HDTV advice

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jasonbot, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. Jasonbot macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    My stepdad is looking at HDTV's. More specifically LCD-TV's and projectors. So whats the best to get? Is a 100" TV comparable to a projector solution?
  2. JDN macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2006
    Lund Sweden {London England}
    If you are going as big as 100" then i would recommend an HD projector. A friend of mine has an 80" HD projector, and it is awesome. But make sure you get a decent projection screen, it does matter.

    If you are looking at LCD then i would suggest Sony Bravia, Samsung, and Panasonic.

    The best thing you can do is go somewhere and watch them. I always find going to a decent AV store that has all the kit is best. They usually know more about what's what than generic electrical stores. Then hunt the internet for a good deal.
  3. RojoLeo macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Fromt DevLib:
    I can not possibly imagine spending that, or even half of that on an LCD. When it comes to big screens, especially 100", I can't see how there's even a debate unless you're trying to waste money.

    Besides, to be honest, money aside, I would go with the projection to recreate the theater experience.
  4. aj98 macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2006
    I'll second the Bravia recommendation.

    Brand names aside, make sure it can display all resolutions 480i/p, 720i/p, and 1080i/p.
    as well as supports at least 2 HDMI connections.

    If not, he may be disappointed.
    (like the display stepping down to the lowest resolution if it can't display the source resolution.)

    There are 2 flavors Bravia, plain and XBR. I think the XBR has one extra HDMI port and better speakers, but if he's routed through a surround receiver for audio, then the sound options on the tv don't really matter.

    I think any flat panel over 46" will be plasma.

    One of the problems he may experience with a projector for general purpose viewing is ambient light - like watching daytime programming - might wash out the screen.
  5. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    Im a bit sceptical about plasma, I heard they are slightly more dodgy than LCD, can anyone tell me about that? Also, I dont think I have any HDMI compatible TV peripherals for the television so I guess that an extra HDMI port wont be necessary. And then, I see that the samsung HDTV's are also pretty big n the market, how do they compare to the bravia series?

    Whats a suitable size for an HDTV? This seems quite open ended but I ust want to know peoples views..
  6. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    A television is something that you will have for a long time. You may not have any HDMI peripherals now, but in three years you may have a few, never mind in 5 or 9 years. Think long.
  7. aj98 macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2006

    PS3 is HDMI, satellite receivers are HDMI, some cable boxes are HDMI, DVD-Rs have HDMI....

    for convenience, I have most of my HDMI components routed through a surround receiver that also supports HDMI in/out. But it doesn't have enought HDMI in ports to support the number of HDMI devices I have.

    Ergo, I'm using 2 of the 3 HDMI ins on my Sony v2500. (40" flat panel)
    (the v2500 is the non-XBR Bravia)

    My 32" Sony Bravia (non XBR) has one HDMI in, but that s OK - as a 2nd TV, I don't have as much stuff connected - routing HDMI through the stereo receiver works.

    Suitable size is relative to the size of the room in which the TV will be installed, and how far away the viewer sits.

    In a 10x14 bedroom, a 32" is fine, but would be too small for a 20x25 living room.

    Just like a tube TV, the closer you get to the screen, the 'worse' the image will appear. From 3', a 1080p image looks grainy - back off to 6' or so, and it's a beautiful picture.

    It's all subjective, and would highly recommend not buying blind. Must go to the store and look.

    Samsungs are less expensive, but (subjectively( I preferred the picture on the Sony.
  8. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    100", sounds a bit out of most people's leagues.

    and to go projection is to toss money out the window, the room must be absolutely dark, or its all muddled, no way around that, and typically, most people have some light when watching TV....

    I dont know, I personally find asking about what kind of HDTV is right for me, a bit before its time.

    Granted, you can go out and buy some damn fancy HDTVs for reasonable prices.

    But when EVERY tv is HDTV, even the cheapest piece of crap will still be better than the best SDTV you ever owned.
  9. RojoLeo macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Projectors have come a long way in the few years. Even with the lower-end projectors you don't need it to be pitch black. Besides that, if someone is seriously considering spending the amount of money it would take for a 100" HDTV, then I would think that an investment in a theatre room (dark curtains, dimming lights, etc.) would be a small cost.
  10. Jasonbot thread starter macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2006
    The Rainbow Nation RSA
    I looked at the sony site but you're all correct. No use buying blind, gotta go out and catch it while it's still alive. But still, whats the difference between plasma and LCD and whats the drawbacks of each?
  11. aj98 macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2006
    About the only thing you'll get people to agree on is
    Plasma uses gas, LCD uses liquid, DLP uses mirrors. :)

    After that...it depends on who you talk to.

    Burn-in? Once was a problem with plasmas, not so much any more.
    Display lag? more or less equal now.
    power draw. I think plasma pulls more, but I could be wrong.
    heat: more power = more heat.
    bulb life - theoretically better with LCDs.

    But prior to deciding what type, the features you want/need may ultimately dictate the screen type you get.

    The first deciding factor is price:
    Up to about 37" LCD is cheaper. At about 42", the prices equalize.
    Above that, plasma is usually cheaper.
    If 2500-3000 USD is too much, then you're limit will be 46", and probably LCD.

    2nd - what size:
    There are very few LCDs over 46" and very few plasmas under 40"
    2b - flat panel or flat screen?
    Flat panels are light, wall mountable, and movable by 2 people.
    Flat screens, especially in the 50" and over are bulky, fixed pieces of furniture.

    3rd - Brand preference:
    some mfrs don't make both types.
    Sony doesn't do plasma. Pioneer doesn't do LCD.
    Vizio (LCD), for example, gets good reviews, is low priced, but not in my house. I didn't even consider them. Why? Never heard of them before last year.

    4th - how many additional devices will need to be connected?
    and what type of connections do they have?
    (coax, composite, component, s-video, hdmi, DVI)
    Not all brands/models will support 6 or 8 additional inputs.

    5th - Resolution:
    not all TVs support all resolutions between 480i and 1080p.

    6th: built in ATSC/NTSC tuners, or a plain monitor?

    By the time you answer 1-6, you're decision will be pretty much made for you, because at that point, there will likely be only a few models to choose from.

    For a wide variety of information (and opinions), google "plasma vs lcd vs dlp"

    In the first couple of pages, you'll get both plasmatvbuyingguide and lcdtvbuyingguide

    Of course, individual manufacturers sites will say (whichever they make) is better, so you may want to stay with sites that are a bit more neutral.

    cnet.com seems to have a decent amount of info, but some of the pages are spnsored by bestbuy, if that says anything.

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