• 02-22-2010, 09:41 AM
    topspeed
    TV recommendation for bedroom
    Hello to my old friends! I believe the 'ol braintrust is still active at AR, so I have a few questions for you:

    1) I need a new set for the master bedroom as my 32" Hitachi just gave up the ghost. It needs to be < 42" otherwise it won't fit in the armoire. This is not going to be for a secondary HT. It's not even HD, although I have a feeling I'll need to upgrade that. I do NOT want to spend a lot of money on this as I rarely watch TV in the br. $500-700 preferred.

    2) I have an older DirecTV MPEG3 HD receiver in storage, can I use it on the new set or is all of DirecTV's content MPEG4? Am I going to have to upgrade the current receiver to HD?

    I can't wait for the better pricing in the fall on this one, guys. The wife watches totally different things than I do, and I'm not about to keep up with the Kardashians, see what the Real Housewives are up to, or fret over who the Batchelor is going to pick. For the sake of marital bliss, we need to address this pronto.

    Thanks for your suggestions and I hope everyone is doing well.

    ts
  • 02-22-2010, 12:19 PM
    LMB
    Checkout Panasonics at Costco big price drop
    I have cable so I don't know about DirectTv
    Have fun shopping
  • 02-22-2010, 12:53 PM
    rob_a
    Panasonic plasmas are at great prices right and they are one of the better looking sets on the market. Best buy will price match any printed ad, as long as you have it.
  • 02-22-2010, 01:03 PM
    02audionoob
  • 02-22-2010, 08:17 PM
    topspeed
    Thanks for the rec's. The Panny plasma prices actually went UP the last time I was at Costco. You could pick them up for under $1K before, but not now.

    That LG looks pretty good, but I can't figure out the refresh rate. Also, does anyone know what "5ms" means? Is that good?
  • 02-22-2010, 09:17 PM
    BallinWithNash
    5 ms means 5 milliseconds. As in it refreshes the screen every 5 milliseconds, that is a rather good time for TV's (I believe that is what it means .. correct me if I am wrong guys) and if all your doing is watching TV screen refresh rate shouldn't really matter unless you are playing Video games or PC games on the TV. If you really want a good screen refresh rate just buy a big monitor there refresh rates are very high.
    Hope this helps and I have no idea about the Direct TV thing best bet would be to call them up or just hook it up and see if it works.
  • 02-22-2010, 09:25 PM
    02audionoob
    5 ms is a measure of pixel response time. Slow screens used to make motion look blurred in the early days of LCDs. With numbers like 5 ms, that problem is gone. Refresh rate is a cycles/second number and for this screen it would be 60 Hz, which is not state of the art, but you can balance that feature against the prices of the 120 Hz models.
  • 02-22-2010, 11:17 PM
    topspeed
    Thanks.

    I've targeted two sets for now, both $699:
    1) Vizio VL420 42" LCD 120hz/1080p
    2) Panny TC P42S1 42" Plasma 600hz/1080p

    I've always been wary of Vizio, but he reviews on various sites seem very positive. Maybe they've gotten their act together? From what I can tell, it's the better blacks of the Panny vs. the better color of the LCD.
  • 02-23-2010, 07:20 AM
    bobsticks
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    Thanks.

    I've targeted two sets for now, both $699:
    1) Vizio VL420 42" LCD 120hz/1080p
    2) Panny TC P42S1 42" Plasma 600hz/1080p

    I've always been wary of Vizio, but he reviews on various sites seem very positive. Maybe they've gotten their act together? From what I can tell, it's the better blacks of the Panny vs. the better color of the LCD.

    The problem with Vizio cannot be attributed to any single make or model. The problem is consistency. It's a badged brand manufactured in any number of facilities, some proving to be a good bang-for-the-buck and some unacceptable.

    Think "Apex"...pretty soon someone's gonna be in jail in China...
  • 02-23-2010, 07:28 AM
    02audionoob
    I fortunately leaarned my lesson about off-brand LCDs without too much pain...on a mail-ordered refurb 26-inch model. From now on, I'm staying with the name brands. My bedroom 32-inch Sony humiliates my mancave ViewSonic on picture quality and audio.
  • 02-23-2010, 08:25 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    Hubby tells me over and over again that Samsung are the best bang for the buck out there and his company just can't compete with them (pricewise).
  • 02-23-2010, 08:33 AM
    euchreb
    Tvs I have no clue on but how old is the Directv receiver. If it was on the first wave of HD tivo receivers it wont do HD. But if you are a long time directv customer you can just lease their premium boxes for like 5 bucks a month, or at leat you can here.
  • 02-23-2010, 08:44 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    Thanks.

    I've targeted two sets for now, both $699:
    1) Vizio VL420 42" LCD 120hz/1080p
    2) Panny TC P42S1 42" Plasma 600hz/1080p

    I've always been wary of Vizio, but he reviews on various sites seem very positive. Maybe they've gotten their act together? From what I can tell, it's the better blacks of the Panny vs. the better color of the LCD.

    Hey Speedy,

    Good to see you stop in to say hi. How's it going?

    I wouldn't buy a Vizio unless my budget was such that I couldn't get a name brand. I would go with the Panny. Consistantly a good product. Vizio is hit and miss (you might get a great one, or you might get a dud.
  • 02-23-2010, 03:14 PM
    topspeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FA
    Hubby tells me over and over again that Samsung are the best bang for the buck out there and his company just can't compete with them (pricewise).

    Who does your husband work for, FA?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GM
    Good to see you stop in to say hi. How's it going?

    I wouldn't buy a Vizio unless my budget was such that I couldn't get a name brand. I would go with the Panny. Consistantly a good product. Vizio is hit and miss (you might get a great one, or you might get a dud.

    Things are going well, although I've got this nagging cold/cough that is hanging around like luggage. I'm so busy bouncing from work to the kid's sports to their music lessons (one drummer, one guitarist), I can't remember the last time I just sat down and listened. Sad to say, but most of my musical enjoyment comes during my commute :(.

    A member here was nice enough to PM me a link to Worf's thread where SirT chimed in regarding off brands. Honestly, I didn't think Vizio was an off brand and thought they were a tier one manufacturer. A couple of friends have Vizio's and like them, but as mentioned, I've always had my reservations.

    Too bad the Sammy's and Sony's are so much more expensive as one of my buddy's has a Sammy LED LCD that sports the best picture I've seen. It's got a bit of a red push, but it's nothing a bit of calibration couldn't solve.

    I'm going to see if I can check out the Panny tonite after the boy's BB game.
  • 02-23-2010, 05:38 PM
    dean_martin
    not sure what the difference is between the Panny TC-P42S1 and the TC-P42U1, but this week's Best Buy Sunday sales paper for my area has the U1 for $699.

    I'm still impressed with my 50" Panny Viera plasma which is several years old and not even full 1080p.
  • 02-23-2010, 08:22 PM
    02audionoob
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dean_martin
    not sure what the difference is between the Panny TC-P42S1 and the TC-P42U1, but this week's Best Buy Sunday sales paper for my area has the U1 for $699.

    I'm still impressed with my 50" Panny Viera plasma which is several years old and not even full 1080p.

    I agree. Stand back 7 or 8 feet from a 720p plasma and you might not miss 1080p. I don't think I do.
  • 02-24-2010, 11:13 AM
    topspeed
    Took a look at the Panny P42S2 last night, side by side with a Sony LCD and LG LCD. Is it my imagination or are LCD's brighter and have more edge enhancement? I checked the settings, and while the LCD's were both set to "kill" (contrast 90, brightness 80), that still doesn't explain the softer edges of the Panny. The effect was it made the Panny seem dull by comparison.

    Is this normal in your experience?
  • 02-24-2010, 11:54 AM
    02audionoob
    I wouldn't doubt the LCDs are brighter, but the sharper edges look less natural to me. I'd probably buy an LCD rather than plasma because LCD is the more common technology, but in some ways I like the plasma picture better.
  • 02-26-2010, 12:39 AM
    tupes
    You can also try comparing the LCD TV ratings for various brands and read the expert reviews as well. That's a good way to get inform about certain products.
  • 02-26-2010, 03:22 PM
    topspeed
    Thanks for the link, tupes.

    I was locked in on the Panny P42S1 for $699, but Sears is completely sold out. Bummer. I did some more research and couldn't believe the assorted problems with Toshiba and Sharp these days! AVSforums is rife with QC issues, and I always thought they were reliable manufacturers. Times change. That said, there's a fair amount of griping about Sammy as well, so I s'pose nobody is really bullet proof anymore.
  • 03-02-2010, 08:08 PM
    topspeed
    Thanks for all your help. I ordered a Sony KDL-EX500 today for $795, no tax, no shipping. I was honestly leaning towards a Vizio 1080p/120hz for $699 at Costco, but once you add our usurious sales tax of nearly 10%, it was worth the extra $20 bones to get a tier one brand that I can trust. I saw the previous gen V5100 and was impressed by the blacks and shadow detail. Colors weren't as "hot" as the Vizio either. The EX series is the successor and sports even better blacks and a re-engineered ambient light sensor (which is good as the previous one was roundly panned by critics).

    Looking forward to plugging it in a week or so. Thanks again!