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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been looking around and alot of reading the past couple of weeks to find my perfect TV for under $3K (or thereabouts). I really appreciate any opinions from you guys!


Must-have's:

Superb picture quality (this is the most important)

Widescreen

40"-57" (preferably at least 45")

HDTV-ready (doesn't have to have Tuner, but don't want SD or ED)

Display fast-motion well (for action movies and video games)

Great display angles (from the sides)

DVI w/HDCP (for the future)

At least 2 sets of component inputs

S-video & RCA inputs on the front

Reliable and long lasting

Can live without:

Great sound (will be used only for broadcast TV)

Extensive audio options

I'm expecting regular broadcast TV to look not so good.


It would be really great to get something that does true 720p, but not a necessity. This will be an all-purpose TV (broadcast cable, DVD-progressive scan, Xbox in 480i\\480p\\720p\\1080i, PS2 via S-video and maybe via componenent in the future). Upconversion from 720p to 1080i is acceptable.


My living room is fairly small and will involve viewing at about 45 degree angles sometimes (at the most). Picture quality is what I'm mostly concerned with...always been a quality over quantity kind of guy.


Here are the models I'm considering at the moment, along with the pros and cons I've read\\heard (though I'm definitely open to suggestions):


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Hitachi - 51SWX20B (and 57) RPTV

Pros: Picture looks really good, crisp and bright for an RPTV. The best I've seen on the showroom floor. Able to manually change convergence settings I'm told.

Cons: 540p\\1080i, although it is user-selectable and I've heard you can't really detect a difference between true 480i\\480p and it being converted to 540p



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Panasonic - PT-40LC12 (and 45) LCD RPTV

Pros: Beautiful picture, no problems with viewing angles, does true 720p. PC inputs are a really cool feature.

Cons: I've heard there is some ghosting with fast-motion and that it cannot produce true blacks and has problems with contrast between dark colors. Also heard the fan noise is loud but that doesn't overly concern me. A bit price for the size, but picture quality makes up for that.



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Toshiba - 50HDX82 (also 42 and 57) RPTV

Pros: Manual convergence option, heard good things about it. Boasts great 720p IDSC Pro (conversion method I assume).

Cons: I can only find the older "H" models in stores and not thrilled with their picture when compared to the Hitachi. View angles seeme a bit poor.



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Samsung - HLM437W (and 50) DLP RPTV

Pros: I've heard the picture is absolutely amazing (plasma-quality). True 1280x720p, PC inputs, great viewing angles.

Cons: Have yet to see in action. Heard it has trouble with black and dark colors. Heard lots made of the "rainbow effect" and even more troubling, the annoying "buzz". I can live with a fan sound, but not a high-pitched buzz.



Any help is appreciated!!!


Frank

Gainesville, FL
 

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Here me now and believe me later, you will buy the Grand Wega XBR (KF-50XBR800) for $3500.00 (you'll pay the little extra). The crystal ball has spoken...


rhuala
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by rhuala
Here me now and believe me later, you will buy the Grand Wega XBR (KF-50XBR800) for $3500.00 (you'll pay the little extra). The crystal ball has spoken...


rhuala
:D


You may actually be correct. I've been hearing good things about that one, but really just started looking today. I thought the price was well over $4K. I will start doing some research on this one. Thanks!


Frank

Gainesville, FL
 

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I have seen Pioneer Elite 520HD for low $3k
 

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I've seen the 50inch GW for 3200 from an etailer that I got my sammy TSL2795HF from (so I know they're good) and belive me I was tempted, later today I think i'm gunna head out and take a look at the GW 50incher and see how it preforms :D
 

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I am in the same boat as you,

I am looking for the best value.

the Sony GW I saw and it looked nice, but even at 3500 that is out of my range.


Now SWX Hitachi I liked

And I have read so much on the Toshiba HDX cinema series I can now puke.


So the battle for me is SWX Hitatchi or HDX Toshiba


I checked Toshiba site and found the repair service centers and called them all. I got good response from them. They didn't sell the tv's they just fix em!!


So I could get a Toshiba with an extended 5 warranty parts and labor for the price of a SWX Hitatchi. And trust me I don't buy extended warranties but the fragileness of electronics scare me!! So that is a factor in my budget.


After making myself sick for 2 months on my personal debate, I think I will go with the Toshiba 50HDX or the 57HDX cinema series.


Yes I could change to my mind tomorrow but I will make my final decision next week.


Check this link out for battle of the big screens
http://www.hometheatermag.com/showarchives.cgi?110:0
 

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Guys make sure you are looking at the GW2 and not the GW1. If you forget the model number KF-50XBR800, just check the back for a DVI port. Most sales guys I talked to couldn't tell the difference between the old and new GW and kept showing me the old model. Some stores have the new one in the back and won't put it on display until they have sold all the old ones.


Personally, I wouldn't touch the GW1 but am a proud owner of the GW2 and after 3 weeks of usage now I am very please with it. I looked long and hard at the sammy 507 and decided on the GW2. As for that Toshiba or Hitachi they and all other RPTV's weren't even on my radar mostly because of burn-in (can't be bothered to worry about it, I don't have kids but if you do then you have to be even more paranoid) and because I see them as over weight dinosaurs, do you really think anyone is even going to be selling those beasts in 5 years from now, so much for re-sale value, jmo though...


If I was forced to buy a standard RPTV I think I would choose the Mitsubishi Diamond.


Also, what are you going to be viewing most of the time? 4:3 material? I can't stand that horrible stretch mode on a 50-60" TV with a NTSC signal. I scale it down a bit and watch in 4:3 mode and don't worry one bit about burn-in/uneven pixel wear.


rhuala
 

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I am in similar boat...


However, just sold my Tosh 40h80... mainly because repair stunk... and techs were joke. I wont elaborate here, but suffice to say would be hard to go back to Tosh. Not sure bout Hitachi. I have also been looking at those sets...


Any recommended dealers in DC / NoVA area for TVs?

Mainly BB,CC, Tweeter, MyerEmco ... as far as I know...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's actually quite comforting to hear how everyone else is struggling with the same decision. This is a huge purchase for me so I can't just run in the store and point at the one that looks the best on the floor and take it home.


To be honest, that's what I did a few weeks ago with a 36" Panasonic tube TV. It took me a few weeks, but as I found out more and more about all the features it DIDN'T have, I decided to take it back and do some research.


Keep the info coming!


Frank
 

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The GW2 is currently on top of my short list. Other contenders being the Samsumg HLM507W (DLP RPTV) and Panasonic PT-52DL52 (also DLP RPTV).


Based on an inspection at my local Circuit City and Tweeter stores, I would have to say that I am fairly impressed w/ the set. It's picture quality and contrast were better than I expected, and that's based on viewing HD content via component input, instead of DVI (which I heard would improve the pic quality by an additional 50%). I'm curious how a standard NTSC broadcast would fair.


Unforunately, I was not able to find the contrast ratio nor brightness (in cd/m2) measurements. Even Sony's tech support rep did not know this.


But I was able to find out that the GW2 has a viewing angle of up to 60 degrees vertically and 130 degrees horizontally. Decent, but certainly not up to par w/ the many plasmas out there that can be viewed at 160 degrees.


As far as video inputs are concerned, the component and DVI ports can accept the typical digital TV signals: 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. However, typical PC resolutions like 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024 are not supported. But then again, with the use of a pc video card that can output custom resolutions (like the ATI Radeon or GEForce), a computer *should* be able to work w/ the GW2. The HTPC would just have to send out TV resolutions and scan/refresh timings (via the Powerstrip software). But admittedly, this is just an educated assumption; I'd love to hear about a firsthand HTPC setup success story.


--Thomas
 

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At that price range you might want to consider spending around $2500 on the TV and keeping the $500 in your pocket for an ISF calibration. From what I've heard about ISF calibrated sets, a $2500 ISF Calibrated set (Hitachi, Toshiba, Mits, etc) will look better than a $3000-$4000 set out of the box. Especially if you're truly a quality over quantity guy!


Also, the new Toshiba 50HDX's are significant advancements over the H series, even more so over last years (supposedly better lenses, CRT's, lenticular screen, antiglare screen, etc. than the H series). Definately check one out. Great stretch modes for viewing regular 4:3 material as well. Reliability can be an issue though (I've had a few problems). But then, it can be an issue with every RPTV out there.


Ignore this post if you were planning on spending $3000 then more on a calibration!


PBC
 

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We purchased the Sony WV600 and out of the box, I could not ask for anything better...DVDs look stellar, the kidz have all the consoles and those games that are near HD are incredible (Metroid on GameCube and Splinter Cell on Xbox are beautiful), but most impressive is the way this TV displays our analog cable signal..
 

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Keep the Pioneer's in mind, Elites or Non Elites. I have the SD533HD5 and wouldnt trade it for anything.



Excellent picture quality, line doubler. Stretch mode (Natural Wide) is the best I have seen.
 

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I have the sony KP51-WS500. Out of box good, but it's rear projection, after tweaking.. oh my it's looks stellar. Sorry, to my eyes and most will agree the CRT has the best PQ, although yes, the thing has to be tweaked and re-tweaked. SD, ok no bad, HD STUNNING... stretch modes.. not great I thought toshiba stretch were better than sony.. I thought the Pioneer stretch modes sucked.. TO MY EYES..
 
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