Pick my new HDTV!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by fivepoint, Feb 13, 2008.

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What would you do?

  1. Get the Panny 1080P. It's worth the dough.

    35.3%
  2. Get the Panny 720P. You won't notice the difference.

    22.1%
  3. Don't even think about gettin a Panasonic!

    5.9%
  4. Spend the $5000 and get a Sony Kuro. Money is just money.

    14.7%
  5. I would NEVER buy a 720P set.

    11.8%
  6. Other

    16.2%
  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #1
    Hey everyone...

    I am planning on buying a brand new 50" HDTV within the next month or two, and need some advice. I think I've got it narrowed down to two models based on reviews I've read on the net (consumers reports, cnet, etc.) but I could really use some 'real world' advice. My biggest concern is now my Handbrake ripped AppleTV vids will look on it.

    My Specifics:
    • Most of the video I watch will be from Handbrake ripped DVDs through AppleTV
    • I will not have HD cable right away.
    • I will not own a Blu-Ray player right away, but may get a Sony Playstation within a year or so.
    • 2 or more HDMI Ports Please
    • High Quality Image Please
    • High Reliability/Quality Please
    • I want to hang it on a wall.


    Here are the options I've come up with so far:

    Panasonic TH-50PZ700U
    Ranking of 81 "Best HDTV Ever Tested" on Consumer Reports
    Ranking of 8.0 on CNET
    1080P
    $2300 Free Shipping

    Panasonic TH-50PX75U
    Ranking of 78 "Best Buy" Consumer Reports
    Ranking of 8.0 on CNET
    720P
    $1400 Free Shipping


    So, really the only difference between the two is 720 vs. 1080. What do you guys think? Is it worth the extra $900 to go up to 1080P? Am I dumb to be considering 720P? Am I looking at the completely wrong TVs for use with AppleTV?

    Any advice would be very helpful! Thanks!
     
  2. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #2
    Generally, it is said anything over 45" go with 1080p.

    I'm a bit more fussy, so for me, anything over 42"...

    720p is only for smaller sets...

    I watch HD DVD and Blu-ray on my Epson Projector on a 60" (4:3) (16:9 is 55") and it is stunning... I can tell between 720 and 1080. I can't between 1080i and 1080p though.
     
  3. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #3
    Ooooohhhh. I'm all over this thread. I'm in the exact same situation. No high def movies yet, nor a blu ray player, and no HD cable anytime soon. But I want a 50" TV.

    *sits back and awaits the wise advise of the sages*
     
  4. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #4
    Not wanting to bother researching for you, I'd suggest you also consider the number of inputs on the TV in your decision, unless you plan to use an external switch (receiver or standalone box).
     
  5. ladysman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #5
    from a very recent personal experience. I have been toying with buying a plasma for some time now. upstairs we had and old 27" CRT Sony that has been good to us really. I have been wanting to upgrade for a while now though. The room is just too big for that small of a TV. my wife also wanted DVR and with comcast, to get it, you need the HD box. So, why not get the TV to have HD?

    My final decision was based on the big sale right before the "big game". On top of the Panasonic 42" I got being on Sale, I got another 12% off of it PLUS 3 years no interest! I just surpassed the $999 total to get this financing by getting a small Monster Cable surge system ($40). I got the TV for $966. about 500 bucks off the retail.

    I too read countless reviews on TV's, LCD/Plasma, etc using the same places you are looking. I wouldn't buy a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD for this area of the house so getting a 1080p was really useless for me. If I dont have one of these in my HT setup, she don't get one. ;) Also, anything 42 and smaller you won't notice the 1080p difference.

    After "breaking in" the TV as recommended by many forums, I recently calibrated it using Avia and it is absolutely gorgeous. Apple TV looks stunningly good if not better than my setup downstair using the Oppo upconvert DVD player. I am truly amazed. I never though they would look at good and these are my kids DVD rips so we can get rid of some clutter.


    And to the person who mentioned they had an Epson projector, aren't those things just awesome!! I saw one for the first time recently and i'll tell you they are incredible!

    I think both sets you list are great. Whether the 1080p is worth $900 is up to you. GL! :)
     
  6. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #6
    i could be wrong but in your poll, isn't the kuro a pioneer model, not a sony model? just want to make sure you don't get things messed up
     
  7. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #7
    Samsung, every day all day.

    But yeah, if your going as big as 50" get something that'll do 1080p.
     
  8. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #8
    I understand that the difference isn't really visible in the smaller screens, but not noticeable is it on the bigger ones? Is 720p on a 50" still better than just a regular DVD? I'm assuming it doesn't make the quality bad, just not as good as 1080. I still don't think I'm understanding the difference between 720 and 1080. Input anyone?
     
  9. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    #9
    I second that. Samsung IMO has the best picture quality for a reasonable price. Love mine.
     
  10. basesloaded190 macrumors 68030

    basesloaded190

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6449_7-6810011-1.html

    great analysis and easy to understand the differences
     
  11. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #11
    Thank you very much for your story and your input. This is the way I am leaning right now too... Since I don't have any blu-ray player right now, and that is the only way I'll ever see a difference in the 720 vs. 1080, I am leaning towards the 720. But I don't want to be out of date immediately after I buy.


    You are exactly right. Thank you.


    I really like Samsung too. My parents just recently bought a 56" DLP LED lit Samsung, and that thing is an absolute beauty!

    Am I right that Blu-Ray is the only way I will see a difference between 1080 and 720? I thought all HD cable channels are currently 720 and that the AppleTV is only 720... If that is the case, do you still think that 1080 is the only way to go if your screen is 50"?

    Thanks.


    720 and 1080 refers to the number of horizontal lines of pixels in the screen. A regular tv has 420 I think. Some people (I'm told) can't tell the difference between 720P and 1080P but some people swear by 1080P, and to me... I like the idea of future proofing. But there is a huge cost to upgrade to 1080P I'm finding out. I'm just trying to figure out of it is worth that extra cost or not. Trying to get some REAL WORLD opinions from these friendly macrumors members.

    :)
     
  12. natasha69 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
  13. Yanwoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #13
    You should consider Panasonic's business plasmas. They don't include a tuner or built-in speakers - but then who uses either of these any more (?) - plus you get a flexible upgrade path via the connection modules (handy as HDMI is a moving target...). They get awesome reviews.

    http://www.panasonic.com/business/plasma/plasmas.asp

    I have a 42" 720P and love it. IMHO they look much better than the consumer versions, just having that really thin bezel all the way around makes them look very slick.
     
  14. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #14
    basesloaded,
    Thank you for that link! What a great source of information! This was (I think) the most relevant section in that article for this particular forum thread:

    Side by side, how do 720p and 1080p TVs match up in head-to-head tests?We spend a lot of time looking at a variety of source material on a variety of TVs in our video lab here at CNET's offices in New York. When I wrote my original article two years ago, many 1080p TVs weren't as sharp as they claimed to be on paper. By that, I mean a lot of older 1080p sets couldn't necessarily display all 2 million-plus pixels in the real world--technically, speaking, they couldn't "resolve" every line of a 1080i or 1080p test pattern.

    That's changed in the last couple of years. Most 1080p sets are now capable of fully resolving 1080i and 1080p material. But that hasn't altered our views about 1080p TVs. We still believe that when you're dealing with TVs 50 inches and smaller, the added resolution has only a very minor impact on picture quality. On a regular basis in our HDTV reviews, we put 720p (or 768p) sets next to 1080p sets, then feed them both the same source material, whether it's 1080i or 1080p, from the highest-quality Blu-ray and HD DVD players. We typically watch both sets for a while, with eyes darting back and forth between the two, looking for differences in the most-detailed sections, such as hair, textures of fabric, and grassy plains. Bottom line: It's almost always very difficult to see any difference--especially from farther than 8 feet away on a 50-inch TV.

    I said so much in a 2006 column I wrote called The case against 1080p, but some readers knocked us for not looking at high-end TVs in our tests. But the fact is, resolution is resolution, and whether you're looking at a Sony or a Westinghouse, 1080p resolution--which relates to picture sharpness--is the same and is a separate issue from black levels and color accuracy.

    Our resident video guru, Senior Editor David Katzmaier, stands by what he said two years ago: The extra sharpness afforded by the 1080p televisions he's seen is noticeable only when watching 1080i or 1080p sources on a larger screens, say 55 inches and bigger, or with projectors that display a wall-size picture. Katzmaier also says that the main real-world advantage of 1080p is not the extra sharpness you'll be seeing, but instead, the smaller, more densely packed pixels. In other words, you can sit closer to a 1080p television and not notice any pixel structure, such as stair-stepping along diagonal lines, or the screen door effect (where you can actually see the space between the pixels). This advantage applies regardless of the quality of the source.
     
  15. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #15
    Thank you. Very informative indeed. I'll have to keep this in mind. Unfortunately, due to price constraints I wasn't able to make my purchase during the big sales for Super Bowl weekend, so I think I'll just save even more and hit the Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) sales bright and early!
     
  16. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #16
    newappleboy, I was kind of thinking the same thing, but I've found that by searching around on the net a bit, I've found some amazing prices. Both of those prices I listed earlier are both about $1000 below list price. I just went to Epinions.com and mysimon.com and searched for the lowest prices. Both of them (I think) were cheapest at buydig.com and include fee shipping.

    To me, this seems like a great deal. Probably cheaper than most of the local Super Bowl ads even.

    Kind of a different topic here, but what does everyone think about buying this big of a product over the web? Does the shipping scare you at all? Wouldn't want the thing to show up broken!
     
  17. natasha69 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #17
    tv mfg's rev models right about now, and in october, so look for the deals at those times.
     
  18. jersey10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #18
    The new, 2008 Panasonic models are supposed to be in stores this April. I would wait until you see the prices on those before buying anything. They are supposedly a step up in quality from the current Panasonic plasmas.
     
  19. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a

    DarkHeraldMage

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #19
    Will do. The only constraint is that I have to go through Circuit City. My company provides rewards in the form of "points" for excellent effort and so forth, and they can be redeemed for assorted gift cards. In addition, my credit card points can also be redeemed for gift cards. Between the two, the only common GC provider is - you guessed it - Circuit City. I'm already up to about $1300 total right now, and have quite a while longer to keep saving up. My goal is to get an excellent TV with no money out of pocket. :cool:
     
  20. ladysman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #20
    beat me to it. I have the link at home and tried to find it at work. I don't think you need a 1080p but thats me. ;)
     
  21. SteveG4Cube macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    MontCo., PA
    #21
    I've looked at every single HDTV from LCD to plasma to LCOS to DLP, and nothing out there compared to my good old CRT rear projection Mitsu TV. I've had many friends buy newer TVs thinking they're getting the latest and greatest, only to come over and see mine and ask why theirs doesn't look nearly as good. The truth is that manufacturers stopped making CRT big screens because they're larger. If you have the space, you can find a Pioneer Elite 530 on ebay or craigslist for under $1k. I guarantee you'll be blown away.
     
  22. natasha69 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #22
    well you can't beat free. but there are some great tv deals out there. instead i'd use your CC credit and get an Onkyo 805 receiver for the hdmi processing (audio).

    pm me and i'll send you a site where you can get some fantastic deals on plasmas.

    Gareth
     
  23. kjr39 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    #23
    Everything I've ever read on the subject says that @ 50" you won't notice the difference.

    How far are you from the TV?
     
  24. Duffinator macrumors 6502

    Duffinator

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    130 miles NE of Cupertino
    #24
    Get the Pioneer Kuro and you will never look back or second guess yourself. ;)
     
  25. natasha69 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #25
    any idea where to get good deals on the Kuro? I'm a home theater installer, and I can't even find a place to buy these for a good price.
     

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