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The TV Thread: Holiday 2010 has ALREADY begun!

13468962

Posts

  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Malkor wrote: »
    My friend has a 37 in. Polaroid that his roommate got from WalMart when she moved in. You wouldn't know that sitting around it playing PS3, watching blu-ray movies or sports.

    Unless you really care about getting the best for your money and plan on taking advantage of your setup to its fullest extent you're not going to notice the extra money you shelled out except for in your wallet.

    Unfortunately a certain segment of the population can't do that, myself included.

    Taking advantage of your setup to its fullest extent? What does that mean? If you can tell the difference between a good TV and a shitty TV you should buy a good TV. If you can't tell a shitty TV when you see one by all means go by one. I'll never attack anyone in here for saying they like their Polaroid HDTV and personally don't want to spend more money on a Samsung but I damn sure am going to call someone a moron if they say that Polaroid makes good TVs. Especially since most of my friends who have bought TVs in the past year have bought the cheap Samsungs (550s) and been completely satisfied.

    And, for everyone who can't shell out the extra money, if you have to go cheap, go Vizio. Someone in this thread or its previous iteration made a comment about them and I started checking them out, and it seems that Vizios will get you 70-80% of the quality for about 60% of the price. And their warranties are unbelievably good. Do not buy Polaroid, Memorex, Westinghouse, or any of the other shit brands. Repeat after me...Vizio, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic. And Pioneer if you can still find one (you basically can't).

    Edit: I also wouldn't buy from Wal-Mart. Best Buy really does have the best prices if you're not going online. If you're buying even cheaper than them, at a store, and it's an off-brand, you have to ask yourself how that brand is cutting the price to pull that off.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Post Blue wrote: »
    Please forgive me if I've missed it somewhere along the line, but do any of you TV folks know anything about when Panasonic will start rolling out new iterations of last year's 800U and 850U series? I haven't been impressed by anything they've released so far this year, but I was a big fan of their flagship panels from last year, so I'd like to see what they've got before springing for a great deal on an 800U.

    If you get a great deal on an 800U, you are probably OK. I've seen this year's G10 (800U replacement), and yes it was in-store not calibrated blah blah blah but I still wasn't overly impressed. It's a great TV, but is it much better than last year's? I haven't seen anyone except the one-paragraph reviewers at Wired raving about the new Panasonics being worlds above the old. They were good TVs, they're still good TVs, and if you want to go plasma you won't go wrong with them. Note that the V10s (this year's 850U replacement) still haven't been released yet.

    Key point: last year's models reportedly SUCKED at 24fps content. I don't know if it's fixed in this year's model. I've asked Panasonic for a sample set but apparently curious-dude-who-loves-TVs is not sufficient criteria. So if this is a key feature to you, you may want to investigate this year's models and even have them hook up a blu-ray or something at a store so you can see if the flicker problem from last year is there.
    gneGne wrote: »
    What can you recommend for a small 26" LCD set?

    At this size, I would just pick one of the name brands (Sony/Samsung/Vizio) and get their cheapest set at that size. With a 26" set, I'm guessing you're not looking to build a home theater around it so no reason to spend money like you are.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Scrublet wrote: »
    Malkor wrote: »
    My friend has a 37 in. Polaroid that his roommate got from WalMart when she moved in. You wouldn't know that sitting around it playing PS3, watching blu-ray movies or sports.

    Unless you really care about getting the best for your money and plan on taking advantage of your setup to its fullest extent you're not going to notice the extra money you shelled out except for in your wallet.

    Unfortunately a certain segment of the population can't do that, myself included.

    Taking advantage of your setup to its fullest extent? What does that mean? If you can tell the difference between a good TV and a shitty TV you should buy a good TV. If you can't tell a shitty TV when you see one by all means go by one. I'll never attack anyone in here for saying they like their Polaroid HDTV and personally don't want to spend more money on a Samsung but I damn sure am going to call someone a moron if they say that Polaroid makes good TVs.

    And, for everyone who can't shell out the extra money, if you have to go cheap, go Vizio. Someone in this thread or its previous iteration made a comment about them and I started checking them out, and it seems that Vizios will get you 70-80% of the quality for about 60% of the price. And their warranties are unbelievably good. Do not buy Polaroid, Memorex, Westinghouse, or any of the other shit brands. Repeat after me...Vizio, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic. And Pioneer if you can still find one (you basically can't).

    By taking advantage of I meant actually viewing HD content. It's surprising (well not to me) how many people buy HD TVs, then plug a coax cable right into the back and call it a day, or don't even realize that that HD content is on HD channels.

    These obviously aren't people that go to forums to talk about TVs or care about the benefits of 1080p at a certain screen size and distance. They're not morons by and large, but they're still happy with their purchases because they have an LCD and it didn't cost an arm and a leg.

    Malkor on
    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2009
    Post Blue wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Yeah, if your TV is made by a company famous for something that isn't TVs? It is almost certainly a piece of shit.

    See also: Memorex.
    There's nothing wrong with companies that got their start elsewhere and do multiple things well, but yeah, both of those brands incidentally happen to suck.

    There are certainly exceptions. But that HDTV by Hoover? Probably gonna suck. The one by Proctor & Gamble? Ain't gonna wash.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Post Blue wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Yeah, if your TV is made by a company famous for something that isn't TVs? It is almost certainly a piece of shit.

    See also: Memorex.
    There's nothing wrong with companies that got their start elsewhere and do multiple things well, but yeah, both of those brands incidentally happen to suck.

    There are certainly exceptions. But that HDTV by Hoover? Probably gonna suck. The one by Proctor & Gamble? Ain't gonna wash.

    <3

    chasm on
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    XBL : lJesse Custerl | MWO: Jesse Custer | Best vid ever. | 2nd best vid ever.
  • gneGnegneGne Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Scrublet wrote: »
    gneGne wrote: »
    What can you recommend for a small 26" LCD set?

    At this size, I would just pick one of the name brands (Sony/Samsung/Vizio) and get their cheapest set at that size. With a 26" set, I'm guessing you're not looking to build a home theater around it so no reason to spend money like you are.

    Haha well for me it is kind of a home theater. My room is not that big, and a 26" will probably just be big enough. Would be nice if it had some picture quality :).

    gneGne on
    pasigcopyox6.jpg
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Here is Samsung's best offering.
    Here is Sony's.

    As usual, the Sony is more expensive. I can't vouch for the quality of either of these sets, but at that size I'm sure they're fine. At that size, it'd be difficult to discern a lot of the benefits of the upper models, so the brands don't manufacture them. I would buy the Samsung.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    At that price difference, and at that size television, for those brands, you're going to see virtually no difference in picture quality. You should probably make your decision on features.

    The Sony has an extra component input (2 vs 1). Sony's use the XMB interface, and have good remotes, so controlling it is really easy. I don't know about the Samsung's input. I know that controlling Samsung electronics used to be like wrestling with a lubed-up squid, but this was years ago, so they may be better now.

    Anyway, for the sake of $60, I would just go check them out in person, see if you can find a store that lets you fiddle with them in person, and then go with whatever you like best. Ignore what the pictures look like in person, because they're both good TVs, and they'll both likely look like shit due to jacked-up factory settings.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    No shit. I get sick of tuning the TVs at work only to find the next day that some jackass has set them to the Dynamic setting. People actually seem to think that making the blacks grey and jacking up the color temp is a good thing.

    chasm on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Good is subjective. Some people like really bright images no no matter what the original source is, some people like surround sound even if the original was 2 channel.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So, I finally got my plasma set up and started playing around with it.

    Are there any good guides for configuring it (i.e. getting it out of "torch mode") and handling the break-in period?

    First thing I did was turn the contrast down about halfway, and I've just been playing movies (zoomed in to bypass the letterbox bars).

    Taximes on
  • ClipseClipse Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Taximes wrote: »
    So, I finally got my plasma set up and started playing around with it.

    Are there any good guides for configuring it (i.e. getting it out of "torch mode") and handling the break-in period?

    First thing I did was turn the contrast down about halfway, and I've just been playing movies (zoomed in to bypass the letterbox bars).

    AVSforum will almost certainly have some decent recommended settings for your TV. As for preventing burn-in, what you're doing is probably sufficient on modern sets but you may be able to find a purpose-made DVD (or avi or something) on AVSforum if you want to be extra-cautious.

    Clipse on
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I don't feel like it deserves a whole thread, so I figured I'll take this question here:

    What's everyone's favorite Harmony remote these days? I'm reading through the models on Logitech's site and reviews on newegg, and it's not easily obvious which ones give the best features and quality.. there seem to be a lot of complaints about quality on the lower end models, and I'm not sure I want to drop $400 on one of their super fancy ones.

    The Harmony One seems to be the best-reviewed middle of the road. Anyone got any horror stories with this?

    xzzy on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    I don't feel like it deserves a whole thread, so I figured I'll take this question here:

    What's everyone's favorite Harmony remote these days? I'm reading through the models on Logitech's site and reviews on newegg, and it's not easily obvious which ones give the best features and quality.. there seem to be a lot of complaints about quality on the lower end models, and I'm not sure I want to drop $400 on one of their super fancy ones.

    The Harmony One seems to be the best-reviewed middle of the road. Anyone got any horror stories with this?

    I have a 676 (received it as a gift), and I love the feature set while hating the ergonomics. The One looks to have everything I like plus not feel like ass to hold and use.

    I think the 880 feels roughly the same and can be found for much cheaper, though. I'd probably just get the One because it looks so sexy.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Someone probably said this earlier in the thread, but does anyone have suggestions for a good 36-42" TV that displays 480p content (DVD's, Nintendo Wii) really nicely (particularly with good viewing angles)? Honestly, that's all I use my current TV for so it's most important. Cost might be an issue but as long as I have a good starting point...

    Oh, and I have a perhaps strange preference for 4:3, although if it's a nice tv I suppose I'd be willing to go widescreen.

    Mblackwell on
    Music: The Rejected Applications | Nintendo Network ID: Mblackwell

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    xzzy wrote: »
    I don't feel like it deserves a whole thread, so I figured I'll take this question here:

    What's everyone's favorite Harmony remote these days? I'm reading through the models on Logitech's site and reviews on newegg, and it's not easily obvious which ones give the best features and quality.. there seem to be a lot of complaints about quality on the lower end models, and I'm not sure I want to drop $400 on one of their super fancy ones.

    The Harmony One seems to be the best-reviewed middle of the road. Anyone got any horror stories with this?

    I have a 676 (received it as a gift), and I love the feature set while hating the ergonomics. The One looks to have everything I like plus not feel like ass to hold and use.

    I think the 880 feels roughly the same and can be found for much cheaper, though. I'd probably just get the One because it looks so sexy.
    If you don't min buying a One, buy a One. If you'd rather save money, compare the models and their features and take your pick. They aren't ergonomic dreams (I've heard the One is but never used it), but they all use the same software which is the important part.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    Someone probably said this earlier in the thread, but does anyone have suggestions for a good 36-42" TV that displays 480p content (DVD's, Nintendo Wii) really nicely (particularly with good viewing angles)? Honestly, that's all I use my current TV for so it's most important. Cost might be an issue but as long as I have a good starting point...

    Oh, and I have a perhaps strange preference for 4:3, although if it's a nice tv I suppose I'd be willing to go widescreen.

    Strange indeed. Unfortunately, you are about out of luck these days with non-widescreen. If that's a deal breaker, I would go to Best Buy and see if you see any there. Almost everything (especially in 36-42") is widescreen and 720p/1080p. Given that you want good viewing angles, I would point you towards the 42" Panasonic G10 Plasma. The viewing angles will be perfect and it's a great overall TV for $1100. If you don't like that, Samsung and Sony both have good LCD offerings at that level, so I would establish a cost you're willing to pay, then determine whether you notice the off-angle viewing issues that LCDs suffer from.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I don't think I saw a single TV that wasn't widescreen last time I was at Best Buy.

    This is something you'll have to adopt, willing or not.

    xzzy on
  • Post BluePost Blue Redmond, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    Someone probably said this earlier in the thread, but does anyone have suggestions for a good 36-42" TV that displays 480p content (DVD's, Nintendo Wii) really nicely (particularly with good viewing angles)? Honestly, that's all I use my current TV for so it's most important. Cost might be an issue but as long as I have a good starting point...

    Oh, and I have a perhaps strange preference for 4:3, although if it's a nice tv I suppose I'd be willing to go widescreen.
    I wouldn't call it too strange. The Wii doesn't support native 16:9, and it introduces unnecessary artifacts when it bloats its signal to that aspect ratio. You can always set your Wii to output 480p at 4:3, and set your TV accordingly. I always do.

    Post Blue on
    Moments before the wind.
  • LunaticPumaLunaticPuma Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    Someone probably said this earlier in the thread, but does anyone have suggestions for a good 36-42" TV that displays 480p content (DVD's, Nintendo Wii) really nicely (particularly with good viewing angles)? Honestly, that's all I use my current TV for so it's most important. Cost might be an issue but as long as I have a good starting point...

    Oh, and I have a perhaps strange preference for 4:3, although if it's a nice tv I suppose I'd be willing to go widescreen.


    Get a 720p plasma from either Panasonic or Samsung.

    LunaticPuma on
  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    RE: 4:3

    Part of it is that I kind of LIKE letterbox, and that I like the images letterboxed to 16:9/10 but not black bars on the side to get images to 4:3. I figured I'd probably end up with a widescreen tv, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. :)

    I'm especially worried about image clarity on 480p content. I know LCD's aren't always the best at scaling but I have no idea about plasma. It's not something I've ever had to deal with, especially since I still buy CRT monitors and only have an EDTV currently. And, I don't plan on switching to Blu Ray any time soon (or even near soon).

    As for price the best range is $750 and below. At least it's what I'll be able to more easily convince my significant other to purchase.

    Mblackwell on
    Music: The Rejected Applications | Nintendo Network ID: Mblackwell

  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    RE: 4:3

    Part of it is that I kind of LIKE letterbox, and that I like the images letterboxed to 16:9/10 but not black bars on the side to get images to 4:3. I figured I'd probably end up with a widescreen tv, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. :)

    I'm especially worried about image clarity on 480p content. I know LCD's aren't always the best at scaling but I have no idea about plasma. It's not something I've ever had to deal with, especially since I still buy CRT monitors and only have an EDTV currently. And, I don't plan on switching to Blu Ray any time soon (or even near soon).

    As for price the best range is $750 and below. At least it's what I'll be able to more easily convince my significant other to purchase.

    From what I've been able to tell, LCD/Plasma are equally good/bad at scaling that content depending on the brand/model itself. The quality of the image won't be dependent on that usual debate...it will be dependent on the TV's processor. You'll probably have to research some TVs to figure that out, I couldn't care less about SD content so I've never taken the time to look at which TVs do best with it. Also, you might try letting the TV stretch the 4:3 content to fill the screen. I do that with Scrubs DVDs, and honestly I don't care about perfect picture ratios on a TV show as much as I do with movies or games. Last of all, I wouldn't worry too much about the Wii...it will display 16:9, and the 480p will look fine coming out of it.

    For reference, right now my Wii is outputting 480p in 16:9 to my Onkyo receiver, which then upscales it to 720p. I notice very little difference between the 480p and 720p-upconvert. I don't get any of the artifacts Post Blue is talking about in the games I've played. Except Resident Evil 4, but I'm pretty sure that's related to a different issue...

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    If you want a 4:3 36" TV that handles 480p signals, maybe you should look into hunting down a used Sony WEGA CRT. Heavy as fuck, but they're beautiful televisions for 480p signals.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I strongly recommend not buying a CRT over 20 inches. "Heavy as fuck" doesn't begin to describe how heavy they get. I offloaded a 30" screen about a month ago when I got my new one, and the two of us hauling it were panting by the time we got it to the truck.

    I don't care how much you value 4:3, CRT ain't worth it.

    xzzy on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I just left my 32'' Sony CRT at my ex's, it just wasnt worth whatever I could get for it to take it with me.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Scrublet wrote: »
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    RE: 4:3

    Part of it is that I kind of LIKE letterbox, and that I like the images letterboxed to 16:9/10 but not black bars on the side to get images to 4:3. I figured I'd probably end up with a widescreen tv, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. :)

    I'm especially worried about image clarity on 480p content. I know LCD's aren't always the best at scaling but I have no idea about plasma. It's not something I've ever had to deal with, especially since I still buy CRT monitors and only have an EDTV currently. And, I don't plan on switching to Blu Ray any time soon (or even near soon).

    As for price the best range is $750 and below. At least it's what I'll be able to more easily convince my significant other to purchase.
    Also, you might try letting the TV stretch the 4:3 content to fill the screen. I do that with Scrubs DVDs, and honestly I don't care about perfect picture ratios on a TV show as much as I do with movies or games.

    Honestly, I hate stretched images. Wrong ratios bug the hell out of me, as does zooming the image and having parts of it cut off.

    Mblackwell on
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  • Post BluePost Blue Redmond, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Scrublet wrote: »
    For reference, right now my Wii is outputting 480p in 16:9 to my Onkyo receiver, which then upscales it to 720p. I notice very little difference between the 480p and 720p-upconvert. I don't get any of the artifacts Post Blue is talking about in the games I've played. Except Resident Evil 4, but I'm pretty sure that's related to a different issue...
    To be fair, I was definitely exaggerating about the artifacts. Unless you're moderately particular, you're probably not going to really care or notice. But they're most certainly real, and I'm not alone in preferring to simply display images most closely in keeping with their device's frame buffer. When set to 16:9, the Wii squishes a 16:9 sample into its 4:3 frame buffer, which is then reinflated to fill a 16:9 panel. Regardless of whether you defer scaling to some third device, the artifacts are introduced before the signal leaves the Wii. But yes, people who aren't looking for it (not trying to unsee it) can lead perfectly happy lives despite being subject to narrow deposits of vaseline between vertical lines on their Wii games.

    The best way to experience Wii graphics, in my opinion, is to send a 480p 4:3 signal via component to a standard definition 4:3 CRT. Not the most practical or efficient setup to keep around, but it's very pleasing to look at.

    Post Blue on
    Moments before the wind.
  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Yes but there's no way I can fit a 200lbs tv on my tv stand. Although it would be awesome.

    I'm leaning toward plasma even merely for color accuracy, but I'm definitely worried about burn-in... and of course cost. Also I'm not a big fan of any kind of interpolation, so those things as features don't appeal to me (although the ability to turn them OFF does). Besides that, good upscaling is my only thing.

    Mblackwell on
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  • Post BluePost Blue Redmond, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    Yes but there's no way I can fit a 200lbs tv on my tv stand. Although it would be awesome.

    I'm leaning toward plasma even merely for color accuracy, but I'm definitely worried about burn-in... and of course cost. Also I'm not a big fan of any kind of interpolation, so those things as features don't appeal to me (although the ability to turn them OFF does). Besides that, good upscaling is my only thing.
    If you're worried about burn-in, go with a Panasonic plasma and it will be as close to a non-issue as you could expect in that price range.

    For the record, I got my 27" SD tv with component in, which I carried up six flights of stairs with one arm, at a garage sale for $5. And it only cost me $5 because I insisted on giving the guy something for it. Just saying, you might want to look at other options if crisp, non-interpolated Wii viewing is your quarry.

    Post Blue on
    Moments before the wind.
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Post Blue wrote: »
    Scrublet wrote: »
    For reference, right now my Wii is outputting 480p in 16:9 to my Onkyo receiver, which then upscales it to 720p. I notice very little difference between the 480p and 720p-upconvert. I don't get any of the artifacts Post Blue is talking about in the games I've played. Except Resident Evil 4, but I'm pretty sure that's related to a different issue...
    To be fair, I was definitely exaggerating about the artifacts. Unless you're moderately particular, you're probably not going to really care or notice. But they're most certainly real, and I'm not alone in preferring to simply display images most closely in keeping with their device's frame buffer. When set to 16:9, the Wii squishes a 16:9 sample into its 4:3 frame buffer, which is then reinflated to fill a 16:9 panel. Regardless of whether you defer scaling to some third device, the artifacts are introduced before the signal leaves the Wii. But yes, people who aren't looking for it (not trying to unsee it) can lead perfectly happy lives despite being subject to narrow deposits of vaseline between vertical lines on their Wii games.

    The best way to experience Wii graphics, in my opinion, is to send a 480p 4:3 signal via component to a standard definition 4:3 CRT. Not the most practical or efficient setup to keep around, but it's very pleasing to look at.

    The picky nerd in me is going to come out here...tl;dr is technically speaking that last statement is correct except the "SD" part.
    I'm going to be picky here...the term artifacts is slightly off. Artifacts are generally things like when you are getting interference, or using aggressive video compression (like video over 56K, etc.) and your image gets fuzzy, or chunks appear "missing". The problem you describe is related to exactly what you said...480p is not truly 16:9. It winds up leading to a slight skewing horizontally (everything looking somewhat fatter than it should). What's funny about this is that this is not new to the Wii...all anamorphic widescreen DVDs viewed at 480p are doing the exact same thing. This is why I'm always amazed when someone trying to justify saving money says that there's no difference between upconverting 480p DVDs and watching Blu-Ray. To me the difference is substantial in part because of all this, but I'm getting off track.

    Additionally, that last statement is bad on the SD part. SD is 480i, period. Enhanced Definition is 480p. You can't send 480p to a 480i TV. But, technically speaking, the "perfect" Wii picture would be 480p 4:3 on an ED 4:3 TV.

    My actual point I wanted to bring up is back towards the guy looking to buy a 4:3 TV, and the point is that as far as 4:3 content goes, a 4:3 set only presents an advantage for displaying 480i and 480p content properly. As long as your TV doesn't suck royally at handling the SD content, its interpretation of that content is going to be pretty close to the actual quality of the SD content to begin with: garbage. That's why most people go ahead and run the Wii (and their old 480p progressive DVD players) in widescreen mode...the slight distortion isn't very noticeable at the resolution we're discussing, and when compared to HD both the SD/ED image is going to look like shit whether it's distorted or not.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    Yes but there's no way I can fit a 200lbs tv on my tv stand. Although it would be awesome.

    I'm leaning toward plasma even merely for color accuracy, but I'm definitely worried about burn-in... and of course cost. Also I'm not a big fan of any kind of interpolation, so those things as features don't appeal to me (although the ability to turn them OFF does). Besides that, good upscaling is my only thing.

    Don't worry about burn-in. Even if all you do is watch movies with letterbox black bars, as long as you treat the screen with respect the first 100 hours, you can use a feature almost all plasmas have to wash out the screen once a week or so to help shake out the pixels (so to speak). Also, cost is actually an advantage to plasma...unless you're getting some kind of sale, a plasma will cost less than an equal quality LCD, every time. I would venture that the 50" Panasonic G10 ($1550 @ Amazon) is the best plasma on the market right now, and I would stand it up to the Samsung 8000 LED monitors (probably the best LCD monitors right now). The LEDs cost well over twice as much, and will still get beat by the plasma blacks. And if you think Sony is the best, just go check out the price of their XBR7, 8, or 9 series...even MORE expensive.

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    subedii wrote: »
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  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    My 27" RCA CRT HDTV I had before Katrina weighed around 120lbs. Conservative estimate.

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  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Looking at Panasonic's site it seems a lot of their tv's that say they are 720p only have a native resolution of 1024x768, but I thought 720p was supposed to be 1280x720 (which is an odd resolution but still). Could someone explain that to me?

    Also besides the contrast ratios, what's the big difference between these 3 tvs?

    One
    Two
    Three

    And for contrast ratio with plasma tv's, what would I be looking for exactly? Honestly I've only really dealt with LCDs and CRTs in the past so it's entirely new territory.

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  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    Looking at Panasonic's site it seems a lot of their tv's that say they are 720p only have a native resolution of 1024x768, but I thought 720p was supposed to be 1280x720 (which is an odd resolution but still). Could someone explain that to me?

    Also besides the contrast ratios, what's the big difference between these 3 tvs?

    One
    Two
    Three

    And for contrast ratio with plasma tv's, what would I be looking for exactly? Honestly I've only really dealt with LCDs and CRTs in the past so it's entirely new territory.

    I'm not going to claim I totally understand what is going on with this 1024x768 shit that manufacturers are doing. This brief thread touches on the fact that the pixels aren't square, but that this doesn't necessarily mean poor image quality. I wouldn't worry about it.

    The TC-42PX14 was impossible to find information about. I'd never even heard of it. I'd forget about it. The X1 and C1 are main series this year, and the C1 will lose you Game mode, have less contrast ratio, no Anti-Reflective filter, and one less HDMI input. The C1 saves you $150 of retail price tag. Contrast ratio (particularly dynamic contrast ratio) continues to be of little to no use except to indicate to you which models among a typical brand are better. They are telling you that the C1 has less contrast potential than the X1. I wouldn't use that number to try to objectively match the Panny against a Samsung plasma or an LCD.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

    PSN: TheScrublet
  • ClipseClipse Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Scrublet wrote: »
    I'm not going to claim I totally understand what is going on with this 1024x768 shit that manufacturers are doing. This brief thread touches on the fact that the pixels aren't square, but that this doesn't necessarily mean poor image quality. I wouldn't worry about it.

    The fact that a 16:9 set has a native resolution of 1024x768 means that everything will suffer some (IMO) significant distortion. Non-square pixels are a fairly big no-no when it comes to image quality -- especially given that virtually everything (Consoles, TV, PCs, Film) is built with square pixels in mind. I'm of the opinion that if you can't spring for a 1080p plasma you should get a 1080p LCD -- or even a 720p LCD (usually they have a native resolution of 1366x768 - not really 720p, but at least it's still 16:9).

    In short, stay the hell away from "720p" plasmas unless you know for sure you're getting one that's 1280x720. And to the best of my knowledge only Pioneer made true 720p plasma TVs, and they're out of the TV business now.

    Clipse on
  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Clipse wrote: »
    Scrublet wrote: »
    I'm not going to claim I totally understand what is going on with this 1024x768 shit that manufacturers are doing. This brief thread touches on the fact that the pixels aren't square, but that this doesn't necessarily mean poor image quality. I wouldn't worry about it.

    The fact that a 16:9 set has a native resolution of 1024x768 means that everything will suffer some (IMO) significant distortion. Non-square pixels are a fairly big no-no when it comes to image quality -- especially given that virtually everything (Consoles, TV, PCs, Film) is built with square pixels in mind. I'm of the opinion that if you can't spring for a 1080p plasma you should get a 1080p LCD -- or even a 720p LCD (usually they have a native resolution of 1366x768 - not really 720p, but at least it's still 16:9).

    In short, stay the hell away from "720p" plasmas unless you know for sure you're getting one that's 1280x720. And to the best of my knowledge only Pioneer made true 720p plasma TVs, and they're out of the TV business now.

    It seems that the non-square pixels aren't an issue. Pioneer made both 1024x728 and 1366x768 720p panels (back in the day when they actually MADE 720p panels at all). There are plenty of great looking 720p panels that list the 1024x768 spec. If you're the kind of person who does (or thinks they do) notice the non-square pixels, you're probably not in the market for a 720p panel anyways. I did some loose browsing around AVSForum, various sites that don't suck, just trying to get a general feel for this because I hadn't really ever looked at it. It looks like in general it goes back to brand quality...a shitty "true" 720p panel will still be beaten by a great 1024x728 720p panel.

    Scrublet on
    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

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  • Post BluePost Blue Redmond, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Scrublet wrote: »
    Post Blue wrote: »
    Scrublet wrote: »
    For reference, right now my Wii is outputting 480p in 16:9 to my Onkyo receiver, which then upscales it to 720p. I notice very little difference between the 480p and 720p-upconvert. I don't get any of the artifacts Post Blue is talking about in the games I've played. Except Resident Evil 4, but I'm pretty sure that's related to a different issue...
    To be fair, I was definitely exaggerating about the artifacts. Unless you're moderately particular, you're probably not going to really care or notice. But they're most certainly real, and I'm not alone in preferring to simply display images most closely in keeping with their device's frame buffer. When set to 16:9, the Wii squishes a 16:9 sample into its 4:3 frame buffer, which is then reinflated to fill a 16:9 panel. Regardless of whether you defer scaling to some third device, the artifacts are introduced before the signal leaves the Wii. But yes, people who aren't looking for it (not trying to unsee it) can lead perfectly happy lives despite being subject to narrow deposits of vaseline between vertical lines on their Wii games.

    The best way to experience Wii graphics, in my opinion, is to send a 480p 4:3 signal via component to a standard definition 4:3 CRT. Not the most practical or efficient setup to keep around, but it's very pleasing to look at.

    The picky nerd in me is going to come out here...tl;dr is technically speaking that last statement is correct except the "SD" part.
    I'm going to be picky here...the term artifacts is slightly off. Artifacts are generally things like when you are getting interference, or using aggressive video compression (like video over 56K, etc.) and your image gets fuzzy, or chunks appear "missing". The problem you describe is related to exactly what you said...480p is not truly 16:9. It winds up leading to a slight skewing horizontally (everything looking somewhat fatter than it should). What's funny about this is that this is not new to the Wii...all anamorphic widescreen DVDs viewed at 480p are doing the exact same thing. This is why I'm always amazed when someone trying to justify saving money says that there's no difference between upconverting 480p DVDs and watching Blu-Ray. To me the difference is substantial in part because of all this, but I'm getting off track.

    Additionally, that last statement is bad on the SD part. SD is 480i, period. Enhanced Definition is 480p. You can't send 480p to a 480i TV. But, technically speaking, the "perfect" Wii picture would be 480p 4:3 on an ED 4:3 TV.

    My actual point I wanted to bring up is back towards the guy looking to buy a 4:3 TV, and the point is that as far as 4:3 content goes, a 4:3 set only presents an advantage for displaying 480i and 480p content properly. As long as your TV doesn't suck royally at handling the SD content, its interpretation of that content is going to be pretty close to the actual quality of the SD content to begin with: garbage. That's why most people go ahead and run the Wii (and their old 480p progressive DVD players) in widescreen mode...the slight distortion isn't very noticeable at the resolution we're discussing, and when compared to HD both the SD/ED image is going to look like shit whether it's distorted or not.
    Thanks for bringing a technical focus to some of the things I was merely approximating. Everything you said there makes sense. My only question is, being as picky as you are, and it being reason enough for you to consider blu-ray a worthwhile upgrade from similarly skewed DVD content, does horizontal skewing truly not bother you on the Wii? I don't mind fat pixels when they're fat in both directions, but skewing one direction more than the other introduces an ugliness I can't ignore, especially when I can avoid it.
    Mblackwell wrote:
    Looking at Panasonic's site it seems a lot of their tv's that say they are 720p only have a native resolution of 1024x768, but I thought 720p was supposed to be 1280x720 (which is an odd resolution but still). Could someone explain that to me?
    Okay, here's the thing about "720p" plasma panels: Anything under 50" is essentially a waste of time if you're concerned about pixel uniformity.

    Here are a couple snips of (potentially unexciting) things I've posted on the subject in other places around the webs:
    "As we know from the charts I’ve seen referenced in this forum, there are viewing distances at which the benefits of certain resolutions start to become perceptible. Those distances are determined, all else constant, by isolating two things: the number of pixels comprising an image (resolution) and a diagonal measurement of the physical space occupied by those pixels (panel size). These two variables determine the amount of detail per unit space on a panel, which I think of practically as its pixels per inch. If a 42” 1080p panel has a height of 20.6”, then its vertical resolution of 1080 equates to 52.459 pixels per inch. Likewise, the same panel has a width of 36.6”, then its horizontal resolution equates to the same 52.459 pixels per inch. It is important that these two numbers are the same, as it indicates pixel uniformity. If pixels are all square, and content resolution matches panel resoltion, then yes, the amount of perceptible detail per unit space will be equal both vertically and horizontally at any distance, and it is thus accurate, still excluding all else, for a chart to say that at X distance you can begin to perceive the benefits of Y resolution. But one problem with these charts – or at least any I’ve seen – is that they assume pixel uniformity. What about situations like ours when detail per unit space is not the same both ways? A 42” 1024x768 panel contains 37.281 pixels per inch vertically, but merely 27.978 pixels per inch horizontally. With this set, when starting at a distance and moving toward the display, we have two distinct points at which the benefits of its resolution become perceptible: one point at which we start to gain vertical detail, and a second point, closer to the display, at which we start to gain horizontal detail. Within the range of our ability to perceive the benefits of either parameter, no matter where we move, these detail levels are relative to one another, and the disparity between the two holds.”

    ....


    “Any viewing distance figure applies exclusively to panels with uniform vertical and horizontal pixel density. A panel with parity between its native resolution's aspect ratio and its panel’s aspect ratio will have square pixels, and a single viewing distance handily applies to detail perception in both directions. Displays with a 4:3 native resolution stretched over a 16:9 panel (rectangular pixels) like the 42" 1024x768 plasma sets, however, have lesser horizontal pixel density than they do vertical, and so there are two distinct distances at which one begins to perceive the increased benefits of any given content resolution, and that disparity scales relatively to any distance. Your eyes are never seeing the same amount of detail in both directions with these TVs, and that's why they look so weird to some of us."

    Feel free to tear into this, all of you, as I'm not claiming to be an expert, but even the AVS forums haven't managed to convince me that this isn't a real problem.

    Clipse offers some great input there, but the good news is that you don't need to avoid all 768p plasmas. To my knowledge, Pioneer included, there has never been a natively 16:9 consumer-level plasma display under 50" in size, but there are plenty in the 50+ range that sport an honest 1366x768 fixed pixel resolution -- Panasonic's 50PX80U and Samsung's PN50A450 from last year, for instance. Panasonic seems to be tinkering around with feature gimping to keep prices down this year, and I haven't seen their X1 series in person yet, so I can't confirm anything about them, but Samsung's PN50B450 doesn't slouch.

    Post Blue on
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  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Not quoting to stop the growing tree, but the skewing is only one reason I don't think upconvert DVDs compare to blu-ray. The fact it's impossible to "create" resolution and high-def sound codecs would be other points. But I'm not going down that road in here. Suffice it to say the Wii looks like the Wii no matter what you do with it, and my Mario Kart being slightly fatter will never bother me as much as huge black sidebars. With DVDs, looking at real people, it's more noticeable to me. Either it bothers you or it doesn't.

    As far as the 720p goes, Samsung's PN50B450 does the 1024x768. The Panasonic X1 is doing 1366x768, which really surprises me. Why not cut costs on a feature most people don't even notice? Especially a budget line like the X1. I'd cut the costs and push the people who notice towards the 1080p and be done with it. Additionally, once we start talking 50" TVs you're starting to get pretty close to that 1080p territory anyways.

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    subedii wrote: »
    I hear PC gaming is huge off the coast of Somalia right now.

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  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Not sure I can justify a 50" television. I don't think the view distance would be far enough to be optimal.

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  • Post BluePost Blue Redmond, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Scrublet wrote: »
    Not quoting to stop the growing tree, but the skewing is only one reason I don't think upconvert DVDs compare to blu-ray. The fact it's impossible to "create" resolution and high-def sound codecs would be other points. But I'm not going down that road in here. Suffice it to say the Wii looks like the Wii no matter what you do with it, and my Mario Kart being slightly fatter will never bother me as much as huge black sidebars. With DVDs, looking at real people, it's more noticeable to me. Either it bothers you or it doesn't.

    As far as the 720p goes, Samsung's PN50B450 does the 1024x768. The Panasonic X1 is doing 1366x768, which really surprises me. Why not cut costs on a feature most people don't even notice? Especially a budget line like the X1. I'd cut the costs and push the people who notice towards the 1080p and be done with it. Additionally, once we start talking 50" TVs you're starting to get pretty close to that 1080p territory anyways.
    If you're basing this figure on information provided on Samsung's website, it's actually a misprint. I've inspected a PN50B450 in person, and I can unequivocally verify that it is 1366(actually 1365)x768, not 1024x768 as their website states.

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