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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

Space constraints are such that I'm looking to get a small flat screen TV to place on a coffee table (only) when I want to watch a movie. Viewing distance would range from 3.5-5 ft. As many as two people will watch at a time. The coffee table is low to the ground (13" high), so I was thinking about mounting the TV on an elevated free-standing desk monitor mount (e.g., http://www.amazon.com/Monitor-Stand...AND-V002H/dp/B00MTWCO1U/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_1) to bring the middle of the screen near eye level (around 36"). I have a few questions.

1) What size screen makes sense? 32" seems big. I was thinking perhaps 27-29". Any thoughts?
2) It seems hard to find full 1080p TVs at this size. Is there a noticeable loss in performance at 720p with this screen size and viewing distances. Some online charts seem to indicate that yes, there would be a noticeable loss.
3) Any specific recommendations? I watch drama/comedy/documentary type movies--no sports, no gaming, no web/smart tv required. Trying to keep it relatively cheap--around $200.
4) Also, at this size point, does it make more sense to look into a computer monitor display or to stick with a TV, per se? (I have a separate system for audio.)

Thanks!

rhz
 

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Hi, Space constraints are such that I'm looking to get a small flat screen TV to place on a coffee table (only) when I want to watch a movie. Viewing distance would range from 3.5-5 ft. As many as two people will watch at a time. The coffee table is low to the ground (13" high), so I was thinking about mounting the TV on an elevated free-standing desk monitor mount (e.g., http://www.amazon.com/Monitor-Stand...AND-V002H/dp/B00MTWCO1U/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_1) to bring the middle of the screen near eye level (around 36"). I have a few questions.

1) What size screen makes sense? 32" seems big. I was thinking perhaps 27-29". Any thoughts?
A 32" is barely big enough for watching movies as it is at 5 feet. I can't imagine going smaller.


2) It seems hard to find full 1080p TVs at this size.
There are lots of 1080p sets in the 32" screen size, just not name brands. Much smaller selection in the smaller screen sizes though.



Is there a noticeable loss in performance at 720p with this screen size and viewing distances. Some online charts seem to indicate that yes, there would be a noticeable loss.
720p sets tend to have poorer processing than 1080p sets (nature of the beast). At 5 feet i'd go with a 32" 1080p model since i can see the SDE on the 720p sets at 5 feet, but not on the 1080p sets. Forget the charts - they don't take into account the individual's visual acuity which can vary widely. All the charts i've seen tell me that i cannot discern the SDE at a particular viewing distance, but in the real world those charts have all been wrong. I see SDE at farther distances than most people even with my older eyes.

The only way to know for sure if you can see SDE on the 720p sets at 5 feet is to go look at them in person. Walk up to the screen and identify the SDE, then slowly back away until the pixel structure is no longer visible and the SDE goes away. Measure that distance. If you have less than acute vision, you might be able to get away with a 720p model at your distance.


3) Any specific recommendations? I watch drama/comedy/documentary type movies--no sports, no gaming, no web/smart tv required. Trying to keep it relatively cheap--around $200.
I just looked at Amazon and Best Buy for cheap 32" TVs and $200 dollars and if i had to pick one right now it would be one of the two 32" Insignia 1080p models they have on sale for $179. Both of them have 4.5 out of 5 star reviews from owners, and i played with the 42" version at the store a few months ago (was considering it for the mother-in-law) and i was fairly impressed with it. I had the 24" version for several days and i loved it, but it was too big for the spot i had it in (on a desk alongside my monitor) so i had to return it for a smaller 19" Insignia. These Insignias have a lot of features and inputs !


4) Also, at this size point, does it make more sense to look into a computer monitor display or to stick with a TV, per se? (I have a separate system for audio.)
I would stick with a TV. They're sure to be HDCP compliant, and they tend to have more picture settings than a PC monitor does and are just more optimized for TV and movies etc. And a 32" TV is a lot cheaper than a 32" monitor anyway.

If you can, buy the TV using a good credit card that has the feature where they automatically add one year to the manufacturer's warranty so you're covered in year 2.

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
thanks Randy

By the way, what is SDE? (Forgive my ignorance.) OK--the screen door effect. Presumably, it's more common with very bright scenes, right?

One of the concerns I had with a TV as large as 32" was stability when used in conjunction with the mount I gave a link for in my original post. Since the coffee table is so low, the center of the TV will have to be mounted almost 2ft from the base of the mount. Perhaps this is an equally serious problem for a 28-29" TV as well. The alternative would be something like this to put directly behind the coffee table:

http://www.amazon.com/Wheels-Monito...26664303&sr=1-2&keywords=monitor+stand+wheels

Aside from costing as much as the TV, its minimum height setting is significantly too high. It's designed for scenarios where people are standing, not sitting.

Thanks again.

thz
 

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720p sets tend to have poorer processing than 1080p sets (nature of the beast). At 5 feet i'd go with a 32" 1080p model since i can see the SDE on the 720p sets at 5 feet, but not on the 1080p sets. Forget the charts - they don't take into account the individual's visual acuity which can vary widely. All the charts i've seen tell me that i cannot discern the SDE at a particular viewing distance, but in the real world those charts have all been wrong. I see SDE at farther distances than most people even with my older eyes.

The only way to know for sure if you can see SDE on the 720p sets at 5 feet is to go look at them in person. Walk up to the screen and identify the SDE, then slowly back away until the pixel structure is no longer visible and the SDE goes away. Measure that distance. If you have less than acute vision, you might be able to get away with a 720p model at your distance.


I just looked at Amazon and Best Buy for cheap 32" TVs and $200 dollars and if i had to pick one right now it would be one of the two 32" Insignia 1080p models they have on sale for $179. Both of them have 4.5 out of 5 star reviews from owners, and i played with the 42" version at the store a few months ago (was considering it for the mother-in-law) and i was fairly impressed with it. I had the 24" version for several days and i loved it, but it was too big for the spot i had it in (on a desk alongside my monitor) so i had to return it for a smaller 19" Insignia. These Insignias have a lot of features and inputs !



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If you can do more money try this set...

http://www.vizio.com/tvs/e32c1.html


It will be 279.99 Suggested retail price at launch.

It is listed at bjs.com for 249.99 but they also say it is out of stock.
 

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By the way, what is SDE? (Forgive my ignorance.) OK--the screen door effect. Presumably, it's more common with very bright scenes, right?
Well the brighter the scene is the more visible SDE becomes (although it doesn't need to be very bright to see it), but it's also visible on people's faces which really bugs me. I still have my old HP/Sharp 26" 720p LCD TV in a bedroom and i can see the SDE on it at 4 feet.

One of the concerns I had with a TV as large as 32" was stability when used in conjunction with the mount I gave a link for in my original post. Since the coffee table is so low, the center of the TV will have to be mounted almost 2ft from the base of the mount. Perhaps this is an equally serious problem for a 28-29" TV as well. The alternative would be (Rolling Presentation Cart) to put directly behind the coffee table:
That Rolling Presentation Cart looks to be overkill LOL. I'd be more inclined to just build something out of wood or steel to mimic it, or simply set the TV on a cheap $20 wood bar stool, or set the TV on some sort of 15" high box or crate on top the coffee table.

That first double monitor mount looks like it would work fine for a single 32" TV. It's rated for two screens at up to 33 lbs each yet a 32" LCD TV is less than 12 lbs, and a 28" TV is about 10 lbs so this stand would presumably be more stable with a 32" TV than it would with two 33 lb monitors. You could always put a nice concrete block on top this stand's feet to make it rock solid :D
 

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I agree with what Randy has said, I too really notice SDE on almost all 720p TVs and it really bugs me, stick with a 1080p and you can't go wrong no matter how close you sit.
I was in a similar position and opted for a Insignia 32" 1080p and am quite happy with it. Originally I wanted a 28/29" but they are very hard to find in 1080p unless you go with a computer monitor which has been pointed out as having less settings, probably not HDCP and almost always lacking speakers or decent ones for sure.
Nope I'd say get a decent 32"(Insignia is as cheap as I'd care to go) and I think you'll be happy. Oh if it's too low as mine was, I'd suggest making(or having someone make) something out of wood to make it higher, just make sure it's sturdy and not something like 4x4s stacked on top of each other. My Insignia also has a nice selection of inputs, one of the reasons I went with it vs a couple other more name brand TVs I looked at in the 32" size.
 
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