1080p flat panels

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  • 09-15-2006, 09:53 AM
    ronning
    1080p flat panels
    You may have noticed my other post about the Westinghouse. I'm still looking into that, but am curious what else may be on the market or what may be coming soon.

    Any good 1080p flat panel sets available now or soon?

    I'm looking for 40"+, LCD or Plasma (visuall I prefer plasma, but LCD is probably more practical for my needs).

    I want to be able to hook it up to my computer, DVD player, PS2, (PS3?), etc...

    I'd like to keep the price to around $2000 if i can.
  • 09-15-2006, 12:40 PM
    ronning
    is there maybe a good way to search on this?
  • 09-15-2006, 12:49 PM
    elapsed
    Upcoming Sharp Aquos D62 Series, take a look at the LC-42D62U and LC46D62U. Sharp has more 1080p models than any other manufacturer. Sony Bravia, take a look at their new XBR2 and XBR3 models . Samsung, take a look at their 95D and 96D Series models. Both Sony and Samsung share an LCD facility in South Korea - the sets are available in 40" and 46".

    There are no 1080p plasma's under 50" to my knowledge. Pioneer and Panasonic are the only two plasma manufacturers that have announced 1080p plasmas.
  • 09-15-2006, 02:47 PM
    AVMASTER
    there's several good 40" and larger LCDs with 1080p capability but not in the 2K$ range from a legitimate source. Have you considered a micro display?
  • 09-19-2006, 06:55 PM
    ronning
    I've found the following sets at the following street prices (incl. shipping):

    Samsung LN-S4095D | 40" 1080p | $2140

    Samsung LN-S4695D | 46" 1080p | $2800

    Toshiba 42HL196 | 42" 1080p | $2200

    Westinghouse LVM-42w2 | 42" 1080p | $1800

    Westinghouse LVM-47W1 | 47" 1080p | $2500 (available soon)

    Sony Bravia KDL-40XBR2 | 40" 1080p | $2500

    sony bravia kdl 46xbr2 | 46" 1080p | $3300

    The Samsung seems to be the best bang for the buck plus a healthy dose of nice ID styling. The Sony seems overpriced, and the Westinghouse sounds a bit sketchy (but attractive at that price!). The extra $600 for another 6" doesn't seem worth it on the Samsung. Although I suppose these prices will plummet soon as more 1080p sets come on the market.

    Any thoughts?

    My main reason for 1080p is so that I can use the computer via the TV (and eventually watch bluray / hddvd)
  • 09-23-2006, 05:24 PM
    ronning
    OK, I've narrowed down my choices to the following:

    Westinghouse LVM-42w2 | 42" 1080p | $1750 in-store (includes tax) at Best Buy

    Pros:
    *cheap*!
    Available for cheap in-store
    Has DVI inputs (for easy PC connection - my primary use)

    Cons:
    Poor quality remote (i'll be using receiver's universal anyway, though)
    A few reliability issues? (I've heard it sometimes doesn't turn on, needs a unplug/replug to start after long time of non-use)
    Poorer color gamut (75% NTSC)

    OR...

    Samsung LN-S4095D | 40" 1080p | $2100 on-line price (includes shipping) at various sites

    Pros:
    Samsung quality and styling - very nice ID work on this set
    Higher color gamut (92% NTSC)
    arguably higher contrast (I'm a bit war of the "dynamic" contrast, though)
    ATSC tuner (do I need this if I have cable? I don't care about over-the-air transmission...)

    Cons:
    2" smaller diagonal
    $400 more expensive
    have to purchase on-line

    Any thoughts?
  • 09-24-2006, 06:17 AM
    edtyct
    You're one of the lucky ones. You apparently don't have to give all of the weight to price. To my mind, though, the two inches on the Westinghouse create a distinct advantage in a home theater setting. I don't know about the NTSC color gamut. If it is indeed truncated that much, it still might not make any visual difference outside of a direct comparison with another panel or a test situation. The area in which many people tend to have the most trouble with LCD color involve oversaturated greens, which turn up on, say, the grass in sporting events. A possibly bigger potential problem is whether these two panels, and others, are accessing the HD color gamut correctly (ITU 709), instead of reverting to the SD color space (ITU 601). Individuals won't really be able to find out until test material for HD performance is as easily available as that for SD. But the effect of color temperature may be even more important. A panel that doesn't allow a warm temperature that's at least in the D65 ballpark is usually a no-no in my book (though nothing is etched in stone, given the many variables).

    Anyone who's spent a lot of time with computer equipment should be familiar with, if not tolerant of, the need to reset. I've got a big callous on my finger from the A/V equipment that I've had to plug and unplug over the years.

    Contrast is one of those touchy specs, capable of the kind of fudging that routinely occurs with published power ratings for audio receivers. Provided that the numbers are a realistic indication of performance (not a given), the higher the contrast number, the better would be the contrast, but high contrast is no guarantee that black level excels. Plus, the full-on/full-off ratio (generally in the thousands), which is the spec quoted in ads, must be tempered with an ANSI reading, which measures contrast when light and dark have to share the same screen. In this case, contrast numbers always drops precipitously (into the hundreds). The upshot is that specs alone won't necessarily tell you enough to make a decision, and published specs that are widely divergent might not amount to anything off paper.

    The Westinghouse falls into the category of an unexpected surprise. It may be short on features, but it seems to deliver good blacks and reasonable performance elsewhere across the board. How it stacks up with the Samsung in the real world is a mystery unless you can put both of them through their paces in your environment with your chosen material. Unfortunately, that's usually impossible. If you've seen stellar reviews of the Samsung from reputable media, and it sways you on other counts, you might well choose it over the Westinghouse despite the price. The reviews of Westinghouse panels that I can recall are in Home Theater Magazine, The Perfect Vision (I think), and Peter Putnam's HDTV Expert site. It always emerges a pleasant surprise. One thing to keep in mind is that the background that allows for such a reaction from reviewers includes the typical performance of mainstream LCD displays like Samsungs.

    The ATSC tuner isn't necessary if you'll be using cable. The DVI input on the Westinghouse is digital. If you choose it, make sure that the output from your computer card is DVI-D, not DVI-A, which would be incompatible. Then make sure that both panels can accommodate the resolutions and refresh rates that you'll be sending.
  • 09-25-2006, 05:24 PM
    ronning
    edyct - thanks for the helpful info.

    The 42" Westy came back into stock at Best Buy at a discount, and it was *quickly* selling out (5 out of 6 stores sold out their stock in 1 day). So I snatched up the opportunity and took one home.

    Overall, I'm impressed - fantastic detail, decent color, insanely bright (if needed - has nice backlighting / brightness controls), and it handles my 1920x1080 pixel output from the PC beautifully (I played Half Life 2 at 1920x1080 flawlessly - AWESOME!)

    Downsides: the backlighting bleeds through at anything more than 30 degrees off-angle. Which means blacks start to look bluish-grey, and colors begin to look less saturated. I haven't decided if this is a problem or not, and I'd like to investigate if the Samsung does any better.

    The remote is clunky and poorly designed - there's like 17 different and confusing input/source buttons, but it gets the job done.

    I'm tempted to see if the 47" version of this set becomes available - it might be worth a few extra $100 for another 5" diagonal (?)
  • 10-06-2006, 06:03 PM
    ronning
    2 weeks now with the Westy 42"

    It's quite nice, but the backlight shining through at off-angle is still bugging me a little.

    I've found a new contender, but haven't actually seen it in person yet:

    the Sharp Aquos LC-42D62U 42" 1080p

    Has anybody seen this or found a review on it?

    Thanks!