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Old 12-17-06, 11:51 AM   #1
bhome83
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reviewing tv's in store or online?

so when i was at bestbuy last night they have a ton of tv's but how am i suuposed to know if the best picture possible is being shown on the set? I'm thinking the sales people aren't gonna change every tv set to the best resolution possible. So im thinking, should I just go by word of mouth on the internet and through friends to buy a 50" TV? I really want one, but it's hard to just go to a store and take the image at face value.
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Old 12-17-06, 01:42 PM   #2
renaldow
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Yeah, don't take the image in the store at face value. They generally don't do any kind of callibration to the sets they have on the floor. The best thing to do is look at the TVs in your price range online, then when when you have it narrowed down to a small handful, go into the store and check them out. Play with the settings, do whatever it is you think will help with the buying decision.

The point is, inform yourself, don't expect the store or the salespeople to educate you. They can't and won't. In my experience, they will lie, or be too uninformed to answer correctly. In the last 5 years I've bought 4 new TVs, and each time I knew more than the sales person who was "helping" me. And, in each case, the person gave me wrong or bad information about the features and capabilities of the TVs I was looking at.
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Old 12-17-06, 02:36 PM   #3
bhome83
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good info. thanks renaldow.
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Old 12-17-06, 03:54 PM   #4
Sdallnct
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IMHO, you pretty much have to buy "blind". You need to do research, but remember personal taste and what are "you" looking for in a display.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:27 PM   #5
Mopower
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And remember that no matter how good the TV looks in HD it will look like shit on SD. And I'm sure SD is what you will be watching 90% of the time.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:37 PM   #6
Sdallnct
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopower
And remember that no matter how good the TV looks in HD it will look like shit on SD. And I'm sure SD is what you will be watching 90% of the time.
90% of the time??? What are you watching? While DVD's are not technically HD, they look great on a HD set. And many (most?) popular prime time shows and sports are in HD. Between my wife and I we usually whatch things such as

Sunday football
CSI Miami
NCIS
Dangerous Minds
Grey's Anatamy
Men in Trees
CSI
SNL
Desperate Housewives
Letterman/Leno

And we currently have only OTA HD which is FREE! Of course you add Dish or Cable HD and you get popular MNF and NFL Network games, not to mention HBO/Showtime movies. Really the biggest thing we watch that is not HD is our local news....
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Old 12-17-06, 07:51 PM   #7
Mopower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct
90% of the time??? What are you watching? While DVD's are not technically HD, they look great on a HD set. And many (most?) popular prime time shows and sports are in HD. Between my wife and I we usually whatch things such as

Sunday football
CSI Miami
NCIS
Dangerous Minds
Grey's Anatamy
Men in Trees
CSI
SNL
Desperate Housewives
Letterman/Leno

And we currently have only OTA HD which is FREE! Of course you add Dish or Cable HD and you get popular MNF and NFL Network games, not to mention HBO/Showtime movies. Really the biggest thing we watch that is not HD is our local news....
Not everyone can get free OTA HD. If you live in a big city yes. If not it's a shot in the dark.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:02 PM   #8
Sdallnct
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopower
Not everyone can get free OTA HD. If you live in a big city yes. If not it's a shot in the dark.
My example is just for OTA. Satellite and Cable offer HD. And if you can't get local on HD on Satellite, you should be able to on cable.

Anyway...there are lots of options with lots of content for HD. But if you want to say, "I don't have many DVD's, have no interest in HD DVD or new game systems and have no way to get any HD content in my area" then sure I'll agree with you, don't get a HD TV.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:17 PM   #9
Mopower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct
My example is just for OTA. Satellite and Cable offer HD. And if you can't get local on HD on Satellite, you should be able to on cable.

Anyway...there are lots of options with lots of content for HD. But if you want to say, "I don't have many DVD's, have no interest in HD DVD or new game systems and have no way to get any HD content in my area" then sure I'll agree with you, don't get a HD TV.
I never said don't get an HDTV. I said SDTV will look like crap on one. You can't argue with that.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:36 PM   #10
Sdallnct
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopower
I never said don't get an HDTV. I said SDTV will look like crap on one. You can't argue with that.
Nope, agree 80%. So much so, I wouldn't get a HD set if you were not a dvd watcher, game player and had no access to HD contents.

Now I say 80% agree as my only HD display is a projector, so the highly compressed dishnetwork does look like crap. Crappy crap. But OTA SD is watchable. And a buddy got a CRT HD PJ TV and they just had direct SD tv and it really didn't look bad. They got a Pioneer or something and it seemed to handle SD pretty well. So depending on how well that particular display handles SD and the content, it might be "OK".

Also, I didn't realize how bad SD was on my PJ until I fed it HD. So as they say if you never saw HD, then you might be able to live with the "ignorance is bliss" theory.
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Old 12-17-06, 09:21 PM   #11
Mopower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Nope, agree 80%. So much so, I wouldn't get a HD set if you were not a dvd watcher, game player and had no access to HD contents.

Now I say 80% agree as my only HD display is a projector, so the highly compressed dishnetwork does look like crap. Crappy crap. But OTA SD is watchable. And a buddy got a CRT HD PJ TV and they just had direct SD tv and it really didn't look bad. They got a Pioneer or something and it seemed to handle SD pretty well. So depending on how well that particular display handles SD and the content, it might be "OK".

Also, I didn't realize how bad SD was on my PJ until I fed it HD. So as they say if you never saw HD, then you might be able to live with the "ignorance is bliss" theory.

I bought an HDTV two weeks ago. I thought I'd be able to pick up OTAHD but I can't. My cable company doesn't offer HD. And Dish network HD is $50. The only HD stations I'm interested in are ESPN and NFL network. Not worth $50.

But I still have my 360 and HD-DVD add on so it's not so bad.
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Old 12-17-06, 09:34 PM   #12
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I do think we will see some more alternatives in the future. Remember Voom? I was kind of interested in that USdirect or whatever that company was that had like a dozen HD channels. Guess it only made it in a few cities before it went belly up.

These early options didn't make it, but bet there will continue to be some options in the future.
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Old 12-17-06, 09:39 PM   #13
dick_grayson
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SD on my plasma looks excellent while HD looks very good. HD content is always preferred, but SD is totally watchable. I have the panasonic th-50phd8uk
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Old 12-17-06, 09:43 PM   #14
4KRG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopower
I never said don't get an HDTV. I said SDTV will look like crap on one. You can't argue with that.

I can I would not say that my standard analog cable looks like crap on my HD TV - it is actually very watchable and LOOKS NO WORSE THAN my 32" Toshiba flat tube TV that I just replaced.

I run it in 4:3 mode, so I am not getting all the 50" screen benefit, but the actual picture is larger than on my old 32" tube TV and looks about the same quality.

As I understand it, SD is a hit or miss. The Samsung 5087W does a brilliant job with an SD signal. By no means HD quality, but no where near what I would call "crap"


How far away are you from the OTAHD broadcast?

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx

Take what it says and up youself one level of antenna. I was 14 miles away from most broadcasts, that put me in the "indoor antenna" range, although they worked, they did not work good enough and I got fade.

I upped myself one category of antenna and went to the 30-40 mile range one and mounted it in my attic, works perfectly.

If you are in the max category antenna, then it is MORE of a crap shoot, but if you are in a lower category and can up yourself one, I had good results.

If you can mount something like this

UHF Multi-Bay Antenna (4228)

http://www.pctinternational.com/chan...tdoor_uhf.html

or one of these

http://www.pctinternational.com/chan...crossfire.html

and mate it with this

CHANNELMAX UHF / VHF OUTDOOR ANTENNA AMPLIFIER
http://www.pctinternational.com/chan...mplifiers.html

There might be hope. I think if I went with one of the bigger ones I might even be able to get Baltimore channels (like a 60 mile range for me)
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Old 12-17-06, 09:51 PM   #15
Mopower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG
I can I would not say that my standard analog cable looks like crap on my HD TV - it is actually very watchable and LOOKS NO WORSE THAN my 32" Toshiba flat tube TV that I just replaced.

I run it in 4:3 mode, so I am not getting all the 50" screen benefit, but the actual picture is larger than on my old 32" tube TV and looks about the same quality.

As I understand it, SD is a hit or miss. The Samsung 5087W does a brilliant job with an SD signal. By no means HD quality, but no where near what I would call "crap"


How far away are you from the OTAHD broadcast?

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx

Take what it says and up youself one level of antenna. I was 14 miles away from most broadcasts, that put me in the "indoor antenna" range, although they worked, they did not work good enough and I got fade.

I upped myself one category of antenna and went to the 30-40 mile range one and mounted it in my attic, works perfectly.

If you are in the max category antenna, then it is MORE of a crap shoot, but if you are in a lower category and can up yourself one, I had good results.

If you can mount something like this

UHF Multi-Bay Antenna (4228)

http://www.pctinternational.com/chan...tdoor_uhf.html

or one of these

http://www.pctinternational.com/chan...crossfire.html

and mate it with this

CHANNELMAX UHF / VHF OUTDOOR ANTENNA AMPLIFIER
http://www.pctinternational.com/chan...mplifiers.html

There might be hope. I think if I went with one of the bigger ones I might even be able to get Baltimore channels (like a 60 mile range for me)

Ok OK. SD looks OK. Digital cable channels look pretty good. Some are better than other yes. I was over reacting

I am 68 miles from one HD source to the east and 67 miles to the source from the west. Plus I have a huge metal building blocking everything from the east. And a big hill with a bunch of trees to the west. So I'm screwed.
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Old 12-17-06, 10:29 PM   #16
4KRG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopower
Ok OK. SD looks OK. Digital cable channels look pretty good. Some are better than other yes. I was over reacting

I am 68 miles from one HD source to the east and 67 miles to the source from the west. Plus I have a huge metal building blocking everything from the east. And a big hill with a bunch of trees to the west. So I'm screwed.



ok. move

Or put up a mast about 32 feet high and connect a 4 bow tie design antenna to it
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Old 12-17-06, 10:52 PM   #17
Mopower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG


ok. move

Or put up a mast about 32 feet high and connect a 4 bow tie design antenna to it
Yeah I'll ask my landlord about that one.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:16 PM   #18
shelland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhome83
so when i was at bestbuy last night they have a ton of tv's but how am i suuposed to know if the best picture possible is being shown on the set?
It's not - end of story.

I researched my first HDTV purchase for nearly 3 months online - that was almost 4 years ago. I think it took a couple months for the message to sink in, and although it goes against human nature, you're on the right track in thinking that you can't judge the TVs based on what you see in stores. Most people will tell you you're crazy to buy a TV based on anything BUT what it looks like in the store.

But you're obviously willing to do some homework, so that's a good sign. I would suggest hitting some of the HT forums (Home Theater Spot and AVS Forum to name a couple). Remember that many of the people posting on these forums are giving their personal experiences. Most salesmen are giving you a sales spiel - something they read, but have no experience with.

So read, read and read some more. Trust what you hear over and over - not what you hear once or twice. And then take the advice on how to best tweak your TV to make it shine.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:01 PM   #19
bhome83
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thanks for the info shelland. do you have links to those forums? or any else for that matter. I wanna as much info as possible.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:30 PM   #20
Spiky
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Just type out the names he listed with .com after and www. in front. Minus spaces, of course.
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Old 12-21-06, 06:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhome83
thanks for the info shelland. do you have links to those forums? or any else for that matter. I wanna as much info as possible.
http://www.hometheaterspot.com (my personal favorite for HT subjects)
http://www.avsforum.com (people can be a little "rough" at times, but you can still learn a lot)
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