lcd dlp plasma oh my!
August 29, 2007 9:09 PM   Subscribe

I have about 19 hours to decide which HDTV to buy. Thoughts?

After 21 months of solid performance, my Sharp 65" 1080i DLP finally started having problems. Due to a botched warranty repair, I am being refunded about $2700 from Costco. I intend to repurchase from Costco, and I thought I would query the hive as to recommendations for good 1080p sets out there right now, for about the same amount of money. I will be receiving the refund tomorrow afternoon, and would like to purchase something while I am there, as I have been without a TV for a month now, and my netflix are collecting dust.

I have 2 component devices and an HDMI DVD player, if that makes any difference. Bigger set, the better of course :)
posted by Industrial PhD to Technology (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Our Samsung totally rocks.
posted by Rain Man at 9:11 PM on August 29, 2007

Our Samsung totally rocks, too.
posted by eschatfische at 9:20 PM on August 29, 2007

Sony Bravia LCD TVs are nice
posted by sharkfu at 9:40 PM on August 29, 2007

Sony Bravia is nice if you must stick to CostCo. Pioneer Elite's are the best I've seen, hands down. I would assume their other lines would have some of the features. I would stick to LCD over Plasma. I not know if WEGA is still around in any incarnation, but I found their LCD range to be good.

I would advise spending the $2700 for a smaller television with a better picture. Instead of 65" you could get ~50" with better picture and build quality. At those sizes I find that picture quality matters much more than the sub-42 market.
posted by geoff. at 10:04 PM on August 29, 2007

I love my Samsung. Looks like I'm the third so far.
posted by SlyBevel at 10:57 PM on August 29, 2007

Have you thought about a projector? You can get a big HD screen for little money.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:31 AM on August 30, 2007

From roomwithaview's CNET link, I just bought this model (Samsung LN-T4665F, the 46" widescreen 1080p LCD flat panel) at BestBuy this past Saturday, and it's been... fantastic! So I'm fourthing Samsung, although not necessarily the same model. I paid $2299 including tax for mine.

In the store last weekend with a friend, I spent a good hour comparing the various models side-by-side, and this was to me the best one I found- anything with higher contrast ratio or lower response time, etc, didn't seem noticeably better on the various types of video, and in some cases worse, and were usually several hundred dollars more.

It's got a great, beautifully bright picture, and the complaint about LCDs- that they are flickery when watching fast-motion video like sports/football, etc- haven't been borne out. MLB looks great, a documentary about Mario Andretti with in-car cameras looks great, nature programs look great- really, the thing has been a champ from th get go on every media type I throw at it.

But the big winner for me, on top of everything else, is the selection of inputs: I have an Xbox 360, a PS2, a computer with DVI, and the HD digital cable from Comcast. Before, I had to physically swap cables to my 20" dell LCD which was my computer/tv monitor. Now, all 4 devices cable both audio and video into the TV, and there's just a single pair of audio cables going out to the 5.1 receiver I have. It has 3 HDMI (along with VGA, so my computer can do VGA or DVI-> HDMI at 1920x1080) and two component inputs, which is perfect for my cable and xbox 360, as well as the usual s-video/composite cable on the side, for the more dated PS2. Every video input has a matched right/left audio, so again I can have all my lines connecting to the TV, audio and video, and one audio line going out. This has the benefit of both clean cable management as well as the simplicity of knowing that when I change the picture source on the TV, the audio will automatically be matched- no more separate remote just for the 5.1 receiver!

Anyway, I can't recommend it enough, and it sounds like the Samsung brand has some fans in this thread as well. Good luck!
posted by hincandenza at 12:43 AM on August 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

I've been very impressed with Sony's SXRD rear projection TVs when I've seen them in store compared with other models.

I personally have been largely unimpressed with many of the Plasma and LCD TVs I've seen - the SXRD's seem to stack up real well against them. Although they can't really hang on your wall - but you get a lot of diagonal screen size for your buck.
posted by sycophant at 1:13 AM on August 30, 2007

My Samsung has an amazing picture, but the downside is that there seems to be a little bit of gaming lag on mine, even in gaming mode. It doesn't really come into play 99% of the time, but when I play Pac-Man CE, it totally screws me on the fastest levels.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:55 AM on August 30, 2007

I love my Panasonic 42" plasma that I've had for about 2 years now - 2 HDMI inputs, 2 component inputs. HDTV and regular cable look great. The 'justification' mode for stretching regular 4:3 content is nice. And I just got a PS3 and Blu-Ray looks amazing. And look Costco has the 50" model for $2699.99.
posted by FreezBoy at 4:57 AM on August 30, 2007

I recently learned that my regular TV antenna (an el cheapo from the early 90s) works for HDTV and was VERY happy my TV had a tuner in it. I don't know a tremendous amount about TVs, but I'd look for one with a tuner just in-case you ever decide to go that route.

Nth-ing the Samsung
posted by TheDukeofLancaster at 6:15 AM on August 30, 2007

At my office, we just bought this 60" Sony SXRD rear-projection TV. We picked it up at BrandsMart for $2000. Haven’t put it through the paces yet, but it has a nice picture, good viewing angle, and many inputs.

We’ve had a number of Samsung monitors, and they’ve all been crappy. I’ll avoid buying any Samsung TVs or monitors for myself.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 7:04 AM on August 30, 2007

At work we have a medium sire LG and it is great. probably the best tv i have seen in person
posted by DJWeezy at 7:08 AM on August 30, 2007

One more for Samsung. I just bought the same model as hicandenza back in June and I would fight my grandmother hand-to-hand for it, if it came to that.

If you buy from Amazon, there's no sales tax and free shipping.
posted by Gamblor at 7:30 AM on August 30, 2007

For $2700, you could get a 47" Westinghouse 1080p. And another 42" Westinghouse 1080p. Or a 47" Westy, a PS3, an HD-DVD player, and a bunch of movies.

We have the 42" and have been happy with it so far. While the picture isn't as good as a Samsung, the picture quality is still very good and I think you trade surprisingly little picture quality away for less than half the price -- mostly some black level and contrast.

One thing I like about the Westys is that they default to a no-overscan, pixel-for-pixel mode. People who hook up computers says that this simplifies the process a lot, since you just set it to 1920x1080 and you're done. You can set normal overscan with a single buttonpush on the remote if the channel you're watching is throwing closed-caption data at the top of the screen.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:01 AM on August 30, 2007

I've had this Samsung HPT4254 plasma 42" 720p for about a month now and have been pretty happy with it.

While its not 1080p, its raised Samsung's stock with me quite a bit. A lot of the burn issues with Plasmas have been dealt with, so its much less of a worry as well. I haven't noticed any signs that the tv can't keep up with fast moving objects (thus, I presume the 1080p models would be just as good).

So, one more suggestion for Samsung.
posted by Atreides at 9:20 AM on August 30, 2007

Panasonic 50" 1080p Professional series TH 50PF9UK.

If you are into watching movies, plasma is definately the way to go. Way better viewing angles, color reproduction and black levels.

I have the 720p version of this set and love it, I want to buy the 1080p version but need to find a reason.

BTW if you havent seen the gizmodo article on the 103" Professional Panasonic plasma, you really should.
posted by mphuie at 9:21 AM on August 30, 2007

Sharp Aquos 52". We have one, FIL bought one, co-worker bought one, friend bought one, BIL bought one and Dad is buying one. All good experiences.
posted by misha at 10:30 AM on August 30, 2007

I also have a 42" 1080p Westinghouse; I it bought open-item at Best Buy for $999 about a year ago. Westys are an excellent deal if you are not a perfectionist about black levels.

I avoided plasmas because I play games extensively and didn't want to have any worry at all about burn-in; plus there is a lot more glare on plasma screens if you watch them in a well-lit room. Of the plasmas though, I did notice that the Panasonic models seemed to have the best set of features for the price.

The Sony and Samsung LCD screens have great constrat ratios and a really good colour gamut range, but you will pay about double for them over a similar size+resolution Westy. To me, that seemed like a lot to pay for what I would get in return.

The way I look at it is that I didn't want to put a huge investment into a TV right now with the way the formats are changing so rapidly (LCD/Plasma/DLP/OLED/SED and HDMI/HDCP revisions). I figure in a few years as the standards start to settle down more I can look around for a new TV and then use this Westy as a gigantic computer monitor (for which it works exceptionally well).

If you already consider the money spent though, I'd look at the Samsung or Sony LCDs (though I personally avoid Sony out of principle).
posted by joquarky at 11:31 AM on August 30, 2007

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