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post #1 of 43 Old 01-07-2013, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So I'm lurking through the new HDTV info since I predict a new TV purchase will happen within a year (I'll be cascading the Samsung 7 series DLP to the parents)

It's somewhat nauseating to see the amount of junk available from Samsung, Sony, Vizio, Panasonic etc. by way of "app-enabled" sets

More frustrating is the idea of a TV drifting into HTPC territory and further away from a display

I like consumer choice, and there are plenty of consumers out there that just want to mount one of these suckers on a wall, listen to stereo audio from the included speakers, and watch Netflix or Hulu. That's great for them, and they have lots of choices. What about you or me? I'd rather not see so many options on the TV.

HDMI-CEC, quick input switching, and full PQ calibration tools with a nice learning programmable remote would be fine. Bigger, lighter, best pq, and cheapest come to mind, but I could really care less about the current app-enabled options. I feel this way because I've used both Sony and Samsung (while knowing that Panasonic and Vizio have offerings) smart tvs and to call them half-baked is a compliment. Clutter is the most apt description, especially the intrusiveness of Sony's app-implementation

I get a laugh when I read an article saying the same thing, especially in the comments http://www.zdnet.com/are-consumers-really-asking-for-smart-tvs-7000009479/

It looks like plenty of others have reached similar conclusions google search evidence


SO, I pose the question to those of you with similar setups, what do you use? Is there a good bang for your buck display currently manufactured without half baked HTPC options?

Internet connectivity makes sense as an option as do apps (especially for FW upgrades), but it would be nice to know if anyone still makes "display" only TVs

Another nice idea would be manufacturers including customizable SoCs that could handle some variant of XBMC. If a decent software house were to get involved with the firmware or an open source option was available, the term "Smart" would actually be given justice when describing the TV
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post #2 of 43 Old 01-07-2013, 07:16 PM
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LG's Smart TVs can do Plex, I don't know if it's all of their SmartTV models. I've got one that I got for Christmas, but I haven't had a chance to play with it that much. My wife loves the TV and is dominating it, so I don't get to play with it that much. rolleyes.gif

The passive 3D on it is the best I've seen so far. I was never convinced by the displays in the stores, but this one is really nice once you get it setup in your home.
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post #3 of 43 Old 01-07-2013, 07:31 PM
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It's just a sign of the times. You have to realize that those who venture here, are more niche than the general public. The smartTV just eliminates the need for a set top box like Roku or AppleTV and so forth.

I got a Panasonic PCT55VT50, which is the 55" flagship Plasma panel for Panasonic, till the new models come out, 8). It has plenty of SmartTV apps. Do I need them, no at all since I also have a PS3, Xbox 360 and PC connected to it. I don't mind the apps. They're just another option for stuff such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and so forth for when I don't feel like turning a game console. Some things are better on a STB than on the HTPC such as Netflix. It was interesting checking out the DNLA feature of the TV using the Plex Media Server DLNA feature.

At the end of the day, I didn't get the TV for the apps. It gave one of the best pictures possible, and especially at the price.

I can't comment on the 3D because apparently with the eye impairments I have, I can't see the 3D that is used today. I just get a lower resolution picture.
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post #4 of 43 Old 01-07-2013, 08:11 PM
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I prefer a dumb display device as well. Leave the smart stuff for the HTPC. Smart TV is an effort to push the prices of TV's up again. Cheaper manufacturing techniques have drained much of the profit out of TV's, and several manufacturers are selling off their TV product lines for this reason. Pick up a big LCD before they disappear. I have two "dumb" Samsung LCD's and I couldn't be happier with them.
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post #5 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 04:44 AM
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I want an 80" LED with full-calibration controls, a power input, one HDMI input and an ethernet input for the occasional f/w update and that is it.

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post #6 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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It's a sign of the times alright. A sign that (like ajkrishock mentioned) manufacturers are inventing ways to reap profits since their supply margins are obviously withering away since nearly everyone seems to be able to obtain the panels at SoCs at low cost these days.

I realize this is a niche forum, and I also notice that it's kind of a "next step" for those that realize netflix and hulu streaming are pretty much crap. I've seen so many people (friends of mine in person, not just forum users) who decide to cut the cord and use streaming services. Two months later they get tired of watching old movies, sitcoms, and BBC shows. Then they start looking for alternatives

I've really got no problem with the idea of TV manufacturers bundling this junk-o-la with their TVs to cater to the sheep of the world. I just wondered if anyone knew of some nice dumb TVs like Sammy mentioned.

I'd also hope that planting the seed may lead to different products coming available. It's also a pipe dream that somehow the idea makes it to the manufacturers and they make what I want smile.gif
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post #7 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 07:16 AM
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Smart TV is here to stay. Even bottom of the barrel tvs in terms of picture quality have some internet features now.

If you want an average quality or better tv you are going to be getting web apps and 3D, whether you want it or not.

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post #8 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

whether you want it or not.

I disagree. I don't believe the majority of consumers will continue to want SmartTVs. If enough people voice distaste with their wallet and word of mouth, then alternatives will eventually be offered. No intelligent manufacturer will leave a large number of consumers wanting something they cannot buy
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post #9 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 07:31 AM
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Can't imagine that a TV having the apps is going to impede the PQ of lifespan of an otherwise great set. Furthermore, large TV's are not going anywhere either.
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post #10 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 08:39 AM
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I really don't think that the SoC and apps add a whole lot to the cost but $50 to $100 is money I'd rather have with which to do something else .

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post #11 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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They don't impede the PQ or lifespan, but depending on their implementation (i.e. Sony) they can be ridiculously intrusive

It's also painful to think that the menu navigation would be much snappier without the excess bloat
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post #12 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 08:51 AM
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the TV apps stuff is the new "catch" phrase for bells and whistles.

There are dumb tv with good PQ. They're called commercial TV displays. They're used by companies for conventions. But they're really expensive.

On a side note, I don't think streaming service is crap. Sure, it may not have all the latest shows and movies. The PQ isn't going to match a BR disc, or a broadcast (OTA, cable or satellite) because of infrustracture limitations. But the quality isn't so bad that it ruins the experience either. As for old, other than you may have seen it before, I wouldn't say the new material pushed out is any better. I think the trick, you need to use more than one service. I personally use Hulu, Netflix, Crackle, BBC iPlayer, CatchupTV (although the PQ is on the low end), various sports packages (NFL, NBA, MLB, EPSN3, NHL, MotoGP). And then I throw in my own media via Plex.

As for profits, they're dwindling because consumers are demanding lower prices on TVs, that they otherwise would not buy. The apps, I think more of incentive to buy rather than increase profits.
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post #13 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

They don't impede the PQ or lifespan, but depending on their implementation (i.e. Sony) they can be ridiculously intrusive
It's also painful to think that the menu navigation would be much snappier without the excess bloat

After initial color calibration of my TV I've bearly accessed the GUI at all in the last 4 years or so.

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post #14 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 09:19 AM
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I disagree. I don't believe the majority of consumers will continue to want SmartTVs. If enough people voice distaste with their wallet and word of mouth, then alternatives will eventually be offered. No intelligent manufacturer will leave a large number of consumers wanting something they cannot buy

I sold tv's part time at a big box for a while (2010-2012) so I've actually talked to some of the brand reps about this. When I would get a middle aged upper middle class or above customer, they would often want "the best" tv we sold. Which was either a Samsung 8000 series (LED and Plasma) LG 950 plasma or 6500 LED, or Sony HX series LED (we didn't carry Panasonic VT, Sharp Elite, Vizio XVT, or the highest end Sony models). Those all had apps and 3D going back to 2010. Very few people cared at all about those and would comment they felt they were paying for things they wouldn't use.

Where I worked we carried no Smart Toshiba tvs. Their rep said to sell that as a feature to people who didn't want it - instead of the Samsung 6000 series sell them a Toshiba LED. Well, the Samsung pricing was usually about the same. So why wouldn't you want a superior picture with more features for the same $?

Part of the reason for including them was simply the manufacturer arms race - if Company X is selling a tv at a given price with Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, etc, they Company Y will have to as well. The better tv's already have processors for their motion enhancement capabilities. The other place the SoC came in handy was with USB/DLNA playback. Playing pictures off and SD card or movies off a thumb drive was something that seemed appealing to more people than weather or Twitter widgets (whether or not they used media playback I can't say).

Going back to 2010 on Samsung tvs for example, the 650 models had ethernet ports for DLNA and whatnot, but the 630 did not. Typically the difference in price was over $100 more. I was able to sell a bluray player along with a 630 model for less than the 650.

The only nicer tv's that are still "dumb" are the highest end LCDs still available - which aren't particularly high end.

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post #15 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 09:24 AM
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I don't really see anything to worry about. TVs are just getting cheaper and cheaper, despite the added features. There's nothing to stop you from using the old HDMI input to add your own devices (although I'm not familiar with the intrusive Sony implementation you alluded to).
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post #16 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 10:27 AM
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I bought a basic Samsung during the Thanksgiving sales. No smart TV, no 3D.

Now they're coming out with cars and appliances that utilize your smartphone to do things, like unlock and start the car. I keep TVs, cars and appliances too long for me to have any interest in being saddled with what will likely become an outdated technology.

Also on topic, somewhere I read a headline today that Samsung (?????) was making upgradeable smart TVs, but the price of an upgrade would be $500! eek.gif
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post #17 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought a basic Samsung during the Thanksgiving sales. No smart TV, no 3D

Would that be one of these http://www.samsung.com/hk_en/consumer/tv-av/televisions/led-tv/UA60EH6000JXZK
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post #18 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 11:22 AM
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Would that be one of these http://www.samsung.com/hk_en/consumer/tv-av/televisions/led-tv/UA60EH6000JXZK

No, one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-UN50EH5000-50-Inch-1080p-Black/dp/B0078LSTRK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357672834&sr=8-1&keywords=un50eh5000f

I wish it would have been one of those. The wife complained immediately that 50 wasn't big enough, even though our old TV was only 40 or 42, and in the exact same location.
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post #19 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 11:33 AM
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So how does smart TV work ? Just point it to your media library on your network and it runs XBMC or something like ???

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post #20 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 11:58 AM
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No. They aren't that smart. It basically streams from the web and has weather apps.

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post #21 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:00 PM
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So how does smart TV work ? Just point it to your media library on your network and it runs XBMC or something like ???

Depends on the model what it can/cant do. The manufacturers have confusing branding for every feature they stick on it.

Basically they all have an operating system and you enter it's menu by hitting a remote button. What you see there varies.

LG


Samsung


Sharp


I think you get the point.

Samsung has branding for everything. They call their DLNA client AllShare. They call local USB playback ConnectShare. They call their apps Samsung Smart Hub.

The smart apps typically include streaming services (Netflix, Pandora, etc) social media (Facebook, Twitter), sports (highlights, scores, fantasy scores), etc. Some have web browsers, some dont.

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post #22 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:16 PM
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No. They aren't that smart. It basically streams from the web and has weather apps.

Some are smarter than others. I don't know any with XBMC (yet) but the Google TV implementation is getting better in them and hopefully since so many more Google TV devices come out this year that Google will start to take their own OS seriously. There are some with Android built in too, but those are mostly off brands.

LG has built their own Plex client and Google TV has one too (which unfortunately is similar in appearance to the mobile version instead of the actual Plex htpc frontend). But I guess it is a start.

This year as CES manufacturers are showing off lots of tv's with quad core processors in them. Models like that should eliminate any bitrate restriction in playback of files like mkv or m2ts. There will still be codec license issues, but they are getting better there too.

I am waiting (anxiously/hopefully) for what Silicon Dust shows off at CES. Hopefully its the next step in their goal to allow cablecard access without running an htpc.

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post #23 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 PM
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I really don't think that the SoC and apps add a whole lot to the cost but $50 to $100 is money I'd rather have with which to do something else .

After a little looking around I need to correct myself. The Samsung 60" 6003 series is around $1200 to $1300 whereas the 6100 series "smart" TV is $1700 to $1800.. Ef that!

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post #24 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:26 PM
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Fyi, there's a Plex app for Samsung Smart TV's and the LG models with Google TV. There's also one for LG "Connected Devices," but I've heard it doesn't work as well. Most of the Smart TV's have DLNA support to, you could use Plex's DLNA support or any other DLNA server like Serviio.
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post #25 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:29 PM
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After a little looking around I need to correct myself. The Samsung 60" 6003 series is around $1200 to $1300 whereas the 6100 series "smart" TV is $1700 to $1800.. Ef that!

the XXX3 models are released for Black Friday and have much poorer contrast, fewer hdmi inputs, and last years forced you to buy a wifi dongle to connect - no ethernet.

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post #26 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:39 PM
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$500 for DLNA support? I'm looking to go from 40" to 60" this year but it will be directly connected to my AVR/HTPC so it isn't this TV that needs that anyhow. The 6000 series has no ethernet connection at all so f/w updates would be through USB but I might be good with that anyhow. My current Samsung is a 2007 or 2008 (LN40-650A) and has ethernet for basic weather and stocks but it has never had a f/w update either. At this time I don't need all that stuff because, due to this forum, my TV is connected to the internet already.

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post #27 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:49 PM
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the XXX3 models are released for Black Friday and have much poorer contrast, fewer hdmi inputs, and last years forced you to buy a wifi dongle to connect - no ethernet.

5,000,000: vs 6,000,000:1? Is that really noticable? My current HDTV is 150,000:1. IDK if these numbers even compare but a new one like this would be leaps and bounds better already.

I only need one HDMI input on the TV too. As a matter of fact my AVR has seven of which I use one 99.9% of the time and use a couple others for my BRP that doesn't hardly get used ever at all and for testing out an echo.

Like I mentioned above IDK if I even need my TV connected to the internet.

I'm not sure if it would be worth the extra $500 or $600 for a "smart" TV..

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post #28 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:57 PM
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The only point I'm making is that you can buy 55" tvs from $999 to over $3000 with picture quality more or less varying directly with price. They tack on more extra features as you go up in price too. $500 isn't getting you DLNA, it's getting you a higher quality tv set with deeper contrast and more connections. And I know Sears at least has sold the 6100 on sale for $1099.

Of the 2011 models, we didn't carry a single Samsung, Sony, Sharp, or LG LED above 32" without some combination of web apps and DLNA. Samsung released a few models for 2012 that didn't have it and normally those were closer to $100 less, also with an inferior picture.

The only tv features/issues that I'd look for with htpc are 0-255 color, no known EDID issues, and possibly a game mode that shuts off any TV image processing (Sharp calls this Vyper drive). And possibly 24p, if you're a masochist.

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post #29 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

5,000,000: vs 6,000,000:1? Is that really noticable? My current HDTV is 150,000:1. IDK if these numbers even compare but a new one like this would be leaps and bounds better already.
I only need one HDMI input on the TV too. As a matter of fact my AVR has seven of which I use one 99.9% of the time and use a couple others for my BRP that doesn't hardly get used ever at all and for testing out an echo.
Like I mentioned above IDK if I even need my TV connected to the internet.
I'm not sure if it would be worth the extra $500 or $600 for a "smart" TV..

FYI, contrast numbers are notorious for being useless as there's no standard for measuring them, so you should probably ignore them completely.
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post #30 of 43 Old 01-08-2013, 01:02 PM
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In a vacuum contrast numbers are definitely worthless (Sony actually used "infinite contrast" on marketing material for some LEDs - well if you locally shut off that LED of course it will be "infinite"), but they are somewhat useful within a brand. 5,000,000:1 Samsung =/= 5,000,000:1 Panasonic, but you can be pretty sure it won't match up to Samsung's 30,000,000:1 sets.

Like everything else, they go up as the price goes up.

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Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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