New HDTV Purchase

Clocker

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I'm researching the purchase of an HDTV. Size is not an issue so I'm currently focused on finding a good 1080p 50" DLP micro-display. The newer ones with an LED light source (i.e. Samsung) sound very interesting to me.

Anybody have any advice about HDTVs?
 

sechs

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My advice: Don't bother getting a new television if the old one still works.
 

Clocker

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There is no old one. The TV is for a new entertainment area going in my newly finished basement.
 

ddrueding

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I love projector-based systems. A new basement installation where wiring could be concealed and lighting controlled sounds ideal. You won't find anything else in that size category, particularly for the price.
 

P5-133XL

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The longer you wait, the better the technology and the cheaper it will be.

That being said, I'm perfectly happy with my 1080p Sony Lycos KDS-60A2000. The biggest thing I noted when buying mine was -- don't scrimp on the sound system! Also, assuming that you don't invest in Blu-Ray, or HD-DVD invest in a good upconverting DVD player. The extra's can make all the difference in satisfaction, and will cost more than you expect.

It was my observation, that all the 1080p HDTV models produce a very good picture and unless you get very large, the only discernable difference between 1080p and 1080i was that the 1080p sets were signifigently brighter. So, as far as I could tell, that's what you are paying for by going 1080p. Also, you have to pay attention to your input source: What HD-modes are you likely to view: Comcast, for example only uses 720p and 1080i ...

So my basic opinion is that go cheaper on the TV and put that extra money in the extra's where the differences can be dramatic.

As far as your specific HDTV is concerned, I don't know: I haven't kept up, since I bought mine.
 

jtr1962

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My advice is to spend a little more and go with a 50" 1080p LCD. While DLP TVs give a better picture than the older projection TVs, to me the screen still looks dim and the colors washed out, at least compared to LCD. I can view an LCD TV or monitor well even in a room brightly lit with fluorescents. I imagine a DLP would look fine in a darkened room, though. I never saw one using an LED projector light. Perhaps this helps with the lack of color saturation. It certainly obviates the need to periodically replace an expensive bulb (another drawback of most DLPs), and I'd guess that power consumption would probably be less. More of the light emitting from an LED can be focused to where it needs to go for starters. LEDs are also several times more efficient than incandescent bulbs at this point.

If SED was just over the horizon I'd recommend to wait a bit but it seems those won't be coming out for a while. SED promises contrast ratios exceeding 100,000:1.
 

Pradeep

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Don't get a DLP based set until you can be sure that you aren't prone to noticing the rainbow effect. Apparently even the LED based models can have it.

For 1080p I would suggest 60" or bigger, projection is always nice if you have ambient light control. The newest model of the TV that Mark has is called the 60A2020, they appear to have fixed the "green blob" issue that certain sets were affected by.
 

Stereodude

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Don't get a DLP based set until you can be sure that you aren't prone to noticing the rainbow effect. Apparently even the LED based models can have it.
I can see rainbows on any DLP that uses a conventional color wheel and UHP bulb. However, I can't see them on any of the new 2007 Samsung models that use LEDs (I could on the 2006 models though).
 

Stereodude

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My advice is to spend a little more and go with a 50" 1080p LCD. While DLP TVs give a better picture than the older projection TVs, to me the screen still looks dim and the colors washed out, at least compared to LCD. I can view an LCD TV or monitor well even in a room brightly lit with fluorescents. I imagine a DLP would look fine in a darkened room, though. I never saw one using an LED projector light. Perhaps this helps with the lack of color saturation. It certainly obviates the need to periodically replace an expensive bulb (another drawback of most DLPs), and I'd guess that power consumption would probably be less. More of the light emitting from an LED can be focused to where it needs to go for starters. LEDs are also several times more efficient than incandescent bulbs at this point.
The LED sets have great color and they're not very dim either. They're not as eye searingly bright as a direct view LCD however.

If SED was just over the horizon I'd recommend to wait a bit but it seems those won't be coming out for a while. SED promises contrast ratios exceeding 100,000:1.
I wouldn't hold your breath for SEDs. By the time they come to market there will have missed their window for opportunity.
 

Clocker

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Depending on the size of the TV, about 6-8 feet.

I was going to just buy my brother-in-laws 65" Toshiba TheaterWide RP CRT TV but that thing is just too damn big (6' wide, 2.2' deep) . By the time I angled it into the corner of the TV area, I would probably be able to only sit about 4 feet away from it.
 

Stereodude

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Well... If you have 20/20 vision to fully resolve 1920x1080 you should sit about 1.56x the diagonal. So, 6-8 feet is about right for a 50" set.
 

Clocker

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Thanks for the confirmation. That size seemed about right.
 

ddrueding

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I have far from 20/20 vision. I have a ~140" screen and sit about 8-10 feet away. I still get more detail on 1080i with my glasses.
 

Clocker

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The size of your screen is cool and everything, but, what does that have to do with my situation? I'm just looking for some advice on a 50" HDTV. :)
 

ddrueding

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Redirection. Looking at the cost of a 50" HDTV, and aware of where you will be putting it, I would instead get a projector. Cheaper, bigger screen, less expensive.
 

Stereodude

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Redirection. Looking at the cost of a 50" HDTV, and aware of where you will be putting it, I would instead get a projector. Cheaper, bigger screen, less expensive.
Please point us to the 1080p front projectors that have a comparable cost to the 2007 50" Samsung LED sets.
 

Clocker

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There's no way a projector could be used in my application. How did you see where I'm putting it, btw? ;-)
 

udaman

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Depending on the size of the TV, about 6-8 feet.

I was going to just buy my brother-in-laws 65" Toshiba TheaterWide RP CRT TV but that thing is just too damn big (6' wide, 2.2' deep) . By the time I angled it into the corner of the TV area, I would probably be able to only sit about 4 feet away from it.

Umm, there was another thread about these or two recently?

I haven't seen the LED RPTV (yeah, they call them DLP, but a rose by any other name is still a spade ;) ), but I'm hoping they have *much* better of axis performance than the large 65+in UHP bulbed screen I was looking at in the Magnolia room@BB, cause it really sucked.

So the TV is going right into the corner on a perpendicular axis?

I don't know how much these new Samsung LED light engine DLP's are, you'd better go into a store and measure with a tape. Make sure you can return the unit for a refund in 15 or 30days if it proves unsatisfactory.

LCD's with backlit LED's would of course be my 1st choice in any environment because they are the thinest by far (not counting the better OLED or SED screens that may or may not make it past the prototype stage), but they cost the most. You have to decide your budget. And as far a viewing distance, that's kind of subjective. Just like some people think sitting way up close to a movie theatre screen is the best viewing spot...which I think blows totally. But for viewing TV, I could sit closer than many people are comfortable with, and that may be the case with Clocker if he's watching sports programing. I would always get the biggest screen I could afford or fit into a give space, even a bedroom :) (is Merc lurking ;) ).



If money were not object I'd get either the 70in Samsung LED backlit LCD
reported 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio… for whatever that measurement’s worth.
Not alot, contrast ratios are the most hyped thing in HDTV now.

, or if smaller, then the 52in LG/Phillips (which to my knowledge hasn't shipped yet, but supposedly that's imminent). Depends on whether you want to buy this week, or can wait to do some more research, view models in person.

http://www.myplasmapartner.com/Plasma/LCD/HDTV/Coupons/Discounts/category/led/

There are two lines of the recently shipping Samsung DLP's w/LED engines, consider what you want:

http://www.twice.com/article/ca6439607.html
 

Stereodude

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I haven't seen the LED RPTV (yeah, they call them DLP, but a rose by any other name is still a spade ;) ), but I'm hoping they have *much* better of axis performance than the large 65+in UHP bulbed screen I was looking at in the Magnolia room@BB, cause it really sucked.
It's not going to be any better. Probably not as good.

I don't see what the problem is. I have a RP CRT that I bought 3 years ago and it's got a narrower viewing cone than any of these new microdisplay based RP sets, and I don't have any issues with it. Granted I'm not trying to watch it from 70 degrees off the perpendicular, but who really seriously watches a TV from that kind of angle? I sit with my head pretty much dead perpendicular to the screen on both axis.
 

LunarMist

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I don't own a TV, and many of my friends don't either.

I'm sure you have some sort of electronic device that displays moving images. ;) Whatever the young people call them these days, Geekomatic 3900, etc.
 
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Clocker

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So the TV is going right into the corner on a perpendicular axis?

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the TV is going into a corner so that, in top view, the screen will make the hypotenuse of the triangle below. With a microdisplay, a large portion of the back the the TV (as well as the TV stand) should be able to fill in the corner where to two walls come together. I'm now leaning towards 56" screens after going to Circuit City today.

sl006.png
 

ddrueding

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I'm sure you have some sort of electronic device that displays moving images. ;) Whatever the young people call them these days, Geekomatic 3900, etc.

I always thought "TV" meant more than a screen that displays images (we're both using those right now ;)). I thought it was something that was capable of displaying broadcast programming of some sort. I pulled the TV tuner card out of my box today, after using it a total of 1 time. The quality of the broadcast (Digital OTA) I might be able to get used to, but then there were the programs themselves. FTS (forget that stuff).
 

Clocker

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After looking at it in a local store, I think this is the unit I'm going to get.

http://reviews.cnet.com/projection-tvs/samsung-hl-t5687s/4505-6484_7-32313063.html

Probably in a month or two...no rush. Hoping the price comes down just a bit while I'm waiting.

Are there any good online places to make a major purchase like this? I never bought something like this (expensive) online. Or, would you guys recommend sticking with local a B&M place (incase I have issues)?

Do you guys recommend getting an extended warranty?
 

Stereodude

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Amazon has it for under $2k with free shipping.

I would suggest you take a trip to your local ABC Warehouse if you don't mind doing a little wheeling and dealing. I got a great deal on my Hitachi a few years ago there.
 

Clocker

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Also...

Is it worth paying about $200 extra to have a TV that supports HDMI 1.3?

Thanks...
 

e_dawg

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Not alot, contrast ratios are the most hyped thing in HDTV now.

I find there is a lot of work to be done in the area of contrast, black level, and gamma management in the context of variable ambient lighting (bright/dark room) and content that varies widely in the amount of contrast in each scene (dark scenes or sunny days on the ski slopes).

The Hitachi plasma panels have a good idea of switching between two picture settings for day / night either manually or auto-programmed depending on time of day. I find that ambient light levels really affect the quality of the picture and really change the contrast, black level, and gamma requirements. Of course, if you have controlled lighting like in your basement, that's half the battle right there.

The content you watch also changes the requirements too. For example, if you're watching something like CSI or the X-Files where there are a lot of dark scenes, you need much shallower tone curves and precise gamma tracking for all chroma and luminance channels. It is quite difficult if you want to resolve all the details in the shadows and have proper colour fidelity. You need very different curves than if you're watching the news / sports or if you're watching something with sun & water / snow.

Similarly, if you want to reproduce the super high contrast of a forest / field scene, or water / beach + sun, high contrast capability is nice, but the requirements are vastly different if you are watching in a dark basement vs a living room during the day. A TV set up for 500,000:1 contrast that faithfully reproduces a sunny day on the beach or ski slopes will deliver retina searing highlights in a darkened room. But in brighter living room in the afternoon, there is no way even the brightest TV could come close to being bright enough to do it.

For all the theoretical technical capability we have in the best HD sets these days, I still find them lacking when it comes to this part of the actual user experience.
 

Stereodude

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Also...

Is it worth paying about $200 extra to have a TV that supports HDMI 1.3?

Thanks...
I don't think that's the only difference between the 87 and 89. The USB interface is faster on the 89 and a few other things I don't recall off the top of my head.
 

Clocker

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Correct. But that seems like the only difference that could potentially matter to me. I don't fully understand the value of having HDMI 1.3 (if there is any real world benefit).
 

Stereodude

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I guess I'd be hard pressed to give you a good answer. Supposedly Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will never support "deep color". So it would be things like HD camcorders and maybe digital cameras. LED TVs have a very wide gamut so its hard to take advantage of that unless you stretch standard material to the wider gamut (which makes it looks unnatural). HDMI 1.3 would offer a way to utilize that wider gamut down the road.
 

Clocker

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I heard PS3 does HDMI 1.3.

I'll have to see what happens with prices in the next month or two I guess. This is a once in a great while purchase for me so maybe I'll just splurge a little.
 

Stereodude

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I heard PS3 does HDMI 1.3.
Sorta... The whole HDMI revision thing is nearly completely useless because feature compliance is not mandatory. The PS3 is advertised as HDMI 1.3, but doesn't support several of the HDMI 1.3 features. It doesn't support raw bitstream transmission for DTS-MA or DD-TrueHD, both of which were added in HDMI 1.3. It supposedly supports deep color, but only the games will take advantage of it.

The whole thing is laughable. In theory you could advertise a HDMI 1.1 device as HDMI 1.3. I don't know if anyone is doing that, but Pioneer and other people sold HDMI 1.1 DVD players as HDMI 1.2 (when they didn't support the one main feature that HDMI 1.2 added over HDMI 1.1).
 

Chewy509

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The whole thing is laughable. In theory you could advertise a HDMI 1.1 device as HDMI 1.3. I don't know if anyone is doing that, but Pioneer and other people sold HDMI 1.1 DVD players as HDMI 1.2 (when they didn't support the one main feature that HDMI 1.2 added over HDMI 1.1).
Sort of like USB 2.0 Full Speed vs USB 2.0 High Speed???
 

Stereodude

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Sort of like USB 2.0 Full Speed vs USB 2.0 High Speed???
Yes, but much worse. At least there are only 2 basic possibilities with USB 2.0.

So far HDMI has 1.0, 1.1, 1.2a, 1.2b, 1.3a, 1.3b.

Apparently some manufacturers advertise their HDMI revision by the revision of the chip they're using, not by the features they implement. So, if they use a HDMI 1.3b TMDS and only implement the functionality defined in 1.0 they advertise it as HDMI 1.3b because it uses a 1.3b chip.
 

mubs

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e_dawg:

I have an LG TV that has a feature called "Magic Eye" which, if enabled, is supposed to sense ambient light and adjust the pic based on content. Needless to say it sucks goats' balls and is turned off. Technical capability is one thing; the firmware to use it well is another. I think we have a long way to go for both.
 
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