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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
newb question here, tried searching to no avail.


so if i can't judge pq from looking at sets in a store, how am i supposed to pick a tv to buy?


i'm looking for a 40-46" flat panel (either lcd or plasma) and i went to BB the other day and they all looked pretty much the same to my eyes. the only time i saw a difference was a dynex unit that was right next to a sony. (the sony looked better).


so going back to my original question, are you just supposed to rely on other people's reviews for PQ when buying a tv?
 

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Yep.


I am nearly 100% AGAINST going into a retailer (even a high-end store) and using my own eyes to distinguish between televisions. There are a number of reasons why:


1. Good luck finding a retailer who has all or any sets properly calibrated.


2. Good luck finding a retailer who will let you (or anyone else) dial them in.


3. Generally the viewing conditions at a store are poor to horrendous.


4. Good luck having the particular units you're comparing/interested in near to one another.


To me it's just a feel good process for most. In this day and age, with virtually unlimited resources, I think it's perfectly fine to pour over reviews and use your coconut as to what will work for you. Not shockingly, you'll find most of the reviews by reputable online sites and magazines to be shockingly linear. Use the Kuro as an example...I don't think I've found a single review yet that didn't place it at the top of the HDTV list. Other top-performing and middle of the road sets seem to place similarly.


And when you're done "shopping", you can stop right back here to dial in your set with the help of pros who have already toyed with the sets for optimum PQ for days (or you can always get yours professionally calbrated, too).


Sure, there's nothing wrong with going in and kicking the tires so to speak, but I bought my Kuro sight unseen and wouldn't go back for a second.


good luck sir.


James
 

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Yep. Absolutely.


I am nearly 100% AGAINST going into a retailer (even a high-end store) and using your own eyes to distinguish between televisions. There are a number of reasons why:


1. Good luck finding a retailer who has all or any sets properly calibrated.


2. Good luck finding a retailer who will let you (or anyone else) dial them in.


3. Generally the viewing conditions at a store are poor to horrendous.


4. Good luck having the particular units you're comparing/interested in near to one another.


To me it's just a feel good process for most. In this day and age, with virtually unlimited resources, I think it's perfectly fine to pour over reviews and use your coconut as to what will work for you. Not shockingly, you'll find most of the reviews by reputable online sites and magazines to be shockingly linear. Use the Kuro as an example...I don't think I've found a single review yet that didn't place it at the top of the HDTV list. Other top-performing and middle of the road sets seem to place similarly.


And when you're done "shopping", you can stop right back here to dial in your set with the help of pros who have already toyed with the sets for optimum PQ for days (or you can always get yours professionally calbrated, too).


Sure, there's nothing wrong with going in and kicking the tires so to speak, but I bought my Kuro sight unseen and wouldn't go back for a second.


good luck sir.


James
 

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I've got a local store that's fine for TV shopping.


The higher end displays are in light controlled rooms, they will gladly hand you the remotes so that you can adjust settings at your leisure, and they encourage you to bring in your own material to watch. They've also got nice comfy leather furniture to sit in while you watch. It's great.


If you have such a place nearby, I'd recommend it 1000 fold over Best Buy or the like.
 

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Just buy a Kuro no homework required, you get straight A's every time
j/k, I would just follow the forums to a T and you will have state of the art PQ depending on how much you want to spend on a TV. Good luck. If you like to watch movies a lot I would recommend plasma so Kuro, Panny, and Sammy are your best bets because of motion alone.
 

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The purpose of calibration is to match the set's picture to a standard. In theory, all calibrated sets should look alike.


You'll never find a calibrated set in a retail establishment, unless they have a darkened home theater room. Usually these type places sell calibration services, and use a calibrated set to sell the service. They'll usually tell you your set (whichever one you buy) will look just like the ony you're seeing, if you let them calibrate it. Just decide on the features you want.


This is somewhat true, somewhat not. Calibration (real ISF calibration) does match the set's output to a standard. So, other factors become more important in the decision making process.


Number and type of inputs are critical. You don't want to end up with one input shy of your needs.


Visual appeal of the set is important. Some have irritating on/off lighting that could drive you nuts. Nothing says quality better than a new expensive set with a stripe of black electrical tape on the front to cover up a bright light.


Finally, menus and the remote. You'll likely use both somewhat, maybe often. Menu systems range from excellent to very hard to navigate. If you calibrate your set, you'll likely be afraid to mess with the menu settings, for fear of undoing your expensive calibration. Some settings, like the ability to turn the speakers on and off, can be important, depending on whether you are using a separate sound system.


If you plan to use the remote (as opposed to a Harmony or other universal) you'll appreciate one that fits well in your hand, has backlighting, and has buttons that can be easily pushed by your size fingers. The layout should be logical to you.


In the end, if you don't trust your eyes to decide on a set, you've been reading these forums too much. Looking for absolute scitentific perfection on a TV is an exercize in futility. Even here on these boards, people reach different conclusions as to what is best.


It's your $ and your eyes that need to be pleased.


Once you get a new set home, and do a few adjustments, they all look outstanding and you'll be complimenting yourself on your selection.
 

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You can still determine some picture quality differences in store to a certain extent. Plasmas don't stand a chance in the storerooms because they are not as bright. Look on a site like C-Net or something and if you can find some user setting of both TVs track down the remotes and change the TVs you are interested in to get a better idea of how they compare. Once you put the LCDs in Movie mode the tremendous brightness difference is drastically reduced.


Viewing angle issues can't be detected so much as the viewing angle on LCDs starts going down a bit when there is less room lighting. And for how deep black levels go in a darkened room you'll have to rely on reviewers and others opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok, without seeing 1 in person, i'm thinking if i should just buy a tc-p42g10 from amazon and be done with it. i know we're not supposed to talk pricing (right?) but it's $945 out the door and seems like a decent price...
 

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when I went to bestbuy, the biggest differences to me between certain sets was the sharpess of edges (some tv's were too soft for my likes), the amount of noise in the picture, and how well motion looked to me on screen. I agree that things like color, brightness and black levels are pointless to critique in that setting, but in my opinion I still think that actually going into a store and taking a close look at your set can be beneficial (especially if you can provide your own source for testing).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgs333 /forum/post/16853947


ok, without seeing 1 in person, i'm thinking if i should just buy a tc-p42g10 from amazon and be done with it.

I'll give you a good reason to visit a store first: Size.


When you see how small your 42-inch display looks next to those 50-inch sets for just a couple hundred bucks more -- well, that's worth the trip right there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeTime /forum/post/16870434


I'll give you a good reason to visit a store first: Size.


When you see how small your 42-inch display looks next to those 50-inch sets for just a couple hundred bucks more -- well, that's worth the trip right there.

well, i've been to BB twice and went over to the tv section for a quick look when i was in target, still can't really see a diff in pq but at least now i know how big the tv's are relatively.
i'll be sitting 6' away, so 40-42" sounds like a good fit.


since i'm not in a hurry, i'm now just waiting for a good deal.
 

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I would never buy a $1,000+ TV without seeing it in person. Almost every store will allow you to play with the settings. You don't need the remote. Press the menu button of the front of the TV. Set everything (Contrast, brightness, etc...) in the middle and see what kind of picture you get. A good TV should look good with these settings. Maybe not optimal, but good. If it looks like garbage, I would avoid it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgs333 /forum/post/16872901


well, i've been to BB twice and went over to the tv section for a quick look when i was in target, still can't really see a diff in pq but at least now i know how big the tv's are relatively.
i'll be sitting 6' away, so 40-42" sounds like a good fit.


since i'm not in a hurry, i'm now just waiting for a good deal.

Even better, bump it up to 50", and now you're getting into "Home Theater" territory. My motto, "bigger is always better"!
BTW, if you already have a receiver and speakers, you should think about the Pioneer Kuro KRP-500M (50" Plasma monitor) that won the Flat Panel Shootout last month held at VE.
 
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