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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Up until a few hours ago I was convinced to get a 42" Panasonic 6UY (commercial version), but after ordering a new DVD player from Crutchfield the sales rep. had mentioned the Sony Wega 42" that's coming out in October. So now I'm looking at rear projection LCD TVs. I notice the cost is significantly lower. I could get a 50" Panasonic RP LCD for less than a 42" Panasonic plasma. The RP LCD is sounding tempting, but I really haven't looked at them personally yet since I figured plasma was the best. I'm starting to get really confused again just when I thought I had it all figured out. I could really use some opinions and advice. Please don't turn this into a DLP/LCD/Plasma flame thread though... please. I realize I will get some biased opinions, but the more subjective you can be the better. I look forward to your thoughts!
 

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Check out Panasonic LCD PT-50LC13.

Best value around.

Just got it and watched LSU-Georgia game in HD and loved it!


The extra 8", over a 42" plasma, is very nice. I considered the plasma also, but the smaller size and burn-in (plus cost), just didn't do it for me.
 

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I don't know much about the Plasmas, but from what I've seen the Plasma's in the price range of the Panny and Hitachi LCD 50"ers are ED Plasmas, while the LCD RPTV's have higher resolution and can display the full HDTV. If you look into the threads on the Panny and Hitachi, you'll find that many people pick them because of their superb value in comparasion to the Sammy DLP.

I think the answer would depend on your viewing tastes and space requirements. While the Panny and Hitachi are very small compared to a CRT RPTV at the same size, they are not as thin as a plasma and wouldn't fit on a mantle above a fireplace IMO. (Unless your mantle is very pecuilar of course). It comes down to a value matrix for you. How much is your space worth, and what PQ do you rate the highest? What features are most important? Unfortunately there isn't a perfect TV in this range and each technology and tv has its pro/cons.


If you're looking in the mid 2k-mid-3k range your options include the sammly DLP, the Panny 50" LC-13, and Hitachi 50" 50v500 and 60" 60v500. The general summary is that the Panny has more connections and is cheaper, but the Hitachi has a better PQ (and I tend to agree having seen both side by side more than a few times), and better black levels. Also the Hitachi LCD's are Hitachi's first generation models, while the Panny is at their second generation, so the Panny might have better reliability, but this is undetermined. Many people like the Sammy DLP as well, but it depends if you get headaches or can see the rainbow effects while watching. I haven't really focused on the Sammy because I haven't found it a great value. I really liked the picture of the Hitachi 50v500, and I've been thinking about getting it but am waiting because I'm not entirely sold for a different set of reasons other than TV related issues.
 

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Nickeleye,


Several important considerations:

1. Viewing angle.........RP is more limited than plasma. I am planning on an RP LCD over my fireplace (I have a niche which the Sony 42" which is coming out will fit in) but I am going to tilt it downward. I think the LCD RPs claim 60 degree vertical viewing angles.


2. Room lighting.....the more light, the more likely you may need plasma. That said, I have seen some RP tvs in rooms with many windows and the picture was fine. Unless you have sunlight hitting the screen, RP is probably fine.


3. Burn-in.....significant consideration with plasma...not an issue with LCD RP.


Also, to add to your confusion, you should seriously consider the Samsung DLP TVs. Neither DLP nor LCD is subject to burn-in. DLP costs a bit more but less than plasma. Also, Samsung has some sets with ultra-thin bezels which gives you maximum space usage.


Welcome to the land of confusion. None of these technologies are perfect. All have pros and cons.


Depending on your decision factors and how confident you are, you should consider buying from Crutchfield or Circuit City or someone else offering a 30 day, no questions asked, return policy.


Good luck....I feel your pain as I am now weighing each of these options. I am leaning toward the Sony LCD RP but haven't completely ruled out an ED plasma (most distant contender now) or the Samsungs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, well here's a little bit more of my situation. Space isn't really an issue (the thin factor isn't exactly a big selling feature for me). Personally I am most interested in picture quality. I will be using the following equipment:

Denon 1600 DVD player (component video)

Playstation 2 (component video)

GameCube (component video)

Dish Network Satellite TV (s-video)

VCR (currently composite video)


I don't have any HD signals coming so I don't know if scaling is going to be an issue for the satellite TV signal.

Lighting conditions can range from totally dark to a bit of light, but the TV is seldomly exposed to too much light.

I'm actually pretty enticed about a 50" RPLCD because of the price and size, but I also want good PQ and black levels are pretty important to me... although not as much as perhaps some viewers.

Viewing angle should be more or less straight ahead in this situation although from what I understand the RPLCD TVs actually have a pretty wide viewing range... although not quite as much as a plasma.
 

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Sounds like LCD RP will work great!


There are many different opinions here between the Sony, Panasonic, and Hitachi in addition to the Samsung DLP. Circuit city carries all of them and is a good place to let your eyes compare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know I shouldn't see any real problems with my gaming and DVD viewing, but I'm a little concerned about my standard TV viewing. I don't know how well a satellite signal is reproduced on one of the RPLCD TVs since I don't have an HD signal.
 

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You will have a problem with your connections on the Hitachi 50V500 when it comes to your components. This set only has 2 component inputs. I would say connect one of your video gaming systems via S-video if you go with the Hit. I myself am waiting on my 50V500 to be delivered.


I found a great source of info on the 50V500 on the Sears website. they have a 11 page printable brochure you can read to inform you all about the set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, I wouldn't really take a hit with the connections. Currently my Phillips True Flat 27" only has one set of component inputs and I can run all three devices in. My Denon receiver has component video inputs and I just run the single component video output from the receiver to the TV. So the receiver pretty much acts as a switcher.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nickeleye
I know I shouldn't see any real problems with my gaming and DVD viewing, but I'm a little concerned about my standard TV viewing. I don't know how well a satellite signal is reproduced on one of the RPLCD TVs since I don't have an HD signal.
I was concerned about SD PQ too. I have the Panny 50 LCD on standard cable and it is good to very good SD PQ. I don't know how your dish PQ would be, but I'm very pleased/relieved. The DVD's on componet are excellent and I can't wait till HD-cable is available next month here. I was going for a DLP, but with fewer moving parts/motors and the price, it's a $creaming deal.


I read where persons are doggin the LCD for blacks etc, but I'm really happy with my LCD PQ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I just got back from Best Buy, Circuit City and Good Guys. The choice of RP LCD displays was pretty lack-luster. I'm not sure I've ruled out a 50" (of any brand) yet, but I'm thinking that those are huge. I wouldn't have a problem with the actual screen size, but it looks like most of them have a section right under the screen (for inputs, etc.) which makes the overall height of the unit too much. I may have to stick with a 42", but I'm not sure.


Anyway, on to my "results" if you want to call them that.

I was able to look at the 50" Samsung DLP and it looked pretty good, but carries a hefty price tag.


I was able to see a 60" Sony Grand Wega II and that also looked pretty good (they didn't have any of the smaller models left and they don't have the new 42" GWIII yet).


I also saw the Hitachi 50" LCD and it seemed to have it's pluses and minuses. My guess it was the floor sample, but I noticed when the TV was in 4:3 mode there were 3 bars about 5" thick of bluish/purple color that slowly scrolled up the screen and repeated over and over. That didn't seem normal and I'm sure it was just something wrong with that particular TV and not the model as a whole.


I don't think anybody had a Panasonic RP LCD to look at.


I was actually pretty impressed with the 60" Sony. At about ~10 ft. from the TV it didn't look bad at all (although if you got too close it would be a little grainy). I'm sure a 42" model of the GWIII would actually probably look real nice. Let me know what you guys think about my findings. I had to base my results on watching the stupid HD feeds they had running in the stores because I forgot a DVD to take with me and most of the time they don't have a standard cable/satellite feed to look at on the TVs. Bottom line is that I think I might go LCD, but I'm still not sure yet....



*EDIT*

Well, I just pulled out the tape measure doing some measuring I found that 50" just plain isn't going to work. It'd be way too big. I think I'm going to have to go with a 42". Also, my current Bello stand is 30" in height. This is definitely going to make things interesting even with a 42" TV. It looks like the TVs range anywhere from 30-34" in height. Will this create a viewing angle problem?


One other quick question... with the 50" Panasonic.... how thick are the bezels around the front of the TV? The pictures seem to show pretty thin borders like around 2" or so. Can somebody who has this TV give some advice?
 

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With a 30" stand, I'd probably rule out the Samsung DLP. DLP is known for having limited vertical viewing angle, an effect that I definitely noticed in person (so you know, I still bought one since it's not an issue for me in my setup).


The "sweet spot" for the DLPs seems to be a 18-21" stand, with 15 and 24 being acceptable but not ideal, 15 better for the bigger ones, 24 for the smaller.


With the 50" LCDs being too big, and the Sony GWIII not supposed to be out for a bit, the best answer for now would seem to be the Panasonic plasma, which is supposed to have great picture for SD and ED sources (which seem to match what you'd be feeding it), good ratio of space to screensize, and good viewing angle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What about the RP LCD TVs though? What are the vertical viewing angles like on those? I did some thinking and it seems to me that even with my current stand the above TV screens should shift in height by about 4" or so. That's really probably not enough to cause a big viewing angle problem as my 27" Philips screen is currently directly straight ahead. I think the Panasonic PT-50LC13 might actually work fine with my setup. Can anybody confirm to me the actual screen height as well as the size of the bezel borders around the screen? I found a pretty good price for this and I think it may work well with my setup, but I am not too sure how its quality stacks up against the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, well, here's the latest. I went to Circuit City again today and I looked at the 43" Samsung RP DLP, 50" Panny RP LCD and also the 50" Hitachi RP LCD. The Panny and Hitachi were right next to each other and the Panny didn't look bad, but the Hitachi did look like the colors were a little richer. Although I'm sure after a little bit more fine tuning on the Panny you could get similar results to the Hitachi. The 43" Samsung didn't look bad either, but for the price I probably would pick one up. I did notice though that it seemed like the picture on all three were better if you were about 11 feet away. When I was closer things seemed more grainy. Can the grainyness be fixed at all? Realistically I'd probably be able to get 9-10 ft. away from the TV. Nobody seems to even have a Sony GWII to look at let alone the new 42" Sony GWIII. I'm really curious to see what the 42" GWIII might do for me, but it's hard to judge without seeing it. Does anybody know anything about the GWIII's?
 

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I just switched from Dish to Time Warner (HD is much cheaper with TW), and I was shocked to see such an improvement in the SD pq. This, of course, is only my observation in one house in Austin, TX... YMMV.


Cheers
 
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