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3D TV Suggestions: What to Buy, When and Where?

Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
I currently own the following TV set: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-LN-S4095D-40-Inch-1080p-HDTV/dp/B000GDEZLQ

It's served me well for the last few years, but this new age of thinner, better, 3D-er TVs is tempting me to trade up.

I know there are debates about the longevity of 3D and such, but since these televisions appear to be no more expensive than brands without it, and possess all the top features of 3D-less TVs regardless, a 3D TV is what I'm aiming for.

So I was looking for opinions on which models are currently the best of the best. I'm real stingy with picture quality, and obsess over even the most minute details.

But I'm not too picky over the extra stuff they've added, like WiFi or Netflix support and so on. I have my PC hooked up to my TV through an HDMI cable, so that's all I really need.

So here's some bottom line stuff I would want out of the TV:

1. No clouding/backlight issues: When I first got that Samsung, I traded it in three times since the backlight had clouding during the black parts (ie when the TV is starting up); I eventually learned that the majority of Samsungs have this, and doesn't actually effect the picture itself, but I want to avoid any similar issues regardless.

2. Gaming: Naturally, I will be playing every known console on this thing: Xbox, PS3, Wii, etc. I've never experienced the "lag" some people complain about, but if a particular TV is gamer-certified, I'd like to know about it.

3. PC Connectivity: Again, I plan to display my PC on the TV from time to time, either for movies or gaming. I want to make sure it's not a headache to get going.

4. Monthly payments: If I were to get the TV this year, I wouldn't be able to afford paying it all off at once, so I'd preferably like to buy it from a store or vendor that offers a no-interest finance plan.

5. Free calibration: When my parents bought their Samsung from Best Buy, a free calibration was included. I managed to sweet-talk the guy to calibrate my TV as well, and the results are certainly noticeable. I'm not sure if 3D TVs feature a do-it-yourself calibration or whatnot, but I want to have that option either way.

6. Free glasses: Only need one pair, two at the most as I never have more than one person watching the TV in my room.

7. Size: Anywhere from 45 to 55 inches is fine with me. 50 would probably be the best middle ground.

I'm also waiting for the best time to buy one. I'm assuming that will be Black Friday this year, so I want to get a list of recommended models beforehand so I can keep a watch for any of them going on sale. Based on some Google searches, Panasonic seems to be getting the most critical votes, though I admit a certain bias to Samsung, as the majority of TVs and monitors at my house happen to be Samsung. Still, there's the backlight/clouding issue I mentioned earlier, so if they're less prevalent on Panasonic or other brands, I'd be willing to go there.

P.S. I also have a Costco membership, FYI. I never bought a TV there, but if they accommodate you the same way Best Buy does, then that's an option available to me.

Professor Snugglesworth on

Posts

  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    I saw that; The virtually-borderless screen is seriously, seriously sexy. I'm a bit concerned about the one picture that shows an uneven backlight, though.

    And while I'm also wondering if Amazon has a no-finance plan, I still would hate to miss out on a free professional calibration (if it needs one); nonetheless, it will be one of the TVs I'll watch for come BF.

  • ZiggymonZiggymon Registered User regular

    I know you are looking at a 3D TV, but have you seriously considered a projector setup? I know Acer and a few other cheaper brands do a full 3D compatible setup pretty cheap now and one of the biggest issues people have with 3D TV's is its screen size usually breaks immersion. Something a projector won't have.

    Anyway I would personally look at Panasonic setups, They seem to have the most consistent quality 3D image and will have loads of package deals with lots of glasses/ 3D blu-ray player and movies.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    While Costco may not have the best prices, I believe club stores have lots more favorable return/exchange policies than the big box stores or online retailers.

    Parents just got a 3D tv (LG55LW5600). It comes with 4 pairs of passive (lots cheaper than active) glasses. It came with some kind of remote wand that I don't know what the hell is for, and a wifi dongle. Didn't really have eye-relief problems (as I did watching Avatar in the movie hall). 3D effect was pretty nice on 3D source content. Haven't got to try the 2D to 3D translation stuff, nor have I gotten to game on it. My understanding is you really need large screen sizes to get the 3D effect. One thing to consider is there isn't a lot of native 3D source content for movie watching (like single digit percentage of bluray releases) and most hollywood movie 3D blurays start around $35-40 (cause you get 3D bluray, standard bluray, dvd, and digital copy in the box).

  • AllforceAllforce Registered User regular
    To be fair Ziggymon there hasn't been any real cheap 3D projector setups until this fall, Optoma is releasing the first true 3D 1080p projector this fall, the HD33 and it's going to retail for about 1399.99 I believe. Glasses are still going to run 100 bucks a pop tho. Also Epson is coming out with a 3D projector for under 1500 that will include some glasses so we're finally getting into the realm of affordable true big-screen 3D.

    I looked at all the options this past spring while building my home theater and decided 3D isn't really my thing, so I just went with an Epson 8350 on 120" screen. I may get a little Vizio 3DTV for under 300 bucks someday just to goof around with and try some games out on.

  • Prokop_nProkop_n Registered User new member
    I would suggest you that you should choose passive 3D TV instead of active because the main accessories of 3D TV such as the 3D glasses cost much more when purchased separately. Passive glasses are more comfortable as well. I chose my LG LW5600 after lots of research and I am happy that I invested in the right TV.

  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Yeah, I've got the same LG two other posters have mentioned. The 2D->3D upconversion is actually pretty great. Does a good job of adding depth. Another thing I like about the TV is that it can also downconvert 3D sources to 2D. Gaming on it is awesome...and I managed to snag two pair of the Oakley 3D Gascans for $40 a pair and they're a dramatic improvement in functionality and comfort.

    The remote wand included is basically a Wiimote. I usually just use the LG TV app on my Android phones to control it, though. I also managed to get mine for $1199 before shipping right when it was released thanks to Fry's usually awesome loss-leader sales.

    chasm on
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  • ghost_master2000ghost_master2000 Registered User regular
    Allforce wrote: »
    To be fair Ziggymon there hasn't been any real cheap 3D projector setups until this fall, Optoma is releasing the first true 3D 1080p projector this fall, the HD33 and it's going to retail for about 1399.99 I believe. Glasses are still going to run 100 bucks a pop tho. Also Epson is coming out with a 3D projector for under 1500 that will include some glasses so we're finally getting into the realm of affordable true big-screen 3D.

    I looked at all the options this past spring while building my home theater and decided 3D isn't really my thing, so I just went with an Epson 8350 on 120" screen. I may get a little Vizio 3DTV for under 300 bucks someday just to goof around with and try some games out on.

    Just wanted to note that you cannot achieve the 1080p 3D from a PC over hdmi with those projectors since the HDMI format does not support 1080p at 120 hz. :(

  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Are you sure about that?

    Wikipedia lists HDMI 1.4 with a maximum speed of 340

  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    Just gotta get some high speed hdmi cables from monoprice for $8 apiece.

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  • ghost_master2000ghost_master2000 Registered User regular
    Wikipedia wrote:
    HDMI 1.4a requires that 3D displays support the frame packing 3D format at either 720p50 and 1080p24 or 720p60 and 1080p24, side-by-side horizontal at either 1080i50 or 1080i60, and top-and-bottom at either 720p50 and 1080p24 or 720p60 and 1080p24.[142]

    I've done some research on the Optoma HD33 and found several instances of people not being able to play games in 3d at 1080p due to these limitations. It only supports up to 24 Hz. Or you can do 720p at 120 Hz.

  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    That's a failing of the Optoma; not the cables. I have no issues at 1080p/120 when 3D gaming on my LG 55LW5600 with my Monoprice high-speed cables.

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  • ghost_master2000ghost_master2000 Registered User regular
    But it's not an hdmi standard, so you aren't going to see many display devices that support that.

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