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The TV Thread: Holiday 2010 has ALREADY begun!

145791062

Posts

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    A few random points:

    - For anybody wondering, the difference between a 720p and a 768p monitor is pretty small, and is largely hidden by overscan. Overscan is the process by which an image is artificially enlarged so that it overlaps the displayable area of the screen. And almost all 720/768p TVs employ overscan. In practice, your picture will be slightly fuzzier, as you're not getting a 1:1 pixel mapping from the signal to the screen. Most (good) 1080p TVs have the option to disable overscan on 1080p sources, so you do get 1:1 mapping. Basically, any 7xxp television is going to look about the same, all else equal.

    - 480p televisions and projectors were around years before HDTVs came about. They were frequently employed with line-doublers, which were basically fancy de-interlacers and cost $Texas. "Enhanced Definition" was a retarded marketing phrase used to make people think they were getting something akin to HD when they were getting the same warmed-over PQ that had been around forever.

    - Yeah, Bluray vs DVD is fucking night and day on a 1080p television, and it has little to do with image stretching from 4:3 to 16:9.

    ElJeffe on
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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Late to the party I know, but I got my Harmony One today and it completely surpassed any expectations I had.

    I was worried my setup would confuse it (it's kind of a hodgepodge of components, have to do some real button gymanstics to change audio and video sources) but the setup utility slapped it around and made it it's bitch.

    xzzy on
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So say I was looking for a small television, 20-30 inches, and it'd mostly be used to play games. Let's also say that I'm not paying for it so I can entertain pretty much any price save "firstborn". What would you recommend?

    durandal4532 on
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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Is 32" too big? If money were no object I'd go with either this Sharp for LCD or this Panny for Plasma.

    Djeet on
  • Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    GREAT OP! Very helpful. Can the Auto motion plus on samsungs be turned on and off or is it always going to display with it?

    Sharp10r on
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Sharp10r wrote: »
    GREAT OP! Very helpful. Can the Auto motion plus on samsungs be turned on and off or is it always going to display with it?

    Mine has four different settings for it.. disabled, then three levels of processing. I assume all Samsungs are the same, but can't confirm this.

    xzzy on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    Late to the party I know, but I got my Harmony One today and it completely surpassed any expectations I had.

    I was worried my setup would confuse it (it's kind of a hodgepodge of components, have to do some real button gymanstics to change audio and video sources) but the setup utility slapped it around and made it it's bitch.

    Dammit, you're making me want to go buy one now.

    And I don't need to be dropping $200 on a fucking remote right now.

    ElJeffe on
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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    xzzy wrote: »
    Late to the party I know, but I got my Harmony One today and it completely surpassed any expectations I had.

    I was worried my setup would confuse it (it's kind of a hodgepodge of components, have to do some real button gymanstics to change audio and video sources) but the setup utility slapped it around and made it it's bitch.

    Dammit, you're making me want to go buy one now.

    And I don't need to be dropping $200 on a fucking remote right now.

    Well, if it helps, I found one problem with it this morning. Xbox is plugged into 'input 1' and cable is on 'input 2'. Say I shut everything down with input 1 active. When I turn it back on, if I told the remote I want to be using 'input 2', it will never switch over.

    It's a problem with the tv.. it takes about 5 seconds to fully power on once you turn it on, and during this period it ignores all commands, including the one trying to get it to switch to input 2.

    I haven't yet figured out how to resolve this.

    xzzy on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    xzzy wrote: »
    Late to the party I know, but I got my Harmony One today and it completely surpassed any expectations I had.

    I was worried my setup would confuse it (it's kind of a hodgepodge of components, have to do some real button gymanstics to change audio and video sources) but the setup utility slapped it around and made it it's bitch.

    Dammit, you're making me want to go buy one now.

    And I don't need to be dropping $200 on a fucking remote right now.

    Well, if it helps, I found one problem with it this morning. Xbox is plugged into 'input 1' and cable is on 'input 2'. Say I shut everything down with input 1 active. When I turn it back on, if I told the remote I want to be using 'input 2', it will never switch over.

    It's a problem with the tv.. it takes about 5 seconds to fully power on once you turn it on, and during this period it ignores all commands, including the one trying to get it to switch to input 2.

    I haven't yet figured out how to resolve this.

    My solution was to buy a receiver with sufficient HDMI inputs and upconversion that I only needed one input on the TV. Power-up and input-switching on the receiver is lightning-quick.

    ElJeffe on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You can also put a delay in between commands. But it sounds like youd need a huge delay.

    Improvolone on
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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You can also put a delay in between commands. But it sounds like youd need a huge delay.

    16 seconds. :/ Default is 13 seconds apparently (that's not a delay between commands though, that's delay after powering on the TV and it accepting input). Change time when it's on is less than 2 seconds.

    It works though.

    Took me a while to find the option, not really keen on their interface. I'm happy the thing is flexible though.

    xzzy on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Yea, they try to keep the "advanced" options out of everyones hands. Took me goddamnforever to find out how to use an image for a favorite channel.

    Improvolone on
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  • Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I enter the world of HDTV tomorrow with the delivery of my 50" Samsung Series 5 Plasma! The best part, my wife was convinced 46" was as big as we could do, but when she saw it- she LOVED it and thought it could work just fine!

    Sharp10r on
  • PojPoj Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So say I was looking for a small television, 20-30 inches, and it'd mostly be used to play games. Let's also say that I'm not paying for it so I can entertain pretty much any price save "firstborn". What would you recommend?

    Optimal viewing distance for TVs (or at least what I would tell people) is about 2x the screen size (measured diagonally), which interestingly enough, is the same optimal distance for viewing a painting. In the case of a 32" TV, then, it would be about 64" at least.

    I personally don't think I'd go with anything smaller than a 32" if it's going to be a living room-type TV, as the jump down in size to a 26" is pretty dramatic. The good news is, this is a pretty competitive size range for TVs. I'd look into a Sony, Samsung, Sharp, or maybe an LG. Sharps tend to have really awesome viewing angles, which is a plus if you are not going to be staring at it straight on from time to time. Samsung is still the top rated LCD manufacturer as far as I know, but Sony's XBR6 is the nicest 32"-er I've seen so far. I'm a few months behind the times now, so there might be something better. LG doesn't make my favorite TVs, but they tend to offer a pretty decent product for the price.

    As far as screen resolution, I'm not sure I would necessarily recommend a 1080p only because 32 is still a little small to really see that big of a difference (between that and a 720). If you go any smaller than 32, then you won't even have that option.

    Edit: Oh yeah, also... if you find there's an option for a nice small TV with a built-in DvD player, don't buy one of those. They tend to tack an extra $100 onto the pricetag (or something ridiculous) and really you're just opening yourself to the risk of death by moving parts. I'd recommend to anyone hunting in that size range to just buy a nicer TV with a cheapo dvd player instead.

    Poj on
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  • TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Argh...so, despite the internet telling me that dead/stuck pixels are "rare" on plasmas, my new screen has a nice one right in the top right area.

    Looks like the green subpixel is the problem...black backgrounds are perfectly fine, but on white backgrounds there's a pink dot there.

    What are the odds that it's just stuck and not dead? I'm getting a VGA cable tomorrow so I can hook my PC up - I can try one of those flashing programs, but do those work on plasmas or just LCDs? They all seem to claim functionality on LCDs without mentioning plasmas.

    I'm assuming neither Amazon nor Samsung will be conducive to exchanging my 42" display for one pixel.

    Edit: Since I am a nerd and this is the internet, behold the bane of my new home cinema:
    fucking_pixel.jpg

    Taximes on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So say I was looking for a small television, 20-30 inches, and it'd mostly be used to play games. Let's also say that I'm not paying for it so I can entertain pretty much any price save "firstborn". What would you recommend?
    I don't understand. Usually when people buy a TV, they go through the following process.
    How much can I spend?
    What is the size v quality ratio I want?

    So what scenario are you in where money isn't a question but size is? Do you live in a closet?

    Improvolone on
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  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    There are plenty of people who live in places where they have plenty of money but can't fit a big 50" TV in their room. For durandal4532, I'll say the same thing I said earlier in the thread about small TVs...you're going to hit a quality ceiling where even if you had a "nicer" panel, you probably wouldn't notice much difference given the size you're working with. The Samsungs go up to the 650 series at the 32-37" size...this year the Sonys go up to XBR9. XBR9 is the top series for Sonys at all sizes, which seems to fly in the face of the logic I just said. But the funny thing about Sonys...most TVs come in series and sizes, where a given series will offer the same features/quality at the different sizes it is offered in. Sony seems to be taking a different tact. Go compare the specifications on the 52" XBR9 and the 32" XBR9. The panels are nothing alike! The only thing that really ties those two panels together is that in they are each the best panel Sony makes at that size. Just an interesting little tangent.

    Anyways, at the 32" market, the Samsung 650 and Sony XBR9 are your best bets. I was just at Best Buy yesterday and wandered over, and Samsungs still look like better buys to me. But that's just me looking at poorly calibrated TVs in a bright store so not really groundbreaking advice there.

    Scrublet on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I get that, but 20-30 is really small.

    Improvolone on
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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    20 inches is small, but 30 inches is perfectly suitable for a small apartment living room. Yeah it's not going to fill your eyes from corner to corner, but it's sufficient to watch.. most of us grew up on screens 30 inches or smaller. ;)

    xzzy on
  • PojPoj Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I worked as a TV salesperson for quite a while, but I have some ancient off-brand projection TV in my living room right now that's probably 26" at the most and (the size) works fine for my small apartment. Still, 32" is a nice size if you need to buy a new one and that's probably the smallest you should go if it's going to be a main TV in a LARGE room. If you're going to be playing games in bed and the TV is two feet away, that changes things a little.

    Poj on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    20 inches is small, but 30 inches is perfectly suitable for a small apartment living room. Yeah it's not going to fill your eyes from corner to corner, but it's sufficient to watch.. most of us grew up on screens 30 inches or smaller. ;)

    Yes, and sometimes I still wake up at night. Screaming. The horror.

    ElJeffe on
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  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    xzzy wrote: »
    20 inches is small, but 30 inches is perfectly suitable for a small apartment living room. Yeah it's not going to fill your eyes from corner to corner, but it's sufficient to watch.. most of us grew up on screens 30 inches or smaller. ;)

    Yes, and sometimes I still wake up at night. Screaming. The horror.

    Signs you might be a TV snob.

    I hear the rehab has you watching tv on an original game boy.

    xzzy on
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    My current TV is a 17 inch CRT viewed from about 6 feet away. Anything would be an improvement. If I get a new one, it's probably not going to be able to be ridiculously huge. I'm going to be looking for a new apartment, most likely in Boston, and I'm reasonably poor. So I have to schlep the thing, and I will most likely be living in something like a closet.

    But as a recent grad I may be able to call in a few gift type favors and get something decent. Hence the lack of concern about the cash, while being worried about how to fit the thing in a sedan.

    Edit: Good point. I wish I could more easily tell people to just give me cash for the savings account. That usually ends with a couple of checks for $50, though.

    durandal4532 on
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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I understand the thinking ahead, but you should probably hold off on buying a TV untill you actually do move. Then you won't worry about moving it for at least a year.

    Improvolone on
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  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Alright, we're getting a hefty tax return in a couple weeks and in line with our plan to use it to furnish our next home we're finally upgrading from my ten year old rear projector to something from this millennium. We're keeping the price under 1k and while I'm browsing Amazon, are there any upcoming sales that I should keep an eye out for?
    In case anyone was curious we picked up this one at Costco a couple weeks ago though without the Touch of Color and it has been lovely.

    Quid on
  • Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So I now have my 50 inch plasma Samsung Series 5 PN50A550S, and I thought it was supposed to be 600 Htz or something like that whereas LCD is 60 or 120, but for everything I tune to it says "60 Htz" What gives?

    Sharp10r on
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    It's describing the source video.. not what it's displaying at. It's still doing all the pulldown magic to show each frame the same amount of time.

    xzzy on
  • Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    xzzy wrote: »
    It's describing the source video.. not what it's displaying at. It's still doing all the pulldown magic to show each frame the same amount of time.
    :^: Thanks. I was worried there was some option I had to find in the menu system.

    Sharp10r on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Don't forget to calibrate!

    Improvolone on
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  • TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So, I've been loving the picture quality on my new plasma, but I'm a still bit worried about image retention. To what degree is it expected/normal? I've started noticing that it seems to show up almost immediately (not over top of other content, but on blank screens).

    I used the screenwipe to flush everything out, then tuned to a blank input channel with all the lights off. Even bringing up the menu for just a second, I can see a ghost left behind afterward. Heck, the "No Input" message slides around the screen, so it's not even static, but I can see a ghosted trail of its path.

    Obviously this doesn't interfere with normal usage in anyway since it's only visible in the dark on an all black screen, but is it indicative of the set's general image retention resilience? I've been avoiding static-image gaming and letterboxing for break-in, but now I'm kinda nervous about ever displaying them if just a second of the menu leaves faint IR. This is about 120 hours into break-in.

    Taximes on
  • Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Don't forget to calibrate!
    Are all calibration DVDs created equal? (I don't have blu-ray, I'm getting HD movies through Xbox, Netflix, and Time warner) I'm browsing the Amazon ones, and I don't know how to pick one.

    Sharp10r on
  • xzzyxzzy Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Sharp10r wrote: »
    Don't forget to calibrate!
    Are all calibration DVDs created equal? (I don't have blu-ray, I'm getting HD movies through Xbox, Netflix, and Time warner) I'm browsing the Amazon ones, and I don't know how to pick one.
    If you bought Halo 3, either the legendary or limited, just use their calibration. It's 'good enough'.

    I use it to establish a ballpark.. I tend to trust my eyes, and if I like it better one way when the calibration suggests another, I go with my way.

    xzzy on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    All calibration disks aren't necessarily created equal, but most of them are probably close enough unless you're a serious videophile with a seriously awesome television.

    Most of the calibration work you'll care about involves things like color balance, brightness, and contrast. Sharpness is also a consideration, but usually you want to turn that setting all (or almost all) the way down - anything above "0" typically involves artificial edge-enhancement that you really don't want. If you pick up a SD version of Avia or DVE, you can probably use the sharpness adjustment tests in there to at least get in the ballpark. The other settings are probably the same in SD as in HD.

    Like xzzy says, your eyes are more important than what's technically "correct", so you should ultimately go with whatever pleases you the most.

    That said.

    If you've never really worried about calibration before, you may find that your new TV suddenly looks really dark or really washed out after calibration. This could well be the case, because factory setting generally involve super-saturating the colors and ramping up the brightness and contrast. Thing is, those settings represent inaccurate colors and a loss of detail in both the whites and the blacks. Like, those settings mean you're not seeing everything there is to see.

    So after you get your television set to what it "should" look like, I'd recommend you leave it like that for a week or so, even if you don't really like it much at first. See if it grows on you. After that, if you don't like it, fuck around with it until you find something you DO like, even if it means going back to super-bright, radioactive colors. Just make sure that you're setting your television up based on what you like, not what you've grown accustomed to.

    ElJeffe on
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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So my dad has a big ol' stupid HDTV, 60 inches or so. It's rear-projection, and looks great... when in HD. The problem is, we've got a Tivo. We basically only keep the TV on AV input, since we use the Tico to watch most programs, and it's an early one that doesn't record in HD. We seem to have gotten a giant HDTV that essentially acts as a 40-inch SDTV.

    So our setup is: a Tivo with only AV inputs, a cable box with only Component and AV, and an HD-Upscaling DVD player with HDMI and Component.

    What part of this kludge do I look to change first?

    Edit: And is a PS3 still the best bet for a Blu-Ray player? I found a few pure players that started at $150, but then some that look exactly the same going for $550.

    durandal4532 on
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  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Taximes wrote: »
    So, I've been loving the picture quality on my new plasma, but I'm a still bit worried about image retention. To what degree is it expected/normal? I've started noticing that it seems to show up almost immediately (not over top of other content, but on blank screens).

    I used the screenwipe to flush everything out, then tuned to a blank input channel with all the lights off. Even bringing up the menu for just a second, I can see a ghost left behind afterward. Heck, the "No Input" message slides around the screen, so it's not even static, but I can see a ghosted trail of its path.

    Obviously this doesn't interfere with normal usage in anyway since it's only visible in the dark on an all black screen, but is it indicative of the set's general image retention resilience? I've been avoiding static-image gaming and letterboxing for break-in, but now I'm kinda nervous about ever displaying them if just a second of the menu leaves faint IR. This is about 120 hours into break-in.

    This doesn't seem normal to me. Samsung is definitely better at making LCDs than plasmas...if this continues I would almost recommend returning it and going Panasonic. For comparison, I've watched full-length letterboxed movies and even passed out for a few hours with a static game image on screen on my Pioneer with no IR at all (I screenwiped anyways after that one). I did some searching and saw some complaining about IR with B-series Samsung plasmas on AVSForum...not sure if that's representative of the series though. You might go to BestBuy and try that blank-input-menu test you were doing and see if maybe your set is just flawed somehow.

    Edit: based on PostBlue's post, and a significant discussion on this on AVSForum with no comparable discussion for Panasonics or the now-defunct Pioneers and Vizios, I've updated the OP with a warning on Samsung plasmas. Personally speaking, I would only buy Panny plasmas, Sammy LCDs/DLPs, or Vizio LCD if I wanted to save money. I would only buy Sony LCDs at a comparable price to Samsung.

    Scrublet on
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  • Sharp10rSharp10r Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    All calibration disks aren't necessarily created equal, but most of them are probably close enough unless you're a serious videophile with a seriously awesome television.

    Most of the calibration work you'll care about involves things like color balance, brightness, and contrast. Sharpness is also a consideration, but usually you want to turn that setting all (or almost all) the way down - anything above "0" typically involves artificial edge-enhancement that you really don't want. If you pick up a SD version of Avia or DVE, you can probably use the sharpness adjustment tests in there to at least get in the ballpark. The other settings are probably the same in SD as in HD.

    Like xzzy says, your eyes are more important than what's technically "correct", so you should ultimately go with whatever pleases you the most.

    That said.

    If you've never really worried about calibration before, you may find that your new TV suddenly looks really dark or really washed out after calibration. This could well be the case, because factory setting generally involve super-saturating the colors and ramping up the brightness and contrast. Thing is, those settings represent inaccurate colors and a loss of detail in both the whites and the blacks. Like, those settings mean you're not seeing everything there is to see.

    So after you get your television set to what it "should" look like, I'd recommend you leave it like that for a week or so, even if you don't really like it much at first. See if it grows on you. After that, if you don't like it, fuck around with it until you find something you DO like, even if it means going back to super-bright, radioactive colors. Just make sure that you're setting your television up based on what you like, not what you've grown accustomed to.
    Wish I could star this post. Thanks. I've set them up according to some guy named Doug on AVS, and its different, so we'll see how we like it for a while. I'm going to load up my Halo 3 and see if it has the calibration (it's the basic version so I may have to wait until I get a friends copy.)

    Sharp10r on
  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Funny enough I tend to use the internet channel on the Nintendo Wii and google "Monitor Calibration".

    Mblackwell on
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  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Edit: And is a PS3 still the best bet for a Blu-Ray player? I found a few pure players that started at $150, but then some that look exactly the same going for $550.

    IMO, yes. It's also one of the best upscaling players on the market.

    chasm on
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  • ScrubletScrublet Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    A few pages back a bunch of people were talking about Harmony remotes. A major reason I've never gone down that path is because I would still need a second remote for my PS3. That is until today. If anyone gets this let me know I'd love to know if it's easy to setup and how well it works. Not that I'm spending $200+60 anytime soon on remotes, but it'd be nice to know in case something goes on sale.

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

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    You can get an IR dongle for the PS3 for pretty cheap, but you can't turn the PS3 on and off with the remote.
    You can also get a Harmony remote for fairly cheap, just not a One.

    Improvolone on
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