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HELP: parents are in market for new TV - tasked son to help - i'm confuzzled...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
hey, bit of advice if anyone would be so kind

i used to sell samsung plasmas about 3 years ago with my job and have been 'out of the game' ever since and the HD thing is new since then, so have been left behind for sure now.

my parents have an old thomson scenium 44" rear projection unit, which has terrible sky news ticker burn in and others along the entire bottom 6 inches.

they are thinking of getting a new tv, around the 42" mark (or more), must be flat though, physically i mean, you know like an LCD or a plasma.

they looked at LCD's today and took some snaps on their phone and showed me, and i was like, wait until i do a bit of research and find out whats what with HD and LCD, PLASMA, contrast ratios etc etc before you commit!

so am basically asking, as a starting point, considering my parents in their older age spend a good deal of time in front of the ol box.

what should i be thinking about LCD or plasma? - i always remember the plasmas were better for there contrast and physical panel size back then, but now there are big LCDs too.

and i am going to have to google this whole 1080i and/or 1080p thing!

like all parents they are wanting it all on a 'lo-fi' budget and reckon i only have about £650-£700 tops to play with for them

any ideas from any TV geeks!

tia

p.s. i am in the U.K if that makes any difference.

p.p.s they have standard freeview via a topfield PVR, which i only just upgraded the drive in for them so would like to keep that timeshifting-recording-box in the mix still with the prospective new TV
post #2 of 4
i dont assert any expertise on this stuff, but i just bought 2 LCD myself recently

areas of interest:
LCD (most expensive per size vs plasma) doesnt burn in like plasma & CRTs, supposedly the truest color reproduction (vs plasma & rearprojection), inherent contrast ratio setbacks, blackness difficulty

make sure it has 1080Progressive scan!!! youre wasting your money if it doesnt have this. this is the main thing youre upgrading for in terms of image quality given you have the "source" ie PS3, bluray, etc.

120hz refresh rate/<4ms (handles fast stuff without blur)
10K:1 or better contrast ratio (weakpoint of LCD) 10k is an average #
Organic LED technology (expensive luxury) supposedly better color reproduction, contrast ratio improvement?consistency?, less power, still new...service life issues?

HDMI outputs
outputs like Coaxial, optical toslink, DVI, etc might interest you

test it before you buy, see if you like the "HD tuner" and menu layouts
i think the one in Aquos are too slow...blah takes like 3 seconds of lag to change channels.

reputable brand/warranty/terms - dead pixels, etc
post #3 of 4
I bought my parents a LCD for Christmas. I'm not a huge video freak, but I've noticed that it's like the computer market. No matter what you buy, it'll be discontinued or dated in six months.

That's why I ignored the bells and whistles, and went for a quality brand on closeout. Something is always on closeout. I am sure it is missing an "essential" feature or two from the latest and greatest, but it works fine and looks terrific. A huge improvement over the old CRT. So my advice is to research a reliable, quality brand and then buy whatever model they have on sale or closeout. Don't worry so much about features - your parents won't really know or care and it'll be outdated before they figure out everything on the remote.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks guys for your input.

after i posted that and got into the nitty gritty of looking at whats what, its suprising how rapidly you can coach yourself on all the facts that are out there, i soon decided LCD was the better way to go, even though it wouldnt be as good for standard definition tv broadcasts with the motion/smearing issues.

but this was outweighed by the fact that LCD dont suffer from burn in like plasmas can, and seem to be far more robust and less likely to fail or get damaged. and they have just come from a unit with burn in, so i opted for LCD initially.

i ended up ordering a 42" Toshiba 42Z3030 for £850 all in inc del.

sure they will be happy with that.

notice how i ended up 'coaxing' them into one of toshibas flagship range, with 100hz anti-smear technology and a £200 increase in their budget!

thats what sons are for isnt it?
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