The big "How do I choose an HDTV?" thread.

MannishBoy wrote:
In the end, set it to what makes you happy :)

It's certainly doing that :).

I wish the stupid TV makers would have invested money in OLED instead of 3D. If they had, we might have been seeing reasonably priced OLED TVs by now. Hopefully, we'll see the shift soon. LG showed off their 55", I'm assuming 4K, OLED TV at CES. It's 5mm thick. I can't wait to see these things. I imagine with OLED tech, we could see curved 48 x 27 aspect ratio monitors eventually. It will probably take 10 or 20 years, though.

3D is an add on gimmick to their current products, at a fairly low cost.

OLED quickly devolves into $5000 20" televisions. There's definitely a chicken/egg problem. Gotta get the cost down to what the market will bear before really diving in with production facilities -- but the cost doesn't really come down until you've invested in the facilities.

LilCodger wrote:
the cost doesn't really come down until you've invested in the facilities.

I completely realize that. If they were building as many OLED TVs as they are LCDs, and the process was mature, they would be about similar in price to LCD TVs, or at least that's what I've heard. It's just going to take time, but I hope they go in that direction soon.

Well, part of the problem with the OLEDs was technical, not production. Stuff like problems with blue phosphers, lifecycles of the phosphers decaying unevenly, etc.

It's not just that nobody wants to build them, it's that it's taking awhile to overcome the serious deficiencies with the tech.

At least it's not completely dead like SED.

We have two Panasonic plasmas. Both have hit their 1 year mark recently. I probably had posted to and learned from this thread back in the day when we were shopping. I was a plasma newby, and both get put through their paces both for TV viewing and gaming.

Amazon did such a good job with the shipping process and their crazy sales offers, that one.. soon became two. I was shocked how affordable plasma technology was for what you get.

They were both out of the TCP...G25 line at the time. I'm really happy with them, but I suppose as time marches on, they have been replaced by something even better in the product lineup nowadays. (I try not to look.)

Remember, one big problem with OLEDs is that they're organic. They decay over time. Look absolutely phenomenal for awhile, and then go to sh*t.

Most people, if they're gonna drop five bones on a TV, want it to last a decade or more.

Malor wrote:
Remember, one big problem with OLEDs is that they're organic. They decay over time. Look absolutely phenomenal for awhile, and then go to sh*t.

Most people, if they're gonna drop five bones on a TV, want it to last a decade or more.

True, but the trend is that they're getting more and more life out of them. Just like happened with plasma.

Malor wrote:
Remember, one big problem with OLEDs is that they're organic. They decay over time. Look absolutely phenomenal for awhile, and then go to sh*t.

Most people, if they're gonna drop five bones on a TV, want it to last a decade or more.

If people drop $500 on a TV, they want it to last a decade or two. Vizio is beating that out of them though.

I'm leaning heavily toward replacing my 40 inch LCD with a 46 inch Plasma. They're just so cheap right now.

Saw the Panasonic ST series 46 incher for $700 a few weeks ago. I know I can sell my XBR for maybe $350ish and make back some of what I pay for the new one. Should have jumped on it then. It's back up to a bit under $900 now.

Yeah, they are crazy cheap. I think I saw an LG 60" or so plasma for $900 somewhere online the other day.

All TVs decay over time; as technology gets better, so does the half-life.

In related news, I just popped a new bulb into my Sony 60A3000, and it's like I have a brand new TV again.

Minarchist wrote:
All TVs decay over time; as technology gets better, so does the half-life.

Panasonic is quoting 100,000 hour life for their 2012 plasma panels. I think they said 30 years at 8 hours a day.

MannishBoy wrote:
Minarchist wrote:
All TVs decay over time; as technology gets better, so does the half-life.

Panasonic is quoting 100,000 hour life for their 2012 plasma panels. I think they said 30 years at 8 hours a day.

I think 100,000 has been the norm for a few years, my 2008 Panasonic is rated the same. But it's kind of like LED light bulbs that are rated 50,000 hours or so--it's all theoretical since they are new enough that they have not had 30, or even 10 years at 24 hours a day, to test these things. Haven't seen any significant change in my tv though--no burn in at all despite using it as a HTPC monitor for the past 3 years or so, and even image retention seems to have disappeared as well. I'd totally buy another one in 6 years.

Finally getting ready to make the jump to a flat screen and move our 36" Sony Tube to the garage for a workout TV.

We just ordered a new hutch and it will fit up to a 45 15/32" wide screen which puts us in the 46-47" TV. This is our first foray into HD, and will be dropping Comcast and picking up Netflix and an HD antenna to provide our entertainment/news. We honestly don't watch much TV or Movies with a 9 almost 10 month old crawling around the house, so the only reason we are doing this is the tube TV needs to go to the garage while we install new floors and I swore that once it went out the door it was never coming back in.

I'm looking to pull the trigger at the end of the month, hopefully capitalizing on some Super Bowl (can I use that or do I need to say the Big Game) sales. So where to start? I poked around Costco over the weekend and I was really impressed with what I saw. Price range is yet to be determined but definitely no more the $1k, potentially no more than $500, depending on what the wife gives approval for.

I'd prefer a TV that has Netflix/WiFi already in it, but if that is a big no-no I'll need ideas for a Blue-ray player that has that capability.

Redhwk wrote:
Finally getting ready to make the jump to a flat screen and move our 36" Sony Tube to the garage for a workout TV.

We just ordered a new hutch and it will fit up to a 45 15/32" wide screen which puts us in the 46-47" TV. This is our first foray into HD, and will be dropping Comcast and picking up Netflix and an HD antenna to provide our entertainment/news. We honestly don't watch much TV or Movies with a 9 almost 10 month old crawling around the house, so the only reason we are doing this is the tube TV needs to go to the garage while we install new floors and I swore that once it went out the door it was never coming back in.

I'm looking to pull the trigger at the end of the month, hopefully capitalizing on some Super Bowl (can I use that or do I need to say the Big Game) sales. So where to start? I poked around Costco over the weekend and I was really impressed with what I saw. Price range is yet to be determined but definitely no more the $1k, potentially no more than $500, depending on what the wife gives approval for.

I'd prefer a TV that has Netflix/WiFi already in it, but if that is a big no-no I'll need ideas for a Blue-ray player that has that capability.

I'd look at your local stores, then price shop online at places like Amazon. You'll probably get more set for the money on the plasma side (and I prefer them anyway for a lot of technical reasons), but you should be able to get a really nice set at your size in either for that money.

Note that in store with bright lights, plasmas may look noticably dimmer, but that's because all the sets are cranked to levels that you'd never need at home. In reality, they are more than bright enough for most home environments.

Add another recommend for a Plasma. They're just better. The only time I find myself recommending an LCD these days is if somebody's putting a tv in a place where they don't have reasonable control of the room lighting and glare on the screen will be a big problem.

Redhwk wrote:
Finally getting ready to make the jump to a flat screen and move our 36" Sony Tube to the garage for a workout TV.

We just ordered a new hutch and it will fit up to a 45 15/32" wide screen which puts us in the 46-47" TV. This is our first foray into HD, and will be dropping Comcast and picking up Netflix and an HD antenna to provide our entertainment/news. We honestly don't watch much TV or Movies with a 9 almost 10 month old crawling around the house, so the only reason we are doing this is the tube TV needs to go to the garage while we install new floors and I swore that once it went out the door it was never coming back in.

I'm looking to pull the trigger at the end of the month, hopefully capitalizing on some Super Bowl (can I use that or do I need to say the Big Game) sales. So where to start? I poked around Costco over the weekend and I was really impressed with what I saw. Price range is yet to be determined but definitely no more the $1k, potentially no more than $500, depending on what the wife gives approval for.

I'd prefer a TV that has Netflix/WiFi already in it, but if that is a big no-no I'll need ideas for a Blue-ray player that has that capability.

If you're stuck on a $500 budget, I wouldn't expect to find anything bigger than a 42". If you can get closer to $1000, then you'll be in better shape to buy a 46", especially if you want things like Netflix/Amazon and internet connectivity. As for blu-ray players that can do Netflix/WiFi, I really like the Samsung players; I have a BDP-1590 that's been fantastic, and the newer models look very nice as well.

I meant to comment on the built in stuff. I think for most cases you'll have a much better experience with a TV + Roku, Apple TV, etc, than you will with the built into the TV stuff. If you rely on the TV apps, you're most likely going to be stuck with an outdated version of the software for a long time vs if you have a box that's actively supported. Also, something like a Roku will likely have many more services availabe.

So I'd budget $50-$100 on a Roku vs spending more on a TV with those features.

I would wait to buy. After the Superbowl, in March I think, manufacturers will start releasing new models. The 2011 models they didn't sell to sports fans will be cheap.

heavyfeul wrote:
I would wait to buy. After the Superbowl, in March I think, manufacturers will start releasing new models. The 2011 models they didn't sell to sports fans will be cheap.

The problem with this is that if you're after one or two very specific models (like me) then if they disappear you're just outta luck and waiting a year until the prices drop this low again.

The Panasonic 50" ST30 set already disappeared off Amazon unless you buy used.

I was going to mention a Roku box if the TV doesn't have Netflix, and if you don't really want a new Blu-ray player. Good call, Mannish.

Since I already have Amazon Prime, I'm toying with dropping Netflix Instant and seeing if I really miss it. I'd have to buy a Roku or something to do that.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
I was going to mention a Roku box if the TV doesn't have Netflix, and if you don't really want a new Blu-ray player. Good call, Mannish.

Since I already have Amazon Prime, I'm toying with dropping Netflix Instant and seeing if I really miss it. I'd have to buy a Roku or something to do that.

I have both as well Fed, and IMO Netflix instant is worth keeping. Prime instant is nice, but not nearly as robust IMO.

Our panasonics (last years models) have netflix built in. The app isnt as robust/updated as on some other platforms.. but it gets the job done and we use it all the time. Probably all the major manufacturers offer models with Netflix built in at some level of their product lines by now.

I'm not a big AVS Forum guy (I find they live in the world of 5% way to strongly). But this thread in particular is very helpful if you are planning to connect a PC to your TV for gaming.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...

I finally just went for it and ordered a plasma tv. Bunches and bunches of research actually ended up leading me to a Samsung D7000 series over the Panasonic. They tend to test better (than the GT30, not the VT, but huge price difference there) almost across the board.

It looks like it averages roughly 10ms more input lag than the Panasonic GT30 series, but... eh. I pretty much never do multiplayer gaming from my couch anymore, and for singleplayer games I actually am likely to plop down on the couch to play I don't care about 10ms of input lag

Went with the 51 inch. Currently have a years old 40" Sony LCD, so it should be quite the grand upgrade.

I was wondering if and when Samsung plasmas would get to the point where informed buyers would start picking them over Panasonics. Panny has had it too easy in the world of plasmas. I kind of got the impression that they weren't really killing themselves to put out the absolute best sets possible (although they were the best sets on the market).

My wife is actually starting to talk about adding a second TV for times when we want to watch/do different things, so I may be moving into the world of plasma this year myself.

Thin_J wrote:
I finally just went for it and ordered a plasma tv. Bunches and bunches of research actually ended up leading me to a Samsung D7000 series over the Panasonic. They tend to test better (than the GT30, not the VT, but huge price difference there) almost across the board.

It looks like it averages roughly 10ms more input lag than the Panasonic GT30 series, but... eh. I pretty much never do multiplayer gaming from my couch anymore, and for singleplayer games I actually am likely to plop down on the couch to play I don't care about 10ms of input lag

Went with the 51 inch. Currently have a years old 40" Sony LCD, so it should be quite the grand upgrade.

Almost pulled the trigger on the D7000 myself last week. Decided that $2k was my budget point and it wasn't there.

Finally!

http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/1/276...

Its expensive though at $3400... I wonder how much the 71" ends up being.. might be perfect for me though..

The problem with the super-wide screens like that, is that almost everything will have large black areas on the screen. 16:9 or 16:10 is a pretty good middle-level compromise -- it fits a fair bit of content perfectly, and then the vertical or horizontal bars required for other aspect ratios are as small as reasonably possible.

With the 21:9 screen, the super-wide content will look better, but 16:9 will have black bars on the side, and 4:3 will look like a postage stamp in the middle of the screen. Basically, a 16:9 is a jack of all trades... it handles both SD and super-wide content pretty well, and does perfectly with HD signals (like games). A 21:9 screen is specialized into doing just super-wide content, and will suck more with anything narrower.

It's sort of a spectrum: SD --> HD --> Superwide, and buying a set in the middle will let you use more of your pixels, more of the time.

Another good way to handle the problem would be lenses on a projector. (I think they're called anamorphic lenses, but I'm not certain, that might only be DVD content.) These lenses are expensive, but I bet it would be cheaper than that TV. If you get a screen with movable felt boundaries (some are even motorized), you can use every pixel in the projector, while still projecting the correct aspect ratio. No black bars, and if a new image format comes out, you can probably just buy another lens, and update your playback software.