T Nation

LCD/Plasma/Rear Projection TVs

I just recently bought a house and I’m needing to buy a new TV and I’m also quite effing confused about what to buy. I like LCDs mostly because of the non-reflective factor and I’ve also read up on Consumer Reports but it’s still overwhelming as hell to see the major price differences in different sets of a given size with seemingly similar quality.

Can anyone offer their opinions?

Basically, I don’t watch much TV to begin with. Mostly what I will watch will be baseball, football, and some sitcoms in the evening. I don’t give two shits about gaming features and I’m not much into movies (only occasionally). I’d probably like to go with a 37" or 40" for the sake of not spending a fortune for something I don’t use too much. I would really like to stay between $800-$1,300 price range because I don’t see any reason to go “all out” as previously stated.

Any recomendations out there? Thanks.

Unless you want to light up your entire wall, theres no need for a projection TV.

Other than that, I dont have many suggestions. I will say though that watching football, as well as anything else (especially planet earth), in HD is fucking amazing.

Can you even get a 40 inch plasma for around a grand these days?

You can’t get a plasma less than 42"s. I’ve read consumer reports also and I found a good 46" Samsung LN-T4661F. It is on sale at Best Buy for 1,650 I think. You can go to the post office and get a change of adress form and there is a 10% off coupon in there so it comet out to 1,485. Well worth it in my opinion.

I know it is a little more than you wanted but just go with a LCD in that price range and size, INHO.

This will at least narrow it down for you.

get an LCD. Plasmas tend to burn out after a few years of solid use. Your best bet is to get an LCD HDTV. Projection TVs are total garbage, you have to be sitting in front of the screen to see the picture clearly.

Go with the LCD. The plasmas typically have the best picture, but the glare will get on your nerves. Unless you never plan on watching with the lights on or with a window open, you can’t escape it.

I’ve looked at a number of the rear-projections and haven’t liked the picture in any of them.

www.tvsdepot.com has the best prices of anybody I’ve seen.

Thanks guys. Yeah I pretty much figured rear projection were the low end but CR spoke kinda highly about them so I figured they were worth mentioning.

I’m pretty sure I will go with the LCD, between 37"-42" depending on the deal.

Another question, what’s the main criteria to look for if you want the best resolution and quick regeneration for watching fast action? I believe I should be looking for 1080p and 120Hz but please correct me if that’s wrong?

You can get a Samsung 46" DLP with 720P for about $900. Unless you are a video fanatic you won’t notice the difference between 720P and 1080P on most programs.

The upside to DLP over LCD/Plasma is refresh rates. If you watch a lot of action there is a noticeable lag in plasma.

The downside to DLP are the lamps, which have to be replaced every 3 years at $150-200 a pop. Sometimes I can also see scan lines if I look for them.

Plasma also has an average life of 7 years.

1080p is currently the best you can get, but in the size range you are looking at you are very unlikely to notice any difference between 1080i, 720p, and 1080p without sitting 6 inches from the screen.

WRT response time, plasmas have virtually no lag, this is why they are so often recommended for fast paced sports, so I would disregard what the previous poster said. It can be an issue with LCD, but just go to Best Buy and make sure to watch the tv for a while before watching. I’d also recommend staying with a major brand.

[quote]mazevedo wrote:
Thanks guys. Yeah I pretty much figured rear projection were the low end but CR spoke kinda highly about them so I figured they were worth mentioning.

I’m pretty sure I will go with the LCD, between 37"-42" depending on the deal.

Another question, what’s the main criteria to look for if you want the best resolution and quick regeneration for watching fast action? I believe I should be looking for 1080p and 120Hz but please correct me if that’s wrong?[/quote]

Yeah, if you’re going to watch something in HD, you’re going to want a TV that has the highest resolution, which would be 1080p. The picture generates progressively (row by row), rather than randomly (like interlaced, which would be the little ‘i’ at the end of the resolutions [1080i, etc]).

If you like sports and movies get a plasma

If you like games get the LCD

Plasma do not burn out like they used to

Also to get the most out of the HD experience invest in a HDMI cable

I dont really like using HDMI for system configurations because of mating factors. a lot of times all the equipment that is branched together wont communicate with each other using HDMI. Now If your only running 1-2 pieces of equipment, i agree with HDMI, but in my opinion component is still the way to go and is what my company uses in every home A/V system we install.

As for TVs we only use two kinds. For plasma we use the commercial edition Pioneer, your looking at upwards of 50,000 hours life there. The consumer edition is junk. For LCD we use the 53 series Samsung, not only are they a great tv, but they are controllable by a control4 or crestron system using RF. this negates the use of an IR flasher, also the unit itself looks gorgeous hanging on your wall.

I mainly watch sports and sitcoms. I have a 42" LCD by westinghouse; I bought it from NewEgg.com good price, great TV. I spent $1000 last June; they are cheaper now; dammit!

[quote]tedro wrote:
1080p is currently the best you can get, but in the size range you are looking at you are very unlikely to notice any difference between 1080i, 720p, and 1080p without sitting 6 inches from the screen.

WRT response time, plasmas have virtually no lag, this is why they are so often recommended for fast paced sports, so I would disregard what the previous poster said. It can be an issue with LCD, but just go to Best Buy and make sure to watch the tv for a while before watching. I’d also recommend staying with a major brand.[/quote]

Care to back that up. My DLP has no noticeable lag, however my buddies Plasma will make you sick during sports. His is a $5000 sony, so I doubt it’s a quality issue.

http://www.dlp.com/hdtv/why_dlp_hdtvs.aspx

You’ll find plenty of good LCDs in your price range. Plasmas are also amazing and generally pricier (there’s no burn-in with them anymore, not sure there ever really was). In the end, it’ll come down to deciding which picture looks the best to you. You’ll also need to know your viewing distance when deciding on your size range.

Rear-projection/DLP sets usually enter the equation if your TV just has to be 65" or larger. (plasmas and LCDs at that size still aren’t very affordable)

I would def recommend 1080p and also make sure you don’t spend more than $10 on an HDMI cable.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
tedro wrote:
1080p is currently the best you can get, but in the size range you are looking at you are very unlikely to notice any difference between 1080i, 720p, and 1080p without sitting 6 inches from the screen.

WRT response time, plasmas have virtually no lag, this is why they are so often recommended for fast paced sports, so I would disregard what the previous poster said. It can be an issue with LCD, but just go to Best Buy and make sure to watch the tv for a while before watching. I’d also recommend staying with a major brand.

Care to back that up. My DLP has no noticeable lag, however my buddies Plasma will make you sick during sports. His is a $5000 sony, so I doubt it’s a quality issue.

http://www.dlp.com/hdtv/why_dlp_hdtvs.aspx [/quote]

No. I said lag can be an issue with LCD’s, not always though of course. DLP’s are a different beast. It is the constant flickering that turns me away from them.

As for plasma, sure lag can be a problem, and it is a quality issue, but a relatively uncommon one. I would be willing to bet your friends Sony is a)old, b)defective in some way, or c)you are watching a 480i picture and the upconversion is poor.

I stand by my original recommendation. Watch a bunch of them at the stores, pick the one that you like the best and that will work the best in your room. It is very likely that this will be an LCD.

Whatever you do, don’t get DLP. If you aren’t at the right angle/height, then you don’t get full brightness/color. :frowning:

[quote]tedro wrote:
Testy1 wrote:
tedro wrote:
1080p is currently the best you can get, but in the size range you are looking at you are very unlikely to notice any difference between 1080i, 720p, and 1080p without sitting 6 inches from the screen.

WRT response time, plasmas have virtually no lag, this is why they are so often recommended for fast paced sports, so I would disregard what the previous poster said. It can be an issue with LCD, but just go to Best Buy and make sure to watch the tv for a while before watching. I’d also recommend staying with a major brand.

Care to back that up. My DLP has no noticeable lag, however my buddies Plasma will make you sick during sports. His is a $5000 sony, so I doubt it’s a quality issue.

http://www.dlp.com/hdtv/why_dlp_hdtvs.aspx

No. I said lag can be an issue with LCD’s, not always though of course. DLP’s are a different beast. It is the constant flickering that turns me away from them.

As for plasma, sure lag can be a problem, and it is a quality issue, but a relatively uncommon one. I would be willing to bet your friends Sony is a)old, b)defective in some way, or c)you are watching a 480i picture and the upconversion is poor.

I stand by my original recommendation. Watch a bunch of them at the stores, pick the one that you like the best and that will work the best in your room. It is very likely that this will be an LCD.

[/quote]

You must sell them, hence the vested interest. Now it’s time to sell him some $500 monster cables.

His plasma is 2 years old and it was 1080p signal. Looked amazing when there was no action.

There is an occasional scan line on mine but no flicker. Still for a couple grand I can live with it.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on this discussion.

What do you all think of this model:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_05771947000P?vName=Computers+%26+Electronics&cName=Televisions&sName=LCD+TVs&filter=Overall+Size|42+in.

After doing a little research, I like this 42" Visio for the following reasons:

  1. It had a good rating in Consumer Reports

  2. It’s a fairly large tv for only $1200 and it has 1080p

  3. It got a five star rating and nothing but good consumer reviews at Sears.com

TLK, you’re entirely wrong about current DLP TVs.

The new DLP technology also uses LEDs and you get proper brightness throughout the pictures, not just on 1/3 of the screen. Old DLPs suffered from that problem, but thats a thing of the past. You just have to make sure its a newer model. Not anything old.

I would like to mention one thing, if you won’t be using an HD signal to get your sports, PAY MORE FOR AN LCD. DO NOT BUY SOMETHING CHEAP.

Having something with a crappy pulldown (not 3:2 or even 5:5 or something like that) will pixelate the picture and the quality will be horrible. SD can look aweful on a cheap LCD. Do a little resarch on how well these tvs show SD unless you’re only getting HD, then there’s no worry.

I would also like to add, please go look at the tv and ask them to show both SD and HD broadcasts on the set and compare it to similar priced TVs. That will help you a lot. Much more than just the statistics of the tv.

[quote]chillain wrote:

I would def recommend 1080p and also make sure you don’t spend more than $10 on an HDMI cable.

[/quote]

Would you care to share what good brand of HDMI cable is going to cost only $10? The ones Circuit City pushes (Monster brand I think) are $100!

From those of you that have HDTVs, does it matter that much which brand you buy? Since I will be using the stock speakers (for now) I would assume I could really use a high quality cable to hopefully get the best sound possible. Any thoughts?