TV Woes
January 16, 2009 3:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a 32inch or larger TV under £500 give or take, I've done weeks of research which has resulted in greater head scratching. Knowledge needed from someone who knows his 1080Ps from his 100MHZs. I'd love to hear names of specific models.

First of all, is 1080P worth it? I heard it's negligible for anything under 40"

Secondly, I don't fully understand what 100Mhz is, but I know it looks pretty good, especially for fast movies and games. Worth it?

Finally, I'd like something with pretty good sound, and a reactive remote control that isn't sluggish.

Big ask i know, but it's a big investment for me and I don't want to screw up!

Thanks Mefi!
posted by ashaw to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm really, really happy with my Samsung LN40A650. (120Hz; 1080p.)
posted by Prospero at 4:25 AM on January 16, 2009

And to answer your other questions quickly:

1080p--worth it, I'd say.

120Hz--worth it, but for more complicated reasons than I have time for here. The Samsung I mentioned above has Auto Motion, which computes the frames that would be in between the frames that are delivered to it from the source. That is, if the source delivers at 60Hz, then you get:

real frame
Auto Motion frame
real frame
Auto Motion frame

etc., for a total of 120 image refreshes per second instead of 60. It looks really good for sports, IMO, but terrible for movies. (Many Blu-ray discs deliver at 24 Hz, which means that if you have Auto Motion cranked up to the maximum, 80% of what you see is generated on the fly.)
posted by Prospero at 4:32 AM on January 16, 2009

Thanks...but a bit on the pricey side...retailing for about £800 here
posted by ashaw at 4:43 AM on January 16, 2009

Oh, sorry--not familiar with prices in the UK.

Maybe you could go with a smaller screen, with fewer features? The Samsung LN32A650 goes for about US$900 here. (I'm not a shill for Samsung--that's just the HDTV line I ended up researching most when I was looking for one to purchase, and maybe others will chime in with other recommendations.)
posted by Prospero at 5:14 AM on January 16, 2009

I really like the Sharp Aquos 1080p set, and I think they are a bit cheaper than the Samsungs, though not sure if that holds true in the UK.
posted by Grither at 5:38 AM on January 16, 2009

Consider this chart when looking at TVs.

Depending on your TV size/viewing distance, a 720p set may be adequate for your needs.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:36 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

I have a Sony KDL-32L4000 720p 32" TV in the U.S., and it goes for under £500 in the U.K. as I understand it. This is a very nice TV. Remember there is more to it than viewing distance -- that is important, but so is content. Having a 1080p TV is all well and good but find out whether you'll even be getting your 720p's worth via whatever you're plugging in to it. Some TV providers don't have much content even at 720p.
posted by galaksit at 9:48 AM on January 16, 2009

You can't really go wrong with a Sharp or Samsung, I've heard very few complaints about either brand. A friend used to work in TV sales and said that LG screens were being returned all the time, but that was a few years ago and they may have improved. Cheap Sony screens are pretty awful (you can see the difference), but their top shelf stuff isn't bad either.

1080P is useless for a 32" TV unless your nose is pressed against it, and as said above, 100/120Hz is good, but software generated frames sometimes look awful, it largely depends on the source. Generally, watching a 24fps movie where a shot includes a slow horizontal pan will show this up most noticeably.

If you're going 40"+, I'd say go for 1080P.

As for sound, I would not worry and save up for decent 5.1+ surround. My only other tip is don't get sucked into buying 50 pound surge protectors or HDMI cables. HDMI is digital, so it will either work or it won't - quality is irrelevant over short spans like from your Blu-ray/Xbox/PS3 to your TV.
posted by jozzas at 12:27 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

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