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Charter Gold Club Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'HD Guru' picks the worst HDTVs - a warning to shoppers seeking the lowest priced HDTV set.

The low-price leaders may really be poor quality high-definition television sets making
lousy pictures. The HD Guru looks for stinkers that stood out at a local big box retailer.
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http://hdguru.com/?p=32
 

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Old Guys Rule!
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Looks like he was checking out Best Buy. Insignia is their house brand name and they also sell HP.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Checking out displays in a showroom is probably the worst way to evaluate them. They are not properly adjusted and are in an environment very different from where they will be used.
 

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Old Guys Rule!
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Actually, Best Buy is now bragging that all their HD TV's are being fed by HD source. Also, they're going through the process of educating their salespeople on HDTV and hopefully on the proper setup of the equipment.
 

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I am amazed how little some of the sales people know about the products they sell. I bought a second HD set yesterday and in the process of narrowing down my choice from 3 sets to 2 to 1, I caught the sales person making things up (or repeating misinformation) 6 times. I also heard one sales person telling another customer that EVERYONE will be using 1080p in the future. I muttered to myself "BS!"

I always give these people the benefit of the doubt (essentially they are repeating misinformation they were told rather than outright fabricating or lying about info). After each time I caught my sales guy telling me something that wasn't true, he apologized and found the "real" info.

I just wish he would have known the info from the beginning.

BTW, I am happy to see that the Hitachi I ended up getting is mentioned in HD Guru as one of the sets that deinterlaces properly!

See ya
Tony
 

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Circuit City, Best Buy, Sams, Wal-Mart, all the big retailers just open up a box and plug it in on the show room floor. Manufacturers preset their production sets to look good in bright showroom lighting conditions.

My Hitachi came out of the box with brightness and contrast set at 100%, you could get a suntan. When the set was delivered the "technician" ran the auto converge and showed me how the remote works. The picture was fair.

I spent about four hours doing the 117 point convergence and setting the overscan, etc. Brightness about 40% contrast about 45%.
 

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Cool Member
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I work at a Wal-Mart. Our TVs are hooked via a network of progressive inputs on the back. The in-house Wal-Mart TV in our department is on "channel 8". That's still the feed to the smaller non-digital TVs. Our LCDs and plasmas are fed from a different source. When you press "Info" on the remote for the feeder box, up pops "14-1" and 1080I. The digital only looks really good on a couple of sets. The Sanyo 26" LCD which I bought back in June has 720P capability and does look better here at home.
 

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Maybe my eyes are not fully "educated" yet, but I could see a huge difference between high quality CRT TVs and the cheap ones.

I do not see nearly as much difference between low- and high-end HD sets. They seem much closer in PQ when properly adjusted and viewed at a proper distance.

Opinions?
 

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KML-224 said:
I work at a Wal-Mart. Our TVs are hooked via a network of progressive inputs on the back. The in-house Wal-Mart TV in our department is on "channel 8". That's still the feed to the smaller non-digital TVs. Our LCDs and plasmas are fed from a different source. When you press "Info" on the remote for the feeder box, up pops "14-1" and 1080I. The digital only looks really good on a couple of sets. The Sanyo 26" LCD which I bought back in June has 720P capability and does look better here at home.
The last I knew (Wal-Mart retiree), the HD feed comes from a computer in the back of the store with an HD output (on 14-1). The program content is (was) stored on a hard drive and periodically updated from the home office.
The PQ will be only as good as the installation, which has been known to be botched by the subcontractors who install the distribution system.
 

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Godfather
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I've got a 32" widescreen CRT Sanyo HDTV from WalMart. Biggest piece of [email protected] I've ever owned. While 1080i content looks OK, any SD images on the screen look badly bent in at the top. The set repeatedly reboots and forgets it's channel programming. If I watch anything via HDMI input, the TV freezes in the mode and cannot be tuned to another input without turning it OFF then back ON again.

The only GOOD thing about it is that I found ONE discrete input code for it (out of 7 possible inputs) and now can get my Harmony 880 to pick the right input reliably.
 

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I own a 26" Sanyo LCD HDTV with 720p and I know what you're talking about when it comes to the freeze when channel searching. Especially annoying when a QAM digital cable search takes almost ten minutes.

What do you mean by "discrete input code"? My TV has one HDMI input but I don't have anything to connect to it right now. :(
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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Remember that blogs aren't always fact checked. I found a number of faults with other articles there. They claim that Sony has been doing LCoS for two years, but that's just in the consumer stuff. They've been showing LCoS televisions since 2002 according to their website. Yes, it does matter, because it speaks to how long they've been refining a technology.
 

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paulman182 said:
Maybe my eyes are not fully "educated" yet, but I could see a huge difference between high quality CRT TVs and the cheap ones.

I do not see nearly as much difference between low- and high-end HD sets. They seem much closer in PQ when properly adjusted and viewed at a proper distance.

Opinions?
I think there are some big differences among some HDTVs, but not necessarily as a function of price. I looked at a number of plasmas before buying the Panasonic 42PX600U. It was certainly not the most expensive, but imo had the best pq.
 

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I almost ended up with that set, but the TV itself is uglier than sin. :) You have to look at the TV set all the time. I tried to ignore that, but just couldn't. If the Panasonic case looked like the Samsung or Toshiba I would have bought it. But I ended up with a Hitachi 42" plasma and a Toshiba 32" LCD.

See ya
Tony
 

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Godfather
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KML-224 said:
What do you mean by "discrete input code"? My TV has one HDMI input but I don't have anything to connect to it right now. :(
"Discrete" means that with a single signal sent from a remote control the TV will always go to a specific input instead of having to cycle through inputs one at a time. In my Sanyo's case that one code always tunes the TV to the Component2 input. If I simply keep hitting the INPUT button on the TV's remote the TV cycles from NTSC to ATSC to Video1 then Video2 then Component2 then Component3 then HDMI. Apparently Sanyo is the only one who knows why the Component inputs start at 2. My universal remote control (a Harmony 880) now knows to always go to Component2 first, then either one or two INPUT commands to go up or a few channel down commands to go down to find the right input for some other source.

I have to admit that my HDMI problems have gotten better since I scrapped the Cyberhome upscaling DVD player (also from WalMart) that was using the HDMI input.
 

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Cool Member
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We don't even sell the Cyberhome model anymore. The closest to it we have now is an RCA DVD recorder with HDMI upconversion. I take it that this player can only work if a DVD is marked HD-DVD? We don't have any of those or Blue Ray yet.
 

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Old Guys Rule!
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Sanyo TV's are neither the best nor the worst. Their CRT TV's have consistently been rated among the most reliable by Consumer Reports. If you bought a Sanyo LCD and it gives you trouble, take it back to Wal-Mart and get it exchanged if it's still in warranty.
Note to everyone contemplating buying consumer electronics! Keep your receipt and packaging material. Once the warranty has expired, you can discard the packaging material, but keep the receipt as proof of purchase.
Many retailers will not accept returns if you don't have both the packaging and receipt. Learn the retailer's return policy. Some are VERY restrictive, even to the point of accepting only a few returns per year.
 
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