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HDTV Recommendations?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Hey I was wondering if you guys could help me out.
I'm not much of a TV person myself, but have found myself in the market for one.

You see, now that both of my parents are retired, they spend a decent amount of time watching. Problem is, they've been watching the same set they bought back when I was still a little guy. Well, it just finally broke, so I've given them mine, an even OLDER set.

But anyway, to the point.....My parents have always been very financially supportive, and my father has insisted on paying my way through college. (It's something he really wants to say he's accomplished in life...putting both himself and his son through college.) Problem is, my school costs waaaay too much, and he's told me he's not really in the position to be buying anything new for themselves. I suppose you can imagine how this makes me feel.

Well, regardless, there's no reason they should be straining their eyes to watch a tiny, fuzzy, little box across the room. Now, I've managed to save up a little bit of money to solve this problem, but I have no idea where to start. Hopefully you guys can help.

First of all, I'm not looking for anything huge or crazy expensive. I am after all about to finish college and get shoved out into the real world. But, I do want quality. Something of a substantial size too. I'd say their couch is about 10-15 feet away from the set. I know I want 1080. It doesn't have to be brand new, or in perfect condition, if there are any good Ebay or refurb deals out there.

Other than that, I don't know much else.
I guess I'll leave it up to you.
I really appreciate any suggestions an info..
Thanks guys.
post #2 of 41
Westinghouse offers some pretty nice LCD sets in the 37"-42" at decent prices. I'd highly recommend Samsung, but they do tend to cost a bit more.
post #3 of 41
15 feet is pretty far back. At that distance I would usually recommend a big RPTV, but you have to weigh in bulb replacements and warmup time. This may be unattractive as a gift for your parents.

Consider RPTV sets though, they are the best bang for the buck for size. At 15' away, no set is too big. Otherwise, LCD's are the least hassle of all the HDTV's techs right now.
post #4 of 41
SONY BRAVIA KDL-46V3000 Flat Panel TV @ ListenUp

This may be out of your price range but is a nice set.

What ever you get make sure it is not just 1080 but 1080P as that is the future atleast for a while. Also make sure it has a QAM tuner this is for receiving digital stations without a set top box.
post #5 of 41
There are new technologies likely to enter the large display panel consumer market before end of this year: HDR LCD, OLED and SED. Any of these will outperform current LCD and plasma technologies in particular with respect to optical dynamic range and contrast ratios. Keep that in mind.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jconly View Post
Something of a substantial size too. I'd say their couch is about 10-15 feet away from the set.
Certainly you need a substantial size if you go 1080p and you sit at 15 feet away.

Here's a chart I've posted before, showing at what distance and screen size combination the benefits of a particular higher resolution starts to become noticeable, vs. when such high resolutions fall indistinguishable of lower resolutions.

According to this chart, the benefits of 1080p at 10 feet away can only start to become visible from screen sizes of 55" or more, and full benefit of 1080p requires screen sizes of ~75" to be fully appreciated at 10 feet.

At 15 feet the benefits are visible only from screens of 80" or more. Full benefit of 1080p requires screen sizes of ~115" to be appreciated at 15 feet:


http://www.carltonbale.com/wp-conten...tion_chart.png



PS. Happy New Year Everyone!!!
post #7 of 41
I post that chart all the time, too.

My RPTV (SXRD/LCoS) is coming on Monday, I'll let you know how it is.
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaavedra View Post
There are new technologies likely to enter the large display panel consumer market before end of this year: HDR LCD, OLED and SED. Any of these will outperform current LCD and plasma technologies in particular with respect to optical dynamic range and contrast ratios. Keep that in mind.

End of 2008? From what I understand, the first OLED sets are going to be very small and very expensive. SED still has yet to show it can be produced effectively and reliably, and HDR LCD has been one of the most expensive video technologies on the market for quite some time.

Any of those you listed above wouldn't be a mass consumer option for another few years.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redo View Post
End of 2008? From what I understand, the first OLED sets are going to be very small and very expensive. SED still has yet to show it can be produced effectively and reliably, and HDR LCD has been one of the most expensive video technologies on the market for quite some time.

Any of those you listed above wouldn't be a mass consumer option for another few years.
I only said "likely"

True what you say about HDR LCD, ridiculously expensive. Brightside had a 37" HDR LCD for almost $50K late in 2005.

HDR-LCD is based on a very simple, yet highly effective improvement over standard LCD: instead of having one simple uniform bright white light behind the filtering LCD panel, there is a matrix of individually controlled white LEDs with very high intensity capability. This translates to the display achieving outstanding contrast ratios (200,000:1 and higher!), by handling sort of two superimposed images at all times: a low resolution (but extremely high contrast ratio) black and white image displayed by that array of LEDs, and on top of that, the high resolution full color image created by the filtering LCD.

The combo of course requires extra circuitry to control the array of LEDs, and to adjust the LCD filtering levels appropriately, depending on the intensity level of the LED each LCD pixel is located on. But in essense, I don't see why this requires 10x-50x the cost of a standard LCD, given the simple principle and mature technologies it's based on.
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redo View Post
15 feet is pretty far back. At that distance I would usually recommend a big RPTV, but you have to weigh in bulb replacements and warmup time. This may be unattractive as a gift for your parents.

Consider RPTV sets though, they are the best bang for the buck for size. At 15' away, no set is too big. Otherwise, LCD's are the least hassle of all the HDTV's techs right now.
I will def check them out.
Within just the past few moments I came across this.
Sony KDS-50A3000
From what I have read so far, it seems to have good reviews.

I'll also take a look at that LCD Bravia. It's not TERRIBLY expensive (found it for $1700), but that is def at the high end of my price range.

Oh, and thanks for that chart. It really is interesting, although in comparison to what they're watching now, I'm not really sure how relevant it is. Anything is going to be a better choice. However, I may just be moving the couch. I agree that 15' is too far.


Oh, and those HDR LCD's. From my perspective as a photographer, spending a large amount of time retouching, it's interesting to see where that technology goes in computer monitors. I'm anxious to see displays with color gamuts larger than Adobe 1998, with a greater than 14bit depth. However, I guess there's not that much of a point since there is no way of outputting that type of tonality and color.
post #11 of 41
Before going for a Sony RPTV, I would take into consideration the fact that Sony very recently announced this.
post #12 of 41
Thread Starter 
Ahh, good to know.
Thank you very much for that bit of info.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaavedra View Post
Before going for a Sony RPTV, I would take into consideration the fact that Sony very recently announced this.
I don't see why that matters...The bulbs will be around forever. It's not like Sony is going to stop servicing the TV's.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redo View Post
End of 2008? From what I understand, the first OLED sets are going to be very small and very expensive. SED still has yet to show it can be produced effectively and reliably, and HDR LCD has been one of the most expensive video technologies on the market for quite some time.
HDR TVs are already making their way to the mass market...Samsung has some *less expensive* sets (81 series), while Sony's biggest OLED is $35k..but the main thing that needs to be standardized is the file format. Current digital video codecs for production support up to 10bpc space, while most playback codecs are 8bpc. Both Sony and Samsung are offering some LCDs that could go up to 16bpc, but there currently aren't many sources that are true HDR. I use HDR imagery for 3D animation, and it seems to me that there aren't many formats that offer compressed storage. Most my HDR files are multi-channel, uncompressed, BIG files: would hate to think how much space a movie length segment would take!!

Still, HDR colorspace and 2k resolution is a bigger improvement then a 1080i to 1080p signal. Instead of TV producers switching to 1080p, I'd rather them use the extra bandwidth for REAL resolution upgrade or extra color depth.

Also, jconly, if you're looking at 50" sets, don't discount 720p sets either. Especially at 15' distance, differences between a set's native resolution gets to be less of an issue with overall PQ: it's the quality of the contrast, scalers, and de-interlacers used. CNET's top rated flat panel is a Pioneer 1080i plasma (they sighted it as having better color rendition then a lot of 1080p LCDs).

Top HDTVs overall - CNET Reviews
post #15 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordXenu View Post
I don't see why that matters...The bulbs will be around forever. It's not like Sony is going to stop servicing the TV's.
Naturally, if anything it just means prices are going to drop even further.
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