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When is two inches worth $150?
December 21, 2008 6:30 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to compare the Toshiba 40RV525U and the 42RV535U. I don't see much difference except for two inches and almost $150. How much of Toshiba's spec sheet is marketing mumbo-jumbo and how much of it is real? (alternatively, recommend me a different HDTV in the $750-900 price range)

For the past week or so I've been looking at HDTVs, and after last night I had finally come to the conclusion of the Toshiba Regza 42" (42RV535U - Toshiba's page; Amazon). I plan to buy whatever I choose on Amazon, but wanted to see the thing in person. So I waltzed over to my local Best Buy this afternoon and did not find the 42" Toshiba, but a very similar 40" (40RV525U - Toshiba's page; Amazon), which is almost $150 less on Amazon.

The biggest differences I see are the two inches, which is basically negligible considering the room size, and the price. There are a couple spec differences according to Toshiba, but I don't know how much of it actually means anything. Things like "Super Resolution Technology" and "PixelPure 14-bit rendering" don't really mean much to me in real-world speak. Customer reviews look equally good for both sets.

So basically I just want to know if any of you HDTV pros out there may see significant differences between the two models that warrants the extra $150 for the 42". I'm coming from a 10-years-old 27" tube TV with a bad hum and a weird color spot, so anything is a huge improvement at this point. I will mainly be using the television for gaming on my Xbox 360, but it will also be our primary family television.

(Also, if you have an HDTV you like better in that price range, I'd love to hear your recommendations and reasoning.)
posted by joshrholloway to Shopping (5 answers total)
 
I'd venture to say that you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between those two TVs when it comes to resolution. In fact, you'd also be hard pressed to find much programming out there that will actually take advantage of a full 1080p signal in the first place. Hell, I'll even take it one step further, I think, when it comes down to it, very few people would actually be able to point to a TV and say "hey, that is some nice 1080i" or "man, check out how nice that 720p looks". Take away the label and most people would never be able to tell you what flavor of HD they were looking at. When you go to Best Buy and look at HDTVs and see such a wide range of difference, most of that is coming from the contrast ratio and color saturation. My rule of thumb... test over a wide range of media, if it looks good and the price is right, then bring er' home.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 7:26 PM on December 21, 2008


The 42RV535U has the REGZA enhancements. They likely both have the same LCD panel, but the software in the 535u series is designed to get better pictures out of SD (aka non-HD) content. See here for some info http://gizmodo.com/5045124/toshiba-continues-their-upconverting-crusade-with-new-regza-xv545-rv535-lcds

The 42" also has more HDMI inputs (4 versus 3). Is it worth it to you? If you plan on watching lots of standard def content, it may look a little better, but you'll have to find a store that has a 525 series and a 535 series model, and have them show you SD content to see if you can see a difference.
posted by stovenator at 8:24 PM on December 21, 2008


I noticed the HDMI port difference. I forgot to mention that doesn't matter to me.
posted by joshrholloway at 8:45 PM on December 21, 2008


Stop by a store and find one of their TVs that runs at 120hz. Assuming they have it working correctly, the picture will look magical, and you will then know that whatever you get, it has to have that.

From what I could tell, both of these sets run at 60hz and 24hz.
posted by Nonce at 3:35 AM on December 22, 2008


(and by that I mean they cannot run at 120hz)
posted by Nonce at 3:36 AM on December 22, 2008


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