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26" WS HDTV vs. 27" HDTV vs. 30" WS HDTV

Old 01-03-06, 01:57 PM
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26" WS HDTV vs. 27" HDTV vs. 30" WS HDTV

I'm finally making the plunge into the HDTV market. It will be replacing a 27" tube TV. I like the basic screen size of my 27". I could get a 26" WS, a 27", or a 30" WS, but it seems any WS TV is more $$$? Don't the 27" HDTVs have a 16:9 mode or something? If so, how does the 16:9 size on a 27" compare to that of a 26"?

The other option is a 30", but I don't really feel like spending the extra $$$ since I'm also buying a projector and don't really need the extra size.

Thanks a lot for any help.
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Old 01-03-06, 02:00 PM
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What will you be using the tv for? You said you are buying a projector - will that be your priamary viewing device for DVDs and HDTV? If you are only using the tv for watching the news or casual viewing (i.e. no DVDs or HDTV), then a cheaper 4:3 set may be a good idea.
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Old 01-03-06, 02:22 PM
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If you're using it for DVDs, HDTV or HD gaming, I'd get a WS. If it'll never be used for any of those, I'd question whether you even want it to be HD. As for screen size, I had a Sony (non-HD) 27" with the 16:9 mode and just picked up a Sony 30" WS HDTV over the holidays. It's a huge difference in size. Before purchasing, I measured the 16:9 viewing area on my 27" and it was only around 19" or 20".

If you're not averse to buying floor models or returned units, you might check around for open box items. The HDTV I picked up is regularly priced $799 at Best Buy and for that amount, I was able to get one that was returned without a remote PLUS the 4-year extended service/replacement plan. From what I can tell so far, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the unit I bought except for the missing remote, which would've been identical to the one from my previous tv anyway.
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Old 01-03-06, 02:53 PM
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I will likely be getting an HDTV this week. The one I'm looking at is at Best Buy

30" Phillips Widescreen Flat Tube TV w/HDMI input and built in HD tuner. Reg. price is $799..on sale for $699 this week. I think this would suit my needs. Anyone own this or know of it?
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Old 01-03-06, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
What will you be using the tv for? You said you are buying a projector - will that be your priamary viewing device for DVDs and HDTV? If you are only using the tv for watching the news or casual viewing (i.e. no DVDs or HDTV), then a cheaper 4:3 set may be a good idea.
The PJ will be used for DVD movie viewing, but I didn't want to be using it all the time for HDTV (costly lamp replacement), so the TV would be used for "everyday" viewing - mainly HDTV in the evening. Basically all the shows I watch that are in HD (which I think is everything now) would be watched on the TV - AD, Lost, Las Vegas, CSI, Alias, etc., and ESPN and sports on the big networks on the weekends.

As much as I hate BB, I think my best deal may be there, no matter what I select - I'll wait until a 10% off coupon comes in the mail (should be soon), plus I can get $50 off if I buy a DirecTV HD-DVR at the same time, so a $500 set would cost me $400...would this be considered "in combination with other offers," or not?

Last edited by aktick; 01-03-06 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 01-03-06, 03:45 PM
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Hope this isn't too confusing....all dimensions are height x width, and assume the TVs actually measure what size they claim to be diagonally.

26" widescreen: 12.75x22.66"
4:3 on 26": 12.75x17"

30" widescreen: 14.7x26.15"
4:3 on 30": 14.7x19.6"

27" 4:3 TV: 16.2x21.6"
16:9 on 27": 12.15x21.6"
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Old 01-03-06, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
I will likely be getting an HDTV this week. The one I'm looking at is at Best Buy

30" Phillips Widescreen Flat Tube TV w/HDMI input and built in HD tuner. Reg. price is $799..on sale for $699 this week. I think this would suit my needs. Anyone own this or know of it?
If you're interested in the Consumer Reports ratings, they gave the Philips 30PW8402 a 'Good' on HD picture quality and a 'Very Good' on DVD picture quality. I'm guessing you're looking at the 30PW9100D, which could quite possibly be better. Then again, recent Samsungs and Toshibas have received lower rankings than their predecessors. Of other models they ranked that Best Buy carries, Samsung's TX-R3079WH scored 'Fair' on both HDTV and DVD, as did Toshiba's 30HF85. Sony's KV30HS420 scored 'Excellent' on HDTV and 'Very Good' on DVD.

I know rankings are subjective, but I liked having the info as a starting point when I was deciding on which television I would be getting. Also, if you're doing visual comparisons in the store, I'd ask what signal's being displayed on the sets you're looking at. When I was in Best Buy last week, quite a few of their less expensive HDTVs were just receiving a signal through the coaxial input, which obviously makes them look inferior to the pricier models than they have hooked up to composites.
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Old 01-03-06, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by aktick
The PJ will be used for DVD movie viewing, but I didn't want to be using it all the time for HDTV (costly lamp replacement), so the TV would be used for "everyday" viewing - mainly HDTV in the evening. Basically all the shows I watch that are in HD (which I think is everything now) would be watched on the TV - AD, Lost, Las Vegas, CSI, Alias, etc., and ESPN and sports on the big networks on the weekends.

As much as I hate BB, I think my best deal may be there, no matter what I select - I'll wait until a 10% off coupon comes in the mail (should be soon), plus I can get $50 off if I buy a DirecTV HD-DVR at the same time, so a $500 set would cost me $400...would this be considered "in combination with other offers," or not?
Bulb replacement costs are a bit high, but why would you use a dinky tv to watch Lost, CSI, and sports instead of your projector? HD will look amazing on a decent projecter - better than DVD. If you are worried about bulb cost, I'd buy a cheap $200 4:3 tv for casual viewing and put the extra money aside to cover a few replacement bulbs. What projector are you getting?
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Old 01-03-06, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by maxfisher
If you're interested in the Consumer Reports ratings, they gave the Philips 30PW8402 a 'Good' on HD picture quality and a 'Very Good' on DVD picture quality. I'm guessing you're looking at the 30PW9100D, which could quite possibly be better. Then again, recent Samsungs and Toshibas have received lower rankings than their predecessors. Of other models they ranked that Best Buy carries, Samsung's TX-R3079WH scored 'Fair' on both HDTV and DVD, as did Toshiba's 30HF85. Sony's KV30HS420 scored 'Excellent' on HDTV and 'Very Good' on DVD.

I know rankings are subjective, but I liked having the info as a starting point when I was deciding on which television I would be getting. Also, if you're doing visual comparisons in the store, I'd ask what signal's being displayed on the sets you're looking at. When I was in Best Buy last week, quite a few of their less expensive HDTVs were just receiving a signal through the coaxial input, which obviously makes them look inferior to the pricier models than they have hooked up to composites.
One person that rated the Sony on Circuit City's website said Consumer Reports listed it #1 in terms of 30" HDTV tubes. I may lean towards that one.
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Old 01-03-06, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BobDole42
Bulb replacement costs are a bit high, but why would you use a dinky tv to watch Lost, CSI, and sports instead of your projector? HD will look amazing on a decent projecter - better than DVD. If you are worried about bulb cost, I'd buy a cheap $200 4:3 tv for casual viewing and put the extra money aside to cover a few replacement bulbs. What projector are you getting?
I shouldn't have said I'd watch ALL HDTV on the TV...some of my favs like Lost I definitely would watch on the PJ. And it definitely might make sense saving on the TV for future PJ bulb replacement.

But another consideration I have is light control. It's fine this time of year (in WI) from 5pm on, but in the summer it'll be later till I can actually watch something in perfect dark on the PJ. And within a couple years I'll be building a house with a dedicated HT room, so I'll still need a good TV for the living room then...and I'd just assume have it now .

I'm still trying to decide between the InFocus 4805 and 5000. Both can be had for under $1000 now through InFocus.
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Old 01-03-06, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
One person that rated the Sony on Circuit City's website said Consumer Reports listed it #1 in terms of 30" HDTV tubes. I may lean towards that one.
Do you get the 10% off coupons in the mail from BB? Make sure to wait on one of those if you do.
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Old 01-03-06, 06:18 PM
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Yeah, I'm a reward zone member. This week their tvs are 10% off. I don't think there are any coupons available.
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Old 01-03-06, 06:21 PM
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Get the 30" WS TV. Always go bigger than you think you need. I wouldn't add another 20" to your requirement or anything but in 90% of cases, you'll be glad you got the larger set.
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Old 01-03-06, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
Yeah, I'm a reward zone member. This week their tvs are 10% off. I don't think there are any coupons available.
Oh sure, then next week the 10% off sale will be done, but you'll get some coupons in the mail .
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Old 01-03-06, 10:33 PM
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Watch the PJ. Forget the little dingy TV. Expensive bulb? How much? $250 every 2-3 years? So in 6-9 years you might pay off that little TV if you got a HD WS tube TV?

I love watching CSI on my PJ! And Las Vegas is awesome! Watch the PJ, enjoy it...you are still very little per day/hour or any other way you want to figure it.
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Old 01-04-06, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
Hope this isn't too confusing....all dimensions are height x width, and assume the TVs actually measure what size they claim to be diagonally.

26" widescreen: 12.75x22.66"
4:3 on 26": 12.75x17"

30" widescreen: 14.7x26.15"
4:3 on 30": 14.7x19.6"

27" 4:3 TV: 16.2x21.6"
16:9 on 27": 12.15x21.6"
That's actually really helpful...I'm terrible, the more I look into it the more I'm looking at 34"...what are the height x width on a 34"?
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Old 01-04-06, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Watch the PJ. Forget the little dingy TV. Expensive bulb? How much? $250 every 2-3 years? So in 6-9 years you might pay off that little TV if you got a HD WS tube TV?

I love watching CSI on my PJ! And Las Vegas is awesome! Watch the PJ, enjoy it...you are still very little per day/hour or any other way you want to figure it.
I know, but since it's not going in a dedicated room now, I'm not going to want to hastle with it for everything I watch. Plus I'll then have this TV for my living room still once I do get a dedicated HT room.

So throw 34" TVs into the mix...keep it under $1000 (no XBR ). Thanks again.
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Old 01-04-06, 07:15 AM
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I went to Best Buy last night and they had an open box buy on a 26" Toshiba LCD. That might be what I'm looking for. The tube tvs are so bulky, that I may want something slimmer and lighter. It was marked down to $799 and the picture looked great. I think it said it had a DVI connection. My only concern with it....and I think this is with all LCD's maybe....is when the camera moved around quickly, the images were fuzzy.

I still may get it and try it out. I wonder if Best Buy can show me if there are any bad pixels in the display. Is there something you can do to find out?
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Old 01-04-06, 02:01 PM
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If you can find test screens in the menu that show solid colors, you should be able to find any bad pixels, whether they are stuck on or off. If a red pixel shows up when watching a blue-only screen, it's bad...and so on.

For the blurriness, find the refresh rate. This is not the sync rates it can receive or display, it is the actual refresh rate of its LCD panel. Should be a common spec available in the manual or online in a spec sheet for the model. If it is over 16ms (millisecond), it will never display action correctly. 16ms is barely passable, 12 ms or faster (smaller number) is becoming the norm.

And 34" is 29.63x16.67". I am at the wrong computer for figuring the 4:3 size with black bars on the side, I can post it later.
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Old 01-04-06, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by maxfisher
If you're interested in the Consumer Reports ratings, they gave the Philips 30PW8402 a 'Good' on HD picture quality and a 'Very Good' on DVD picture quality. I'm guessing you're looking at the 30PW9100D, which could quite possibly be better. Then again, recent Samsungs and Toshibas have received lower rankings than their predecessors. Of other models they ranked that Best Buy carries, Samsung's TX-R3079WH scored 'Fair' on both HDTV and DVD, as did Toshiba's 30HF85. Sony's KV30HS420 scored 'Excellent' on HDTV and 'Very Good' on DVD.

I know rankings are subjective, but I liked having the info as a starting point when I was deciding on which television I would be getting. Also, if you're doing visual comparisons in the store, I'd ask what signal's being displayed on the sets you're looking at. When I was in Best Buy last week, quite a few of their less expensive HDTVs were just receiving a signal through the coaxial input, which obviously makes them look inferior to the pricier models than they have hooked up to composites.
I think I may get the Samsung, even though they rated it "fair". I mean, I could literally spend weeks researching every review on all of these tvs and someone will say something negative about them and some will say positive things. I also like the design of it. For a crt, it's slim compared to others. I don't want something too bulky. I also like the black on silver look. Very sleek. It also has HDMI input and a built in HD tuner. Still...that Sony 30" is mighty appealing given the ratings. I just wish it wasn't so bulky. I think it's down to these 2.

The good thing is I can take it back if I don't think it's up to my standards. I'm not a videophile. If the color is good, I'm usually okay with it. They still have the open box 26" Toshiba LCD, but I don't want to go to a smaller tv. I have a 27" now. The blurry images during panning scenes also had me concerned.

A quick note: starting Sunday, Best Buy is offering no interest until January 2008 on all HDTVs $699 and up. That's a helluva lot better than their 6 month deal right now. I should be in the HD member club this Sunday. woo hoo!

Last edited by Mr. Cinema; 01-04-06 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 01-04-06, 06:46 PM
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Check out this link for comparing the dimensions of two different TVs (either 4:3 or 16:9):

http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi
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Old 01-04-06, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dhmac
Check out this link for comparing the dimensions of two different TVs (either 4:3 or 16:9):

http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi
Thanks!
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Old 01-04-06, 09:55 PM
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Hmmm, 34" or 30"...so every HD show is 1.78:1? This is and is going to continue to be the norm for a while? A 34" is nearly twice as large area-wise than a 27" in all widescreen ratios.

The 34" XBR is definitely out of my price range...I really don't want to go over $1000 either, which takes the other 34" Sony out.

I've heard the Panasonic's are good? Where do they even sell them? CC doesn't have many, according to their site, and BB doesn't carry them from I see.

FYI, I don't think a built-in HD-Tuner will do me much good. I'll have a DirecTV HD-DVR.

Any other ideas? Maybe a 30" Sony wouldn't be so bad.

What month did they have the TV ratings in Consumer Reports?
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Old 01-05-06, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by aktick
Hmmm, 34" or 30"...so every HD show is 1.78:1? This is and is going to continue to be the norm for a while? A 34" is nearly twice as large area-wise than a 27" in all widescreen ratios.

The 34" XBR is definitely out of my price range...I really don't want to go over $1000 either, which takes the other 34" Sony out.

I've heard the Panasonic's are good? Where do they even sell them? CC doesn't have many, according to their site, and BB doesn't carry them from I see.

FYI, I don't think a built-in HD-Tuner will do me much good. I'll have a DirecTV HD-DVR.

Any other ideas? Maybe a 30" Sony wouldn't be so bad.

What month did they have the TV ratings in Consumer Reports?
I'm not sure what month the TV ratings appeared. One of my friends has a subscription to their site and printed me a copy of their tv ratings when I was making my purchase decision a couple weeks ago. They rated 5 34" models. 3 were Sony's that all ranked 'Excellent' or 'Very Good' on both HDTV and DVD quality, but all 3 were considerably above my budget. The Panasonic CT-34WX54 received 'Good' in both categories, but like you, I couldn't find them at Best Buy or CC. The Toshiba 34HF85 received 'Fair' ratings. I was still pretty tempted by it, but I looked at several on display at various stores and, while I'm not a huge videophile, I was able to see a noticeable difference in picture quality.

Originally Posted by Mr. Cinema
I think I may get the Samsung, even though they rated it "fair". I mean, I could literally spend weeks researching every review on all of these tvs and someone will say something negative about them and some will say positive things. I also like the design of it. For a crt, it's slim compared to others. I don't want something too bulky. I also like the black on silver look. Very sleek. It also has HDMI input and a built in HD tuner. Still...that Sony 30" is mighty appealing given the ratings. I just wish it wasn't so bulky. I think it's down to these 2.

The good thing is I can take it back if I don't think it's up to my standards. I'm not a videophile. If the color is good, I'm usually okay with it. They still have the open box 26" Toshiba LCD, but I don't want to go to a smaller tv. I have a 27" now. The blurry images during panning scenes also had me concerned.

A quick note: starting Sunday, Best Buy is offering no interest until January 2008 on all HDTVs $699 and up. That's a helluva lot better than their 6 month deal right now. I should be in the HD member club this Sunday. woo hoo!
Like you, I really liked both the size and look of the Samsung Slimfit model. The biggest thing that turned me off to it was that I read an article somewhere saying the design of the slimmer tube hadn't been quite perfected and some people were having problems with them. Can't remember where I read that, as I went through a ridiculous number of sites reading reviews and comparisons. I still looked at it at Best Buy. They had 3 on display and each of them was having display problems. The picture would lag in places and get really pixelated, like when you're watching satellite and not getting a strong signal. It could have been total coincidence, but considering all 3 were doing it and none of the other models on display were having the problem, it scared me off the Samsung.

That said, the Sony is definitely a beast as far as size. If you're thinking you want to look at what you buy in your house and take it back if it's not up to your standards, the Samsung would be a hell of a lot easier to get back to the store than the Sony. Whatever you get, good luck and hope you're happy with it!
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Old 01-05-06, 10:35 AM
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maxfisher - did you end up with the HS420 then? Aside from the built in HDTV tuner, what is the difference between it and the 30xs955? JR.com did have the xs955 for $850 after shipping, but it's now out of stock.

If I could get a 34" Sony hs420 for very near $1000 or less, I would, otherwise I'm leaning towards a 30" model.
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