What is the "best" 32 inch 1080p LCD right now? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-29-2008, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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After my research and from reading this forum so far it looks like the Sony KDL-32XBR6, Panasonic TC-32LZ800, and Samsung LN32A650 and LN32A550 are at the top of the heap.

Are there any other choices I should be considering?

And what are the recommendations regarding these choices? Does one really stand out, or are they close enough that it becomes a matter of personal preference and price?

No gaming, just basically DIRECTV HD. And not the primary set in the house.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-29-2008, 01:04 PM
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Another top-end 32" panel that is worth considering is the LG 32LG70 whose release appears to be imminent.

As far as the Sony, Samsung and Panasonic are concerned - each has their strengths and weaknesses, so I don't think there is a clear winner and personal judgement must be made on your own unique situation and planned usage.

Here is a little table of how I think the models compare, but I should note that I have not yet seen the LZ800 in person yet (which is the main reason why I haven't already bought it ).

Code:
                      Color      Blacks     Sharpness  Motion     Sound      Off-Angle  PC Support  Gaming
Samsung LN32A650      Excellent  Good       Good       Mediocre   Poor       Poor       Good        Good
Sony KDL-32XBR6       Good       Good       Excellent  Excellent  Excellent  Mediocre   Mediocre?   Mediocre?
Panasonic TC-32LZ800  Excellent  Excellent  Good       Excellent  Mediocre   Excellent  ???         ???
To summarize what I gather to be each model's strengths and weaknesses:

The Samsung LN32A650 has an excellent, vibrant image, but this is tempered somewhat by its mediocre motion handling with noticeable blurring in fast moving scenes. Also, the poor off-angle viewing angles and very noticeable reflections from its glossy screen make it less well-suited to a broad variety of room layouts. PC support and gaming is also a strength of the Samsung with good response times, a dedicated gaming mode and various modes for 1:1 pixel mapping through DVI->HDMI. The built-in sound of the Samsung is rather weak.

The Sony KDL-32XBR6 has a slightly less vibrant and overall more muted picture than the Samsung and Panasonic, but this is offset to a certain extent by a somewhat higher level of sharpness and detail. Motion handling on 24p film sources is excellent, while not quite as good for broadcast and games, but still better than the Samsung on all counts. Its off-angle viewing is again better than the Samsung, but not nearly as good as the Panasonic. Two clear advantages that the Sony has over the other two models: significantly better built-in sound and the least reflective screen finish. However, there seem to be some question marks about the Sony's suitability for PC and gaming use with reports of problematic PC video display and gaming lag.

The Panasonic TC-32LZ800 seems to the clear overall winner in PQ among the three, although perhaps with a touch less sharpness and detail as compared to the Sony (edit: and perhaps slightly less vibrant colors than the Samsung). Motion handling is excellent and the off-angle viewing is easily the best-in-class. There are potentially problems with the reflectiveness of the panel, however, so this should be taken into consideration. The built-in sound for the Panasonic is only mediocre and its suitability for gaming and PC usage are totally unknown at the moment.

From your description of usage, it seems that all three models would be entirely satisfactory with perhaps the slightest nod to Sony (especially if sound is important) or Panasonic (especially if off-angle viewing is important) over the Samsung. However, there is no replacement for evaluating these sets yourself in person and if you are in no rush to buy it might be worth waiting to see what LG's 32LG70 offers.


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post #3 of 5 Old 05-29-2008, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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There is a glare issue in the spot where this will go (there is a Proscan non-HD CRT in that spot now and glare is severe at times). So the Sony sounds preferable in that regard. Plus, this is not the primary video system in the house (in fact not even the secondary one) and will probably be used most of the time with just the TV speakers (the sound system in that room has an old Sony ES Pro Logic receiver (which was great in its day and still works fine but is seriously obsolete) and doesn't get turned on very often) so the Sony scores well on that too.

But I've read that the Samsung 32A550 has a matte glass while the 32A650 has a glossy glass. Do you know if that's correct, and if so, would that help with the glare problem, and how does the 32A550 stack up against the other three in other respects?

Thanks for your extensive help.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-29-2008, 07:10 PM
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I didn't know XBR6 is bad for PC and gaming. I don't see any mention of it in the XBR6 thread.
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-29-2008, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon74 View Post

But I've read that the Samsung 32A550 has a matte glass while the 32A650 has a glossy glass. Do you know if that's correct, and if so, would that help with the glare problem, and how does the 32A550 stack up against the other three in other respects?

I haven't spent too much time investigating the A550, but it does have a matte (or at least semi-matte) screen with significantly less reflection. However, the glossy screen is what gives the A650 much of its color pop and richer blacks, so the A550 might not compare as favorably PQ-wise (not to say it is bad, but maybe just not quite as good).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volforto View Post

I didn't know XBR6 is bad for PC and gaming. I don't see any mention of it in the XBR6 thread.

That's why I put the question marks around it - this kind of thing is difficult to evaluate in the store and there were some reports of problems: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4 (with some possible settings fixes). These may be resolvable with the correct menu settings / input selection, but then again maybe not.


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