Need Help on LCD TV Purchase

Discussion in 'Displays' started by FranF, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. FranF

    FranF Auditioning

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    I'm looking at buying, very soon, a flat screen LCD set in the 37 to 42-inch range. I've been looking at Sony, Panasonic and other top brands and I'm told that there are two versions of LCD, one has a projection light in the rear and the other doesn't. The light has a life of 3 to 5 years and costs about $200 to replace. The other set is more expensive but has no light to replace. Just wondering if anyone here has suggestions on what's the best cost-value purchase. Thanks for any help you can give a technology-challenged senior.
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Fran,

    There are 2 kinds of lcd sets, flat panel and rear projection. The rear projection type uses a bulb, 3 very small lcd panels, a system of lenses, and a mirror to project an image onto the back of the screen. The smallest of these is about 42". Prices range from $1700ish for the smallest ones to the mid 3k range for some 60"ish models. Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi are good brands for lcd rear projection sets.

    The flat panel type uses a single large lcd panel and a backlight sorta like an array of flourescent tubes, no lenses or mirrors. They look like Plasma sets as far as their physical appearance. The backlights on these last virtually forever. They are quite expensive compared to rear projection sets, the largest of these are about 45" and cost over $4000. 37-40" models from major mfgs (Sharp, Sony, Samsung are well regarded lcd flat panel mfgs.) will cost as much as 3-4k.

    I personally am of the opinion that the rear projection type represents considerably better "bang for the Buck" even with the need for a new bulb every couple or three years, they can be had for much less money in much bigger screen sizes. Rear Projection will lose some brightness if veiwed from much more than about a 45-60 degree angle but that's the only real disadvantage.
     
  3. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Fran -- is there some reason you've settled on the LCD type of TV in particular? In the smaller sizes LCDs are pretty dominant in the market place but above about 32" or so they tend to get a little pricey. That tends to be where the plasma TVs then take over, especially the 37-50 inch range. There are overlaps between types/technologies and other choices as well.

    Nothing at all wrong with the choice, by the way, just wondering if you've considered the alternatives.
     
  4. PatH

    PatH Second Unit

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    My mom floored me recently in BB by expressing very strong interest in a Sharp LCD TV. It was only 15" (she did say she was willing to look at 17" models, though I don't think Sharp has this size) and was labeled ED rather than HD. I think this makes it not true HD, but in any event it was more than clear enough for her. Of absolute importance, however, is that no add-on set top box be required when digital reception becomes mandatory in a couple of years. How can I guarantee that such equipment will be unnecessary in the future? Thanks!

    PatH
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    "EDTV" is standard definition.

    Many "HDTV" and "EDTV" sets, particularly the smaller sizes, also need an add on set top box. Only those that are advertised as "with ATSC tuner" or "HDTV built in" do not need the set top box.

    If you subscribe to cable or satellite services, in most cases a built in HDTV channel selector is not needed or utilized.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/hdtvnot.htm
     

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