LCD TV Buying tips

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by natehan, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. natehan macrumors member

    natehan

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I'm looking to buy an LCD TV to watch HD programming and play next gen console games (xbox 360, ps3). However, I have some questions.

    1. What is the contrast ratio (ie, 400:1)?
    2. Is a 8ms response time better or 16ms?
    3. What is the difference between HDTV and HDTV ready?
    4. I want razor sharp gaming and crisp tv programming. What other aspects of a LCD TV should I look into?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #2
    1) The contrast ration is a measurement of the difference between white and black. Larger ratios are considered better.

    2) Faster response is better, but beware there are multiple ways of measuring this so the times are not always comparable (8 or 16 is normally fine though).

    3) Not sure what the difference between the screens would be.

    4) Look for the native resolution of the panel. Many "HDTV Ready" screens advertise 1080i compatability, but they cannot display a full 1080i signal! 1080i = 1920x1080. Many TVs simply downsample the 1080i signal to 720p (some actually downsample to 540i as that is SD TV then upsample that to 720p). This allows them to accept the signal whilst using a cheaper panel.
     
  3. maddav macrumors 6502

    maddav

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    #3
    HDTV set would have to have one (or all) of these:

    -Component input
    -DVI input
    -HDMI (High definition multimedia interface) input
    -Be able to run at 720p/50/60 (PAL/NTSC)

    As far as I know the 'HDTV ready' has these, but also has HDCP (High Definition Copyright Protection) which is what TV broadcasters and others will use to stop people from making perfect copies of their material.

    To be as future-proof, and as safe as possible go for a 'HDTV Ready' set and make sure it has HDCP, preferably with HDMI
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #4
    HDCP goes farther than that. Only approved HDCP devices will playback/display the HD signal at HD res. For example, if you try to view HDCP protected content (which will be everything) on an non-HDCP HDTV it will only playback at SD (480i). And since the vast majority of HDTVs out there do NOT have HDCP pretty much every earlier adopter is screwed. Same goes for computer monitors. Wanna play an HDCP protected HD DVD in your brand new MacIntel? Better pony up to get an new monitor that supports HDCP.

    /mini-rant


    Lethal
     
  5. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #5
    I thought that HDCP was the standard and that to use it you'd need an HDMI I/O port. Are you saying that HDCP is another I/O standard on top of HDMI?

    I was looking at a new HD panel but think now I'll save the money and pay half as much for twice the screen in a really good CRT. The picture for anything other than pure HD signal is far better than almost any LCD I've seen so far.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6
    HDCP is the DRM. DVI and HDMI are the physical connectors. But you have to have a TV/monitor w/the HDCP "chip" (for lack of a better term) to be able to view HDCP encrypted content at anything other than 480i.


    Lethal
     
  7. wrxguy macrumors 6502a

    wrxguy

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    #7
    Simple answer:
    -contrast ratio's differ from brand and model
    -8ms is better...it stands for 8 miliseconds response or refresh time
    -HDTV means it has the tuner built in, HDTV ready means that you have to buy the HDTV reciever if you want HD
    -look at resolutions and refresh rates for better gaming
     
  8. VanMac macrumors 6502a

    VanMac

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    #8
    Can I ask why you have decided on LCD? What size are you looking at getting?
     
  9. natehan thread starter macrumors member

    natehan

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    Chicago
    #9
    I want one for my dorm room, like a 20". I also want to be able to take it back home fairly easily and plug it back into the HD programming. Sorry for the miscommunication.
     
  10. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
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    #10

    1. I would go for a 1000:1 ration LCD contrast ratio.

    2. 8-16 is acceptable.

    3. HDTV has the HD tuner built-in, while the HDTV ready will allow it to accept any HD signal with an external box doing the encoding. All HD means is the lines of resolution able to be displayed.

    4. The higher the LCD resolution the better. Compare models and shop around for the best price.

    I have know of a 32" LCD HDTV that is great in all the above. However if you do not connect it with good cabling and a digital signal the picture quality is standard to poor, depending on use. :)
     
  11. Maclomaniac macrumors member

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    NC
    #11
    HDMI is ALWAYS HDCP-compliant because it is required by Silicon Optix, the company regulates the standard, but DVI is sometimes, but not always HDCP compliant. HDMI was designed for consumer electronic home theater devices (it can carry both digital video AND audio signals, unlike DVI), which is probably why HDCP is required on all devices carrying HDMI, since HDCP is designed to protect content people are viewing at home, like movies. This is all important because you can't use two non-HDCP devices together. For example, if you use an HDCP-compliant DVD player with a non-HDCP display, you won't get a signal - the screen will be black. Which is why as someone stated earlier, early HDTV adopters are screwed because none of those displays or projectors had HDCP, and pretty soon everything will be HDCP-compliant as mandated by the FCC and they won't be able to watch anything.

    Also, I'm not positive, but HDTV-ready versus HDTV might have something to do with whether a receiver is included... unlike old TVs, not all HDTVs have HD receivers included, you had to buy them separately.
     
  12. letsknow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    #12
    how to connect DVI to HDMI... not that easy?

    Hello... I am pretty new to all this...so any help would be much appreciated... I have read through all the reply's and still am a bit perplexed, i have a brand new JVC LCD HDTV (HDMI input) which when I plug into PowerMac 2.5ghz DVI the image appears but the Mac freezes until i turn the TV off then it's OK again. is this a protection issue of a graphic card issue? does anyone have any ideas.
     
  13. super mini (mac macrumors regular

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    UK, ENGLAND
    #13


    as long as you have a dvi- to hdmi lead you shouldnt have any problems,

    i work in tv-s and have connected my mini mac to anything with a dvi or hdmi source, the only diferance betwen hdmi and dvi is that dvi doesnt carry sound.

    you either have a problem with your tv (please give me the model number if you would be so kind) or your mac is not set to auto, your best bet is to try this on a diferant monitor
     
  14. super mini (mac macrumors regular

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    Oct 8, 2005
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    UK, ENGLAND
    #14

    to tell the truth the words HDTV dont exist there is HI ready TV and (HDTV ready), and HD compatable, hd ready sets MUST BE compliant with these settings

    have hdmi or dvi input, and optional to have component,
    must scan at either 720p or 1080i t 50/60 hz,

    sorry i just wanted the figures to be exact to the readers.

    if were talking about hdtv and sky (the first public hd source to be brought out in the uk). the new sky boxes ilwl only output the hd signal through either a hdmi or dvi source, thompson the maker of the new sky box, havent spoken about which connection they will usemore than likely hdmi i think!

    altough componet is capable of carrying a hd source it can be coppied, which is why in the last about 6-7 months FOX insisted that sky can only out put through a digital source, as so cant be coppied (or so they think for now, man made man broke!!).


    but if your looking to use a hdtv for computing choose a top brand ( like i did panasonic tx32lxd500) such as philips, jvc, pioneer, samsung, sony,panasonic or toshiba. if you stick with any of these brands you wont/ shouldnt have any problems, most of these have hdmi input except for philips and older toshiba (non-hd models) have dvi input. :p
     
  15. letsknow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    #15
    powermac to lcd tv problem

    the TV is a JVC LT-32DS6BJ, which is HD ready!!! my Mac has 2 graphics cards a ATI Radeon 9200 128mb and a ATI Radeon 9800 XT 256mb, i downloaded SwithRES X, but i didn't help, not sure where the auto switch is!!! also the cable i am using is 10M long, and it is (i think..) a DVI-D single link, thank you for your help.
     
  16. super mini (mac macrumors regular

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    Oct 8, 2005
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    UK, ENGLAND
    #16

    the out put settings are in preferances, displays, and you may have to click detect displays, but it should configure automatically, im not sure with the jvc's of the top of my head, but some times (like on pioneers) they need to be told to use the hdmi socket, and although on some of these machines you can go through all the AV channels untill it says HDMI, it may still nedd configuring, your owners manual will tell you how to do this best.

    if you still have no joy, id ring the shop and tell them your problem (where did you buy it?), tell them it has worked on other makes of tv, and ask them if you could bring your mac in to try it on a differant tv, if there worth there salt they will say yes ok, and prepair a junior member of staff to assist you for when you bring it in. and try it on a few display tvs of differant makes and brands. if you find it works on a differan tjvc, ask them to swap it, if not try it on the panasonic TX32LXD52, which is pana's new hd lcd, this is a cracking model and is generaly only £100 more, and try to bargain them down, to th jvc price, (and to be honest its a much better set)

    and let me know how you get on.
     
  17. letsknow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    #17
    hiya,

    The mac can see the TV, it comes up with a display prefences pane for it (with the JVC name in the header), i can even see the monitor image (i can see my desktop picture, email etc.) the tv is selected to HDMI, it just causes the Mac to freeze, so i can't change the settings, i have maagaed to get it to view at 1080i and 720p, but whatever setting it still freezes. i thought there must be a fault somewhere, maybe the wire? i really haven't a clue, spent best part of 4 hours trying to get it to work on friday.... do you think it could be a faulty TV?

    The TV came from "www.beyondtelevision.com" over the internet, so can't really pop down there as they are in Brighton, i'm in Herts.

    As for the manual, it says plug it in, and that's about it.
     
  18. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #18
    Do the clever thing and wait.

    Still too early for HD tv's
     
  19. super mini (mac macrumors regular

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    UK, ENGLAND
    #19

    bolloxs

    it works on a hd tv extreemly well, if its set right and if you get a good 1
     
  20. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #20
    No High Def TV

    No High Def DVD.

    As i said, wait a year.

    The stores are full of big screen tv's without HDMI connecter's that are being sold off cheap.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Location:
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    #22
    And you know what? A lot of them look really terrible, especially displaying analog source material. It's hard to believe that people are actually paying a couple of grand for these TVs.

    I recently broke down and bought a 13" Sharp Aquos LCD TV because I wanted something compact for the kitchen. The color tonalities are nice but don't get too close to the screen or you'll see the fuzziness, especially around sharp edges, like onscreen text. I'm convinced that for viewing ordinary analog TV, nothing beats a conventional CRT.
     
  22. super mini (mac macrumors regular

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    UK, ENGLAND
    #23

    there are hd ready tv's with high definition capable pannels, new year sky are bringing out a public hd source but there are hd sources availabel in the uk, usibg the euro 1080 box, main hd hannels are hd forum, hd 1 , hd 2, and soon released hd3

    the reason there are only upscaling dvd players which will upscale the 576 line dvds up to 1080i picture is because there are arguments on wether fox are going to use the blueray discs (mainly sony and philips ) or the hd dvd discs (supported by panasonic and pioneer and a few other makes)

    but when fox, lucas film etc have decided which they would like to use then hd dvd discs will be sold.


    and please dont try to tell me what is what.

    the info i place on these pages are what is going to happen, its not made up its the truth.


    there are screens that have hdmi or dvi connections yes your right samsung do 2 42inch plasmas with hdmi inputs, and the picture is improved but not to a scale which is high definition.

    all hd ready sets will have written "HD Ready" some where on them, either on the box, instructions or internet site (where toshiba post theres). there is no law stating that all hd sets mush have HD Ready stamped on the front, but as long as the manufaturers can show some where that these products are hd ready then thats all that matters, the old sony KLV23M1 silver or black, had HD pannels and even first stated on the set with stickers when they were first produced. untill its was said that all pannels stating to be hd ready mush have certains connections and scan at certain rates and have a minimum of 720 lines, etc. and as long as these have this then thats all that matters!!!!!
     
  23. super mini (mac macrumors regular

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    Oct 8, 2005
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    UK, ENGLAND
    #24


    when sharp made your 13 inch (about 2 yrs ago it was very good,) but with any of these sets they get better with the newer sets,

    the major factor that reuins the look of these lcd tvs is the fact the contrast is set to high, reduce the contrast to about 70-85% and the picture will improve, same with all tvs,

    even a tv engineer will tell you that if you have the contrast set to high for too long then the long term damage will be huge.


    turn down the contrast and th picture will improve, but to be honest the sharps were never that good in the first place and possibly never will be
     
  24. RoxStrongo macrumors regular

    RoxStrongo

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    Location:
    Bournemouth, UK
    #25
     

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