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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new here, but I've been looking at an upgrade to my system and someone recommended this site on anandtech. My intended use is computer monitor (HDTV card) and for a component in my entertainment system (progressive scan DVD playback, maybe sattelite in the near future). After spending an hour at Best Buy comparing displays, I've come to the conclusion it's worth the extra money to get a plasma or LED over the flat panel.


I'd like to spend under $3k (USD), but I'd like something >= 29". I need something newer due to potential compatability issues with the 9700 All-In-Wonder card. And I don't mind waiting for a year if I need to if it seems the pricing structure will fall soon. I can live with my S-Video into a JVC 32" for a little while yet.


I know about the restrictions on posting prices, so if I could just get some general advice on the type of unit and things like MnP vs dot-com. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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How about the samsung 240t? Its like 2400.00 I believe, and it supposed to have an awesome picture. Someone on here just got it, and liked it as I recall. Also has DVI.


-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was wanting something 29" or bigger. I did a quick Google search, and it came up as 24". Am I stuck with something smaller if I want it in the near future? I was checking out PriceScan. Is there a reason for the 42" price differential? I thought it was lack of support for 720p or 1080i, but they're listed as compatible in the specs. Those are sub $3000.
 

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There are many options for a discount brand 42" plasma at around the 3K price point. The Akai that Costco sells even includes the wall mount for this price. For a little bit more, you can get a much higher rated model. If you plan to use the plasma as your computer monitor, you should read topics on screen burn, and DVI ports, in the forum FAQ.


" for the 42" price differential? I thought it was lack of support for 720p or 1080i, but they're listed as compatible in the specs. "


The short answer on this is that all plasmas will display an HDTV picture, but native HD plasmas will have a better picture quality with high definition material than ED plasmas will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help. I may find waiting a year should be my answer. I thought I'd get a cheaper flat screen model for around $1500, but I was really put off by them. I really liked the LCD displays, but I did see the refresh issue. I'll read up on it now.
 

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Keep in mind that plasmas are not really suitable as full-time computer monitors, especially the lower-end 42" models. First off, and you'll have to read more about this, static picture elements (think task bar, etc) tend to get burnt in to the picture after too much use. Second, 852x480 really isn't a good resolution to do work or web browsing at. So if you want a joint monitor and video display, you'll have to settle for a smaller LCD. Something like the Samsung 240T makes a decent video display and a superlative monitor. If you can afford to separate monitor and video, something like the 37" Panasonic or some cheap 42" plasma will be great for the video part, and you can get a relatively cheap LCD monitor for actual work on the computer.


PS - I don't know if by progressive scan DVD you mean actually hooking up a stand-alone DVD player to the panel. Don't bother. You'll get amazing quality through the computer, better than from a standalone player. This'll save you some costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I suppose I need to evaluate my priorities. When my computer monitor blew almost a year ago, I didn't buy another one because I figured I'd apply the cost of a new monitor to an HTDV and upgrade my system. Maybe I'm just not right for the technology right now. I still need to upgrade my audio before I can watch DVD movies from my PC (I run an SBLive with a toslink converter into my head unit), but other than that I think I have a good arrangement for HTPC. I've been going after system integration for a while now.


Oh well. If there's anything I've learned it's patience with technology. I'm not the first kid on the block with the latest and greatest, usually not the second either. I suppose I can afford a $5000 hit, but no matter how much I make I grew up really poor and there's something ingrained in me that says it's not worth it for entertainment or hobby. Maybe that's the answer, or maybe I'll bite the bullet in 6 months. Unfortunately, I believe I'll end up with one of those 200 pound monstrosities for around $1700, maybe plasma or LCD is just not my market sector. What percentage of salary is one expected to pay for a television? LCD and plasma are impressive technologies, and I will wait a bit to see if there's a light at the end of this tunnel.
 

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Slammy,


I've had the Samsung 240t for over a year now and have been *extremely* pleased with it. When I sit down at the PC, I really can't imagine using a monitor bigger than this! It literally takes up almost my entire field of view.


I really don't think you should go the Plasma route for a PC monitor. Even the HD Plasma's don't have the resolution the 240t has.... which is an AMAZING 1920 x 1200 !! And trust me - having all that desktop space is so good for video & graphic editing.


It has a lot of great inputs: Composite, SVideo, Analog RGB & DVI. I use my PC connected to the DVI @ 1920 x 1200, An HDTV card in the PC connects to the analog RGB so I can watch HDTV, and the SVideo is used for my PS2 - XBox - Gamecube. It comes with an IR remote as well.


I Paid $5000 for this monitor over a year ago - and at $2400 now I think it's a STEAL... DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE EXTRA 6" !!


Good Luck!

Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think I understand your view. Rather than getting a high end television and using it as a monitor, I should look at a high end monitor to use for a television? The 24" LCDs I've seen are most impressive (actually I lie, I've only seen a couple around that size). I have a concern about going from a 32" back down to a 24", but perhaps 24" is my preferred option. I could definitely see going to a 27"...


With that big of a drop in 1 year, I wonder if the near future might hold promise. I'm reluctant, despite the need, to upgrade that path now. It would still seem a preferred option to a flat screen CRT HDTV. Most interesting.


What do you think about the 30" LCD monitors? After searching some, I found they're very reasonably priced in my
SHARP AQUOS LC-30HV2U


If not something like that, it seems $4000 for a 29" or so LCD. I need to think and do some more research before I can come to an informed decision.
 

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If you want to spend around 5k NEC has a 40" LCD that is supposed to be awesome. Also very good for video, no burn in and even has an hdcp dvi port. I will have to dig around for the model #. I think its like 4800.00.


-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I brought up the SHARP AQUOS LC-30HV2U because of its price, around $2500-3000. For a 30" LCD I seem to be missing something. Try an epinions.com search, you might be surprised. They hava another 30" model that runs around $4500, it might be what you're thinking of. NEC also has a cheaper 30" model, but I was sorta drawn to the Sharp since the NEC did not seem a good choice for a TV monitor.

Check out this price history chart:
http://www.nextag.com/Sharp_30_HDTV~...59zzmainz1-htm

Compare that to the 240t (It used to be $8000!!!)
http://www.nextag.com/Samsung_24IN_L...40tzmainz1-htm


All of the larger screened LCDs are dropping nicely. Both of these had the same customer rating, so you'd think it's a functionality issue. I guess this really is the in for my intended usage.


EDIT: This is a review for the Sharp:
http://www.hometheatermag.com/printarchives.cgi?134


NOTE: No DVI.
 

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Unless you're really space-constrained I don't see why you would get a 30" LCD. I mean, you could get a 42" plasma for around that much or a little more, and better quality. But neither would be good as monitors - leave that to small (
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, a monitor alone without a television tuner I think would be a mistake I think for my purposes, I would not want to wait for my computer to boot when I want to watch television, least with 5 SCSI drives.


I still like 1st-player action games. The first time I played Quake II hooked up my 32" TV through S-video and ran the surround through my Yamaha 5.1 receiver I was most impressed. Sometimes 32" seems so small when I crank it up. The immersive environment for that type of gaming is rather tremendous. That's the boost I'm looking for. The best isn't necessary, I'm not a choosy man. I just like the idea of investing in a technology that will last for some time and that gives me a decent (if not perfect) PQ.
 

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Slammy,


I believe the AQUOS LC-30HV2U has a PC resolution of only 1280 x 720 pixels - far too little as a PC monitor for that size.


I think your "thinking backwards" - you shouldn't be looking for an LCD TV that happens to work as a PC monitor.... You need to think PC Monitor that can be used as a TV.


All the LCD TV's out there that can be used as PC monitors have "relatively" low PC resolution - not more than 1024 pixels vertical resolution. Remember, the 240t has a PC resolution of 1920 x 1200 - which is SUPER SHARP and gives you a ton of desktop workspace. I can view facing pages in MS Word side by side at 100% and still have room left over!


Another thing I forgot to mention about the 240t is that it has picture in picture. I usually always have TV in a small window (3 sizes) in the upper right corner as I am doing my work! It also has a digital DVI connection - very important to get the best quality!


The 240t is slowly being phased out - a newer Samsung 24" model has come out already (at a $4500-5000 price point) and although the 240t is still "current", I don't know how much longer you're going to find it - so I don't anticipate that $2400 price coming down ant lower - and it is truly a STEAL at that price. If you can deal with the 24" size - GRAB IT NOW!


Some more food for though.....


Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It was the lowest priced biggest screened computer monitor listed on PriceWatch ;). And a formerly $8000 television is surely something spectacular no matter what size. I used to have a 19" TV, so a 24" is not a stretch, but I'm concerned my sound would overwhelm it. I have Bose 501 as front channel with a 10" 100W sub. I guess I'm not ready to enter the market yet, and I'll just have to deal with my 6 year old 32" JVC for a bit longer. Out of the options presented surely the 240t appears my best at this time. In 6 months maybe I'll be ready to get more for my $3000 I'm willing to invest.
 

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Can I connect the 3 composite outputs from my HDTV cable box to a composite to RGB converter and from that converter to the Samsung 240T to view HDTV on the 240T? I'd like to avoid using a HiPix card in the computer because I'm buying a G4 Powermac (not sure if they make a HiPix card for the MAC).


I want to use the 240T separately as a monitor for a G4 Powermac and as television with my Comcast HDTV box. They will be placed in a small room where a 24 inch television should be adequate.
 

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As far as I know - using something like the Audio Authority Component (not composite) to RGB converter, that should work just fine.


The 240t is able to handle 720p and 1080i HDTV signals.


Aaron
 

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If you can wait a year, who knows what will be available and at what price. Just like computers, wait as long as possible and then buy at a good point in the price curve (not the cheapest or most expensive, but what you really can use). In a month or two the Samsung 29" LCD will be at your price, but in a year, it might be MUCH less. It is 1280 x 768 and looks just great at that size.


Sharp is not PC friendly or very good on support. NEC and Zenith are more expensive.


One thing to watch is that I suspect there is a lot more price competition in 30" displays of all types right now, then there is in 24" monitors. Some companies like Sony make both plasma and LCD.
 
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