T Nation

LCD TV's

OK - I’ll go way off topic.

I am really in the market for a new, flat panel TV. (My regular tube TV finally gave out.) I really need to get going on this within the next week-and-a-half.

Problem is, I’ve researched for hours on the internet and visited a Best Buy and Circuit City just to see some in person. The whole thing is so complicated that I still don’t know what is what and can’t even begin to make up my mind. It’s overwhelming. There’s a million of them out there, and there are often only subtle differences between two adjacent models in any product line.

The basics: I want LCD; I’m looking at the 46-inch size class; and it has to fit in a cabinet of 45.5 inches width. (Most 46-inch diagonal TV’s I’ve seen will fit in my cabinet.

So - ADVICE! What do you own? Why did you buy it? What were you looking for? What should I look for? What features/parameters are “must-haves” (1080p? HDMI interface? Frequency?). What can I do without (PC interface? Built-in toaster?)

Any audiophiles care to chime in? Thanks!!

I work at a Best Buy in Virginia and if your going for a 46" get the new 120hz 1080p tv’s out. Get one either made by Panasonic, Samsung, or LG.

Get the highest color contrast ratio find. I believe on the new Samsungs its 50,000:1 which is the highest. The higher your color contrast ration to the more distinguished and vivid colors your going to have.

Your going to want the new 120hz compared to the earlier models (60/75) because its going to refresh more giving you a better picture quality.

Also almost all of these TVs are going to have 4 HDMI inputs and a PC Input so don’t bother looking for one that doesn’t.

Are you planning on getting surround sound? If you are find your room dimensions. Are you for sure going to use a stand or could you go with a mount.

My recomendation http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8784238&productCategoryId=abcat0101001&type=product&id=1205246214991
The best 46 you can buy. Panasonics 46" are going to be Plasma which are amazing quality but have a life spand of about 10 years compared to LCD which have about 15. Also all LGs are going to be technically 47" not 46.

We have a 62" Toshiba DLP that we got about three years ago, and we just got a 37" Toshiba LCD for the bedroom. Never had any issues, great picture, and the smaller TV was reasonably cheap.

We picked the DLP because we were worried about burn in (husband plays video games and watches CNN), and older LCDs had a reputation for buzzing at higher altitudes.

We got the DLP from Crutchfield and they were very helpful, and the price was great (at the time…).

Wait for the New Sony XBR line to come out, or look at the Samsung LN46a650 and the LN46a750…Sony uses Samsungs panels, however, the sound quality is superior on the Sony…

And panasonic DOES NOT make a 120hz TV. There largest LCD is 37" anything greater in size, will be a Plasma if its a Panasonic.

If your in the market for LCD and not plasma i would go with a Samsung 650 (or 750) or a Sony W4100. The difference between the 650 and 750 is just looks, so the 650 will save you about 200-300 dollars if i remember correct. The new Sony W4100 is a bad ass tv. all other LCD’s dont come close to those 2. (besides the XBR6, But that doesnt go bigger than 37")

If your in the market for a plasma. Panasonic or Pioneer are going to be the best.

LCD:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8784238&type=product&id=1205246214991
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8828655&type=product&id=1207957070213

Plasma:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8869147&type=product&id=1210290068342
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8855278&type=product&id=1209772209961

[quote]iannotti wrote:
Wait for the New Sony XBR line to come out, or look at the Samsung LN46a650 and the LN46a750…Sony uses Samsungs panels, however, the sound quality is superior on the Sony…

And panasonic DOES NOT make a 120hz TV. There largest LCD is 37" anything greater in size, will be a Plasma if its a Panasonic.

[/quote]

The new XBR series is out. But Sony does not make one larger than 37" atleast not that Best Buy carries

Samsung LN46A650 or Sony KDL46W4100. LG is garbage.

[quote]Ground-N-Pound wrote:
If your in the market for LCD and not plasma i would go with a Samsung 650 (or 750) or a Sony W4100. The difference between the 650 and 750 is just looks, so the 650 will save you about 200-300 dollars if i remember correct. The new Sony W4100 is a bad ass tv. all other LCD’s dont come …

infin|ty wrote:
Samsung LN46A650 or Sony KDL46W4100. LG is garbage.[/quote]

This is interesting. In all me research so far, I was thinking of narrowing it down to the Samsung LN46A650 or the Sony KDL46Z4100. (Not the W4100.) The Sony Z4100 is pretty high end and the “Z” series is going to be Sony’s replacement for the high end XBR series soon, I’ve read. If the W4100 is comparable to the Samsung, then I’ll have to look at that in order to save a few bucks.

I saw the image quality on the Z4100 in a Circuit City and almost bought it right there on impulse. But, the $2800 price tag held me back.

The only real difference I can see between the Z4100 and W4100 is that the Z4100 has the following that the W4100 doesn’t: “BRAVIA Theater Sync”, “Live Color Creation Technology”, “x.v.Color Technology”, “Digital Media Port” and the Z4100 weights 9 LBS less. Do I need all these? I’m not even sure what they all are. They sound proprietary.

Apparently, there are a lot of Best Buy employees on T-Nation!

[quote]infin|ty wrote:
Samsung LN46A650 or Sony KDL46W4100. LG is garbage.[/quote]

He is correct both awesome TV’s, one up would be the 750 from Samsung or the Z series from Sony!

[quote]deltaname wrote:
Ground-N-Pound wrote:
If your in the market for LCD and not plasma i would go with a Samsung 650 (or 750) or a Sony W4100. The difference between the 650 and 750 is just looks, so the 650 will save you about 200-300 dollars if i remember correct. The new Sony W4100 is a bad ass tv. all other LCD’s dont come …

infin|ty wrote:
Samsung LN46A650 or Sony KDL46W4100. LG is garbage.

This is interesting. In all me research so far, I was thinking of narrowing it down to the Samsung LN46A650 or the Sony KDL46Z4100. (Not the W4100.) The Sony Z4100 is pretty high end and the “Z” series is going to be Sony’s replacement for the high end XBR series soon, I’ve read. If the W4100 is comparable to the Samsung, then I’ll have to look at that in order to save a few bucks.

I saw the image quality on the Z4100 in a Circuit City and almost bought it right there on impulse. But, the $2800 price tag held me back.

The only real difference I can see between the Z4100 and W4100 is that the Z4100 has the following that the W4100 doesn’t: “BRAVIA Theater Sync”, “Live Color Creation Technology”, “x.v.Color Technology”, “Digital Media Port” and the Z4100 weights 9 LBS less. Do I need all these? I’m not even sure what they all are. They sound proprietary.

Apparently, there are a lot of Best Buy employees on T-Nation![/quote]

Z series is not replacing XBR, Sony is in fact coming out with a new XBR series that will go up to 55" instead of 52 inches…

I work at P.C Richard & Son, if anyone is interested in a deal, get at me!

[quote]Ground-N-Pound wrote:
If your in the market for LCD and not plasma i would go with a Samsung 650 (or 750) or a Sony W4100. The difference between the 650 and 750 is just looks, so the 650 will save you about 200-300 dollars if i remember correct. The new Sony W4100 is a bad ass tv. all other LCD’s dont come close to those 2. (besides the XBR6, But that doesnt go bigger than 37")

If your in the market for a plasma. Panasonic or Pioneer are going to be the best.

LCD:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8784238&type=product&id=1205246214991
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8828655&type=product&id=1207957070213

Plasma:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8869147&type=product&id=1210290068342
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8855278&type=product&id=1209772209961[/quote]

The difference is not only looks, the a750 has a built in Subwoofer and preloaded content…

What media are you collecting now?
Bluray?

Oh, forgot to mention the new XBR series will be the XBR7 and the XBR8. The XBR8 will be LED backlit, which hasn’t been on a TV since Samsung discontinued their smoking LNT4681F seris!

LED back lighting is one bad ass feature!

I won’t touch a sony, just me.

The samsung lnt46a650 is an awesome TV. I have the 40" version and people that see it can’t believe how good it looks @ 1080p. They say the colors are on par w/ plasma.

HD video (from computer via DVI to HDMI) is incredible. Sound is good for having built in speakers.

Great advice, guys. I’m still processing the data.

I can’t have the LN46A750 because it is too wide for my cabinet opening.

The Internet is full of good reviews on both of these sets (especially the Samsung).

Right now, I’m not collecting any media. (I have lots of standard DVD’s) But, I understand it will have to be Blu-ray to get the full impact of the 1080.

I’m seeing the Sony W4100 on Amazon for $1899.77 and the Samsung A650 also on Amazon for $1699.98. They are from highly rated dealers, and both have free shipping.

I have one admitted anti-Sony guy here. And, I’ve seen complaints on the Internet about Samsung’s customer service if something goes wrong. This doesn’t help my decision-making.

[quote]deltaname wrote:
Great advice, guys. I’m still processing the data.

I can’t have the LN46A750 because it is too wide for my cabinet opening.

The Internet is full of good reviews on both of these sets (especially the Samsung).

Right now, I’m not collecting any media. (I have lots of standard DVD’s) But, I understand it will have to be Blu-ray to get the full impact of the 1080.

I’m seeing the Sony W4100 on Amazon for $1899.77 and the Samsung A650 also on Amazon for $1699.98. They are from highly rated dealers, and both have free shipping.

I have one admitted anti-Sony guy herre. And, I’ve seen complaints on the Internet about Samsung’s customer service if something goes wrong. This doesn’t help my decision-making.[/quote]

Picture quality will be about equal on both screens (Sony, Samsung) Biggest difference will be the sound quality and Sony wins this hands down…

Most blue-ray players will upconvert your existing collection of DVD’s to 1080P Via HDMI cables.

If you wanted to go a cheaper route, both Sony and Samsung sell 1080p upconversion dvd players, there pretty cheap (60-80 bucks) and it takes your regular dvd’s and upconverts the picture to 1080p also VIA HDMI!

Don’t forget to look at some line conditioners/Surge protection from Monster Cable. I have the MPHDP2400, and it makes an incredible difference in picture quality. DO NOT BUY FROM A STORE, they retail at 399.97, you can get em brand new on ebay for about 180 bucks and WELL worth it.

The a750 is the same size as the a650. The a750 is a rip. it has some hd content, workout stuff, that costs another 100 or 200. I guess no samsung for you.

Actually the best is just go in the store, bring your fav disc and use your eyes to judge.
If out of the box configurations suits you fine, then you can tweak it accordingly to your liking.

If you’re using a DVD, make sure you’d get the salesmen to play it on a upscaling dvd player to at least 720/1080i

I would venture to say the Samsung A650 and 750 have the best LCD pictures available right now. The new XBR’s which won’t be out until this fall may be better, but they are guaranteed to be hundreds if not thousands more.

I work at Circuit City and the A650 is the first LCD I would actually consider to be on par, if not better than some plasmas, and that is saying alot.

I sold home theater for a year.

In my experience: Sony’s never looked good enough to me to justify their ridiculous price tag.

Samsungs look great (better than Sony IMO). Comparable in price. But be weary of a glass coating that Samsung puts on their screens to make the colors pop more if you have glare issues.

I always had great luck with Toshiba. Same technology and less money.

LG’s I hated, they looked like shit.

ANYTHING off-brand or Chinese made sucks.

The Sharp Aquos series were decent tv’s for a reasonable price, quite comparable to the Tosh’s.

Also, sound quality on ALL tv’s is pure crap. Save the sound for some kind of audio system. I wouldn’t put it into consideration when buying.

On a personal note. Buy your tv from someone who is paid on straight commission. Chances are you’ll be shown all the same TVs that you’ll see at a Circuit or BB, but most commission based stores will carry a higher end product as well to differentiate themselves from the big box stores. You’ll get better service during the sale and after as compared to working with some kid who is working at a big box store as an after school job.

Again, as it’s been said, buy what looks best to you. Just make sure to get a brand name and hook it up with the right cables. Expect to spend an additional 10% of the tv’s cost on cables if you are trying to accommodate additional components.