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Big-screen TVs

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render218    0

I've been looking to get a big-screen TV for the past few months. I want something big (55+ at least, maybe 60+ inches), something high-quality, and something that will last.

1) There are so many different types of big-screens these days... which should I go for? Plasma is probably not an option, as I've heard they go bad in like 3 years and cannot be fixed.

2) All big-screens are widescreen now, basically, and that's the format set for the future it seems. However, it seems like all channels with the exception of movies are normal aspect (4:3, not wide-aspect)... I've noticed that on widescreens the picture is artificially stretched wide and it bothers me (e.g. everything is wider than it should be). I also don't get why wide-aspect is the standard now. Are all the channels eventually changing to wide-screen? Shouldn't I be bothered that the picture is being stretched wide?

3) Which brand name TVs do you recommend? Which do you NOT recommend?

4) Any other tips? Something to keep in mind?

As always, thanks in advance. I really wanna make the right purchase, and, well, I'm putting it in the hands of the educated @ Neowin. :D Thanks guys.

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Orien    1

1. If you don't want to go plasma, then DLP.

2. You can set the option of how you want the channels to be displayed.

3. Toshiba makes good DLP TV's.

4. Wait until this winter to buy one. Prices will have dropped dramatically by then, and the quality will be better.

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bangbang023    31

Jesus, let me give you some better information:

1) Good plasmas are rated for 60,000 hours or about 10 years of average use. If you don't like Plasma, you can look at the other flat panel technology, LCD, or look towards digital projection sets, namely DLP or LCD Projection. DLP tends to give you a brighter picture but LCD projection tends to look better when watching standard definition programming. There are also known problems with some DLP's and gaming.

2) That stretching is completely optional. If you turn it off, you will simply get light grey or black bars on the sides of the image.

3) By technology:

Plasma - Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic

LCD - Samsung, Sharp

DLP - Samsung, Hitachi (definitley not Toshiba)

LCD Projection - Sony

4) When looking at digital projection sets, remember that the bulbs only last for 6,000 - 8,000 hours meaning they will need to be replaced every 2 or 3 years of average use. Also, there are additional costs to look at. One thing to remember: Cabling should wind up being about 10% the cost of the TV.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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bangbang023    31
Exactly.  If you're going to go big screen, the last thing you're going to want to do, is feed that puppy cheap signals by using out of the box RCA, or other generic cables.  Monster Cable all the way.  Gold tipped.

I spent $3500 on a big screen, and easily $600 on the Monster Cables and wiring for the surround sound setup.

586047744[/snapback]

You would be the polar opposite of a guy who returned a 50 inch Sony Grand Wega because we "lied to him" about the quality of picture. Of course, he didn't buy any wires and hooked up his single lnb old directv box via coaxial wire.

Bangbang023 knows his shizzle.... listen to him..

586047745[/snapback]

Thanks. I may not like my work place all the time, but I do try to understand as much as I can.

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xMorpheousx416    66
One thing to remember: Cabling should wind up being about 10% the cost of the TV.

Exactly. If you're going to go big screen, the last thing you're going to want to do, is feed that puppy cheap signals by using out of the box RCA, or other generic cables. Monster Cable all the way. Gold tipped.

I spent $3500 on a big screen, and easily $600 on the Monster Cables and wiring for the surround sound setup.

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Sophism    8

Bangbang023 knows his shizzle.... listen to him..

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render218    0

So what do you recommend, bangbang023? And what gives the best picture?

2) How much of programming is standard definition vs high definition? Will it all eventually be made into HDTV? And I should definitely go for an HDTV, right?

3) DLP isn't literally a projector, is it? As in an external projector to a surface... because I've seen those before. So how is DLP better/worse than the others? What are the real, significant differences between all these types? Pros/cons?

... I'll be thinking of some more questions. Props for being really helpful.

Edited by redefine.this

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bangbang023    31

1) Samsung DLP's are a nice middle ground between price and quality (56" is around the $3200 US range), although the Samsung LNR408D is an awesome LCD set. 3000:1 contrast ratio with a 12ms response IIRC.

2) On digital cable, right now, there are about 15 dedicated HD channels and a lot of local network prime time shows are now in HD also. DirecTV promises to have about 1500 nationwide HD channels by the end of the year, or so.

3) DLP can be a projector or a big screen TV. DLP is the technology used inside the product. Like I said, compared to the other main digital projection tech, LCD Projo, DLP does give a much more vibrant picture. LCoS is an even better technology, but I have only seen JVC's implementation of it (D-ILA) and they did a poor job on that set.

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neoufo51    0
Exactly.  If you're going to go big screen, the last thing you're going to want to do, is feed that puppy cheap signals by using out of the box RCA, or other generic cables.  Monster Cable all the way.  Gold tipped.

I spent $3500 on a big screen, and easily $600 on the Monster Cables and wiring for the surround sound setup.

586047744[/snapback]

First poster, don't let this post freak you out if you have limited funds. While its true that it would be foolish to use out of the box cables, the main thing to focus on is getting the best method of signal transport, meaning you should know the TYPE of connection has a certain hierarchy in terms of AV quality.

From worst to best:

Video: RCA(composite)<S-Video<Component (RGB)<DVI (HDMI, alternatively)

Audio: RCA 2.0 cables<Coaxial (5.1 sound)<Optical (5.1 pure digital bitstream)

Also, you dont have to spend hundreds on Monster cable. The price is mostly in the brand name. There are a good number of quality cable manufacturers that will meet or excel you needs without the overinflated prices. AR is a good brand, for one. If you wanna buy online, Blue Jeans Cables are nice.

So what do you recommend, bangbang023? And what gives the best picture?

2) How much of programming is standard definition vs high definition? Will it all eventually be made into HDTV? And I should definitely go for an HDTV, right?

3) DLP isn't literally a projector, is it? As in an external projector to a surface... because I've seen those before. So how is DLP better/worse than the others? What are the real, significant differences between all these types? Pros/cons?

... I'll be thinking of some more questions. Props for being really helpful.

586047812[/snapback]

1) Yes, most definitely. Why be stuck with a 4:3 analog set when the future is digital programming?

3) DLP means higher maintenance...you gotta change the bulbs every 3 years or so like bangbang said. The picture is great, but I've heard the most service calls going to people with DLP sets. If you can afford it, go for plasma instead.

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render218    0

Forgot to ask: is there a difference between "HDTV" and "HD-ready TV"?

And, as TVs get bigger... does the image quality become worse or less sharp? Since you're basically stretching out the image. Resolution is basically what I'm asking.

Also, opinion of Mitsubishi?

And finally, hah... which will you give the better picture: DLP or Plasma? sharpness, brightness, color, just overall picture quality.

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neoufo51    0

"HDTV-ready" means that the display can handle 1080p/720p signals, but it does NOT have a built in decoder for those signals. HDTV has the decoder built in.

My set is a Hitachi and its HD-ready. Comcast supplies my HD to my parents house with a set top box that is also a decoder, sending the decoded signal to the TV. In short, HD ready is fine for anybody since most people will be using set top decoder boxest anyway, and you should only spend the extra cash on a set with a built in decoder if you are considering a "Cable Card" setup, which is common in some areas, or any setup where you just wont be using a set top box.

And, as TVs get bigger... does the image quality become worse or less sharp? Since you're basically stretching out the image. Resolution is basically what I'm asking.

Also, opinion of Mitsubishi?

And finally, hah... which will you give the better picture: DLP or Plasma? sharpness, brightness, color, just overall picture quality.

Bigger TV's are not less "sharp" unless you have some kind of incredible house sized TV which doesnt exist. A 42" set will look as good as an 80" set these days.

Mits makes good sets. If they are in your price range, go for it. However you should always do extensive research on the set you want to ensure you will not be dissappointed. Go to the store, try it out, bring a DVD you like. Go nuts, since you're the consumer after all.

I'm gonna say Plasma, but some people say DLP. Its kind of a battle among us AV geeks. Again, go to a store, see what looks better to you, whats easier to tweak, and or course, what you can afford.

Edited by neoufo51

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oddcrap    0

Nobody mentioned the fact that LCD's come with two totally different colour qualities: 16.2 million, and 16.7 (I think). A little research will tell you that the 16.2's use the adjacent pixels to blend the missing colours in, which obviously compromises the picture quality. One other thing to consider: LCD's are succeptible to the occasional 'bad' pixel. Manufacturers are only liable to replace your screen if four or more pixels are dead. It's IMPERATIVE that you purchase in person, after viewing the actual monitor you're going to take home( LCD, DLP...ect) . Do NOT buy one through the mail!

BangBang forgot to mention that : LCD uses light bulbs that degrade over time. The bulbs are replaceable, but there are about 20 to replace in a flat panel LCD. It would cost you less to buy a new set in a few years. Most LCD companies rate the full life of the set, but it does degrade over time as with any backlight display. The amount depends on whether you have the bulb set to high or low. Each technology has its pluses and minuses. In general videophiles prefer plasma, less enthusiastic people like LCD.

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bangbang023    31
Nobody mentioned the fact that LCD's come with two totally different colour qualities: 16.2 million, and 16.7 (I think). A little research will tell you that the 16.2's use the adjacent pixels to blend the missing colours in, which obviously compromises the picture quality. One other thing to consider: LCD's are succeptible to the occasional 'bad' pixel. Manufacturers are only liable to replace your screen if four or more pixels are dead. It's IMPERATIVE that you purchase in person, after viewing the actual monitor you're going to take home( LCD, DLP...ect) . Do NOT buy one through the mail!

BangBang forgot to mention that : LCD uses light bulbs that degrade over time. The bulbs are replaceable, but there are about 20 to replace in a flat panel LCD. It would cost you less to buy a new set in a few years. Most LCD companies rate the full life of the set, but it does degrade over time as with any backlight display. The amount depends on whether you have the bulb set to high or low. Each technology has its pluses and minuses. In general videophiles prefer plasma, less enthusiastic people like LCD.

586047881[/snapback]

Videophiles do not prefer plasma. They actually prefer LCoS projectors.

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neoufo51    0
Videophiles do not prefer plasma. They actually prefer LCoS projectors.

586047907[/snapback]

Hmmmm...I dunno about that. Its kinda split, or 60/40. The forum I frequent is more on the plasma side I think... I dunno. Hmmm.

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kombolcha    11

62" Toshiba DLP TV

i have one and it is AMAZING especially on HD :happy:

depending on the amount of hours you use the TV the bulb lasts from 1 - 3 years.. and its about 150 - $200 to replace the bulb.. its also cheaper to just get the store warrenty if they have it. i got from Howards on sale for $2,300 + $150 for 3 years warrenty.

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bangbang023    31
Hmmmm...I dunno about that.

586047914[/snapback]

I do. They are the rage of many hardcore video guys. It's a shame the technology is still pretty expensive. Even if you dont' count LCoS, "videophiles" prefer projectors.

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kombolcha    11
Jesus, let me give you some better information:

1) Good plasmas are rated for 60,000 hours or about 10 years of average use. If you don't like Plasma, you can look at the other flat panel technology, LCD, or look towards digital projection sets, namely DLP or LCD Projection. DLP tends to give you a brighter picture but LCD projection tends to look better when watching standard definition programming. There are also known problems with some DLP's and gaming.

2) That stretching is completely optional. If you turn it off, you will simply get light grey or black bars on the sides of the image.

3) By technology:

Plasma - Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic

LCD - Samsung, Sharp

DLP - Samsung, Hitachi (definitley not Toshiba)

LCD Projection - Sony

4) When looking at digital projection sets, remember that the bulbs only last for 6,000 - 8,000 hours meaning they will need to be replaced every 2 or 3 years of average use. Also, there are additional costs to look at. One thing to remember: Cabling should wind up being about 10% the cost of the TV.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

586047725[/snapback]

LOL def not Toshiba. what's wrong with them? i've had mine for about 7 months now and its still working.

i wanted the samsung too but at the time, they had just come out with the 4th generation DLP and the biggest screen size they had was 50" which was too small for me.

instead i opted for the 3rd gen. Toshiba and i hear the 4th gen are supposed to be good with games now.

as for projectors go. i have a $12,000 View Sonic and hell no i didn't pay for it. i stole it. :devil: that thing is simply amazing for watching movies when you have a lot of people over. so i had to go and steal the umm. projection screen too.

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bangbang023    31
62" Toshiba DLP TV

i have one and it is AMAZING especially on HD :happy:

depending on the amount of hours you use the TV the bulb lasts from 1 - 3 years.. and its about 150 - $200 to replace the bulb.. its also cheaper to just get the store warrenty if they have it. i got from Howards on sale for $2,300 + $150 for 3 years warrenty.

586047936[/snapback]

What's the model? I know the 52HM84 is completely craptacular and this is coming from a guy who likes Toshiba.

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bangbang023    31

The Toshiba's get a lot of complaints from customers with the delay issue with games. Also, the rainbow effect is prominent in at least the HM84. I dislike them greatly.

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Acezo    0
LOL def not Toshiba. what's wrong with them? i've had mine for about 7 months now and its still working.

i wanted the samsung too but at the time, they had just come out with the 4th generation DLP and the biggest screen size they had was 50" which was too small for me.

instead i opted for the 3rd gen. Toshiba and i hear the 4th gen are supposed to be good with games now.

as for projectors go. i have a $12,000 View Sonic and hell no i didn't pay for it. i stole it. :devil: that thing is simply amazing for watching movies when you have a lot of people over. so i had to go and steal the umm. projection screen too.

586047948[/snapback]

Same here, got the 46HM94 and have nothing but love for it (Y)

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amradiar    0

The New Sony TV's look sweet. I have no idea if they are good or not though, i just saw them in my sony style magazine!! :D

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nekrosoft13    724
Jesus, let me give you some better information:

3) By technology:

Plasma - Pioneer, Sony, Panasonic

LCD - Samsung, Sharp

DLP - Samsung, Hitachi (definitley not Toshiba)

LCD Projection - Sony

586047725[/snapback]

one thing that really matters

is who actually makes the display, not what brand is on the front

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kombolcha    11
one thing that really matters

is who actually makes the display, not what brand is on the front

586048025[/snapback]

who's good and how do you tell?

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render218    0

Btw, is it a good time to buy right now? Or is something big coming out in the near future?

3rd gen, 4th gen? Do I need to worry about any of that? I just wanna make sure that I buy the newest techonology or whatnot.

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