Flat panel TV question

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by JesseJames, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
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    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    #1
    I may be in the market for a flat panel television. Either a LCD or a LCOS television. Plasma is just too expensive for my blood right now.
    Probably at least a 20 inch viewing area with a 16:9 aspect ratio. HDTV upgradeable. I guess what I'm looking for is something the size of the 30 inch Apple Cinema Display or less. Anything bigger would just be too rich for me.
    Can any of ya'll techheads recommend a good brand or model?
    I've been to the Best Buy and seen some of them and the picture quality looks pretty good.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    A friend of mine recently bought a 26-in Samsung LCD TV. I don't know the exact model, but it was really nice. Great picture, slick design.

    Personally, I'm a big Panasonic fan, but I haven't looked at their LCD TVs. I bought a plasma. ;)
     
  3. macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
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    #3
    Just nitpicking here, but a LCOS screen is not a flat panel, it's a rear projection TV. Flat panels are either plasma or LCD (direct view).

    You also have to keep in mind that HDTVs have far less resolution than a computer monitor. They'll either be 1280x720, 1280x768, 1366x768 or 1920x1080. They're also going to be brighter and have faster response times.

    The Apple 30" costs $3000, what's your budget? LCD HDTVs cost much less at the 30" (of course the resolution is lower). Sharp makes very nice HDTVs. So do Samsung and Panasonic. You mention 20", so there are a few 22/23" HDTVs available between $1200-$1600.

    Samsung LTP-227W
    Panasonic TH-22HC30
    Toshiba 23" something or other
    Sony 23" something or other

    BTW, if you're going to be connecting a Mac or PC to this TV, you might want to do some research first. Not all TVs are friendly with computers. You might have to use some applications to get resolutions/frequencies out of your computer to work on the TV. On PCs, people use a program called PowerStrip. On Macs, I think a program called SwitchResX works for this.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

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    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #4
    Hanging around at Best Buy .... The Sharp Aquos look real nice, Philips too .... sorry dude, don't have friends with flat panels (yet) so no actual user experience :eek:
     
  5. macrumors G4

    Joined:
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    USA
    #5
    If you want to window shop on the web, Crutchfield and Best Buy are great places to oggle. A couple of words to the wise, however. Be sure to look at only those 16:9 monitors with square pixels--1365 x 768 or 1280 x 720. You also have to ensure that your monitor has DVI. Most have it, but some don't.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    ClarkeB

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    #6
    CNET has a good TV section (although I have no clue if it is as totally biased as the PC/audio [*crappy product X*: the iPod killer!!1!!1!111!] section of their site). No actual user experience...waiting for a 7 or 8 year-old 36 inch CRT to die (and I doo look forward to hopping into the market for one! it will be soo much fun...and by then almost everything will be shot widescreen, high-def!)
     
  7. macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
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    #7
    If he doesn't want to hook it up to a computer, the square pixels aren't really necessary. With HD material, you'd be hard pressed to see the difference between square and rectangular pixels.

    As for other websites for HDTV information, I like to visit AVS Forum . The flat panel forum there has plenty of people. You'll find tons of info. There's also a section in the HTPC (home theater PC) forums for Mac users. Right now, it's mostly talk about using the Mac mini as a TiVo, but there are posts that refer to HDTVs that work with Macs and such.
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    New Dell 2405FPW

    Dell recently announced a 24" Widescreen Monitor (2405FPW) that will begin to go onsale in the US on March 1st for $1199 USD. It offers something like 1900x1200 which is enough to handle native 1080i HD resolutions. It will also feature Component Inputs, along with S-Video, Composite, DVI & VGA.

    I currently use a Dell 2001FP on my G5 and can't wait for this monitor to actually start shipping. To me, it's going to be the perfect display for not only my computer but also any other media device as well.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    #9
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #10
    I know you are are looking for a flat panel display, but really the best bang for your buck is going to come from the good ol' CRT. I have 30" widescreen Samsung CRT 1080i TV and it looks great playing either DVDs in 480p or HD cable in 1080i. Best part is it only cost me $800 (Canadian) at Best Buy! Has a DVI input as well.

    Personally I think flat screens are over-hyped. CRTs give just as good a picture (sometimes better) and cost a fraction of the price. Only drawback of course is their weight and depth, which may or may not be an issue, depending on where the TV is going to be located.

    <edit>
    Oh yes, I forgot to mention also that all but the most expensive LCD and plasma displays are not true HD, as they don't actually have 1080 lines of resolution. This is especially true of the smaller displays (22/24") that you mention, since cramming 1080 lines of resolution in a 24" display would be make the display much more costly. So instead the image is actually scaled down to a lower res to fit the screen.

    Really, the gains of HD aren't close to being realized on a screen smaller than 30", so if I were you I would buy either a CRT or hold off and just save money for a decent sized flat panel. Trust me, it will be worth it!
     
  11. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
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    USA
    #11
    If the monitor has 720 lines or more, then it qualifies as HDTV. Although, I would like a 1080 monitor, I will live with my 768 line LCD just a bit longer in the knowledge that it is true HD.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Location:
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    #12
    There's much more to HDTV than resolution alone. And the jury is still out to as which HDTV "standard" is better. The general rule of thought is that 1080i looks better with slow moving scenes and 720p looks better with fast moving stuff. Of course, people will point out that CBS NFL (1080i) looks better than Fox NFL (720p), but I think that's a function of the broadcaster's implementation of compression and such.

    Anyways, I agree that CRT tubes can generate a truly great picture. They typically produce the best black levels. However, there are big disadvantages to CRTs ... you mentioned size, but screen geometry is another. Also, even though the CRTs accept 1080i natively, all but the most expensive (read professional) tubes cannot resolve 1080 pixels. They seem to top out at 900 lines or so. And the cheaper HD CRTs would be even lower.

    Sorry for falling slightly off topic.
     
  13. macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2003
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    Toronto, ON
    #13
    It's true that 720 qualifies as HDTV, however the TV must support 720p. If it claims to be a 1080i display but only has 768 lines of resolution it is scaling the 1080i signal to fit the screen, rather than displaying a true 720p HDTV image.
     
  14. macrumors G4

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    #14
    And your point is ...?
     
  15. macrumors member

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    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #15
    Sigh...nevermind.
     

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