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View Full Version : Don't Know Much about High Def. TVs, but I Got Some Cash to Burn; Help Requested


Workshed
12-30-2007, 11:54 PM
Hey high def heads,

I'm looking to buy a flatscreen HDTV. I probably won't utilize the HD for a while until I get cable in my new place, but I know I'll want it soon.

I've budgeted about $1200 for a purchase. Any recommendations on a set or brand? I'm pretty clueless as to all the specs, so if you guys know of a good resource to look all that shit up....(720 vs. 1080?)

What should I watch out for?

Many thanks.

Reverenddave
12-31-2007, 12:04 AM
I'm pretty clueless as to all the specs, so if you guys know of a good resource to look all that shit up....(720 vs. 1080?)

Head over to the DVD section of Amazon. At the top is a link to "High Def 101". There's some guides which cover the basics. That's a good place to start.

If you're not going to get HD cable for a few months, you might want to set aside $150-$200 for an HD player. I think Amazon's got an HD-DVD player and 10 free HD-DVDs for $180. And you can rent HD movies from Netflix. That'll keep you covered until the cable TV starts working.

You also might want to look into a HDTV with a built-in tuner. Then you can hook it up to an antenna and get local HD channels.

Workshed
12-31-2007, 12:15 AM
Head over to the DVD section of Amazon. At the top is a link to "High Def 101". There's some guides which cover the basics. That's a good place to start.

If you're not going to get HD cable for a few months, you might want to set aside $150-$200 for an HD player. I think Amazon's got an HD-DVD player and 10 free HD-DVDs for $180. And you can rent HD movies from Netflix. That'll keep you covered until the cable TV starts working.

You also might want to look into a HDTV with a built-in tuner. Then you can hook it up to an antenna and get local HD channels.

This is all good info, thank you. Here's that Amazon link (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_5534812_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000139681&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_r=19PJMR21J56YG4DFP3JX&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=336957301&pf_rd_i=16401621)for anyone else--nice, easy-to-understand presentation.

Not so sure about the HD-DVD players, because of the whole drama goin' on between HD and Blu-ray. Once I start checking out sets, though, and realize I might have some bucks to spare, it could be a possibility.

Reverenddave
12-31-2007, 12:29 AM
Not so sure about the HD-DVD players, because of the whole drama goin' on between HD and Blu-ray. Once I start checking out sets, though, and realize I might have some bucks to spare, it could be a possibility.

I mention HD-DVD because you're on a limited budget and the cheapest players are about $130 less than the cheapest Blu-Ray. It's a good place to start for HD newbies.

Even if the HD-DVD format were to die in the next year (which won't happen), it's not like the player will stop working. You'll still be able to watch the 10 HD-DVD discs which come with the player. And you can start picking-up really cheap HD-DVDs from all the people selling off their collections. Plus you'll have an excellent upconverting player for your standard DVDs.

If you have a little extra cash, think about investing in a PS3. For about $400 you'll get the best Blu-Ray player on the market, a great game machine, and a good media center for streaming videos and music to your TV.

But if you only have $1200, I think you can get a decent HDTV and an HD-DVD player.

Reverenddave
12-31-2007, 12:39 AM
You also might want to keep an eye out for combo deals. I've seen some stores give away an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player with the purchase of an HDTV.

I know about 2 weeks ago Best Buy was giving away a Panasonic Blu-Ray player with purchase of a Panasonic HDTV.

Keep an eye on FatWallet and SlickDeals.

Workshed
12-31-2007, 12:55 AM
You also might want to keep an eye out for combo deals. I've seen some stores give away an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player with the purchase of an HDTV.

I know about 2 weeks ago Best Buy was giving away a Panasonic Blu-Ray player with purchase of a Panasonic HDTV.

Keep an eye on FatWallet and SlickDeals.

Cool, thanks for the tip. I'm gonna worry about researching TVs first, then check out any HD-DVD deals.

Any suggestions on a set?

Reverenddave
12-31-2007, 01:33 AM
Any suggestions on a set?

Sorry, I can't help you with that. I've got a Hitachi 57" RPTV. But they don't make this one anymore.

Check out the DVD & Home Theater Gear forum at DVDTalk.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=5

You can also get some input at the AVS forum:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=9

Reverenddave
12-31-2007, 01:46 AM
I should add that I've been looking at the Sony Bravia SXRD line. All the reviews have been excellent. But it's probably a couple $100 out of your price range. I think the smallest SXRD is 50" and priced around $1500.

But I don't have one yet, so I can't recommend it.

X-human
12-31-2007, 01:55 AM
Make sure what you get is HDMI 1.3 compatible, and a built in tuner is always a good idea. With that HD tuner the easiest way to get HD content is to then buy an HD antenna. Even my friends with the most modest budgets have been able to go HD with 720p and HD antenna.

720p, 1080i and 1080p are pretty indistinguishable, except perhaps when projecting on something large like a wall. Personally I prefer DLP sets of all the new technology, and CRT's are still the best colors and contrast ratios available. 'Course neither of these are as thin as Plasma/LCD.

I recommend holding out from the format war. I only really got into it because of the PS3. If you end up on the wrong end of the war it's true you'll still have playable movies but the reality is that they'll just collect dust. I own a D-VHS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-vhs) player with over 20 movies. All in 1080i HD, some stuff that's not even out on either format, but I haven't used it since I got my PS3 last Christmas season.

My thoughts are, let all the deep pocket early adopters and home theater owners be the canon fodder for the format war. The longer you wait the cheaper it'll be and the more clear the situation will become.

Reverenddave
12-31-2007, 03:58 AM
I recommend holding out from the format war. I only really got into it because of the PS3. If you end up on the wrong end of the war it's true you'll still have playable movies but the reality is that they'll just collect dust. I own a D-VHS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-vhs) player with over 20 movies. All in 1080i HD, some stuff that's not even out on either format, but I haven't used it since I got my PS3 last Christmas season.

If you're really worried about your movies collecting dust, then sell them off and stick with rentals from Netflix. For $170 you can get an HD-DVD player and 10 discs. Sell the discs for $15 each. In the end, you're only out $20.

I can understand staying away from new technology when it's cutting edge and expensive. But players are under $200 and discs available for $10. At this point, if you're still waiting on the sidelines, then you're missing out.

Workshed
12-31-2007, 06:38 AM
Make sure what you get is HDMI 1.3 compatible, and a built in tuner is always a good idea. With that HD tuner the easiest way to get HD content is to then buy an HD antenna. Even my friends with the most modest budgets have been able to go HD with 720p and HD antenna.



Thanks, but just so I'm clear:

I get a TV with an HD tuner built-in, then I have to get an HD antenna?

X-human
12-31-2007, 10:15 AM
Thanks, but just so I'm clear:

I get a TV with an HD tuner built-in, then I have to get an HD antenna?

Yes. And when it says "HDTV ready" that means it does NOT have a built in tuner. You also need to find out if you can get HD reception. You'll probably get digital signals (480p) but if you're out in the boonies somewhere perhaps you won't get HD signals yet.

In a general sense any HD antenna you get should work, much like any cord you get will work just as well for digital signals. People will try to sell you that Monster cables and the like are the only brand that supports "true HD." Since you're talking digital signals, either you're getting it or you don't. There's no signal degradation of 1's and 0's.

So you can go cheap on the basics like the antenna and cables. So long as you don't plan to use your HDMI cable as a whip to chase tail or something a Monster cable should work just as well as the cheapest you can get (which http://www.monoprice.com is an excellent source for, Best Buy can charge 10x more even on their lowest end).

If you're really worried about your movies collecting dust, then sell them off and stick with rentals from Netflix. For $170 you can get an HD-DVD player and 10 discs. Sell the discs for $15 each. In the end, you're only out $20.

Yeah or instead for that $20 you can invest in regulated digital broadcasts which has already become the standard. You'll get all the big networks like Fox, CBS, NBC in HD and the rest of public broadcast in digital too.

Why blow a full load now? I think it's plain sensible to wait. I did. Looking right now all the good deals are already over from Christmas. Might as well get use to HDTV then once comfortable with the technology I'll bet better deals will get you even better equipment too.

It's all a dumb corporate game that no consumer should have to deal with, especially all at once. And maybe after a spell the whole thing will have blown over anyways.

Reverenddave
12-31-2007, 11:18 AM
Here's a deal from Sony. Apply for the Sony Card, use it to buy an HDTV, and you get a free PS3. It might be worth looking into.

http://www.ps3fanboy.com/2007/12/29/get-a-free-ps3-with-purchase-of-sony-hdtv/

KR~!
12-31-2007, 12:52 PM
Sony and Pioneer Elite make the best HDTVs that I have seen. Get a HD Cable box, the cable companies do not charge anymore for them than a SD one. Wait to get a high def player until after a few months from now.

soxfan666
12-31-2007, 05:52 PM
there is a 56 inch 1080P panasonic for $998 in the best buy ad this week. it is $700 off. Very big and 1080P.

Workshed
12-31-2007, 06:36 PM
there is a 56 inch 1080P panasonic for $998 in the best buy ad this week. it is $700 off. Very big and 1080P.

Great deal, wow. It says "rear projection," though so do you have to worry about...bulbs and stuff?

Damed
12-31-2007, 06:54 PM
Great deal, wow. It says "rear projection," though so do you have to worry about...bulbs and stuff?

Yes. All projection technology requires bulb replacement every 3,000 to 7,000 hours, depending on the make/model.

Also depending on the make/model is if it is end user changeable or if it requires the unit to be professionally serviced.

gore
12-31-2007, 09:48 PM
I would check out Sams Club or Costco. I got a Phillips 42" Lcd last year for around $1200 and like it. Its 720 and only has 1 hdmi input but hey! that was last year! Im pretty sure you can get something in 1080 for around the same price range probably a little bigger as well. I would suggest sticking with a familiar brand though. Check out some of the consumer reports ratings if you can, they rate affordable models as well as pricey sets.

Reverenddave
01-01-2008, 01:29 AM
Get a HD Cable box, the cable companies do not charge anymore for them than a SD one.

I have Comcast (which was Adelphia a few months ago). Both those companies charge an extra $4 a month for the HD Cable Box (above the price of a standard box). Adelphia charged an extra $5 a month for the HD service. I don't think Comcast charges for it.

On the plus side, the HD cable boxes have dual tuner HD DVRs. DVR service is an additional $5 a month. But it's really worth the extra cost.

KR~!
01-01-2008, 03:02 AM
Comcast and Cablevison both offer the HD Cable box for the same price as the standard one. I do not know about smaller companies.

Reverenddave
01-01-2008, 03:15 AM
Comcast and Cablevison both offer the HD Cable box for the same price as the standard one.

I got a pricing flyer from Comcast in today's mail.

Limited Basic Service Only Converter - $1.10
Digital Converter - $4.75
Digital Video Recorder (DVR) - $8.95
HDTV Digital Converter - $8.95
HD/DVR Converter - $8.95

Maybe Comcast has different prices in your area. But I've got 2 HD/DVR boxes and 2 standard boxes in my house. Comcast charges me more for the HD boxes.

KR~!
01-01-2008, 03:34 AM
I have Cablevision, and it's free with all the extra channels like Monsters HD included. So perhaps I was wrong about Comcast. That stinks for comcast users.

http://www.optimum.com/facts.jsp

Workshed
01-03-2008, 06:00 AM
I'm trying to decide between a 42" and a 47". Is there a risk of going "too big"?

I'm moving into a new apartment this weekend and am pretty sure my living room is over 8' (god, I hope so), so I shouldn't have a problem with 47", right?

KR~!
01-03-2008, 01:04 PM
Bigger sets make more sense in bigger living/TV rooms. Make sure you get a good TV set or non HD channels, DVDs, VHS will look like shit on your new HDTV. Don't come back here complaining that normal channels now look like crap because you wanted to save some extra money ;)

X-human
01-03-2008, 08:12 PM
I'm trying to decide between a 42" and a 47". Is there a risk of going "too big"?

I've never heard of any such risk. I've been told, "It's way too big for me" plenty of times before but never about a TV. What does the safety manual say?

:D

Workshed
01-03-2008, 08:49 PM
Bigger sets make more sense in bigger living/TV rooms. Make sure you get a good TV set or non HD channels, DVDs, VHS will look like shit on your new HDTV. Don't come back here complaining that normal channels now look like crap because you wanted to save some extra money ;)

I'll blame you all, and not just for my TV woes!

I've never heard of any such risk. I've been told, "It's way too big for me" plenty of times before but never about a TV. What does the safety manual say?

:D

:lol:

What I meant was is there a risk of having a television that is too big for the viewing area--maybe being too close and exposing the pixels to the viewer more than with, say, a smaller set.

X-human
01-04-2008, 03:38 AM
Let me put it this way, I recently watched Christmas Story from Blu-ray at 1080i on a 14 foot screen. I stood about 10 feet close and it looked like a movie screen. A bigger screen will make standard definition look worse (without digital upconversion) but HD will only look better.

Go for it.

Dbone
01-04-2008, 06:04 PM
I have a Samsung 50in DLP and it's pretty frickin sweet. DLPs can be had for alot cheaper than an LCD or Plasma. Whatever you do, don't spend $50 - $100 on a HDMI cable at a place like BB or CC

Workshed
01-04-2008, 09:18 PM
Let me put it this way, I recently watched Christmas Story from Blu-ray at 1080i on a 14 foot screen. I stood about 10 feet close and it looked like a movie screen. A bigger screen will make standard definition look worse (without digital upconversion) but HD will only look better.

Go for it.

I almost went for the 47", but once I checked tax and shipping, it was a bit more over my budget. So, I went with the Philips 42PFL7422D 42" 1080p LCD HDTV.

Cannot wait! :D

Workshed
01-14-2008, 07:40 PM
My Philips LCD 42PFL7422D arrived on Sunday--gorgeous set.

BUT, whenever there was a dark or black moment in whatever program I watched, there was a faint but noticeable white...splotch in the center of the screen, in a rough shape of an oval--large. Really weird. It looked "behind" the other images, if that makes sense.

Appeared immediately after installing the television. Called Philips and Amazon and they will replace it. Kind of a bummer.

drown021
01-15-2008, 06:25 AM
I just picked up an 42" Sylvania LCD after having a 51" rear projection set.
Man,the LCD set looks amazing.I wasn't sure wether to go plasma or LCD but I just happened to be in Sears buying a camera for the wife and I saw some sets next to each other,both plasma and LCD playing the same video and even though both looked good,I thought the LCD looked much better.
(I have no idea how I made italics???)

Sorry to hear about the "splotch" though,that would bum me out also.

Horrorphilly
01-20-2008, 07:00 PM
I need some help.I just recently got a new dvd player(all region).I have no plans on upgrading anytime soon on players or dvds.Im buying a new tv come,early Feb and I want a 37 in. w/s with HD if possible.Can anyone recommend any good models? I'll be willing to spend 700.00 on it,also is there a attachment I can get that I can plug a HDMI cord into if I dont have a female hole on the back of my new dvd player? How does a dvd player look on a HDTV ? Or is it just worth to get a regular tube w/s tv?




Thanks
Sean

Workshed
01-21-2008, 05:51 PM
I need some help.I just recently got a new dvd player(all region).I have no plans on upgrading anytime soon on players or dvds.Im buying a new tv come,early Feb and I want a 37 in. w/s with HD if possible.Can anyone recommend any good models? I'll be willing to spend 700.00 on it,also is there a attachment I can get that I can plug a HDMI cord into if I dont have a female hole on the back of my new dvd player? How does a dvd player look on a HDTV ? Or is it just worth to get a regular tube w/s tv?




Thanks
Sean

Here's a 32" Panasonic 720p (http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-TC-32LX70-720p-Flat-Panel/dp/B000OOG3KI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=audio-video&qid=1200934188&sr=1-2) I was seriously considering before I went 42". It's $700+ at the moment. If you don't have HDMI, go component, which is what I am doing until I upgrade to an player with an HDMI port. I made the switch to component this weekend and can really see a difference already.

Workshed
02-04-2008, 06:12 PM
OK.

What the hell?

My replacement TV arrived, same problem. A "cloud" appears in the center of the screen whenever the screen is dark. This time it isn't a circular splotch but more of a cloud-line in the center of screen. It's like its own image in the screen and it pops up and almost creates a glare effect whenever things get dark on-screen. I watched Sunshine this weekend and it was noticeable in the darker scenes.

Is this uncommon in LCDs? I called Philips and they wouldn't tell me if this was an issue with this model but did say they'd send a service agent out to take it and repair it. Yeah, if I drop around $1400+ on a television, I'm not looking to have it opened up and "fixed" within the first week of owning it. On the line with Amazon right now to get a new one delivered--for the third time.

edit: And Amazon will not deliver a third model because of the persistence of the same issue. So, I get a refund but it's back to the drawing board. Fuckity!