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#386121 - 11/25/12 01:21 PM It's that TV time of year again...what to buy...
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
So, i was going to wait until i did so more research on the topic, including combing through any recent posts in the Axiom forums (if the search engine provided any useful hits), but what the heck.
I'm throwing out yet another, "what tv should i buy" queries. Since this unit will likely be in this spot for quite some time, i may as well get as much feedback as possible before spending any dollars on it, whether that is $500 or $2000.

To help narrow things down, i do have a list of wants and nots.

  1. I hate LCD (light bleed, lower contrast esp. off axis and visual lag).
  2. I hate LED LCD a bit less (less bleed, more contrast, allegedly better visual lag). If only OLED was already here and affordable.
  3. I love and yet hate plasma (great contrast, no lag, more power consumption comparatively, overall more expensive).
  4. Size will be limited to about 40"-46". I can check but i am fairly certain a 50" will look too large on its intended wall.
  5. The use is for a main living room which has a large picture window on the opposite wall with southern exposure (e.g. lots of light). No, we do not have heavy light limiting curtains at the moment and more light comes in from the adjacent eating nook and kitchen anyway.
    Additionally, the tv would be viewed off axis from these areas as well so one can see how LCD starts to lose even more ground as an option here.
  6. I love but more hate glossy screens.
  7. 3D sucks and i have no use for it until someone invents true holographic TVs.
  8. Wireless capability i can probably take or leave. I'm not sure i would really use it. We don't subscribe to any online streaming sites. Anything streamed from computer would be through a much better system than a tv wireless connection.
  9. Budget: i'm always happy to pay less of course, but realistically we're looking for something that isn't crazy feature loaded necessarily and with recent price reductions over the past years, i figure we should be able to get something to fit the bill for less than $1700. But for a 40" unit these days, feature rich is possible at around $1200 for LED that i've seen.

That's the general list. I can add a bit of specifics and clarification of some points.

The present situation:
We have a Phillips 31" LCD bought about 3 or 4 years ago which is being moved to a bedroom. I've always hated the visual 'lag' in fast motion scenes (VERY prominent at least to me when i first watched a HD hockey game). I also don't find the contrast to be particularly good and the speakers have issues if it is turned too loud (good thing i have a stereo system hooked up to it).
The old crt relic in our bedroom died, so this Phillips is making the move and our family room needs a new unit. I was really hoping to get by until OLED became more mainstream.

Surrounding components include:
  • Panasonic dvdp (no HDMI out)
  • Cambridge Azur receiver (unsure of HDMI status, would have to check)
  • Bell satellite (HDMI capable)
Although i don't use HDMI presently (on any system we have), at some point i probably will. It is just unlikely i will need a tv with multiple HDMI inputs (certainly no more than two otherwise i'd update my receiver with HDMI inputs and use it as the switcher anyway).

Glossy screen love and hate:
Although i really like how a glossy screen makes the sharpness and colours pop, a glossy screen in this room will likely be a real pain in the @ss. The glare off of so many light sources would be horrendous. I bought my father a LCD glossy screen monitor a few years back and even in my darkened office i could see the glare of my face as it was lit by the screen!
Glossy screens can really suck. I don't want an annoying tv for another 10 years.
Is it possible to angle the tv downward if wall mounted to help?
Or matte screen only?
How many plasma or LED out there have a matte screens though? (not many from what i've seen).
I'm uncertain if limiting myself to a matte screen only unit will limit the choices to something that is a so so unit.
This LG is an example where it apparently has a matte screen but i gather from the review there might be others of better quality (still a larger unit than what i'm shopping for as well).
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/test-report-lg-50pm9700-3d-plasma-hdtv

If anyone has gone down this road before in the past year, and i'm sure some have, and you have considered the same "problems" of each of the tech and your specific location is similar with a well lit room, i would love to hear your thoughts on final selection of a unit, or if anyone else in the peanut gallery has something to add i expect the thread to be hijacked within 3 posts anyway.
smile
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#386123 - 11/25/12 01:51 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5837
Loc: Some random location
I know the perfect tv, if only it wasn't a 70 incher. It's one of the Sharp, non-elite models. This one ran for just under $3000. I know it's not what you're looking for, but may help lead you into the right direction. Unlike the expensive Elite models, this one had excellent off axis viewing. It was in a room with a lot of windows and I never noticed any glare. It was an edge lit LED-LCD.

This would have been my 2nd choice if I had known about it when I bought a 65 inch Panasonic plasma.

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#386124 - 11/25/12 01:57 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
Hellcommute Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 148
If you can get into the 50" class tvs then your options open up. Not much to choose from in quality plasmas anymore in the 40-49" class. Seems like LCD is the more affordable choice for your size, but there are comprimises as you mentioned.

I am a big Panasonic plasma fan.

My money would be spent on either:

TCP50ST50 or TCP50GT50

Wall mounting and angled down at the viewing position will cut down on room glare from lights and such. Don't mount opposing a window if possible. You will make a mirror. Good luck.

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#386125 - 11/25/12 01:58 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
Well if they have a same model but smaller size i can take a look. I've heard both good and negative things about the Sharp tvs.

I do plan on heading into some stores to check out the glare factor if that is even possible given that they often dim the lights in those sections of the store. I might bring a flashlight along to produce a glaring source and see how they fare, once i've narrowed down a list a bit.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#386126 - 11/25/12 02:01 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5837
Loc: Some random location
Make sure it's a dim light source. No TV could not reflect a torch.

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#386127 - 11/25/12 02:03 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: Hellcommute]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
Originally Posted By: Hellcommute
If you can get into the 50" class tvs then your options open up. Not much to choose from in quality plasmas anymore in the 40-49" class. Seems like LCD is the more affordable choice for your size, but there are comprimises as you mentioned.

Yes and that is why i have the list to help narrow down a choice. We cannot go larger. The TV would be out of proportion to the wall and what sits under it.

Quote:

Wall mounting and angled down at the viewing position will cut down on room glare from lights and such. Don't mount opposing a window if possible. You will make a mirror. Good luck.

And again, this is not an option. We have 2 walls in this room aside from the window. The other wall has a fireplace and heat venting above it. Nothing can go in front of those vents and our seating only arranges in the one direction. People would have to crank their heads to watch a tv over the fireplace AND i would have to rearrange locations for the whole stereo setup which wouldn't work in this config. For one, i would have a speaker blocked by the end of a couch arm situation...
The only, and easier route is to get a tv that fits on the obvious blank wall opposite a picture window.

So, no glossy screens then?
That cuts down on options even further if that is the case.
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#386130 - 11/25/12 05:57 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
chesseroo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 4825
Loc: western canada
And once again i also find myself asking the question, why are plasma tvs being marketed as best in low light conditions?
What is it about plasmas that this seems to be a constant recommendation?
_________________________
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#386132 - 11/25/12 06:42 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5837
Loc: Some random location
I bought a plasma because it's capable of a more realistic reference quality picture than anything else out there. Also more consistent with less artifacts. The 2012 models of Panasonic, maybe only the more expensive models, I forget, are also brighter than past models, because of a new panel design. That's another reason I went with the VT50 model. But I rarely use the brightest modes. I prefer the darker and better color balance mode. The Sharp Elite came close to plasma quality this year, but the off axis picture degradation killed it for good quality.

Once I got used to a calibrated plasma picture, the LCD/LED Tv's just look cartoonish with their over bright colors.

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#386138 - 11/25/12 09:59 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10383
Chess, you place great emphasis on avoiding a highly reflective screen(don't want to shave while watching TV, eh?). This article from CNET examines the issue and notes that the only plasma with a matte screen is the LG which is reviewed in the Sound&Vision test you link. It's only in 50" or larger if you still decide that's too big.

Otherwise, there're various Panasonic(as mentioned by Hellcommute)and Samsung models in the 40"-50" range tested and recommended in the December issue of Consumer Reports.

As to trying to angle it downward, sure, it's an angle of incidence/angle of reflection thing.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#386140 - 11/25/12 11:21 PM Re: It's that TV time of year again...what to buy... [Re: chesseroo]
Hellcommute Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 148
Glare reducing window film, diffusing film or accordian blinds may be options to look into. Accordian blinds can be pretty nice. You get new TV, wife gets new decor-- win win.

My living room setup has a wall mounted panny plasma opposite a picture window. We close over the blinds when we are watching TV and there isn't an issue with glare. Blinds open on a sunny day is a complete other story. I end up watching the tree in my front yard! Talking trees are strange. Unless it's treebeard.....

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