Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 2/25/2007 6:29:28 AM EST
I'm looking at different LCD flat panel TVs and want to upgrade so that it has all the latest technology and so I don't have to buy any boxes or adapters in the future.

Based on the viewing distance, I'm looking at 40"-46" widescreen LCD TVs (non-projector). There's a big price difference based on the resolution (768p and 1080p). Do I want 1080p? Is there anything better?

Obviously a HDTV tuner is needed, but I don't have any HDTV subscriptions. I just have regular cable TV (via coax RG6, 75 ohm). Will this work with the HDTV tuner?

I also want built-in speakers since I don't have a sound system and don't plan to get one.

Any help would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 6:32:11 AM EST
You will have to upgrade your cable service to HD.

As far as I know, HDMI is the latest wonder conection, so make sure the TV has that.

Other than that, you shoud be good to go.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 6:33:30 AM EST
I thought Congress was mandating a change to HDTV in a few years? I don't plan to upgrade my service to HDTV, but will I still be able to watch non-HD TV shows on the HDTV? Or do I need a special adapter?
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 6:36:27 AM EST
You need to buy a 1080P, get the best you can, you will be glad you did later down the road.

COSTCO & SAM'S CLUB have some of the best deals out there. COSTCO has a virtually a "NO STRINGS" return policy on T.V.'s.

Anyone know anything about the "VISO" brand? great prices on them.

I like Samsung and Toshiba. When I buy a TV i get up close to the screen and see how noticeable the "pixels" are. When we bought our 42" a few years ago we went with a Toshiba, since there were hardly any noticeable pixels, unlike the misabutisi.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 6:40:11 AM EST

Originally Posted By metroplex:
I thought Congress was mandating a change to HDTV in a few years? I don't plan to upgrade my service to HDTV, but will I still be able to watch non-HD TV shows on the HDTV? Or do I need a special adapter?


There will be set top down converters.

Also don't buy in to the "Got to get the most expensive HDMI cable out there". Its a digital signal, not a whole lot of lose in transmission.

Get the most HDMI jacks that you can, on the back of the TV. You can never have to many connection points
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 7:27:26 AM EST
I'm not a member of Costco or Sam's Club, is there somewhere else I should go for better deals?
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 7:32:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/25/2007 7:34:54 AM EST by Tomislav]
IMHO, stick with Sony or Samsung for LCD FP sets. I have a Samsung 46" 1080P, and couldn't be happier. (Though the sets aren't too easy on the wallet.) The internal speakers are...OK. IMO, good sound is far more important than great picture, so if money was a concern, I'd get a sound system first, then screen later. *shrug*

The next-gen DVDs both do 1080P, and several SD DVD players will upconvert to 1080P. (Oppo 981 is awesome.) 1080P is the way to go with bigger sets, even though you do pay a bit of a premium for it.


ETA: As usual, for cables and sundry HT bits:

www.bluejeanscable.com/
www.partsexpress.com/
www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp

Stay away from the Monster cables and you'll save enough money to get a nice Harmony remote...
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 8:33:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By metroplex:
I'm looking at different LCD flat panel TVs and want to upgrade so that it has all the latest technology and so I don't have to buy any boxes or adapters in the future.

Based on the viewing distance, I'm looking at 40"-46" widescreen LCD TVs (non-projector). There's a big price difference based on the resolution (768p and 1080p). Do I want 1080p? Is there anything better?

Obviously a HDTV tuner is needed, but I don't have any HDTV subscriptions. I just have regular cable TV (via coax RG6, 75 ohm). Will this work with the HDTV tuner?

I also want built-in speakers since I don't have a sound system and don't plan to get one.

Any help would be appreciated.


Stick with a known brand name, if you have not heard of it, chances are the guys who repair them have not either. 99% of the displays out there will do a great job of displaying HD content. Showing non HD content on an HD display is what seperates the good displays from the not so good. There is a device called a scaler in the display that formats the non HD images in 4x3 to show on a 16x9 display. The cheaper, off brand displays leave a lot to be desired in handling this process.

As for the HD tuner. SOME cable companies transmit the HD local channels in the clear, meaning that if you hook up your coax cable to the HD tuner, you will see HD on the locals. If you want HD premium channels, you will need a cable box to decode them.

HDMI is great, but can be problematic. There is a process called HDCP (high definition copyright protection) that requires a "handshake" between the display and the source. Often, that handshake can fail, dropping the picture and forcing you to power cycle the display or change inputs to resend the handshake. If you are wall mounting this display, be sure to run component video cables as a backup incase your display has these issues.

2nding the whole "do not fall for the marketing hype" when it comes to cabling. Try not to use the cheap cables that come with your gear, but a $200 monster cable is a total waste of money.

As for the speakers on the display, most are not the greatest. They have very limited room to package speakers in a flat panel, as a result, sound quality can leave much to be desired.

Link Posted: 2/25/2007 2:40:10 PM EST
You sound like you're just getting into the HD realm, so I'll ask. Why are you looking at LCD? LCD is a good technology, but in many cases it's not the best choice. If you're really not going to get HD service I guarantee you'll regret going LCD, none of the digital sets look very good with 480i signals and they're more expensive per inch than other options. If you have a real need for a flat panel then disregard, but most people really don't need to pay twice as much for a few inches less depth. I don't think a cheap LCD is ever a good choice.

You definately want a 1080 set, 1080 is going to be THE format for the life of any set you buy today, if the display can't do 1080 native it's going to be scaling everything and you don't want that.

A 40" 1080 set has an ideal viewing distance of about five feet, most people find when they get HD they want a much bigger screen than what they prefer with SD, otherwise you don't see all the detail you're paying for.

A 1080i CRT or RPCRT is your best bet if you're primarily going to be watching SD for the next few years, they look the best with SD and look really good with HD signals, they're also very cheap right now, downside is they're heavy and the RPs need occasional convergence adjustments.

You should also seriously consider DLP or LCOS. You get a lot more bang for the buck with a 1080p DLP than you do with a flat panel at the moment, you can get a 62" 1080p DLP at Amazon for $1700-$2000 shipped depending on brand (Toshiba, Samsung, Sony)

monoprice.com will save you a ton of money on cables, HDMI and component cables for under $5. There really is no difference between a $5 and a $100 HDMI cable, they either work or they don't.

I own a Philips 30" 1080i CRT $350 and just got a Samsung 1080p 56" DLP for $1600. I looked into LCD and plasma and all the technologies have strengths and weaknesses, but DLP just gives you so much more bang for the buck it was an easy choice for me.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 3:07:43 PM EST
I currently use a non-HD 27" CRT that I bought from Wal-Mart for $70 on a Black Friday sale and it has worked fine for me. I don't really intend to ever get a full audio system. Built-in speakers will suffice (I've been using built-in TV speakers for the past 30 years and don't really desire any change).

I'm interested in LCD flat panel technology because it is relatively proven. The lighting tubes don't burn out as quickly nor do they get as hot. LCoS and DLP may offer better quality and performance, but projection displays rely on expensive light bulbs that burn out after X number of hours and aren't recommended for use as normal TVs with a rigorous operating schedule. This TV will be used as a TV: 4-8 hours of TV per day with the set being turned on/off multiple times per day.

I sit about 10 feet from the TV area, any most guides say to go with a 40"-42" TV at this distance. When I was at Wal-Mart just browsing at the TV aisle, the 42" Magnavox looked quite nice 10 feet away.

I'm using regular cable TV right now and have no intention of switching to a HDTV subscription. I think my DVD player can do progressive scan but I have no idea what resolution it uses.
Link Posted: 2/25/2007 4:37:55 PM EST
Buying an HDTV to watch SD is usually a disappointing experience.

As to viewing distance, at ten feet, with 20/20 vision, on a 34"screen you'll see little or no difference between a regular 480p DVD and HD.

At 50" you'll get the full benefit of a 720p display, any smaller than that and it's unlikely you'll see any difference between 720p and 1080p displays, and if you do it will be due to scaling issues.

To get the full benefit of 1080p you'd need a 72" screen, or you'd need to sit closer.

If I were you and I was sure I wanted to buy a new set I'd buy a Sony 34" 1080i CRT, they're cheap, the technology is as proven as it gets, you'll be way happier with the picture quality of your SD sources, you'll be able to get your HD locals and if you decide to upgrade your service later you'll be all set. You could always buy a flat panel in a few years when you're ready, the sets then will be so much cheaper you'll probably save money in the process.

You could get a 42" 720p LCD and it'd look great with HD sources at that distance but you'll want a good scaler if you're watching lots of SD, some sets are way better than others in this regard, usually the pricier ones, but it still won't look as good as a CRT.

This is a difficult time to buy a TV, if you're not ready to make the leap into HD you may be better off waiting a year or two and buy a set when you can get everything in 1080i/p, most of the quality cable networks will be available by then, prices will only go down and the sets will get better.

Top Top