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Help me pick a 1080p TV! (please?)

Old 05-02-07, 01:47 PM
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Help me pick a 1080p TV! (please?)

Hi All,

I don't consider myself very informed on TV's anymore. Back in the day when I bought by Toshiba Theaterwide TW40x81 I knew all about it. But with the flat panel displays... I've fallen behind. My Toshiba is now 7 years old and showing its age, and my buddy who just picked up a 50" Sony Plasma XBR2 to hook up to his PS3 has demonstrated how bad my existing TV is. Therefore, I've started trying to inform myself on features and specs, and this is what I've come up with so far. I'm hoping you guys can help me in a few areas.

- I want a flat panel TV to hang on the wall. So I think that leaves Plasma and LCD only.
- I'm willing to wait 6-12 months if there's a neat new technology on the horizon. I don't want to wait for waiting's sake.
- If someone figures out how to get Standard Def TV to look good on a 1080p then that would be a huge plus.
- Pricing isn't of that much importance to me at the moment; although I need to keep it definitely to the ballpark of $5K or less
- The TV will be mounted directly facing a bright window; I definitely need a TV that can handle this.

If you guys can comment on whether I've overlooked some specs or features in my summary, and also make recommendations that you think would meet my 'Desired' range then that would really be helpful. Also, if you can point me to reading material where I can do some more of this research myself, that would be great too.

Specifications Minimum Desired
Resolution 1080p 1080p
Resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080
Viewing angle 170 degrees 175 degrees
Response Time 8ms 2ms
Contrast Ratio 5000:1 10000:1

Screen
Diagonal Size 40-42 46-50
Anti-Glare Yes Yes

Inputs
HDMI Inputs 3 3
HDMI Version 1.3 1.3
Component Inputs 2 2

Features
Tuner Built in QAM Built in QAM
PoP 2 HDMI Inputs 2 HDMI Inputs
PiP 2 Standard Inputs 2 Standard Inputs
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Old 05-02-07, 01:50 PM
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how far will you be sitting from it?
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Old 05-02-07, 01:50 PM
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oh...and i dont think he just picked up a Sony Plasma. Sony hasn't made plasma TVs in a couple of years (and for good reason, they were not very good at it).
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Old 05-02-07, 02:01 PM
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I'll be about 10 feet head to screen. Possibly 12, I guess I'll gain a foot or so on the existing Rear Projection.

My buddy got an XBR2 from Bestbuy for $4500. I think it was this one:
Sony XBR2
So you're right, it's an LCD. He called it a plasma and I just trusted him.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:05 PM
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I'm finding avsforum.com a good source.

I'm in the same boat. Trying to catchup with the new technology as well as tryng to decide between Plasma and LCD. I thought i decided on LCD because I'm in a bright room, but I don't want to rule out Plasma just yet

Good Luck
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Old 05-02-07, 03:10 PM
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At that viewing distance 1080p is worthless with a 50" or less set. Your eyes can not distinguish the resolution difference.

As an example, the recommended distance for a 71" 1080p set is 9'. That is a resolution recommendation, not just size.

You will end up paying for something your eyes will never see.

Plasma, generally speaking, has better contrast, black levels, and color reproduction than LCD. These are all things your eyes can see from almost any distance.

a 720p Plasma set at 50" would be what I would get if I was you. You can get one for under 2k and put the $2500 difference towards a BluRay player and new speakers.

If you are SET on getting a 1080p television to hand on the wall, the ONLY set I would recommend is the Sharp Aquos (the newest model). It comes in 46 and 52 inch versions. If money is not an issue go with the 52" for around $4k.

The Sharp is the ONLY LCD who has been reviewed to come close to a Plasma in terms of black levels/contrast/color.

But since you wont ever see the resolution difference I would pick up a Panasonic Plasma.


When I bought my TV I had a $4700 budget (profit share from work). I spent $1700 on a Panasonic Plasma, $800 on a Yamaha Receiver, $1200 on Paradigm Reference Series speakers and after tax had a bunch of money left over.

Every night I am reminded as to the good choice I made.
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Old 05-02-07, 04:52 PM
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I suppose I AM set on 1080p. Regardless of the wisdom, I know that's what I'll buy. I may choose to go up to 52", which might help.

I checked out the Sharp and it doesn't seem to have POP / PIP listed in the user manual. Do you know if it has that? A requirement of mine is to do split screen mode with 2 HDMI inputs, and I'm not sure there's a TV on the market that can do it. I'd also kinda like to have 3 HDMI (The sharp only has 2) but I might be able to live without the third.

I looked at the Mitsubishi Diamond LT-46231, that seems to come the closest specification-wise. At least one of the two inputs can be hdmi. But you can't use two hdmi inputs for the split-screen mode. They don't list the contrast ratio or refresh rate, though.

Last edited by hellmutt; 05-02-07 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 05-02-07, 06:57 PM
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I would agree with SoSpacey,

Your not going to see the benefit of 1080p on a screen that size (even 52") sitting any where close to what you say unless you are using as a computer monitor.

If you are stuck on getting 1080p and want flat panel, you are fairly limited. The ONLY 1080p plasma I currently know of is the Pioneer Elite and I don't think it is in your price range. And I had a chance to see this set and see it fairly close to the 720p version. I couldn't see any difference till I got up to about three-four feet. There will likely be some coming out in summer or by the end of the year that are lower price.

That leaves LCD. There maybe some nice one's out there. Some around here really like the Sony LCD. I understand Sharp makes one as well. But a first tier brand LCD in that size in 1080p is pretty pricey in my book.

Why are you set on 1080p may I ask?
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Old 05-02-07, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Why are you set on 1080p may I ask?
There are a few reasons:

1. My existing TV handles 1080i and 480p and the difference between it and the 1080p's I have seen is remarkable.
2. I want the flexibility to redeploy the TV later, if I replace it again, and I don't know at this point what those scenarios might be
3. My PS3 can handle 1080p output and I don't want to feel like I'm 'missing' anything.
4. Cause I'm a specification geek

I'm not sure if any of these are 'good' reasons but I know I'll feel buyer's remorse later if I choose 720p.
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Old 05-02-07, 07:50 PM
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Have you actually compared a 720p source to a 1080p source on a high-quality plasma television? Just curious.

The PS3 can output 1080p but from what I've read, you're going to be stuck with very few games which are 1080p. If you're using it more for Blu-ray movies, then that's better. One of the reasons for 1080p being absent from most PS3 games is probably the amount of information which will have to be moving from the PS3 to the television processors. I suspect they just can't do it appropriately yet and would need a more powerful gaming system (just a guess). The more popular games will be 720p and 1080i.
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Old 05-02-07, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by hellmutt
There are a few reasons:

1. My existing TV handles 1080i and 480p and the difference between it and the 1080p's I have seen is remarkable.
2. I want the flexibility to redeploy the TV later, if I replace it again, and I don't know at this point what those scenarios might be
3. My PS3 can handle 1080p output and I don't want to feel like I'm 'missing' anything.
4. Cause I'm a specification geek

I'm not sure if any of these are 'good' reasons but I know I'll feel buyer's remorse later if I choose 720p.
1, 2 & 3 don't make any difference as it is your eyes that can't see the difference at that size, seating area (unless by #2 you mean you might use as a computer monitor).

4 is as good as reason as any...

I have nothing against 1080p. All things equal, no reason NOT to get it. However things are not equal. There are reasons in your case. What is more important 1080p or flat panel?

Sorry but IMHO if you really want flat panel I just can't see eliminating 99% of the plasmas out there to get 1080p. That is the issue right now, but maybe it will improve as more plasmas come out in 1080p.

Now if you want 1080p and can live without the flat panel (going with a rear projector) then that is a different story. The Samsung (DLP) 1080p is pretty nice (tho bright). And while I have only looked at once, the Sony LcOS seems pretty sweet. But neither is a flat panel.

But if you want 1080p in a flat panel and the pioneer is our of your price range, right now that only leaves LCD. And I'm just not that big of a LCD fan. I have spent a lot of time looking at the Panasonic and Pioneer 720p plasmas and set up properly they are just awesome. By far the best images I have ever seen. I just can't see eliminating them from possible selection for resolution reasons only. Especially since there are more important things for overall picture quality then resolution.

However, to each their own. You will no doubt enjoy whatever you get and that is the most important thing.
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Old 05-02-07, 08:22 PM
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Agree with what has already been said. If you have your heart set on 1080p, you should either go RP (DLP or LCoS) or wait awhile. And you also mentioned that you want the TV to have 3 HDMI 1.3 inputs? Do any TVs have 1.3 right now, let alone three of them? Another possible reason to wait for now if you really want these things. Sometimes being a "specification geek" doesn't help the situation.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:13 PM
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Another option is the new LED DLP Samsungs. The are technically a rear projector but thin enough (I think around 13") and light enought (around 50lb) that you can hang on a wall,

http://www.digitaltvdesignline.com/products/199201206
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Old 05-03-07, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by hellmutt
There are a few reasons:



I'm not sure if any of these are 'good' reasons but I know I'll feel buyer's remorse later if I choose 720p.

I was in a similar boat as you are now. Didn't want the buyers remorse if I didn't go 1080p.

Then I realized it would eat me up inside to realize I spent 2k+ more on an LCD that just doesn't look as good as the much cheaper plasma would have.
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Old 05-03-07, 02:49 PM
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I've remeasured head-screen. It's actually about 8 feet tops, so I'm closer than I thought. Does that make a difference?
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Old 05-03-07, 02:59 PM
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I would get this one:

http://www.visualapex.com/plasma/Pla...ber=TH-50PF9UK
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Old 05-03-07, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by hellmutt
I've remeasured head-screen. It's actually about 8 feet tops, so I'm closer than I thought. Does that make a difference?

nope. the panny plama will still have a much better pic than a 1080p LCD.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:31 PM
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If you can wait...I would. Laser TV's will be coming late this year, or early next year. I have seen one, and it is amazing. I believe Mitsubishi plans to have it out for the hollidays at the $3k range.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_TV

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Old 05-03-07, 08:41 PM
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One little addendum. These televisions are scheduled to be arriving in late 2007, but only for commercial purchasing. In other words, yah got at least 2-3 years before they hit the consumer market. Not to mention do you want to be the guinea pig for the first-run of this product. I wouldn't. So, add another few years to get the kinks straightened out.
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Old 05-07-07, 11:41 AM
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There are a few new / larger size 1080p Plasmas from Panasonic. However, they don't support split screen on 2 HD sources, or QAM Cable Card. So for the moment, i guess I'm gonna sit tight. The split screen and QAM slot are pretty important to me and I don't think they're in the 720p TVs either.
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Old 05-07-07, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by hellmutt
There are a few new / larger size 1080p Plasmas from Panasonic. However, they don't support split screen on 2 HD sources, or QAM Cable Card. So for the moment, i guess I'm gonna sit tight. The split screen and QAM slot are pretty important to me and I don't think they're in the 720p TVs either.
This is why I picked the Panasonic TH-50PX600U 6 weeks ago over the regular TH-50PX60U version, I wanted the split screen capability (only component video and regular composite/s-video, but not HDMI inputs, unfortunately), and it also comes with a Cable Card slot. It might be a while before we see split screen with HDMI input sources. The 600U is a 720p model, though. I don't think I'm missing much over the 1080p models as I sit about 9.5 feet away from the screen in terms of my eyes resolving any extra resolution benefits from that distance.
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Old 05-09-07, 04:28 PM
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So the 50" Panasonic Plasma (TH-50PH9UK, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16889187012) does not do 1080p? I'm confused as well.
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Old 05-13-07, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by neiname
So the 50" Panasonic Plasma (TH-50PH9UK, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16889187012) does not do 1080p? I'm confused as well.
It depends on what you mean by "do".

To clear things up, it will accept a 1080p signal but will output it at 720p or 768 or whatever the max res is for the set.

Many a display will ACCEPT the signal and output it. But the display can only output it's max resolution.

As an example, my old projector was a Infocus X1 which was "only" a 480p pj. Yet I would plug in OTA HD and it would show a nice image. The image was nice, but is was not HD. The pj would down res it to 480p at the most.

In the past some displays would not even accept an input higher then their resolution meaning you would get no picture at all! I think this has pretty much changed and believe most new displays will accept and output just about any resolution. But again, it can only OUTPUT it at whatever the max is.

Currently I'm using a Optoma HD70 which is a 720p project. I have hooked up to it OTA HD (some channels are 1080i) and a blu-ray player that output 1080p. The PJ simply converts them to 720p and produces an awesome image.

BTW, those Panasonic Commercial units are awesome! Especially if you are willing to put in a little time and research to really tweak the inputs. They have a lot more use accessible settings for picture quality then do their consumer counter parts.

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Old 05-14-07, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey

Then I realized it would eat me up inside to realize I spent 2k+ more on an LCD that just doesn't look as good as the much cheaper plasma would have.
I do not want to go into a debate here as to what are the pros and cons on each option being discussed! That would be LCD and Plasma!

But I find it very strange to say the least that you use the term generally when comparing these yet you are so definitive in your...let's just call them..."claims"!

I mentioned in another thread before - and also had a first hand experience including the Elite and Sony Bravia XBR3 1080p sets, which I ended buying - XBR3 clearly outdoes the Panni Plasma as far as I am concerned!

I asked earlier (see thread) how many of those who automatically dismiss anything LCD have actually had the chance to see the Bravia next to a Panni and HD1 plasma and the answer that was given to me: not many.

Also, I do watch my 46' set from about 12 feet and your claim that I could not distinguish the resolution difference is simply...off! I can! And I had the Elite HD1-Panni sets placed at exactly the same location when I was attempting to determine which set to purchase.

You say that generally speaking Plasma has a better contrast. I agree....this is generic talk as it is the old notion many still have drilled in their heads that Plasma is prone to b-issues.

Furthermore, you clearly state later that all things are not equal...May I ask then why you "generally" dismiss LCD as being inferior to Plasma?

Example: The black levels on the HD1 and the XBR 3 are identical to my eyes...and I played with the HD1 and XBR3 for 3 days! (You could read about my agreement with a local BestBuy manager in a thread i started about a month ago).

Also I ended up getting the XBR3 (without a single clouding issue on my set) for 2680$ delivered to my house). Way under the 4300$ plus-minus a few extra bucks price tag!

Finally, I DO respect everyone's opinion on this forum but there seems to be a great deal of bias amongst a few of you (which mind you is good for debates) who have not actually compared personally some of the high-end sets being discussed. I know that you are not a big LCD fan and that is fine...Plasma works better for your taste. But you tend to be very dismissive to other sets when I don't recall you ever mentioning comparing these at home (that would be the mentioned HD1, XB2-3, Panni, etc....).

I strongly recommend the XBR3 1080p over the Panni plasma (unlike So Spacey I found the Panni to have inferior picture quality in addition to motion-jitters...which none of the Panni owners here are aware of).

Pro-B

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Old 05-14-07, 07:21 PM
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pro-

glad your are still liking your Sony...nice.

You of course make good points and generally I agree with you. I'm sure there are individual set of each technology that shine. Based on your previous threads I have tried to look at the Sony for my living room (I really want a 45" to 46" set), but no one has it set up well. The two high end HT stores near me that generally have displays set up nicely simply do not carry the Sony.

I will say I disagree with you on the resolution issue. 1st, resolution is widely thought to be 3rd or 4th most important in overall picture quality. This is not me, but HT articles. 2nd, it is not an opinion that at the OP picture size and distance you cannot see all the resolution of 1080p, it is simple math. A humans eyes cannot see it. And I did recently get the pleasure to view the Pioneer elite 1080p plasma. Nice, but try as I might, could see no difference between it and its 720p sister at about 8' way (these were 50" sets). The funny part was they did not have them hanging together. When I asked why, I just got a sheepish grin.

This is from the November 2006 issue of Home Theater Magazine (I have a subscription that is why no link). They have a nice article of "Your Top 25 HDTV Questions Answered" the very first question....

1. What's all the fuss about 1080p? Should I buy a 1080p HDTV now? There are plenty of 1080p HDTV's on the market and more coming. Manufacturers are moving to 1080p resolution in their displays mostly because the prices of 720p and 768p HDTVs are dropping so quickly, and 1080p sets have better profit margins. It's also not as expensive to make 1080p sets using DLP, LCOS, and LCD technologies as it used to be. (1080p plasma is still getting out of the gate.) If you plan to get a new HD DVD or Blu-ray player, you might want to consider a 1080p set to get all the resolution these disc formats offer-or if you are into really big HD images and want to sit close to the screen. Of course, you'll want to make sure your 1080p DHTV deinterlaces 1080i correctly; not all do. If it doesn't deinterlace correctly, the image will be softer then it should be. If, on the other hand, you are planning on getting a TV smaller then 60 inches and are sitting 10 or more feet away, then a 720p/768p set will be just fine. This is because, at that size/distance, your eye can't resolve all the detail in 1080p anyway.

I got nothing against 1080p, I'm just not going to go out of my way or spend more for it for the size tv's we are talking about. Tho I'm hoping the price of 1080p front projectors continue to drop, so I can consider upgrading my 720p projector when the bulb burns. Now, I will get interested in resolution when I can afford a 1080p projector for a 100" sitting at 12' and 14' away.
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