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LCD HDTV help needed

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Guiyon, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Picking up a new HDTV since my old CRT bit the dust. I am planning to purchase a 32" from my local Costco and they have several different models available. My planned setup is pretty simply, I am going to have a PS3 (gaming & Blu-Ray) and sometimes my MacBook Pro attached simply for Boxee. This is going to be a bedroom setup so my viewing distance will probably be around 5-8 feet. Through the research I've done already I don't think I'll be able to see much difference between 720P and 1080P at that range, but I'm not 100% sure. Anyway, these are the models available (in my price range).
    Vizio    -  VL320M     - 1080P        - 1920x1080
    Samsung  -  LN32B540   - Pseudo-720P  - 1366x768
    Sharp    -  LC-C3237UT - Pseudo-720P  - 1366x768
    So far I'm leaning towards either the Vizio or the Samsung; I'm assuming (correctly, I hope) that the Samsung is a better panel. Anyone have any experience with either of these or any suggestions?
  2. macrumors 65816

    Vizio's are great for the price, especially if you get a late 2009 model. Samsungs generally have better panels, though in the smaller models it can be a tad hard to see the difference. I like Sharp a lot, better picture quality than Vizio and you can sometimes find them for the same price as a Vizio.

    Since you're looking at a 32" TV, you really don't need 1080P; keep in mind I would buy one with 1080P regardless. You won't see the real advantage of 1080P over 720P unless you're looking at TV sizes greater than 42". Some people will say that you won't notice it until even larger sizes are factored in.

    Some will claim the smaller size 1080P is fine as well. Again, in my opinion, you don't need to go for 1080P in a TV smaller than 40". I don't know what your budget is or what specs are a must-have; you can pick up "last years model" really cheap these days as they (most manufacturers) are rolling out their 2010 models here pretty soon.

    I myself, picked up a 46" 1080P @ 120Hz Sharp Aquos for $900. The picture was better than the late 2009/2010 model that Vizio just rolled out, as I was looking at them as well. Samsungs and Sony's were just a tad more than I'd care spend on a TV. They did have incredible pictures!

    What I suggest is ask one of the workers at the store you're looking at buying from and see if they can setup the TVs beside each other so you can compare picture quality. Ultimately as long as you are happy with your purchase, it doesn't matter what anyone else says!
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Thanks for the response! My budget, at this point, is around $500 so the above sets fit pretty comfortably into that. In terms of feature-sets: coax input, 2-3 HDMI inputs and optical+variable analog audio out are my requirements. The displays I listed there fulfill all of those. It looks like they also carry the Sony Bravia KDL32LL150 for $530 and it also seems to be the only set there that I can actually find the static contrast ratio for instead of this dynamic crap.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Buy the samsung for a few reasons:

    1. It is going to be a better overall display than the Vizio in terms of build quality and performance

    2. You are not using a bluray player, and bluray is the only source you are going to get in 1080p.

    3. Even if you do end up getting a bluray player down the road, you aren't going to be able to tell a difference between the 720p sammy and the 1080p vizio.

    don't pay any attention to contrast ratios. Doesn't matter if they are dynamic or not, every company measures them differently, so even looking at the "static numbers" between a sony vs a sony or a sammy vs a sammy isn't always even accurate, much less when you are comparing a sony to a sammy.

    You might want to get a dedicated pc input (VGA) because most tv's (read: lower end models) do not support a different sound input when using HDMI. Could cause problems unless you have a way to run the sound to your receiver, or you don't mind using your internal speakers.
  5. macrumors 68020


    dbl post
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Actually, I have a PS3 that is going to be plugged into it but I do get your point.

    But, but, but the Vizio is 50000:1. 50000:1!

    Hm, for some reason I thought there was an actual standard as to how static contrast ratios were measured. Thanks for the heads up.

    At the moment I don't have a receiver and I don't plan on getting one in the near future. As for the input issue, it looks like that's a non-issue because both the Vizio and Samsung appear to have separate audio inputs for the VGA and a secondary audio input tied to one of the HDMI inputs (according to the manuals at least).

    The only thing that I am really hesitant about with regards to the 720P sets is the fact it's a non-native resolution I have a feeling that this is simply due to years of having "non-native = BAD" drilled into my skull.
  7. macrumors 68020


    No, contrast ratios do NOT matter. If you don't believe me go read around on avsforums for a few hours and you will see that they are all gimicks that are measured in different ways, and you often can't even compare different models from the same brand.

    1080p is really a gimick to get people to spend more money. You are getting a 32" bedroom set. You really aren't even going to notice any difference I promise. And if you are worried about non native resolutions, I would worry more about how when you hook up your cable box, mbp, or other accessories, none of them are going to be outputting in native 1080p for your 1080p set anyways.
  8. macrumors regular

    I have a 52" Samsung. I really dislike the tuner function. You cannot add a channel without scanning the whole system. The Sony I had was much better at adding channels but the screen crapped out after 8 months. BUY THE WARRANTY, if they don't offer one go elsewhere. BEST BUY replaced the entire SONY TV after 4 tries to repair it, store credit and I switched to Samsung. You have to have patience but you will get your way.

    I absolutely hate the gloss screen, bring back the matte screens.

    That's all.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    I was making a joke with that whole 50000:1 bit :). Thanks for the help! As for the warranty, Costco includes a 2 year warranty with all of the TVs they sell at no extra charge.

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