Buying a new HDTV, many questions!

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Tim Kline, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm finally going to be in the market for a new TV soon. I'm going to go all-out and get a big, expensive HDTV. I have a friend who has a 40" widescreen TV, a toshiba. He loves it and I just don't have the heart to tell him how blurey, washed out and crappy stuff looks on it, especially video games. But, I remember it looking better so I'm wondering if it just started to wear out after a while. It's a Toshiba widescreen, no HDTV or anything like that.

    I don't want my new TV to have the same problem, so I've been staying away from RPTVs and figured really I'm gonna have to go with a plasma. I will have $4000 to spend when I'm finished this website I'm working on [​IMG] ... I wandered around Best Buy window shopping with money I don't have yet, and looking on their website too, they have a 42" samsung and daewoo plasma but they're listed as EDTV .. what the heck is that? The other "name brand" plasmas in my price range there are all under 40", and I'd like something even bigger. Also, I've heard that after a couple of years plasmas can develop dead pixels, like laptop monitors get, where you can have a black pixel right in the middle of the screen that you wouldn't think would be a problem but you always notice it. Is that true? Do extended warranties cover that sort of thing?

    Anyway, I started checking out DLP RPTVs and I was surprised to see how clear they were compared to the other RPTVs around them, even compared to the plasmas. And the price vs size thing is so much better. Heck I can get a 60" Sony grand wega for 4k, or a 30-something inch plasma. So first off, what's the difference between a DLP and a LCD RPTV? How do they compare, in longevity mostly, to a Plasma hang-on-the-wall TV?

    When it comes to TVs, I've always favored Sony above all else, it seems to me that's always been the 1 thing that they are the absolute best at but I know everyone has different opinions on brands [​IMG] Would I be better off paying a little extra for the Sony name, or are there other TVs (like Mitsubishi, Toshiba, etc) in the price range I should seriously consider? I'm going for a 50" based on the size of my room, so I'm hoping to spend closer to $3000, so I can have extra left over for stuff like the new DVD player I'll need and the DirecTV I'll be getting installed too [​IMG]

    One other thing, what's with the DVI video connections? Is that better than component cables? Are there DVD players that use them? Do TVs usually just have 1? Can I hook my PC up to them?

    And lastly, I do a lot of video gaming, which kind of TV will give me the best image quality? Plasmas or DLP?
     
  2. Scott Wong

    Scott Wong Second Unit

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    I'm not an expert by any means, but I'll leave a few comments. I went TV shopping yesterday. My friend who works at Ultimate Electronics helped me out. I was not impressed with many of the RPTV's. I knew right away I wanted to go the DLP/LCD route. I'm tired of 200+ pound televisions and I'm tired of the bulkiness, as well.

    With that said, I looked at the Sony Grand WEGA 50-inch and the Samsung HLN-567W. I grabbed the Samsung DVD player for $299 with the DVI output. I hooked up the DVI output to the Samsung DLP set with the DVI input. I then hooked the same DVD player to the Sony Grand WEGA using a set of Monster Cable M-line component video cables. I'm pretty picky and I could honestly not tell a difference between the DVI and the component. Not even in the slightest of ways... obviously, this is all relatively speaking. I don't know how the TV's were "calibrated"... sitting on a sales floor they usually aren't. I played the first few chapters of Toy Story. It was stunning on both sets. (be it DVI output or component)

    I ended up going with the Samsung HLN-567W for a couple of reasons. The overall shape of the Grand WEGA is just bizarre to me. It just seemed to take away from overall picture of the TV. I can't explain it, that's just my opinion. I guess I just didn't care for the 'geometry'. We ran an HD feed to both televisions and between that and the Toy Story scenes, the Sony picture just seemed flat to me. soft. the colors didn't jump out at you, per se. Again, this is all relatively speaking. Perhaps properly calibrated, the Sony picture would be equally stunning... but it just wasn't to me.

    The Samsung did it for me. I love the thin bezel surrounding the screen of it. There really isn't one. It's all picture. It's less deep, less wider, and weighs less than the Sony and it's also a 56-inch versus the Sony 50-inch model.

    I can't comment on the whole DLP vs. LCD technology simply because I don't know enough about the two to compare their differences.

    Take it all for what it's worth.. good luck with your decision.

    Scott.
     
  3. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the info [​IMG]

    One other question I thought of .... how bright can a room be with a DLP TV? With my friends regular widescreen RPTV, you can barely see anything unless the lights are down low or off, forget about watching TV during the day unless you have heavy curtains. Is it gonna be like that with a DLP TV?
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    I have never had that experience with any RPTV, including my quite old 48" GE. I watch it in bright working / reading light all the time and one wall of my living room is windows from floor to cieling. DLP does seem brighter in general to me though.
     
  5. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

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    Lots of good questions, and lots of comparisons to make, so I'll touch on some of it.

    First, that older Toshiba 40" RPTV. If it isn't HD or even SD (Standard Definition) than It's going to play interlaced only, which on big screen don't look very good on lower resolutions like 480 lines. Scan lines are very visible. Also calibration is important, which it probably needs to be done with VE or Avia. Another problem might be the convergence which might need to be redone every couple of years.

    With all that said, HD RPTVs wont have the scan line issues on 480, or 720p signals. 1080i is very high resolution,and that with improved CRT guns will almost eliminate visible scan lines) The resolution is higher, we have 3:2 pulldown, and most everyone on this forum has a calibration disc to get their picture just right. If the set has convergence proglems you can always call out an ISF Tech to get it cleared right up.

    The BIGGEST problem I see against RPTVs are the fact that every store you go to to view them have them out in the middle of the floor with bright fluorescent lights shining down on them. The only store I see that has their RPTVs in a dark corner of the store is Best Buy, and all the RPTVs there seem to look quite a bit better.

    That's all I have to say on RPTVs. Plasma, LCD, DLP, and LCoS all look very amazing. IMHO Plasma looks the best, but it's all a matter of opinion. I'm about to purchase a new RPTV, which for now is exactly what I need. I'm still waiting on newer technologies to be perfected, and for prices to go down.
     
  6. Mike Wilk

    Mike Wilk Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are waiting for perfection, you'll be waiting a long, long time. LCD RP and DLP RP both present very bright images and are able to tolerate daylight much better than CRT RP. In fact at night it is recommended that one have "bias" lighting to help avoid eyestrain. It's that bright. Also, unlike plasma, both DLP and LCD don't have burn-in issues but both techs are too new for anyone to speak intelligently about longivity. LCoS is very promising but I am not seeing a lot of these sets being made and sold yet. Several have been quickly discontinued after introduction. Read all you can and audition in your home with your type of content. Get one with a 30-day no questions asked return policy for safe measure.
    YMMV
     
  7. Jon_Heidbreder

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    Some things to consider.

    If your playing video games on it then typically you'll sit somewhere between 8 to 12 ft away. Generally a screen that is somewhere between 40 to 50 inches is considered optimal for that distance. You should take a look at a few threads that discuss screen size to viewing distance.


    I've been doing research on screens in highlight areas and in general it does mean that RPTV and projectors are out.

    Plasma, LCD, and DLPs you can see just fine in highlight areas.

    You might also consider the sony 34 inch hi scan monitor. Its probably the best picture you can get in a highlight room but its not as big as the others and it weighs 200lbs


    ED is important for plasma. The early plasmas didnt show blacks very well. The newer ones probably show blacks better than the other 2 choices so if you get a plasma make sure that is has good black levels.

    Probably the best picture you can get are the quality plasmas. Then tend to be a little pricier than the other 2 though.

    Both the plasma and lcds may suffer some degradation over time. But the DLP you will have to replace the bulb at some point.


    Just some things to consider
     
  8. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    the main reason I'm considering a "premium" tv over a regular widescreen HD RPTV is just that a year or 2 down the road I don't want to wish I bought something better. I want something that will last a long time. The room I'm in now, I'm sitting 5=6' away from the tv. When I get this new TV though, everything is getting moved to the bigger living room and there I'll be more like 8-10' away, maybe even more. My TV room currently is too small for anything over 40", but if the TV is gonna go in the bigger room I may wish I had a bigger screen. So that's why I'm hoping to get something closer to 50".

    I've compared regular HDTVs and the DLP ones and the DLPs and plasmas all look better to me, but with the right calibration and source material, will there really be much of a difference? It is kind of hard to tell when you're looking at em in a store because the settings are always different. I will mostly be using this TV for movies and tv shows, but I will also be playing a few games and I don't want to have to worry about stuff burning into the screen too. Is that really an issue anymore? When you watch a 4:3 program too often, can the side bars get burned in? I heard about that happening before......
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    I agree, all the DLPs I looked at seemed a cut above.
    I don't think burn in is any issue with DLP even though they seem really bright.

    What size 4:3 set are you comming from?

    I realized that if I were to get a 60" widescreen that I wuld actually loose size on 4:3 format stuff from the 48" 4:3 set I have now.

    This did not sit well with me at all.
    I went for a 60" 4:3 set, regular garbage CRT RP too....
    It is supposed to be able to render full res on 16:9 material though.
     
  10. Tim Kline

    Tim Kline Stunt Coordinator

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    Well my set is a Panasonic Tau 27". It's about 2.5 years old. It's got a great picture for a regular tv but I just want something bigger, and widescreen. This TV is going in the bedroom or family room when I get the big one
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

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    Us large screen 4:3 set owners kind of get short changed when we upgrade to widescreen somewhat... lol

    I'm an old movie buff, and one of my goals was to have larger than life B&W theater like movie watching, so it was a prime factor in the choice of the 4:3 60" HDTV.
     
  12. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    G. Alan Brown
    Each type of video display available today has its longsuits and shortcomings. I would suggest to anyone who is considering investing thousands of dollars in a video display they want to enjoy for years to talk to an ISF-trained dealer. There are a lot of industry professionals who have been trained by the ISF but do not calibrate displays. They have received formal instruction in the principles of imaging science, display standards and viewing environment issues in order to help consumers get the best images. If they also calibrate displays, all the better.

    Seeking the advice of a trained professional will help narrow down a choice that will serve your lifestyle and tastes. If gaming is the dominant priority you should avoid phosphor-based TVs (CRT and plasma). Should movies be the dominant interest, CRTs still offer the best images in a darkened room. There is no reason why the CRT RPTVs of today could not provide an acceptable image in daylight or a well-lit room.

    No video display of any kind can look its best in a brightly illuminated environment. Critical viewing should always occur in a darkened room. Backlighting or bias lighting is always beneficial in a dark room except for front projection systems. Certain FPTV setups can even benefit from backlighting if the screen is smaller and the image is excessively bright.

    Viewing environment conditions are integral with every other performance parameter of a display. Divorcing the TV from its environment is absolute folly if the desire is to achieve the best images from your equipment and software investment. Ambient lighting conditions are as critical to video imaging as speaker placement is to audio performance. These principles are founded in imaging science, display standards, the study of human visual perception and decades of proven theory and practice.

    Best regards and beautiful pictures,
    G. Alan Brown, President
    CinemaQuest, Inc.

    Insist on HDTV! [​IMG]
     
  13. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well, Plasma's have a longetivity issue. A few years down the road the gas has to be changed/re-filled. The picture will slowly degrade untill you decide to pony up the $300-500 service call.

    And plasma's have burn-in. This is an issue for video games and stations that have their logo in the lower-right corner.

    They are sexy, cool, but ... be aware of the issues.

    DLP's like the Samsung dont have burn-in. They have a single light-bulb that costs about $250 that restores the television to original brightness. (not that the bulb fades). No burn-in and in the case of the Samsung - 3 component inputs (1 for 480i/p, 2 for 720/1080).

    LCD - these also do not have burn-in, but there is concern that the LCD panels that the light passes through will yellow over 3-5 years of use. This is a 'concern', not a fact so dont take this as real issue.

    I like the Samsung DLP units. But right now the hot units are the LCD televisions from Sony and Panasonic. They are a few hundred dollars cheaper and look fantastic in a side-by-side comparison.
     

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