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

Wait, the C630? That's the one I got, and specifically because of the matte screen. I got mine at Best Buy though. I didn't realize they were rare. I love that TV.

Mine's the B630, but it's about three years old now.

I just spent hours in Best Buy (yeah, I know) comparing, among others, the Panasonic Viera TC-P50UT50/U50 and the Samsung UN46EH6000. I also examined plasmas vs LED-LCDs in the Magnolia section, where they have some decent lighting. It's $700/$600 at BB (but only until tomorrow) for the former(s) and $800 $750 for the latter.

I want to use it for streaming Amazon and Netflix, plus playing old SD avis. Maybe Steam Big Picture down the road. I'm a recovered wannabe-AV-geek, and I'm not interested in the higher-end stuff. I'm planning on driving this all with an ATV/XBMC unit down the road, so it's not like I need the Smart TV features.

But I can't really tell the difference, mostly. The new TVs are all pretty darned good.

The LCDs can be kind of pasty, and the plasmas are darker but look more film-y. But the whole image retention and buzzing things are off-putting. I'd like a headphone-out for late nights, which only the LCD has (lame, I know). What's weird is that although every Consumer Reports recommendation is a plasma, the market has spoken, and it says LED-LCDs are the way to go. Costco sells 47 LED-LCDs; they sell *one* plasma.

This is harder than it should be.

Maybe what I really wanted was that 50" Panasonic from Costco a few months back; the current 55" is just too darned big!

And the fact that inventories are switching out fast. I can't even buy the plasmas from Amazon any more, since they're prepping the 2013 models. Gah.

Archangel wrote:

Maybe what I really wanted was that 50" Panasonic from Costco a few months back; the current 55" is just too darned big!

Hi my name is Saxtus and I'm recovering from "that screen's too big"-itis. I've found in my experience that as soon as you have that 50" in your living room, you'll adapt and then the 80" screen at Costco will suddenly inspire "now-that's-a-big-tv"-itis. It's all relative. If you're not an AV-geek, buy the lcd-led and you won't be sad.

My .02

I once thought my TV was too big. That lasted about a day.

Well, my 40" Samsung LCD didn't end up recovering from the column of dead pixels issue. I ordered a Samsung Plasma 51" PN51E7000. The total off of Amazon was just over $900. I know all of you rave about the Panasonic's, but I couldn't resist the Samsung aesthetic. I hope it will be a good TV. I look forward to doing some living room gaming and movie watching again.

Anyone have it? Feel free to slap me for going with the Samsung.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Well, my 40" Samsung LCD didn't end up recovering from the column of dead pixels issue. I ordered a Samsung Plasma 51" PN51E7000. The total off of Amazon was just over $900. I know all of you rave about the Panasonic's, but I couldn't resist the Samsung aesthetic. I hope it will be a good TV. I look forward to doing some living room gaming and movie watching again.

Anyone have it? Feel free to slap me for going with the Samsung. :)

Hell, I've gone with Toshiba for my last two TV's. It's like i'm asking for people to snicker at me. But they've been pretty freaking great TV's at a good price.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Well, my 40" Samsung LCD didn't end up recovering from the column of dead pixels issue. I ordered a Samsung Plasma 51" PN51E7000. The total off of Amazon was just over $900. I know all of you rave about the Panasonic's, but I couldn't resist the Samsung aesthetic. I hope it will be a good TV. I look forward to doing some living room gaming and movie watching again.

Anyone have it? Feel free to slap me for going with the Samsung. :)

I have the 51" D7000 from last year and it's pretty amazing for what I paid for it. There was a funky brightness/contrast issue that I had to do a firmware flash on the TV to fix, but that was pretty painless. After that and some time spent calibrating it, it's been great.

Granted, the Samsungs were better last year relative to the Panasonics than they are this year because Panasonic had some little issues here and there, but generally, they were fairly equivalent at the time. Both lineups got onto a lot of "best Plasma of the year" lists from TV reviewers. Panasonic improved their sets pretty much across the board for their newer line so you probably don't see as much about the Samsung Plasmas in general so far this year.

I haven't read anything about the updates, but I can't imagine there's any huge changes.

Thin_J wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Well, my 40" Samsung LCD didn't end up recovering from the column of dead pixels issue. I ordered a Samsung Plasma 51" PN51E7000. The total off of Amazon was just over $900. I know all of you rave about the Panasonic's, but I couldn't resist the Samsung aesthetic. I hope it will be a good TV. I look forward to doing some living room gaming and movie watching again.

Anyone have it? Feel free to slap me for going with the Samsung. :)

I have the 51" D7000 from last year and it's pretty amazing for what I paid for it. There was a funky brightness/contrast issue that I had to do a firmware flash on the TV to fix, but that was pretty painless. After that and some time spent calibrating it, it's been great.

Granted, the Samsungs were better last year relative to the Panasonics than they are this year because Panasonic had some little issues here and there, but generally, they were fairly equivalent at the time. Both lineups got onto a lot of "best Plasma of the year" lists from TV reviewers. Panasonic improved their sets pretty much across the board for their newer line so you probably don't see as much about the Samsung Plasmas in general so far this year.

I haven't read anything about the updates, but I can't imagine there's any huge changes.

According to HDGuru Samsung's top of the line plasmas were refreshed with a much better panel, but the 7000 series is replaced by the 5500 for midrange and 4500 for entry level. Panasonic's done a bit more in 2013 getting rid of the GT line and making the ZT series the top of the line model with brightness that apparently matches LCDs. And if that means pushing the VT to the old GT price range (not likely but one can hope), could be putting Panasonic a bit further ahead for this year. Still, can't go wrong with either brand at this point.

I'm just glad Samsung is staying competitive. Without them Panasonic might just be sitting around rebadging the same sets over again. You know, with an occasional stop to point laugh at LG.

I'm so excited to get my new TV this week. I can't wait to be able to spend time in the living room again watching movies and playing games. Hilariously, I'll actually try out the 3D for fun. I have 3 or so 3D Blu-rays at the moment and just ordered Wreck-it Ralph. I doubt it'll be something I use often, but it's kind of fun that it's included.

I also got a Rega RP1 turntable, so that'll be another reason to spend time in the living room.

So,

What's up with 4k?

Don't tell me it's poised to become a new industry standard anytime soon!

Please?

interstate78 wrote:
So,

What's up with 4k?

Don't tell me it's poised to become a new industry standard anytime soon!

Please?

Don't worry about it. Any TV you buy now will be fine for at least the next five years. The leap from 480p to 1080p was far more dramatic than 1080p to 4k (i.e. 2160p) in terms of image quality, as you'll only start to see a significant difference in very large screens, like 80" and up. Even then you need 4k content... Sony will push hard for this, but it's just not going to happen quickly.

Yeah, unlike 1080p, I don't see 4k taking off super quickly, and even when it does start it's going to be several years from now.

The thing I want most has nothing to do with resolution. I just want OLED sets to show up in a big way.

If I had to guess..I would say we see mainstream 55"-65" 4K TV's before we see mainstream 55"-65" OLED TV's. Boy I would love to be wrong though...since 4K does basically nothing for 99% of what we watch and output on TV

You're probably right though. OLED has developed incredibly slowly compared to other display techs. Makes me sad though. Until it becomes a common thing I don't see anything really challenging Plasma sets for overall picture quality.

What makes me worried as a film buff is that tons of films haven't even gotten a proper Bluray release yet, and even a lot of those that have that aren't either a super-popular classic or brand new are released with mediocre to bad low-effort transfers. I can only imagine this situation will worsen when we're talking about an even more expensive process for restoration and transfering work. Not to mention all the television that just plain only exists in an SD format and doesn't have the fanbase to justify a Star Trek-like resotration.

Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those people who loves the idea of having an 84" 4K television in my living room. I'm just wondering if the result is that 90% of what I watch on it will look terrible because it's 480 to 1080 content being upscaled or is labelled "4K" but is just an uncompressed version of the same transfer they did for the DVD again.

So, the 51" 7000 Series Plasma is perfect. It's exactly what I wanted. The size is perfect for the room. Before, with a 40" LCD, I felt like I had to move the chair up right in front of the TV. Now I don't think I'll need or want to. Picture quality seems great so far. I haven't done any calibrating yet.

The aesthetic of the build design on this TV is so great. I love the brushed steel behind plexiglass look. I always liked the black plastic behind clear plexiglass look, and this is even better.

Edit: Holy balls, I just fired up the Alice in Wonderland Blu-ray. Plasma is fantastic. I definitely need to do a bit of calibration at some point.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Edit: Holy balls, I just fired up the Alice in Wonderland Blu-ray. Plasma is fantastic. I definitely need to do a bit of calibration at some point.

Another convert Sports, or other things with fast movement are noticeably better, too. Movies rarely show the motion advantage of plasmas, since they're shot to be show at 24 fps in theaters.

I should have mentioned that it was the old Disney film of Alice in Wonderland. Anyways, I tried out the Prometheus 3D Blu-ray and was pleasantly surprised. I may actually use the 3D when available. It seems to be less strenuous than the 24 fps theater 3D that I've seen.

ITU has introduced a much expanded color space for UHDTV, Rec. 2020
IMAGE(http://dotcolordotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/rec2020-vs-rec709-001.png)

Looks like minimal increase to blue, more noticeable increase in red, and a whole lotta love for green. Since it's a standard that applies more to content than the hardware showing it, I believe that many standard HDTVs can already go beyond the Rec. 709 and you'd see an improvement in color space without needing to buy an UDHTV when playing 4k content.

Also worth noting is that since good contrast is more important that having the highest resolution, you'll probably see better picture quality on a 65" 1080p plasma than a 65" 4k LCD, while the latter will definitely cost thousands more.

I tried out the 3D on the Prometheus Blu-ray and was rather surprised. It's not too bad. It's definitely a bit better than watching 3D in the theaters I've been to, but it's not as impressive as the 48 fps 3D. Does anyone know if it's possible for The Hobbit Blu-ray to have 48 fps 3D? I haven't looked into it.

3D is probably a feature that I won't end up using very much, but it's still kind of fun to play around with at the moment.

On the subject of calibrating, is it good enough for me to hook my laptop up to the TV and run through something like this? I think I'll have to write down the settings and then use those on all of the inputs after doing that. It doesn't need to be perfect, but I'd like to get it in the right ballpark. Lastly, should I be turning off game mode on the PS3 input when watching Blu-ray's? I haven't messed around with it enough to know if it makes much of a difference. I initially just set the PS3 HDMI input to movie mode with game mode on.

Thanks!

Does anyone know if it's possible for The Hobbit Blu-ray to have 48 fps 3D?

No.. not on current TV's anyway.. perhaps down the road we will see support but given how 3D hasnt exactly taken off at home it might not actually happen.. As well since that was the only movie to support it..double so.

TheGameguru wrote:
Does anyone know if it's possible for The Hobbit Blu-ray to have 48 fps 3D?

No.. not on current TV's anyway.. perhaps down the road we will see support but given how 3D hasnt exactly taken off at home it might not actually happen.. As well since that was the only movie to support it..double so.

That's what I expected.

Nevermind about the calibration. It seems that AVS Forums has a free calibration disc. I'll probably just throw the MP4 on my PS3 and run through that.

I actually borrowed a Digital Video Essentials blu-ray from someone to do mine. It made a pretty noticeable difference to me, particularly in the case of color balance.

If you have discs from netflix, they also have some.

MannishBoy wrote:
If you have discs from netflix, they also have some.

I do. If I'm not satisfied with the AVS thing, I'll try that. I know there are some light calibration supplements on Pixar discs, too.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:
If you have discs from netflix, they also have some.

I do. If I'm not satisfied with the AVS thing, I'll try that. I know there are some light calibration supplements on Pixar discs, too.

Disney made a full on calibration disc, too.

I went through the Pixar disc to get the brightness and contrast right. The AVS forums thing was a bit too complicated. I think some of the tests required looking through filters. Anyways, I'll just Netflix a calibration Blu-ray to get the color right.

You can many times find the settings online for what the general AVS populous has decided is the "best" settings for your TV for movie watching etc..