: Which HDTV should I buy this season?


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adesalos
2008-11-11, 11:35 AM
Trying to decide on the right model here while upgrading my complete A/V set-up.
At equivalent price (about $1300-$1600), what are the reasons to buy one vs. the other?
Any comments appreciated.

acSlayta
2008-11-11, 05:23 PM
If you're gonna consider the Panasonic plasma I'd recommend checking out the Samsung PN**650 series. I had to decide between the two a month ago when I bought mine and I went with the Samsung. Rich, warm, realistic colors are A+

Tonyd133
2008-11-12, 12:56 AM
I am torn between two 1080p plasmas, both Panasonic.
Contender #1, Viera TH-C50FD18 (similar specs as the Z80) from Costco. Costco will double the warranty for free. Points to consider, 20,000:1 contrast ratio and 50 inches.

Contender #2, Viera TH46PZ85
Points to consider, 46 inches but 30,000:1 contrast ratio, slim design, 1 year warranty

Most other features similar. I am torn and can't make up my mind. I'm a rookie when it come to this stuff. Not sure if the contrast thing is a big deal, for a hundred more, I get more screen, but more screen doesn't mean much if the image is lacking.

Opinions appreciated!

Thanks,

Tony

wprager
2008-11-12, 06:28 AM
Where will it sit (dark basement, bright familyroom)? How far will you sit away from it?

The contrast numbers are often not all that relevant, but since they are from the same manufacturer perhaps this time it actually means something. In a brighter room I'd prefer better contrast numbers. Otherwise I'd go for more size, unless you're sitting very close.

Brooker
2008-11-12, 10:47 PM
I have been reading much and I keep getting more confused. I am looking for a new plasma tv to replace my 3-4 year old 42" RPTV Samsung. I am looking at Panasonic as the first option. Sears now has a good deal on this model Panasonic® 50" Plasma HDTV (TH50PX80). It is of course 768P. I have 2 seating configurations. One chair is about 6-7 feet away. The other is around 9'. Would this tv be good for Bell HD? Would the difference in 768-1080 be that noticable?

hugh
2008-11-13, 07:37 AM
Brooker, IMO, the answer is no but search the forum for threads discussing 720 vs 1080p and you'll find some disagreement.

Brooker
2008-11-13, 09:14 AM
Sorry about posting in the wrong area. I realized after the fact. Right now Sears has the Panasonic tv I listed on for $1199. I think thats a good price. Walmart has the same size Samsung 768P for the same price as well. Also they have a Sanyo 50" for $997. Panasonic seems to have better reviews than the other 2 brands.

kell
2008-11-15, 02:51 PM
I'm looking to purchase my first LCD HDTV probably around or sometime after Christmas and am looking for something around the 40" size, 1080p and $1000-$1200 price range.

What recommendations for brand/models would other DH members give?

chatson
2008-11-17, 03:49 PM
i'm new to the group and not sure if this has been posted previously.

I'm looking at purchasing my first HDTV. I'm confused on the articles i read about sports (mainly hockey) and the blurring effect on LCD's. unfortunately, i haven't been able to view a hockey game on either a plasma or LCD, not alone side by side. This would be an important consideration in my purchase. Some articles say LCD isn't very good, others say the newer units have corrected it and there is no longer an issue. I also get the same mixed messages from sales people.

I've narrowed my search down to a Panasonic plasma in the 46" or 50" size, in the PZ800 series, or the new Samsung LN46A950 LCD, (Pioneer is also a consideration for plasma, but price may be too high).

The crisp clear and bright picture of the LCD really attracted me, but i'm aware that it may be the individual store settings, source data, etc, and it may not be what i need to consider for day-to-day viewing. In almost all postings it appears that i should be moving towards a plasma for my sports viewing.

Any and all advice would be appreciated. My brain is telling me plasma, but my eyes may be telling me LCD - although i do need to view a hockey game on both, at least more than just a blueray of a skier going down a mountain.

Thanks

hugh
2008-11-17, 03:54 PM
kell, take a look at the following threads

Tell us in one post which HDTV you bought and why (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=84745) - this thread is our members telling you what set they bought and I think you can safely say they all come recommended!

LCD 37" to 42" Buying Discussion (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=91444) - members discussing sets in your size.

Also input any model you've discovered in your travels into the search. your bound to find a thread dedicated to that model where you can ask specific questions.

hugh
2008-11-17, 03:57 PM
Chatson, check out the Panasonic Z800 thread in the Plasma forum for discussion of that model and the Samsung A950 series thread in the LCD forum.

The LCD vs. Plasma discussion is going on in many threads so search for those.

Personally I would go with the Panny since its likely cheaper and although the new LCD have improved dramatically, I'm still a plasma guy and think Panny's are among the best.

chatson
2008-11-18, 08:20 PM
hugh
thanks for the information
chatson

phoenix_noir
2008-11-19, 09:16 PM
First time poster, but long time reader of these forums... I guess I was able to find my answers to questions I might have wanted to ask beforehand, but this time, I'm stuck at a crossroads, and looking for advice to nudge me in a good direction for the right (new) HDTV for my budget.

My current setup is the following:

HDTV: Sharp Aquos LC32D43U 32" (1080i/720p capable)
Receiver: Sony STRDG510 (5.1)
Blu-ray Player: PS3
DVD Player: Samsung DVD-1080P8 (Upconverting)

I'm looking at spending about $1000 on a new set, and I've narrowed it down to the following two choices:

Samsung 1080p 40" LCD (LN40A530)
Sony 1080p 40" LCD (KDL40S4100)

I realize they're not the highest end of TVs, but I'm looking for the best bang for my proverbial buck. (and an upgrade over my current unit), a few more inches and a few more pixels was my main goal I had set out on when I began this search.

I'd love to get some feedback from my fellow enthusiasts so I can make an informed decision, any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

PN

CNeufeld
2008-11-23, 12:35 AM
I don't have a set budget in mind, but I'm trying to keep the costs "reasonable" (i.e. whatever I can sneak past the better half). I like watching hockey games and other sports, my wife watches movies. All our current collection is DVD and VHS, for now.

Existing system:
Toshiba 32" CRT (don't remember the model)
Panasonic receiver (from HTIB)
Panasonic 5.1 speaker system (from same HTIB)
Toshiba DVD/VCR unit
XBox 360 (w/HDMI)
Shaw Digital Cable (2524??)

Proposed system:
Samsung HL67A750 LED DLP
Yamaha HTR6140B
Polk Audio RM10FS (wasn't planning on, but the Yamaha only has an RCA plug for the subwoofer)
Shaw HD PVR
XBox 360

I'm still debating the DLP vs. Plasma/LCD, and will probably go with a Samsung PN50A550 plasma if I can't find the DLP at the price I want, or I'll drop down to the 61" DLP. I'm on about page 80 of the monster thread on this TV. :) I'm not set on the Samsung units; that's just the way it's worked out. The other TV option is the Panasonic TH50PZ80 or TH50PZ85 plasma.

I know in the future I'll end up getting a BluRay player, but that can wait for now. Waiting for the price on the units to come down. Might pick up a cheap up-converting DVD player in the meantime.

The room I'll set this up in is a pretty long narrow room. The couch is about 12' from the base of the current TV stand to the base of the couch, so that's why I'm going big as possible on the TV. It's in the basement, so lighting is controllable.

Thoughts? Comments? Constructive criticism?

Clint

marsilians
2008-11-23, 02:08 PM
With out a budget goal you will get very varying responses since the system price range from < 1000 to hundreds of thousands. So you should put out a figure that you are comfortable to part with.

Since you have different viewing tastes, you may want to compromise a bit on the TV size and have a decent sound system if you want that effect for movies. OTherwise sports dont stress the 5.1 system too much and you may have a flexibility to buy a cheaper system.

Couple comments on your choices:

For TV I would look at a Plasma or LCD since they are priced much more aggressively than the DLP in recent months. Also since you are planning a BR player, I would go for 1080P. This should future proof you a bit. If $ is a concern for the size you are looking for, then its worthwhile to look at something over 50 but less than 60 inches. YOu will be much further ahead with this choice than DLP down the road.

Also I would suggest looking at manufacturer warranties on TV - LG is usually bad with 1 yr. Samsung normally offers 2 yrs. This will save you tons of $$ if you run into issues in yr 2 or 3 (if you pay by visa as the CC will cover an additional year). I own a Samsung Plasma from 2 yrs and very happy with its performance. I have also heard good things about Panasonic, Sharp and ofcourse the Pioneers.

Re: Subwoofer connection on the Yamaha, it is the digitial coax connection (also called a subwoofer out). You should be fine with that. I would also look at Athena, JBL, Energy and Klipsch systems as reasonable comparators since it appears you are looking to buy this from a big box store.

Re: BR Player. I would personally look to buying a PS3 since it serves the gaming and BR need and its one of the top players with reasonably frequent updates than stand alone players. This will go very nicely with your TV if you end up with 1080P.

Also with a PS3, you want a receiver that can take PCM over HDMI. I believe your choice of receiver will not do it though I am not 100% sure. Check the manual.

I am pretty sure Yamaha RX-V663 (same as HTR 6160), Onkyo 605 and Denon AVR-888 can do this.

Such a mix will beat yours or any HTIB by miles.

Also plan for about 5 - 10% of your budget on cables and DON'T fall for the Monster hype.

Finally, don't get bought into upconverting DVD players and I have not seen that big a difference when comparing with normal DVD players. Other might think otherwise but this in my view is one "I fell for".

Anyway good luck in your search and remember it is as much fun putting together a system as enjoying one.

CNeufeld
2008-11-23, 03:24 PM
I appreciate the quick reply! Here's my thoughts on what you wrote...

1) The items I picked pretty closely match my comfort level for budget. TV - $2500, Receiver $300, Speakers $300, then the HD PVR box for another $500. For the same price, I could swing a LCD or plasma, but only the 52" or 50" version. Because I can't really move the couch closer to the TV due to the room configuration, I figured the extra size would be better. The TV is 1080p, and the reviews are pretty positive both in here, Amazon, and the few "expert" reviews I read. But how many people are comparing that to previous generation RPTV's and how many are comparing to current gen LCD/plasma, who knows...

2) The 6140B does do HDMI processing on audio. The 6130B does not. I think the 6160 and 6150 can process additional formats, but I could be wrong on that. I'm not really up on my audio concepts. I'll probably hook things up to the existing system first, then upgrade the audio in a "phase 2", though. The TV and HD box are the first priorities.

3) I'm really not sure about the PS3 option... If I buy another gaming system, my wife will have a bovine, I think. :) We've already got the XBox(es) and a Wii... A friend of mine has all three, and he uses the PS3 as a media player (BluRay and from his computer), and the XBox for games. So maybe I can persuade her it's just a media player. :)

For cables, I've already got a shopping cart set up in Monoprice. :) Just waiting to see what exactly I need.

Clint

Lynx281
2008-11-23, 04:46 PM
I would not recommend a DLP, definately read up on the advantages vs disadvantages before you pull the trigger.

CNeufeld
2008-11-23, 05:08 PM
Lynx, I appreciate your input. Is this based on the previous generation DLP's, or the current LED DLP's? Actual experience or what you've read/heard?

I haven't seen many negative reviews on the current Samsung DLP units. And the Amazon ratings for the units (61" and 67" versions) are high as well. Just as high as the LCD reviews, and many of the plasma's. The only real disadvantage to the DLP's that I've seen is the viewing angle, and due to the shape of the room, I'm not worried about that.

Again, I appreciate the input!

Clint

BCScott
2008-11-23, 07:30 PM
I would recommend plasma over either DLP or LCD since you watch a lot of hockey. We went from a Sony SXRD to an LCD XBR4 and find motion blur to be very irritating when watching hockey (it's really the only time it bugs me). If the XBR wasn't a swap from Sony at no charge, and I was buying, I would have gone Pioneer plasma as my first choice and Panasonic plasma as my second choice.

CNeufeld
2008-11-23, 07:58 PM
Scott,

I'm surprised to hear you comment on the motion blur on the DLP. From what I've read in one of the other forums, the way these TV's handle motion seems to be a good thing, not bad. I'll dig some more. Appreciate the comment.

Clint