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VERY OT: LCD Television


A String

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For a Christmas present this year, my wife and I are pooling our resources together to get an LCD television.

 

I don't know much about them or what to look for in a good one. (Refresh rate, Contrast ratio, Brightness etc.)

 

Do any of you own one or know a thing or two about what I need to be looking for, specifically?

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We should have between $900 and $1000 plus taxes. I want a widescreen, LCD. I've been looking at a no-name (Daytek) for $999.

http://www.costco.ca/en-CA/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10291162&whse=BCCA&topnav=&browse=

 

I'm not sure how the numbers stack up and if it has or is missing features that I should be looking for.

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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16889022032

 

that ones pretty similar, but a different design and a little cheaper.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16889022029

 

same brand and also very similar but lots of good reviews, a ton of features and louder speakers...that i noticed...tad more expensive

 

i only checked newegg, but if you search theyre site for that brand, olevia, every product (monitors and tvs) pretty much gets 4 or 5 stars so that cant be bad.

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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16889022032

 

that ones pretty similar, but a different design and a little cheaper.

Sadly, I'm in Canada. $899US works out to $1,030CND. Then, once you add in the shipping, Taxes and Customs, it gets to be really expensive.
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Dammit, I just got off work at RadioShack, where we sell LCD TVs, and yes, I know something about them.

 

AString - the things I tell all customers are the following.

 

1. Aspect ratio - make sure you get a 16:9 or widescreen television. There is nothing worse than spending a grand or more on a TV and then having a great picture and having to watch it with those annoying blacklines.

 

2. Resolution - a 780p, or 780 progressive scan, means that the television is 780 pixels across (which is pretty good these days) and the progressive scan will make all the lines appear simultaneously rather than one line at a time. For your purposes, this means you get a better picture since it is all synchronized together rather than like the interlaced (i) televisions of yore. Remember when you used to watch television and lines would start to appear all the time? Well, progressive scan eliminate that problem. The other option in the price range is 1080i, which contains the interlaced older technology, however, because the resolution is greater, you won't notice the lines hardly at all. The choice is up to you. I've seen 780p televisions that look better than 1080i and vice versa. What to avoid: 1080p. The picture is amazing but it will cost you around $4000 USD or more.

 

3. Refresh rate - ignore this. The human mind is incapable of detecting motion beyond 24 frames per second. Any salesman who tries to sell you a television with a greater refresh rate than 60hz is on crack. FYI - LCD computer monitors are about 60hz and CRT computer monitors are about 75hz, or 75 frames per second. Can anyone really tell? Not really.

 

4. Brightness - A television above about 1200 lumens should be okay. For anything in a decent price range, you're not going to be able to tell the difference between 1200 and 1300, and anything at like 2000 or even 3000 lumens is just way too expensive. Brightness is important, but remember, it is nothing without contrast ratio.

 

5. Contrast ratio - you want something around 1000:1. The important thing here is that you want your blacks to be black and not grey. One of the things that annoys me about LCD televisions is many of them simply are not producing a black picture, and in a dark room, you will notice when suddenly Underworld doesn't look so scary. You can settle for less, but make sure you view the television first with a dark picture, not simply a football game or some kids movie.

 

6. A good LCD television should be a picture you can stand. Don't let anyone tell you a picture looks bad or isn't as good without seeing it first. Personally, I find it a mistake to buy a TV online, unless you've seen it in the store. Only you can tell if you're going to want to live with a TV for X years. It's like buying a guitar online. Possible? Sure. Less expensive? Yes. A good idea? No.

 

7. And last but not least, DO NOT SKIMP ON THE CABLES! Nothing annoys me more than a customer who comes in, needs cables for their brand new $1500 television, and then ask me to show them the "least expensive stuff." If you're not spending at least 30 bucks on your cables, you're not getting the most of an LCD TV. I personally, like the Monster stuff, though there are alternatives. HDMI cables are the best but doesn't have the support of older DVD players and receivers. DVI is also awesome, but it doesn't carry audio. The worst cables I would buy would be component. Anything below that is just terrible and does not support a high definition picture.

 

If you have any other questions, let me know.

Shut up and play.
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This is an intersting topic... I'm starting to look at the 37" -42" LCD TVs myself.

 

One interesting thing I read was that for sizes below 42" (widescreen), there is no real need for resolution higher than the 780p since the average person sitting about 5 feet away from the screen would not see any difference as compared to 1080p resolution. Of course for the bigger screens it does matter.

 

Brands that have impressed me with picture quality are Sony (of course), Panasonic and Samsung - although these brands are on the higher end of the price spectrum and are not yet selling 37" TVs at the $1000 level.

 

One brand that is selling in that price range is Magnavox. I've seen a number of Magnavox tvs in stores like WalMart/SamsClub and Sears. The picture always looks good to me - even compared to the three brands mentioned above.

 

Another low-priced brand to consider is Vizio. They sell mostly at the Sams Club and Costco in the states. I've seen the 42" LCD, 42" Plasma and even the 50" Plasma ($2,000 USD) and they all look good to me.

"Spend all day doing nothing

But we sure do it well" - Huck Johns from 'Oh Yeah'

Click to Listen to Oh yeah

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Originally posted by revolead:

If you have any other questions, let me know.

I do have a few questions. I was looking at one TV, it looked like a widesceen, it said that the aspect resolution was 1366 X 768, but underneath, it also said that it wasn't wide screen. So basically, I'm confused about that.

 

Seeing how important the contrast ratio is, is 1000:1 enough? Is that the point where it's acceptable or is that the point where it starts to get ok and I should be looking for more then that? (The reason I ask is, a lot of the TVs I've been looking at, have a ratio of 1000:1 and I want to make sure that it's enough.)

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I kind of disagree on the refresh rate.... there is a massive viewable difference between 60-75-100 @ 60 I get eye strain.

 

You should probably get one with the lowest response time possible.. this should be like 6-8ms MAX really.. otherwise when you are watching things like action movies there will be a hella annoying blur around everything that moves fast.

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Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

this should be like 6-8ms MAX

The one I'm looking at is 9ms. All of the others I've looked at are 8ms. This is what I'm talking about. I'm not familiar enough with them too know how much of a difference that is, so all of this info you guys are providing becomes priceless to me.

 

The opportunity for us to make a purchase like this, comes along once every ten years or so. I don't want to blow it get get a lemon.

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I've been looking a bit myself. We have been upgrading our lower level family room and need a nice LCD HD tv. I'm been thinking it's going to cost $1200-$2000 usd for a 37" to 42". What size did you find at $999 Canadian?

 

Revo: 1080P? What is the deal with 1080P that makes it so good yet so expensive? Maybe I should wait a year and see how the prices fair on those.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Originally posted by Bbach1:

What size did you find at $999 Canadian?

There seems to be a very wide range, which is why I'm having so much trouble. $999CND, will get you anything from a 26" Panasonic to a 37" Daytek. They both seem to have similar specs, but what the differences are, other then size, I could not tell you.
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Can you see the Daytek in a store? I know over here you can get them to stick a DVD on it so you can check out the quality.. Maybe that'd be worth a try.

 

Its always a gamble going for a nonamer but you could be getting a really good deal.... A friend of mine bought one of those 17" LCD's for his bedroom for a good price, the specs looked the same as a Pana or Sony etc but it flat out sucks in general use.

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Others may disagree, but I'm a brand-name loyal person. EVERY Sony product I've owned outlives it's usefullness. My TV is pushing 10 years and

DVD player about 8. Receiver is about 12 years old. NEVER ONE PROBLEM!

 

You pay more for a Sony but I feel it's worth it. Other brands I've heard good reports on are Samnsung and LG.

 

Side note: TV's, digital cameras and LCD monitors are the one thing I DO get the extended warranty on (just for piece of mind).

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Originally posted by Rootstonian:

Others may disagree, but I'm a brand-name loyal person. EVERY Sony product I've owned outlives it's usefullness. My TV is pushing 10 years and

DVD player about 8. Receiver is about 12 years old. NEVER ONE PROBLEM!

 

You pay more for a Sony but I feel it's worth it. Other brands I've heard good reports on are Samnsung and LG.

The problem is, a Sony is so far out of my price range, it's not a realistic possibility. As I mentioned, I only have this much extra money, about once every ten years. The Sony stuff is double the cost of the no name stuff. So, even though it may be worth it, I would have to save up for another 10 years before I could afford a Sony.

 

What I'm looking for, is something that will be the best possible quality, for the amount of money that I have to spend. because I don't know a whole lot about this stuff, all the info I'm getting here is really helping out.

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Originally posted by Trucks.Of.Love:

Can you see the Daytek in a store?

Apparently I can't. It's at Costco and they just have a stack of them, in the boxes. I'd have to bring it home to find out. I have heard through the grape vine, that the Daytek screens are made by Samsung. Unfortunately, I've also heard rumors that they are Samsung rejects that were not used because of a propensity towards burned out pixels. Not sure if that last rumor is true or not, but it makes me nervous...
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The one thing that annoys me with most LCD TVs...is what happens to the picture as you move off to the sides.

Even the real good ones have limits...and sometimes, the bigger the TV, the worse they are.

 

So...if you need real wide viewing angles...check that out at the store before you buy.

 

Also...room lighting (fluorescent, incandescent, sunlightetc) can really affect LCD screens...and they tend to wash out a lot easier than a CRT...

so you may have to also adjust that in your TV room to get the best picture possible.

I'm curious about those "green light" LCDs...it seems they try to address that problem...though I have not seen one in person...only the commercial.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by A String:

Originally posted by revolead:

If you have any other questions, let me know.

I do have a few questions. I was looking at one TV, it looked like a widesceen, it said that the aspect resolution was 1366 X 768, but underneath, it also said that it wasn't wide screen. So basically, I'm confused about that.

 

Seeing how important the contrast ratio is, is 1000:1 enough? Is that the point where it's acceptable or is that the point where it starts to get ok and I should be looking for more then that? (The reason I ask is, a lot of the TVs I've been looking at, have a ratio of 1000:1 and I want to make sure that it's enough.)

The numbers you cited sound like a widescreen. It should be easy to tell by looking at the TV. If you're still confused, ask a salesman.

 

The contrast ratio is important insofar as your brightness is sufficient. I would call 1000:1 a good TV, however, a great TV should be more than that with still a decent amount of brightness. The big thing with LCDs is that your whites and white and your blacks are black. Again, go with what looks good to you.

Shut up and play.
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Originally posted by A String:

What is a "green light" LCD?

There's a commercial that shows an LCD TV on a wall...with a decent picture...

...and then they turn on the green backlight behind the TV...and it's supposed to make the picture and colors more vivid.

 

I can't for the life of me remember which brand it is...but I've seen the ad several times already! :D

 

Maybe someone else will chime in...

 

 

Oh...here's a website that has a lot about LCD/Plasma TVs...the pros/cons...etc...

 

http://www.lcdtvbuyingguide.com/lcdtv-plasmavslcd.shtml

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by revolead:

Originally posted by A String:

Originally posted by revolead:

If you have any other questions, let me know.

I do have a few questions. I was looking at one TV, it looked like a widesceen, it said that the aspect resolution was 1366 X 768, but underneath, it also said that it wasn't wide screen. So basically, I'm confused about that.

 

Seeing how important the contrast ratio is, is 1000:1 enough? Is that the point where it's acceptable or is that the point where it starts to get ok and I should be looking for more then that? (The reason I ask is, a lot of the TVs I've been looking at, have a ratio of 1000:1 and I want to make sure that it's enough.)

The numbers you cited sound like a widescreen. It should be easy to tell by looking at the TV. If you're still confused, ask a salesman.

 

The contrast ratio is important insofar as your brightness is sufficient. I would call 1000:1 a good TV, however, a great TV should be more than that with still a decent amount of brightness. The big thing with LCDs is that your whites and white and your blacks are black. Again, go with what looks good to you.

Widescreen is the 16:9 screen ratio. Standard TV screens are 4:3 ratio.

 

Your set in question is 1366 X 768. If you do the math, that is the 16:9 ratio for widescreen. Maybe the set was mislabled.

 

Miro... Phillips has a feature called Ambilight on its LCD TVs. Here is their own description...

"Ambilight makes an impressive contribution to the overall viewing experience by producing ambient light to complement the colors and light intensity of the on-screen image. It adds a new dimension to the viewing experience, completely immersing you into the content you are watching. It creates ambiance, stimulates more relaxed viewing, and improves perceived picture detail, contrast and color. Ambilight automatically and independently adapts its colors according to the changing content on the screen. "

"Spend all day doing nothing

But we sure do it well" - Huck Johns from 'Oh Yeah'

Click to Listen to Oh yeah

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Originally posted by miroslav:

Originally posted by A String:

What is a "green light" LCD?

There's a commercial that shows an LCD TV on a wall...with a decent picture...

...and then they turn on the green backlight behind the TV...and it's supposed to make the picture and colors more vivid.

 

I can't for the life of me remember which brand it is...but I've seen the ad several times already! :D

 

Maybe someone else will chime in...

 

 

Oh...here's a website that has a lot about LCD/Plasma TVs...the pros/cons...etc...

 

http://www.lcdtvbuyingguide.com/lcdtv-plasmavslcd.shtml

Its ambient light ;) The light changes to whatever colour is prominently on the screen. Its supposed to draaaaaww you into the watching experience a bit more.
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Lots of fantastic info guys! I really appreciate it.

 

I am currently torn between a no name 37" (Possibly a rebadged model) and a "secondary" brand 32". I'll be making a decision and picking it up around the first of December. I'll be sure to let you guys know how it goes.

 

Thanks again for all the info!

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Originally posted by rw2003:

 

Miro... Phillips has a feature called Ambilight on its LCD TVs.

Maybe that's it...though I'm sure the one I've seen advertised is always talking about the "green light".

 

I'll pay more attention the next time I see the commercial! :)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I have a 32" Polaroid I got at Circuit City on sale for $850 a few months ago. It's great.

 

LCDs will show the limitation on fast action scenes...you can see glitching, but for most things it's fine.

 

Get your High Defintinion cables from Newegg.com.

I bought a generic DVD-I cable (26") for about $22. I disagree about blowing major $$$ on cables. I have never *seen* a difference in picture quality. Maybe there is something on paper, but are you going to see a difference? My generic DVD-I cable runs from my Media Center PC to the screen and it's incredibly clear.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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