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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!


This is my first post. I came here tonight to find

out about sets and technologies and to begin

the process of finding a new set. I currently

own a Toshiba CX36H60...which I don't like very

much..mostly due to the horizontal lines (screen,

I think).


I hoped to see people raving about the latest

set and saying what the best current bargain

was..but instead I happened on the "Who would

by an LCD thread" and threads like LCD vs Plasma

and now I'm very sad. It sounds like no sets

out there come without serious drawbacks and

that you'll be paying for $2500 for something with

noticeable flaws.


LCD's sound great..but good black level should be

a #1 priority of a set shouldn't it? doesn't it limit

the dynamic range and depth of sets? I'd love

to have a thin unobtrusive TV...and to eventually

find some affordable furniture to hide my A/V equipment,

but not at the cost of picture quality. I don't think

I'd mind the size of a RPTV...but if I have to have it

calibrated often and there are all of these issues with

rainbows and the like >
 

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I think the black level thing is overstated. Everyone seems to question the LCD's black levels but I don't feel like something is lacking.

This is the first HD tv i've had (PT-50LC13) and i've not had chance to fully compare it to many others but i'm totally satisfied with it, given that some levels do need adjusting to make it even better. Out of the few things there might be issues with black isn't one of them for me.


Lcd's don't have rainbows either. You shouldn't be put off by the rainbow factor until you've checked out the tv first. I never saw them on DLP's except for one time when there was white credits on a black background.


As far as noticable flaws go SD pq is fairly good but that's obviously the source. Some people have problems with the screen door effect but I don't see anything from 10' away. Only a couple of stuck pixels that can only be seen on a dark blue background from very close to the set, these disappear a couple of feet away. The only real peave I have about this set is the way the remote control is set up, I think it could have been more direct instead of a lot of cycling through menus and functions.


Every DVD is way better than i'd imagined. I'm starting to watch my whole collection over again.

Don't have HD yet so I can't say how good this is.
 

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Coyote Waits
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Take a little time to do some reading. Being "bummed out" in one day is bad for your health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I agree, and I am having a look around. I'll

be visiting stores soon and picking up magazines


...it's this being a discerning shopper is tiring sometimes!!!

Learn the specs, learn the market...find out what sets the

tvs apart, sigh...why can't I be like some of my friends who

just go: oooh pretty :p


Gowry
 

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Have a look at the Samsung HLN437W DLP set. Don't just read all the 'complaints' - go out and actually look at one in a CC. Then have a look at the Panny LCD or Sony Grand Wega, again in real life. Then come back here and look at the 'complaints' again. I think what you will find is that a lot of the complaints are not as big a deal as some people make them out to be. A TV is a very personal experience and different things are important to different people.


A better test is to connect a PC into your current TV with an HD feed (T2-HD maybe) running through whatever the best connection you currently have is (even if it is SVIDEO.) Then get a local store to do the same thing (if your'e serious about dropping $2500 you would be amazed what the sales reps will do if you ask.)


I just bought a Sammy DLP about 3 months ago after spending 6 months researching. The end result - I am completely satisfied that I got the perfect set for me :D I wouldn't trade it for anything else out there at any price.
 

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Feel like I should chime in here, as I've spent the last month researching my purchase, and I've spent a lot of time here reading these forums.


First, note that no technology is perfect, and they all have tradeoffs. That being said, in comparison to an old standard-definition TV, most things will look AMAZING on the newer hi-def ones. Find a place that has a good, high quality feed, and take a look. Plasmas, LCDs, LCD-RP, DLPs, and CRT RP all have phenomenal picture quality and you'll be blown away.


Second, many people have already purchased and have a need to feel justified in their purchases, so they will make fun of black levels over 60 pages of "Why buy LCD" rants. ;) Okay, that sounded mean, but I do think it would be an unnecessarily big discouragement for anyone looking at buying one just to read those first few posts in that thread. (Hell, I watch TV in a lit room, so my 32" CRT tube has its brightness cranked up a bit, and I can guarantee you my blacks are farther from a true black right now than you can get with the LCD RP TVs.)


Me? I don't like the size, weight, or limited viewing angles of CRT projection, so I was pretty sure I wanted the LCD, DLP, or maybe LCoS digital read-projection. Given that, I could find downsides to all of them (most of what you've probably been reading), but they aren't things that would bug you when watching normal moving images from a reasonable viewing distance in a reasonably lit room. Keep in mind people here will spend hours and hours staring at these things to make sure they've got the best goshdarn picture at the price point they can afford.


Also, keep in mind when looking at them in stores that they are probably not calibrated properly, and if you spend half an hour when you get your TV home adjusting it and watch a good signal (one that's not split 20 times like they are in most stores), most of the "flaws" will be less noticable. Yes, "flaws" was in quotes because that's a stronger word than what we're really talking about.


Me? I liked the DLP a little better than the LCD, but I couldn't justify the price difference for it. I went with the Panasonic PT-50LC13 because of the incredible price and myriad of inputs, but I would have adored any of these technologies, even knowing about their "flaws". It just came down to pretending to have some sort of a budget.


It comes on Sunday, and I'll let you know just how much I love it then. :D
 

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A very low absolute black level is nice ... but remember, theaters

don't have such beasties. They have abysmal black levels due to

room lighting.


What does matter is low light detail. The Panny LCD and Sammy DLP

provide that nicely if adjusted to do so (not using the pluge patterns

of Avia or DVE, but turned up a tad to show the detail.)


But you are indeed right to say that no technology is currently

perfect. Some, such as all forms of CRT and Plasma, have truly

show-stopper flaws, that is, burn-in. I did not even consider such

things ... thankfully CRT has poor image quality too;though I love

plasmas' picture quality, they cost too much.


DLP has rainbows. LCOS apparently is not ready for prime time, and

probably will never be. RCA gave up. Toshiba seems to be giving up,

etc. LCD has a slightly poorer black level.


I think that, eventually, DLP chips will get cheap enough that

three can be used, the processing will get perfected, and we

will have a perfect world. I seriously dount that burn-in can

ever be fixed.


But until then, **YOU** have to decide for yourself. Don't

listen to the pigheaded people like Mfusick who refuse to

admit that their pet criterion is the only one. It is great

fun to argue with Mfusick, of course, but in fact you should

not take either of our advices (except, for course for mine to

make up your own mind) as gospel.


I did my own deciding, and I am extremely happy with the

result.


The ONLY thing I am unhappy about is that Fox refuses to transmit

us any DTV signal at all, and NBC and CBS so far refuse to

send us HDTV.


Doug McDonald
 

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Best value for best pq is hitachi 57s500. Drawback, as you mention...size and wieght. Have it calibrated once after break in, mainly for greyscale, and occasional convergence touch up is all you need to do...every 90 days or so, maybe less...very simple. It's currently the most tweakable set so is a favorite among DIY ht folks. All technologies have thier drawbacks but are miles ahead of where they were a couple years ago. My s500 presents a dvd picture that is better than I've ever seen in a theater and the analog cable looks better than my Sony 35xbr48 tube which was regarded as one of the best analog sets ever made. I can't give higher praise. I've owned other brands of rp hd sets and they don't come close to the hitachi for detail. If a newer tech like dlp, lcd or lcos is your pick then I can't help you as they are still out of my price range but can present awesome images from what I've seen. If black level is your issue crt rptv is still the choice.
 

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I am finishing my second month with my first HD set, a 50" GWII. I'm very happy with it, especially after some tuning with Digital Video Essentials.


Near the end of my first month with the set, the honeymoon phase ended for me as I could see areas for improvement. I started getting bummed too with some of the DLP vs. LCD rants and started to question if I had made the right choice at the right time. But all that baggage falls away whenever I would put on a good DVD and just watch. Even with the small minuses here and there -- which really are minor -- and even with the limited resolution of DVD content, I still enjoy a good movie on this set immensely.


I'm a "glass half full" kind of a guy. I look at the huge leap in quality from our last set (an 11 year old 27" direct view CRT), today's performance-to-price ratio, and the accelerating quantity of ED/HD content and I know for me this was the right decision at the right time. There is no way I would go back and wait another 6-12 months.


There will be something better or less expensive in a few months and yet again a few months after that. Don't ignore that, live with it. I plan on having fun with this set for the next several years and tracking all the cool developments in this forum. In about 5 years, I will likely be buying some sexy new set that will have a another huge leap forward in its jaw-drop to price ratio. Just figure that into your budget and you'll be happier.
 

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Gowry,

You're getting nothing but solid advice from the posters so far. You have to be a bit patient, though. It took me over a year in the "Hunting of the Great White Whale" and I went through several changes (Pio, Mits, Sony, Tosh) before I settled on DLP technology because of the PQ, PC adaptability and form factor, and I'm quite pleased with the results.

The folks on this forum can be pretty helpful if you ignore those off their Ritalin.

The first thing to do is pick a size based on seating distance - roughly 50" diagonal size for 9'-10' up to 61" for 12'-14'. Build a screen template & put it up on your wall across from your couch if you're not sure, then place a chair in front of the couch & move it back & forth until you get the distance & size right.

Then you gotta find a set you like based on actually viewing them - forget the technology & look at a lot of sets. Go down to a highish end store where they have them properly set up & compare sets. Don't let the dark rooms in the upper end salons confuse you if your room has a lot of windows - compensate for that by checking them in a well lit store like CC or BB.

You get the most bang for the buck with CRT if you can stand the narrow viewing angles and picture fade to the sides (I couldn't).

If not, move up to LCD RPTV. The Pannys and Hitachis are coming in reasonably priced now, & the Sonys will be out soon, although they will probably be pricier.

Here's the Hitachi thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=299009

Here's the Panny thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=289930


If you got the moola, check out the DLP's. They'll be a bit more than the DLP's, and for some the price difference is worth it. For Sammys, download Arun's Guide for many helpful hints:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=256065

The RCA DLPs & Philips LCOS are just hitting the shops, but I'm wary of release 1.0 of anything.


Happy hunting, & feel free to come back when you've seen something you like or if you have any questions.

Cheers,

nhb007
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes,


I am getting very good feedback. Thank you all!

I plan to go out for my first look around today.

I'll visit tweeter and maybe a couple of other places.


I just like to have ideas of what to look at and what

the respected sets are beforfe I set foot in a store, otherwise

you become subject to *dun dun DUNH!!!* the salesman. :)


I'll make short list of models and enter the store knowing what

some of the well respected sets are. Thank you!


You mention the CRT's and Plasma having burn in issues, so I'll

likely rule them out since I have a PC at home I plan on converting

to a full HTPC. I'll play games on it from time to time, too.


BTW...how different are TV LCDS from monitors? I have a 20.1"

Planar LCD at home that I've calibrated using a colorimeter. I

use it for photography work.


I'll post my impressions after I'm back from hunting!


Gowry
 

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Coyote Waits
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gowry
BTW...how different are TV LCDS from monitors? I have a 20.1"

Planar LCD at home that I've calibrated using a colorimeter. I

use it for photography work.

Gowry
I'm not an engineer so I'm just referring to surface differences that I might be wrong about. They are of course rear projectors. Each manufacturer has used a different approach to processing the wide range of signals that a TV has to deal with.


I'm not familiar with your monitor? Does it accept both analog and digital signals? If so, which one are you using?


Even the people who hate LCD for TV say that it does very well with fixed images.


I'm impressed with the PQ produced by the Hitachi LCD. I used the Superbit version of "The Fifth Element" through the taxi chase. The Hitachi is the least PC friendly and has very limited input choices.


The Panasonic LCD seems to make a lot of people happy and it has been cheaper. It seems to have a lot of over-scan, but has a lot of inputs to work with. It also has a clean digital path for 720p through DVI input.


The Sony GWIII LCD has a lot of people waiting to see if it will have a DVI path that doesn't drop back to analog before getting the signal to the screen.


One way to get an impression is to use the same DVD every time you compare sets. I bought "The Fifth Element" just for that reason. I know the beginning pretty well by now. :rolleyes:


If you are looking at the Samsung DLP sets in a store that carries the Samsung 931 DVD it's a good idea to get them to set it up to output 720p via DVI. That's supposed to produce outstanding images.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So,


I went out and looked at sets today. I believe I've narrowed

it down to the

Hitachi 50V500

Panasonic LC13

Sony Grand Wega

Samsung 56" Tantus


I was told, however, by more than one salesman that

the CRT RPTV's had the best picture aside from viewing

with sunlight in the room. One saleman claimed that burn

in wasn't an issue with them; I was skeptical of this though

considering what would happen if I wanted to play a video

game that shows a static UI for hours on end?


It's a hard call from the sets listed above. The set I saw

the least of was the Hitachi. Only CC seemed to have

that one on hand. I'm leaning toward the Samsung, but

I'm finding it hard to justify an additional $1500 for the

picture quality.


Question. Is there or isn't there a difference in the picture

quality of the Tantus and the others? The dealer said

that there was, but the FAQ didn't. Sigh...I saw numerous

demos of the Samsung--mostly showing dark scenes. In one

store only did I see very noticable rainbows...it was from

a HD source so that makes me a bit wary.


I was happy with the picture in general i saw from the LCD

projections. One guy said that he believed that maintenance

would be more expensive on the LCD TV's and that they

would need to be adjusted for convergeance of the 3 panels.

He said DLP was definately the way to go.


The Hitachi looked very good in a CC showroom filled with

sunlight. The Sony Wega glared under the same light. I also

liked the Panasonice...I'd find it hard to choose between the

3 with what I've seen so far. The Hitachi and Panasonic might

win out due to them having a lower price.


Thanks for any comments! I feel much better after making the

visits. The TV's look extremely nice =)


Gowry
 

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It seems the more you read and more you talk to people the confused you get!

Info overload. It's too bad the manufactures make it worse by giving you bad or misleading info on the sales literature!

Also few manufactures really point out the improvements to the guts of the unit itself! Only feature improvements seem to be what sells these sets (at least as far as they are concerned)!
 

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Coyote Waits
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gowry
Question. Is there or isn't there a difference in the picture

quality of the Tantus and the others? The dealer said

that there was, but the FAQ didn't. Sigh...I saw numerous

demos of the Samsung--mostly showing dark scenes. In one

store only did I see very noticable rainbows...it was from

a HD source so that makes me a bit wary.

Gowry
There is nothing different about the Tantus sets. OOTB PQ may vary with firmware versions but all sets share the same firmware. There is some set to set differences in SM settings.


If you saw rainbows then your are right to be wary. Some people get used to them others do not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh,


I forgot to answer a question. I use the DVI inputs

to drive the Planar. I have a PC that I'd consider

making into a HTPC...it basically is one, only I use

it for other stuff and it's in my bedroom right now.

I use an Audigy 2 for audio and an ATI 8500DV for

video.


Gowry
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, no difference in the Tantus sets...that makes

another dealer in the wrong. I got so many conflicting

reports from dealers during my visits..from CRT RPTVs

have no problem with burn in, to some saying lifetime

on LCD RPTV bulbs was much longer than the lifetime

of DLP bulbs..to some saying on a DLP you could change

the bulb yourself and others saying it would be a

technician at your house every 1.5 years to change the

bulb....


I've come to believe that I can change the bulb on

the Samsung sets.


I still don't know what to believe about the lifetimes

of bulbs on LCD RPTV's though.


So, after a little more reading today..people seem to

like the Hitachi's picture quality more than the panasonic

or Wega...and after seeing the set in the CC store I

can't argue that it was a great looking picture. I was

almost convinced to get it there...but then I read that

some are having issues with black splotches...it's a new

set, so I guess time will tell.


For sanity's sake I'd like to limit the number of sets...I

could probably limit to the Hitachi and the Samsung DLPS.

From a cost perspective I'd like to consider something

like the Mitsubishi 55" CRT RPTV or the Pioneer Elite RPTV,

but I think I have issues with them that would just amplify

in my mind with time.


Gowry
 

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Gowry - I think you finally hit on the two best sets in your last post - the Mitsu and the Pio Elite.:)


As many have told you - the CRT RPTVs have the best picture.


If you keep your set out of torch mode - burn-in is a non-issue. I watch 4:3, anamorphic DVDs and 16:9 HD. Three years - zero burn-in.


CRT TVs do not require a lot of adjusting. Once you have it properly calibrated the only regular maintenance is a 64 point convergence every 90-180 days. Takes me 10-15 minutes. I actually enjoy it. I feel like I can take a few minutes and tweak out the last extra bit of picture quality.


Big and heavy. You bet. But I can move it with two fingers - because it is on wheels. Very nice feature when you want to get behind the set to change a cable or something. Ever try moving a 100 pound DLP/LCD by yourself - not as easy as the big heavy CRT RPTV on wheels.


Viewing angle. If you are watching TV on a wide enough angle that this is a problem - you should get out of the cheap seats. Everyone in my family sits center stage.


Plus you can put your large bulky center channel speaker on top of the TV where it sounds better than under the TV and in a stand.


Did I miss anything?:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mit07,


What about computer games and burn-in? If I didn't want to play

games...like RPG's where you sit down for hours with the same

user-interface on the screen, I wouldn't worry quite so much

about burn-in. But say I sit down an play a game..the scenes

change..but many things on the screen sit in the same spot

for hours on end....is uniformity of light a problem with a set

like the Mitsu or Pioneer? I've seen plenty of units where

the left and right sides are darker than the center, but I

don't know if these were the good sets or not. The 2 sets

I saw today looked very good, but I didn't pay as much

attention to them. If I go with a big CRT RPTV, I may wait

6mos or so, since I'll be moving, and I live on the 3rd floor :p


Gowry
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by htwaits
One way to get an impression is to use the same DVD every time you compare sets. I bought "The Fifth Element" just for that reason. I know the beginning pretty well by now. :rolleyes:
Yes, I know that opening scene well. I use it to gauge some of my image tuning. "Aziz, LIGHT!"

Quote:
Originally posted by Gowry
One guy said that he believed that maintenance would be more expensive on the LCD TV's and that they would need to be adjusted for convergeance of the 3 panels. He said DLP was definately the way to go.
You were fed some real baloney by a few sales drones.


Neither LCD nor DLP RPTVs require reconvergence tuning. I think that guy was looking for a fatter commission on the higher DLP price tag -- I'd stay away from him.


I've read that direct view CRTs may have the best picture under any conditions, not CRT RPTVs. I've read in this forum that many of the CRT RPTV models out there use tubes too small to display their advertised resolution. I did like the Mitsu sets (brilliant color) and almost bought one. However, I traded the shiny screen, limited viewing angle, reconvergence tune-ups, burn-in risk, and bulk for the higher price tag, shallower blacks, and a couple of lamp replacements on the GWII.


Lamp replacements on the GWII do not require a service call. These instructions are in my user's manual. I think the same should be true for the Samsung DLP since PC projectors using both these technologies have allowed user-level lamp replacements for years.


There is no burn-in on the LCD or DLP RPTVs.


If you want to hook up a PC to your set, read up in these forums on hooking up an HTPC into particular models. I've read that using the GWII as a PC monitor is possible but requires a small bit of effort above "plug-and-play." I've read that the Samsung DLP & new Panasonic LCD RPTVs are plug-and-play with PCs.


Research some prices on the net and use them to negotiate a better deal than list price. For example, if you were set on getting a GWII, negotiate based on the latest prices posted for the new Sony GWIIIs at Yahoo shopping and other sites ( 50" GWIII , 60" GWIII ).
 
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