Quick questions regarding an upcoming 52" LCD purchase - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I've been lurking/researching for months now, and I just have a few questions regarding the purchase of a 52" LCD. I have narrowed my choices down to a Sony or Samsung (though I am open to additional suggestions if they are comparable in quality). I would also like to say thank you very much for any help in advance. I absolutely appreciate your time and input.

So, without further delay:

A bit of information:
A) My room is very bright, so I am looking for a screen where glare is not an issue.
B) I will be both playing games and watching SD/HD television/DVDs/Blu-ray.
C) I do not have a sound system, nor do I plan on getting one anytime soon.
D) I would prefer to keep the purchase price under $3K.


Having said that, oh television gods...

1) Is now the time to buy, or should I wait for the newer models to arrive soon?
2) What model best fits my needs in your opinion (and, is it really worth paying extra for 120hz technology)?
3) Could you recommend any TV stands that stand out in your opinion?


Thank You very much for your help everyone!

-Steve
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 03:35 PM
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Get the best... kdl52xbr4! The picture quality can't be matched by any other LCD, the Samsung is close, but comes up short in the end. Yeah my opinion, but I've researched, and played with settings in the stores on just about every model I could before I made my decision, and this is what I came up with in the end. The Sony is sharper, and the colors to me just look a little more natural than the samsung. The Samsung may look like it has deeper blacks, but in all honesty the in store demos are crushing blacks on the samsung. As far as glare goes, the 120hz Samsung has a gloss screen. They do have a model without the gloss screen, but to be fair I have not seen one in stores so I do not know the quality. As far as 120hz goes. For me it's a must! If you're a sports fan it's a no-brainer. Football doesn't get blurry like it does with the 60hz sets. I currently also own a 60hz Vizio, and can tell you there is a big difference! And don't get confused with these sets motion enhancers, like motionflow or AMP, that you see on in store demos. These do help (for the most part) with camera pan stutter or "judder", but these are NOT what makes these sets 120hz. Alot of people have it in there head that if you shut off these enhancements, you are basically shutting down the 120hz feature of the tv. This is not true. These sets are 120hz all the time, and they DO make a difference with fast motion.
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 03:40 PM
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Since you mentioned budget constraints, I would recommend waiting for the new Samsung line to hit the stores in March. Other major manufacturers will be dropping new models as well. If you can wait 30-60 days it may be worth it.

Defects exist in all the major brands and the community here is anxiously awaiting the new releases to see if they are fixed (TBE, blur, banding, backlight humming, etc.)

That's my $.02...

C
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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GWH,

Well, I can't tell you how helpful that reply is to me. You're definitely helping to swing my opinion toward the XBR4. I have read pluses and minuses regarding every LCD here on AVS Forum over the months, and as you might expect, it results in just a bit of trepidation about your purchase of any television. You want to get just the right one, and you want to get your money's worth!

So if you are happy with your 52XBR4, that means a lot to me, and your testimony will certainly help during my decision-making process. Thank you!


Capa, your $.02 is worth closer to a dollar to me. I was wondering about whether I should wait for the new Samsungs. They look fantastic, I must say. I think my biggest concern was that they would hit the market and be priced at or close to MSRP for the next couple of months... and I don't want to wait until May to buy a new television. Any thoughts on that?

Also, do you think the various issues people have been having with the XBR4 model televisions are significant enough for a (mostly) casual user like myself to be concerned about them?

Thank you again for your help!


I am going to actively watch this thread over the next couple of days for any more users' comments as well, so if anyone else has some input, I would love to hear it. Your thoughts on the subject are more valuable to me than you think.

~os
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 04:07 PM
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You're right on....the new sets will be here relatively soon, but stores will try to hold the MSRP on them for a while, certainly until they get rid of all the old sets. . You can get the 52xbr4 for almost the MSRP of the 52W3000 today. What will the MSRP be on the 52W4100...we won't know until it ships..MSRP's you might see now are to help the stores clean out the older models.

I am waiting for the new sets...also a 52". I don't like the glossy surround on the current xbr4 or I'd just buy one because it has all the features I want. I'll probably buy the w4100. The best compromise today is the Sony 52wl135, a special model sold only by Costco (note...the 135 not the 130)...which is essentially this years' 52w3000 with 120hz. It's exactly what I want but there's no costco near me.
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, ghstudio. Personally I do not mind the glossy frame, so I think the XBR4 may be a better choice for me. However I do have a Costco close by here in Louisville... but the price is the same as Amazon's for the XBR4 at the moment. I am assuming Amazon is a good place to buy televisions from; I have seen mostly positive comments from people here about Amazon TV purchases I believe.

But yeah, that's what I was worried about with regard to the MSRPs. I think I will probably be buying now, or very soon anyway. If I can get the XBR4 just a little cheaper than it is now, I will probably pull the trigger on it. I'm sure it was probably even cheaper prior to the Superbowl, but unfortunately I can't check pricing in the past.

~os
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-18-2008, 09:39 PM
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I check pricing the in past via NexTag. In their charts, I advise you to ignore the "minimum" price; these tend to be prices provided by unscrupulous bait-and-switchers online. The "median" reflects the real world, IMO. Charts from previous years have given me a general sense of how the game works. Prices start high, come down consistently over the course of six to nine months, where they hit a floor and drop no more. (It rhymes, so it must be true.) I've seen no evidence in the NextTag data that the release of the next year's models significantly affects the price of the previous year's, as the price has already come down as far as it is going to go. Besides, the initial release of the new models is at such an inflated price that they aren't really competing with the previous year's, anyway.

I'm in the same boat as you, except I think I *can* wait until May to get a new TV. (I mean, I've waited this long.) My concern for myself (and you, by proxy), as a gamer, is all the ghosting/smearing rigamaroll I hear about in that disheartening "Official XBR Ghosting/Smearing" thread.

GeneWildersHair, I know you've posted there. Does that thread represent justly aggravated consumers, perpetually unsatisfied videophiles, or the proportion of folks who just can't be bothered to get their settings right? It sounds to me like option number one.
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post #8 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghstudio View Post

You're right on....the new sets will be here relatively soon, but stores will try to hold the MSRP on them for a while, certainly until they get rid of all the old sets. . You can get the 52xbr4 for almost the MSRP of the 52W3000 today. What will the MSRP be on the 52W4100...we won't know until it ships..MSRP's you might see now are to help the stores clean out the older models.

I am waiting for the new sets...also a 52". I don't like the glossy surround on the current xbr4 or I'd just buy one because it has all the features I want. I'll probably buy the w4100. The best compromise today is the Sony 52wl135, a special model sold only by Costco (note...the 135 not the 130)...which is essentially this years' 52w3000 with 120hz. It's exactly what I want but there's no costco near me.

The XBR4's don't have the glossy "surround" that's on the XBR5's and it's the only difference .
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 09:02 AM
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Ive owned both the XBR4 and 71F

The XBR4 has slightly better colors and crispness

The samsung has deeper blacks and more depth in the picture quality. Also has 3 settings for AMP while the sony has 2.

XBR4 is more expensive

71F has more glare, though the 69f does not (same as 71F ecept with matte screen)

The reason I went with the 71F initially is because the XBR4 handles motion very poorly. Youll def get ghosting and smearing issues. The issues that the samsung has is AMP related, so you can adjust accordingly.

Personally I would do the following. If you want a 52" LCD, the newer models will def be over that price initially. I would do what I did, and that is get the pioneer 5080 for only $2000. You'll get better blacks, colors, viewing angle, and motion processing. At 8 feet away, there is no difference between 768p and 1080p, trust me, Ive done exhausitvie comparisons.

good luck
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 09:02 AM
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Hey, what about the Toshiba 52lx177. Has 120hz and it's own film stabilization that I have seen smears & stutters less than the sammy/sony using bluray...cost less too. Only thing is finding one to stand in front of.
I'm waiting for the new Tosh's in March and then get a good deal on the 52
Also, home theater mag.com has a comparison of the 120hz - xbr4, 5271f, phillips anf the tosh 177 ...check it out

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post #11 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the updates, guys. You know, I'd be all right with a 720p maybe, if it included the 120hz processing. I really do want something that supports smooth video processing, and it sounds like 120hz is the way to go for that.

But now you've got me a little bit concerned about ghosting on the XBR4. I definitely don't want to have that problem either. It sucks because it really seems like there are very few great 52" LCD TVs all-round that include 120hz processing at this point. I just don't know what I should do--wait several months (ugh), or shell out the cash for an XBR or similar now since they're not likely to drop much in price in the near future.

As for the 52lx177, C-Net complains about the SD processing, which matters to me because we still watch a great deal of SD programming. Also, I really need something with very good speakers (since I have no external solution and do not plan on buying one), and I can't seem to find a lot of information about the 52lx177's audio quality.

This is such a tough decision.

Thanks a million again for all the help so far.

~os
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post #12 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 11:14 AM
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To be honest, there is no one "right" decision. Each set/line comes with its own set of defects (TBE, blur, ghosting, etc.) It comes down to what you can live with and wht type of viewing you do (HD, DVD, SD channels, etc). Most people have a mixture of viewing habits, and game playing, so you want the best all-around set on the market.

Problem is...there is none. You'll find sets that will knock your socks off for one type of viewing, but fall on their face for another. There may be a happy medium somewhere, but to me, it still appears as you have to sort of pick your poison.

Waiting for new models is never-ending. I am lucky because I am just coming into the market ready to upgrade and can wait 30-60 more days, but at that point I will be pulling the trigger on something for sure. I want to see the new Samsungs, as well as the new Toshiba line...I think XV550.

It's a tough call, and why you'll see 10 people with 10 different opinions. What works for one person may not for another. However, if someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to buy one today, I'd go with the Samsung 5271 based on my viewing and gaming habits.

Hang in there!

Chris
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post #13 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capa2000 View Post

To be honest, there is no one "right" decision. Each set/line comes with its own set of defects (TBE, blur, ghosting, etc.) It comes down to what you can live with and wht type of viewing you do (HD, DVD, SD channels, etc). Most people have a mixture of viewing habits, and game playing, so you want the best all-around set on the market.

Problem is...there is none. You'll find sets that will knock your socks off for one type of viewing, but fall on their face for another. There may be a happy medium somewhere, but to me, it still appears as you have to sort of pick your poison.

Waiting for new models is never-ending. I am lucky because I am just coming into the market ready to upgrade and can wait 30-60 more days, but at that point I will be pulling the trigger on something for sure. I want to see the new Samsungs, as well as the new Toshiba line...I think XV550.

It's a tough call, and why you'll see 10 people with 10 different opinions. What works for one person may not for another. However, if someone put a gun to my head and told me I had to buy one today, I'd go with the Samsung 5271 based on my viewing and gaming habits.

Hang in there!

Chris

Yeah, I'd gladly select the 5271 on the spot if it weren't for A) the glare and B) the TBE. And after reading that thread about the XBR4 ghosting issues, I'm almost thinking about just waiting at this point, as much as I'd really hate to do that... I mean, I could dive into the Toshiba 177, but I don't know if I could handle less than excellent SD/480p upscaling, since I watch SD and play Wii quite regularly.

Gosh, what a stressful situation purchasing a 52" LCD is these days! There's just nothing out there without at least one significant deal-breaking problem it seems.

~os
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post #14 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osgcn View Post

Yeah, I'd gladly select the 5271 on the spot if it weren't for A) the glare and B) the TBE. And after reading that thread about the XBR4 ghosting issues, I'm almost thinking about just waiting at this point, as much as I'd really hate to do that... I mean, I could dive into the Toshiba 177, but I don't know if I could handle less than excellent SD/480p upscaling, since I watch SD and play Wii quite regularly.

Gosh, what a stressful situation purchasing a 52" LCD is these days! There's just nothing out there without at least one significant deal-breaking problem it seems.

~os

Agreed.

I am in the same boat.

C
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post #15 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osgcn View Post

Yeah, I'd gladly select the 5271 on the spot if it weren't for A) the glare and B) the TBE. And after reading that thread about the XBR4 ghosting issues, I'm almost thinking about just waiting at this point, as much as I'd really hate to do that... I mean, I could dive into the Toshiba 177, but I don't know if I could handle less than excellent SD/480p upscaling, since I watch SD and play Wii quite regularly.

Gosh, what a stressful situation purchasing a 52" LCD is these days! There's just nothing out there without at least one significant deal-breaking problem it seems.

~os

This TBE I'm hearing of? Is this Delamination? The outer protective plastic coming off the panel causing what appears to be a vertical bubble of pixels out.
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post #16 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 02:16 PM
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This TBE I'm hearing of? Is this Delamination? The outer protective plastic coming off the panel causing what appears to be a vertical bubble of pixels out.

Ignore that last post. I read around and discovered what it was.

Thanks
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post #17 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, and the biggest problem is that I'm actually a videogame reviewer by night, and so I have to have a set that will produce prisitine gaming conditions for me to accurately judge the products. Talk about a letdown...

Maybe the ghosting stuff is overblown... I see that 30% vs. 16% of people say that their 52" XBR4 does not have this issue. I wonder if that's the case...

~os
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post #18 of 27 Old 02-19-2008, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a stupid question:

What about looking into a Sharp 52D64U? I have read that the good picture processing and 4ms response time puts them almost on the level of a 120 hz set, and that apart from banding and viewing angle issues, they're generally very good for the price. The screen is also matte and the speakers are said to be of relatively good quality.

Would that be an absolutely foolish decision?

Thank you again everyone for humoring my obvious impatience and possible cluelessness.

~os
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post #19 of 27 Old 02-20-2008, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osgcn View Post

Here's a stupid question:

What about looking into a Sharp 52D64U? I have read that the good picture processing and 4ms response time puts them almost on the level of a 120 hz set, and that apart from banding and viewing angle issues, they're generally very good for the price. The screen is also matte and the speakers are said to be of relatively good quality.

Would that be an absolutely foolish decision?

Thank you again everyone for humoring my obvious impatience and possible cluelessness.

~os

You are right. The only knock on these Sharps seems to be the banding. Some people seem to be able to live with it and others don't. It is more severe in some cases, and in others, appears faint. I think the new 94u lines is better in that regard, but people are posting that even that model which is just hitting the stores has banding...although not as bad as previous models.

Again, it seems no matter which brand you choose, you have to resign yourself to living with some defect or shortcoming. Incredible, really.

I am still gonna wait til march and see what hits the shelves...but it is hard to wait.

Chris
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post #20 of 27 Old 02-20-2008, 07:25 AM
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Just thought I'd throw this out there...but Costco and Amazon are having pretty good sales on the Toshiba 52hl167 right now. It's not 120hz like the LX177, but it's a good set. I'd say the picture quality is equal to the Sharp d64 series, but with better contrast.
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post #21 of 27 Old 02-20-2008, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Just thought I'd throw this out there...but Costco and Amazon are having pretty good sales on the Toshiba 52hl167 right now. It's not 120hz like the LX177, but it's a good set. I'd say the picture quality is equal to the Sharp d64 series, but with better contrast.

Hey hhaller,

Thanks for the heads-up. My only concern with these models (and it's a pretty significant one) is their 480i/480p video processing. It's said to be subpar, and I'm not sure if I can deal with that. But I really appreciate the suggestion regardless!


Capa,

As always, thanks a ton for the input. I think I have come close to settling on a television. I plan to hopefully go by and look at one of these Sharp 64U models today in-store (at HH Gregg), and I am going to try and get them to match Amazon's price (which is a few hundred dollars lower). I'd like to buy from them so that I can pick and choose my serial number before purchase to ensure I get the best panel. If they won't match the price, I'll see how close they can get and make my decision.

That's all assuming, of course, I am happy with the set upon visual inspection.

I'll keep everyone here updated with my decisions, opinions, and results. Please do keep any advice coming as it is all valuable and very much appreciated.

~os
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-20-2008, 10:19 AM
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For the Samsung LNTxx71f series:

The TBE is disabled if you leave AMP process off, or turn Game Mode on. Contrary to popular belief, if you turn AMP off you still get 120Hz refresh rate, but if you put Game Mode on, you go down to 60Hz refresh rate. You just have to make sure you have the firmware that allows you to truly turn AMP off, as some of the firmwares say AMP is off but it is really still on. However, Samsung provides firmware upgrades so this problem is easily mitigated. Read the forums, but at the end of the day, let your eyes be the judge.
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post #23 of 27 Old 02-20-2008, 10:20 AM
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Ok...great...good luck. Yes...let us know if you see the banding issues when you get it home...or in store.

C
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-24-2008, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaller View Post

Just thought I'd throw this out there...but Costco and Amazon are having pretty good sales on the Toshiba 52hl167 right now. It's not 120hz like the LX177, but it's a good set. I'd say the picture quality is equal to the Sharp d64 series, but with better contrast.

Just an FYI...

I was about to purchase an LX177 for just under $2800 yesterday when I decided to wait and see what news arrives during the next few weeks surrounding Toshiba's successors to these televisions (XF550 series, namely). They seem as though they will be priced similarly to the LX177 even at launch, and launch is supposed to be very soon--as in, possibly in the next few weeks. The LX177 had better HD picture quality and brightness when I viewed it in-store, even after tinkering with the Sharps quite a bit. I was very pleased with everything I saw about it apart from the SD quality, which I hope will be improved in the XF550 series.

So that's where I stand at the moment. I may still end up getting an LX177 if I can't get the XF550 within the next month or so, but I don't think I will be getting a Sharp.

Just thought I'd throw out an update! I will keep you all informed as to where my decision takes me and how I feel about my purchase.

~os
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-24-2008, 11:14 AM
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oscgn.

I'm with you on the 52lx177. Big river has it for $2500 today and it should come down some more by the end of March.

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post #26 of 27 Old 02-24-2008, 11:42 AM
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Toshiba 52lx177 also has superior sound quality
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post #27 of 27 Old 02-25-2008, 02:38 PM
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Too funny - I'm in the exact same boat that you're in, except the sound part. I was about to make a new thread when I discoved this one. You've pretty much addressed all of my concerns about the drawbacks of Sony and Samsung, as well as possibly considering the other brands. Unfortunately it sounds like we have to make somewhat major concessions if we want to buy a 52" LCD right now.

Something that was eluded to earlier, was just how much these "issues" are really obvious and would bother someone like you or me, and how much they are just from videophiles who are way too picky and need something to talk about on this forum. For example, I was at a bar and wanted to see this so-called ghosting/smearing/whatever during a basketball game on a crummy off brand LCD (Polaroid I beleive). I expected to see the basketball look like Haley's comet. I couldn't see it at all. Looked completely fine to me.

This is way too hard of a decision to make. I guess for now I'm waiting for next years models, unless some sort of crazy deal becomes available before then. I was disappointed to find out that we shouldn't expect further price drops in the 07 models. I do see that the prices have been stable for quite a while now.

I'm going to bookmark this thread, so keep us posted. You go first - I'm scared...
Jeremy Tebo is offline  
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