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TV choices narrowed down. Please advise.


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   BrianTwig

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Posted August 15 2006 - 02:24 AM

OK, I am tech challenged and tight budgeted. But I want a new TV. To my advantage, I am in no rush but would like to do it in the next few months. Preferably before Christmas. My requirements. 50", 52", 55" or 56". WAF will not allow for larger than 56". NO DLP and NO LCD and NO Front Projectors. They just don't do it for me and I have always found "off angle" viewing as I call it to be far less than acceptable. And I just have no way of using a front projector in the room. Budget is $2,500 but I can scrap up a few more dollars if I can justify it to myself and the wife. What I don't need: I do not need to wall mount the TV. I have a large "TV stand" holding all of my audio gear, satelitte box, DVD, and VCR. TV can go on that. The vast bulk of my TV viewing will be SD broadcasts through my Dish Network service. Not a huge movie watcher, but with the new sound system (Marantz SR5600, Marantz CC4300, NHT IW3s for my L,R,C,SR,SL, and SVS PB12-NSD/2) I have up my movie viewing quite a bit. I couldn't even tell you what my DVD player is, but its old and nothing special. I have no plans on buying an HD-DVD player or Blu-Ray. But do need to get an newer technology DVD player. Maybe the OPPO OPDV971H or DV-970HD. I have heard good things about them, but honestly don't know exactly what all the technical jargon is, which I should get (if either), or another player. I will be sitting (estimating here) 10' to 12' feet from the screen. There is a lot of "off angle" viewing from other parts of the room and the adjoining kitchen. So here are the products I am considering. Would appreciate pros/cons, do's/don'ts, etc... Sony KDS-55A2000 (55" SXRD/LCoS) 1080p and the 50" version KDS-50A2000. JVC HD527BP7 (52" HD-ILA/LCoS) 720p and the 56" version HD567BP7. Maybe step up to their new 1080p versions. Maxent Plasma 5020HPM 50" HDTV Monitor w/dual HDMI (honestly, don't even know what that is or why I would want it) Vizio 50" plasma P50HDTV10A from Sam's Club. Sam's Club also has the JVC HD-ILA HD56G647 at a good price ($2,200). What is the real difference between the 56" JVC HD-ILA found at Sam's and the one found at places like Best Buy, Circut City, etc...? That is pretty much what I have narrowed my consideration down to. Do I need 1080p? Why or why not? Also, the TV will have 3 large windows directly across from it that are aligned perfectly with the setting sun so the 2nd half of the day and until the sun is down there is sunlight coming in even though there are blinds on the windows. May have to work out a removeable system to block the sun when I need it blocked for whatever reason. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. And if something is not on the list that I should add to the mix let me know. Thanks! On Edit: I have a membership in both Sam's and BJ's if that makes a difference. And my one concern with the LCoS TVs is bulb life. Don't need to be spending several hundred dollars a year on new bulbs. TV gets heavy viewing.
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 15 2006 - 05:39 AM

I have the 720p version of the HD-ILA, picked up at Best Buy last year. Love it. I mostly watch SD DVD, a bit of SD TV programming and lots of HD network stuff (which is mostly broadcast at 720p or 1080i anyway.) Won't even think about any hi-def DVD format for at least five years, until the format war is over and prices are coming way down. Also have a big SD DVD collection that I'm in on hurry to replace and which looks damned good on my current system. The off-angle performance is good. That doesn't come up very often since I rarely have more people over watching a movie than will fit on my couch, but I often watch from all angles while moving between livingroom, kitchen and dining room, and have never noticed a problem, certainly nothing like my two LCD TVs.)

The image is always very bright and clear.

The lack of a reflective "shield" on the screen means that sun is less of a problem. (I have glass doors facing northwest that are covered, but not completely darkened by vertical blinds, and two light wells in the ceiling with no covering at all. On the birghtest days the screen will be somewhat washed out from the overhead sunlight, but still watchable for football and baseball games.)

I've heard about problems with LCoS (and DLP and LCD RP) bulb life, but my understanding is that this was largely a problem with earlier models. I've only had my TV since last November so I can't speak from experience. Bulb life is estimate in thousands of hours. I've seen estimates for LCoS sets anywhere from a low of 6,000 to a high of 20,000. (The newer - and more expensive - LED light engines are supposed to come in around 60,000. I don't know if my set can be retrofit to take one of those, but I'm sure going to try to find out when they become more common.) Based on my average viewing, my bulb should last me about 3 or 4 years at the low-end of the guesstimates. If 3 or 4 years from now I have to pop for a $200 bulb that will make my set look as bright and beautiful as the day I got it - which is something no plasma set will ever do once it starts fading - I'm OK with that.

In 5 years time this set may well be moved into my home office and replaced with something else, anyway. But for the money it was the prefect "transitional" set to meet my needs at the time and to finally replace my aging 16:9 Tosibha SD RPTV. (Which I could no longer stand watching after having my first HD LCD flat panel running next to it for a month. Posted Image)

Regards,

Joe

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   BrianTwig

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Posted August 15 2006 - 07:00 AM

Thanks Joe. I have been leaning heavily toward the 56" JVC HD-ILA. Its a lot cheaper than the Sony SXRD. Do you (or anyone else) know what the difference, if any, is between the HD-ILA sets at Best Buy, Circut City, etc... and the ones at Sam's? I wouldn't think they would make two different sets. One for the general market and one for Sam's. But with the price concessions that Wal-Mart/Sam's puts on suppliers and the volume they deal in, maybe it is a different set. Thanks!
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 15 2006 - 08:32 AM

I'm not sure either. Maybe they just keep track of the units by different numbers, or maybe it is like the world of mattresses, where stores apply their own variant model numbers to make apples to apples comparison harder. On their website and in the holiday sales circular, my JVC was also identified as a HD567BP7, but the manual that came with it covers 4 different models - 2 52" and 2 56" models - none of which uses that number. (And I have no idea what differences exist between those, either.) The 56" are the 56G786 and the 56G886. If forget which is actually on my TV. (I registered the product using the serial number and card provided, so didn't go crawling around behind it once it was in the entertainment unit.)

When I bought my set the JVC 1080s were just coming out and no local store carried them. Sony had 2 XRD 1080 models, at 50" and a 60" - one smaller, one bigger than what I wanted (I was replacing a 56" and found that screen size ideal for my condo) and the smaller of the two was about $1000 more than my JVC 720p. It looked good, but not that good. In fact, I bought a 32" LCD with the difference. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted August 15 2006 - 11:12 AM

You'll definitely want an HD source of some sort. I have an Oppo 971H, and the difference between broadcast hdtv and upconverted dvds is striking (even on my rather small 27 inch screen.)

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   BrianTwig

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Posted August 16 2006 - 12:37 AM

Jeremy, I suspect that I would want an HD source and would upgrade my Dish Network box to an HD one. But that would likely be it. Are the Oppo's HD? I definitly need a new DVD player, but I am not going to spend the crazy money that Blu Ray and some other HD DVD players cost. $200 is about the max I would spend on a DVD Player.
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted August 16 2006 - 07:16 AM

The Oppos upsample and deinterlace 480i DVDs to 480p, 720p or 1080i.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   BrianTwig

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Posted August 16 2006 - 08:16 AM

Jeremy, I have no idea what that means. And don't try to explain it to me. My ignorance will only cause you great pain. My method of research and purchase is "will this do this? Yes? I'll take it." Or "Hey, I have $X for a DVD. Here is the TV I have and the audio gear. What should I purchase?" And I just know my piece of crap DVD player (I think its a Go Video dual VHS/DVD) is not what I want running to the new TV. And my other DVD players are Apex for like $30! But hey, they work and do what I need them to do on my current sets. But a new and quality one will be needed with the new set. Like I stated above, I don't watch a lot of movies, and in addition, my whole system was pretty much constructed for music and to overcome WAF on some components. I had to go with inwalls vs. towers to keep she who must be obeyed happy. But I did win the sub battle and got the SVS PB12-NSD/2. Her comment upon seeing it, "I am not happy." I was! But with the killer audio setup I am watching more movies and with a new display soon, will watch even more. Who knows, I might become a movie fan! Wife got me LOTR ROTK today for our anniversary since we have the first two and I watch them a lot for the LFE. But I am playing poker tonight (on our anniversary!) and will have to watch it tomorrow.
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 16 2006 - 09:09 AM

The big question is which does a better job of scaling video - your DVD player or your display? I find I get the best results by letting my JVC handle that work, so the whole question of "upconverting DVD players" is really moot as far as I'm concerned. Again, by the time I'm ready for a new DVD player, I'll also be ready for a new 1080p TV - which in 5 to 7 years may use some technology we're barely aware of now. And a Blu Ray or HD-DVD player will be $80. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted August 16 2006 - 10:48 AM


Almost reflexively, /me takes up the challenge.

Let us presume that you have bought a 1080p display. The actual screen is made up of millions of discrete elements (leds, micromirrors, plasma cells). In a 1080p display, they're arranged 1920 elements across, 1080 elements down.

The first problem with DVDs is that they're designed for interlaced displays-- the odd lines are shown, and then the even, flickering all through the movie. Progressive displays are capable of showing both odd and even lines at the same time. But unless this is done correctly, artifacts will mar the resulting image. The most common artifact is "combing."

The other problem is scaling. DVD frames have fewer pixels than HD. On a LCD set, they must be scaled so that the 480 vertical pixels somehow become 1080 (225% enlargement), and the 720 horizontal pixels become 1920. (266% enlargement). The math, while not intractable, is implemented poorly in some sets, and well in others. Some scaling algorithms are better at giving the illusion of a sharper, more detailed picture.

But that's all it is-- an illusion. If a DVD doesn't have the resolution to show Amy Wong's obscene tattoo, too bad.

#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted August 16 2006 - 10:59 AM

Which is another reason why a 720p display might make more sense if you're going to be watching some broadcast and cable HD, which is compressed and often sent at either 1080i (at best) or 720p in the first place, and a lot of SD DVD. There is less room for error, and hence for mischief and mistakes, if you're only scaling up by a smaller amount. And you save money. Not a bad deal. What I have now is infinitely better than what I had before, all my current software looks better than it ever has, and my system looks 100 times better than any others I'm regularly exposed to. (Except my nephew's new Samsung DLP, which is almost as good as my LCoS) So unless somebody plops a 1080p set and a hi-def player next to my stuff in my living room I really don't think I'm going to feel terribly deprived for the next few years while I'm enjoying hundreds of films and saving up for the next big thing several years down the road. Regards, Joe

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   BrianTwig

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Posted August 21 2006 - 06:07 AM

Joe, I have never liked DLP sets for some reason. They just didn't do it for me and the off angle viewing was always poor. I just reread your post and saw the bit about your nephews Samsung DLP. The Samsung 56" DLP really caught my over the weekend and thus has thrown another wrench into my decision making process. So I went to Best Buy during lunch just to gander at the sets. And they had a 65" Mitsubishi DLP for $3,200 which is above budget and above my size, but it may have been the best picture I have ever seen. But then again, it was running its own programing and not what all the other TVs where showing. So they likely had it hooked up to an optimum source and playing optimum material. This is just too damn confusing. I finally decided to measure my seating distances. With an RPTV I will be 13-14 feet from the screen. With a wall mount plasma I will be 15-16 feet. I worry that a 50" may be "just" big enough at that distance so the 56" HD-ILA or DLP will be the one to go with. Would like th 61" but WAF may prevent that. I wish picking a new TV was easier. I get more and more confused every day.
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted August 21 2006 - 06:42 AM

after entering some values into this calculator the phrase "front projection" comes to mind.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   BrianTwig

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Posted August 21 2006 - 06:47 AM

That thing is telling me I need a 100" TV! I find that hard to beleive and isn't going to happen. Plus the way the room is set up, a front projector just isn't an option.
My budget system constrained by WAF

JVC HD-ILA HD-52G787
Panasonic DVD-S52K
Marantz SR5600Marantz CC4300NHT IW3s all aroundPureAV PF60SVS PB12-NSD/2

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted August 21 2006 - 09:37 AM

A pity-- 100" is quite doable with front projection, but cost prohibitive with any other technology. I've always liked HDTV-- it avoided flicker, "never the same color", atsc made ota reception nicer than cable, and it had 5.1 sound. So I had an HDTV tuner hooked up to a series of relatively small computer monitors (one of them being a 16:9 screen). My viewing angle was tiny-- and I mean tiny-- well into 480i optimum, though I viewed things at 720p. I purchased an oppo because it was simultaneously cool enough to have a unencrypted DVI out and stellar image quality. When that tuner died, I replaced it with a 16:9 27 inch ATSC set. I'm glad I did, because it made viewing a movie that much more involving. Is it the optimal size? No, not at all. The optimal size would probably be 37--40 inches-- way beyond my budget. And I'm fine with that. The question you should ask yourself is:
Perhaps you should attempt (in the stores) to view these televisions from 13--15 feet away. One TV may have a demonstrably more impressive image from a few feet away, but from 15 feet away, the image quality improvements might not be worth spending the extra cash. Either that, or attempt to persuade your wife to rearrange the living room...




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