DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

Help me in picking a TV. Going HD next year.

Old 11-22-05, 11:45 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Woodbridge Va.
Posts: 1,267
Help me in picking a TV. Going HD next year.

I've read everywhere about plasma, hdtv, etc etc. I trust you guys because you all have one or the other and can help me decide. I haven't gone the HD route yet and am looking to purchase one next year. Here is what i want to hook up to it. DVD, XBOX 360, DIRECT TV (I can change Company depending on what you guys think is a better cable company), DVD recorder.
Right now i have a 37inch sony reg tv. Prince range, about 2K. Thanks in advance for your help.
roger_d is offline  
Old 11-22-05, 12:33 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Can you control the light in your room? Do you want to?

How much space do you have? How big do you want it? Both screen size and overall size.

Does it need to have its own speakers? Or do you have a separate sound system?

Can you wire it yourself, or do you need help?
Spiky is offline  
Old 11-22-05, 01:07 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Woodbridge Va.
Posts: 1,267
I can control it but i like the lights to be off when i'm looking at movies.
I have a big enough room for a 50 inch
I will get surround speakers and reciever to hook up to it.
I live in a house and would like it sound like a theatre.
I can wire it myself but with all the equipment i want to hook up to it, i may need help.
roger_d is offline  
Old 11-22-05, 01:41 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Shockingly, I have a few thoughts. Each technology has it's pros and cons. Here's a few....

I asked about lighting because there is front projection (FP) as an option these days. In your price range. In fact, it can be the cheapest way to 50" or more. There is nothing like an 80, 90, 100" screen in your house. BUT, light is a big issue and it takes more work to wire and maintain, so it is definitely not for everyone. And I asked about size because FP or flat panels can have a bigger screen than you might think as they can be flush to the wall and will be another foot or two farther from your eyes.

For a 50" HDTV, you probably only need to sit 6-7' away from the screen for optimal picture. If you have more space than that, you can go bigger.

Flat panels (plasma or LCD) are more expensive at 50" than your budget, though. They really are a great technology, esp at 50" or higher. Just pricey.

With a receiver and 5.1 sound, it can sound like a theater. And you could look at TVs with no speakers as an option. Using a setup DVD like Digital Video Essentials can do wonders for both your video and audio. Nice <$20 upgrade. Some receivers have audio calibration built-in, now. Setting up your TV's contrast properly will prevent burn-in issues in plasma/CRT models. (the DLP/LCD don't have this problem at all)

You can get the 50" rear projection (RPTV) LCD/DLPs for around $2K these days. They are getting to look very nice, and the box is not all that big. The black level has always been an issue for these technologies, but every year they get better, certainly in the range where most people would find them acceptable these days. However, whether FP or RP, DLP & LCDs have a lamp inside that will burn out one day. Replacements cost between $200-400 usually, need to factor that in. Depending on your usage, this would probably be every 2-5 years. And a tip to keep the lamp running longest is to NOT turn it on and off frequently. If you are watching the game and make a food run (even if it lasts an hour), leave it on, this will do less damage than turning it off and back on.

With a bigger box, you can get at least 50" with a CRT-based RPTV in this price range, more most likely. These tend to be less perfect (in terms of color, contrast, etc.) out of the box than the digital sets, but after being calibrated properly they are better than the digitals, so I think a good calibration is necessary after a couple months. That would be $300-400.
Spiky is offline  
Old 11-23-05, 06:39 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Woodbridge Va.
Posts: 1,267
Thank you for your thoughts, i see you recomend plasma or lcd. What do you recommend on this. It does not have to be 50 inches but what can i get for my budget in either plasma or lcd. I have a 37" reg tv so at least bigger than than.
Which one is best for what i want to hook it up to. I do want one that has the best picture of all.
roger_d is offline  
Old 11-23-05, 01:04 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
In that price range, Panasonic plasma. It would be 42" at most. Fujitsu plasma is the best, but I don't know that they go that low in price, yet.

There's been a couple discussions here about plasmas recently. Scroll down a bit.
Spiky is offline  
Old 11-23-05, 01:27 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Woodbridge Va.
Posts: 1,267
Thanks, i'll keep reading and hopefully make a good choice when i'm ready to buy.
roger_d is offline  
Old 11-23-05, 02:44 PM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Kailua, HI
Posts: 73
i have a 50 inch Sony WEGA LCD rear projection - its great. heres the new version of it for about 2200 bucks at circuit city.

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Sony-...oductDetail.do

This Samsung 50inch DLP looks like a good deal too:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Samsu...oductDetail.do
bulldozer3 is offline  
Old 11-23-05, 08:28 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 3,364
I have the 42" Sony WEGA LCD Rear Projection HDTV, the 42A10 model.

As said above by Spiky, the black levels are a little tricky considering that on LCD's, light on the inside lights up the screen and you still have a black color but it's a black that looks a little faded because of the light. But I've been tinkering with this TV to get perfect results for about two weeks and I just finally came to the conlusion to have the Iris turned all the way down to minimize the light being put through to get pretty accurate blacks and I'm happy with it. And of course, I adjusted my brightness level to show blacks well while showing details in shadow, and the picture up so that the colors and whites are still bright and vivid.

The A10 models from Sony are pretty fantastic once you make some tweaks. The factory settings are way too contrasty and colorful. These Sony LCD's contain red push, which may have the red bleed a little. You could just turn down your color but you're probably going to lose a little more color than you need to lose... but you can access the service menu to eliminate the red push. There's a large thread over at the avs forums based on these TV's with instructions how to adjust your red push fix, and as long as you follow the directions accurately, it's pretty idiot proof. Don't let it scare you.

Technically, messing with your service menu (which is only accessible by pushing a proper combination of buttons) can void the warranty on your television... but that's because pretty every setting for the TV is in there and you can seriously turn your LCD into a paperweight. But, as long as you just adjusted color nobody will probably ever even notice. It's the only change I had to make in the service menu settings and it was definitely worth it for me to do that than hire a calibrater for hundreds of dollars to do it for me.

But the A10 series are great. I'm loving my 42". And currently it's $1999, and may be even around the $1700 when you decide to get it since you said you were probably going to get it next year. If it does go down that much, you can use that extra money to get a service plan. You can use these in most places to replace the bulb inside (which is easy to swap out yourself, it's made so you can) once the one inside goes. The bulbs themselves without a service plan will probably run you two or three hundred bucks. But no matter what TV you buy, I'd get a service plan. When you spend two grand on any TV, it's worth spending a little extra to be safe.
mzupeman2 is offline  
Old 11-24-05, 11:55 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Woodbridge Va.
Posts: 1,267
Would you recommend LCD over Plasma? Which has the best picture of all?
roger_d is offline  
Old 11-24-05, 05:34 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 3,364
Plasma is good but I personally find LCD to be great because plasma tends to have burn in issues, which means you dont' want to be doing anything on your TV that will have the same image on a certain part of the screen for long periods of time because the image can be 'burned' in. Which means, those life bars or something when you play video games. Also some picture cells can lose life and once enough do, your TV is pretty much a paper weight. LCD's have a bulb that dims over time sure, but you can replace that yourself and very easily as well. LCD rear projections have no burn in issues. So you probably get the best picture with plasma but they're overpriced and in the long run probably not worth your money since you can get a better performance from LCD and a better bang for your buck.
mzupeman2 is offline  
Old 11-24-05, 10:34 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 6,831
Burn-in is something you can protect against. It's harder to get dressed than to prevent burn-in.
Spiky is offline  
Old 11-25-05, 07:59 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Woodbridge Va.
Posts: 1,267
Thanks mzupman2 and Spiky for your input. Ok so LCD it is. Now to find the best price. The time frame for when i'm going to get it will be after Tax time. I do have lots of time to find the best price.
roger_d is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 01:16 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
dsa_shea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 19,733
Originally Posted by roger_d
I've read everywhere about plasma, hdtv, etc etc. I trust you guys because you all have one or the other and can help me decide. I haven't gone the HD route yet and am looking to purchase one next year. Here is what i want to hook up to it. DVD, XBOX 360, DIRECT TV (I can change Company depending on what you guys think is a better cable company), DVD recorder.
Right now i have a 37inch sony reg tv. Prince range, about 2K. Thanks in advance for your help.
Why wait until next year? You can go HD right now. There are several places offering interest until 2008 and thats what we did.
dsa_shea is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 01:56 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 3,364
Well purchasing one this exact moment may not be in roger_d's best interest at the current time... I'm sure if roger had a choice I'm sure he would love nothing more than to own one right this minute. But hey, models that are brand spanking new right now, will still be available in 2007 at a cheaper price I'm sure. The 42A10 model of the Sony 42" will probably end up being around the $1700 mark eventually next year. Right now it's 2k. It's an investment and it's quite possible roger is waiting for these prices to go down right now for the current TV's out, or is just saving the money and doesn't want to bother with a credit card for a store.
mzupeman2 is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 02:01 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
dsa_shea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 19,733
I wasn't trying to rouse anyone or cause any problems, just thought I would throw it out there. Me and my wife had always wanted to buy a High Def. set, but we couldn't afford one until the no interest financing came around. We simply purchased the $800 30" Sony and we are pleased with it. We have seen a few other models we would have liked to buy but will wait until we pay this off (hopefully by the end of next year).
dsa_shea is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 02:19 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 3,364
I didn't mean to cause offense, that wasn't my intention at all. I've just got a straight foward-ness to me is all. I mean, personally I also went for the no financing on the 42" LCD Rear Projection from SONY I had just purchased a couple of weeks ago. Paid for $1200 on my Best Buy card, and then the rest with money I saved. So, I am one of those who took advantage of that, but again, not everybody handles their finances the same way
mzupeman2 is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 02:30 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
dsa_shea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Posts: 19,733
Originally Posted by mzupeman2
I didn't mean to cause offense, that wasn't my intention at all. I've just got a straight foward-ness to me is all. I mean, personally I also went for the no financing on the 42" LCD Rear Projection from SONY I had just purchased a couple of weeks ago. Paid for $1200 on my Best Buy card, and then the rest with money I saved. So, I am one of those who took advantage of that, but again, not everybody handles their finances the same way
Thanks for the positive response! I hope you're enjoying your HD set as much as we are. Cheers!! (That definitely deserves an exclamation point)
dsa_shea is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 02:52 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 3,364
I am I am. I was very frustrated for almost two weeks though, just because there's too many settings to try on for size what with the Iris and the gamma correction and black corrector and other such various settings. After reading a gajillion forums and learning more and more about how to get the best settings on my TV without using Avia or DVD Essentials or paying somebody to calibrate my set... I finally made myself a happy man by setting my Iris all the way to the minimum setting, adjusting my black levels, and then putting my picture (contrast) levels pretty high. I watch mainly DVD's and they look great on my widescreen set.
mzupeman2 is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 05:15 PM
  #20  
mbs
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
mbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,519
Originally Posted by mzupeman2
After reading a gajillion forums and learning more and more about how to get the best settings on my TV without using Avia or DVD Essentials or paying somebody to calibrate my set...
What is wrong with Avia and DVE? IMO, it makes life a hell of a lot easier than trying to do it by naked eye alone. DVE is quite cheap -- about the price of a DVD movie -- and Avia is reasonable.

I just don't think I've heard anyone not happy with the results from DVE. So your post made me wonder what your issue with it is...
mbs is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 09:16 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: NY
Posts: 3,364
There's nothing wrong with them at all. I'm just saying not everybody is going to need it. A lot of people feel more comfortable with it yes, because they have to have the most correct settings they possibly can have. But there's a lot of people who also trust their eyes just as well by adjusting their color by setting it very high and then reducing it until skin tones and red look natural. Not everybody is going to need to spend money on one of those sets. They do VERY well at providing you with the most accurate settings, yes. But for some people, it's not even worth the cost of these 20 or 40 dollar sets to adjust the black white and color levels. But, for those who do fancy something along the lines of this, I'd say it's much better to spend that money, than to pay somebody to do a calibration of a television set.
mzupeman2 is offline  
Old 11-26-05, 11:15 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Easton, PA
Posts: 1,075
Using Avia or DVE is not about having the "most correct settings they possibly can have". To do that requires a professional calibration with proper tools for measurement. But it is the difference between setting the user settings how you think it should look or how you'd like it to look versus having it set to a standard of how it is supposed to look. Very, very few people can set it by eye and match this standard and even fewer understand how it really is supposed to look since for many years they simply watched it how it came out of the box from the store. Not understanding this is why many people are not happy with their TV's PQ and over time get burn in on CRT based RPTV or plasmas. Having it set correctly will even prolong the life of the TV because the proper settings do not drive the TV's components so hard and cause premature failure. When you spend more than $1000 for a TV what's so bad about spending another $40 to get it closer to perfect. If you want perfect than a pro cal is for you.
chipmac is offline  
Old 11-27-05, 01:53 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 782
FYI, I just picked up the 42" Sony A10 from Circuit City for $1650 delivered. You should CALL them, not go online or in the store. They guy I got knocked off an additional 10% from their sale price and mentioned that i'd end up getting my $50 delivery fee knocked off my credit card bill. I ended up using my AMEX to double the Sony warranty. Definitely make sure you negotiate with these vendors. you can save all kinds of cash.
Walter Mitty is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.