Flat Panel TV's?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wayland1985, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. wayland1985 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'll be moving into a new apartment soon, after getting a new job, and I'd like to celebrate by getting a new TV. I'm unsure still if I want LCD or Plasma, but I'm looking for something in the 46-52" range, 1080p, in the $1500 or less range. Any suggestions???


    I see sony is offering a free PS3 with theirs (nice), and it seems their TVs integrate really well with sound systems, if I look to upgrade down the road. But honestly I'm open to any suggestions.
     
  2. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #2
    Have you researched the differences between LCD and Plasma? If not, I'd take a few minutes to familiarize yourself. The sparknotes:

    -Plasma eats WAY more power. LOTS.
    -LCDs generally cannot display blacks as well as Plasmas can
    -Plasmas can scale down resolutions better--think about how your laptop screen looks when you don't run it at the native resolution...same problem with an LCD TV. Consider this especially if you plan on using any non-HD sources.
    -More heat put out by Plasmas (most have some small cooling fans built in to blow off the hot air)...so a little bit of consideration for ventilation must be taken (only if you're putting it in a really enclosed nook...
    -Cheapo LCDs tend to have lousy refresh rates--which can degrade the picture with high-action video...think sports, video games etc.

    I'd go look at Costco, if you have one around...their prices are very competitive, and even though it's not as good as it used to be, their return policy is almost certainly better than your average big-box store.

    Don't shop by brands too much--most of the models in your price range are using components from the same 3 or so OEMs. (Once you start shopping for Pioneer Elite, Panasonic Kuro, etc it's a different story...but they're out of your budget). Find what looks good to your eye, and ignore the on-paper specs (past your basic requirements)...if it doesn't look good to you, no amount of superior specs will make it better. Finally, realize that you'll need to calibrate whatever set you get if you want it to look like it did in the store.

    Hope these pointers help. :)
     
  3. ProfDrSilver macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    TO, ON, CA
    #3
    Right now I consider my top 3 TV's like this...

    Sharp Aquos E77 46" 120Hz ( $1399)
    Samsung A630/650 46" 120Hz ($ 1450)
    LG LH41 47" 120Hz ($ 1400)

    These prices are in Canadian dollars too :) Oh and +1 to Sisyphus... Check out these screens first in store... before you buy!
     
  4. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #4

    I have done a little research, so I was aware of some of the main differences. I'm still concerned about motion blur though (and I think in my price range 120hz is the best I can get with an LCD).

    I'm really curious about Plasmas. They seem like a lot more for the money, but this heat problem is a bit concerning. Also, I'm nervous about burn-in. Then there's the "Glare" issue, which I'm unsure of, considering all of my TVs to date have been standard Tube TVs (with reflective screens).


    I guess I'll just have to go and drool over the TVs. It's unfortunate that most of the stores put their high end TVs right near the TVs I'm looking at, since the higher ends always make the lower ends look like crap!
     
  5. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #5
    LG's seem to have very competitive pricing. I just don't see them as a TV manufacturer... We'll see though!
     
  6. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #6
    First off, don't worry about the glare...the worst it's going to be is like what you'll ifnd on your old tube TV. Also, some Plasmas come with anti-glare coatings on them (not unlike that of a matte laptop screen). As for burn-in and heat, 1) shouldn't be an issue unless you leave it on something with a static ticker (think CNBC stock tickers) or video games with static images for hours and hours and hours on end. 2) Again, unless you're putting it in a really airflow-restricted area, you should be fine.

    I'm a big proponent of plasma sets, but also helped my neighbor pick out an LCD that he loved...they both have merits. Really, just go to the store and find what looks good to your eye. Nothing else really matters.
     
  7. theITGuy macrumors 6502a

    theITGuy

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    chasing the ghost in the machine
    #7
  8. barr08 macrumors 65816

    barr08

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #8
    AVS Forum is your best friend when searching for a new set. There is a ton of info there, and whole threads dedicated to just about any set you would consider purchasing.
     
  9. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    I agree that plasmas are a much better bang for your buck and is why I just got a Samsung PN50B450; I had the 42" version of this for a month but really wanted the 50", so I had Best Buy trade it out for the difference in cost. I had just completed my burn-in period too and now have to start all over, but it will be worth it. This is the 720P version, but at 50" you won't know the difference unless you sit 2-4 feet from the screen. For less than $800 vs. at least $1400 for the cheapest lcd I would have considered it was a no-brainer.

    I really love this tv. I got the B450 series (the low end of this model) because I didn't want or need the extras that come on the higher-end models (internet connectivity and a few other things). Pictures are extremely clear and crisp, colors are great, and blacks are black. Yes I can feel heat coming from the top of the tv, but it isn't any big deal and never gets all that hot.

    Screen burn on today's plasmas is not nearly as big of a deal as it was previously. The manufacturers typically recommend keeping the setting (contrast, brightness, etc) to 50% or below for the first 100 hours, and there are dvds that you can get that you can run overnight or while at work to help you get there much more quickly (I downloaded one but haven't used it). I have not noticed any problems at all with my 42" or the replacement 50".

    Today's plasmas are also much brighter than plasmas of a few years ago, so they can be comfortably viewed in a moderately lit room with no problem. Screen glare to me is no worse than many lcd tvs that have the same glossy screen coatings (all Samsungs are glossy for example).

    Let me know if you have any questions that I can help to answer.
     
  10. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #10
    I have a LG 47LG70 47" LCD HDTV and I love it. Great picture, viewing angle is great( since it is IPS), and love the invisible speakers.

    Only bad thing is, since TV shows are still mostly made for a 60 Hz refresh rate( that is what I heard anyway), if you have Tru-Motion on( giving you the 120 Hz refresh), it has to up convert the show to 120 Hz and it gives it a fake look and sometimes a portion of the picture blurs for a quick second. It is best to have it on low or off completely.

    It isn't a problem with the LG TV. It seems to be a problem with 120 Hz period. As I have read Samsung, Sony, etc also do it.
     
  11. PCtoMAC? macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    #11
    I am all about the black levels on the plasma. I came from a sony LCD that took a dive and one look at the Panasonic line of plasmas and I was sold. I picked up the G10 series which after a quick look around isn't the top end of the Panasonic spectrum any more but its a great TV for a great price. I think I paid around 1000 for a 42'' 6-8 months ago.
     
  12. barr08 macrumors 65816

    barr08

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #12
    I don't know how you feel about buying online, but a good site to keep an eye on is Slickdeals. They have different TVs on there for steep discounts almost daily.

    For example, as of this post, there is a 52 inch 1080p 120hz Sony Bravia for $1400 shipped. Great television.
     
  13. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2008
  14. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #14
    Took a quick looksy at best buy today, and almost jumped on a Samsung Plasma TV. It was next to some Panasonic Models, which for some reason had a green-tinge to them, although they were MUCH less glossy.


    I'll have to bring the girlfriend back for her nod of approval, but to me it seems Plasma has a lot more quality for the money (Especially since these 50" TV's were cheaper than the 46" LCD 120hz TVs I was looking at).


    So until this weekend, i'm still open to suggestions and information about LCD vs Plasma!
     
  15. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #15
    I personally think the Samsung plasmas have a better image and color accuracy than the Panasonics, and I like the square cabinet much better than Panasonic's rounded cabinet design. You can't really tell anything about screen or color from the way the tvs are setup in the store, because they usually just take them out of the box and hang them on the wall. If you haven't perused AVS forums, they have very good threads on both plasma and lcd, and have been a great source of information. They even have threads specific to most current models.

    Plasma:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=167

    LCD:
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=166
     

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