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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,


I’m a Newb…so go easy on me…lol


After extensive research it seems I’m not closer today to buying a HDTV as I was at the start of this jurney. I’ve often come close to pulling the trigger only to later find out of a problem with the TV I was thinking of getting.


I understand that getting the biggest screen possible is the way to go but 40-47 inches is really the max I can go. That means I would need a unit that is at the most the size of a table top CRT Projection HDTV but I prefer the slim size of LCD’s and Plasma’s.


I know about the DLP’s and LCD projection TV’s but the lamp issue is something I just can’t get past. I’m not about to spend 1-1.5K (my budget for a HDTV) on a HDTV to then become the TV manufacturers “lamp bitch†every 1-4 years. To top it off…they don’t cost a reasonable $50 but $200-$300 and no one can assure you that the lamp wont die in a year since they act like house lights which might go out soon after you installed it.


That’s what keeps me away from LCD projection and DLP’s…sad to say.


So, I’m left with CRT “table top†rear projection TV’s and flat panel LCD/Plasma HDTV’s.


Side note: You can scratch off the CRT RPHDTV if what I read at Samsung’s website is true. I watched one of their interactive technology learning flash shows and it said that CRT based rear projection TV’s lose half of their brightness after 3 years. Is that true? Do CRT Projection TV’s need lamp replacement like DLP/LCD projection TV’s? If so…they must be a lot cheaper right? It also said that CRT based Rear Proejction TV’s “normally†only can produce 600-800 lines of resolution but if that’s true then how can these TV’s be cable of 1080i or 720p? I also did not see resolution level listings for the CRT based projection TV’s I saw …what does that mean? (I think CRT's don't have fixed resolution but what exactly does that mean? So...It can go from 640x480 to 1080i...how can it do that?


So, I’m here to ask everyone’s opinion on what type of TV you think would be best to fit my needs.


I did not explain but the HDTV I end up buying will need to act as my PC’s monitor also because I’m building a HTPC to be my DVD player, PVR, and PC monitor to play games, surf the web etc. So, because of this it should have a VGA and DVI connection (along with the other standard connection).


If the best deal for HDTV would require I buy a transcoder (while I hope I don’t need one and keeping in mind I will be getting a nVidia 6800) so be it…but I grow tired of this HDTV merry-go-round and would like to make a decision soon…I hope.


Thanks in advance for your guidance. The reason I posted this hear is because I just saw a LCD HDTV and it looked GREAT and considering they are more PC friendly I thought it might be the way to go but I would like at least a 40 inch screen size which is beyond my budget. The 37inch Olivia fit’s in there but I have not seen enough reviews on their 37inch version while most people love their 32 inch version.


Samsung makes a GREAT 40 inch LCD (with 3000:1 contrast ratio) but those HDTV’s in are in the high 2K range and I doubt they will fall to 1.5K in 3 months.


:confused:
 

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You are the only one who will be watching this TV and you're the only person who can decide what's important and what's not. I can give you my sugestions and my opinions but that as much as you should read into it. My opinion is that it's total nonsense to go with largest screen, believe it or not for some smaller rooms big TV might be too big. For example when I watch lets say 60inch Plasma displaying SD programing I can clearly see scan lines up to 25 feet away or more (give or take) and that bothers hell out of me. I do have 20/10 vission maybe that's why. Another thing is the money. People who review TV's for a living get those for free so they can praise this TV or that regardless of price. Who cares how good it is If you can't afford it? IMO today nothing beats LCD for computer use. That would limit your size to 37-40 inch. Brand names mean less and less nowadays. What I would do is to agree on size, price range and technology and then try to eliminate as much as I can (for example anything that doesn't have HDCP and DVI etc.) At the end you should be left with 2-3 models and those you should look at, test it and see how do you like it. Syntax has very good prices, good range of inputs and controls and pretty decent PQ. Most people are very happy with it, don't see why you shouldn't be with that 37 inch but do compare it to at least few others so you know you like it. Do not completely rely on other people's opinion since there are as many opinions as there are people.
 

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You sound like you're in the same boat I was in.


When I first started looking I didn't even consider ED over HD. However after extensive research I cam to the conclusion that an ED plasma is the best value going with regards to picture quality, price and real world usability.


For me, the $1200 increase in price from ED to HD was not worth the small gain in image quality in HD programming. Add to that the fact that most standard def programming looks better on an ED plasma. With high quality ED plasmas like the NEC 42VR5, the Panny PD50U and the Pio 424MV I can't imagine going with an HD 42" unless money really is no object.


In 2-3 years when there is much more HD programming I'll just move the 42" ED into the bedroom where it wil continue to please for years to come. By then maybe the new SED technology will prove itself a worthy platform and I'll buy a really large SEC HDTV. If not I'm sure the very large plasmas will be even better and cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
My opinion is that it's total nonsense to go with largest screen, believe it or not for some smaller rooms big TV might be too big.
Yeah, lol…it’s the HDTV peer pressure I think that has made me think that…lol.


I’m about 10 feet away from my TV so I really can’t go TOO big. Like you said…40 would probably be perfect.

Quote:
Who cares how good it is If you can't afford it?
Again…so true, it’s a matter of chasing the wind. Good point!


Pete4…thanks for your thoughts and the more I think of it t he more I think I should go with LCD. It just makes the HTPC hookup so much easier.


I was reading up on SED and they are going to start selling it soon (so they say) so I have even thought:


“Maybe I don’t want to spend 1K right now. Maybe I should just get a smaller LCD for my HDTV viewing and wait for lower prices and newer technologies to comeâ€


Hmmmm…


Rant: If they are coming out with SED why in the world would they build 50 inch monsters priced in over 3K. The common man’s purchase is what sustains a company and not those TV’s with super high prices. Come out with 30-40 inch displays please…but I doubt they will listen.


Thanks Pete4…


Fingerscrossed…I hear you, but I’d rather have a cheaper HD TV with a smaller screen than a bigger ED. That’s just my opinion on that but I’m with you…HD is probably not worth 1K more.


One things is for sure...I'm not so scared of Plasma's anymore and I see that their prices are comming down finally.
 

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The main thing is what best fits your budget and viewing habits.


We own a DLP and plasma and in the defense of DLP, the bulb cost really is pretty small when you break it down to $/hr. We've got close to 2000 hours on our DLP currently and with the price of a replacement bulb, that's pretty much $0.10/hr of viewing time if it burned out today. Is that cost/hr really that hard to swallow?


On the other hand, our Panny plasma is awesome, especially for a bedroom TV. It served the purpose of clearing up some floor space to move our 32" CRT to the bonus room.
 

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Quote:
“Maybe I don’t want to spend 1K right now. Maybe I should just get a smaller LCD for my HDTV viewing and wait for lower prices and newer technologies to comeâ€
I wouldnt hold ooff on a purchase I could make today just to wait for a new technology even though it seems like its juts around the corner. Especialy with display technologies. Just think back how crappy early Plasmas and even LCDs several years ago were compared to whats available now. It will take a few generations not only for the prices to come down but also for the bugs to be worked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Just think back how crappy early Plasmas and even LCDs several years ago were compared to whats available now. It will take a few generations not only for the prices to come down but also for the bugs to be worked out.
True...new tech takes time to mature and what ever might be in the works wont be perfected or at it's best at the start.


skellyo...while that might be true, I can paint it in a different picture. I'd rather not spend $200-300 every 1-4 years or so.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerscrossed
You sound like you're in the same boat I was in.


When I first started looking I didn't even consider ED over HD. However after extensive research I cam to the conclusion that an ED plasma is the best value going with regards to picture quality, price and real world usability.


For me, the $1200 increase in price from ED to HD was not worth the small gain in image quality in HD programming. Add to that the fact that most standard def programming looks better on an ED plasma. With high quality ED plasmas like the NEC 42VR5, the Panny PD50U and the Pio 424MV I can't imagine going with an HD 42" unless money really is no object.


In 2-3 years when there is much more HD programming I'll just move the 42" ED into the bedroom where it wil continue to please for years to come. By then maybe the new SED technology will prove itself a worthy platform and I'll buy a really large SEC HDTV. If not I'm sure the very large plasmas will be even better and cheaper.
This in my opinion is the best suggestion. Many users who have both ED and HD plasmas have stated that ED is good enough (see thread#563451 "Lessons I have learned as a newbie shopping for a new TV").
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Really....hmmm...


I've seen pic's of HD vs ED and HD is by far much better. Also, it seems that since everything is moving towards HD (heck I hear now there is something in the works that is even past 1080p) wouldn't buying a ED be like spending over 1K for a product that would be out of date even before you brought it home?


Don't get me wrong...it's your money and your eyes watching so I'f your happy with it that's all that matters. I just figure that if everything is slowly moving to HD...why buy a ED?


Right now...LCD is in the lead...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTPCnewbie
Really....hmmm...


I've seen pic's of HD vs ED and HD is by far much better. Also, it seems that since everything is moving towards HD (heck I hear now there is something in the works that is even past 1080p) wouldn't buying a ED be like spending over 1K for a product that would be out of date even before you brought it home?


Don't get me wrong...it's your money and your eyes watching so I'f your happy with it that's all that matters. I just figure that if everything is slowly moving to HD...why buy a ED?


Right now...LCD is in the lead...
For a 42-inch sized screens, most people find differences current HD signals imperceptible at typical viewing distances. SD signals are clearly better on the ED set.


50-inch has improvement, but very marginal. If you are looking for a larger size HD-LCD may be the best choice in terms of cost/benefit, I think :) .


The 1080p (although some DLP models are out already) is probably going to be mainstream in terms of content only by end of 2006. :)
 

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One thing I saw. Don't think a 42-47" panel will be suitable for PC use at 10'. Perhaps it would be fine for casually viewing pictures, but in order to keep things sharp you should be at native resolution without artificially enlarging the items on the screen. That gives you about 5' most IMO.
 

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for tv's much under 50" or so the EDTV is just as good as the HDTV's. over 50" and there is an obvious difference but under they're very comprable. Given the EDTV's have a higher contrast ratio and are at least $1000 cheaper usually, I'd go with the EDTV. However, Plasma tv's DO BURN IN. In other words if you leave your desktop image on it would eventually burn in. If you do a lot of pc gaming the HUD etc could burn. The LCD may be the better choice for you... However LCD right next to a plasma and there is no comparison on pq IMO. I was in hhgregg just yesterday where they had 3 lcd flat panels on the same wall as their plasmas. The LCD were quite washed out compared to the Panasonic plasmas right next to them including the EDTV. Good luck mate!


edit - have you checked out the sony a10 tabletop LCD? or the JVC dila?
http://www.bestbuyplasma.com/Plasma/...ku_Y_KDFE42A10
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsb
One thing I saw. Don't think a 42-47" panel will be suitable for PC use at 10'. Perhaps it would be fine for casually viewing pictures, but in order to keep things sharp you should be at native resolution without artificially enlarging the items on the screen. That gives you about 5' most IMO.
Good point. If PC use is high, an LCD is probably hard to beat, based on expert opinion (other threads in this forum). :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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but in order to keep things sharp you should be at native resolution without artificially enlarging the items on the screen.
Yeah...that's why I felt that I probably have to go with a LCD TV. I need at least a VGA input or two DVI so I can make the HTPC connection as easy as possible. The goal (while I don't understand fully what it means) is to get a 1:1 ratio. I'm guessing that what you stated and what I hear about 1:1 mean the same or are similar.


Since I'll be about 10 feet away from the TV my plan was to set the resolution of the HTPC to the HDTV"s native resolution and then (if I have too) increase the font size or icon size so it's usable from 10 feet away.


I could always sit closer...but I'm trying to make it work at my normal viewing distance. Also, I will have MCE 2005 on my HTPC and I know it's ment for use in your entertainment room so will I have to worry about text and icon size from 10 feet away with MCE 2005?


Will MCE 2005 make this a non issue (while I understand I still want to have a 1:1 )


I just want you all to know that I'm very thankful for all your help. I'm new to HTPC's, MCE 2005, HDTV, and the DVR/PVR world so I need as much information as possible. THANKS AGAIN!
 

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I think normal DPI is around 94. You can go up to about 120 DPI at most, but then things will start to look terrible. Getting 1:1 will be the easy part, but getting such a small screen at a decent resolution useable at 10' will be a challenge.
 

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Geo - you and the others recommending an ED forgot one of his criteria.. he wants to use it as a PC for gamer playing and, more imprtantly, for surfing the web. The poor resolution of 852 x 480 on an ED just won't cut it. 800x600 is pretty much a standard minimum requirement for any PC program and for lots of websites.


Newbie - I just bought a Maxent 42" at Costco.. they were having a $300 instant rebate so it ended up costing $1699 plus tax. It's 1024 x 768 and it's gorgeous. It looked better than the Pioneer it was sitting next to at the store and looks even better in my family room. It is great for watching standard tv, DVD's and High-Def cable. I watched Harry Potter (Azkaban) on it I had recorded on my Comcast DVR the other night and the details were unbelievable. Lots of detail in all those dark scenes. All that detail would be lost on a low contrast LCD.


There is a thread on this unit here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=566592


Here's the specs:
http://www.maxentusa.com/_coreModule...uctMasterID=21


Don't listen to the people telling you ED is fine.


This is a fabulous monitor (no tuners, but if you have a cable box or HTPC who needs tuners?). And it's resolution is supported by all the video cards.. beware of using LCD monitors with 1366 x 768 res.. ATI video cards do not support this resolution. But I do agree LCD's are more computer friendly.


The Maxent has rectangular pixes where LCD's pixels would be square.. I'm not sure what that would look like with your video card, but it does say it is a "Multi-Scanning PC Monitor Support Up to 1280 x 1024".


LCD or plasma? If you want to watch a lot of TV and movies on it, a plasma with good high contrast ratio would probably be best. Good contrast on an LCD (like a Sharp Aquos, etc.) will cost you several thousand still.


Good luck!


Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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but getting such a small screen at a decent resolution useable at 10' will be a challenge.
OK...what do you mean "such a small screen"? I'm looking at 37-47 inch HDTV's so what would be a "small" screen to work with the HTPC...as a PC monitor.


Note: Don't get me wrong...I'll be watching alot of HD stuff on my HDTV, but I do want to do PC stuff on it also.


I really like that the A10 has VGA and Cable Card options but....as always with DLP/LCD RP...the freaken LAMP!!!!!! LOL


I did a search and the price came to $199 and I found NOTHING telling me how long the lamp should last.


LCD is still in the lead...
 

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Yes, that's small for 10', specially at 1920x1080 native. Most people would prefer to sit 1-3' from a monitor that size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK wait...so your telling me that a screen the size of 37-47 tends to make you stand 1-3 feet from it for PC use? I don't understand this...


I sit 2.5-3.5 feet away from my 19inch monitor now and I can see everything perfect. My desktop resolution is basically the same as 720p which is the resolution I would use in my HTPC/HDTV setup.


I'm just trying to learn here so don't get me wrong, but I would think that a 37-47 inch screen at 720P type resolutions...using MCE 2005, and messing with the font, icon, etc size while sitting 8-10 feet away would be more than fine. Am I living in crazy land?


Thanks for your help!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTown_Jerry
Geo - you and the others recommending an ED forgot one of his criteria.. he wants to use it as a PC for gamer playing and, more imprtantly, for surfing the web. The poor resolution of 852 x 480 on an ED just won't cut it. 800x600 is pretty much a standard minimum requirement for any PC program and for lots of websites.
I too am confused about the veiwing distance thing he posted...


also, this is what I just read concerning the 42pwd8uk (EDTV) pay special attention to system compatabilities part :). I believe this is the set for me -


Key Features


• Standard and Optional Connections


The TH-42PWD8UK has a good selection of computer and video inputs that should meet most conventional requirements. Optional cards are available for digital inputs including DVI and HMDI. Other cards include a media player, Component Video, Composite Video and computer inputs. The standard connectors are arranged on removable boards that can be replaced for total reconfiguration of the monitor's capabilities.


• System Compatibilities


This plasma monitor can display any type of video signal known. It can decode NTSC, PAL and even SECAM system video. It will display 24 frame, 25 frame and 30 frame scans. It will also show interlaced as well as progressive scan video elements. The monitor will display computer resolutions up to XGA (1024x768) in an uncompressed fashion and it will compress SXGA and UXGA signals but display them none the less.

•Long Life Panel


The TH-42PWD8UK incorporates a high technology plasma panel that provides operation for years with regular usage. The Multi-Facet Asymmetrical Configuration Hyper-Pixel (known as MACH) panel features bounded cell structure, special phosphor material and optimized gas composition ratio (improves light-emitting efficiency- it's quite bright) and delivers a service life of 60,000 hours or some 2500 (24 hour) days continuously. That's almost 7 years. Broken down to 8 hour days, the monitor should be operational for about 20 years.
 
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