Help me select a new TV & Sound for my neighbor ..

electron

Administrator
Staff member
My neighbor (retired) asked me last night to help him pick a new TV. He wants HDTV, doesn't want Plasma (but LCD is ok), and wants to install it above his (fake) fireplace. I would think that would limit it to LCD's, but slim DLP/RP sets would be acceptable as well according to him. He couldn't really give me a budget, but was looking at some $3k sets. Last but not least, it would be better if he could buy it locally, which means Sears, Best Buy and Circuit City (can't think of any stores right now).

What's your recommendation? Should he bother with 1080p, internal HDTV tuner (Time Warner provides HD for free, but personally, I wish I had a built in HDTV tuner to pick up some other channels)?

As for audio, he wants a home theater setup, but he doesn't want to run any wiring (need to ask him how he is going to run power), are there any decent wireless solutions out there? Thanks!
 

Rupp

Senior Member
Dan,
I know you said he doesn't want plasma but I can't tell you how happy I am with my Panasonic plasma. It's a 42" and since discovering the free HD channels when using my OTA antenna I haven't watched cable in weeks. I have shown my setup to 3 co-workers and all three have gone out and bought the exact same TV except the lady that's office is beside mine ended up buying the 50". I also bought what the AVS forum calls the HTIB (Home Theater in a Box) killer which was the Panasonic SA-XR55 HT receiver and the Athena's Micra 6 system. It sounds absolutely stunning.
http://www.athenaspeakers.com/micra6SystemSpeakers.htm

Warn your neighbor that LCD's still have problems with blurring fast action like sports events and NASCAR racing and mounting it will have some viewers off angle and the plasmas have the best viewing angles. Many hear about burn in on plasmas but this is no longer a problem on the 8th and 9th generation of plasma screens.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Well he mentioned from the beginning no plasma's. How did they fix the burn in problem? What model did you get, and how much did you pay?

I was about to recommend the home theater setup you just mentioned (eventho I am really happy with my Onkyo 1000W system), but he mentioned he doesn't want to run wires, which I can understand, since our houses are similar, and it was truly a pain in the butt. But I don't think he realized he still has to run wire for power (unless they come with Tesla coils), so I will have to check with him. You got some good points about the LCD's, I totally forgot about that.
 

Mike

Senior Member
I have a Samsung 61" DLP from I think 2 seasons ago. I was happy with it, and I know they only made bigger strides with the unit since then. That one was the biggest they had and it was 16" deep. I think the 50" sets are 12" deep.

In regards to 1080p, if it is within striking distrance, get it (in my opinion). It may be awhile before you can fully use it but you typically have TV's a rather long time so if it doesn't break the budget I would lean towards gettin it. I was reading an article though a little while back that they are working on much higher resolutions currently, so I'm not sure what to expect (keep in mind the state of HD..).
 

HAL_MAN

Member
I am also very interested in the info on Plasma's that do not burn in. I have never heard of such a thing. If true then I would definitly tell the guy to go with Plasma over lcd. I have a 42in Hitachi HD Plasma above my Fireplace and it works great other then the constent adjusting of scaling as to not get burn ins.


Thanks,
Shawn
 

Steve

Senior Member
When I researched it about a year ago I concluded DLP was the way to go as long as you could not see the rainbow effect. Now DLP has improved even more but there is also LCOS and the Sony SXRD is supposed to be really good. I am also curious about Plasmas with no burn in issues. Also I heard that plasmas only have like an 8-10 year lifespan before they 'wear out' and they they gradually lose their brightness over that time, like after 5 years the TV is only 1/3 as bright as new. These also may have been issues with gen 1 sets so am curious about the new ones.

I would definitely go with on board HD tuner. As for 1080p, not sure, 1080i or 720p is pretty spectacular, at some point I think our aging eyes can't see much better.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
electron said:
Well he mentioned from the beginning no plasma's. How did they fix the burn in problem? What model did you get, and how much did you pay?

I was about to recommend the home theater setup you just mentioned (eventho I am really happy with my Onkyo 1000W system), but he mentioned he doesn't want to run wires, which I can understand, since our houses are similar, and it was truly a pain in the butt. But I don't think he realized he still has to run wire for power (unless they come with Tesla coils), so I will have to check with him. You got some good points about the LCD's, I totally forgot about that.
Dan I've not read enough to know how they have eliminated the burn in but I do know that I was directed to look at the plasma screen they installed in Dulles Airport in Virgina and check them out. They run 24X7 and display static images and none displayed the burn in when I was there back in November. I believe they have some type of electronic protection but that's my limit of knowledge. I bought the TH-42PX50U and paid $2399 on sale just before Christmas at HHGregg. The range seems to be ~$2400-$2999. My neighbor bought the EDTV model TH-42PD50U for $1799 and it looks great as well. The thing I like about the TH-42PD50U EDTV is regular analog cable looks much better on it than a HiDef model AND it has a HiDef tuner built in and to tell you the truth I can tell a bit of difference in my picture and his. They are stunning on HiDef.

The HT system I listed does need wires. There are only a couple of HTiB's that come with wireless rears and from reading a bit on AVS they do not work all that good and you still need power.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
Steve said:
When I researched it about a year ago I concluded DLP was the way to go as long as you could not see the rainbow effect. Now DLP has improved even more but there is also LCOS and the Sony SXRD is supposed to be really good. I am also curious about Plasmas with no burn in issues. Also I heard that plasmas only have like an 8-10 year lifespan before they 'wear out' and they they gradually lose their brightness over that time, like after 5 years the TV is only 1/3 as bright as new. These also may have been issues with gen 1 sets so am curious about the new ones.

I would definitely go with on board HD tuner. As for 1080p, not sure, 1080i or 720p is pretty spectacular, at some point I think our aging eyes can't see much better.
Steve,
There is a lot of misinformation floating about on plasmas. The life expectancy of the 8th generation plasma gas for a Panasonic is rated at 60,000 hours. You can do the math about how long this is but I can tell you that I run my Pany at +5 brightness and that is too bright at times. It adjusts to 30 on the brightness scale. So at this rate I have a while to go. Even at 50% brightness at 60,000 hours I will be at +10 on the brightness scale. I an also tell you that there is nothing more disappointing than getting one the the nice LCD's home and it a few days finding a dead pixel. Been there and done that. Most manufactures will not replace them unless they have 3 touching or a total of 6. These rules vary but this is a common replacement threshold.

Here is a really good site for reading reviews.
http://www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com/plasmatv/reviews.html
 

elcano

Active Member
What are the improvements regarding power consumption and heat? I read some articles about people getting a hike in their power bill after getting big plasma TVs. While any big TV will consume more power than a small one, I understand that LCD are not as power hungry. There were some companies developing improved technologies like OLED, but I dont know what happened about it.

Depending what your neighbor wants, a Logitech Z-5450 might fit his need. Very small and the surround speakers have wirless signal (sorry, no wireless power). I use the Z-5500 and I'm very happy with it.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Well he has it narrowed down to the following 3 choices:

Sony KDSR50XBR1 (LCoS)
Sony KDLV40XBR1 (LCD)
Toshiba 56HM195 (DLP)

I did some research, and the DLP seems to have some bulb life issues, and the last thing I want is to get a call thet the TV died within a few months (even if it is covered by warranty). The LCD is pretty nice, but don't think it's a lot of bang for the buck. The LCOS seems to be a good deal, but I am not familiar with this technology, and not sure how durable it is. It also does 1080p, but of course, since it doesn't have any 1080p inputs, it's kind of useless (unless the HDMI/HDCP firmware is upgradable).

What would you guys pick?
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
I did more research on the KDSR50XBR1, and i can't find any reference to it being a LCoS TV, so guess they lied to him. I can't find any reviews on this thing, but judging by the depth, it's not a regular rear projection (DLP I would guess?). Can anyone confirm what this thing is? thanks!
 

Steve

Senior Member
That seems to be Sony's new SXRD technology. From what I heard SXRD is pretty nice, but it is new. You can read all about SXRD here.

I would not worry too much about light bulbs in DLP, but I don't think Toshiba is one of the better DLP choices, plus I have heard of some abolute nightmares with Toshiba support although YMMV.

I thought the set needed to ne mounted above a fireplace which would narrow it down to LCD or Plasma?
 

Smarty

Active Member
I too have been looking at the 50 or 60 inch KDSR"50 or 60"XBR1 Sony.

At the local Circuit City they had a computer hooked up to it. I was able to play with the computer screen resolution as well as the Sony's display options. Let me tell you, there was no "pizelization". That 1080P is nice!

One of my purposes for looking into this TV was so that I could play back my DVR recorded security footage over a nice big screen. Playback quality now is a function of my camera settings/quality, rather than the TV I am playing it back on.
 
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