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Need advice with Set-Up

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Christopher.M, May 11, 2005.

  1. Christopher.M

    Christopher.M Auditioning

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    Though this is my first post, I've been lurking in the shadows of the forum reading the various comments on what TVs are worthwhile in different situations. The advice always seems to center around a select group of displays based on situation... so here is my rather odd situation...

    I'm a college student with a bit of cash to spend. My current limitations are:

    Small(ish) apartment. (so projectors might not work well)
    Active common area. (so the most expensive gear is a no go)

    I am looking to spend $2,000 or less on a 42" or so display.

    I am told that not all displays listed as 480 or 720 upconvert properly, so I should look for a native 1080i. I am also told that I should be looking for 16x9 & 1024x768 resolution. I am not sure what is necessay or if these are things I should look for. Also, I live at a rather high altitude 7,000 + feet, and have been warned of issues with plasma screens due to gas expansion going up and down in elevations. (though I am not too sure this is true.)

    What I currently have is a Samsung 42" HC-P4752W 1080iHDTV monitor and a Samsung DVD-HD841 DVD player. I run the audio through my computer's soundcard, which is a SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro (has external connection I/O hub) which is connected to a set of Klipsch Pro Media Ultra 5.1 speakers. (the rest of the computer is rather high end as well. I have a seperate monitor for computer use)

    Ok, so this is alot of information, but I figured the more information I give about my current set-up the better someone will be able to advise me.

    So, all that information given, I would like to keep the speaker / audio setup if possible so as to reduce the amount of equipment I will need. I am considering giving the DVD player away with the TV, so I may be in the market for a new player in the range of $200. (recommendations here would be helpful as well)

    Conclusion:
    ANY recommendations on making this somewhat odd setup possible as well as recommendations on a display would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for any help. If you do not think it will be possible to keep the audio setup, please don't be afraid to say so. Any advice on setting what I have up is a MAJOR plus though.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    7000', Plasma will buzz more. The verdict is still out on if elivation actually decreases the Plasma life at all or not.

    Ok, on the native 1080i thing.. That would have to be a CRT based HDTV.

    In fixed pixel / truly digital displays, 1024x768 = a 720p display more or less. In such displays they can only be 480p (ED), or 720P (HD), or 1080p (HD)....

    Raw resolution still does not tell the entire display story though. Color decoding, grey scale accuracy, ect..ect.. have just as much if not more impact on the picture qulaity as the difference bewteen 480p and 720p. In other words a great 480p display is better than a weak 720p display in my opinion.

    All these displays will generally take any sort of input, but in the end any given input not native has to be scaled to the native of the digital display panel itself.

    1024x768 is a little odd, because it is not a common source res. But the idea with a 720p digital HD display is to set all your sources to output that, connect digitally to the display and then no futher conversion is needed and you get direct 1:1 pixel mapping.

    make any sense???

    With that said, I suggest a 50" LCD Rear Projection for you. Maybe the Panasonic if your try'n to save money, maybe the Sony if you want what is considered the best.

    1080p displays are now becommign available but at a price premium that will keep most away for a while still.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    PS: On the DVD Player with such a display generally you want one that can upscale to the native res of your display and connect digitally to it via DVI/HDMI.
     
  4. Christopher.M

    Christopher.M Auditioning

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    Ok, I hit up the wikipedia for better understanding and differences between 720i/p and 1080i/p. Though the standard for 1080 (1080p being considered "True Hi Def") is technically better, it is stated that the difference may not be percievable to the viewer. Also it notes that fast motion is better presented by the 720p standard. So, the progressive scan (p) is also better than interlaced (i). Ok, so all that said, I should be looking for a *good* native 720p which removes EDTVs (native 420p) from the list of potential choices?

    Thanx for pointing me in the right direction there. I will also be looking for a dvi/hdmi connection so as to keep as pure an image between the DVD Player and TV. Though, I think a 50" might be a bit too big for my needs. (and the prices are topping out my $2,000 price range)

    Also, is DLP worth the extra cost?

    I will be checking through consumer reviews of various models. From what I have caught so far, Samsung and Sony have gotten pretty good reviews.
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Great post.. You got it.

    On DLP, just make sure you really preview the model your going to get in person.

    I am stil not a fan of DLP. I am what is called a chronic rainbow see'r....

    If your really interested in Plasma, don't count out the Panasonic ED (480p) Plasmas, I really like them over all the lower end HD Plasmas I have ever seen.

    I think 50" is where LCd Rear Projection starts, they are not nearly as bulky as the older CRT RPTV's by the way.

    All HD resolutions handle fast motion just fine by the way. [​IMG]

    720p, 1080i, and 1080p are all true HD, I would disagree with those that state 1080p is the only true HD and 480p (ED) is a lot better than most give it credit for.
     
  6. Christopher.M

    Christopher.M Auditioning

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    I was originally looking into getting one of the Panasonic Plasmas. Specifically:

    Panasonic TH-42PWD7UY 42-Inch 852 x 480 Resolution 4000:1 Contrast Ratio ED Black Plasma Display

    BUT I figured I would try to get advice from people who are more "in the know" than I. That model specifically is running around $1700 which fits under budget. However, my new understanding of how images are displayed has sorta moved it down the priority scale. Though, as you say, a good 480 is better than a poor 720. So that is definately still a choice.

    Also, I've looked at the price of stands for various TVs and have decided that it will cost hundreds less to mill my own than to order one with a brand name on it.

    I will keep looking for reviews on various models, keep the advice coming, its definately emptying the deep end of the pool I've jumped into.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Lots of people very happy with HD content on their Panny ED Plasmas. [​IMG]

    Sounds like you have done a good crash course in all this. Now you must agonize over the choice.

    I was going for basic CRT Rear Projection, and it took me like 3 months to make up my mind.
     
  8. Christopher.M

    Christopher.M Auditioning

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    Well, in looking around, I've found that sticking with the Samsung model I have now isn't too bad an idea, but I am also looking at this...

    Sony KDF-42WE655 42" Grand WEGA LCD Projection Television with Integrated HDTV Tuner

    Reviews on this seem pretty good and it meets all the general requirements... Also, I noted while looking over plasma displays that Sony makes a special High Altitude model... Could this be due to some issue with plasma displays at high elevation? I cannot seem to find any specific information on an issue but the fact that a model is made SPECIFICALLY with high elevation in mind, would seem to suggest otherwise...

    Suggestions? Comments?
     

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