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HDTV Question...Need some advice

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Chuck P., Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Chuck P.

    Chuck P. Here We Go Steelers

    O.K, we are in the market for a new TV and I figure the Black Friday sales will be the time to buy one.

    What I don't know is which HDTV to buy. I mean there are 720 sets and 1080 sets. Is one better than the other? Are programs broadcast in one format more than the other?

    This is what I consider a major investment and I don't want to buy something that will be no good in 6 months.

    Any advise? Thanks in advance..
  2. soua0363

    soua0363 Master of Nothing

    You also have to factor LCD vs. plasma vs. DLP.

    I would get a 1080P if you can afford it because that is where the future of TV will go. Right now, you can only get 1080P if you are watching a Blue-Ray DVD or using a PS3. If you have satelite, you may be able to watch some movies in 1080P. The only thing with 1080P is that you have to use an HDMI cable.

    LCD's are great if you are in room with a lot of light. Plasma is alot better if you are in a darker room with minimal light. A plasma TV will give you a picture like its a tube TV but it is also twice the weight of an LCD. For example, my 42" LCD weighs about 40 pounds and a comparable plasma will weigh about 85 pounds. Another thing about plasma is that since it has a glass screen, you will get glares from lights. DLP's are great if you watch a lot of sports or any images that has a lot of fast movement but it is a little thicker in width...generally about 12" now. Basically, it all comes down to where your TV will sit and what you will be watching the most.

    Mine is a LG 42" 1080P LCD and it does great. It is a newer model with a faster response time so I do not get the fluttering that was prominent if the first years of LCD's. Mine sits in my living room with a huge window about 15' away and it does great. No glares and the pictures in HD are great. I have Dish Network and I use an HDMI cable from the box to the TV.

    If you have any more questions, please ask.

  3. soua0363

    soua0363 Master of Nothing

    Oh yeah...right now, most HD signals coming through the air or through you cable or satelite box is either 720P or 1080i.
  4. look at the cheaper brands like olevia,polaroid,vizio. i have owned a 32 inch polaroid hdtv for 2 years now and no problems. walmart has a good selection of tv's i heard on black friday walmart is offering a 55 inch vizio for 1200$ i forget what off brand is made by sony.get the extended warranty on any hd tv you buy.some retailers might throw in a blue ray player with the purchase of a tv
  5. soua0363

    soua0363 Master of Nothing

    I keep forgetting things...another thing to look for is the contrast ratio too. The higher the contrast ratio the better the darker colors will look. If the TV will be place in a room with more lights, the higher contrast ratio will make colors like black more life like and deeper. Cheaper TV's typically have a lower contrast ratio but it does not mean that they are bad TV's...its just that the color differences will not stand out as much. Basically, it all comes down to what you want, like, and willing to spend.

    I bought my LG earlier this year for $1400. It has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Typically plasma's will have a higher contrast ratio versus a LCD or DLP. Plasma typically has a minimum of 10,000:1 ratio and will go up to around 30,000:1.

    Another thing with plasma is the possible burn in effect if you use the TV for gaming or watching shows with a continuous bar on the TV. LCD's are just like your computer LCD screens. They along with DLP have a zero chance of burn in effect.

    If you are looking for the best bang for the buck and you have the space, a DLP will offer you more screen size for the dollar. Plasmas are on the high end of the scale but it will offer you the benefits of your standard tube TV as it is a tube TV in itself.

    Another thought...most people tend to over look a surround sound system when purchasing a HDTV to watch HD shows or movies. HD shows and movies are made to have sounds come out of a surround system. If you do not have one, you will notice that your HD channels will have a lower volume compare to the same channels in standard definition on the same volume level.
  6. Tennessee

    Tennessee Team Stratos

    1080i or p whatever you can afford 1080p is the future though, stay in the middle on pricing not the cheapest or the most expensive, try to get a familiar brand in that middle price range, you can also do a internet search for the top 10 hd t.v.s out right now just go to google and type in the top 10 hd t.v.s and do some research and make a decision it will pay off in the long run.........good luck
  7. I bought a Samsung 5084 last year, off of Amazon. No one could come close to their price and it came with free shipping.It is a 1080p plasma and the picture is amazing. As soua0363 sais contrast ratio is important, the higher the better. Check out, they review all kinds of electronics and can be really helpful.
  8. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    Great start to a timely topic!

    Some more things to bear in mind Chuck.

    - contrast ratio is important, but there is no "universal" formula. According to Consumer Report, the manufacturers use a "variety of ways to measure contrast ratio, and the results aren't comparable."

    - look for a 120 Hz processor in LCD TVs. Its the newest, fastest processor that reduces the blur problem in LCDs when fast motion is being displayed. This used to be a big difference between plasma and LCD.

    - Plasma TVs use more electricity to operate. One CR comparison test showed more than a 50% increase for the same time spent.

    - Samsung leads the way overall according to CR results, but there are a lot of good TVs to choose from.

    - Buy a Dec., 2008 issue of Consumer Reports. Available now. They cover all of this and have ratings for both plasma and LCD TVs in all sizes.
    The article also has a Reliability graph and accompanying sub-article. There is a ton of info in this issue to help you.
  9. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

    stay away from polaroid tv's. they are either extremely poor quality tv's (which i find hard to believe from a name like polaroid even though they arent known for tv's) or they have some major flaws in their design/production. i have replaced the control boxes on so many polaroid lcd tv's that its clear there are issues with the brand. Usually its a massive color issue or just an all out failure, but it still happens on newly bought units all the time. I just did one the other day. I have another scheduled tomorrow. Both are units that are less than 6 months old.

    I have heard pretty good things from people I know who have gone with the brand Olevia.
  10. Not for the living room but I have a In-Focus projector (similar to the powerpoint projectors for your pc only made for movies) in my home theatre in the basement...I'm typically watching about a 140" picutre using either a HD signal from the cable or thru a HD dvd player. Had it 3 yrs no problems. Cost $!000
  11. i will have my polaroid about 3 years in january and no problems yet
  12. thelatrobe33

    thelatrobe33 Ohio Bassman

    One important thing nobody has brought up yet is the cables. DO NOT let anyone at Best Buy, Circuit City, etc sell you Monster Cables. HDMI cables are the biggest rip off on the face of the planet! I bought an LG 42" LCD panel a few months back, and love it! I bought my HDMI cables at Ace Hardware for about 1/4 of the price of Monster Cables and they work great. A good LCD today is about $1000-1100, but they want to get you for another $100+ for cables. Done ranting now!!!:)
  13. Just bite the bullet and got a 50" Panasonic 720p plasma from Sears, sale price of $999. The 1080 was $400-$500 more, and I would have gotten it, but you really can't tell the difference once you get it home and there are not 100 other TV's next to it to compare to. I thought about this TV 10 years down the road and that Blue Ray will eventually be the most popular player in about 3-5 years, but it just wasn't worth the cost to me at the time.

    HDMI cables are absolutely the best thing to use when hooking up 5.1 SS or to a HD box. Do not use component cables, they are a waste of money. Check your local sears store as I got the whole kit (HDTV screen cleaner, power surge block, and 6' HDMI cable) for $9.97!

    NASCAR has just gotten freakin rediculous to watch at home now!
  14. Type: Have kids? plasma is too sensitive. Stick with LCD.

    Brand: Consumer Reports says stick with these brands: Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic.

    Definition: 1080 P if your set is bigger than 30 inches. If smaller, 720 is plenty. The smaller screens don't need as much definition.

    My opinion is Sony. They have always treated me right. I've owned walkmans, discmans, car radios, stereos, CD players, DVD players, cameras, and a 42" LCD. No problems. Wal-Mart carries them now.

    My folk's Polaroid LCD died within 6 months.
  15. I have a 50" 1080P Panasonic plasma, a 42" 720P Panasonic plasma, and a 32" 720P Panasonic LCD. Had a Sony, broke down twice in 6 years. Wouldn't buy a DLP, expensive to repair and break down more often than plasma or LCD. Bought the Panasonic's because of their repair history, contrast ratio, anti-glare technology and I liked their picture.

    To take advantage of HD TV broadcasts, you'll need DirectTV, an antenna to receive broadcasts, or an HD cable converter box. Depending on screen size, there seems to be about a $150-200 difference between a 1080P and a 720P set from the same manufacturer if you buy over the internet, unless you go for more bells and whistles. I bought my sets from Abes of Maine--good prices, great service. free shipping. Don't let them sell you alot of extras (extended warranty, cables, etc), which they push pretty hard.

    As to LCD vs Plasma, it's personal preference and depends alot on the room you're going to put it. LCD costs more than Plasma for similar screen size once you get to 40" or above. Below 40", it's pretty much LCD.
  16. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

    i realize that some people do have polaroid tv's, and if its working well for you then you got lucky and thats awesome. im sure not every one of them breaks down, i just know that i have personally repaired a LOT of them, all being fairly new (1 year or less). they should last longer than that before needing some sort of repair but clearly there is a component quality issue. the tv's themselves seem pretty decent aside from their major component issues but i would stay away from them.
  17. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    Thanks Yanky, that sounds like good advice from a repairman?
    Are there other repair issues you know of?

    Where do you work?
  18. Yanky

    Yanky shakesbeard

    i work for myself as an independant contractor and pick up contracts for all sorts of repairs, but see a lot of polaroid repairs come my way. the solution is always the same, except in one case where the actual screen itself was the problem: i replace the control box. they are easily changed and house most of the important parts of the tv. The power conversion components, incoming signal circuits, etc all run through this control box.

    Like I said before, a lot of what I have seen is either the tv simply being "dead", meaning not turning on, or major color/screen quality issues. I have no idea why the control boxes fail so regularly and why they havent caught on yet and figured out where the problem arose, and fixing it at the production facilities. Every time I do a repair i report the bad control box serial number and revision to polaroid so maybe they will eventually take the necessary steps to eliminate issues like this.

    I have never had any issues with these tv's other than one actual screen dying, and the control box failures.
  19. This is like asking the question FORD or Chevy..........or Dodge.

    Here's my OPINION - take it for what you will. Lots of good advice up top.

    I've got a 52" Vizio Plasma 720 that I bought January 1st 2008 - it's a freakin AWESOME tv! Period. I paid $1,100 for the package deal - including a 5 speaker surround sound with 5 disk dvd/cd/am/fm/mp3 player......

    Answer these questions:

    Do you watch alot of sports or play video games alot (more than 6 hoiurs a day) - if you watch sports get a plasma, if you play video games - then get an lcd.

    Do you have or are you planning on buying a blu-ray or high def dvd player within the next 3 years? If not, get the'll be wasting your money if you get the 1080.

    We love our TV and I hate watching tv on anything else in our house - especially the high def channels! OH - and definately get the HDMI cables too. I got mine (vizio brand) from Wally World for about $28.
  20. I sell HDTVs to pay the bills. Don't waste the money on a 1080p. If your the type of person that wants the biggest and the best go ahead and buy a 1080p. Nobody can say for sure when HD broadcasts will go to 1080p so saying its for the future could be premature as you may upgrade your tv before 1080p comes. Unless your have a PS3 or Blu-ray skip the 1080p

    If you watch sports dont waste the money on a 120Hz LCD thinking it will solve your motion blur. Its not that big of an upgrade from your normal 60Hz and you will still get motion blur. You will also pay a premium price for it. If your worried about it go with a Panasonic plasma that has 480Hz or a DLP(dead technology).

    The glare on a plasma is no more than the glare you would get on a Samsung LCD with the ultra clear screen. I have my Panasonic 50" 720p in a room with a huge bay window and have no glare problems.

    My recommendation as a person who sells tvs and a person who has bought one, I recommend the 50" Panasonic Plasma. The 720p runs about $1000 then 1080P runs about $1500. Panasonics have less than 2% manufacturer defect rate, are able to achieve more colors than LCD, have a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 480Hz screen(4x better than the best LCD), able to process a picture in less than a millisecond( LCD takes 6-8 millisecs). Also the half-life on the gas is supposed to be 21 years as opposed to 8-10 years on an LCD bulb, unless you want to turn it down to half intensity then you lose brightness. Panasonics have the anti-image retention system so you can play video games, etc. The myth of them being fragile is just that, a myth. An LCD can be damaged much easier by a child or pet than a plasma can. I sell lots of panasonic plasma and rarely hear of any problems. Most people come back and tell me how much they enjoy their TV. This is just my opinion based on what I see everyday. If you want an LCD go Samsung or Sony but I would recommend Samsung. Get better contrast ratio and brighter screen.

    Good Luck,