Newbie asking for some advice (please don't flame) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-04-2006, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I'm about to buy my first HDTV set. Before I make this rather expensive plunge, I wanted to post here and get some advice. Now, before yall ask, i did do a lot of research, so there some things I found out for myself, but there are still some points where I'm unsure/undecided.

Here's the deal: I have an HTPC that doubles as a smallish Avid editing rig. I will only be using my TV set as a monitor for the HTPC. I won't be hooking up DVD players, AV receivers, game consoles, cable boxes etc. So that means:
- I don't need a tuner of any kind on the TV
- I don't need a Cablecard either.
- I don't care about the TV speakers
- I don't need anything 'fancy' inside the TV, since my (very powerful) computer will be taking care of everything.
- I want a 60-65" RP HDTV with LCOS that can handle 1080p over HDMI
- I want to spend no more than $3500.

Now, here's where I need your help: I'm still trying to narrow it down between the usual suspects (Sony, JVC, Mitsubishi, LG, Samsung) but at that price point and that screen size, they all seem good. So before i make a choice, I need your help to clear a few points:

1. My whole collection of DVDs is SD (obviously) and I wont be upgrading to HD DVDs soon. Also, i wont be watching HDTV channels either. So, what is most important for me is not the handling of HD material but the best possible upconverting of SD. Which brand does this best?

2. I will be connecting my graphic card via HDMI only (no VGA) and outputting video (and my Avid HD feeds). So, does the TVs image processing even matter? Meaning, will my PC take care of the upconverting of SD to HD or will my TV make a difference?

3. I know it's all very objective, but now that I've detailed my goals, would you guys suggest any specific TV set? I keep hearing good things about the Sony 60" A2000, but I read it's not the best for SD material. So is there a better choice?

Sorry this post is rather long, but I wanted to make sure I gave you enough info to clear up the path.

Please help a struggling newbie in chosing the best TV possible!

Thanks, TDX
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-04-2006, 10:36 AM
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Don't worry about SD upconversion. That's irrelevant for your setup. Your computer will be handling DVD playback which means it does all the scaling, not the TV. This is actually a very good thing as even the best standalone DVD players suck ass compared to even a mediocre HTPC setup. You're going to be getting the best quality DVD playback possible.

Your main concern will be HTPC compatibility. Today's TV's will only accept 1280x720 or 1920x1080 over HDMI from a PC, and many of them won't even do that. Also, most rear projections have a good bit of overscan which hides the windows taskbar, title bars, etc. You can try to correct for the overscan using Powerstrip but on many TV's, that won't work.

Honestly, I think you'll be better off with a flat panel LCD. You can get a 47" Westinghouse 1920x1080 LCD for $2500. Another option is front projection. For $3500 you could have a really nice ceiling mounted projector shooting at a 74" diagonal ambient light rejecting Supernova screen. That's a hell of a lot of screen real estate! (yet still within your budget)
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-04-2006, 10:50 AM
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As long as your HDMI output is 1080p 60Hz compliant, I would think that the a2000 is the way to go. For VGA out, Mitz is the way to go (but it is a DLP not LCoS). As long as your computer is always sending the 1080p signal, the TV's processing is somewhat irrelevant. For that reason, I'd focus on the contrast ratio, the pixel update speed, color depth, and the likelihood that you might see rainbows with a DLP. The a2000 is the winner in your price range for all these categories except for color depth (which Sammy and Mits edge them out). With careful calibration, though, I suspect the color difference would be negligible to the untrained eye.

Since you want LCoS, your only real rear projection options at that price point are the a2000 series, and JVCs upcoming 2006 models. Personally, I think you would be more happy with the Sony (since your post implies you wouldn't use the extra features on the JVC). You can certainly get the KDS-60a2000 at below MSRP if you look around.

My A2000 Settings for the S3 TiVo, PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii.
My A2000 Lag Test & A2000 Lag Timing Estimations.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-04-2006, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a bunch guys for this info, this is just what I was looking for. Now i can make a more informed judgment before buying.

As for the choice of LCoS RPTV, I made that choice because I looked at both LCDs and projectors and the LCoS is the one whose picture i like best.

One last question: you mention that I should go with the Sony KDS60 A2000 over the equivalent JVC because I wont need the extras the JVC offers. I agree. But is it the same with the upcoming Sony 60" XBR2? I know a lot of people on this forum are hesitating between the two, but for my use, do you think the XBR2's extras are even relevant? Or should I just go ahead and buy the A2000 right now?

Since picture-wise the only advantage of the XBR2 over the A2000 is better handling of SD, but my HTPC will be taking care of that, I think that for me both sets will be the same. But I'd still like an opinion before I make my final choice.

Thanks again, TDX
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-04-2006, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdx
Thanks a bunch guys for this info, this is just what I was looking for. Now i can make a more informed judgment before buying.

As for the choice of LCoS RPTV, I made that choice because I looked at both LCDs and projectors and the LCoS is the one whose picture i like best.

One last question: you mention that I should go with the Sony KDS60 A2000 over the equivalent JVC because I wont need the extras the JVC offers. I agree. But is it the same with the upcoming Sony 60" XBR2? I know a lot of people on this forum are hesitating between the two, but for my use, do you think the XBR2's extras are even relevant? Or should I just go ahead and buy the A2000 right now?

Since picture-wise the only advantage of the XBR2 over the A2000 is better handling of SD, but my HTPC will be taking care of that, I think that for me both sets will be the same. But I'd still like an opinion before I make my final choice.

Thanks again, TDX
The XBR2 "might" be a little better with color (yet to be proven... I've read conflicting reports on this).

The XBR2 would likely offer a better 1080i deinterlacing routine (which your use case doesn't require).

The XBR2 would be brighter (though the a2000 is plenty bright enough IMO).

The XBR2 would likely remove more noise, though a high quality PC feed would be pretty clean in the first place.

The best bet is to wait until the XBR2 is out, and then compare them yourself. If you can't wait, I'd suspect that you would be plenty happy with the a2000.

My A2000 Settings for the S3 TiVo, PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii.
My A2000 Lag Test & A2000 Lag Timing Estimations.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-04-2006, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, thanks again for the clarification. I guess I'll wait to see if the XBR 2offers any real advantages for me, though I doubt it.

Actually, I've been seeing the A2000 on the net for $2600 shipped, and I seriously doubt the XBR2 will be so cheap. If it really sells for 5K like it's supposed to, I'll definitely buy the a2000, even if it's a little inferior. After all, I dont see the point of spending too much cash on hardware that will be obsolete in two years time.
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