-life is when the tv is at half its brightness, which probably happens 20-30 years from now, you won't have the tv that long).

    Plasma always plays great on games and simply awesome for HD content.

    Plasma always gets a :^: from me.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    grambo wrote:
    Plasma may have issues but is generally regarded as the best image quality, black levels, use in ambient light etc. However, LCD is much cheaper to manufacture and popular in the market, so you are seeing less and less plasma.

    Personally, I'd go for DLP unless you want to hang your set on the wall.

    I'm not planning on putting it on the wall, but I have heard from numerous sources that DLP just doesn't look nearly as nice as either LCD or plasma, and I'm pretty picky about image quality.

    DLP and LCD-RP don't look as sharp as plasma. That's not the same thing as not looking as nice. I, for example, don't really like an exceptionally sharp image, because it looks too artificial. A good DLP will have a slightly soft image which can look more natural than the super-crisp plasma image.

    Plasma also has a superior contrast ratio, which is nice, but it's not so huge a difference that most people notice. (LCD, by comparison, has a generally horrid contrast ratio.) None of them are on par with the CR of CRTs, though.

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  • SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    When I was in the market for a new TV, I went to the store ready to buy a DLP just based on what I had heard about them and their price. Unfortunately, every one I looked at had a scintillating effect from the screen coating that was extremely distracting to me from anything closer than 25 feet. The LCD's had a noticeable screen door effect when viewing from relatively close (my living room only allows for 8 foot viewing distance). So despite the increase in price over DLP, I went with a Panasonic 42" plasma since it had the nicest image quality (contrast, color saturation, deep black levels) out of the ones that I saw at that price range and size.

    Being able to move the TV by yourself if necessary is nice too. Those 250 lb. CRT's can suck it.

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  • jwalkjwalk Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Well, I don't have cable TV, so we're largely talking about a TV that'll be used for gaming (I have a ps2, and will be getting an Xbox360), and watching DVDs (I'm still torn as to whether to get into HDDVD at this point)
    Get an LCD then, and if you're going to get a 360, make sure it has a VGA input, and that it accepts standard HDTV resolutions on the VGA input (a lot of sets max out at 1024x768 or so).

  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Yeah, also note, you can't really tell how the TV is at the store alone, because they put the settings on like massive bright eye burn showoff settings which you'd never watch at home. I said this in another thread (how many HDTV threads do we get?) but the Samsung HL-S 1080p DLPs are hot sex. But they're from 50"-61" AFAIK. But 50" can be had for like... 1500 on Amazon or something like that.

    EDIT: Also, you know, it'd be cool if your TV had a tuner built in so you could just hook up to an antenna and watch wonderful digitial broadcast HD for free. It's great.

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  • StratoStrato Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I got a 40" Sony BRAVIA 720p LCD on Black Friday for $1199, which was like $800 off. 8) It's been great! I have Xbox 360, Wii (with progressive cables), and an upconverting hdmi dvd player. Even analog tv looks fine.

    1080p will be good for hd-dvd/blu-ray, but 1080p is really expensive. My dvds look awesome already, and I the hd dvds are expensive anyway. Way too much money for such a small gain at this point.

    I'd suggest 720p if you're a bang-for-the-buck type of guy.

  • Dr_KeenbeanDr_Keenbean Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    jwalk wrote:
    Well, I don't have cable TV, so we're largely talking about a TV that'll be used for gaming (I have a ps2, and will be getting an Xbox360), and watching DVDs (I'm still torn as to whether to get into HDDVD at this point)
    Get an LCD then, and if you're going to get a 360, make sure it has a VGA input, and that it accepts standard HDTV resolutions on the VGA input (a lot of sets max out at 1024x768 or so).

    Dear god yes. Having a 360, this was vital to me when I bought my new TV. Plus I can play WoW on my laptop at 1920 x 1080.

    And the resolutions you want to find are 1366x768 (basically 720p, but more) and 1920x1080 (1080p).

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  • StratoStrato Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I didn't understand the 360 and it's crazy vga cable. I bought it, but it just made the picture look worse (my tv is 720p native), so I returned it and went back to the crisp 720p component picture.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    Strato wrote:
    I got a 40" Sony BRAVIA 720p LCD on Black Friday for $1199, which was like $800 off. 8) It's been great! I have Xbox 360, Wii (with progressive cables), and an upconverting hdmi dvd player. Even analog tv looks fine.

    1080p will be good for hd-dvd/blu-ray, but 1080p is really expensive. My dvds look awesome already, and I the hd dvds are expensive anyway. Way too much money for such a small gain at this point.

    I'd suggest 720p if you're a bang-for-the-buck type of guy.

    The improvement of a good 1080p image over a good 720p one is about the same as 720p over 480p. If you can afford a 1080p television, you should definitely get one. If you can't, you should consider holding off for a bit until you can. 720p and 1080i are basically stop-gap solutions on the way to 1080p, which will be the high-end standard for awhile. 1080p will future-proof you for many years.

    Of course, if someone can't tell the difference, or doesn't care enough, they should get what they're happy with. But 1080p is dropping in price rapidly. The 42" 720p TV I got three years ago cost me $500 more than the 51" 1080p equivalent today.

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  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    ElJeffe wrote:
    Strato wrote:
    I got a 40" Sony BRAVIA 720p LCD on Black Friday for $1199, which was like $800 off. 8) It's been great! I have Xbox 360, Wii (with progressive cables), and an upconverting hdmi dvd player. Even analog tv looks fine.

    1080p will be good for hd-dvd/blu-ray, but 1080p is really expensive. My dvds look awesome already, and I the hd dvds are expensive anyway. Way too much money for such a small gain at this point.

    I'd suggest 720p if you're a bang-for-the-buck type of guy.

    The improvement of a good 1080p image over a good 720p one is about the same as 720p over 480p. If you can afford a 1080p television, you should definitely get one. If you can't, you should consider holding off for a bit until you can. 720p and 1080i are basically stop-gap solutions on the way to 1080p, which will be the high-end standard for awhile. 1080p will future-proof you for many years.

    Of course, if someone can't tell the difference, or doesn't care enough, they should get what they're happy with. But 1080p is dropping in price rapidly. The 42" 720p TV I got three years ago cost me $500 more than the 51" 1080p equivalent today.

    Yeah, looking around Amazon, I found the Sony 50" 1080p DLP set for like $1700, which seems like an awfully good price.

    What's this about Xbox360 and VGA hookup? Is that preferred over just component?

  • JWFokkerJWFokker Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Advantages/disadvantages of HDTV types:

    Plasma = much higher brightness and contrast ratio than LCD providing more perceived depth to the image. Lower resolution than LCD and DLP - 1366x768p for average consumer level sets. 1920x1080p sets are $5000 and up.

    LCD = Much higher resolution than plasma. 1080p sets can be found for as low as $1000. Lowest brightness and contrast ratio of all HDTVs resulting in a washed out image in comparison to plasma or DLP.

    DLP = Best black levels of all HDTVs, equal contrast ratio to plasma, larger 1080p sets available for less than 1080p LCDs of equal size, narrow view angle compared to LCD and plasma, deeper profile than LCD and plasma (~15" vs ~5")

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    Not sure what you mean about plasma being "lower resolution" and LCD being "highest resolution". They all come in 720p and 1080p varieties.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    ElJeffe wrote:
    Not sure what you mean about plasma being "lower resolution" and LCD being "highest resolution". They all come in 720p and 1080p varieties.

    Many plasmas, especially older and/or cheaper plasmas, would have a resolution of 1024x768 (with rectangular pixels, of course) and scale 720p images to fit. That's not an issue at the high end, of course, but for the kind of plasma TVs that people can actually afford, you'd better take a real close look at the specs.

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  • StratoStrato Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    All I know is that there's no way I could get a high-quality BRAVIA in 1080p for anything affordable, so I took a high-quality 720p, especially since that's what the Xbox uses anyway.

    I imagine (though this is just a guess) that cheap 1080p sets are like my cool camera that has a lot of megapixels and takes shitty pictures because the lens sucks.

  • templewulftemplewulf Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    ElJeffe wrote:
    The improvement of a good 1080p image over a good 720p one is about the same as 720p over 480p.
    CNet disagrees. I don't have any native 1080p content, though, so I can't say one way or another.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    templewulf wrote:
    ElJeffe wrote:
    The improvement of a good 1080p image over a good 720p one is about the same as 720p over 480p.
    CNet disagrees. I don't have any native 1080p content, though, so I can't say one way or another.

    That article is a big, giant piece of crap. They compare 720p plasma TVs to 1080p LCD TVs even though, by their own admission, contrast ratio is extremely important to picture quality, and LCDs have serious contrast issues. That's going to dramatically affect the amount of detail that can be picked out.

    I've seen 1080p TVs next to 720p TVs that are basically the same models from the same makers, making the resolution pretty much the only difference between the two. The jump in resolution, in these cases, is pretty striking.

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  • templewulftemplewulf Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    ElJeffe wrote:
    I've seen 1080p TVs next to 720p TVs that are basically the same models from the same makers, making the resolution pretty much the only difference between the two. The jump in resolution, in these cases, is pretty striking.
    That is awfully misleading. I do agree with their assessment about CR and color saturation, though. My TV does 1080p, but the colors are about average, so it's not crap-my-pants great, but it's worlds better than standard resolution.

    I can run in 1080p mode, but since I don't have any content at that resolution, I don't have any personal experience with it. Upscaling doesn't tend to help me much.

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  • JWFokkerJWFokker Registered User
    edited January 2007
    ElJeffe wrote:
    Not sure what you mean about plasma being "lower resolution" and LCD being "highest resolution". They all come in 720p and 1080p varieties.

    Certainly they do manufacture 1080p plasmas, but the low end models are $5000 and range up to $10k, which puts them well out of the price range of LCD and DLP displays. At the same price point, all plasma sets are lower resolution than their LCD and DLP counterparts. LCD displays offer the 1080p at the lowest price point, lower than even 1080p DLP sets.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    JWFokker wrote:
    Certainly they do manufacture 1080p plasmas, but the low end models are $5000 and range up to $10k, which puts them well out of the price range of LCD and DLP displays. At the same price point, all plasma sets are lower resolution than their LCD and DLP counterparts.

    Ah, I see. Somewhat misleading the way you phrased it before.
    LCD displays offer the 1080p at the lowest price point, lower than even 1080p DLP sets.

    This is just plain wrong, though. A 1080p LCD costs about 50% more than a comparably sized 1080p DLP. If you're talking about a 32" LCD compared to a 50" DLP, then sure, the LCD is cheaper, in the same way that buying a 5oz filet mignon is cheaper than buying a 20oz London broil

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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    ElJeffe wrote:
    1080p will future-proof you for many years

    I wouldn't be so sure about this... Westinghouse has announced a 2160p tv http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/westinghouses-2160p-tv-gets-pricing-229013.php

    Though apparently it's selling for $50,000 when it comes out for the 52inch... But I mean, it'll drop quickly, I'm sure.

  • grambogrambo Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Isn't that just 4 1080p panels strung together? Pretty useless unless you have 4x 8800GTX in a PC to power it. There is no "TV" style content above 1080p.

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  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    There's hardly any 1080 content as it is...

    :|

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2007
    grambo wrote:
    Isn't that just 4 1080p panels strung together? Pretty useless unless you have 4x 8800GTX in a PC to power it. There is no "TV" style content above 1080p.

    Bingo, which is why 1080p is a safe bet. The biggest limitation right now is content, and content is limited by bit rate issues. Right now, most HD stations are transmitting mediocre (at best) video, because 1080x1920 is a whole lot of info to be transferring; nobody is even putting out 1080p signals, yet. It's either 1080i or 720p.

    It's stupid for companies to be pushing towards 2160p displays right now when there's a dearth of even 1080p content. If anyone brings a consumer-level 2160p or higher display out within the next several years, it'll fail, because not many people are going to be stupid enough to drop that much money on a display for non-existent content. I'm betting it's at least 5 years before we see the first consumer-oriented content that's higher than 1080p, and probably closer to 10. (PCs hooked up to your TV don't count.)

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  • TSRTSR Registered User
    edited January 2007
    jwalk wrote:
    Well, I don't have cable TV, so we're largely talking about a TV that'll be used for gaming (I have a ps2, and will be getting an Xbox360), and watching DVDs (I'm still torn as to whether to get into HDDVD at this point)
    Get an LCD then, and if you're going to get a 360, make sure it has a VGA input, and that it accepts standard HDTV resolutions on the VGA input (a lot of sets max out at 1024x768 or so).

    So, what's the point in having a VGA input if you're not planning on hooking a PC up to your HDTV? Is there any reason to go with VGA over component when given the choice, since they're capable of reproducing the same resolution?

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