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post #1 of 5715 Old 02-24-2010, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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So you've decided that you want an LCD HDTV. Maybe you just got this year's bonus, or that big tax return, or you need a new TV because that 20 year old tube just died this week. But, you aren't sure where to begin. Well, you've come to the right place.

Resources for research

Information at CNET

Here are some helpful CNET links to reviews and buying guides for HDTVs:

CNET's television reviews:

http://reviews.cnet.com/televisions/...ftColumnArea.0

CNET's HDTV buying guide:

http://reviews.cnet.com/tv-buying-gu...tColumnArea1.0

CNET's HDTV finder, a step-by-step guide for chosing a TV:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4247-6475_7-...rColumnArea1.3

-----

Before diving into makes and models, there are some things you should consider that will help your decision making process.

If you plan on posting in this thread asking for assistance, please include the following information in your post:

1. Budget
2. Seating distance
3. Size/placement limitations
4. Uses and sources
5. Room lighting

1. Budget

Buying a new HDTV can be an expensive endeavor. To make things even more complicated, there is a whole price range of LCDs available, costing from just hundreds to several thousands of dollars. You should understand from the beginning how much you want to spend for a new TV. By having a budget, you whittle down your search to a price range and just look at makes and models within your budget. It will reduce the number of LCDs you are looking at, making the task of choosing less daunting.

2. Seating distance

High definition televion brings greater detail to the picture. However, in order to be able to see the increased detail in HDTV we need to sit within an optimal distance from the TV. Also, the room you plan on putting your new LCD in may limit you on how close or how far you will be sitting from it. Now, not everyone is going to (or be able to) sit 7 feet from a 55" LCD. Knowing how far you plan on sitting from your new LCD will help you determine how large of an LCD you are interested in.

3. Size/placement limitations

Where you plan on placing (or mounting) your new LCD may also impact the size of the LCD you choose. So, in terms of getting the most out of your new high definition experience, you will need to find a balance between size, distance, resolution (720p, 1080p), and practicality.

Some resources that can assist you in making the size/distance choice can be found here:

Viewing distance calculator:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/v...alculator.html

Seating distance chart:



If you find yourself sitting farther than ideal for 1080p viewing from your chosen size, you may want to consider saving some money and buying a 720p LCD, instead.

4. Uses and sources

The number and types of source devices you have and plan on getting will determine the types of connections you will need available on your new LCD. Or, you might find after tallying up your sources that a new audio/video receiver would be a good addition to your new purchase.

You should also consider what you are planning on using your new LCD for. For watching primarily movies on Blu-ray, you might want to consider seating arrangements that put you closer to the optimal seating distance for the size you purchase. Perhaps you will be watching alot of broadcast over cable, or you haven't upgraded to Blu-ray or you still have a large collection of standard DVDs. What you plan on watching on your LCD HDTV can influence what quality level, features, or even resolution (720p? 1080p?) you choose in a model.

If you plan on gaming on your LCD, you might want to find out about input lag of the different makes/models you are considering. Here's a good thread we have going here on input lag:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1131464

5. Room lighting

Well lit room? Or do you like watching movies in the dark? Some LCDs come with matte finish screens, and others can be as reflective as plasmas. You should consider the lighting of your room and look for models that would be appropriate.

What about bias lighting? What exactly is bias lighting? Here's a good post on theory from the Calibration forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1162578

Here's a thread of bias lighting examples with pictures in the LCD forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...=bias+lighting

2010 LCDs from some of the top brands

Samsung:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...t=samsung+2010

Sony:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ight=sony+2010

LG:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hlight=lg+2010

Toshiba:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...t=toshiba+2010

Sharp:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=sharp+2010

Panasonic (not much going on in this thread, but it's the best I could dig up):

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ight=panasonic

Vizio:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ighlight=vizio

Cables!

For all your buying needs:

http://www.monoprice.com
http://www.bluejeanscable.com
http://www.tartancable.com


I'm hoping that this thread will be a help to people, and a place for knowledgeable folks to stop by and help out others looking for information. If there's anything you think should be in this first post, either information or links, just let me know and I will put it up.
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Last edited by Mike Lang; 07-10-2014 at 02:43 PM.
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post #2 of 5715 Old 02-25-2010, 04:49 AM
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Thanks for doing this!

Hopefully this thread will cut down on new thread creation and make the main forum focused on specific topics (other than "what LCD should I buy?").

Even though this thread may get long, it's still the place to ask questions about what LCD to buy even though the answer may be buried somewhere earlier.

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post #3 of 5715 Old 02-25-2010, 11:19 AM
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Great thread starter. As a suggestion, compose a simple questionnaire based on your original post.
(like the "OK! Your LCD! You Tell Me! Got a new one? post it here" thread)

"If at first you don't succeed......reboot"
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post #4 of 5715 Old 02-25-2010, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisBean View Post

Great thread starter. As a suggestion, compose a simple questionnaire based on your original post.
(like the "OK! Your LCD! You Tell Me! Got a new one? post it here")

Done.

Back off man, I'm a scientist.
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post #5 of 5715 Old 02-25-2010, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post

Hopefully this thread will cut down on new thread creation and make the main forum focused on specific topics (other than "what LCD should I buy?").

wishful thinking. ive seen more "which tv should I buy?" threads in the last 2 weeks than I have in a while. people clearly arent reading the whole forum or just want to feel cool by starting a new thread here. personally I cant see letting others spend my money for me when there are so many fanboys around. not to mention, almost every "which tv should i buy and my budget is $1400" thread contains this answer, "get the samsung 55b8500". lmao simply amazing.
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post #6 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 12:15 AM
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Well you have your first consolidated "which LCD should I buy" thread victim -- err I mean contestant. :-)

I have a samsung LNR268WX 26" 720p TV from 2005 that I want to replace with a similar sized set. The Samsung I have doesn't support "just scan" and isn't playing nice with my HTPC over HDMI. I want to know what the current recommendations are for sets in the 26-32" range that "just work" with PC output over HDMI. I suspect that means it supports 1:1 pixel mapping and takes PC input over HDMI (ie does the right thing with the color space). I see that the price range for these sets is between $300 to $600 and thats fine. Obviously less is better. Anyone have suggestions? :-)
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post #7 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 12:58 AM
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So I am looking to replace my 55 inch Olevia that I got from woot a year and a half ago. Here is what I am looking for:

1. Budget
About 1200, but I will go higher for the right set that I can be happy with and not have to upgrade for at least a couple years.

2. Seating distance
About 13 feet at the farthest point.

3. Size/placement limitations
I live in military housing so the rooms dont have much decorating options. I also have a L-shaped couch and only 1 viable wall/corner for a TV, further limiting options. Maybe something with a swivel?

4. Uses and sources
Primarily HD television content and Blu-Rays. I also order a lot of sporting event PPV's. I also do a lot of gaming (360) and watch a lot of content off of my computer. At least three HDMI ports is desirable. I do not really need an S-video connection however.

5. Room lighting
My current living room has an entire wall made up windows. I work 2nd shift so I do have blackout curtains. I guess what im saying is it can be really bright or really dark, so lighting isnt really a concern.

Other: I have reviewed CNETs Best TV lists but still cant make a decision. I was thinking one of the ultra-thin samsung plasmas, but was scared by all the reviews mentioning buzzing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #8 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 03:57 AM
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Sales galore will be starting soon so I have selected the 3 HDTV's indicated
and truthfully find little difference between them other than price. I am not
a guru on TV's and after scanning the spec's I am leaning towards the
Toshiba 55ZV650U. For the most part of my TV watching is sports and
watching Blu-Ray movies. Your thoughts please.

Thanks
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post #9 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henbone11 View Post

wishful thinking. ive seen more "which tv should I buy?" threads in the last 2 weeks than I have in a while. people clearly arent reading the whole forum or just want to feel cool by starting a new thread here. personally I cant see letting others spend my money for me when there are so many fanboys around. not to mention, almost every "which tv should i buy and my budget is $1400" thread contains this answer, "get the samsung 55b8500". lmao simply amazing.

The sticky just went up yesterday. Previous threads can't get merged because of post order goes by date. New threads will continue only if people here let them continue, i.e. don't report them or don't remind people there is a sticky. Moderators, contrary to some people's assumptions, don't read every post in a given forum. It's not like we get paid or something...

larry

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -- Thomas Alva Edison
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post #10 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 06:12 AM
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Upgrading from a Sharp LC46D82U

1. Budget: $3000
2. Seating distance: 6-12'
3. Size/placement limitations: None... but I would like at least 52"
4. Uses and sources: HTPC, Gaming (1080p)
5. Room lighting: Generally dark. I prefer matte screens though.

Not a huge Samsung fan... would prefer LED local dimming (I think).

Any suggestions?
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post #11 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 07:58 AM
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I am a HD DV-CRT guy but I want to get my daughter a new TV for her room as a birthday present to replace 13" SD CRT

Budget: unimportant
Seat Dis : 3-10ft
size/placement: desk mtg - limited to 22-24" total height including stand
use: SDTV + DVD (I have a spare Blu-ray player for her to use) using TV speakers
rm light: usually with lights, no sunlight issues

So at size is the PQ similar?
Do some have better speakers?
Any with headphone jacks?
Any that could also double as a monitor? (maybe to replace a Dell 17" 4:3)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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post #12 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 08:15 AM
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3D not being important, do you think that the new C8000 series Samsungs will out perform the B8500? ie: Black Levels, PQ and clouding
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post #13 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webman78 View Post

3D not being important, do you think that the new C8000 series Samsungs will out perform the B8500? ie: Black Levels, PQ and clouding

The C8000 should be an improvement over the B8000. The C9000 should be an improvement over the B8500. Hence, the B8000 < C8000 < B8500 < C9000, based upon the typical year to year trends of TV manufacturers.
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post #14 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for the info. Just trying to decide if I should wait or pull the trigger on a B8500
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post #15 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 10:00 AM
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OK a simple question for the experts:

Assuming the price differential is only $100 with the Toshiba being the higher priced, which of these 55" LCD should I get:

LG 55LH40
OR
Toshiba 55ZV650U

I did my homework and these two seem to be the cheapest 55" LCDs right now. Thanks!
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post #16 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kharvel View Post

OK a simple question for the experts:

Assuming the price differential is only $100 with the Toshiba being the higher priced, which of these 55" LCD should I get:

LG 55LH40
OR
Toshiba 55ZV650U

I did my homework and these two seem to be the cheapest 55" LCDs right now. Thanks!

Too many problems with A/V sync in the LG H40 series.

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post #17 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisBean View Post

Too many problems with A/V sync in the LG H40 series.

Yeah I heard about that. But let's say that it is not an issue for me. Strictly based on picture quality, features, and build quality (ignoring the A/V issues for the moment), which is the better set?
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post #18 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kharvel View Post

Yeah I heard about that. But let's say that it is not an issue for me. Strictly based on picture quality, features, and build quality (ignoring the A/V issues for the moment), which is the better set?

From casual observation, I'd say about equal, but I'm no expert.

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post #19 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webman78 View Post

3D not being important, do you think that the new C8000 series Samsungs will out perform the B8500? ie: Black Levels, PQ and clouding

The C8000 is edge lit, the 8500 isn't and thus less susceptible to flashlighting and clouding.

Steve S.
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post #20 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 01:47 PM
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Hey all,

Been browsing here for years, finally need some help on upgrading from my 37" Vizio to a real good 1080p flat panel for the living room in my new place.

1. Budget: Preferably under $1200. Cannot go much higher.
2. Seating distance: 6-10'
3. Size/placement limitations: 46-55" would be best
4. Uses and sources: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, FIOS, HTPC
5. Room lighting: Pretty dark room. Few room lights and little natural lighting.

I've been having a really hard time deciding what to pick up. I don't have a lot of time to do real good research. I need something fairly lag free as I do game and I hear (on here) that the Sammy's have some bad lag input which is unacceptable. I don't really have any brands that I prefer.

I don't really care whether it is Plasma or LCD. I haven't had much time to check out LEDs either, but I'm wondering if you guys could point me to the best panels in that price range.

If it helps, I'm local to the DC area.

Thanks!
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post #21 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 10:21 PM
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I'm looking to choose between a 40" Z5100 or a 40" NX700. I can get the Z for almost half the price of the NX700. The Z is 240hz while the NX700 is just 120hz, but the NX is LED (edgelit), while the Z is CCFL. And the NX700 looks very cool with the monolithic design. And is the NX700 even 10-bit? Both are Bravia Engine 3. And I don't care about Wifi on the NX700 since I have a ps3.

My heart wants to go for the NX700, but my brain tells me the Z is better value..

I've heard the Z has flashlighting issues, but does the NX700? Does LED actually improve the quality of the picture versus CCFL?
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post #22 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kharvel View Post

OK a simple question for the experts:

Assuming the price differential is only $100 with the Toshiba being the higher priced, which of these 55" LCD should I get:

LG 55LH40
OR
Toshiba 55ZV650U

I did my homework and these two seem to be the cheapest 55" LCDs right now. Thanks!

Based on my limited knowledge, toshiba has slight edge in terms of picture quality. And even though it is not a "true" 240 Hz tv, it does have the back light scanning to produce the 240 hz effect. AFAIK, the only major problem with the zv650u has been the issue with sudden crackling and echoing sound which comes on by itself while watching smthing on HDMI input. Have heard about the LH40 having issues with banding, but dont know how bad they are compared to sony or toshiba or for that matter other lcds.
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post #23 of 5715 Old 02-26-2010, 11:37 PM
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i really like the way colors look on Glossy in comparison to Matte
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post #24 of 5715 Old 02-27-2010, 06:06 AM
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I have a 52" Toshiba Regza which is a year old and so far no problems.
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post #25 of 5715 Old 02-27-2010, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akira_dono View Post

Based on my limited knowledge, toshiba has slight edge in terms of picture quality. And even though it is not a "true" 240 Hz tv, it does have the back light scanning to produce the 240 hz effect. AFAIK, the only major problem with the zv650u has been the issue with sudden crackling and echoing sound which comes on by itself while watching smthing on HDMI input. Have heard about the LH40 having issues with banding, but dont know how bad they are compared to sony or toshiba or for that matter other lcds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisBean View Post

From casual observation, I'd say about equal, but I'm no expert.

Akira is correct, not me , the Toshiba is the better value. (originally I was thinking the Toshiba 120Hz model, not the 240Hz model)

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post #26 of 5715 Old 02-27-2010, 10:08 AM
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Ok so I am looking to replace my XBR4 my budget is $3000.00.
1. What will be the equivalent of the XBR4 series
2. Is the NX800 good enough in specs compared to the xbr4 I had before

Please and thank you in advance.
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post #27 of 5715 Old 02-27-2010, 04:26 PM
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i own a 32" dynex tv that i bought off of a fellow i know for 300$. it's great - except for a few major things.

1. it's got only two hdmi ports. ps3, two 360s, and computer all run into it with hdmi, necessitating the purchase of an hdmi switch. i love the switch i bought, however it's annoying dealing with it. plus, hdcp doesn't always translate through the switch (usually, but once in a while it sticks), necessitating me cycling the switch to get it to 'bite'. crappy switch? maybe. but there's signal degradation every time you pass-through something regardless.

2. it's only 32"! :<<br />
3. no general optical out, meaning that all audio has to go into a separate switch as well (n64, ps2, ps3, 360, vcr, and tv all have another big switch to toggle). this means that, every time i turn on something different, i have to get up and switch both the video and the audio. no remotes on either. plus, there's signal degradation.

i'm looking for a replacement, primarily for gaming but also for movies and web TV. my main job is being a composer for video games, so i'd like a tv that's going to excel with gaming on current consoles, as well as allow me to use older stuff once and a while. i watch some movies, not a lot, but the PS3's bluray player does get used at my house. i do not need good speakers, but i would like an optical out to go to my 5.1 audio system.

i will need:
-gorgeous picture quality
-no less than four hdmi inputs, the more the better
-at least 120hz technology (ps3 3d games coming in Q4 2010!)
-good response time (duh!)
-46", no less, maybe a touch more
-optical audio out
-at least one composite video inputs, preferably two or three
-at least one component video inputs, preferably two
-brightness and contrast ratios that are decent (room will have windows, but i'll cover them when playing

i will NOT need:
-good speakers
-web features (useless with a pc equipped)
-portability

beyond that, i don't even have an idea what to look for. what's led tech...realistically speaking? what's the difference between 120, 240, and 480hz in a real-world situation?

i don't mind buying off-brand - my dynex has been stellar, and i don't plan on ditching it any time soon (particularly for what i paid for it...what a deal!). all that matters is that it does a good job and doesn't break.

last thing - i'd prefer to spend less than 800 or so for this tv. so, don't recommend a 2200$ tv just because it's good. i know there are good, cheap tvs out there (my father-in-law just bought a pretty nice hitachi 46" for 875 at sam's club that i'm looking at too), and i don't mind waiting for deals to come around. just tell me what to look for, and i'll be ready when the time comes. i can pay more if it's totally worth it, but there needs to be a lot of price-to-performance to make it worth it.

help? i'd prefer testimonials over just lmgtfy links, which is why i'm asking here rather than elsewhere. i've got a sam's club membership, and their TVs are often 400-500$ off of the general list price, so if you see one there i'm all about it.

thanks, everyone!
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post #28 of 5715 Old 02-27-2010, 07:05 PM
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1. Budget
$2500
2. Seating distance
7-10 ft
3. Size/placement limitations
~60 inch
4. Uses and sources
A little bit of everything but in order of importance:
1. Movies(should be a complete WOW on blu-rays obviously)
2. Games(will have PS3 and Wii)
3. Sports
4. Computer as source
5. Room lighting
Dim incandescent light, patio windows w/ blinds

It doesn't have to be an LCD tv but I had someone recommend that. I am prepared to spend on a separate sound system so the speakers don't have to be great. Thanks for any advice.
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post #29 of 5715 Old 02-28-2010, 01:24 AM
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I missed this thread when I made this post yesterday under the general LCD display title. I did put a lot of investigation in to this, but a couple things made me balk at buying it.

I'm looking for a 32" TV/monitor. The following things are a must:
1080P
Individual calibration of RGB
Computer input
S Video, and composite inputs to monitor my home theatre processor
Of course HDMI which they all seem to have.
under $550 shipped would be nice.

Viewing distance 4'
Sound will come from my HT rig, so that isn't an issue.

I'll be using it to watch some T.V. news and stuff, to spare the constant use of my JVC RS-10U projector. It will also be my computer monitor. It must also have a regular computer input, so that I can see what the computer is doing as it boots, and if I have to go in to safe mode etc. The one I was one mouse click away from buying is the Sony KDL-32EX400. It fits every single thing that I have mention but I wonder about the RGB calibration. I've seen some real cheap T.V.'s that have it, but I can't find anything about it in the owners manual. If a few people are absolutely sure that it has that, I'll buy it tomorrow morning.

I really was ready to click, "Purchase Now", and I thought that I better check with you guys first. LOL The OTHER alternative to RGB adjustment, is one that nails the colors correctly out of the box, say with a "natural" setting or something. The reason I need that, is I'll be doing a bit of color adjusting with certain video files, and I want to have an accurate reference in the first place.
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post #30 of 5715 Old 02-28-2010, 07:30 AM
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I need a little help for the step daughter. She received her tax refund and wanted to upgrade her crappy 25" 12 year old set. She lives in an apartment and sits around 7-8 foot from the set. She is able to control lighting fairly well with blinds. She went and purchased a Magnavox 47MF439B from Target for $799.00. She got it home and I set it up yesterday using an HDMI cable from her Comcast HD STB and Component from a Pioneer Elite progressive dvd player that I had laying around, as well as rcas from an old Playstation 2. I have not really kept up with specs after purchasing my last tv 1-1/2 years ago. It worries me the set is only 60 Hz and I'm not real big on Magnavox as a brand. I was seeing a lot of artifacting last night, but I have to spend time doing a better calibration next weekend. Is she making a big mistake keeping this tv? Should we find something in her $800 price range (obviously we are looking at an entry level set) with 120 Hz in a 45-48 inch set? Fortunately we have 90 days to either calibrate the set to her liking, or return it for a better option. Thanks.
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