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Old 07-10-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
Icculus
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Help me buy a new TV

So we're redoing our living room and one of the things we need is a new TV. I'm thinking anywhere between 47 and 55 inces.

I've read that Plasma generally gives a better picture than LCD and Edge-lit LED but that they also use the most power.

What I would really like to get is a Back-lit LED TV but those seem to be out of my price range. I'm trying to stick around $1000-$1200.

Basically what i'm looking for is a good contrast ratio, 1080p resolution, at least 100hz refresh, a good viewing angle, and preferably low power consumption.

Any suggestions and or reviews would be welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:49 AM   #2
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As much as I'll speak for Samsung monitors....... their TVs aren't held to the same standards. My wife-to-be bought one, and after a year, we've had problems with it. However, the Sylvania I bought 2 years ago, has worked perfectly since the day I bought it(yes, it's a good bit older than the Samsung).

I've heard that Plasma < LCD < LED as far as picture quality goes. Of course, this also depends on the room your going to have it in. If it's well lit, LED is the way to go. If it's low lit, or you can make it low lit..... LCD works just as well.

Plasmas are on the way out. While you might find one cheap, it may not be the best for your needs.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:49 AM   #3
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Plasmas are actually just starting to get a boost in sales ever since Pioneer went out of business. A lot of technology and patents Pioneer used for their Kuro TVs are now owned by Panasonic. The Kuro model plasmas have been argued to be the best of the best when it comes to TVs, both plasma and LCD alike.

If you want to go with a plasma, I would definitely suggest a Panasonic. For an LCD/LED TV, I would suggest either an LG or a Samsung. I've had issues in the past with Samsung, but I still use an LCD monitor from them for over 3 years with no issues.

I've also owned a 62" Mitsubishi Rear Projection DLP TV and it was pretty much a beast, although the bulb burned out twice in 2 years, so I wouldn't suggest a rear projection, especially considering the prices of flat panels these days.

If you are looking for best picture quality and you don't care about paying an extra $20 a year on your electric bill, go with a plasma (that's the average extra power consumption per year compared to an LCD). You may have issues with screen retention, but unlike screen burn-in, most plasmas these days have the technology to prevent screen burn.

Took me nearly 2 months of price comparing, but I finally found my 46" Panasonic 1080P 600Hz Plasma for $625 free shipping. After selling my bro my old Samsung for $300, it seemed like a steal.

I would stay away from back lit LED TVs. My friend has a 52" Samsung LED and every time I go over to his house, I see a cloud effect in the background. This, to me, makes TV watching unbearable.

At best, LED technology is a gimmick to make LCDs sell better.

As far as picture size, I would stick with something no bigger than 52". Anything more than that is overkill. I mean, the max resolution stays the same no matter how big the TV gets, so that just means bigger pixels. Although it's not that big of a difference in quality from a 42" to a 52", 42" seems to be the standard size for most LCD TVs.

Here's a link to the set I own right now:

So quick summary:

Buy LCD for: lower power consumption(~$20 a year), no image retention issues(these are temporary and takes a couple minutes to disappear)

Buy Plasma for: higher image quality, higher Hz; the average Plasma has 600Hz. Most LCDs have a max of 120 today. Off-angle viewing. I can see my picture perfectly looking at it from the side. No blurry images to deal with like you often get with LCDs and also no cloudiness effects you often get using LED technology.

Both plasmas and LCDs last about 60,000 hours total.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Kube, do you know anything about the newer version of yours?

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Old 07-11-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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No I don't know much about it, but here are the specs for both:
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...asonic-tcp46s2
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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Tigerdirect is having some great sales right now on Toshiba TV's. It might be worth looking at.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/email/wem...-email_wem2735
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:41 PM   #7
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I don't agree with some of the comments made...

I've got a 55" Samsung LED and the picture is fantastic. I don't experience the clouding that was mentioned, so that could be just an anomaly (or perhaps I have one that's the exception to the rule?).

Based on all the research I've done, there are things that you need to be aware of:

- Plasma's give the best picture hands down. However, they tend to be darker and if it's a room with a lot of light then LCD/LED's provide a better picture.

- For LCD/LED, You should go for a 120hz model. The extra $$$ spent on 240hz or 480hz does not provide a significantly better picture.

- The most consistent complaint is that "I should have bought a bigger one". Depending on how close you are going to sit to the TV, even though resolution is the same, a larger TV can provide an excellent picture as long as you are not too close. We sit about 9 feet from the TV, and the 55" is perfect. Something smaller would not be as impressive unless I was sitting closer.

- Consumer Reports have Panasonic as the tops in plasma, and Samsung/LG as tops in LCD/LED.

- The major issue with LCD/LED is artifacting and "judder". (Note you can also get judder on a plasma).
Here is a good explanation of this:

"Motion jitter is virtually removed by 120 Hz refresh rates. There is NO need for 240 Hz refresh rates if motion jitter is your concern. Motion blur is another story. You will need at least 240 Hz to remove motion blur. The problem with ANY LCD TV (regardless of its back lighting technology) that uses interpretive frames (as practiced by Samsung & Sony TVs) is that they produce significant halos at just 120 Hz. Halos can be worse then motion jitter in certain moving scenes. 240 Hz refresh rates do NOT fix halos. Halos are a motion artifact of any interpretive motion flow processing.

There is NO getting away from all motion artifacts with a LCD HDTV regardless of the refresh rates available today. The best TVs (besides CRT tube TVs) on the market today for motion still remain plasma HDTVs. Plasma HDTVs still do produce the smoothest & most detailed motion."

Here are a couple of helpful guides to help you choose:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/18311...ping_tips.html

http://www.pcworld.com/article/18309...echnology.html

http://www.pcworld.com/article/18309...fications.html
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:57 PM   #8
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Here's another LCD vs Plasma guide (with links to various detail comparisons):

http://www.practical-home-theater-gu...vs-lcd-TV.html
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:38 PM   #9
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I've had a 58" Panasonic Viera for going on four years now and I'm glad we splurged for it then. Best TV I've ever watched.

And I can plug my PC up to it and play L4D with house sized zombies with a 1900x1200 resolution. Win.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm drawn towards Plasma just because of the better picture quality but we tend to watch TV with at least 1 light on so i'm not sure how much that will affect it.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #11
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a light or two in the room is typically not an issue. When you read that it's a "light" room, it normally refers to a room with a lot of lights (meaning a LOT of lights!) or in daylight with lots of windows (e.g. my living room is two stories high with 6 windows, so any daytime watching can be bleh).

Generally speaking, if you get some glare or it appears washed out with the lights on/daylight, that's where the LCD/LED will be better.

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Old 07-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #12
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go led or lcd. why because plasma burn out faster from what ive heard.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:42 AM   #13
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Wifi, that was 10 years ago lol. Today, plasmas and LCD/LED's last for an average of 60,000 hours.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:42 AM   #14
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Wifi, that was 10 years ago lol. Today, plasmas and LCD/LED's last for an average of 60,000 hours.
thats the last time i actually payed any attention to tvs so yea that makes sense.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:19 PM   #15
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Old school option.

I bought a thin Samsung 65 inch rear projection TV for 1200 bucks last year. Bright, fantastic picture no motion blur/artifacts and cheap comparatively.

Not as cool however in the realm or sub 2000 dollar LCD tvs that are like 2 inches thick. Dudes that own Sharp plasma and Panasonic LED tvs come over and say "damn that's a nice TV!" because its really bright and "it's in your face" especially with with blue ray.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:02 AM   #16
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jesus thats a lot to spend on idle entertainment
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:24 PM   #17
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If I were buying today I'd be looking at an LED. That said we have a Samsung 58" Plasma celebrating it's 2nd birthday that we bought at Costco for around 1800 USD. Great picture but it does generate alot of heat. We also have it on a really stout wall mount I bought from New egg that allows 45-50 degrees of swivel right to left...the mount is rated for tvs up to 300 pounds...

I would definitely be boning up on the reviews and ratings for the LEDs.

With all of that said if your budget is your limiting factor then I would buy the best rated TV in the size range and budget range you're after. I would be looking at Newegg reviews, Amazon reviews and CNET for starters. You're going to get a much broader cross section of opinions.
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