• 11-08-2006, 05:25 AM
    Grandpaw
    TVs, The more I read the more confused I get
    I am starting a new post because I did not not want to take over Mr. Peabody's post. I am wanting to purchase a new big screen TV around 56 inches and the more I read the more confused I get. I am reading and researching as much as I can but I am not making much headway. I can use any help in narrowing down the field that anyone might have to offer on DPL versus LCD and the pro and cons for each. Some have already been listed but I would also like to find which brands you would recommend as being the better choices or which ones to stay away from.

    Any information you can give me to cut down on my confusion would be a great help. Thanks for any help you may offer, Jeff
  • 11-08-2006, 05:28 PM
    topspeed
    Readers Digest Version:
    *note: this is for rptv's, your only choice at 56" except plasma

    LCD
    Pros: Bright picture, wall mountable, good color stability, average energy consumption, falling prices.

    Cons: Screen Door Effect (scenes with a lot of movement, such as action movies or football, become blurred as if looking through a screen door), bulb life, marginal blacks and contrast ratio, warm-up/cool-down for bulb, worst I've seen with SD material


    DLP
    Pros: Better blacks than LCD or LCoS, good contrast ratio, vibrant color palette, average energy consumption, good off-axis viewing, falling prices, good with SD

    Cons: Rainbow Effect (affects only a portion of the population whereas you notice a blurring of the colors, particularly reds), can't hang it on the wall, warm-up/cool down for bulb


    Plasma
    Pros: Best blacks, contrast, and colors of the bunch, can be hung on the wall, superb off-axis, no bulb to warm/cool, "hip" factor, good with SD

    Cons: Pricey! Won't produce a true 1920x1080 resolution, sucks energy faster than Michael Jackson goes through pre-teens, doubles nicely as a space heater (all that energy has to go somewhere!), possible burn-in issues (though unlikely), if a few pixels go; too bad, so sad...you're screwed.


    LCoS (aka HDiLA or SXRD)
    Pros: Brightest picture - bar none, vibrant colors w/ excellent stability, smooth edge definition, excellent off-axis, good with SD, average energy consumption, falling prices

    Cons: Blacks aren't as deep as DLP or plasma, bulb warm up/cool down, uhh...


    There ya go, Jeff. As you can see, every technology has it's good and bad. The question becomes, which are you most willing to live with? If your room has a lot of ambient light, your best choice is a LCoS based set as they are the brightest...by far. If you have a wide viewing angle, plasma can't be beat. If you don't watch a lot of sports and must hang it on a wall, LCD is a lot cheaper than a good plasma. If you don't notice the rainbows, DLP may be the best compromise of them all.

    Brands I'd recommend are:

    LCD: Sony, Hitachi
    DLP: Mits, Toshiba, LG
    Plasma: Pioneer, Panasonic, Hitachi
    LCoS: JVC, Sony

    Above all, go demo sets with your own content and let your own eyes decide which looks best to you. Be careful, some stores will adjust certain sets to kill in order to make them look better or worse.

    Hope this helps.
  • 11-08-2006, 05:54 PM
    Smokey
    Topspeed provided good information.

    To help more, pick up Nov. issue of ConsumerReports magazine still on newsstand. They test and rated 31 LCDs and 15 plasmas in this isuue. The top dogs in LCD category were Sony, Sharp and JVC.

    Good luck.
  • 11-09-2006, 11:44 AM
    Grandpaw
    1 Attachment(s)
    Smokey and Topspeed thanks for taking the time to help me straighten out the confusion about these TVs. Take a look at this one and tell me what you think. I have a feeling I will have a migraine headache before I get this decision made, Jeff

    Sam's warehouse is getting this one in and the one in the store has a great picture. Any comments pros or cons on this TV.

    http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/nav...22&prDeTab=2#A
  • 11-09-2006, 03:14 PM
    topspeed
    It's a 720p. If you're going to get a new tv, you might as well go full boat and get a 1080p (1920x1080 resolution). At least that way, if you ever want to jump on the HD-DVD/BluRay bandwagon, you have something to play it on. Other than that, I haven't really heard much regarding Panny LCD's. Their bread and butter is plasma.

    For LCD's, Smokey got it right: Sony, Sharp, JVC. My dad has a Sony Bravia in his living room and Sharp Aquos in his kitchen, both are nice but the Bravia is hands down the best LCD I've seen. That said, I still believe my HDiLA set does a far better job on SD. In HD, everything looks good!
  • 11-09-2006, 07:05 PM
    edtyct
    In principle, nothing is wrong with a 1280x720 RP LCD, or any other type of, display. HD DVD, Blu-ray, hi-def programming, and regular DVDs will look terrific at that resolution--in fact, indistinguishable from 1920x1080 if the seating distance from the screen is typical (10 ft. or so from a 50" screen). Moreover, Panasonic displays tend to be solid, especially--as Speedy says--their plasmas. The "trouble" with the LCD projection TV that you're considering is that the pixel count is a little skimpy for its size, possibly accentuating any screen-door effect. Viewed from far away, of course, the gaps between the picture elements, as well as the fine picture detail, will disappear, but we don't buy these things not to see them at their best. At a distance of nine or ten feet on a 56" TV, you may well be able to see what 1080p has to offer. I don't doubt that this TV will look very good with HD sources, and the price may be right, but will you be kicking yourself when the bloom is off the rose and you notice that a 56" 1080p set looks sharper?
  • 11-10-2006, 05:58 AM
    Grandpaw
    1 Attachment(s)
    More information
    Thanks Topspeed and edtyct for the latest replies to my post. Maybe more information on my part would be helpful. I have a rear projection floor standing Mitsubishi 53" projection TV now that is about three years old. I have remodeled everything in my house after having hurricane Katrina come for a visit. I was wanting to build all my equipment into an alcove I had built in one wall of my den for my HT and stereo system.

    I got to thinking that before I do this project that I might be better off putting this TV in my living room and get something that could be placed on a shelf so that when I changed TVs years down the road I could just swap TVs on a built in shelf and not have to rebuild the entire entertainment center. It looks to me in the future that all TV sets will be slim, non floor model type sets and this way it will be set up for changes that come later down the road.

    The room is 20x20 with my equipment built into one wall. This will make my viewing distance about 17 or 18ft. What I am looking for is something that has a good picture and that will last for several years and have as little upkeep as possible. I would like to keep the price below $2500.00 if possible. With all the changes and improvements that are currently happening I just don't think spending a lot of money on a TV right now would be a smart thing to do. In a few years when things level off on improvements and price, I just don't want to have so much invested that I can't afford to update if it warrants one.

    I am not one that has to keep up with everyone else to be happy but with the advancements going on now I don't want to be stuck and not be able to change if I see the need.

    I am going to post a picture of the idea I had with the current TV that I have posted here before and let you see what I am working with. Hopefully this information will help you help me. I would also like to add that I am reading and researching every day on my own. I just want everyone to know that I am not asking for you to do all my legwork for me but I can use some guidance with this project. Thanks again, Jeff
  • 11-10-2006, 08:50 AM
    edtyct
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    The room is 20x20 with my equipment built into one wall. This will make my viewing distance about 17 or 18ft. What I am looking for is something that has a good picture and that will last for several years and have as little upkeep as possible. I would like to keep the price below $2500.00 if possible. With all the changes and improvements that are currently happening I just don't think spending a lot of money on a TV right now would be a smart thing to do. In a few years when things level off on improvements and price, I just don't want to have so much invested that I can't afford to update if it warrants one.

    I am not one that has to keep up with everyone else to be happy but with the advancements going on now I don't want to be stuck and not be able to change if I see the need.

    Jeff,

    The bottom line for most everyone is price. But even a budget with a definite ceiling should be aware of the maximum and minimum conditions. First of all, as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Price and performance will never reach a plateau and stop moving. What happens down the road will always be the same compromise between legacy technology/capacity and state of the art. HDMI will certainly go to places in the future that it can't reach now, but many of the changes that we can envision at this point will eventually become old hat, requiring new equipment even if HDMI stays inert. What constitutes a "good picture" at any point in time is ultimately up to the individual (though objective standards shouldn't be neglected), but a compromised decision will not only make upgrading seem more urgent earlier; it will also run a greater risk of buyer's remorse at the very outset. Not discounting your reluctance to base a purchase on the need to keep up with the Joneses (or buy into HD/HT hype), the sensible approach is always to buy the best equipment that your budget allows.

    I stand by what I wrote concerning displays that tap out at 1280x720. They are perfectly appropriate in many situations. However, the bigger the display and/or the longer the viewing distance, the softer it will look with all formats--to the point at which all fine detail would be lost even with a 1920x1080 display. Your room presents a major complication. A seating distance of 18' makes tremendous demands on a display. For instance, according to the SMPTE guidelines, the screen should allow the viewer a 30% horizontal viewing angle, which means that its diagonal should be between 55% and 60% of the seating distance--in your case, about 11 ft. On this calculation, you are well beyond the range of an RPTV and, for the most part, a flat panel (even Panasonic's 103" plasma), front projection with a large screen being your only option. And that size and distance fairly scream for 1080p.

    Admittedly, this is a bit of a scare tactic; you don't need to create your room in the image of a SMPTE theater. Another way to determine how large a display should be is by stipulating that its height be one-third of the seating distance--far enough to obscure the screen's picture elements and but close enough to allow high definition to be visible (though not necessarily with a 720p screen). The seating distance for 50", 55", 60", and 72" TVs works out to be roughly 8', 9', 10', and 12', respectively, still far short of your 18', even granting that these seating distances aren't etched in stone.

    This isn't a moral question. Anyone is free to do whatver they want without the HT police pulling them over. But the numbers are sobering, if you want to preserve the HD experience. You could certainly shorten the room by a third to get you into RP and flat-panel territory, but you'd still be spending an arm and a leg. A more modest front-projection system could also work at that distance, but it would remain to be seen whether the resolution would be satisfactory, especially if you watch much SD material. You also have to accommodate the audio. Maybe your surround situation would improve if you had more space behind the seats.

    One final caveat: If you place your TV inside a cabinet, make sure that it has enough room for the blown air to circulate. Too much heat build-up wouldn't be healthy.

    Ed
  • 11-10-2006, 09:33 AM
    Grandpaw
    This is the TV I have now......

    http://www.epinions.com/pr-Mitsubish...ay_~full_specs

    I am happy with the size I have now but would like to get something with HDMI connections so I can get a DVD player that up-samples the picture. I do not plan on getting HD service on my cable because it is $30.00 and only has a few channels in HD. I am not a sports fan so I don't watch games. I guess the main reason to purchase a new TV is to get one that sets on a shelf or stand so it will work with what I want to build in my den. I don't watch cable or movies that much but would like it to look good when I do. Thanks again Jeff
  • 11-10-2006, 09:41 AM
    edtyct
    Jeff,

    Why do you want an upconverting DVD player?
  • 11-10-2006, 10:05 AM
    Grandpaw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Jeff,

    Why do you want an up converting DVD player?

    I was at CC and the salesman showed me a Regular DVD on a HD TV and it had a split screen that showed the difference between a regular DVD and the effect of being played on a DVD player that up converted ? (maybe I am calling it by an incorrect name) and it made a noticeable improvement in the picture, Jeff
  • 11-10-2006, 10:10 AM
    Dusty Chalk
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    The more I read the more confused I get

    Well then, quit reading!

    J/K...
  • 11-10-2006, 10:55 AM
    edtyct
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    I was at CC and the salesman showed me a Regular DVD on a HD TV and it had a split screen that showed the difference between a regular DVD and the effect of being played on a DVD player that up converted ? (maybe I am calling it by an incorrect name) and it made a noticeable improvement in the picture, Jeff

    Heavens, no. I'd be the last person to tell you that an upconverting DVD player can't possibly improve on the scaling that a digital TV does on its own (you're aware that digital TVs always upconvert to their native resolution if a previous component doesn't do it first, right?), but the difference is rarely night and day. More often than not, the difference isn't visible at all to the naked eye, unless shown on test screens that measure bandwidth and fine detail. I'm willing to bet that what he showed you was the result of TV set up to do poor video processing (maybe neglecting 3:2 pulldown altogether) and of a DVD player set up to scale and deinterlace. What brands were involved, and what exactly looked bad?
  • 11-13-2006, 05:34 AM
    Grandpaw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    Heavens, no. I'd be the last person to tell you that an upconverting DVD player can't possibly improve on the scaling that a digital TV does on its own (you're aware that digital TVs always upconvert to their native resolution if a previous component doesn't do it first, right?), but the difference is rarely night and day. More often than not, the difference isn't visible at all to the naked eye, unless shown on test screens that measure bandwidth and fine detail. I'm willing to bet that what he showed you was the result of TV set up to do poor video processing (maybe neglecting 3:2 pulldown altogether) and of a DVD player set up to scale and deinterlace. What brands were involved, and what exactly looked bad?

    I haven't been able to get back down and find out what kind of DVD player they were using but it was a Samsung TV. If the TV will do this on its own then I won't even look at a new player.

    I am still trying to determine which type I want. I think it is between a LCD and a DLP type. I can find a lot of information about the difference between plasma and LCD but not very much comparing LCD to DLP types. One of the things that is confusing me is that I thought I saw some LCD TVs that were also DLP types. Is this correct or are the two different sets all together. I like the price and picture on the DLP sets but I am concerned about the cost of replacing bulbs, Jeff
  • 11-13-2006, 06:04 AM
    edtyct
    Jeff,

    Like I said, upscaling DVD players have their place. Some of them measurably, and visibly, improve on what certain digital TVs can do themselves routinely, but I've never witnessed one on a reputable TV that made a world of difference. If the TV is woefully poor at routine scaling and deinterlacing, or has the wrong parameters in operation, or if the DVD player has extraordinary processing capabilities, which would make it wildly expensive, I can understand a split screen showing up some flaws. It would be interesting to know what gear CC was using for the demonstration and what the parameters were.

    If you have $2500 to spend, you might consider the LCoS RPTVs from JVC (DiLA) and Sony (SXRD). When done well, LCoS has the goods to visibly trump both DLP and LCD in a number of important categories. I won't go into great detail here about the general technical differences between DLP and LCD. Suffice it to say that DLP traditionally has been known to achieve deeper blacks than LCD, though the gap has often closed. The new DLPs with LED lighting, instead of a single chip and a spinning wheel, can avoid the dreaded rainbow effect for those who are prone to see it. But DLP relies on persistence of vision to create its images to an extraordinary degree, possibly leading to a lack of smoothness and even physical irritation in rare cases. RP LCDs all create their color from three separate chips, thus sidestepping the potential headaches of single-chip DLPs, but many LCDs have garish color primaries and poor black levels, which are more likely to reveal themselves in darkened rooms. They are also more susceptible to motion blur and the screen-door effect, though both can be mitigated, if visible, with proper seating distance. Certain DLP manufacturers' bulbs have had a rough time. Longevity is a bit of a crap shoot in any case, though a little extra cash often buy some protection from early failure.

    While we're on the subject, the new Samsung HLS series of DLPs apparently are able to meet the SMPTE standards for color and greyscale better than any digital TVs that have ever hit the market. The drawbacks are that this capability is buried in the service and can be released only through an expensive ISF calibration and that the Samsungs look wretched out of the box. LCoS is more expensive, but it has its immediate rewards. You might want to check it out.
  • 11-13-2006, 07:29 AM
    markw
    Be very aware of those "in house" split screen demos.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    I was at CC and the salesman showed me a Regular DVD on a HD TV and it had a split screen that showed the difference between a regular DVD and the effect of being played on a DVD player that up converted ? (maybe I am calling it by an incorrect name) and it made a noticeable improvement in the picture, Jeff

    Best buy sowed me one to convince me that HD was so superior to SD that it was a night and day difference.

    Well, I gotta say, I've never seen a SD picture so blurred since a focus coil went in an old Magnavox tube TV in the 70's. They actually "blurred" the SD side in order to stress their point! When I called 'em on this they denied it. I simply pointed to the other SD TV's that were playing. He left without saying a word.

    This is not to say that HDTV doesn't offer great advntages over SD. It does, but when they go to such lenghs to intentionally hobble SD for the comparison, they lose all credibility in my eyes..
  • 11-13-2006, 04:56 PM
    Grandpaw
    EDTYCT is this what you are talking about? This is the size I was really looking for and the price is right, Jeff
    http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/nav...42&prDeTab=2#A
  • 11-13-2006, 05:57 PM
    edtyct
    Yes. Personally I know the Sonys better, but I have read very good things about the JVCs. My pal AVMASTER likes them a lot. I'm not trying to spend your money, but I believe that in this case, the 1920x1080p DiLA set may be superior to the 1280x720--and not just for pixel count (sorry to be vague; I can't recall what's nagging me about it in the back of my mind). If you really intend to sit as far away from the TV most of the time as you seem to indicate, it probably wouldn't matter. But if you're going to get as close as 10 or 11 ft. once in a while, maybe it's worth trying to find the higher-resolution set at an acceptable price at a reputable store. In the meantime, I'll try to get more exact information.
  • 11-13-2006, 06:16 PM
    edtyct
    I remember now. In one of my Perfect Visions, Randy Tomlinson mentioned that the 1280x720 set that he reviewed suffered from color fringing due to misconvergence of red, green, and blue; a roll-off of high frequency signals; and elevated black levels. Since the Sam's Club JVC doesn't have a model number, I can't tell whether it's from the same line as Tomlinson's, which came out in late 2005. But I've only read/heard good things about the 1920x1080 model.
  • 11-13-2006, 08:29 PM
    Grandpaw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by edtyct
    I remember now. In one of my Perfect Visions, Randy Tomlinson mentioned that the 1280x720 set that he reviewed suffered from color fringing due to misconvergence of red, green, and blue; a roll-off of high frequency signals; and elevated black levels. Since the Sam's Club JVC doesn't have a model number, I can't tell whether it's from the same line as Tomlinson's, which came out in late 2005. But I've only read/heard good things about the 1920x1080 model.


    Is this one what you are talking about? It also has a cable card slot.

    http://www.amazon.com/JVC-HD56FN97-1...&s=electronics

    I'm trying to find out the bulb life on this model
    This shows lamp life of different manufacturers
    http://www.dlptvreview.com/dlptvrevi...placement.html
  • 11-14-2006, 06:36 AM
    edtyct
    Yes, that's the one. The same Randy Tomlinson noted that it corrects all of the previous flaws and now competes for "best RPTV on the planet." If you want someone's personal experience with this set, ask AVMASTER, who apparently deals them. When I raved about the Sony LCoS, which I have had some time to explore firsthand, he countered with the JVC, which I've never seen. By the way, there is an FH equivalent to this FN set; it costs as much as $200 less and sacrifices only an RS-232 installer's input and gold I/Os.
  • 11-14-2006, 10:27 AM
    topspeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    I'm trying to find out the bulb life on this model
    This shows lamp life of different manufacturers
    http://www.dlptvreview.com/dlptvrevi...placement.html

    Both AVMASTER'S and mine went out around 8-9 months, but it will vary a lot depending on how much you use your set and what your settings are. Mine is on about 30-35 hours/week and I have my bulb set to high due to high ambient light levels in my living room. At any rate, JVC did replace the bulb for free and I also have an extended warranty on the bulb.

    The 56FN97 is $2,195 incl. shipping from tvauthority.com and you may be able to get it for less if you're a member of avsforums.com (sometimes they do "PowerBuys," which is what I used). You may want to check them out as my experience was extremely positive. They delivered into the living room and threw in a Monster power conditioner as well. Customer service both during and after the transaction has been excellent. Check 'em out.

    http://www.tvauthority.com/DILA-and-...-HD-56FN97.asp
  • 11-18-2006, 05:13 PM
    Grandpaw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    Both AVMASTER'S and mine went out around 8-9 months, but it will vary a lot depending on how much you use your set and what your settings are. Mine is on about 30-35 hours/week and I have my bulb set to high due to high ambient light levels in my living room. At any rate, JVC did replace the bulb for free and I also have an extended warranty on the bulb.

    The 56FN97 is $2,195 incl. shipping from tvauthority.com and you may be able to get it for less if you're a member of avsforums.com (sometimes they do "PowerBuys," which is what I used). You may want to check them out as my experience was extremely positive. They delivered into the living room and threw in a Monster power conditioner as well. Customer service both during and after the transaction has been excellent. Check 'em out.

    http://www.tvauthority.com/DILA-and-...-HD-56FN97.asp

    I'm thinking about looking at some plasma TV sets and eliminate the bulb problem all together. Is this a wise Idea or not?

    My wife and I are going to Branson Mo. for the week of Thanksgiving to check out the Christmas lights. Silver Dollar City is supposed to have over four million Christmas lights in the park. We have been to Branson many times but this will be our first visit during Christmas season.

    If I don't reply or comment on the forum that is why, Jeff
  • 11-19-2006, 07:27 AM
    edtyct
    Jeff,

    In answer to your plasma question, sure, why not? You should be aware, however, that with plasma you get less screen and less resolution for the money, and you have to be more careful about proper setup to minimize the chances of uneven screen wear or image burn. Based on what I've seen lately, I wouldn't say that plasma holds any advantage in general performance over LCoS either, but a plasma picture can be stunning. Within the last week, I did a little calibration work on one of the Panasonic plasmas, which confirmed my high opinion, and I've also had some time with a Hitachi that I liked a lot. I'd also add Pioneer to that list. I've been calibrating a Sony LCoS set with the Spyder Pro, and though I'm having a little trouble dialing in the grayscale at the low light end, you wouldn't know it judging from real-world images.
  • 11-19-2006, 10:20 AM
    edtyct
    Just because I brought it up, and some people may be interested, I finished calibrating the Sony SXRD and found it to be very responsive to grayscale calibration. The Spyder Pro found its gain and bias settings to be within tolerance for high and low brightness levels. Looking at the results by eye, I certainly can't complain. Other displays may inch closer to SMPTE standards after such calibration, but the Sony gets close and looks very smooth in the process. Thumbs up.