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Your HDTV thoughts....

Godspeed

His blood smells like cologne.
pilot
#1
Well, it's the time of year that I feel like being generous to myself... Time to snap up a big screen. I wanted to poll the collective wisdom that is Airwarriors.....

By the way, to all that have been waiting to pull the trigger on one, there are some UNBEATABLE deals out there. I'd recommend checking out the following among your standard electronics stores:

Tigerdirect.com
Newegg.com
Compusa.com

Most of the above websites have a good selection of open box and refurbished tvs as well... Many are offering free shipping, and some are throwing in a free Blu-ray player with the deal...

First of all, I'm sold on LCD only, just personal preference. It seems the best deals to be had are on your 'bargain brand' LCD tvs.... Brands like Vizio, Sceptre and Dynex are all several hundred below comparable Sony, Samsung and Sharps.

Any TV gurus out there want to tell me if it's actually worth springing the extra several hundred for a brand name?

I've seen Vizios, for example, that are the same size, have the same contrast ratio, same refresh rate, same response time, etc etc... Same specs on paper, for over $500 in price difference than the comparable Sony... Thoughts? Lets just say I'm the guy that usually buys the Sam's Choice cola over the Pepsi, but if there's an actual difference, please fill me in.

Next big differentiator that i've seen is the refresh rate... The three flavors of which are:
60hz
120hz
240hz (top end)

Again, we're talking a $200-$300 price difference between each of these. I've read quite a bit of CNET reviews stating that 240hz is indistinguishable to the human eye vs a 120hz, so I'm fairly sold against paying the premium for it, but I'm having a hard time deciding between the 60 and the 120.... I've seen the demos at Best Buy, and I don't notice that much of a difference, then again, maybe with certain movies or video games one would. Again, anyone have any light they'd like to shed on this?

Lastly, instead of sinking the $100-$200 on a stand alone Blu-Ray player, I'm tempted to just drop the $300 on a PS3 that will do the same and play video games to boot. Those of you that use your PS3 for Blu-Rays, are there any disadvantages to not having a stand alone? I'm guessing you probably have to buy a Sony Remote if you dont want to use the controller.

What it comes down to for me is, should I spend less than $700 on a 47" 60hz Vizio, spend the extra cash on a PS3 and a nice home theater system, or is it really worth it to drop the $1300+ on a 47" 120hz Sony Bravia, grab a Blu Ray player and save up for the rest of the gadgets....

I know they say to 'go see the tv for yourself', but it's hard to get a complete grasp of the differences when the TVs are in different stores, and they have different demos playing on them... Thanks for reading... Thoughts?
 
#2
This is just me but my eyes can't tell the difference when I'm sitting across the room half asleep. So i personally would go for the cheaper one.
 

zab1001

Well-Known Member
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
#3
Lastly, instead of sinking the $100-$200 on a stand alone Blu-Ray player, I'm tempted to just drop the $300 on a PS3 that will do the same and play video games to boot. Those of you that use your PS3 for Blu-Rays, are there any disadvantages to not having a stand alone? I'm guessing you probably have to buy a Sony Remote if you dont want to use the controller.
I run a PS3 on my LG 50". No complaints, why have extraneous crap? If you're a gamer, PS3 is finally catching up to Xbox 360 in terms of selection (I have a 360 as well, and opted for the PS3 version of COD MW2, just for the price break, no regrets). It does get warm, so I keep it horizontal and in a large cubical space in the entertainment center. I never bought the remote, the controller is extremely intuitive. Shielded HDMI cable, the picture is incredible.
 

Lawman

Well-Known Member
None
#4
Refresh rates and screen quality of the TVs will make a difference. Not necessarily during normal cable tv watching as many of those channels arent running at near the resolution they could. But when watching a Blu Ray movie especially one with lots of effects and high contrast colors (Transformers, Star Trek, Etc) you will see a difference if you set the TVs side by side.

The main area you can see immediate differences is the quality of black in the screen. Earlier generation LCDs have trouble producing a true dark black color due to the limits of the technology. Also effects like smoke and explosions become grainier and lower the picture quality of the section of screen in which they are.

Think of it this way, A TV is an Investment you will never make any real return off of but at the same time with the amount of time you keep it more than makes up for the initial price. Whats 2-300 dollars right now when you consider that a good top end TV should last you at least 5-8 years.
 

nugget81

Active Member
pilot
#5
Before I say anything else, take a look at today's BestBuy ad. On the cover they're advertising a Sony 46" LCD 1080P 120Hz with PS3 (120GB), one PS3 game, and one Blu-ray movie for $950.98. Get off your computer and go there now. Seriously, that's the best deal I've seen for a TV that size and a PS3.
 

helo_wifey

Well-Known Member
#6
As far as the PS3 for Blue Ray, Zab was right about it getting hot and also right on about the controller. I don't play games on it, just watch movies and I could figure it out...I wouldn't bother with buying a separate remote for watching movies. The standard controllers also hold a charge pretty well and seem to last a while, and we often forget to plug them in to charge them.

The one thing for us is for some reason (I'm sure we could do this, just haven't put in the time/effort to figure it out) but since we use the HDMI to play the PS3 it doesn't go through our surround sound standard DVD player so we don't get the advantage of that. I think it's our cheap surround sound system.
 

FlyBoyd

Out to Pasture
pilot
#7
Get into the weeds on the warranty. You will find more of the pixels on the cheaper LCDs have to go bad to cross the threshold for repair/replacement. I have seen entire vertical lines go bad and it doesn't warrant anything from one of the "cheaper" manufacturers.

Pay attention to reflection/glare when you get down to your final few choices.

Also, use the remote a little. Some are designed very poorly which forces you to purchase a Gucci universal remote later.

price the cabinet/table/mount into your budget...thay can be pricey

Check HD availability/pricing as well in your area. Depending on the service selected, it can be pricey.

The combination of all above may point towards waiting until later.

Did you max your IRA and TSP? :)

My take:

appropriately sized LCD http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html
120Hz - 1 off the best available is where the price break is
PS3 - advantages as you stated...beware of heat as previously posted

I got my cables from here http://www.bluejeanscable.com/ and here http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp

Audio is a whole other thread...
 

Raptor2216

Registered User
#8
I would personally go for the samsung LED LCDs. They are a little on the pricy side but the picture is amazing. I'm also not too crazy about the uber high refresh rates because it just looks too much like a documentry. I prefer my movies to have a movie feel.
 

Bevo16

Registered User
pilot
#9
I have a Samsung 50 inch plasma/PS3 combo and I love it. I don't think that the human eye can even tell the difference between 120hz and 240hz. You really have to be looking to see the difference between 720 and 1080P. Not much is broadcast in 1080p anyway, so the best you will probably see is 720P unless you get blu-ray.
 

LazersGoPEWPEW

4500rpm
Contributor
#10
I have a Samsung 50 inch plasma/PS3 combo and I love it. I don't think that the human eye can even tell the difference between 120hz and 240hz. You really have to be looking to see the difference between 720 and 1080P. Not much is broadcast in 1080p anyway, so the best you will probably see is 720P unless you get blu-ray.
Good point there on the 1080p and 720p. You also won't notice it much until you start getting into larger TVs. I've got a Panasonic Viera 32in LCD. Love it. Looked at Sony and Samsung then looked at Panasonic. Haven't had a single complaint about this TV.

Samsungs are nice though because they have the swivel base.
 

FlyinSpy

Mongo only pawn, in game of life...
Contributor
#12
I run a PS3 on my LG 50". No complaints, why have extraneous crap? If you're a gamer, PS3 is finally catching up to Xbox 360 in terms of selection (I have a 360 as well, and opted for the PS3 version of COD MW2, just for the price break, no regrets). It does get warm, so I keep it horizontal and in a large cubical space in the entertainment center. I never bought the remote, the controller is extremely intuitive. Shielded HDMI cable, the picture is incredible.

I have a PS3 on a 46" Samsung LCD (120Hz). Maybe somebody could tell the difference between 120 Hz and 240HZ when they are side-by-side, but save your $$ - the 120Hz 1080P looks great.

I still think the PS3 is the "no brainer of choice" if you want a Blu-Ray player. The only (minor) downside is that if you do want a remote control, you can't use a native IR universal remote, like a Logitech - the PS3 needs a Bluetooth remote. This means that your "universal" remote is not so universal anymore. If you really want a single remote, though, you can buy an adapter that will make it all work (see https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=ps3+ir for some options.) The downside is that it is yet another piece of gear to buy. As Zab mentioned, the PS3s can really crank out the heat, so make sure whatever space you put it in is well-ventilated. I'm always amazed at how warm it gets.

My last bit of advice - buy the biggest screen that makes sense for the space you are putting it in. (Factoring in FlyBoyd's advice that you really should be socking some $$ away for retirement, so make such allocations smartly....). I somewhat regret not getting the 50" instead of the 46". Also, to really appreciate the quality picture these systems provide you really do need to buy a sound system - the speakers in the TV just don't do the Blu-Ray movies justice.
 

Junkball

"I believe in ammunition"
pilot
#13
I've heard 60hz is really only a downside if you're playing games, so if you're hooking up a PC or PS3 then go with 120hz. PS3 is a no brainer... & that Best Buy deal looks like a steal. $1038 off, wow.

I would personally go for the samsung LED LCDs. They are a little on the pricy side but the picture is amazing. I'm also not too crazy about the uber high refresh rates because it just looks too much like a documentry. I prefer my movies to have a movie feel.
My girlfriend has this 60-something inch Samsung touch of color TV. The picture is incredible. I had trouble watching it at first because blu-ray movies look like you're there. Is that because of the refresh rate?
 

Lawman

Well-Known Member
None
#15
My girlfriend has this 60-something inch Samsung touch of color TV. The picture is incredible. I had trouble watching it at first because blu-ray movies look like you're there. Is that because of the refresh rate?
Yeah I love your girlfriends TV... that thing is awesome. :icon_smil
 
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