Advice on the best looking RPTV/LCD/PLASMA running standard cable.

Discussion in 'Displays' started by RickLe, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. RickLe

    RickLe Stunt Coordinator

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    I sure hope this thread hasn't been beat to death but I'm looking for a bigger image. I need something that looks good with standard cable (wife issue). I'm totally a DVD freak and a downgraded cable look wouldn't bother me but the thought of it sends the wife into a frenzy, or maybe that's a tizzy.

    Dollar wise I'd spend up to $3k but less would be better. I see some Panny RPTV's that look pretty cheap in price. OneCall has some good deals and their store is close to where I live. So that's enticing but once again, I live in the boonies and the few places I can actually view sets don't have squat. So I'm turning to my city brothers to help me out, again.

    Something under 50", 42 would be prime(wife issue, even going over 36" has her freaked out). DLP, LCD, PLASMA, heck I don't care, I just want a great pic for my dvd's, and HD when it shows up. I just need to appease the frau for a few years until that arrives. Any advice, and set info would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MikewL

    MikewL Extra

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    My advice is to check out the posts on this and AVSFORUM over the past month or so. Generally, the most talked about TV's are the best ones out there. Personally, I went with the 61" Sammy DLP, but it's going back once a 60" Hitachi LCD comes in - rainbows on the DLP. The key thing is making an informed decision (by reading up), and protecting yourself by purchasing from a good retailer with an easy return/exchange policy (CC for me)

    As for SD TV looking good, remember, SD TV was designed about 50 yrs ago and was NEVER meant to be shown on 40+ inch screens. Just take a look at a SD projection TV made just a year ago, and you'll agree that SD looks great on any of the top HDTV's out there today - the up-conversion really does a good job. Don't get me wrong, it's night and day different from true HD. But comparing SD to HD is NOT a valid test of a TV.

    Sorry for the rant, but there are a lot of people who rag on SD on these forums, but their expectations are just too high!
     
  3. videobruce

    videobruce Stunt Coordinator

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    But, don't you agree SD should look at least as good on a HD set as it does on a SD set?

    This isn't the case as far as I have seen so far. SD on a HD set looks terrible compared to a SD set (NOT compared to HD).
     
  4. MikewL

    MikewL Extra

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    Yes, I agree, but I haven't witnessed that. Are you comparing screens of the same size? Lots of people have really ragged on the Samsung DLP's with SD sources, but I've been quite happy with mine (61"). I have a close friend with a 55" SD, and mine just totally blows his away on an SD source.

    Yes, you could describe the picture as soft or slightly blurry compared to HD. But when compared to an SD set, I think mine is detailed and shows fewer artifacts.

    Maybe I've been lucky with mine. I'm using TW cable with their bottom-of-the-line Scientific Atlanta 3100HD box.

    ...Mike.
     
  5. Rich H

    Rich H Second Unit

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    RickLe,

    And the answer is...

    The TH-42PWD6UY plasma.

    You can find it at under $3,000 from some very reputable on-line dealers, such as:

    http://www.plasmaextreme.us/42pwd6uy.htm

    I own this model (and have done many, many comparisons between most of the plasmas out there, and the other technologies you mention).

    My reasons for suggesting it are:

    1. It has better black levels than DLP/LCD, making for a picture that holds up when the lights go down for watching movies. I don't know about you, but I like to watch movies with the lights down, to be immersed in the experience Theater-style. The the not-very-deep black levels of DLP and LCD become too obvious for me to ignore (washing out and flattening any images that should look dark) in dimmer light levels. Whereas the Panasonic plasma does the opposite: it becomes even *more* detailed and dimensional looking when the lights go down.

    2. I found the Panasonic plasma had one of the very best DVD images I'd seen, in terms of it's smoothness, clarity, lack of artifacts and naturalism. It's DVD image is truly mouthwatering, and the subject of many raves over at the avsforum.

    3. The Panasonic plasma is one of the most "forgiving" large, wide screen displays out there, in regards to watching cable channels. I have not seen a better NSTC image on any 16:9 display of any size. I kid thee not. Too many people let larger displays off the hook by figuring "well, this must look bad because it's showing me how crappy my cable channels really look." In fact most large, wide-screen displays are ADDING to the crappiness of the cable/sat signal by doing a poor job of re-scaling the image - adding re-scaling artifacts on top of NTSC noise makes for a worse picture than NTSC is capable of. The Panasonic plasma enlarges cable/sat signals much more competently than many other such displays. This is because it's internal scaler is so good: It doesn't have that "digitized" look that the majority of other displays have when trying to upconvert or stretch NTSC sources. Therefore, with this plasma image quality tends to be all about your source quality, not the display crapping it up. You will see more variation between channels - some being softer and noisier than others, and compression on digital channels will become more obvious. But none of this is thrown in your face. On OK signal will look OK. A good signal will look good. A great cable signal - a good feed without too much noise - will look AMAZING. Many of my cable channels look sharper, richer, more detailed, more realistic and dimensional than I've seen on any other display. Period. (And I was coming from a 27" Panasonic Tau CRT analog TV, which had all the advantage of being perfectly suited to cable/sat, while it's size could hide the flaws for a subjectively sharp image. Watching TV on the plasma just blows away the tube set).

    4. It does Hi-Def signals superbly. I've suggested the Panasonic ED (extended definition) plasma instead of the HD model, due to your price constraints. However, the Panasonic ED model reproduces Hi-Def signals with such clarity and richness you won't feel like you are missing out on the Hi-Def experience. At a typical viewing distance of say, 8 feet, many people cannot tell the difference between Hi-Def being displayed on the more expensive HD model and the ED model.

    5. Hey, it's plasma. The coolest looking technology out there. My wife hated the presence of a TV in a room. Her idea of a TV is a 12" tube set, placed in the corner, hidden by a potted plant. Yet, once the plasma was set up it looked so sleek and clean she was thrilled. It actually added to the decor, rather than detracted.

    There you go. One guy's opinion. And the DLPs or lcds could also be what you are looking for, so I'll let others chime in on those. There are other plasmas that are excellent as well, but for your budget there is none better than the Panasonic 6UY ED model.

    Cheers,

    Rich H.
     
  6. RickLe

    RickLe Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input guys, I've been doing alot of reading and in some places I heard the plasmas have a short life span. Is there any truth to that?

    Anyone ever look at the Sony Wega 42" LCD RPTV?

    I'm going on a Best Buy/Circuit City trip in a couple of weeks to bigger cities to check out somes sets so hopefully I'll be able to get a look at something.
     
  7. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Rick - I'm starting a quest as well. At under $3K, there isn't much to choose from besides the bix box CRT RPTV's. At around $3K and a bit above, it seems to me there are five or so that I know of (HDTV only). I want a tabletop.

    All the ones I am considering are 50" so I'm not sure if a 42 in model is available for all of them.

    - Samsung DLP sets
    - Sony Grand Wega III LCD RPTV
    - Hitachi 50V500 LCD RPTV
    - Panasonic PT-50LC13 LCD RPTV
    - Philips Cineos series (LCoS RPTV)

    It appears on my first go around that the LCD RPTV's are priced around $3K for 50". The DLP and LCoS sets are upward a bit. Looks like LCD is leading the way on price at the moment. Hopefully, it will put downward pressure on pricing across the board. Consumers like me will see little difference between models and will lean toward the cheaper (as if $3K is cheap [​IMG]) so they must know they will lose sales if the premium is kept on DLP and LCoS.

    For me, the new Sony and Panasonic were added to list since they rid themselves of the goofy bases they had on the previous models. Hitachi is a new player in this line. CC has Hitatchi, Sony, and Panasonic. Best Buy has the Samsung. Tweeter is the only place I've seen the Philips.

     
  8. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Oh, RCA Scenium and the Zenith DLP should be added to the list but I've never seen them in any store...
     
  9. CarmineMW

    CarmineMW Auditioning

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    Please make sure you read my post on the 50v500 if you are trying to use it with standard sattelite signals. It will open your eyes...literally. It's a great tv if you are going solely HD, but be aware of the pitfalls for SD...Carminemw
     
  10. CarmineMW

    CarmineMW Auditioning

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    Please make sure you read my post on the 50v500 if you are trying to use it with standard sattelite signals. It will open your eyes...literally. It's a great tv if you are going solely HD, but be aware of the pitfalls for SD...Carminemw

    My post: search for 50v500

    50V500 Owners Should Know This
     
  11. videobruce

    videobruce Stunt Coordinator

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    CarmineMW; you should provide the link for us!
    It is a interesting post............
     
  12. John Geelan

    John Geelan Screenwriter

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    The new Sony 42" Grand Wega III HDTV looks great on SD signals.
     

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