Best HDTV in the $900 Price range

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Carlos^Gon, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Carlos^Gon

    Carlos^Gon Auditioning

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    My dad has about $900 and wants to get a new tv. There is a 6th ave, pc richards, best buy, and circuit city close to us btw if that helps.
     
  2. Carlos^Gon

    Carlos^Gon Auditioning

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    Anyone?
     
  3. MikeTC

    MikeTC Stunt Coordinator

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    Carlos,

    Would you be able to help me if I told you I have $10K and need a new car? I have a Ford, Honda and MB nearby. You need to give us more info than just HDTV.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Carlos, do you have a cable service that provides HD? All of the sub-$1,000 TVs of which I’m aware will need an external HD tuner in order to get HD, unless you can get HD from cable. Even then most HD cable services don’t provide local HD channels, but some do.

    The reason for asking is that an external HD tuner will cost $400–$600, meaning that your set cost will increase by 505–67% in order to get HD.

    Samsung has a 27”, 4:3 model in your price range and a 30, 16:9 model that is pretty close.
     
  5. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    This is the route I went, but fp is not for everyone (but it should be).
     
  6. Wil Lee

    Wil Lee Extra

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  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I can’t remember the exact model number, but they are sold at most of the places like Best Buy and Circuit City.

    I think that the 16:9 model is a TXN3098, or 3097 or some such—this is a couple of hundred over your budget, but you might get a deal. There is a bare bones model, priced under $1,000—TXN3075 or 3071.

    The 27”, 4:3 is TXN2798 at about $900—other models with fewer features may cost less.
     
  8. Wil Lee

    Wil Lee Extra

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    Thanks! I've been looking at the Samsung TXN3075. I know you said it was bare bones, but what do you think of it?

    I've also been looking at the Philips 30PW850H. Do you know anything about this model?

    Between the Samsung and the Philips, which would you choose?
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Sorry Will, I can’t help with a comparison, as I’ve never look at the Phillips critically.

    Don’t be put off by my bare bones description of the Samsung. It will do a very fine job for most purposes. I have never looked at that model with an eye to compare it to the slightly more expensive models. If I were you, I’d make the comparison and if you are happy with the less expensive model—go for it. The same with the Phillips, decide what you like best.

    One piece of advice, which you probably already know—try to have the settings for the models turned down to something that you would likely use in your home. The very high color and contrast settings in show room displays don’t really give that good an indication of what to expect.

    My only negative on the Samsung is that the only S-Video input is on the side of the set. This may not be important to you.
     
  10. Carlos^Gon

    Carlos^Gon Auditioning

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    Yeah i have io digital cable and it offers high definition, i just hope it doesn't cost $600 or whatever.
     
  11. Wil Lee

    Wil Lee Extra

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    Lew, you also mentioned the Samsung TXM3098, do you know anything about it?
     
  12. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'd seriously consider a projector like the Infocus X1 that's now in that price range and can be bought at BestBuy as well as online. Do a search on X1 here and in google and you'll find tons of info on it.
     
  13. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  14. Wil Lee

    Wil Lee Extra

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    Thanks Lew! Your comments were very helpful. Over the weekend I was able to find the set being sold online for 800. I went to CC and BB but could not find the set, however, they had the 3075 or 3071 (can't remember). The widescreen seemed to stretch all the pictures. Does that just need adjusting of the set to rectify or will all pictures on the widescreen do that?

    Ideally, I'd like a 16:9 HDTV-ready (will eventually get a tuner) below 1000 for a small viewing area. Besides the 3098, do you have any other recommendations, given these preferences (willing to be flexible on them)?
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Will, that Samsung’s default is to come up in a stretch (full) mode, that is what you would use with 16:9 DVDs (it expands everything equally). There is also a ‘panorama’ mode that streatchs a bit and crops a bit and does not distort the center quite so much and two zoom modes (they crop and are useful for letterboxed SD presentations and non-16:9 encoded, but still widescreen DVDs). Finally you get to a 4:3 mode with sidebars, which is good for regular 4:3 TV that you don’t want to stretch (movies, and for me, non-talking head TV).

    This is all controlled by a ‘P Size’ button on the remote. Pressing it cycles through the above.

    Both Toshiba and Panasonic make 30”, widescreen displays, but they are both more expensive than the Samsung.

    Good luck.
     

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