where to get a good HDTV (better yet, WHAT IS a good one?) ;-)

Discussion in 'Games' started by charlestrippy, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. charlestrippy macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2006
    Tampa, Florida
    So I've been thinking about purchasing an HDTV but i'm not really sure what a good one is (or where to find one)...

    Something around 32" would be perfect....would a flat-tube hdtv be better?

    thanks in advance!! :confused:
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Read any of the HDTV threads that are already on MR?

    At 32" CRT is definitely a good price/performance combination, but that's as about as big as they get. Anything larger and you'll have to look at one of the other technologies.

    Note also that some brands like Samsung have worked with the game system manufacturers to optimize their TVs for games (e.g. my Sammy has a Game Mode).

  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    What's your budget? How far away will you be sitting? How good are you at picking up fine detail at a distance? What is most of your source material like? DVD? Regular (SD) broadcasts? Are you planning on getting an HDTV cable box? Do you watch a lot of action/sports? Can you receive HDTV via an antenna in your area? Many, many questions...:D
  4. siurpeeman macrumors 603


    Dec 2, 2006
    the OC
    you might want to try buying your television from costco. they have a double satisfaction guarantee (or something like that). so if ever you're unhappy with the unit or if the tv ever breaks on you, you can always return it for a full refund. they even refund shipping if you purchase from costco.com.
  5. aj98 macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2006
    You may not be any less confused after reading this, but I hope you find something useful :)

    Much like regular TVs and computer monitors, which screen to choose is going to be visually subjective, and limited by your budget.

    Obviously, a flat panel will take up less room that a flatscreen, but the flatscreens will be cheaper.

    LCD or Plasma? In the under 40 screen size, you'll probably find mostly LCDs, and they will have a better price.

    HDMI or component? Not all flat panels have HDMI input.
    DVI or standard 15pin VGA?

    CCity, BBuy, et al, have 'the wall' --- the best thing you can do is walk through and compare pictures and prices. Find what suits your eyes, then what suits your budget.

    Realize in store, you are looking at an HD source, not a 'regular' source.
    consider asking they change over one of the sets to a 480 source - most channels are still 480, not HD; this will let you see what most channels will look like.

    Do ask for the remote, and adjust the settings. Many have the brightness boosted all the way up, and other adjustments may need to be made, but you'll get to see the range.

    Consider what inputs you will need, given the equipment you will be connecting. Some flat panels can be had w/o an ATSC tuner (over the air, digital) - makes them 100 or so cheaper than a TV.
    But the picture on a regular tube will be better if you have no plans to upgrade to HD source, (satellite, cable, blu-ray, or hd-dvd)

    Are you going to upgrade to a video capable stereo receiver?
    If so, you may not need many inputs on the TV itself, as many A/V receivers can will consolidate source material and send it out over a single wire.
    (I only use 3 of the 9 inputs on either of my TVs)

    For a 32, I like the Sony KDL-32S2000. It's 1400 or less.
    720p native, 1080i/p capable
    2x Component
    optical in
    7 RCA inputs
    3 S-Video in
    stereo surround.

    Just as a side note, consider buying cables at Walmart instead of CC/BB.
    Phillips HDMI cable there is abut $30, vs 100+ at CC/BB.
    Ditto optical audio cables.

    Finally, watch the sales...I had been looking at a particular 40" for a couple of months - Black Friday - completely unadvertised in-store only special, 800 off retail. :D
  6. charlestrippy thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2006
    Tampa, Florida

    thank you very much!!! :D
  7. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2002
    Kellogg IA
    I have the Sanyo DP32746, picked it up at walmart for something like $800. Did some research and people seemed to like this tv, even more than ones costing quite a bit more. It looks fantastic with my X360 and Wii. HD downloads from the xbox marketplace look amazing. The scaler in the 360 does a good job sending 480p DVD's at 720p as well. I'll give this tv a thumbs up.
  8. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    i'll second the vote for visualapex.com

    that's where I got my plasma last year.

    Depending on what you want to spend, I'd recommend at least 40" for HD unless you're looking for a bedroom TV (that you'll be sitting close to).

    At visual apex, you can currently get the panasonic th-42phd8uk for just over 1000 dollars. This is a "commercial" display and doesn't have a built-in tuner or speakers or any of that mess. It's probably one of the best-looking screens short of the full 1080p plasma/lcd tvs. They have a 37" also, but it's only 100 bucks cheaper.

    With these types of displays, you can add adapter boards to the tv (and speakers if you want) so that you can get whatever inputs you want. The 37, 42, and 50 inch panny commercial displays come with VGA, Component and s-vid connections. There is a DVI board available for 150 bucks, and a HDMI board for the same price. You'll also need a mount of some kind, either a stand or a wall mount.

    for 1500 bucks you can get a future-proof screen that can handle any input and will look classier than just about anything at any retail store.

    These displays have a dark gray/black frame and they say "panasonic" on the front bottom. that's it. Even the power and channel buttons are set on the skinny edge of the display.

    You'd need a cable or satellite box to get HD channels, but if you're planning on hooking the screen up to a computer, these work VERY well for that.

    I got the 50" one last fall, and it was a "steal" at 2700 dollars. This year the 50" is under 1800 bucks.

    Visual Apex is one of the only places in the country that actually has a stock of these screens. Their delivery service is excellent and it's just a really great place to buy a TV if they have the one you want.

    Pioneer also makes a great display. If you're looking for really great picture, plasma is actually cheaper than LCD for anything over 35" (where plasma displays kick in).
  9. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    just so you know, that's not actually happening. The 360 can only upconvert DVDs (which are 480i, not 480p) if connected to the display with VGA, which the Sanyo DP32746 doesn't have (not the ones I've seen at walmart, anyway). It does convert DVDs to 480p, so it's deinterlacing them for you, but it is most certainly not upconverting over anything other than a VGA interface. That's unfortunate, but true.
  10. stagecustom macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2006
    So if i put a DVD in my 360 and i have a VGA connection (which i do) hooked up to a 720p 19" LG LCD widescreen. It will make the DVD's look better?
  11. puttputt macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    My biggest concern in buying an HDTV -- and choosing from the many varieties of CRT, LCD, Plasma, DLP, etc etc) was how good standard cable would look on the thing. About 4 years ago I visited a relative who had a $4000 plasma that looked like total crap -- all pixelated from his digital cable feed. So I simply avoided looking for a new tv the next couple of years.

    Anyway... I finally got a proper demonstration at Circuit City of a Sony Wega rear-projection LCD. The guy was able to show me "regular" cable and a high def signal. The regular old cable signal looks great. HD looks awesome (I get local chanels in HD free via a $10 antenna).

    I ended up spending a few hundred extra on the 50" -- well worth it. If I had bought the 42" I would have been sorry. It cost me about $2200.

    I've had very good luck with other Sony products and this TV is my favorite yet. Also, it doesn't weigh very much so it was a cinch to set up. (the one drawback of this type of tv is that you have to replace the bulb every few years for a couple hundred or so bucks).

    So, I'm recommending a Sony rear projection LCD 50" !
  12. pcypert macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2006
    I'm very, very happy with my 32 inch CRT. It's a bit bigger, but all my friends with the larger non CRT ones when watching non HD content on TV get a worse picture....my picture is great on SD and HD. Of course my viewing space is pretty close to the couch so a bigger screen would have been miserable. But these things are still developing and coming down in price...I view my 400 dollar widescreen 32 inch as a much better investment than a 40 inch plasma or LCD...because once the dust settles in a couple years I can move this one to the bedroom and upgrade for a lot less...

  13. mlrproducts macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2004
    First, my experience:

    I have a 30" CRT from Philips that I paid $400 for over a year ago, and a 61" I paid $1 for from a Woot bandolier just recently.

    The 30" does 1080i/480p natively, and accepts 720p. The picture is AMAZING, the contrast and brightness, just outstanding. It has HDMI and component which works great. However, it weighs about 150lbs and is pretty deep.

    The 61" does 720p natively (darned two year old TV, I would have gotten 1080p at this size if I had paid more than $1 for it). It still looks great, just not as great as a 1080 resolution at this size (see in store). However, since I'm not watching it side by side with a 1080 set, and only have the smaller 1080i set to compare to, I'd say they seem to be pretty equal in sharpness.

    If you're going to game, I'd shy away from plasmas (although at your preferred size, I'd say that will happen naturally). LCDs (the latest ones) are great for gaming, but may not show standard def tv as well. If it were me, I'd consider looking for a 37" LCD that runs 1080p. That way you're as future proof as you can get right, and 37" is a pretty darn good size. You should be able to pick one up I'd say from $800-1000 on a good deal.

    As for cables, hook up over HDMI/DVI whenever possible for the best PQ. Also, order your cables from http://www.monoprice.com . You can get a quality HDMI cable for about $10 shipped (they also have other great cables as well).

    * I should add that I had a 30" Olevia LCD too, that was great! I'd recommend the Olevia brand over a competing LCD brand if you're making a comparison (Google around and you'll find they are a great brand).

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