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

MannishBoy wrote:
... more HDMI ports which I wouldn't use as my receiver does my HDMI switching.

This is more of a question for a different thread, but I'll bring it up anyway....so, your receiver switches HDMI video signals and also decodes audio from each source, or do you have the audio coming in separately from each source (optical, etc.)? What receiver are you using?

I ask because my cheapie Yamaha won't act as a pass-thru for HDMI video, so I've been running video and audio separately. It worked perfectly for several years, but over the last few months it has developed a sync issue between the two signals that persists regardless of the source--360, PS3, PC. I've been looking into a new receiver, but I'm no A/V expert and want to get one that will meet my needs without a lot of trial and error.

conejote wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
... more HDMI ports which I wouldn't use as my receiver does my HDMI switching.

This is more of a question for a different thread, but I'll bring it up anyway....so, your receiver switches HDMI video signals and also decodes audio from each source, or do you have the audio coming in separately from each source (optical, etc.)? What receiver are you using?

I ask because my cheapie Yamaha won't act as a pass-thru for HDMI video, so I've been running video and audio separately. It worked perfectly for several years, but over the last few months it has developed a sync issue between the two signals that persists regardless of the source--360, PS3, PC. I've been looking into a new receiver, but I'm no A/V expert and want to get one that will meet my needs without a lot of trial and error.

All my sources go into my receiver, which handles the audio and video switching. I have one component source that is also converted to HDMI before passing to the TV.

I do have the TV speakers cut off and always use my receiver/speakers for audio, but the speakers on the TV work if I want them too.

The receiver will also adjust delay between audio and video if there are lip syncing issues.

MannishBoy wrote:
conejote wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
... more HDMI ports which I wouldn't use as my receiver does my HDMI switching.

This is more of a question for a different thread, but I'll bring it up anyway....so, your receiver switches HDMI video signals and also decodes audio from each source, or do you have the audio coming in separately from each source (optical, etc.)? What receiver are you using?

I ask because my cheapie Yamaha won't act as a pass-thru for HDMI video, so I've been running video and audio separately. It worked perfectly for several years, but over the last few months it has developed a sync issue between the two signals that persists regardless of the source--360, PS3, PC. I've been looking into a new receiver, but I'm no A/V expert and want to get one that will meet my needs without a lot of trial and error.

All my sources go into my receiver, which handles the audio and video switching. I have one component source that is also converted to HDMI before passing to the TV.

I do have the TV speakers cut off and always use my receiver/speakers for audio, but the speakers on the TV work if I want them too.

The receiver will also adjust delay between audio and video if there are lip syncing issues.

That sounds like exactly what I need....what brand & model is it?

I don't know what Mannish has, but I love my Onkyo. They have a lot of bang for not so many bucks.

Jayhawker wrote:
I don't know what Mannish has, but I love my Onkyo. They have a lot of bang for not so many bucks.

Thanks, I have heard Onkyo is good. Any particular model to recommend? As I understand it, multiple HDMI inputs do not necessarily indicate that a receiver is capable of video pass-thru, even across models from the same manufacturer.

Jayhawker wrote:
I don't know what Mannish has, but I love my Onkyo. They have a lot of bang for not so many bucks.

Yeah, mine's a several year old Onkyo SR805. But it should be fairly common these days even at low to mid-range.

I bought an Onkyo HT-S5300 I picked it up from Onkyo directly as a refurb model. It came looking like it was brand new. I'm not sure what the model number of just the receiver is.

But you can find some good deals on just receivers. I'm assuming mine has pass-through, since I can watch TV with it powered down, if that is what that means.

https://www.shoponkyo.com/products_r...

My full set-up was just $350, and it included the iPod dock which lets me use the iPod and use the TV and remore to play music from it. I want to get some nicer speakers at some pont, but honestly, I really can't complain about the sound I am getting at all.

The HT-RC330 looks quite reasonable, and it's the only plain old 5.1 receiver in the lineup. I'll probably order one soon, because the sound/video sync issue unhinges my mind after a few minutes. It even annoys my wife, who usually does not give a damn about A/V quality.

Jayhawker, for speakers check out Fluance. Really unbelievable quality for the price. Plus, they're Canucks, so you know they're honest!

I'd also check out Denon. I prefer them slightly to Onkyos; similar pricing, but they run much cooler, presumably wasting less energy, and not hurting your electric bill quite as much.

Both are good; you won't be disappointed with either. But I think Denon units are a little better. That said, price efficiency can go back and forth on different models, so if one is cheaper for the features you want, go that way.

I also like Denon. Onkyos do tend to be good but I know they had some reliability problems with their lineup either last year or the year before. I've long forgotten the details but I'm sure a scan of AVS would reveal whether or not those issues were solved or not.

I'd like to think they have been by now as it's been quite a long time but you never know.

Thin_J wrote:
I also like Denon. Onkyos do tend to be good but I know they had some reliability problems with their lineup either last year or the year before. I've long forgotten the details but I'm sure a scan of AVS would reveal whether or not those issues were solved or not.

I'd like to think they have been by now as it's been quite a long time but you never know.

The year I got my Onkyo my model had a big issue that affected most of the shipped receivers, but the only fix was to ship them back to the factory at quite a bit of cost.

I bought a home made dongle off some internet guy then did the RS232 port firmware push myself.

Wasn't happy. But it's been fine since.

Yeah, I've owned both. There are two major differences, at least in the ones I dealt with:

1. Onkyos have brighter treble. Pairing an Onkyo with a bright speaker can actually be painful, but Onks will also give warm speakers more sparkle than they would otherwise have. I've seen Denon described as warm, but my experience with them is that they're just flat. (which is good, you ideally don't want the receiver/amplifier coloring the sound.)
2. Onkyo receivers run hot. Denons seem to stay closer to ambient temps.

But, honestly, they're both excellent, providing genuinely great sound at a fairly mainstream price.

Malor wrote:
Yeah, I've owned both. There are two major differences, at least in the ones I dealt with:

1. Onkyos have brighter treble. Pairing an Onkyo with a bright speaker can actually be painful, but Onks will also give warm speakers more sparkle than they would otherwise have. I've seen Denon described as warm, but my experience with them is that they're just flat. (which is good, you ideally don't want the receiver/amplifier coloring the sound.)
2. Onkyo receivers run hot. Denons seem to stay closer to ambient temps.

But, honestly, they're both excellent, providing genuinely great sound at a fairly mainstream price.

I've not found my Onkyo combined with my very forward Klipsch RF horn tweeters to be a problem after adjustment.

Well, the Onkyo I had connected to some very bright speakers was from the pre-Audyssey days, so all I had was the coarse 'treble' adjustment, which I needed to turn down quite a ways.

Now that everything comes with Audyssey, they may all end up sounding about the same, anyway.

Malor wrote:
Well, the Onkyo I had connected to some very bright speakers was from the pre-Audyssey days, so all I had was the coarse 'treble' adjustment, which I needed to turn down quite a ways.

Now that everything comes with Audyssey, they may all end up sounding about the same, anyway.

A lot of that type stuff may also be very affected by the room. Mine are in a big 2 story room with lots of couches and stuff that might negate the brightness a bit.

I have an Onkyo HT-RC-260 paired with Klipsch HD300 speakers. As established elsewhere, I am not the biggest audiophile, but for the price it's pretty solid. I don't recall what I paid offhand, but it was much, much less than list price.

Just got a Panasonic TC-P60ST50 60" plasma. Not really completely set up, but so far it looks nice and is a big (pun!) improvement over my nearly 5 year old 46" Panasonic plasma.

I fought off two urges to pick this set. First, I didn't get the GT or VT, as I didn't see many features that justified the price, and from a lot of reviews, a calibrated ST can equal at least the GT model in picture. Second, I didn't get the 65" version because when I did the math, those 5 extra inches upped the price by about 46%. That seemed a bit crazy to me.

So far, the biggest negative I've seen is that I can actually hear the screen buzz on bright white screens. I'm hoping that it's just the extreme case of the patterns I've been running to age in the phosphors, and that I'll never hear it in real TV watching with sound. It was a surprise, as I cannot hear a plasma buzz on my other plasmas around the house.

I also read at AVS that the 2012 sets seem to have a bit more display latency than past year's Panasonics. Hope that doesn't bug me.

I've gotta say, all those people telling me to go big in this thread were completely right. Size matters. For the first two weeks, I could not get over how massive a 55" television was compared to the 37" that I was previously looking at. At certain points I even felt a little guilty for going overboard, especially when everyone else seemed shocked when I told them how big it was. Now I'm completely used to it to the point where I could totally see myself having a larger one, and it's hard looking at anything smaller now.

Anyone have a 65" Panasonic VT50? How are you liking it?

kuddles wrote:
At certain points I even felt a little guilty for going overboard, especially when everyone else seemed shocked when I told them how big it was. Now I'm completely used to it to the point where I could totally see myself having a larger one, and it's hard looking at anything smaller now.

Well, that's the greatest thing I've read all week.

Edit: Damn, ironically it's too big to sig.

Kuddles: Great story! That's exactly how I felt when I got my 52 - too big at first, then after a bit, felt I could probably go bigger.

Speaking of which:

jonnypolite wrote:
Anyone have a 65" Panasonic VT50? How are you liking it?

The only reason I didn't get one long ago is the dramatic price increase right after launch. At first IIRC it was going for $3000, which I think was the same as its predecessor. Shortly it moved north of $3500.

Yeah, it seems hard to justify jumping to the 65" VT50 when the 60" GT50 is almost half the price (2k v.s 3.5k), and the ST50 is even less.

I bought the Panasonic 60" ST50 last week and I think it's fantastic but that is what all the reviews say. I haven't had any incidents or anything that wasn't mentioned in the reviews. I followed the D-Nice settings and burn-in process, link. It requires you register to read. My only issue with the D-Nice settings is my tv picture looked so high-tech before I did the settings change, the settings make everything look boring and realistic.

jonnypolite wrote:
Yeah, it seems hard to justify jumping to the 65" VT50 when the 60" GT50 is almost half the price (2k v.s 3.5k), and the ST50 is even less.

What this has done to me is frozen me with indecision.

I got the 60" Panasonic ST50. I just couldn't see the upgrade to the VT giving much in benefit to me personally after reading the reviews that the ST's calibrate nearly identically to the GT/VTs. And I staid at 60" after feeling guilty that the extra 5" for the 65" set bumped the price by more than 40% at the time.

Very happy so far.

EDIT: I just didn't see any benefit personally on the GT/VT models. I can understand a lot of people going to those, but as mine's really just a display and not a "TV" with all the smart apps, etc, the ST's fine. Only thing I miss out on is an extra HDMI port and the 24p native stuff.

jonnypolite wrote:
Yeah, it seems hard to justify jumping to the 65" VT50 when the 60" GT50 is almost half the price (2k v.s 3.5k), and the ST50 is even less.

My 60" ST50 was $1600. Which is kind of unbelievable thinking back even 5 years.

Fedaykin98 wrote:
What this has done to me is frozen me with indecision. :lol:

Depends on the features you want. I assumed I'd back down to the GT series, but when I started looking at the stuff that mattered in my setup, I went all the way down to the STs. Cnet's David Katzmaier is normally pretty good with reviews, so after I read this, I was much more comfortable with my choice.

Picture quality
The Panasonic TC-PST50 series not only improves upon its predecessor ST30's picture quality in every way, it actually deserves the same lofty 9 I gave to the flagship VT30. Its black levels are just as deep as the VT30's -- and deeper than any other 2011 plasma -- its color accuracy and gamma are superb, albeit not quite reference-level, and its bright-room performance is better than we've seen on any plasma TV, ever. Color isn't quite perfect, and matte-screen LCDs are still a better choice for very bright rooms, but I found few faults with the ST50's 2D picture. The 3D picture quality was very good as long as you remember to put the TV on the 48Hz setting (see the update below).

MannishBoy wrote:
Only thing I miss out on is an extra HDMI port and the 24p native stuff.

Frankly, I feel like that option is overrated. Everyone seems to swear by it, but I've seen it on both LG and Panasonic televisions and find that during slow panning scenes, 24p judder makes it look far worse than pulldown judder ever does.

kuddles wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
Only thing I miss out on is an extra HDMI port and the 24p native stuff.

Frankly, I feel like that option is overrated. Everyone seems to swear by it, but I've seen it on both LG and Panasonic televisions and find that during slow panning scenes, 24p judder makes it look far worse than pulldown judder ever does.

I think you need 96Hz to make that right. I know a couple of years ago the Panasonic plasmas that supported 24p native did it at 48Hz. The VT's and maybe the GT's now do it at the higher Hz.

MannishBoy wrote:
kuddles wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
Only thing I miss out on is an extra HDMI port and the 24p native stuff.

Frankly, I feel like that option is overrated. Everyone seems to swear by it, but I've seen it on both LG and Panasonic televisions and find that during slow panning scenes, 24p judder makes it look far worse than pulldown judder ever does.

I think you need 96Hz to make that right. I know a couple of years ago the Panasonic plasmas that supported 24p native did it at 48Hz. The VT's and maybe the GT's now do it at the higher Hz.

yeah I think this is true. My Panasonic lets me switch between the two refresh rates on the fly and trying to watch anything at 48hz would give me headaches if not seizures. I think it's more a problem of low refresh rate than judder though. At 96hz the cadence of the 24p judder is definitely smoother than the 3:2 pulldown and it's virtually flicker free. I like having it but it's not a make or break feature for me.

Is it safe to fiddle with the hertz on my 50" plasma? I'm using it for my PC's gaming monitor but the screen seems to flicker a teeny bit. I can use my video card to change the hertz thing right?