: Best Standard Definition LCD?

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2008-01-30, 12:01 PM
I've finally talked my wife into upgrading our Bell PVR from SD to HD (and got a smokin' deal from customer retention too!). We'll be watching lots of sports in HD, but my wife watches a lot of channels that will be SD for the foreseeable future.

I'm looking for 37-42" LCD and I've decided that I can live with 720p based on my distance from the screen and the fact that it is going to be watching HDTV (not blu-ray) 98% of the time. I'd buy a 1080p panel for the right price, but I'm not set on it. What I really want is a panel that looks as good as possible with SD for my wife's viewing (and those Flames games that aren't in SD).

Is there a difference between the manufacturers when it comes to SD picture quality?

I'm considering Sharp, Samsung, and Sony at this point.


Zero G
2008-01-30, 12:07 PM
I think you'll have to use your own eyes to be the judge of that. I currently have a 26 inch Sony in my bedroom and watch SD on it. It's decent, but it really shines when I hook up my HD receiver to it. DVDs played in 480p look great.

2008-01-30, 12:14 PM
In Googling around I've seen reference to some manufacturers having better SD to HD conversion that others. They have to take the SD signal and then convert it to the native resolution of the panel (be it 720p or 1080p). So I guess my question is whether there are manufacturers who do a better job than others?

Obviously it is best to watch HD or DVD source material, but in 2008 its pretty hard to get away from watching SD a certain percentage of the time.

I don't have much time to spend comparing all the panels on the market so I'm hoping to narrow it down a bit based on others experience.

2008-01-30, 12:27 PM
The Nov Consumer Reports mag rated LCDs. In 40-42" and 46-52" reviews, they gave the best SD results to Sony (KDL-40S3000 & KDL 46S3000) and Samsung (LN-T4053H & LN-T4661F) All were rated "excellent" for SD.
You can probably find the article online for a small fee. Watch them though, as they continue to bill your c.c. monthly until you cancel.

2008-01-30, 03:58 PM
The proper setup of the equipment is often as important (sometimes more important) than the equipment itself. Some of the "off-brands" have not been great at SD (or HD) for that matter, but that's a bit of "you get what you pay for". See the following thread on the topic.


Please also see the following post, useful for newbies to the forum:


2008-01-30, 04:28 PM
It really becomes very subjective but so far a great SD picture on the current slate of ws televisions has not been achieved.

Zero G
2008-01-30, 04:54 PM
As 57 has pointed out, proper setup can make a huge difference. TVs usually have a crap picture out of the box. Torch mode and all the edge enhancement/sharpness really make for an awful picture.

2008-01-30, 05:22 PM
the sony s3000 series is very good............

the hawk
2008-01-30, 08:09 PM
I have the Sony 40D3000 (same as S3000 series except it has Motionflow) and it does a good job handling SD....be it DVD or SD broadcasts.

I choose to go with a 720p set for pretty much the same reason you are considering. I sit 9 ft away from my set and at that distance on a screen of 40" you're eyes can't tell the difference.

When I did my shopping it was between Sharp, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony. After lots of of study I went with the Sony because from eyes it did the best job with a variety of material, had the 120hz feature which I felt was important for my hockey watching and the Sony easily bettered all the others with off angle viewing. The Sony like all LCD's washes out a bit colour wise when you sit off to the side of center but not as bad as the others (Sharp being the worst by far followed by the Toshiba and then Samsung)

2008-01-30, 08:41 PM
I agree, I have a 37" Sharp and the picture does wash out quite a bit if your viewing it off cente, and I'm not talking about 90 degrees off center but even at 45 degrees it washes out quite badly. If there was something I could change about the Sharp this would probably be it.
My dad has a 52" Samsung and viewing angles off center on that are much better, not as good as a plasma but much better then Sharp.
Maybe something to keep in mind as you research.

2008-02-01, 12:21 PM
You should pick up the new consumer reports. They have a full segment comparing dozens of LCD/Plasma on HD Content, SD Content, and DVD. They clearly found differences in SD and was the main reason I picked up the issue for an upcoming purchase.

2008-02-01, 01:03 PM
I did a bunch more reading, then went to look at sets for a few hours. I ended up getting the 42" Panasonic 720p Plasma with the anti-glare (PX77).

I watch a lot of sports and I just thought that the Plasma looked much more "fluid" than the LCD sets. Yes, even better than the 120hz Sony D3000 with the motionflow set to high. I also really liked the way that SD looked on it.

I also got a cheap Toshiba hd-a3 HD DVD player (yes, I'm aware that HD DVD is dead) that I'm using as an upconverting DVD player until the next generation of Blue-Ray players come out and drop down to sane prices.

the hawk
2008-02-02, 10:33 AM
Good choice......Pioneer and Panasonic are easily the best of the plasma breed IMO.

2008-02-02, 07:00 PM
I have a Sharp Aquos LC-46D82U and the SD looks pretty good to me but I guess it depends on the set up and how you feed the signal into your tv.

2008-02-03, 08:58 AM
And also depends on what your comparing it to.

2008-02-05, 06:10 PM
I just rented a Toshiba 32HL57 and was pleasantly surprised how well it did SD on its 720p panel. No ATSC tuner, though. One nice option is it stretches the image towards the side but keeps the centre aspect ratio credible.

2008-02-05, 06:20 PM
One nice option is it stretches the image towards the side but keeps the centre aspect ratio credible.This is an LCD, why would you stretch a 4:3 image creating distortion and lower picture quality?

It's a 768P panel, not 720P. Please see the following post, useful for newbies to the forum:


2008-02-05, 11:59 PM
It was, IMO, the option that looked best without zooming in and losing detail off the top or sides. And I'm not paying for an HD signal provider at this point.

2008-02-06, 12:31 AM
I was referring to simply watching 4:3 as 4:3. This provides the best clarity and no distortion (yes there will be bars on the sides of a 16:9 screen). If they are grey and this bothers you, some TVs allow you to change these to black in the User menu - 4:3 settings or something.

2008-02-06, 08:50 AM
It really didn't bother me that much. I did try the 4:3 but either way, it was a whole lot better than my current 19" CRT which is so out of focus, news tickers are no longer legible.