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Buying A New HDTV: Suggestions?

I already know the onslaught of opinion this may cause, but away I go. I am closing on a condo a week from today and as part of the move, I am putting my computer with the 24" LCD in a 2nd bedroom as an office. Good times… except that the monitor was also my TV, so there will be nothing in the living room for a TV or for my XBox 360.

Soooo… I needs me some HDTV. I plan on shopping for it over this weekend and was hoping some of my T-peeps might have suggestions for me.

A few things I am looking for:

  1. Flat panel
  2. Leaning towards LCD, but I could be persuaded for plasma (although I have these nagging suspicions/worries about screen burn-in)
  3. Something in the 37" to 42" range
  4. Would probably pay into the low $2,000 range.

Currently eyeballing:
Sony 40" LCD
http://www.tweeter.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2231540

and
Toshiba 42" Plasma
http://www.tweeter.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2293078

Any suggestions?

DLP is a must. You’re in Conneticut, so elevation is no issue with the plasma.

Just bought one, and for my personal taste I’d have to say nothing but plasma. I feel that it has a more subtle depth to the darkness. I bought an Hewlitt-Packard 42 inch. Cost 1600 or so at Nebraska Furniture Mart, but then you add in tax, money for surge suppressors and other goodies, and extended service warranty, comes to about 2000. Haven’t had if very long, but I like the detail of the picture more than the LCDs I’ve seen.

Advice: Do heavy research on pricing. Once you know what brands/models you will consider, look online and everywhere else. You can always find a better deal somewhere. Also, I would make sure that you reset the color balance, sharpness, contrast, and brightness to factory defaults before comparing pictures of different brands. Most customers mess with the settings, but you want to make sure the field is level for the competitors. You can always tweak when you’re at home or finalizing.

Finally, check the down processing. That is, check out what kind of signal processing you’re going to get from regular antenna/low-def cable connection. Some brands have really crappy conversion between low-def signal and HD TV screen resolution. A couple brands I looked at seemed about the same as my old 8 bit nintendo when the signal wasn’t HD. Avoid at all costs.

Have fun, they’re amazing.

[quote]MartinL wrote:
DLP is a must. You’re in Conneticut, so elevation is no issue with the plasma.[/quote]

The funny thing is I just got back from checking out some LCDs, plasmas and even some DLPs. You know, I might even begin to lean towards a DLP. I had no idea their pictures were THAT good (and a hell of a lot cheaper for 1080p than what it goes for on LCDs).

[quote]MartinL wrote:
DLP is a must. You’re in Conneticut, so elevation is no issue with the plasma.[/quote]

Agreed. 46" Samsung DLP

get a DLP, but nothing less than mitsubishi, they have an exclusive contract with TI to sell their high end DLP chips. trust me the quality is way higher on a mitsu.

plus you can get a much bigger TV if you wanted for the same price. good luck, shop around and ask many many questions. you will know when you find the right one!

I work at Circuit City and I’m actually one of the knowledgable “college kids” there.

Do you want a thin panel or just a flat screen?

If you want something in the 40" range, DLP is out of the picture as it is strictly a projection technology and all the good (ie 1080P) DLPs are 50" and above.

I would reccomend either KDL40S2000 you posted or the Samsung 40" LCD. Both are flat, I even being a huge Sony fan would opt for the Samsung. I see it day in and day out and it really does have a better picture in my opinion.

Oh, and as for plasma, they only reason I’d ever choose a plasma was if I wanted something larger than 50" hung on my wall. Otherwise we have several in the store that are already burned in after just a few days of a DVD menu being left on them.

This might help:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/tips/1777/the-list.html

Have you thought about a HDTV projector? I have one and its 80 inches of HD quality on my wall, with the 6.1 surround sound system. My projector does 1080i resolution and looks great. The only concern is getting a projector with high luminosity.

Most HDTV’s and Plasma’s max out in size at about 40" or more.

Come on Kuz, just go all out…

http://media.skoopy.com/misc/plasma/

Anyone have any thoughts/experience with Vizio’s brand of LCD/Plasma tv’s?
They have pretty competitive reviews at places like CNET, and their prices are much lower than most brands.

I just recently picked up a Toshiba 56" widescreen DLP for under 2000 cdn. Very happy with the unit. Picture is great with the cable high definition PVR. If you have any direct questions regarding this unit please let me know. I beleie that a newer model is replacing it as that was the reason for the recent price drop on this unit. Ive seen it selling for as much as 2800 and 2500 all day long.
See YA

Burn-in is a very serious issue. All it takes is some stupid kid to leave a game paused on your brand new plasma to completely ruin it. It happened to a friend of mine only a month after he got one.

Newer LCDs don’t have the refresh rate issues that used to make the technology a joke. The gap in viewing angles, contrast, and brightness between LCD and plasma is definitely narrowing. LCDs still use less power and last longer.

The Sony Bravia line does seem to be getting good reviews. Just be sure to check out the performance for yourself in a store. Aside from resolution and inputs, the specs don’t tell you much.

If you can wait 8 weeks, pick one up at an after Thanksgiving day sale. The stores often have a loss leader to get people in the store. There are some on-line sites that’ll clue you in to what the sales will be ahead of time. Then you can check them out beforehand.

[quote]infin|ty wrote:
I work at Circuit City and I’m actually one of the knowledgable “college kids” there.

Do you want a thin panel or just a flat screen?

If you want something in the 40" range, DLP is out of the picture as it is strictly a projection technology and all the good (ie 1080P) DLPs are 50" and above.

I would reccomend either KDL40S2000 you posted or the Samsung 40" LCD. Both are flat, I even being a huge Sony fan would opt for the Samsung. I see it day in and day out and it really does have a better picture in my opinion.

Oh, and as for plasma, they only reason I’d ever choose a plasma was if I wanted something larger than 50" hung on my wall. Otherwise we have several in the store that are already burned in after just a few days of a DVD menu being left on them. [/quote]

Speaking of Circuit City, I pulled the trigger on Sunday on this baby:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Sony-50-SXRD-trade-LCD-Projection-HDTV-KDS50A2000/sem/rpsm/oid/150945/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

It’s the new 50" Sony SXRD LCD Projection TV. Absolutely beautiful picture. I basically was trying to pick amongst 3 different projection TVs: Sony, Samsung and Mitsubishi. They were all incredibly comparable, but I have had very good luck with Sony in the past and decided to stick with them.

The amount of upselling that went along with the TV was a bit mind-boggling. I cannot imagine paying $400-$500 for a surge protector. Yikes.

[quote]Bauer97 wrote:
Come on Kuz, just go all out…

http://media.skoopy.com/misc/plasma/

[/quote]

Damn. The web filter at work is blocking me. Gotta check when I get home (and knowing you, Bauer, this should be a peach).

[quote]EmperialChina wrote:
Have you thought about a HDTV projector? I have one and its 80 inches of HD quality on my wall, with the 6.1 surround sound system. My projector does 1080i resolution and looks great. The only concern is getting a projector with high luminosity.

Most HDTV’s and Plasma’s max out in size at about 40" or more.[/quote]

I think these can be great, but I just don’t have the right sized room for that kind of picture (as much as I wish I did).

Plasma: pro; better contrast, wider viewing angle, deeper blacks, con;: burn in, weight, hotter, more power consumption(no biggie). LCD: pro; lighter, less expensive to replace bulb,no burn in, con: less contrast, greyer blacks, narrower viewing angle. DLP: pro; big screens, less $ per inch, light, con; rainbow effect from mirror(improving), depth of unit(improving).

If you want the absolute best picture, Plasma is king, for now. 50-60,000hr screen life means that you’ll be able to replace it for a lot less money when it dies. LCD’s are catching up to Plasma in most areas. I think for most viewing purposes all will give you a damn good viewing experience. If you can budget Mitsubishi DLP as mentioned, go for it. Samsung LCD’s are also top notch.

Plasma would be Pioneer or Hitachi. Whatever you buy make sure you plug it into a top notch power supply. Interruptions in power won’t be welcomed by these units, LCD bulbs really hate being denied a cool down. So get the best power bar/surge suppression you can afford.