What would you say? A new display? Under $3K?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Anderson, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Hey guys. I'm not a newbie to HT by any stretch of the imagination, except when it comes to next-gen displays. I'm where I want to be in the land of audio (Marantz SR7000, B&W Series 6 all the way around, SVS CS-Ultra subwoofer), but I figure it's time to upgrade that Sony 27" Wega (my LCR6 center channel dwarfs the TV). I've been an active member of the audio portion of the forum for years now, and have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to ask questions in this neigborhood for a while.
    So--looks like the commercial aircraft company I work for (take a guess--yup, you got it) is hooking us up with a small bonus in time for the holidays, and am itching for the next great upgrade.
    Can y'all hook me up with suggestions? I've been searching and researching this and AVS forum about plasmas, RPTVs, Loewe CRTs, etc.
    Here's my criteria:
    -$3K to spend (somewhat flexible here--not by much though)
    -16:9 display
    -40" or larger (but will consider smaller sizes)
    -HD not required--the display can be HD-ready
    -Primarily will be used for DVDs, some TV, and Xbox
    I will be buying a new Progressive Scan DVD (currently have an ancient Sony 5 disc) player to support the new set as well.
    So--I'm not crazy about RPTVs because of limited viewing angles, and worrying about guns, lenses, calibration, and finding room for a freakin' behemoth of a display. I can be persuaded, though. [​IMG] I'm really open to any suggestions--though I have definitely ruled out front projection.
    I know these types of threads are tough to get rolling, but I'd greatly appreciate any help. As I stated before, I've done a fair amount of non-interactive research, so I am familiar with terminology, etc.
    Fire away, y'all. I eagerly await any help you can provide.
    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  2. Scott Barnhart

    Scott Barnhart Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Andy,

    Wow, unfortunately, your criteria are somewhat mutually exclusive. $3K is not enough for a plasma, the cheapest 42" I have seen is usually in the 3.5K price range (for one at Costco or Sam's, I think). And it didn't get stellar reviews from the ones I have read.

    In Direct View (since you don't like RPTV), I see the following possibilities:

    1) Loewe Aconda 38" 16x9 - I think it is more than $3K, though.
    2) RCA 38" 16x9 - don't know much about it. There were a few recent threads on here, though, I think. Around 2-2.5K.
    3) Sony 34XBR800 or Toshiba 34" 16x9. Both very nice sets, but quite a bit smaller than you want. Around $2K?
    4) Sony 40XBR800 - a 4x3 HDTV-Ready set. It has the vertical-squeeze mode for widescreen DVD and HDTV that gives you about a 35" 16x9 picture and a 40" 4x3 picture. About $2.8K
    5) Probably some other possibilities that I don't know in the 34" 16x9 models.

    So if you really want >40" 16x9 for $3K, I think you will have to go RPTV (since you ruled out front projection). I don't really know much about RPTV, but I know the Toshibas and Hitachis are getting good reviews on their latest models.

    I had to make basically this same decision last month, and like you, couldn't go FPTV because of the room, and didn't like the RPTV downsides very much. So I got the 40" Sony XBR 4x3 since we still do significant 4x3 viewing also.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  3. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Scott-

    Thanks, I had a feeling that was the case. Plasma is very appealing--so--how cheaply can I get into decent plasma? Is it completely outside the realm of possibility?
     
  4. MWestyn

    MWestyn Stunt Coordinator

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    Take a look at the new gateway 42" plasma...you may be surprised. It's $2999. Not HD but ED (which will actually look better with most inputs--not as much up-scaling as HD). A step up in that range will take you to a Panasonic 42" plasma, $3500 but offers better contrast and truer blacks.

    If you want more info on the gateway do a search on hear for it. I posted into a thread and gave a lot of info on it.

    Good luck with the purchase, I'll be there soon myself.

    p.s.
    Nice choice of receiver and speakers...I've ordered my Marantz SR7300 and the B&W 600 series 3 will be in place soon.
     
  5. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    So-I'd read about the 42" Panny. It's essentially not a consumer model, right? So--I wouldn't be able to buy it locally? What does it's consumer counterpart (can't recall the model #) go for these days?

    Scott--
    I'd completely discounted that 40" Wega (I'd really like to stay away from 4:3), but it looks like a cool set--are you happy with it's performance? Any annoyances or "god-I-wish-it-had-this's"?
     
  6. MWestyn

    MWestyn Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, you should be able to order either online...drplasma has the "non-consumer" version and explains the differences.
    http://www.drplasma.com/Itemdesc.asp...WD5UY&Cc=&tpc=
    I went to the gateway store last night to see for myself what they had to offer...hard to tell. They have a really crappy demo disc running on a bose system, so it really does the display no justice...then a car hit the power line outside and the store went black so I didn't have chance to find out how little the salesman knew about it. Anyway, it's still worth a look though if you're looking to save some $ I'd bring in a progressive scan dvd player and a couple movies I'm familiar with. If they really want to make a sale, they'll let you hook it up.
    Happy hunting.
     
  7. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Thanks Sean. That's a helpful site. So--no TV tuner in the set--something I hadn't even thought about. I'm assuming there's a set-top-box that handles the tuning? (or is this relegated to the cable/DSS box?)

    Yeah, I'd read a couple of reviews on the Gateway. Very cool that it's a low price point, but it seems like they have another couple of generations to really nail it. It is a hell of a value, though. Did a search on the forum about the Gateway and came up with a thread where someone mentioned he went down to Gateway with a DVD that he wanted to see on the display, and they wouldn't let him play it. They had some cheesy demo running, and that's all they'd let people view. Weirdness.
     
  8. Scott Barnhart

    Scott Barnhart Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy,
    Read this thread for my initial thoughts on the 40XBR800. Since then, the service guys tried to tweak the problems out of the floor model and really made a mess of everything else about the TV, so I just decided to live with it. The problem is really so much more subtle than I made it seem w/ my illustration that it is not really a problem, and I don't want to risk bad geometry issues or something else that would *really* annoy me.
    As far as things I wish this TV had, I can think of only 2:
    1) I wish the picture settings in each mode had numbers associated with them so I could write down my settings and make it easier to experiment. It just has little slider bars that you have to count to see what your current setting is. This is by far my main annoyance with this set.
    2) I wish that when the set was muted while watching the tuner that Closed Captioning would turn on automatically. My last set had this feature and I really liked it. Not a big deal, though.
    Other than that, this TV has every kind of connection, feature and bell/whistle in the world. Plus, it looks really good, especially with DVD! I don't mind black bars at all (after 10 years of watching them w/ first LD then DVD), so I prefer this to a widescreen set since I get basically the same picture as the 34XBR800 in widescreen, and a much bigger picture for my 4x3 viewing.
     
  9. MWestyn

    MWestyn Stunt Coordinator

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    Andy,
    Most people on this forum probably wouldn't look for the tuner to be included as they are most likely using a "set-top" box i.e. satellite, HD, etc. In the same respect most will not look for a plasma with speakers as we know they will pale in comparison to our overkill systems[​IMG]
    If you need a tuner most company's sell one separate for an additional 1-$200.
    As for what the gateway people will let you demo depends on the store, I've read the thread you're speaking of but I've also read threads where the salesman so go ahead and bring in what you want...just depends on how sure they are of the product/how much they want a sale...that's true of any place.
    For the close price range my money would be on panny but if it's still too steep a price sit back, relax and watch the prices drop on plasma. Competition is good for us.
    Here's a site that reviews plasma's. For the most part impartial and accurate. Worth a look.
    http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/p...v/reviews.html
     
  10. Andy Anderson

    Andy Anderson Second Unit

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    Okay. So, it would seem plasma is really just outside my price range.

    So, let's shift gears and talk RPTV. This is not something that I'd really considered, but hey, I'm open-minded.

    Just stopped off at a large local store (GG) and talked to a friendly and halfway knowledgeable salesman. He suggested RPTV as a bang-for-the-buck alternative, and I was pretty impressed with the Mits 42" and 48", and Tosh 42" sets. I don't know a damn thing about them, but I know Mitsubishi and Toshiba have a fairly good reputation on the RPTV front, eh? So, if anyone's still out there, what are the pros and cons of these sets? The prices are nice--right around $2K. I can use the money saved on ISF calibration, maybe a new progressive scan 5 disc, etc.
     
  11. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I have last year's model Tosh 42H81 and love it. The set is shallow...less than 20" deep...and fits in my small room nicely. The color fidelity is great, the best I've seen. The upconversion to 540p doesn't bother me, and the new sets are reportedly even better at it. They're better than some others (Panasonic, Mitsubishi) out-of-the-box, but if you're willing to spring for an ISF calibration, that won't be a concern for you. Tosh gets high marks for dealing with marginal signals.

    But...

    I'm not dissing Panasonic, Pioneer, Mitsubishi, etc.! They all make great sets and it comes down to the deal you can get, the tradeoffs you're willing to make, and personal preference.

    Good luck!

    Jan
     
  12. MWestyn

    MWestyn Stunt Coordinator

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    You can check out the panny lcd rptv's...much sharper picture than standard crt rptv...no convergence issues, better brightness and viewing angles. Downside is "untrue" blacks. They have RGB, component, coax, composite inputs. Two models 40" goes for around $2300 online, 45" goes for $2700 online, retail is bit higher. They'r kinda funky looking compared to everything else.

    Sony just came out with their 2nd gen version of lcd rptv...kxbr50x800 or something like that. Basically same technology as the panny's but their first gen didn't do too well (was priced way too high). I'm not sure of Sony's exact price but I'm pretty sure it's sub $3k.

    If you want a ton of info on just about any tv go to avsforum.com (hope posting that is not an issue). They're not much on audio but they are videophiles with almost too much info.
     

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