Any comments on the Akai 42" PT4299HD?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Dave Bennett, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Hey all,
    well i went and looked at a new apartment today that i really liked. Assuming nothing falls through, I'll be moving in February 1. The place is much bigger and is thankfully not a studio like my current place, so I'll be buying a projection TV and my trusty 27" Samsung Dynaflat will become my bedroom set.
    Anyhow, my budget isn't huge and I don't necessarily want a giant set, so I'm VERY interested in the Akai 42" 16x9 HD set PT4299HD that's at Circuit City for 999. I've read that it is a rebadged Samsung and, judging from the way the menus looked as I played with it tonight, I'd say that is absolutely the truth. The menus were nearly identical in style to my 27" Sammy.
    Anyhow, anyone have any experience with this set? The screen size and cabinet size are perfect for me. Unfortunately my local CC didn't have a HD or even DVD feed going to the set so I had to judge just by on OTA channel. It looked pretty good, especially when I turned the contrast/brightness/etc to a reasonable level (using of all things the remote to the 52" Akai that was half way down the aisle since they didn't have a remote for the 42" nearby; I must have looked like a moron to bystanders [​IMG] ). I was also looking for a 46" Toshiba but the price difference and difference in cabinet size makes me think it won't be the best suit for me. My one concern is that the Akai doesn't have an HDMI input while the Toshiba does. How important is HDMI now and more importantly, how important will it be in the future?
    I plan on using the set for HD and standard digital cable (via Cox) as well as progressive scan DVD and progressive scan for my XBox and Gamecube. Can anyone give me some feedback? I for one am really looking forward to moving especially when it involves buying a new big TV [​IMG]
     
  2. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    HDMI is important if you plan to upgrade your hardware, such as your DVD player later when HD DVD/Blue Ray comes out within the next 5 years. That being said, I don't think HDMI is a must have because I assume that you can still get HD DVD/Blue Ray from component.

    I don't think any manufacture makes a 42" RPTV anymore except for Akai. Toshiba use to make a 42" set, but that was almost 3 years ago. If you have your heart set on a 42" RPTV, I think Akai is your only bet.

    Check with Costco. They may still have the 42" Akai for less. I know that my brother bought a 47" Akai from Costco and it was under $900, but that was 6 months ago.

    Assuming that you are moving into your new apartment in Feburary, the best time to buy a TV is around the Super Bowl because of sales.

    Its a good time to go shopping for a big screen during the month of the Super Bowl.
     
  3. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    I bought one for my girlfriend this past May.

    The only issue with the set I bought was that it has a slight greenish tint in very dark areas. This looks like a grayscale tracking issue, it does not have an overall green tint otherwise and the colors look to be accurate and vivid. I actually had the original set replaced about 2 weeks after I bought it and the second set had the same issue.

    Aside from the grayscale issue, the set has a very nice picture, which is sharp with a lot of detail. I was pretty impressed with it aside from the grayscale issue.

    I paid $899 + $100 for the stand. I saw one on sale during labor day for $799 I believe. I'd say you could pretty easily expect to get at least a $100 discount, or maybe just ask them to throw in the stand for free. The stand is only about 7 inches tall, but it is needed IMO if you want the set to be up at eye level.

    I've gone back a couple of times to Circuit City lately and walked by this set, never seen the graycale issue on the current sets, so maybe it was just a particular batch that had the issue.

    There was a post a couple of weeks ago about Best Buy having the 46" Toshiba on sale for $999. If you could find the Tosh within a couple of hundred dollars of the Akai then I'd say get it, but the Akai is a good deal otherwise.
     
  4. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Awesome, thanks for the comments guys!
    I'll see what I can find for deals on 46" sets but barring that I think the Akai set will be the one for me. It sounds like HDMI is good to have but not necessarily needed for now and the future so I think I'll be ok.
    As for the picture quality, if the set pushes green, that's not a big deal to me. My current TV has a strong red push so I've adjusted the tint to the green side anyway. My friends all complain about it but I don't notice is being too green.
    One thing that I was interested in and couldn't quite judge, how are the 16x9 zoom/stretch modes? A few of the settings looked pretty good but I was wondering if you guys might be able to comment a bit more.
    Anyhow, like I said, size wise I tink the Akai will be perfect for my new apartment. Plus, it should be easy to move whenever it is that I move out.
    Looks like the Superbowl is 2/6/05 so I'll definitely look around to see what deals I can find around that time period.
    Anyhow, again thanks for the comments. I'm really looking forward to the new place, it's a better apartment and having space for a big TV is a nice bonus [​IMG]
     
  5. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    Just to be clear, the set doesn't have a green push issue. Colors are normal and look good except when you have a very dark area on screen, the dark area has a faint greenish tint.

    You will not be able to adjust this out using the regular menu controls, I've tried. It's my understanding that it's something that would have to be adjusted in the service menu. Again, this may have been just a particular batch of sets, I haven't seen it recently on the sets currently on display at CC.

    Panorama mode is what I use for regular TV, it's a stretch mode that looks pretty good with a 4:3 picture . The manual isn't clear at all on what modes should be used for what type input signal.

    I have a prog. scan DVD player plugged into the DTV component input and the set locks into full/anamorphic mode on that input when it detects a progressive signal. I just plugged it in there temporarily, but haven't watched any non-anamorphic DVDs, and so far I've been too lazy to connect it to the other component input.
     
  6. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    Most likely, the grayscale is off when you get any kind of tint in your picture. You can have a calibrator to correct the grayscale or DIY, if you know what you are doing.
     
  7. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Sears had this set (Samsung version) for $699 after a $100 rebate over Thanksgiving weekend. They may offer a similar deal again sometime soon.
     
  8. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    thanks for the heads up. It looks like the Samsung version is 1099 at sears but I'll keep my eyes on Circuit City for the Akai version and Sears to see if the Samsung branded one come down in price. My guess is with the Superbowl not far off, there's gonna be some type of sale on one of these two sets. I'm also keeping my eyes on prices for some of the 46 and 47" sets but I'm thinking the 42" makes the most sense for me size wise and dollar wise. I've got a bunch of other stuff I need to buy when I move (new bed, new A/V rack, etc) so I think sacrificing some screen size will be fine.
     
  9. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    HHGregg has the Akai version for $791 after rebates right now.
     
  10. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    one more question for you guys. I've been reading about HD CP and some people are saying that if/when it becomes enforced that if you don't have an HDMI or DVI input, you'll have to watch HD signals downconverted to 480p. Is this true? I've found mixed answers in my hunting. If it is, I think I'll look for a set with an HDMI or DVI input.
    thanks for the help.
    Edit-BTW, is HHGreg and online store or a B&M. I've never heard of them before.
     
  11. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    It is highly unlikely that they will abanndant component input, when most of the HT population still use component cables for 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and etc.

    You need to remember that DVI/HDMI just started to come out on sets a few years ago.

    If you want to be future poof as much as possible, I would get a set that at least have DVI output. Most of the manufacture include DVI/HDMI as a standard nowadays.

    I have HDMI on my set, but I still use component to get my signal into the set. I have no plans to upgrade all of my hardware to just to use HDMI, especially on a RPTV.

    I really don't see the cable providers going strictly to DVI/HDMI input to deliver content. That would be a nightmare because most of us still uses component cables.

    For the money and size, you can't beat Akai. You might regret not having HDMI/DVI later in the future, when HD DVD comes out. But, even then I don't see the industry totally abandaning component inputs.

    Look around some more. I would look at other brands like Panasonic, Toshiba and see if you can find a deal.

    You may think a 42" Akai is the right size for you, but once you get it home, you may be kicking yourself that you should had gone bigger, like a 46" or 47".

    Those extra inches really makes a difference.
     
  12. andrew lewis

    andrew lewis Agent

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    I know there are better tv's out there, but for the price and size...it's still a widescreen HD ready projection tv for a steal of a price.

    You may want to get a screen protector and an extra warranty on it too.
     
  13. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    If the tv does not comes with a screen protector/anti glare screen, don't bother in getting one. If you see yourself bumping into the screen, or have a cat that will dig into the screen, or have little children that will bang on your screen, get the screen protector. Otherwise, it makes no sense to get a screen protector because you will get a better picture without it.

    Most sets comes with a screen protector anyway, which many of us remove it because it becomes a huge mirror when trying to watch anything.

    So, you may not have any options, unless you decide to remove the screen protector when you get it home.

    As for the warranty, you should consider into the cost of the tv. If you can't afford to get the extended warranty plan, I would make sure with the store that Akai comes with an one year warranty and ask the store if you can purchase the extended warranty at a later time.

    Don't quote me on this, but Akai might only come with a 90 day warranty.

    You should double check before you buy.
     
  14. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    thanks for the input guys. I was planning on verifying that there is atleast a year warranty. As for size, I can't really estimate size until I get all moved into my new place. I've only seen my apartment once and it was setup very differently than I would (plus the person currently living there didn't have much of a HT setup) so it was hard to judge size. One I move in and can get measurements I think I'll know what I can fit. Money is somewhat tight though so I think unless I could find a really good deal on a 46" or 47" the 42" will be the way to go (plus, compared to my 27" 4:3 this will seem huge). I see that the Akai i only 899 this week. Hopefully a sale will come about when I'm all moved in (probably the last weekend in January or the first weekend in Feb)
    One last question. I see the mention of HD-DVD. From what I understand this will work best via HDMI/DVI but will i still get HD resolutions via my Compoment inputs if/when I move to HD-DVD/BluRay? I'm willing to not have the absolute best picture when HD-DVD comes along but I want to atleast get picture close what what HDTV looks like on the set,
     
  15. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    went over to the local Bernies just to see what they had and much to my suprise they had the Samsung equivalnet of the Akai set for 1055. I was also pumped to see they had a Hi Def feed on the set. Overall it looked good, though the 46" Toshiba in the corner next to it looked crisper to me.though the toshiba may have been in torch mode while the Samsung was not, as I'd already been fiddling with it. Overall I liked it. After seeing it side by side with the Toshiba, I think the smaller size of the Akai/Samsung is a huge advantage. the 46" sets just seemed like they'd be a bear to move compared to the Akai/Sammy which is a big factor for me as an apartment dweller. I could easily see this set moving into my bedroom/den someday when I move to a house or something along those lines. On top of it, despite my mentioning that I was just looking and wasn't ready to buy until I moved, the salesman asked if there was anything he could do to make me change my mind (he even mentioned whether or no the price was what was making me wait as well as free layaway but i simply reiterated that I hadn't quite decided yet). The Akai does in fact only have a 3 month labor/12 month parts warranty while the Sammy has 12/12. So what I'm thinking I'll do is try to see if someone at Bernie's (perhaps the same salesman) is willing to go down a bit in price to make it more appealing. If not, I'll probably just try to get the Akai set from CC and see if I can either get it on sale or see if I can get the stand thrown in for free or something. I'd also probably get some sort of warranty to at the very least bring the labor up to 12 months.
    Anyhow, while I've not totally decided, after seeing a HDTV feed on the set and seeing it compared to the larger models, I think I'm all but sold on the 42" Samsung/Akai.
     
  16. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    I was hoping that someone else would had replied to your question, but I guess that I have to [​IMG].

    Most likely you will still can use component video to get HD from a Blue Ray/HD DVD box. The technology is still years away. I can't assume that they will have both component/HDMI/DVI input, because I have yet to see the players in public or any official press releases. I have seen those players at trade shows, but those were test boxes and I wasn't paying attention with the inputs.

    Plus, the first generation of anything are always expensive and buggy. Second generations are always the best and after that we get new functions that we can do without.

    My advice to you, don't worry. This will not be your one and only last tv. Whichever tv that you choose to buy may last you way over a decade, or only for a few years.

    There are some people that keep their cars in mint condition and there are some people that drive it to the ground, but most of us take care of the car and enjoy the drive.

    It's the same for a TV. If you calibrate it using a setup disc like Avia and watch your habits, you will get the most bang for the buck, assuming that nothing will break.

    As for technology for the future, we will all need to upgrade some day.

    If you are worrying about the future, you might be better off just using the 27".

    Its just a box that shows moving pictures [​IMG].
     
  17. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    yeah i'm not super concerned with future technologies, but if it's something that could be right around the corner then I'd let it sway me. If these things are years off then I'll not let them weigh in on my decision.
     
  18. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Well I went out today and purchased a set! I ended up with the Samsung of the set version as it was on sale at Bernie's for 978 (they were running a 12% off everything in the store sale). For that price, it was too good to pass up. Since I won't be moving for about another month, I took advantage of their layaway policy and only had to put 10 percent down. Total with tax and delivery was 1101; pretty good I think.
    Ultimately, I'm glad I opted for the Samsung version as it has the 1 year parts and 1 year labor warranty while the Akai only has 90 days labor. Plus, subjectively I think the cabinet looks a little nicer than the Akai.
    Now all I need to do is find a nice stand and start counting down the days.
    Thanks for all the comments folks, I feel very good about my choice now.
     
  19. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    Check somewhere like Ikea. They have all kinds of stands/tables for A/V.
     
  20. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    It's funny you mention Ikea because I was just going to ask anyone that actually owns the set if they could verify measurements for me.
    I'm eyeing this stand at Ikea.
    http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/store...ts=10104*10174
    The dimensions appear to fit but I was just looking to make sure that the back of the set isn't some odd shape that wouldn't fit on this well.
    If I do decide to get this, that will finally be my excuse for heading down to New Haven and seeing what all the fuss with Ikea is about [​IMG]
     

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