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Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

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Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Old 05-21-2007, 11:33 AM
  #1  
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Default Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

It's time for new tv's and like the subject line indicates, I don't have a clue. So I figured I'd ask my fellow boaters for adivse since I know there has to be someone here that can give me guidence.

Plazma or LCD?

I need one about 60" wide and probably another at 36".

I hear when these things sh!t the bed it's too costly to fix them. So I'd like to get something with a good track record, and of cource I have a budget to work with so if the 36" is too costly then I'll just wait on that one.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:41 AM
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Joe
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Put an LCD next to a Plasma and you'll se why you'll want an LCD.

Get a Costco card and buy one from there.
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Old 05-21-2007, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

You will get lots of varied responses and advice, but I'll tell you what I did a few months ago. After a lot of research, I decided that I wanted an 42"LCD; no glare, and my room has a LOT of light coming in. Cooler running, and I think that might translate into longer component life, but that, of course, is debatable. I was going to buy a Toshiba LX or LZ, a 1080p with QAM tuner, and a built-in CableCard socket (not set-top-box needed), when I found a SUPER deal at Costco. It was for a Sceptre 42" LCD, with Faroudja upscaling chipset, which takes standard broadcast (non-HD) signals, as well as standard DVD's, and improves the picture quality to 720p or more. You can google Faroudja's web-site, and read how it works. It is normally only found in high-end TV's, not something that was designed to sell for $1500.

But Costco is selling the Sceptre for $999. delivered, and doubling the warranty to 2 years, parts and labor, at no extra charge. I bought 2 of them, and they are fantastic. They are lots of other choices though, so good luck.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Plasmas are on the way out so don't get suckered into buying one on a sale price deal. They are very heavy and don't last that long.

LCD is the only way to go IMHO.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

I just bought my first one 3 weeks ago and love it...here is the discription of the one I choosed.

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Sony-...oductDetail.do
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Here is a thread from about a month ago that discusses flat screens, it was in the captains club.

http://tinyurl.com/2yjtsj
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

jbutah3000

Now you did it.

I read the thread and it seems like it's going to be more difficult than I thought.
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Here is a good resource I use all the time. http://www.hometheaterspot.com/
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Old 05-21-2007, 01:57 PM
  #9  
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

For the 60" yer on yer own. For the 36, buy a Sharp Aquos 37" LCD. I have one and it is simply amazing. I also have a Sony Bravia, but prefer the Aquos...

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Old 05-21-2007, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Glassman,

In my opinion you really can't go wrong with any of them, but that is just me coming from an old 27" tube. I ended up with a 42" samsung plasma. I went in to the search with my heart set on an LCD, but like I said in the link I posted, at around the 1400 dollar range the Plasmas have a better picture than the LCDs. Here is an interesting article regarding resolution.

HDTV resolution explained
David Katzmaier
By David Katzmaier
(September 12, 2006)


TalkBack TALKBACK

How important is resolution to you?
Post your
comment here



Resolution is the main reason why HDTV looks so much better than standard television. On a high-def TV displaying a high-def source, a million or more pixels combine to create images that appear sharper and more realistic than TV ever has before. Resolution isn't the be-all and end-all of picture quality, however, and its numerous, well, numbers, can be incredibly intimidating at first. In this article we'll try to demystify HDTV resolution and help you cut through the hype that surrounds all of those numbers.

How important is resolution?
Not as important as you might think. According to the Imaging Science Foundation, a group that consults for home-theater maufacturers and trains professional video calibrators, the most important aspect of picture quality is contrast ratio, the second most important is color saturation , and the third is color accuracy. Resolution comes in a distant fourth, despite being easily the most-talked-about HDTV spec today.

In other words, once you get to high-definition, most people are perfectly satisfied with the sharpness of the picture. All other things being equal--namely contrast and color--HDTV looks more or less spectacular on just about any high-def television regardless of its size or the HDTV signal's resolution itself. The leap from normal TV to HDTV is so big that additional leaps in resolution--from high-def to higher-def, let's say--are tiny by comparison.

Nonetheless the HDTV landscape is littered with resolution discussions, in regard to both sources and displays, so a little knowledge of how they interact is a good thing.

Native resolution: The fix is in
For the rest of this article, we'll be talking about fixed-pixel displays. A fixed-pixel display is any HDTV or monitor that uses pixels to produce an image, including flat-panel LCD and plasma screens as well as rear-projection microdisplays and front projectors that use DLP, LCD, or LCoS technology. We'll ignore non-fixed-pixel displays; namely, direct-view and rear-projection CRTs, because they treat incoming resolutions differently than their fixed-pixel cousins do--since they don't use discrete pixels, their specs are much more difficult to pin down.

All fixed-pixel displays have a native resolution spec that tells you how many pixels the display actually has. Native resolution is the absolute limit on the amount of detail you'll see.

Fixed-pixel displays follow a few basic rules:

* No matter the resolution of the source material, whether VHS, DVD, or HDTV, a fixed-pixel display will always convert, or scale, it to fit its native resolution.
* If the incoming source has more pixels than the display's native resolution, you will lose some visible detail and sharpness, though often what you're left with still looks great.
* If the incoming source has fewer pixels than the native resolution, you're not getting any extra sharpness from the television's pixels.

HDTV source resolutions
If you read those three axioms closely, you'll see that source is everything with HDTV. Or, as some unknown wag once said, "Garbage in, garbage out." There are two main HD resolutions in use today by HD broadcasters and other sources: 1080i and 720p. One is not necessarily better than the other; 1080i has more lines and pixels, but 720p is a progressive-scan format that should deliver a smoother image that stays sharper during motion. Another format is also becoming better known: 1080p, which combines the superior resolution of 1080i with the progressive-scan smoothness of 720p. True 1080p content is extremely scarce, however, and none of the major networks have announced 1080p broadcasts. The term 1080p today appears mostly in reference to the displays' native resolution, not the source.

Source resolution name Resolution in pixels HDTV? Progressive-scan? Wide-screen? Networks/sources
1080p 1,920x1,080 Yes Yes Yes Blu-ray and future HD-DVD players; PlayStation 3
1080i 1,920x1,080 Yes No Yes Includes CBS, NBC, PBS, DiscoveryHD/
Xbox 360
720p 1,280x720 Yes Yes Yes ABC, Fox, ESPNHD
480p 852x480 No Yes Yes Fox wide-screen; progressive-scan DVD players
Regular TV Up to 480 lines No No No All

Despite the obvious difference in pixel count, 720p and 1080i both look great. In fact, unless you have a very large television and excellent source material, you'll have a hard time telling the difference between any of the HDTV resolutions. It's especially difficult to tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p sources. The difference between DVD and HDTV should be visible on most HDTVs, but especially on smaller sets, it's not nearly as drastic as the difference between standard TV and HDTV.

HDTV display resolution
Now that we've considered the source, let's look at the televisions. As we mentioned above, all fixed-pixel HDTVs scale the incoming resolutions to fit the available pixels, throwing away information if they have fewer pixels and interpolating information if they have more pixels than the source.

Native resolution ¹ Commonly called ² Meets definition of high-def? ³ Frequency Typical TV types
1,920x1,080 1080p Yes Rare but getting more common especially in larger TVs Flat-panel LCD; DLP, LCD, and LCoS projection; very high-end plasma
1,366x768 768p Yes Very common in all screen sizes Flat-panel LCD; 50-inch plasma
1,280x720 720p Yes Common in rear-projection but not flat-panels DLP, LCD, and LCoS projection
1,024x768 HDTV plasma Yes The most common plasma resolution 37- and 42-inch plasma
852x480 EDTV plasma No Increasingly rare 37- and 42-inch plasma
640x480 VGA No Increasingly rare Small LCD TVs

Technically speaking, all of these numbers are accurate and useful, but don't put too much stock in them. In the real world, it's difficult to tell the difference between native resolutions once you get into high-def. For example, despite the fact that a 37-inch LCD with "only" 1,366x768 pixels has to throw away a good deal of information to display a 1080i football game on CBS, you'd be hard-pressed to see more detail on a similar 37-inch LCD with 1,920x1,080 resolution.

The truth about 1080p
In the last couple of years, there has been a big influx of HDTVs with 1080p native resolution, which typically cost a good deal more than their lower-resolution counterparts. But as we've been saying all along, once you get to high-def, the difference between resolutions becomes much more difficult to appreciate. We've done side-by-side tests between two 46-inch LCD HDTVs, one with 1366x768 resolution and the other with 1080p resolution, using the same 1080i source material, and it was extremely difficult for us to see any difference. It becomes even more difficult at smaller screen sizes or farther seating distances--say, more than 1.5 times the diagonal measurement of the screen. We've reviewed a 37-inch 1080p LCD, for example, where it was impossible to see the separation between horizontal lines at farther than 45 inches away.

Here are a few reviews where we compared 1080p displays directly to lower-resolution models:

* Sharp LC-46D62U (46-inch 1080p LCD)
* Vizio GV46L HDTV (46-inch 1366x768 LCD)
* Westinghouse LvM-47W1 (47-inch 1080p LCD)
* Samsung LN-S4096D (40-inch 1080p LCD)
* Sony KDL-40XBR2 (40-inch 1080p LCD)
* Sharp LC-37D90U (37-inch 1080p LCD)

We're not telling you to ignore 1080p HDTVs. They technically do deliver more detail, which can enhance the viewing experience for more eagle-eyed viewers. Also, many manufacturers build other picture-quality benefits, such as better contrast and/or color, into their 1080p HDTVs simply because those sets are the high-end models. And given the continuing march of technology, we expect more and more 1080p models to become available at lower and lower prices. Today, however, the premium for 1080p is still pretty steep, and unless you're getting a very large set, say 50 inches or more, we don't recommend basing a buying decision on whether or not the television has 1080p native resolution.
¹ This is the number of physical pixels the television uses to produce a picture. You may notice that few of the resolutions in the table match the HDTV source resolutions exactly. That's mainly because TV makers find it more cost efficient to make panels with the pixel resolutions in the table and then scale the incoming sources to fit the screen. It's true that ideally you'd like to exactly match the incoming source with the display's native resolution, but it's much less important in HDTV than in, say, computer monitors. That's because scalers in HDTVs generally do a good job of converting the signals, and because most HDTV is in motion and seen from a distance, as opposed to static text seen up close.

² All fixed-pixel displays are natively progressive-scan, meaning that even if the source is interlaced, they'll convert it to progressive-scan for display. That's why, for example, you'll hear about a "1080p LCD" but never a "1080i LCD."

³ According to the CEA's DTV definitions, which, for obscure marketing reasons, actually include televisions that have fewer pixels than HDTV source resolutions in the section above.
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Old 05-21-2007, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Another good site for TV reasearch, be prepared to spend some time there.
http://avsforum.com/

Each has it's own plus and minuses, in the end both are great technologies. Know what your needs are, mounting, size, gaming etc....
As with all electronic technologies the advancements are coming at a fast pace, what was leading edge a year ago when I purchased my sets have been replaced with the next generation. I have both a plasma and LCD
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:05 PM
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Default RE: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

1080p is designed for large screens > 50" that will need more resolution so they appear the same as smaller screens. End result is a larger picture for larger rooms that still looks good.

A 115 hp Suzuki is a good motor by itself but not on a 26ft boat.

Prices for LCD go up exponentially above 50". Maybe a projector would be a better choice for a large viewing area. Compact and portable with 1080p. A little screen goo on an appropriate wall and you are in like Flynn for far less.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

I don’t even get into the mix of recommending a flat panel on THT anymore.

Technology on the flat panels has moved so fast that a lot of what you read about their pros and cons is already outdated. That same outdated info gets repeated on THT time and again whenever someone asks for flat panel advice. If you are serious about leaning about the current flat panel technology you will need to hook up with something like Consumer Reports where there are frequent product updates. I would stay the hell away from the public a/v forums with all of their paying sponsor biases.

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Old 05-21-2007, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Very simple, look at the Samsung.
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Don't buy into plasmas are on the way out, etc. Initially they had burn in issues but that was 10 years ago. A lot of plasma brands have 20,000, 30,000, even 60,000 bulb life expectations. That is a lot of viewing time. I looked hard and looked at everything from DLP, projection (even creating a theater room, etc.) LCD and plasma. I found that no matter how much I tries to convice myself DLP and LCD looked as good as or better than plasma it wasn't true at all. The good plasma tv's are nothing short of stunning. They are very bright, vivid, have true dark colors and can be viewed from about 165 degrees. When people come into my family room and a HD program is on they are speechless and want to touch the screen to see it it is real.

Just take your time and become an educated consumer. Once you make a decision stick to it and don;t look back. Whatever you choose will look awesome in your home. Just be sure to demo whatever you are looking at in realistic conditions. All bright lights in Best Buy will not give you a good idea of what the TV will really look like at home. Ask about the settings too....a trick is to crank everything up to 100%, especially contrast and brightness, which will inturn cut the life of the tv at least in half...if not more.

--JK
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Eyeball - 5/21/2007 4:38 PM

I don’t even get into the mix of recommending a flat panel on THT anymore.

Technology on the flat panels has moved so fast that a lot of what you read about their pros and cons is already outdated. That same outdated info gets repeated on THT time and again whenever someone asks for flat panel advice. If you are serious about leaning about the current flat panel technology you will need to hook up with something like Consumer Reports where there are frequent product updates. I would stay the hell away from the public a/v forums with all of their paying sponsor biases.
I've found that the a/v forums often exaggerate problemsw th certain brands/models, that a normal person would probably never notice. I just about bought a 62"LCD month or so ago from Costco, but after "researching" that model # on the nternet, it scared me away from it. I guess I'm waiting now for the prices to go down, or the technology to get better...or to forget what I read.

hmm...that sorta sounds familiar, doesn't it?
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Somehow I knew this wasn't going to be easy.

I guess it's time for some education.

jbutah3000, that was a very interesting article.

Thanks to all for the responses, at least I've begun the education.

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Old 05-22-2007, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

Simply put, if reflection is going to be an issue, you have NO choice you have to buy LCD!
We had several Sony Bravo LCD's in our home (I forget now if it was two or three of them) and they all went back because of extreme poor picture quality. Unfortunately our sets are more then double the cost of what you guys pay so the Sharp at the time was out of the question for us. We are very pleased with out Samsung 46" LCD 1080p.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

The room is very bright, there are a lot of windows. So I guess that eliminates projection tv's.

How does a bright light affect viewing of LCD screens?
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Help,,,,, It's time to purchase a flat screen --- And I don't have a clue

also check cnet.com, they give good solid reviews and advice. I own a Samsung 40 LCD and love it. No screen glare, half the weight of the plasma, less power consumption. I did months of research before I bought mine and concluded that LCD was right for me. But once you get into the 45" and up size, plasma generally gets the nod. although even that is changing quickly.
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