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Specs for HD TV ?

Discussion in 'High Definition Displays' started by cody21, Oct 12, 2007.

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  1. cody21

    cody21 Icon

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    Sep 26, 2007
    I am total analysis paralysis in buying a HD TV. I am looking for a 42" that is truly HD and the specs on these things are all over the map.

    If you had to chose say the top 5 specifications that really are important for excellent picture quality, what would they be?

    for instance, I've been told that true HD is a minimum of 1980x1024. Why is a 1024x768 *not* HD ?????

    What about Image and Dynamic Contrast ratios? for instance one model is rated as 900:1 and 1800:1, and another one is 1100:1 and 8000:1 --- why does that matter?

    Picel response time - does the difference betwe say 5 & 8 ms really matter? Will it be that noticable?

    Any help - or point me to a web site document that spells this out - would be appreciated.
     
  2. HIPAR

    HIPAR Icon

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    May 15, 2005
    I appreciate your dilemma. Unfortunately the more you read about these TV set issues, the more confused you will become. You can go over to avsforum.com for some interesting reading.

    Why is 1024:768 not HD? Well, you will want HD to have a 16:9 aspect ratio. That's a ratio of 1.78. If you divide 768 into 1024 you get 1.33. So you can't scale a HD picture into that pixel pattern to fill the screen and see the entire picture.

    You will find lots of debates about what you can see versus viewing distance from the screen and if there is visible a difference between 1080p and 1080i. Plasma vs LCD.

    If the family doesn't need to go without winter cloths, set your budget in the $2000 range and buy a Full HD 1080p (1920:1080 pixel) set. You can find some nice current model sets in that price range. Then you won't need to agonize over pixel counts and i vs p scanning. And that set will work wonders with a blue laser type disk player.

    Contrast ratios are somewhat elusive. Brightness and contrast interact. When I did some TV work back in the analog only days, I could only see only about 10 gray steps from white to black. I'm fairly sure modern digital monitors are considerably better than that. I guess there is a point of diminishing returns on that matter once you exceed 1000. Perhaps someone with a calibration experience can help you here.

    Also look for several HDMI connectors. You will soon have connect a set top box and DVD player as minimum requirements.

    I don't recommend sets because everone sees differently. But I will say, during a recent viewing of 2007 Full HD LCD sets, I was favorably impressed with Sony, Mitsubishi, Sharp and Samsung in roughly that order.

    That's my analysis. :confused:

    --- CHAS
     
  3. cody21

    cody21 Icon

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    Sep 26, 2007
    Thank you so much for the analysis... My confusion started when looking at the budget-conscious 42" sets at Costco (around $1,200) ... I saw a 1080p HDTV LCD set that was only 1024x768 ... and the debate started. It looked good to the eye, but the specs started the questions.

    thanks
     
  4. tflorman

    tflorman Cool Member

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    Sep 20, 2007
    The first thing you really need to decide is how much you are going to be able to spend. Keep in mind that the spending doesn't stop after the TV is at your home... don't forget to factor in the cost of cables, DirecTV/Dish Network upgrade costs.

    Next, decide the size.... seems like you have decided on 42"... but don't forget to factor in the size of the cabinet itself... Plasma's and LCD Flat panels take up less space that a Rear Projection DLP TV would, so keep that in mind.

    Step 3, figure out how far you are going to be sitting from the TV... unless its like 6 or 7 feet, at the 42" size, 1080P probably won't be noticeable versus 1080i at distances farther than that.... so save your money unless you have a pretty compelling reason to spend more.

    Step 4, What are you going to be doing with this TV... Watching movies, playing video games, Normal everyday use that combines the 2, how bright is the room its going in... LCD's are brighter, Plasmas have better color/black levels and are better at reducing motion blur... DLP's are less expensive for the size but have color banding issues... Projectors need Dark rooms... etc. Use these requirements to further narrow your candidates.

    Lastly, buy the best tv that you can afford that meets all of the earlier requirements. Definitely shop around, once you have narrowed the field down to 2 or 3 different models. Head to Best Buy or where ever and see them in person... Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I would also recommend checking out http://www.avsforum.com. There are forums there on most of the current models that current owners and prospective buyers post in about all the pros and cons of a given model. I bought a Panasonic TH-50pz700u buy doing much of what I mentioned above... turns out that my choice was a good one... I love the TV...and then I found out that it was voted #1 by consumer reports after I bought it...which makes me feel all the more confident that my research paid off. There are so many choices out there nowadays, that you have to narrow the field by setting up some pretty specific requirements before hand, otherwise you will find yourself feeling overwhelmed.
     
  5. 4DThinker

    4DThinker Godfather

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    Dec 17, 2006
    There are cheap sets that can TAKE a 1080 (1920x1080 pixel) signal but not display one. More expensive sets actually will display every pixel. Many might call themselves 720p sets, which is 1280x720 pixels and even they can TAKE higher resolutions. They can only display that higher resolution downsized to 720p though. New TVs will all have digital tuners in them. HDTV is digital, but not all digital is HD. I'd recommend you look for a minimum of:

    1080i (1920x1080 native resolution).
    1000 to 1 contrast ratio or better.
    2 or more HDMI inputs.
    2 or more Component Video inputs.
    ATSC (digital) and NTSC (analog) tuners built in.

    I've got a 46" Sharp LCD and a 40" Samsung. I recommend either. I would stay away from anything Costco, Walmart, Kmart, or similar discount houses offer. Even Target rarely carries anything meeting my specs. BestBuy has one 42" 1080p Panasonic Plasma in it's current ad selling for $1689. Very close to the minimum price you should expect to pay for a 42" panel worth having.
     
  6. djlong

    djlong Hall Of Fame

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    Westinghouse sells a 47" 1080p LCD with 4 HDMI inputs, 1000:1 contrast, 2 COmponents and tuners for about $1500 at Best Buy
     
  7. wmj5

    wmj5 Godfather

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    Aug 26, 2007
    I have a sony kdl-40s2010, now I suppose I have owned about as many tv's as the next one, but I have never seen a better overall picture than a sony, but then thats my option:
     
  8. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Salem, OR
    No amount of diligent number crunching using available statistics is assured to lead you to the best TV for your home. It must come down to viewing your content of choice on the models that you're considering. You need to compare various candidates (possibly established by your analysis of the numbers) using the programming provider that you have (or plan to have). The products delivered by CATV, DISH and DIRECTV are decidedly different and a TV that works well with one may not work so well with one of the others.

    A critical consideration now and into the foreseeable future is the performance with SD content, so don't forget to factor that in. Some HDTVs have a serious problem with SD programming.
     
  9. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule! DBSTalk Club

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    Mar 22, 2004
    Indian...
    I'm confused as to where you saw this resolution at Costco. Every set I've seen there that was 1080p has the true 1980X1080 resolution. You'll find good buys in either the Philips or the Vizio Galevia at your price point. I'm not too keen on Sceptre. I purchased a 37 inch 720p Vizio at Costco a while back and am very satisfied with it.
     
  10. 4DThinker

    4DThinker Godfather

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    Dec 17, 2006
    Some HDTV sets have VGA inputs for computers but limit that input to 1280x720 or sometimes even 1024x600ish. Of course if you're not sitting close it's very hard to see PC text at 1920x1080. I've gota PC hooked up to my Samsung 40" 1080p set but keep it's resolution at 1280x720 just to make it easier to see from the sofa.
     
  11. turey22

    turey22 Hall Of Fame

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    on a contrast ratio is a lager number better, for example is a 5000:1 contrast ratio better than a 1000:1 contrast ratio. what is it a ratio of?
     
  12. turey22

    turey22 Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 30, 2007
    Are these good or bad specs?

    Aspect ratio : 16:9
    Brightness : 500 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio (typical) : 1100:1
    Dynamic screen contrast : 8000:1
    Response time (typical) : 5 (BEW equiv.) ms
    Viewing angle : 176° (h) / 176° (v)
    Diagonal screen size : 47 inch
    Display screen type : LCD Full HD W-UXGA active matrix
    Panel resolution : 1920 x 1080p
    Picture enhancement : Perfect Pixel HD Engine, Digital Natural Motion, Dynamic contrast enhancement, 1080p 50/60Hz processing, 3/2 - 2/2 motion pull down, 3D Combfilter, Active Control + Light sensor, Jagged Line Suppression, Progressive Scan, Widescreen Plus
    Screen enhancement : Anti-Reflection coated screen
     
  13. 4DThinker

    4DThinker Godfather

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    Yes, turey22. Good enough specs. The only thing you may come to regret is that you didn't go larger. ;-)

    4D
     
  14. turey22

    turey22 Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 30, 2007
    :confused: what is a 2-channel active Ambilight? what does this do to your viewing experience? on a contrast ratio is a lager number better, for example is a 5000:1 contrast ratio better than a 1000:1 contrast ratio? what is it a ratio of? thank you for the help, been thinking about getting an hd tv, already have hd equipment but not the tv but i dont know what is a good tv or a bad tv. plus the people that work at major retail store only want to sell so i really dont trust them. thank u for the help:)
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    The Internet is a wonderful place to look up registered trademarks like Ambilight. Note that the TV must be mounted on a flat, smooth wall to take advantage of this feature (the web page shows why textures are bad).
    The higher the ratio, the better.
    Contrast is the extremes of bright and dark. Contrast ratio is the difference between the brightest and darkest. Many LCD TVs and displays don't have very good blacks so it usually ends up being a measure of how dark the display can get.
    Consider shopping at a specialty store if you don't think you can get your head around what's important and what isn't. Good customer service is the only way they survive against the big box stores.
     
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