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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all:


First of all, I want to thank all of you for spending the time to discuss and educate on issues you clearly know much about. I have been a lurker here for quite a while trying to educate myself as to make and model and have succeeded only in completely confusing myself.


I am looking to purchase an LCD for my family room in the near future. Our viewing situation is essentially as follows: the set will be placed about 8-9 feet in front of the couch and opposite a window. Given the issues on reflection, I believe an LCD is the right choice rather than a plasma. I have been going back and forth as to size between a 40-42' or a 46'. I have 3 small kids who watch a lot of cartoons, nickelodeon, etc. and they do some gaming with PS2. We will occasionally watch a dvd or get a pay-per-view movie. My wife and I also watch network television (news, primetime shows and sports--most of these I believe are broadcast in hi-def).


I had convinced myself that the Sony XBR2 was the way to go; but given further reading on this site, I am not sure if this is the right choice given our viewing patterns. My budget is up to $3000. Given the questions/issues below, what would you recommend??


1. I likely won't be buying anything until the middle of 2007 when my home renovation is complete--is there anything coming out worth waiting for?


2. What size? I have never heard anyone say I should have bought a smaller tv, so I think the 46' is the way to go but am concerned we will be sitting too close.


3. Is it worth spending the money for 1080p or even 1080i given our viewing patterns?


4. Would you ever make a purchase as large as this from one of those internet-only sites that come up when you do a search on pricegrabber, nextag or something like that?


One last question, given that we will be opening up the wall, floor and ceiling around where the TV will go, is there anything you would recommend we do wiring-wise as part of the renovation.


I thank you all in advance for any advice/tips you can offer.


Nick
 

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boobnoob,


It sounds like you will watch a lot of standard def shows. HD flatpanel displays

can actually display standard definition worse than you are used to. There

are some that upconvert and/or upscale standard def shows that may

be a good choice.


Go to some stores and look at various models playing hi def and

standard definition shows to compare.


1. there are supposedly improved backlighting (LED) LCD's on the horizon, as

well as sets equipped with hdmi 1.3 with some improved color and audio

features. These may be more marketing hype than must-have features

since the improvement from standard definition to hi def is so large already. The most-likely

advantage to waiting is price reductions in today's sets as the new featured sets

come out. No need to rush, especially if you're doing construction work.


2. 46" is probably a good fit, and I too have never heard anyone say they

bought one too big.


3. 1080p or 1080i depends. I have one 720p and one 1080p. As noted elsewhere,

you'll probably like a high quality 720p set better than a low quality 1080x set.

There is not a lot of content at all now in 1080p, and broadcast/cable/satellite

are unlikely to get to 1080p any time soon. Blu-ray and HD-DVD is still a niche

product, but it likely depends how important it is to you to have the higher

spec for peace of mind. Would it bug you to confess you have a 720p to friends even if

you might not be able to tell the difference to 1080? Go look at various models playing different

inputs before you make your choice.


4. internet, no, but that's my personal opinion. Service issues, warranty, and shipping issues

should be examined. Sometimes if the internet site is not an authorized dealer,

the warranty may be void. Sometimes the manufacturer might be the best deal / warranty,

and sometimes big retail stores tack-on extra warranties and have liberal return policies.

That said, if you find the perfect set and there are no issues, it might work for you.


5. Ripping up the walls.... I ripped the walls throughout my living room and family room, but

I was going for a clean on-the-wall look. I ran stereo, HDMI, vga, and coax just about

everywhere. Having just finished after months of work, wiring diagrams, and contractors

would I do it again? I don't know. It's very nice, but it was tough dealing with it for so long.


For you, think about how many components you have and where you want them to

be relative to the TV. If you're putting the LCD on a stand with shelves, maybe you don't

need to wire in the walls. If you want surround sound for movies, perhaps you do

want to take advantage of the walls being open. Likewise, it wouldn't hurt to

throw two coax cables in the walls/ceiling to the TV if you don't already a way to

get cable/satellite/OTA antenna signals to that spot. Even with a set-top box, DVD player,

and a stereo, they'll be a lot of cabling behind the TV, and it gets ugly in a hurry.

(each one has a power cord)


Good luck, $3k should buy you a TV you'll be very happy with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Flatpanel:


Thanks for the response. Are there any specific 720p models you would recommend? I know the Sony XBR1 is 720p, but the picture does not look as bright as the XBR2's--this is just a backlight issue and has nothing to do with the 720p v. 1080p issues right?


Thanks,


Nick
 

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If I was choosing an LCD for mid-year my choice would be the 46" Sharp D92 or D82. The Sharps are suppose to be on good SD, fanastic on HD, and great on blacks. The 92's should be out next month, cost more than the 82's [which will be out around March] and within a few months when you are ready to buy the price should come down. Also buy the time you buy you will know for sure weather the banding issuse that plugue the 62's have been solved,


DRB
 

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I'd say go see some and compare, again with standard and hi-def content.

You might want to make a list of what you want to do with this set. It may

sound silly, but listing your top 10 priorities may help you choose. Some 720p

sets might have only one hdmi input. Be sure they will take as input the

content you are likely to watch, and that you connect up the devices you

plan to use. Just glancing at specs, this might work

for you: Samsung LN-S4692D I have not seen this set operating and

don't own it, but would go check it out if I were in the market now.

Sharp comes highly recommended from colleagues of mine.


I have a 32" Sony LCD 720p from early last year.


There's no way to know your preferences, features, and tastes to tell you

what TV is best for you. It's no longer like the old days when you pick a

size and budget and you're done. I've compared specs too much in

the past, only to realize some of the specs don't translate to better

viewing. Not only that, the specs listed from one manufacturer to

another may not be measured the same and could be meaningless.


The remote control, the input connections, and even the look of the

external case may make as much sense to compare as the detailed

specs for an LCD. You may appreciate the appearance of the case

more than you might appreciate the contrast ratio.


For some, how little money they spend is critical, for others

the peace of mind of a long warranty, and for some, bragging rights

in the neighborhood.
 
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