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Are High-End Monitors Still Worth It?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JohnRice, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I'm a lot more into the audio end of HT than video, so I just don't know as much about displays, though I've been doing a lot of research the last several months. Still, there's nothing like first hand experience in your own home. Last week I upgraded my livingroom system with a Vizio 55" M Series, which was $480 on sale. I can't help remembering that seven years ago I spent $420 on a bottom-of-the-line 40" HD Samsung, for comparison, which had been in that room until last summer. This Vizio not only puts that Samsung to shame, it completely blows away the Plasma in my main HT. I mean, there is no comparison, in any way. The Vizio soundly beats it in every... single... way, including black level.

    Considering that so many people here seem to be only getting about 6-8 years of life from displays, and the incredible performance of this M Series, are high-end monitors even worth it anymore, for most people? My main HT has one significant advantage over the livingroom, since it's completely light controlled. So it never has to compete with daylight. The white levels on the M Series are so high, I'm not sure it would make sense to even move up to a P Series. I'm planning on replacing the plasma in my main HT this year, and figured I'd be spending $1.5K on a 55" OLED, but now I'm thinking I'll get a 65" M Series instead, which I can probably get on sale for $650, or even less on closeout when the new models come out. Then in six or seven years, I can replace it with something even better, if it dies.

    I'm simply amazed with this Vizio. Plus, it has some very advanced picture controls. There's no broadcast TV guide, which is a big disappointment, since I use antennas for TV, but I can work with that since broadcast TV isn't a big deal for me.
     
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  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I have owned a 70-inch Vizio M-Series 4K display for about three years now, and I am still extremely happy with the display. Once properly calibrated (found ISF advanced calibration settings for SDR, HDR10 and Dolby Vision online), the image quality reached an amazing level. Vizio's support has been great, too. They even sent me a free remote control with some additional buttons after a firmware upgrade to add functionality.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy another M-Series in the future. I am sure OLED sets are quite nice, but I couldn't justify the money for one when I bought my current set, and I still can't. I would rather have a larger LED set for less money.
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Thanks Scott. Of course, my point wasn't about if something more expensive is better. No doubt OLED is better. My point is what you're commenting about. Are they really worth it anymore? I refused to consider anything other than OLED for a new display in my HT, but now, I really think it's going to be a 65" M Series, unless a great closeout on the P Series comes along when the new models come out.
     
  4. Message #4 of 11 Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think the disparity between top of the line sets and everything else has shrunken dramatically in recent years.

    I also think that as electronics companies have come to see TV and video standards as worth updating more frequently so that we replace TVs more often than we once did, that for many people, it’s no longer a great strategy to save all you can towards a TV with the goal of spending a lot of money once and being set for ten years or longer.

    LG makes a fantastic OLED. I’ve seen properly calibrated sets in action and they are beautiful. They cost about $3000. I have the TCL Series 6 (their top of the line model) which is an LCD/LED monitor. It costs $500. I feel like my TCL gives me about 95% of what the LG OLED offers. So the question for me was, was a five percent improvement worth paying six times more? And I couldn’t find a way to justify that given my budget realities.

    Saving $2500 is pretty significant. And no judgment for anyone in a position where that’s not a factor. But for me, not spending my entire hobby budget on one thing allows me to be able to afford a projector and the associates maintenance costs, to be able to add a new component to my setup when necessary, allows me to be able to make an impulse buy on a disc or digital content and subscribe to services that offer new content of interest to me, lets me enjoy other hobbies, and leaves money in the rainy day fund in case anything needs repair or replacement.
     
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  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    @JohnRice I hear you! My living room has a decade old 50” Kuro that cost about $2200 on clearance (~$3500 MSRP). I’m replacing it with a 65” set for ~$1500 this Summer. And when I’m on top of the purchase I’ll have to stare hard at whether to get the $1700 top quality Sony LCD or the $1200 Vizio PQ or maybe “just” a TV 6-series for $750.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    But contra that: No, I’m not watching for sales on $3000+ OLED for the living room — that’s now secondary viewing.

    Instead, I'm agonizing over whether to spend mid-budget or high-budget for a 4k projector.


    It seems like for direct view, the choices are easier. Or maybe, as hard as ever, but cheaper regardless. Or, maybe, you know that you’re getting a good set no matter what, for anything $500+. This wasn’t the case a few years ago.

    It seems like with AVRs the last several years: they’re all good. It’s just a question of budget and how much you care about ekeing out absolute performance.
     
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  7. Message #7 of 11 Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    Dave, at the moment I'm leaning toward a 65" P Series, which should be $1K on sale, or maybe less if I get a closeout when the new models come out. I was looking at the PQ, but what I saw was $1,300, which is getting me back toward what a 55" OLED would be, so...

    This urge to go high and mighty is hard to resist. I just think that in the long run, I'll enjoy a $1K 65" P Series more than a 55" OLED, which would be $500 more.
     
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  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    TVs shrink shortly after entering a home. Known but as yet unexplained scientific phenomenon. Get the 65”. :)
     
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  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    FWIW, The Wirecutter recommends Vizio P for high-end budget TV. (Their top pick Sony 950G is back to $1600 for 65”, which isn’t great pricing at this point. It was $1200 to $1400 over holidays.)

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-lcd-led-tv/
     
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  10. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Years ago I found high end monitors were only really worthwhile for either playing video games, or if you're working in front of the computer for many hours on end.

    In contrast, I found that when I was using various generic flatscreen tvs connected to my computer, my eyes were more strained and tired whenever I was doing work related stuff on the computer (such as writing computer code, writing documents, etc ...).


    In the case of watching tv shows and movies, I found it didn't really make much of a difference between generic flatscreen tvs and high end monitors.
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    So, the irony is that the new Vizio M series in my living room has kind of ruined the HT, at least a little bit, since the Vizio is so much better than the plasma in the HT. Video is now much better in the living room, but audio is much better in the HT. First world problems are killer. I have a lot of unusual expenses to take on this year, almost every appliance in the house needs to be replaced, or has been replaced. But, my car is paid off this summer, so that opens up a lot. I'm really itching to replace the plasma in the HT. Actually hoping it dies, so I can justify it easier.
     

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