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HDTV Experience

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Around January time I'll be buying a HDTV. I was thinking ~55inch. However I don't have much of a clue of what features to look for except to make sure it is 1080p. I'm not too comfortable buying a HDTV actually with new LCD/Plasma HDTVs being released every few months with new features such as better contrast and brightness, but we can't wait much longer.

Do you guys have any tips? My main query is, will HD movies have 5.1 or 7.1 audiotrack? This is important because we're getting the wiring done in the room in a week or so.

How do you work out what height to mount it?.. eye level when standing? sorry that might be a stupid question.

Thanks.
post #2 of 100
If you are not going to buy for a few months, a great place to learn about HDTV is avsforum.com. Look at their sub-forum on "Rear Projection Units." Everything and anything you could possibly want to know about LCD's, DLP's, plasma's , D-ILA sets, etc. You can't ask a question on that forum that somebody won't know the answer to.
post #3 of 100
If you have room, consider a rear projection microdisplay like a DLP or LCoS. You can't hang it on the wall (yet, at least one of the companies was working on a flat backed one) but it'll cost you half what a similarly sized and featured LCD or plasma does. Your choices of 1080p plasmas are very limited at the moment and come with a "several thousands of dollars" pricetag. Likewise, there seem to be incredibly few 1080p LCD sets over 50", and the cost on those is similar.

My current pick for bang for the buck in a 1080p set around 55" is this guy from Samsung: http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B000F2P...831058-1954508

Some feel that this Sony is a better set, although it costs a bit more:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...831058-1954508

You probably want to put the TV (whatever kind you get) so the middle of the screen is at eye level from wherever you plan to sit while watching it. If you mount or set it too high, the picture may wash out from the bad viewing angle. Plus you may wind up with a stiff neck anytime you watch a movie - ever had to sit near the front in a theater?
post #4 of 100
Quote:
I don't have much of a clue of what features to look for except to make sure it is 1080p
Unless you're planning on getting an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD player, there's no reason to get a 1080p set as the highest resolution being broadcast is 1080i due to bandwidth limitations. As far as technology goes (PQ, contrast, etc.) I don't think it is going to get significantly better than it already is. You just need to shop around for which sets currently have the highest quality. The only thing you can look forward to are price drops.

As far as your question regarding HD movie sound, are you referring to discs or broadcasts? I believe the new generation of discs use a different type of audiotrack than the standard 5.1 or 7.1.
post #5 of 100
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys and I need 1080p for the HD movies. That's another question, how the hell are you supposed to decide between HD-DVD and Bluray . I think I'll leave the player for a while and just make sure the speakers and HDTV is setup.

So HD movies arn't 5.1 OR 7.1? I don't understand..

It needs to be a Plasma or LCD HDTV by the way.

Quote:
"As far as technology goes (PQ, contrast, etc.) I don't think it is going to get significantly better than it already is."
How can you be sure?
post #6 of 100
I think your best bet, if money isn't really an option, would be a Sony XBR, either a projection, or an LCD flat screen.
They come in 40,50, 55 and 60 inches. You can pick one up (projection) for about 2500 bucks for a 50 inch. And the new ones, (lcd flat) run about 3500-4500. They are all 1080p, and with them being a Sony, you know they will last you a while, (kinda like the Sony Wega back in the day).

I would make a grab at a older model, around December 26th, when they are trying to sell , to bring in the newer models.

This here, only 46 inches is a work of beauty
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1158317580662

And if you really feel like telling the wife how you feel about the money she spends on useless stuff, show up with this
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1158317053917
post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplex View Post
Do you guys have any tips? My main query is, will HD movies have 5.1 or 7.1 audiotrack? This is important because we're getting the wiring done in the room in a week or so.
Some HD movies will have 5.1 soundtracks, others will have 7.1 soundtracks. It's the same situation as DVD currently; the majority of HD movie releases are 5.1 and this probably will continue. There are relatively few movies with discrete 6.1 and even fewer with discrete 7.1.
post #8 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy View Post
Some HD movies will have 5.1 soundtracks, others will have 7.1 soundtracks. It's the same situation as DVD currently; the majority of HD movie releases are 5.1 and this probably will continue. There are relatively few movies with discrete 6.1 and even fewer with discrete 7.1.
Both HD-DVD and BluRay have the capability to play Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, and DTS-ES soundtracks. While most current HD releases still use Dolby Digital, the newer formats will probably become the standard as receivers and such catch up to the new technology.

Quote:
Quote:
"As far as technology goes (PQ, contrast, etc.) I don't think it is going to get significantly better than it already is."

How can you be sure?
Of course I can't be sure. But if you look at the first plasmas and LCDs and compare them with the current generation, there's a vast improvement. It seems with each generation, the improvements become less and less discernable. Most manufacturers seem to now be focusing on mass production and lowering prices. The only real promise of significant HD improvement lies with newer technologies like SED, but it will probably be a long time before any of those get off the ground, if ever. By the time they are introduced, LCD and plasma will have such a strong foothold on the market at such lower prices, that it will be difficult for any new HD technology to take off.

Quote:
how the hell are you supposed to decide between HD-DVD and Bluray
You're not. You should wait a few years and see if one format emerges the victor. It's possible neither will and people will just have to be satisified with the already good quality of standard DVDs.
post #9 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
Unless you're planning on getting an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray DVD player, there's no reason to get a 1080p set as the highest resolution being broadcast is 1080i due to bandwidth limitations. As far as technology goes (PQ, contrast, etc.) I don't think it is going to get significantly better than it already is. You just need to shop around for which sets currently have the highest quality. The only thing you can look forward to are price drops.

As far as your question regarding HD movie sound, are you referring to discs or broadcasts? I believe the new generation of discs use a different type of audiotrack than the standard 5.1 or 7.1.
1080p resolution isn't everything.. Look at how BR is getting shafted.. Most of the BR movies are getting luke warm responses in the looks department.. But the PS3 & the 360 (With live update) both support 1080p.. I'd get the 1080p set.. Just make sure the TV is good ingeneral..
post #10 of 100
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zotjen View Post
Both HD-DVD and BluRay have the capability to play Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital, and DTS-ES soundtracks. While most current HD releases still use Dolby Digital, the newer formats will probably become the standard as receivers and such catch up to the new technology.........
But what type of surround are those Dolby standards? We're getting a new room done so it's important I know what to tell the builders so they can wire the speaker cable through the walls. For speaker wire can you just use normal dual wired cable?
post #11 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplex View Post
I'm not too comfortable buying a HDTV actually with new LCD/Plasma HDTVs being released every few months with new features such as better contrast and brightness, but we can't wait much longer.
Make sure the inputs you plan on using accept 1080p. Some of last years Westinghouse LCDs were 1080p displays, but the HDMI inputs only accepted 1080i. So your 1080p signal was downconverted, then re-converted back to 1080p. Digital noise is a potential problem.

Other than that expect incremental improvements to contrast and color reproduction every year, anlong with price decreases. But nothing to drastic is expected from year to year.

The only other "new" feature video-wise is the proposed 48-bit "deep color" which HDMI vrs 1.3 is capable of transmitting. But neither HD disk format is compatible, and HD broadcast likely will never bother.
post #12 of 100
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock&Roll Ninja View Post
Make sure the inputs you plan on using accept 1080p. Some of last years Westinghouse LCDs were 1080p displays, but the HDMI inputs only accepted 1080i. So your 1080p signal was downconverted, then re-converted back to 1080p. Digital noise is a potential problem.

Other than that expect incremental improvements to contrast and color reproduction every year, anlong with price decreases. But nothing to drastic is expected from year to year.

The only other "new" feature video-wise is the proposed 48-bit "deep color" which HDMI vrs 1.3 is capable of transmitting. But neither HD disk format is compatible, and HD broadcast likely will never bother.
So if neither of those will be compatible with that "48-bit" "deep colour" then what on earth is the point of it? for computer interface use?

Thanks for the heads up btw.
post #13 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplex View Post
But what type of surround are those Dolby standards? We're getting a new room done so it's important I know what to tell the builders so they can wire the speaker cable through the walls. For speaker wire can you just use normal dual wired cable?
The new surround formats (5.1PCM [not really "new" per se"], Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Lossless) use the exact same sppeaker layout as standard 5.1/6.1/7.1 surround sound system.
1 center channel, above or below the TV.
2 left/right stereo channels. to either side of your TV.
2 surround speakers. These go on the side of your couch, aimed at your head. These speakers should be wall-mounted at just above seated head hight.
2 'optional' back speakers. These go behind the couch aimed at the back of your head. These speakers should be wall-mounted just above head height.

New HD disk movies have the potential for 7.1, but no movies yet have all 7 discreet channels (7.1 AVRs can Pro*Logic it). Much like standard DVD has the potential for discreet 6.1, but very few titles use it. So far the HD-DVD movies with Dolby TrueHD, and Blu*Ray movies with losslessPCM have been 5.1 discreet channels.

Standard 14gauge 'positive & negative' speaker wire is the universal standard speaker cabling for all loudspeakers (except the subwoofer, which will need a mono RCA cable). You can buy good inexpenisve cable ate Wal*Mart or Radio Shack.

*BOSE surround-sound systems will have BOSE-specific wire. You can't prewire your house if you plan on buying one of these surround-sound systems.
post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplex View Post
So if neither of those will be compatible with that "48-bit" "deep colour" then what on earth is the point of it? for computer interface use?
Its most likely going to be used for commercial movie theaters, a future computer interface, or whatever format will eventually replace HD 20 years from now. Or it will never be used at all, but its good to leave that option there for future technologies.
post #15 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplex View Post
But what type of surround are those Dolby standards? We're getting a new room done so it's important I know what to tell the builders so they can wire the speaker cable through the walls. For speaker wire can you just use normal dual wired cable?
The standards support up to 7.1, but the reason 5.1 is overwhelmingly the most common format on disc is because most movies are mixed for 5.1 channel use in theatres. There is actually no 7.1 discrete mix commonly used in theatres, except for SDDS 8 channel, which has a different speaker layout than the most common 7.1 home layout. Unless/until studios get into the habit of remixing their soundtracks for 7.1 use in the home, genuine 7.1 soundtracks will probably remain relatively uncommon even on HD media.

That said, I'd get them to wire your room for 7.1. That leaves you with future opportunities. When it comes to buying speakers, however, I'd just stick with 5.1 for the moment. This article has a good discussion of the issue; read the comments at the end for opposing views on the issue:
http://news.digitaltrends.com/talkback103.html

Any zip wire will work, but for a medium or large-sized room, I'd insist on 12 gauge.
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