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Flyin' Lion

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We need a new TV for the new addition and apparently all the big electronics stores are having sales before the Super Bowl. Any body have any suggestions on which brands are better? How about LCD vs. Plasma? Obviously we want to go HD because the technology is headed that way, but I really haven't researched this topic at all and now feel I have to make a snap decision due to these prices.


Thanks in advance. :mug:
 

Bobby_M

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Can you control light in the room? Go huge. Here's my family room.


I don't have the exact model, but look for the Mitsubishi HD1000u online. You can find it for about $900 or less and is 720p resolution (HD). You can go 110" wide or more depending on your room. You'll pay the same amount for a 42" LCD.
 

Blender

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I think the best LCD for the money is made by VISIO. If you buy at COSTCO you cannot go wrong. They have the best warranty in the business.
 

sause

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I use to work in an electronic store, in specific the Home Theatre area. If you want to mount it on the wall get a plasma over a lcd, better colors, better contrast, smoother picture, and larger size for the money. Pioneer and LG are my top two, Pioneer is the best out there right now. If you don't a rear projection DLP, Samsungs and Mitsubishi's in particular are very nice. If this is going to be your all around tv and then look in to the extended warranty on the DLPs, but only if they cover the light bulb. If this is going to be a dedicated movie watcher don't worry as much. For some people front projection works, but only if you can totally darken the room, most screens and even worse wall paint will amplify any light in the room. There are some black and gray screens out there which won't kill the contrast but they are usually more expensive than the projector. Before a tv catches your eye remember, brightness is useless, even the darkest tv it the store will need to be turned down in your home. Contrast numbers are usless also, there are no standardized units are measurements. Look at the peoples faces in the picture, do they look like a normal person on tv or do they look like they spent the winter in Wisconsin (pale). On a picture with things actually going on how dark is the black, the darker the better. This will be your contrast, the thing that makes things look like they are in the foreground, mid-ground or background. And smoothness is still better than sharpness, when looking at the picture see if smooth curves are exactly that or do they look like steps(biggest problems with lcds IMO). As I said I USED to work at a electronics store, no longer so I'm not trying to sell you anything, just giving you the heads up.
 
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Flyin' Lion

Flyin' Lion

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Wow Sause that is very helpful, thanks. I'll keep this in mind when we go shopping, I had no idea that LG was so good.
 

knewshound

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I have a 60 inch DLP Mitsu and love it.

1080I for under 1500 bucks.

It looks like you can dip your hand in to it..

Cheers,

knewshound
 
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sause said:
I use to work in an electronic store, in specific the Home Theatre area. If you want to mount it on the wall get a plasma over a lcd, better colors, better contrast, smoother picture, and larger size for the money. Pioneer and LG are my top two, Pioneer is the best out there right now. If you don't a rear projection DLP, Samsungs and Mitsubishi's in particular are very nice. If this is going to be your all around tv and then look in to the extended warranty on the DLPs, but only if they cover the light bulb. If this is going to be a dedicated movie watcher don't worry as much. For some people front projection works, but only if you can totally darken the room, most screens and even worse wall paint will amplify any light in the room. There are some black and gray screens out there which won't kill the contrast but they are usually more expensive than the projector. Before a tv catches your eye remember, brightness is useless, even the darkest tv it the store will need to be turned down in your home. Contrast numbers are usless also, there are no standardized units are measurements. Look at the peoples faces in the picture, do they look like a normal person on tv or do they look like they spent the winter in Wisconsin (pale). On a picture with things actually going on how dark is the black, the darker the better. This will be your contrast, the thing that makes things look like they are in the foreground, mid-ground or background. And smoothness is still better than sharpness, when looking at the picture see if smooth curves are exactly that or do they look like steps(biggest problems with lcds IMO). As I said I USED to work at a electronics store, no longer so I'm not trying to sell you anything, just giving you the heads up.
Yeah man nice post! :rockin:
 

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We have a 57" Hitachi Ultravision Rear projection (1080i). It's thick, but man is it a nice picture.
 

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homebrewer_99 said:
I wanted to get a projection system, but was put off at buying a replacement bulb at $600.00.

I went with a 65" Toshiba Rear Projection HD system a couple of years ago:D .
I don't know who told you the bulbs were $600. I just replaced my Sanyo Z3 bulb for $280 and the original had nearly 3000 hours on it and was still fine.
 

sause

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Round two, when people ask what size room you have don't blow it off. If you ever sat in the front part of a movie theatre you know that sitting to close to a big see make your eyes hurt. Here's a chart you should follow, don't go to big; http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/assets/download/0602_tech_talk2_large.jpg

Also don't blow your load on the tv, the tv should be about 60% of your budget, the rest should go to your audio, about 30%, and cables, about 10%. Yes cables do make a difference, you don't have to go all out and buy high end monster but something better than the stuff that comes with your equipment. With HD, depending on your input(cable, sat, antenna) you will need to go with component cables or better yet HDMI. Digital audio is also key when you want that "surround sound feeling".

As far as resolution goes go as high as you can with out compromising the other aspect of the picture, see my last post. 1080p is the best out there right now but the only thing sending 1080p signals is bluray. Next is 1080i you will only find these on tube based tvs, CRT projections and CRT's. 720p is the lowest end of the HD standard, but are the most affordable right now in the newer technologies.

I'll stop preaching now and leave that to the good brewpastor.;)
 

Rodanrodanadana

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homebrewer_99 said:
I wanted to get a projection system, but was put off at buying a replacement bulb at $600.00.

I went with a 65" Toshiba Rear Projection HD system a couple of years ago:D .

Don't most rear projection TVs these days also need to replace the bulb (LCD and DLP) ? What about LCD flat panels and the back light?

I have had many front projectors. You can get bulbs on eBay for less than the retail. Most bulbs don't drop dead at their recommended lifetime amount, they are just a lot dimmer than when you bought them. The same will happen with rear projection LCD and DLP TVs. Also Plasma TVs fade too. So, we are all in the same boat.


The main disadvantage of front projection is that you must have a dark room. You cannot create black on a surface where there is no black. So, whatever color your screen is with the ambient light, that is the darkest color you are really going to get.

Another thing to consider is the fan noise. Fans in business data projectors may be too annoyingly loud for watching a quiet movie. So, sure you can get a used projector off eBay that will do 720p for next to nothing, but it might be just too loud.

I only use my front projectors for watching movies, playing Xbox and big sports events. Otherwise, I just use the direct view TV for regular TV watching.


[DLP SPOILER WARNING]
If you are buying a DLP, front or rear, make sure you and your family cannot see the rainbows. If you have many people over to watch at your place, then might be safer not to get a DLP. This is an example of what the rainbow effect sort of looks like. To get people to see them, I like to play something with fast motion and lighting in it, like a car chase scene from The Fast and Furious etc. Then get people to shake their heads left and right while looking at the screen.

Once you see them you cannot stop seeing them. So, if you already own a DLP, and are happy with it, please do not try this, in case you start to see them.
 
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Flyin' Lion

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This is all great information guys. Thanks alot, I'll go back and look at the reviews and see what suits us best. We really aren't looking for a "home theater" per se, but I should be looking for something that can one day be used for that purpose just in case we decide eventually to go that route.
 

zoebisch01

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fwiw, we have a 46" rear projection Sony and absolutely love the thing. Bulb life is around 20,000 hrs they say. That is about 8 hrs a day, every day, for seven years. The nice thing is, the footprint (although larger than a flat panel) is about half of a tube (I think it is prolly about 13" wide). Two reasons why we went with this. One, it was about $1,000 less than a comparable lcd flatscreen. Second, I personally preferred the picture to the others. Can't say I have any regrets. The thing is awesome. Please follow sause's advice on sizing the tv to the room. This is very important. If you are too close you'll see screen effects which is lame. If you find a specific model and need to chew the fat, this forum cannot be beat:

http://www.avsforum.com/
 

Hopfan

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I used the DLP projector that I bought with my laptop from Dell. Rather than get a set size screen, because my basement is still in a state of flux/building, I bought screen paint from here http://www.diytheatre.com/ I now have a 120" screen and a kicka** home theater system. As was posted earlier, it is better to have the lights dimmed to get the best viewing, but I did not see that as a negative because I was setting this up as a theatre room anyway.
 
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Flyin' Lion

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A couple more questions regarding HD:

Do you need a special adapter to view regular cable signals or just the HD cable? In other words, you only need a cabinet mounted box for HD right?

We currently have standard (basic) cable and I don't have any desire to shell out big bucks for HD. I happen to be looking at the HD (plasma) TV's only because they are on sale and they happen to be thin and lightweight. Maybe someday we'll go the HD route as far as cable is concerned, but not right now.
 

sause

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Yeah, only if you want to watch stuff on espn or discovery and stuff like that do you need a HD box, if you live in an area where they have the "big four" (abc, cbs, nbc, fox) broadcasted you can pick up those via an antenna, two plus' going this way; it's free and most of the time it's a better signal. One bad thing is you have to switch it from antenna to cable all the time.
 

sause

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ryser2k said:
It's a good tv, I don't know if amazon is a authorized retailer of samsung products though. If it isn't than the manufactors waranty is no good. Other than that good tv, and for movie you might want to pick up a upconverting dvd player, can be had for around $100, that will make your dvd's look better.
 
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ryser2k

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Thanks for the reply... I am going back and forth between that model and their 720p model which is $400 cheaper.

And from what I understand, Amazon IS an authorized Samsung dealer.
 

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Bobby_M said:
I don't know who told you the bulbs were $600. I just replaced my Sanyo Z3 bulb for $280 and the original had nearly 3000 hours on it and was still fine.
I'm certain it was a different model, but I checked with the manufacturer and it was $600.00. I'm not sorry I went rear projection though. The room's big enough.:D
 

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Hopfan said:
I used the DLP projector that I bought with my laptop from Dell. Rather than get a set size screen, because my basement is still in a state of flux/building, I bought screen paint from here http://www.diytheatre.com/ I now have a 120" screen and a kicka** home theater system. As was posted earlier, it is better to have the lights dimmed to get the best viewing, but I did not see that as a negative because I was setting this up as a theatre room anyway.
That is what I've got too. I wouldn't trade it for anything. No big bulky, heavy ass TV to lug around, and the 100 inch HD screen is so kick ass it isn't even funny.

If you've got the room size, go with a projector. My projector will display a screen from 4 feet away to 39 feet away. Makes for a ton of possibilities.

The only drawback is the lamps, but for the price I got my projector at, I could buy 5 lamps and still not be close to the price of a 60 inch plasma or LCD, AND I've still got twice the screen.

I love my projector.
 

Dude

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Dude said:
That is what I've got too. I wouldn't trade it for anything. No big bulky, heavy ass TV to lug around, and the 100 inch HD screen is so kick ass it isn't even funny.

If you've got the room size, go with a projector. My projector will display a screen from 4 feet away to 39 feet away. Makes for a ton of possibilities.

The only drawback is the lamps, but for the price I got my projector at, I could buy 5 lamps and still not be close to the price of a 60 inch plasma or LCD, AND I've still got twice the screen.

I love my projector.
And.....after 15 months, I lost my first bulb last night. SWMBO and I were playing rock band and just about jumped out of our seats when that thing blew up. It took me a half hour to get the damn new lamp in and remounted. We both immediately noticed a huge difference in brightness (just in time for playoff football I might add ;) ).

At this rate, so far I've spent a total of 1000 bones on this projector. I figure after 3 more bulbs I'll be up to the price of a decent LCD or plasma and will probably have close to 5-6 years of service from it. I can certainly live with that. A 100 inch HD screen of NFL football greatness sure helps sway the costs of buying that new bulb.

Now, to order another, just in case. ;)
 
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Wow, I sarted this thread a year ago and still have not bought a TV yet. Our biggest is a 27" RCA 'tube. It's hard to justify shelling out for a TV when I'm trying to fund an IRA and a college savings plan.:(
 

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I got my 42" Sharp Aquos 1080p yesterday...it's sweet!
 

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I have had my Mitsubishi WS-65813 65-IN. Rear Projection HD sinve 2004 and love it. Nice picture, very light for a tv that size. Have directv HD and a 9.3 surround setup.

 

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I have the 42" Vizio GV42LF LCD from Sears for only $1100 and love it. IMHO, the worst thing to look for is the contrast and #1 thing to look for is how well blacks looks on the set. The contrast is a worthless number since most of them are now "dynamic" contrast ratios which you should just turn off anyway.

When you go to the store to look at them pick out the sets you want to see and then turn every set off. Look at each set with that one on only. That way you don't get pulled in when they put the $4000 set next to the $1000 one. If they balk at you turning off the sets just walk out of the store. They don't deserve your business anyway.

Also, never, ever, ever buy cables from a store. Go to monoprice.com and get them. You can get a really good HMDI cable for $10 compared to the $40 piece of crap at the big box places and digital audio cables for $8 for something you would pay over $60 for around town.

Once you get you set home go to avsforum.com and find the settings for your gear. Once you get it all setup correctly what ever you get will blow your mind away.
 

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I'm going to second the projector recommendation.

I have a 100" screen from a 1024x576 16:9 source that is very bright, and while it's not fully high def, it is fantastic. Got the projector on a steal for about 1/3 of its retail price, and I built the screen myself for $150 from pro screen material, wood from home depot, and black velvet from the fabric store.

I have some better pics but can't find them, so here's me playing solitaire with 9" cards.

 

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SWMBO got me a TV for Christmas. My first instinct was to go with at least a 42" set or bigger. After I did some research and sober thinking, I decided to go with a smaller 32" LCD 720p set.

The only place a big set would fit is in the basement, and nobody goes down there. It's my brew room and swmbo's exercise room, so putting it down there would really be a waste.

The 32" will fit perfectly into a bay built into a half wall in our family room. I went with a Panasonic, as it got high marks from Consumer Reports and also from all the consumers who purchased one on many websites.

The absolute cheapest price I found was online. It was $999 in Best Buy, but I got it at newegg.com for $799 with only $49 shipping and no tax. They tried to deliver it yesterday, but we were out and missed it by 5 minutes. I'm picking it up after work on Monday and I'll let you know how it looks.
 

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I got the Phillips 47" LCD from costco, and I think it is great. In my house I have windows opposite of the best place for the tv, so glare was a big issue for me. I was replacing a rear projection tv with a very shiny surface and lots of glare. The LCD seemed to have less glare than the other models at Costco, so that helped with my choice.

Rick
 

Reidman

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LCD looks sharper to me than plasma in the stores...anyone else think so..?

I know the colors are richer on a plasma though....

Right now I have a pretty nice Sony Wega 50" and while I absolutely love the screen and resolution, the thing is a monstrosity in our living room so I'm looking to get a flat panel to hang on the wall...

Seems they are coming way down in price..
 

Desert_Sky

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i went the DLP route. I was a bit hesitant at first because from what Ive heard people say I wasnt sure how good it would look. I think I must have spent about 2 hours walking back and forth between TVs at SEARS. I finally pulled the trigger and went with the 61" Samsung 1080p DLP. It really is super bright and the picture quality is top notch. 9/10 in my book, I just wish the speakers were a bit better, but I guess thats what the next thing on the list.
 

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We bought a 52" LCD for Christmas.. I was told by someone more knowledgable than me that plasma goes out in 4-5 years... we got the Phillips 1080p one from Costco and love it
 

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I've seen plasmas and LCDs side by side and I couldn't see one bit of difference. No, the plasma didn't have better contrast to my eyes. These were both 1080p current models. LCDs have really come a long way. With HD available to everyone and HD DVDs now a reality, don't bother with a 720p set.. it's just inferior on anything bigger than 40".
 

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I have a 50" Sony Rear Projection LCD. Love it! I got it as a "scratch and dent" at 1/2 the price. What was nice is that the warranty was the same as a new one and got the extended warranty through BB for the bulb and that was considerably cheaper as well.

I looked at the plasma in the stores and will agree that the colors are a little more vibrant, but what good is that if you have glare. FWIW, I have a panny 32" in the basement that is LCD as well. I should really upgrade that so I dont have the eye strain between the 50" upstairs and the 32" downstairs :p

I will also second Monoprice for cables. Much cheaper than other stores.
 

Bernie Brewer

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Ok guys I'm going to hijack this thread just slightly here: I have a 51" sony projection (like it a lot, works great) and I get my HD over the air with an antenna. I have an external digital tuner for the HD, since there is none in the TV. My question is: is there a DVR out there that will record with an over-the-air signal and NOT charge a subscription fee???. I'm sick and tired of watching shows recorded on a VCR when I could be watching them in the original HD quality that they are broadcast in. Any thoughts?
 
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