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Old 01-17-2014, 12:16 PM   #1
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Help me pick a HDTV!


I am getting frustrated looking for a new HDTV so I thought I would get other perspectives if someone owns a decent set that has a similar scenario.


The must haves:

1080p
at least 2 HDMI ports, 3+ is better
Price $700 with some wiggle room but I would prefer less though.
Size: 40"-50", was settling towards 42" but I am open to others within my budget.

Don't cares:

smart tv ( I can use a roku or similar)

Room:

Appx size is 11ft x 21ft. TV will go on the short side. Viewing distance is about 9.5ft. Room has four windows w/ no room darkening shades as of now. Given that is a living room I don't think I can convince the wifey of adding in shades. She definitely wants some amount of natural light in there.

I currently have a 27" CRT dealie. It is 13y/o and is on its way out. TV size is ok. To my eyes a new 42" looks monstrous in comparison. Current plan would be to set new TV on a stand because I am too lazy to make the wall mount commitment until I am sure what wall I want it on.

Originally I was going with a plasma. Now I am not sure given that plasma screens tend to be very reflective. I am concerned about seeing the room windows in the screen when it is sunny out. Some sunlight will fall on the TV as the sun goes through the day.

LEDs could be better for a brighter room. Downside seems to be the topic of blurred images if not high enough refresh rate.

I am looking for a TV that is good enough for me. I am not a heavy movie watcher but I don't want to watch a TV that has sucky performance. I would rather see what others actually have here, if they are happy with it, and just buy that model.

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Old 01-17-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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Help me pick a HDTV!


Plasmas aren't as bright as LED or LCD's, so you don't want one in a room with several windows as it will be hard to see the picture when it's bright out, so you're correct in not going plasma.

The top brands in your price range are Panasonic and Samsung. I'm a little partial to Samsung, but I think the Panasonic's are very nice as well. One thing I tend to look for is a tv that has (a lot of) positive reviews. For example this one:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/40-class-40-diag--led-1080p-120hz-smart-hdtv/7841212.p?id=1218861014703&skuId=7841212&st=pcmcat 193400050018_categoryid$abcat0101001&cp=1&lp=1#tab =overview

I know buying a tv from Amazon and the like is popular, but I would never spend that much money on something I might not like once I actually get it. So I would take the time to go to a store and look at the picture for yourself, and also keep in mind someone in the store might not have done a good job setting up the picture. (I've heard rumors that tv companies will hire people to go into stores and act like shoppers but they are really there to mess with the competitors tv pictures to make them look worse )

Honestly can't say much more since I bought a plasma. I will say the 40" tv may look big now, but you'll soon get used to it and there's a chance you'll wish you had bought a bigger tv later on, so if in doubt - buy bigger. Oh, one more thing...expect to buy your tv now and then see it for hundreds less by the end of the year.

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Old 01-18-2014, 09:46 AM   #3
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Help me pick a HDTV!


my walmart has a 60" LG for under $700. i would get that.
get room darkening curtains.
a nice sound system would be real nice also. 2 smaller subs are much better than 1 larger one.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:49 AM   #4
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oh. don't pick a set based on what it looks like in the store. as none of them are properly adjusted. just get a better brand set, then find a forum, AVS is one, that will advice you on how to adjust it. but be aware, some of those guys are anal about setting their stuff up. you don't have to be to get a nice looking image. basic adjustments will go a long way.
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:51 AM   #5
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Help me pick a HDTV!


also be advised : almost no matter what size set you get. you will most likely wish you had gotten bigger. but if you do get a 60", in your room, you will most likely be pretty happy with that.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:08 PM   #6
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Help me pick a HDTV!


We looked at a lot of different ones when getting ours and finally picked an LG 55" (Model 55LA7400).

So far, we love it. We had a 43" Samsung before and it is a real nice set. We looked at Samsung, Vizio, and just about any other brand that was out there. After all was said and done, we liked the picture quality of the LG, even though most expert reviews (PC Mag, Cnet, etc.) tend to heavily favor the Samsung. The LG smart TV and remote functions have also gotten good ratings in a number of places.

Brands aside, in general, LED will do better than plasma in rooms with a lot of natural light. We have big picture windows and a sliding glass door that let light in (Open floor plan in our house).

I would just make sure what you get is large enough (Given your distances, I would say a 50-60 would be somewhere in the range).

Also make sure it is 120Hz or higher. This makes more of a difference on screens bigger than 40" or so. (Honestly, not sure how much the 240 will matter at this point, but the 120 is plenty good.)

Smart TV is handy, and we are still getting used to the functionality, but see it could be a plus (Good bye sending Netflix DVDs back and forth)

Also, I agree with a previous poster about getting it from an actual store. Big purchase like that, I want to see the person Im buying from, face to face, so I can walk back in there if there is a problem.

I would disagree to a certain extent with Fixin' it's post, about in-store displays. You can look at all the reviews you want, but it will be in YOUR living room, so it has to be a picture that YOU like. If you walk into a store, you can ask about messing with the settings on some displays. Some places (HH Gregg) will let you adjust some settings to see what the different pictures look like in different settings.

Have fun with it!
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:11 AM   #7
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Help me pick a HDTV!


All that you are going to find these days, are "Smart" TV's. If you have DirecTV, there are the Samsung RVU's. We have a 7 year old Panasonic 42" Plasma, that is still going strong.

If it dies, it will be getting replaced with a min. 60" LED.

As for your budget, $700 will get you a decent economy set, around the 40" range. I would bump my budget up to around $1200, so that you have more wiggle room.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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Help me pick a HDTV!


Looking at the 80", the picture on most Blu-rays, that are not filmed in 2:35:1, end up looking weird. As in the character or person on the screen is bloated looking, and stretched out.

If you have the room, and a dedicated space, a Projector is the best way to go.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:53 PM   #9
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Help me pick a HDTV!


I'm going to strongly disagree with the first reply (from spaceman).


A PDP (Plasma Display Panel) is brighter than any of the LCD panels (FYI, a LED panel IS an LCD panel. The difference being how the panel is backlit).


Put the LCD panel in a bright room and you will have image washout with direct, or indirect sunlight on the screen.

Put a PDP in that same room, and you will not have that same washout problem..



FWIW: As a professional in the AV business, I have in my own systems, PDP's as a rule, and I would recommend a Panasonic PDP (if you can find one, since they have ceased PDP production).


Even Gregzoll, who I generally disagree with, has a PDP.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:54 PM   #10
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Help me pick a HDTV!


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Looking at the 80", the picture on most Blu-rays, that are not filmed in 2:35:1, end up looking weird. As in the character or person on the screen is bloated looking, and stretched out.
what ? i have yet to see a bloated full screen movie. we just watched PACIFIC RIM, a full screen movie. the image was great. 119" projection here.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:55 PM   #11
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Help me pick a HDTV!


I bough a 52" Sony Bravia LCD 1080 p about five years ago. I went with lcd vs plasma due to glare. I have two windows on the opposite wall, and plasmas tend to be more reflective. I still get compliments on my picture quality. It is amazing. By the way, if you're going to wall mount it shop around on line for your mount. I've hung four or five flat screens over the last couple of years and I never spent more than $20 for a mount.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:47 PM   #12
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Help me pick a HDTV!


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Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
what ? i have yet to see a bloated full screen movie. we just watched PACIFIC RIM, a full screen movie. the image was great. 119" projection here.

Sounds like it was anamorphically enhanced for a 16:9 screen.

The term "full screen" is indicative of a 4:3 format.


Take the full screen version, make it fill the screen, and things would seem more than just bloated....
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:14 PM   #13
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Help me pick a HDTV!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ktkelly View Post
Sounds like it was anamorphically enhanced for a 16:9 screen.

The term "full screen" is indicative of a 4:3 format.


Take the full screen version, make it fill the screen, and things would seem more than just bloated....
you don't know what you are talking about. a 2013 movie made in 4:3
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktkelly View Post

The term "full screen" is indicative of a 4:3 format.

yeah, 15 years ago.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:03 PM   #15
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Help me pick a HDTV!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ktkelly View Post
I'm going to strongly disagree with the first reply (from spaceman).


A PDP (Plasma Display Panel) is brighter than any of the LCD panels (FYI, a LED panel IS an LCD panel. The difference being how the panel is backlit).


Put the LCD panel in a bright room and you will have image washout with direct, or indirect sunlight on the screen.

Put a PDP in that same room, and you will not have that same washout problem..



FWIW: As a professional in the AV business, I have in my own systems, PDP's as a rule, and I would recommend a Panasonic PDP (if you can find one, since they have ceased PDP production).


Even Gregzoll, who I generally disagree with, has a PDP.
Even a PDP will be washed out. We put up Darkening drapes, to also help with holding in the heat, along keeping out the Direct Sun on the East & South sides of our Living Room.

We also went through out the house, and put up UV Film, to make it that the Sun reflects out of the house, but also we can open our drapes during the day, no one can see into the house. At night you can see in when the lights are on, but the drapes are closed.

Before we did this, you would get a White glare across the face of our Plasma, with the old drapes that we had.

Having the pull down shades, UV film, darkening drapes on the windows behind the couch, which faces the tv, and same for the lights in the front & Storm door, and East facing window, has made the picture a whole lot better. Add to that, that we use 6500k CFL's, set at 22 watts, which is usually just the light next to me (do not know the Lum, but I do believe that it is 800).

We have friend's that have a Great Room, with floor to ceiling windows, that cover two floors. We have mentioned having them tint those windows, due to when I calibrated the picture on that tv, you could not get a decent calibration, no matter how hard I tried, while the Sun was up and blaring through those windows.

We ended up just going into the middle with the settings, so that the picture was not so dark, that you could not see it, but also not so bright, that it made the PQ really bad when it got dark out.

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