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The UItimate Budget HDTV

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by illuminate100, May 2, 2006.

  1. illuminate100

    illuminate100 CTR

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    I know, I know, there are a million posts that start out something like this:

    "Which HDTV should I buy, I'm interested..."

    But this is my first post, I'm not a newbie, but I am VERY interested in what you experiences videophiles have to say to help me decide. I just want to know which LCD or PLASMA I should go with for my Xbox 360 and HD film needs.

    I am in the market for my first HDTV and I've done pretty extensive research. Here are my needs and requirements (disclaimer: all financial requirements have been instituted by my wife, the family Chief Financial Officer or CFO):

    1. I want to spend between $1,200-2000 and want a TV that is 37" or larger.

    2. Although I like DLP and RP-LCDs just fine, I'm in the market for an LCD flat panel or plasma.

    3. The TV will be primarly for gaming and DVD, but we watch some TV (SD via satellite...I'm not ready to shell out the bucks for HD programming quite yet).

    4. I want a TV that can keep up with the high demands of next-gen console gaming.

    5. 720P is fine with me.

    6. At least one HDMI input.

    So, basically it comes down to this:

    Which LCD or plasma fits this bill?

    Some of the TV's I'd consider at this point include:
    Samsung LN-S4051D 40 Widescreen LCD HDTV (due to it's high 4000:1 contrast ratio, 8ms response, and wide viewing angles)

    Plasmas:???? I don't know a lot about plasmas and this is something I'm hoping you can help me change. Any kick butt sub $1700 plasmas out there that will do great with gaming and fast paced HD film content?

    Thanks ya'll!

    -Dan
     
  2. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    Not sure in your price range but I picked up one of the 27" CRT Samsung HDTV's and it is impressive. I was all ready to get a SONY until I got there and saw how crappy they looked compared to the Samsungs ;)
     

  3. nickg

    nickg

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    i'm not a big fan of plasma TVs, but Vizio has some very good 42" screens that you can get for a LOT LESS than $1800, and they have gotten some very good reviews as well.

    if you're looking for HDTV without breaking the bank check out their products.

    though if money were no object to me my TV of choice, hands down, would be the Sony 60" SXRD.
     
  4. Creeper1313

    Creeper1313 Aequitas

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    If your primary use is the current generation of DVDs, you may want to take a look at this Panisonic EDTV:

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7679201&type=product&id=1134703131681

    It's a very nice 42" plasma for $1800. While not a true HDTV, it is the same resolution as the current DVDs (i.e. not HDDVD or BluRay). Therefore, you will not be able to tell a DVD apart on it from Panisonic's 42" plasma which is around $2400.

    Even HDTV programming is very hard to tell apart from one to the other if you're sitting 10 feet back. I've watched HD football and hockey on my friend's 42" EDTV and I would have sworn it was in full HD resolution.

    If I have the cash, I may spring for the 42" HDTV myself, just so I'll be ready should HD programming become more common... although, I'll have to see where my finances are at after I close on my new house. The EDTV may look a lot more attractive then! A $600 price difference is nothing to sneeze at!

    Edited to add: :tinfoil: I don't know if it's a conspiracy, but even though the 42" Panasonic EDTV and 42" HDTV are so close to each other model-wise, at electronic stores I go to, they seem to make a point to not put these TV's next to each other, because I suspect a good number of people would look at both side by side and say "What's the difference?" and go for the less expensive model.
     
  5. nickg

    nickg

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    EDTV does not nor will it EVER receive HD. it's better than a 25" standard def set but won't give you HD. unless you just want an inexpensive larger screen tv for the rec room or bedroom or whatever it's fine. but i wouldn't want it for my MAIN set.
     
  6. Creeper1313

    Creeper1313 Aequitas

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    Receiving HD and displaying HD are two different things. The Panisonic EDTV I linked does indeed have HDMI input, so if you have HDTV service, it will receive it, but downgrade the resolution when displaying it. If you are comming from a standard def set, watching HD or DVD content on an EDTV will still be a very big improvement... although I agree that HDTV is preferred if money will allow it.

    I read the CNET page for the 42" Vizio HDTV you linked, and while it got just an average editor review, the user reviews are very positive, so it'd probably be a good buy. One concern I'd have for it, is that it looks like you have to buy directly from Vizio and their warranty doesn't sound great. It's only good for 1 year, and you have to pay all shipping costs (both ways) to get it fixed or replaced in this first year.

    For this reason, I'd prefer to get a bigger brand at a Best Buy or Circuit City, where I could get a 2 year service plan, and actually complain right at the place I bought it at if something breaks.

    There are certainly some tradeoffs to be made if you want a ~40" flatpanel TV under $2000.
     
  7. ngray

    ngray

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    www.techbargains.com has 32-37" lcd TV's listed ALL the time. Killer deals.

    I have a 32" Phillips CRT HDTV myself. Paid 400 for a refurb at Phillips factory outlet online, and it'll hold me over until prices and features on HDTV's settle down.
     
  8. thonl

    thonl Millennium Member

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    Since gaming seems to be one of your check marks, I would strongly favor the Samsungs. One of their lesser known features is the XGA input on the back that effectively turns your set into a large computer monitor. Then you can play PC games in addition to your console. I just bought my grandparents one of this years 46" DLP's and it really is quite nice. I didnt think $1600 was that bad of a price, either.