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HDTV Buying Guide?

Old 03-10-07, 05:55 PM
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HDTV Buying Guide?

Not sure if this belongs in HD Talk or Home Theater. Seems like there is more HDTV discussion here at Home Theater.

At any rate, the fiancee and I were in an electronics store, looking at HDTVs for fun. She was under the impression that an average set costs over $5,000, so when she saw the prices were in the $1,000-$2,000 range, she said that we're going to get one. (SWEET!)

At any rate, I need to start researching them. I would love some suggestions for some "buying guides," comparing and contrasting the various technologies, manufacturers, what to look for, etc.

I found this thread, it seems helpful: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread....v+buying+guide, and am a member of avsforum.com, but any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 03-10-07, 06:21 PM
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Ah...the best thing the video industry has done in years is making their sets physically smaller to capture the interest of the fairer sex. Wasn't so long ago that my wife thought it was "stupid to buy a tv that big to watch crap on it". My have the times changed.

Personally I think your question is bigger then about the particular set. What did your fiance in particular like that she saw (other then the price). As a guy that has been married many a year and fought many a battle on such topics I offer this advise: build on what she likes. Find out what it is and keep her "reasonably" in the loop. And I say that to mean, balance her involvement vs going overboard with every detail to the point that she loses interest.

Why should you go to this effort? If she wants a tv and you get one she likes, she will be more open to future upgrades. BR/HD DVD maybe? How about a PS3/Xbox/Wii?

As for a buying guide, I'm sure if you go to some retail sites like Crutchfield you find some guidelines.

As for "any other suggestions" right now my standard recommendation for displays is the Panasonic 42" and 50" plasmas. I just don't see how you can go wrong for the price and picture quality. The 42" model runs in the $1,000-$1,300 range, while the 50" runs int he $1600-$1,900 range. I have seen this set, properly calibrated and with a good signal it is literally the best image I have ever seen.
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Old 03-11-07, 08:12 PM
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She liked the prices, nothing else. Oh, and she thought the 46" was "small." SWEET!!!

We already have a Wii, she loves it. SWEEEEEEEET!!

I don't think it will be a stretch convincing her we need a new reciever with HDMI and component inputs, because we really would. And she'll, I'm sure, complain about getting HD receivers from DirecTV, but she works for AT&T and gets a discount, anyway, so in the long run, we're still paying less for it.
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Old 03-12-07, 02:47 AM
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Once she see the quality of hd content and will request a hd receiver from DirectTV and it will be SWEEEEEEEET!!
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Old 03-12-07, 08:28 AM
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then when its all set up you can "forget" the HD porn channel is on when her sister comes over and get the 2 of them in an HD-lovin mood and ...boom-chicka-boom-boom....you have your next entry into penthouse forums! SWEEEEEEET!

sorry, couldnt resist!



what are you going to use this for? HTPC? Games?
How far will you be sitting?
Do you like best possible picture or would you rather be able to tell your friends you have 1080p?
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Old 03-12-07, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
Do you like best possible picture or would you rather be able to tell your friends you have 1080p?
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Old 03-12-07, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
then when its all set up you can "forget" the HD porn channel is on when her sister comes over and get the 2 of them in an HD-lovin mood and ...boom-chicka-boom-boom....you have your next entry into penthouse forums! SWEEEEEEET!
SWWWEEEEETTTTTTT!!! I'll be sure and take pictures and talk about posting them in Adult but not follow through. Or maybe I will post them, only to delete them 10 minutes later.
what are you going to use this for? HTPC? Games?
How far will you be sitting?
Do you like best possible picture or would you rather be able to tell your friends you have 1080p?
TV, movies, games, in that order. ~10' away. Best pictures, though 1080i/p would be nice, if the price is right.
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Old 03-12-07, 12:22 PM
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If I read (SWEET!) one more time I am going to hurl.
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Old 03-12-07, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000
SWWWEEEEETTTTTTT!!! I'll be sure and take pictures and talk about posting them in Adult but not follow through. Or maybe I will post them, only to delete them 10 minutes later. TV, movies, games, in that order. ~10' away. Best pictures, though 1080i/p would be nice, if the price is right.

i = interlaced - the video converts it to 1080
p = progressive - it displays true 1080 from a 1080 source

will there be much seating on the sides of the tv or is it mostly head on?
is the room very bright?

at ~10' you would need a 73"+ screen for your eyes to even see 1080p. i would assume you arent going that large.

i sit about 12' away from a 50" Plasma and it seems perfect. i could have gone to a 57" and said the same thing but at 50" it doesnt dominate the room.

get a Panasonic 50" plasma while you can still get them for around $1700 and I promise you you will be ecstatic with your choice.

its 720p/1080i and from that distance will make you react the same way you did when you saw a woman nude for the first time.
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Old 03-17-07, 12:47 AM
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OK, from what I understand, a TV that has the resolution to do 1080i, it's going to display it progressively, anyway. So it doesn't really matter if your TV is 1080i or p, it's either got 1080 lines of resolution or it doesn't. And would I be correct to assume that 1080i down-converted to 720p looks just as good as up-converted to 1080p?
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Old 03-17-07, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
get a Panasonic 50" plasma while you can still get them for around $1700 and I promise you you will be ecstatic with your choice.
Excellent advise. I'm seriously considering this, even though 50" is a touch bigger then I want for the living room.

I have seen these Panny's set up well and they are about the best picture I have seen. Incredible black, very natural color, excellent contrast. Set up well and with a good signal they have a 3-D look to them.
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Old 03-17-07, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000
OK, from what I understand, a TV that has the resolution to do 1080i, it's going to display it progressively, anyway. So it doesn't really matter if your TV is 1080i or p, it's either got 1080 lines of resolution or it doesn't. And would I be correct to assume that 1080i down-converted to 720p looks just as good as up-converted to 1080p?
One issue is resolution: if it's 1920x1080 and does 1080p, it will accept a 1080p input and display it as-is with no upscaling/re-scaling (if it doesn't take 1080p, it'll require the source input to be 720p or 1080i). It will also take a 1080i input and display it natively (and reconstruct the fields for a progressive video image, but you are at the mercy of how well the TV does this bit of video magic). It will also take a 720p input and upscale it to the full 1920x1080 resolution of the display. The benefits of 1920x1080 resolution go away the further you sit from the display, so, if you sit very close, your eyes will see a more concentrated video image on the 1920x1080 display over a 1366x768 display, but if you intend on sitting at the recommended distance or further, the benefits of 1920x1080 diminish in terms of your eyes resolving the image quality over a 1366x768 display.

If the set is 1366x768, and accepts 1080p, it will downscale the image to the 1366x768 display (most of the 2006 models with a native 1366x768 display that don't accept 1080p just won't accept it, and you have to make your source output 720p or 1080i). With 720p input, it will upscale it slightly to fill its display. With 1080i input, it will combine the fields and downscale to fill the display.

Now, to confuse things, this past year's 2006 DLP 1080p sets are mainly 1080p wobulated (meaning their native display is really 960x1080, but they employ a 1/120 second tilt of the the mirrors to draw the second set of lines to form the 1920 lines of resolution in the horizontal plane), but the newer DLP 1080p sets will be mostly true 1920x1080 (non-wobulated) resolution sets.

The LCOS/SXRD/D-ILA 1080p sets have true 1920x1080 resolution in their 1080p sets (but suffer in panel geometry, and brightness output control since the bulbs have to run at a specific brightness all the time, and it's best to find models that have an adjustable iris to control bulb brightness output, the DLP sets also use these user-replaceable bulbs and benefit from having adjustable iris controls ).

Last edited by Patman; 03-17-07 at 05:40 PM.
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