Suugestion for HDTV


Senior Member
Ok sometime this fall I am looking to get a HDTV setup. Probably not plasma.... would like to somehow have a DVR as I live by my Tivo..... so I am looking for suggestions....

I got a DLP (samsung) which I have been real happy with. That was for a rather large room though. Anywhere else in the house I would go with LCD or Plasma as they can hang on the wall (which you cant with a DLP, mine is about 16" deep and 99 lbs, other than that it is great).

Plasma lifespans have gotten a lot better since I bought mine as well which was originally a concern (the half-life in hours of the gas inside meant it was half as bright, and the timespans were not long enough earlier on for my liking).

On the DVR side, I have 2 tivo's but am switching over to an MCE machine which I like. Still have the Tivo's of course (from the days of the lifetime subscription).

On the TV front you might find some deals on the slightly older equipment at places like Costco. I've seen what appears to be some nice prices on some of the equipment there. Viewing the sets of course is always a requirement though.

Then you need programming. I had directtv, the samsung HD reciever I had was a little flakey. I think they are swapping it out for new equipment due to satelite or format upgrades so not sure what that looks like now. DirecTV boxes run $300 (or did) for HD.

I have cable now after trying their 3-for deal. I've been happy with that and it is only $5/month for a box.

Dish seems to be more friendly from what someone told me recently, the charges for the box are negligible. I have had them before and was pleased with them, this was pre-hd though. It seemed to drop out much more than DirecTV but I was also closer to the city at that point (not sure if that has any impact).
I bought a Panasonic TH-42PX60U 42" Plasma HDTV for Christmas and I absolutely love it. I have regular old analog cable and it does an excellent job displaying the sub par picture quality. The OTA high def pictures are outstanding.
I guess the biggest determining factor is price. What is the budget for this tv?

You can get much more "bang for the buck" if you get a RPTC, such as DLP, lcos, lcd, etc... You will get a better picture (deeper blacks, richer colors) and a larger one for the same price.

Also, make sure that you a tv with at least 1 hdmi input for future use. If you can wait a fewe months, the newer TRUE 1080p sets will be coming out. Right now, even though many hdtv's say they are 1080p, they can only upscale to that resolution, they can not receieve 1080p source material. So basically, those new fangled HD-DVD's and BLU-RAY that everyone is talking about, will not be able to send the 1080p signal to your tv.

Hope I did not confuse you TOO much!
Keep in mind that you can get a Panasonic 50" HD commercial plasma for $2800, or a Panasonic 42"ED commercial plasma for $1380. [no tuner, no speakers, typically not an issue as you have a D* or Cable STB, and probably a stereo system too].

Panasonic is a top-tier mfr to boot, so it's not like one of those no-name/walmart brands.
jwilson56 said:
Ok sometime this fall I am looking to get a HDTV setup. Probably not plasma.... would like to somehow have a DVR as I live by my Tivo..... so I am looking for suggestions....

Spend a day or 2 reading the AVS forums and you'll get a good deal of information on all of the TV types and pro and cons. Then go for it.
As I have said before, this is a bad time to be picking a new TV, especially if you are into the nice features such as HD, etc. AVSforums are great, but they can be rather overwhelming, so you are better off posting what features are important to you, and how much you are willing to spend. Then we can at least steer you in the right direction, making it easier for you to decide which TV to go with.
I could not agree more electron. We are going to have to buy a new TV for the house in the coming months, and I wish it could wait awhile longer!

Also, give us some budget info, and what the TV will be used for. That will narrow things down. =)
I have to humbly disagree. I waited 5 years before buying my new HDTV plasma and I could have kept waiting for all the "new" stuff to arrive or had been using it for 5 years. Buy one and watch some HiDef programming and you'll never look back. If you think the eye can see the difference between the "old" HD format and the "new" then go view some of these formats at the local B&M store. You may even be hard pressed to find programming in the new format.
Rupp brings up an interesting point, arent they working on resolutions much higher than 1080p even as we speak? Something in the 2000 range or something like that.

You can always get more for less if you keep waiting, but either you don't buy anything or you decide it is 'good enough'.

I bought mine a few years ago and the contrast/brightness/etc has ratcheted up quite a bit since them. Am I still very pleased watching 24 on HD? You betcha! Will I be running out and upgrading the TV when the new resolutions come out? Not really...

Will there really be a 'good' time to buy a HD tv in the near future? Even if you wait for upgraded 1080p or whatever the latest upgrade is, won't the next one be coming around the corner?

Same thing with computers, there will always be the next generation right around the bend. You need to decide when you want to enter and take it from there.
Of course there is always going to be a newer TV/technology (example) the problem is that companies such as Sony are considering downgrading the picture quality of their Blueray DVD format, unless you run the signal over HDMI (which supports the HDCP drm format). Last I checked, the latest version of HDMI/HDCP didn't support 1080p, thus TV's on the market right now wouldn't truly support 1080p, unless the firmware can be upgraded.

This is something that will be changing within the next few months (if it hasn't already), so if you are into these kind of features, you definitely want to wait or at least do your research. There are some other new technologies such as OLED etc, which will force the prices of some of the current nicer TV's to come down very soon.

Remember, you aren't talking about a $200 TV anymore, if you are going to spend a lot of money on a nice TV, at least make sure it will be compatible with what you want to do in the near future, or you are going to be disappointed big time.
I agree that waiting is prefered for the TV. I just wanted to test the waters and get some discussion going.

Now what about the HD DVR? Any ideas as to where that is going?

I never watch anything live anymore and would hate not watching HD when I chose to.

I would agree that you should not wait, simply because the technology is still evolving. It will always be evolving.

But I do think you should wait until the legal issues regarding Digital Rights Management are sorted out. I suspect that a lot of current HD owners are going to be shutout from some content because their equipment does not conform to the yet-to-be determined DRM schema.

BTW, With regards to Electron's "example", above: I saw a demo of the NHK UltraHighDef (7,680x4,320 lines) with 22.2 sound two weeks ago in Las Vegas. It was astounding. Surpasses even 70mm film. I could easily tell it was better than 1080i (I think it would be referred to as 4320p).

Now the 22.2 sound may have been a bit overboard . . . I don't have room for 24 speakers.
There is not really one correct answer - it is a personal decision based on circumstances. If you have a tv that blew up and need a new one and need it right away (like we really *need* tv's) then you just have to buy one intelligently that meets your current and projected (as close as possible) needs. If, OTOH you just want to upgrade to the latest and greatest, then perhaps it is prudent to wait a little bit, as long as you don't get trapped in the cycle and wait forever. At some point you just need to pull the trigger, but when is a personal choice.