Help with choosing HDTV

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mmccaskill, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. mmccaskill macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    So I figure it is time I get an HDTV. 42inch seems like a good size for my living room. But I'm not sure what to get.

    1) Is it worth getting 1080p right now, or stick with 720p?

    2) LCD or Plasma? I've heard DLP is better suited for 50+ inches

  2. scotthayes macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Birmingham, England
    if you are going to get 42" then go for LCD. I'm a big fan of LG TVs. I've got a 1080i TV which is perfect as SKY (I'm in the UK) only broadcast in 1080i, but if you can get a 1080p and you'll be ready for the future. Oh and make sure it's got at least 2 HDMI ports, mine only has one and now got to buy a splitter when I get a Blu-Ray DVD player.
  3. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    LCD is cheaper and getting better, Plasma is still best and getting more affordable and more reliable. 1080p is good for hi def dvd and video games but not really for programing yet. I would say get a 1080p if you can afford it as it will be the norm in a few years.

    Try to get the best contrast ratio you can afford.
  4. silbeej macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2007
    Go for a smaller TV like 42inch, get it in LCD, and go for the 1080p. That will be very good for along time.
  5. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    Plasma is better for 50" and up.
    LCD is better for 46" and down.

    Plasma produces quite a lot of heat, and as a result, doesn't tend to last as long. It's not a very smart technology, uses a lotta power, and is also damaged pretty easily (such as mounting it at an angle). Taking that into consideration, plasma will produce a better picture. Better black levels, better colour reproduction, usually better motion etc...

    LCD, however, produces next to no heat, and will last much longer. It's also much more compact, and a good display can be squeezed into a relatively small place, although when manufacturers tend to do this, you seriously compromise the technology behind the TV, such as the tuner, AV switching board, any decoders which may be in there and the sound (remember, smaller and flatter TVs means smaller and flatter sound usually).

    LCD doesn't produce a picture as good as plasma can, the black levels tend to be quite poor.

    It's up to you. I personally thing Samsung make the best LCD TVs out there, but I'm not entirely sure on the best Plasmas, although we're talking about 'normal' prices here. You can spend say, £8k on a 40" LCD and get a better picture than you've ever seen on a CRT...

    EDIT: forgot to say, I wouldn't be too bothered about 1080. IMO, 720p is stunning on a good set, and 1080, even 1080p doesn't make much difference...
  6. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    I'll say. Lower contrast ratios look like ass. People especially look blotchy. That's one area in which CRT TVs often look better.

    Also, walk all around the TV. Check the viewing angles from the right and left; some TVs are much weaker than others.

    And while most people wouldn't think of this, check the angle from below. Some TVs lose brightness and contrast in this direction, and if you're mounting the thing over, say, the fireplace (more than one person I know has done this), or if you sometimes sit or lay on the floor to watch TV, this angle will be very important. The boss bought some LGs for our studio, and they're almost unwatchable in this regard.
  7. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    How about 32 inch LCD TVs?

    I'm thinking of getting a Sony Bravia, but I'm torn between getting a phased out M version for about $800 or paying more for the S version, which is currently at about $1,000.

    I'm open to other brands as well. I would be mainly using it to watch DVDs, so any recommendations on that front would also be welcome.
  8. mmccaskill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
  9. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    Go for a nice Pioneer or Panasonic 42" Plasma. A little more money than LCD, but if you like a realistic picture, you won't be disappointed.

    If your attracted to bright shiny things that will burn your eyes out, go LCD. LCD's are so overblown with brightness / color, people are attracted to them like moths to a flame. If you like action movies or sports and go LCD, I suggest you bring a dvd with you and try before you buy. You'll get sick of the lag pretty quickly unless you spend more money on a set. Don't be fooled by low prices, as they typically come with gotcha's such as banding and other oddities.

    Do some research on brands at (sorry mods, not plugging the site, but its one of the best for A/V).

    On a 42" set, don't waste your money on a 1080 set unless your going to sit about 24" away. Look for a set that can take a 1080 signal though. Again, you get what you pay for.
  10. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    so what is an acceptable contrast ratio for an LCD tv?
  11. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
  12. mmccaskill thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    I've been told 42" wouldn't be enough for my living room. From the corner where it would go (only place it could due to layout), to the love seat is ~10 ft. I've been told 50" would be better. Is this correct?
  13. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    Who told you that, the salesman? ;)

    I'd go for what both budget and physical space allows. I think a 42" would be plenty big from 10 feet away
  14. dmr727 macrumors G3


    Dec 29, 2007
    Depends on your personality. I think 42" would be fine. Also remember that a TV sitting in a huge store will suddenly look a LOT bigger sitting in your living room.

    With the technology moving so fast, I'd pass on 1080p on a 42" set. Save the money for something newer and better down the road. It'll be awhile before you see any 1080p content other than Blu-Ray, and on that size TV you're not going to notice a difference unless you're right next to it.
  15. eric55lv Guest


    Aug 5, 2007
    Las Vegas,NV
    Id say get a Samsung tv there really great and one of the bset on the market

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