|2007-12-13, 12:47 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 8300HD, eHDD, Panasonic TCP65S1, Denon AVR4310Ci; 8300HD, eHDD & Sony KDL40W3000
FAQ - Which HDTV Should I Buy?
You've got a good start by coming to this forum. Read all you can in the various threads.
You'll need to decide how large a TV you want or can fit into your house. Buy the largest that will fit, or that you think will be watchable from a particular distance - see the "how large" FAQ.
Do you want, or have, surround sound? A large portion of the large screen experience can be the surround sound experience, so you need to budget for that. Buy the best you can afford
Will you want a CRT based direct view, CRT-RPTV, plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, etc type of TV. All of these are various ways of saying size and money... See the FAQ on Types of HDTV.
How many and which type of inputs do you want/need on your new TV?
As for brands, they all have strengths and weaknesses. Some are better and more expensive. Some are less expensive and (typically) not as good. But most HDTVs have good picture quality when properly set up, so you may wish to investigate reliability. (The cheaper sets often are less reliable and more prone to problems). Consumer Reports or similar publications are good for finding this sort of data.
Another less-frequently discussed reason to purchase certain brands is that some brands simply are more popular and therefore it's more likely that you'll be able to find information regarding tweaking or other information on forums like this one, whereas a less popular brand may not have that sort of information available.
Do you want a set with an internal digital tuner? This may be useful if you wish to receive your programming OTA (over-the-air). Most people have a service provider and have an external STB which feeds the signals to one of the inputs on the back of the TV.
Where you buy it can be important. If you purchase on-line or from a "box-store" you're unlikely to get good service. A smaller store may charge a little more, but it may be worth it to you to have the service and consultation.
It's extremely important to have the TV properly set up once it's in your home. The manufacturers set up the TV to have impact in a brightly lit store, these settings are not appropriate for the home. You'll need to properly set up the TV when you get it home. See the FAQ "What you need to do to your new HDTV".
Picture colour and quality in the store are often not good measures of the TV, since it will need to be set up properly once you get it home as mentioned above and the settings may have been changed by other shoppers, etc.
Ergonomics and features can be important too. See the FAQ post "If only I'd have known" for some feature discussion.
HDTV is no different than a lot of "expensive" purchases. Do your research. "Test Drive" the units, don't rush, and buy the best you can afford because no-one ever regrets buying quality.
Lastly, the TV is probably not the only component in your home theatre. You may wish to consider having someone set up or optimize all this equipment for you. See the "What you need to do" FAQ, or, if near the GTA, see: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=40306
Please PM 57 if you have any comments or suggestions for this post.