Searching for a new TV

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Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:28 am

So I have been holding off and holding of on replacing my main television. Well the Samsung I had that had the bad caps issue and I was able to fix was experiencing slow burn in and ghosting for the better part of this year. I knew it was on its last leg and have been refusing to replace until it outright died. Well its happened.

So now I am shopping for a replacement. Any suggestions?

Some things I would like but arent necessary are:

46" or larger
LED
Networkability/ wired/ wireless
A plethora of HDMI
Cheap :P

So I will take all suggestions and horror stories, let me hear them.

(Oh and I swore off Samsung because of the bad caps issue but damn them and their new LED, motion sensor TV it looks so cool I might be tempted to go back to them)
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:49 am

I've been very happy with my Sony XBR television, but it's likely to fail your 5th criterion.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:00 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:I've been very happy with my Sony XBR television

"Sony XBR" is a pretty vague model description... Which can include any model starting from the ones that had Trinitron CRT's :wink:
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:01 am

You want all that and have it cheap? Vizioooooo!!!!

Seriously, TR did a news post last week about their incoming computers. The brand is basically built around bringing nice things to an affordable price. Sony and Samsung brands might be of better quality, but Vizio is more likely to hit your price point.

On that note, this one is 47", has 4 HDMI ports, is LED, and has WiFi.

We just got our second Vizio since we've had absolutely no problems with the first. It's been a nice, affordable TV that brought us lots of HD goodness.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:19 pm

When I bought my television last year, I wanted something better than Vizio. I couldn't stand the washed-out blacks (more like medium gray) on the cheap Vizio LCDs.

My current television is the Sony XBR-55HX929. My previous TV was the KD-34XBR960.

Even saving well over $1000 by buying it from US-Appliance (over the phone) instead of the Buy More, the Sony television wasn't as cheap as a Vizio. Thus, it probably fails your fifth criterion.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:45 pm

I went through this agony last Xmas time and ended up with a 55" Panny plasma (TC-P55VT30) and have never looked back. That said, it'll fail #5.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:47 pm

Mom and I picked out a new 46" LED LCD for dad on Father's Day weekend this year. We went with a Samsung 6100 series LED, and it is simply gorgeous. I don't think you can go wrong with the 6, 7, or 8 series Samsungs right now.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:07 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
My current television is the Sony XBR-55HX929.



Holy hell thats sexy........and pricey too. I was looking in the 1500 range.

There's a Samsung they have been eyeballing. Which leads me to my next question, I notice most of the current TVs are coming with USB connections. Will this mean I can just hook up a USB drive and play my movies/ TV shows from it and skip the Boxee box/ Roku/ Apple TV? Am I able to use any video wrapper? (I mostly use MKV but some iTunes and MP4 stuff)

I currently have a 32" Vizio thats a few years old in my office and I have to say it looks way better than my 42" Samsung ever did.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:43 pm

The USB port is ordinarily for firmware updates and diagnostics/troubleshooting tests. Some do offer music and video support, but if the television doesn't advertise music/video support, don't expect it to be there (although you might get lucky and discover the feature is available).
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:42 am

So after going to a multitude of stores this passed weekend and comparing prices on them and internet offerings I settled on the Samsung 51" Plasma 550. It had everything that I wanted, with the exception of one thing, plus a little more at a price that was unbeatable......I got it for $839.

I looked at the LED offerings and boy were they god awful bright. Like real bright. I know its all about preference but to me the LED colors looked washed out. This Plasma looks good.

Now I just have to monkey with the settings to get the best picture I can. (I'll take any suggestions again :wink: )

Coincidentally, I still think 3D is a fad but this Tv does have that capability. I dont know if I will ever use it though.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:24 am

The very first thing you want to do is calibrate the screen for your home theater room's typical viewing level. Plasma will always have true blacks but can still be set too bright, leading to eye fatigue and premature wear-out. TVs are often set by default to a demonstration mode intended to overpower the extra-bright lighting of a typical retail floor...which, ironically, may have driven you away from the LCD offerings. Since your home theater room probably doesn't have several kW of metal halide lighting running at all times (unless you're growing some movie snacks you'd rather not talk about), the TV may need to be dialed down.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:35 am

tanker27 wrote:Coincidentally, I still think 3D is a fad but this Tv does have that capability. I dont know if I will ever use it though.
The future of 3D technology is not in 3D. I've seen someone demo this on Youtube, but playing "split screen" on a 3D TV is much cooler, and a much smarter application. I'm not sure what else you might get from that, but if might be a use for your 3D capability if you have a console that can do it.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:04 pm

As others have suggested, I would also add a "120 Hz" requirement to that list.

Additionally, I would also suggest finding one with the lowest input lag possible.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:29 pm

JdL wrote:As others have suggested, I would also add a "120 Hz" requirement to that list.

Additionally, I would also suggest finding one with the lowest input lag possible.


Done and done.

As I already purchased the TV. However, I wont get into the argument that 120Hz is pure bunk. We all know that the current standard for HDTV is 60Hz and movies are 24 FPS (rounded to 30). And we all know that you cant add whats not in the source material. But thats all semantics. :wink:

ludi wrote:The very first thing you want to do is calibrate the screen for your home theater room's typical viewing level. Plasma will always have true blacks but can still be set too bright, leading to eye fatigue and premature wear-out. TVs are often set by default to a demonstration mode intended to overpower the extra-bright lighting of a typical retail floor...which, ironically, may have driven you away from the LCD offerings. Since your home theater room probably doesn't have several kW of metal halide lighting running at all times (unless you're growing some movie snacks you'd rather not talk about), the TV may need to be dialed down.


Yeah thats what I am currently trying to do. Its hard to get something that looks good with HDTV, Netflix, Blu Rays, and Digital Media. Some Netflix stuff is too dark, while Sports in HD looks washed out. Now the Blu Ray and Digital Media stuff I have look excellent.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:08 pm

tanker27 wrote:Yeah thats what I am currently trying to do. Its hard to get something that looks good with HDTV, Netflix, Blu Rays, and Digital Media. Some Netflix stuff is too dark, while Sports in HD looks washed out. Now the Blu Ray and Digital Media stuff I have look excellent.

Does your TV have more than one "user selectable" preset available?
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:02 pm

Yeah it has Standard, Movie, and a third one (I forget what its called). Eveything I read from the Av forums Is I should start with Movie preset and then go from there.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:01 pm

tanker27 wrote:Yeah it has Standard, Movie, and a third one (I forget what its called). Eveything I read from the Av forums Is I should start with Movie preset and then go from there.

If it's got a THX preset that's usually the starting point.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:05 pm

tanker27 wrote:Yeah it has Standard, Movie, and a third one (I forget what its called). Eveything I read from the Av forums Is I should start with Movie preset and then go from there.

I was hoping it might offer multiple "user/custom" settings so that you could lock in two or three hand-tuned profiles and then just switch between them using the remote. My 37" LCD is four years old and it does have one setting like that, the rest are pre-programmed like movie, sports, etc.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:04 pm

tanker27 wrote:
JdL wrote:As others have suggested, I would also add a "120 Hz" requirement to that list.
I wont get into the argument that 120Hz is pure bunk. We all know that the current standard for HDTV is 60Hz and movies are 24 FPS (rounded to 30).
Play back a Blu-ray at 1080p24 and you'll appreciate a 120Hz display that can do it with almost no annoying telecine judder.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:16 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
tanker27 wrote:
JdL wrote:As others have suggested, I would also add a "120 Hz" requirement to that list.
I wont get into the argument that 120Hz is pure bunk. We all know that the current standard for HDTV is 60Hz and movies are 24 FPS (rounded to 30).
Play back a Blu-ray at 1080p24 and you'll appreciate a 120Hz display that can do it with almost no annoying telecine judder.



IIRC, the "Cinema Smooth" function in Sammy Plasmas is just a fancy name for 96 Hz mode. So 4:4 instead of 5:5.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:14 pm

Stay away from Samsung product, they are only nice skin deep. But you know that already (BTW, the same is true with Samsung Fridge, Samsung laptop, Samsung appliances..)
And believe me I know...

I'm actually found of plasma tech over LCD for TVs. I find LED TV to be 'cold' and have a natural blue quality.

I only use my TV on/off button all the rest is HTPC controlled, so what matter to me is that the TV can take in a digital signal an reproduce it accurately.
All the rest are bell and whistle that have no value... Again its a personal thing (ex: some people want netflix built in there TV)
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:27 pm

tanker27 wrote:
JdL wrote:As others have suggested, I would also add a "120 Hz" requirement to that list.

However, I wont get into the argument that 120Hz is pure bunk. We all know that the current standard for HDTV is 60Hz and movies are 24 FPS (rounded to 30). And we all know that you cant add whats not in the source material. But thats all semantics. :wink:


Bunk? Not sure where that's coming from. I personally CANNOT WAIT until 120 Hz is standard on computer desktops / laptops. It makes a huge difference in desktop performance, gaming, and more. I generally have a PC / Apple TV / Mac connected, in addition to any DVD, Blu-ray etc. players. Would love to see 120 Hz on my iPad 3.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:34 am

I wont waste my time in rewriting whats already written about Refresh rates. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2379206,00.asp

I point out one passage in particular:

Enhanced refresh rates like 120Hz, 240Hz, and various other speed-boosting features on modern HDTVs, on the other hand, push the concept too far............Actually, this effect can produce a distinctly artificial, unnatural feel to video.


I am talking purely about video/ Cinematography whereas you list computers/ laptops/ iPads. Now if there ever comes a time where what Peter Jackson is doing, filming (The Hobbit) in 48FPS, ever becomes a standard then refresh rates would matter. But until then
1080p60 is the current high-end standard for HDTVs, and no commercial media exceeds that resolution or frame rate. In fact, many movies on Blu-ray even turn the frame rate down and display 1080p24, or 1,920-by-1080 video at 24 frames per second, to make the footage look as close to film as possible.


In any case I am covered because the Tv is 'rated' at 600MHz.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:34 am

tanker27, I am aware of, and certainly don't disagree with any of that. But to blanket-call 120 Hz + "bunk" is not fair. Most consumers unfortunately see it this way, not realizing:

(a) that the high refresh feature can be used TODAY with many great applications - game consoles and games that support 3D, Roku, PC / Apple TV / Mac, etc. 120 Hz + makes the pictures sharper, animations smoother, etc.

(b) that you can turn off the enhanced refresh rate for standard content such as Bluray, DVD, etc.

I guess I'm paranoid that I'll never get to see a desktop LCD go above 60 Hz :( I know there was an ASUS model at one time that had GREAT reviews, but unfortunately that whole push has been negated by "bad press".
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:51 am

Well there are really two problems with refresh rates.

1. They aren't terribly noticeable unless placed side-by-side. Sure, most consumers can see that 120 Hz is better, but they aren't going to take a 60 Hz TV home and be dissapointed in the results (especially since media tends to be lower than 60 FPS).

2. Human perception. 24 FPS isn't choppy to the human eye, so even though 48 FPS, 120 Hz, and greater refresh rates look "better," you've already met the human needs met, so the value of higher refresh rates is lower to most people, and likely will be until video gets to 60 Hz/FPS and higher.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:13 am

JdL wrote:tanker27, I am aware of, and certainly don't disagree with any of that. But to blanket-call 120 Hz + "bunk" is not fair.


It's bunk because its only a selling point for manufactures. ePeen if you will, "my TV does 120Hz." "Well, MY TV does 600Hz! So there :P " People need to be informed at what is actually happening with their beloved movies to get that 120Hz. Some dont care but then again some do.

JdL wrote:(a) that the high refresh feature can be used TODAY with many great applications - game consoles and games that support 3D, Roku, PC / Apple TV / Mac, etc. 120 Hz + makes the pictures sharper, animations smoother, etc.


Most of the time with magic tricks or some sort of algorithm to enhance what is not there. With the exception to games / PC. I cant answer to 3D because I see it as a fad right now and the fact that the TV I purchased can do 3D was a bonus. I certainly didnt go out looking for it.

JdL wrote:(b) that you can turn off the enhanced refresh rate for standard content such as Bluray, DVD, etc.


True, but the common person probably never will dig to do this.

JdL wrote:I guess I'm paranoid that I'll never get to see a desktop LCD go above 60 Hz :( I know there was an ASUS model at one time that had GREAT reviews, but unfortunately that whole push has been negated by "bad press".


This goes back to my original argument that until the standard is changed then there is no reason to go higher. HD 60hz content looks great already. A change would have to constitute a change within a whole ginormous industry. Look how long it took us to switch to HD Broadcasts. The tech was out there since the 70's.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:49 pm

You need 120 Hz, not because there is a lot of source material that refreshes faster than 60 Hz but because some source material is slower. Films and Blu-ray movies are at 24 frames per second. If your television can only do 60Hz, then there is a nasty telecine judder to make the number of source frames fit into the number of frames displayed. If your set can do 120 Hz, then it should display 1080p24 material correctly, with each source frame matching pretty closely to 5 display frames with very little judder.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:50 pm

2. Human perception. 24 FPS isn't choppy to the human eye, so even though 48 FPS, 120 Hz, and greater refresh rates look "better," you've already met the human needs met, so the value of higher refresh rates is lower to most people, and likely will be until video gets to 60 Hz/FPS and higher.

24fps is not visually optimal, is the visual minimum. It was not chosen to meet human needs, but to meet film industry needs at a time when both film and equipment was very primitive and incredibly expensive. The use of a dark theater room allowed the shutter transition between frames to be masked by retinal afterimage, and also prevented the audience from seeing any real-world motion around them that would give comparative reference, helping preserve the illusion of fluid motion.

It was maintained in the age of television and home video because first, the existing stock of filming and editing equipment was built for it and second, it can be efficiently converted to both 50Hz PAL and 60Hz NTSC systems via telecining with 2:2 or 3:2 pulldown. Television rapidly adopted its own set of camera and broadcast standards but home video converted from cinema still uses these legacy techniques and will continue to do so until both the production and the consumption markets have fully embraced the potential of HD.
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:13 pm

ludi wrote:
2. Human perception. 24 FPS isn't choppy to the human eye, so even though 48 FPS, 120 Hz, and greater refresh rates look "better," you've already met the human needs met, so the value of higher refresh rates is lower to most people, and likely will be until video gets to 60 Hz/FPS and higher.

24fps is not visually optimal, is the visual minimum. It was not chosen to meet human needs, but to meet film industry needs at a time when both film and equipment was very primitive and incredibly expensive. The use of a dark theater room allowed the shutter transition between frames to be masked by retinal afterimage, and also prevented the audience from seeing any real-world motion around them that would give comparative reference, helping preserve the illusion of fluid motion.

It was maintained in the age of television and home video because first, the existing stock of filming and editing equipment was built for it and second, it can be efficiently converted to both 50Hz PAL and 60Hz NTSC systems via telecining with 2:2 or 3:2 pulldown. Television rapidly adopted its own set of camera and broadcast standards but home video converted from cinema still uses these legacy techniques and will continue to do so until both the production and the consumption markets have fully embraced the potential of HD.
And did I say 24 FPS was smooth? Optimal? No, I did not.

As I said before, it's "close enough" so that improving upon it has less value. Going from 12 to 24 FPS is night and day, but 24 to 48 won't be as noticeable unless you can see the two side-by-side. This is a problem because doubling your frequencies adds cost even though the value to the end user is less substantial. Less incentive to buy better means less demand, which means less supply and adoption. As costs come down, higher refresh rates will become standard (or plasma will make a comeback), but until then, it's kind of a fact of life :(

EDIT: Oh, yeah. I leveled up on that :D
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Re: Searching for a new TV

Postposted on Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:10 pm

JdL wrote:
(a) that the high refresh feature can be used TODAY with many great applications - game consoles and games that support 3D, Roku, PC / Apple TV / Mac, etc. 120 Hz + makes the pictures sharper, animations smoother, etc.


120hz monitors and 120+hz TVs are two different things. Televisions top out at 60hz input (even JustAnEngineer's top-of-the-line 929); the 120hz/240hz, etc. is internal to the TV itself.
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