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HDTV Help


tim_d7
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So I'm looking to get myself and HDTV. I think a 32" would be big enough for me and my viewing habits. I've been looking online for one that has nice specs and a decent price, the problem is that when you're shopping online for a TV, you don't really get to see the quality of the TV you're looking at. Most of the sites that I've looked at don't really have many reviews so it's hard to get a real idea about what I'm getting.

So this is where I ask my Falcons' faithful. I know many of you own HDTVs now, so I'm looking for some good advice about brand and model. Any advice is of course appreciated.

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i also am in the market now that im back from the desert.... what do yall think about this one... seems like too good to be true for the price... what am i missing?

Samsung A650

Samsung - 50" 1080p Slim-Depth DLP HDTV

Model: HL50A650 | SKU: 8753734

Product Features

* Built-in HDTV tuner

Add HD-capable antenna to receive over-the-air high-definition broadcasts, where available. Optional set-top box required for high-definition cable or satellite programming.

* 50" screen size

Measured diagonally from corner to corner gives you a great view of sports and TV shows.

* 1080p display

Provides the highest quality progressive-scan picture possible from a high-definition source.

* 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio

Delivers a cinema-style entertainment experience.

* Cinema Smooth light-processing engine

With a next-generation DLP chip delivers film-like image quality with vibrant color and ultrasharp contrast and ensure smooth frame transitions during fast-action scenes.

* DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine)

Dramatically improves the picture by enhancing contrast, detail, noise reduction and white balance.

* 3D comb filter

Shows fine picture detail by reducing discoloration and providing purer color.

* 2500:1 contrast ratio

Offers more shades between white and black for accurate color representation.

* Entertainment mode

Adjust picture settings for movies, gaming and TV programming for a custom viewing experience. 3D HD-ready lets you enjoy future 3D games, movies and other programming via 3D-compatible glasses and hardware (not included).

* Built-in 20W hidden speaker system

With SRS TruSurround XT to deliver a virtual surround sound experience.

* Slim design and 3/5" bezel

For a sleek appearance.

* Progressive scanning

Maximizes the picture quality of progressive-scan DVD players, set-top boxes and digital video recorders.

* 3 HDMI inputs

Provide an uncompressed all-digital audio/video link for the highest quality connection and support copy-protected HD broadcast content.

* USB 2.0 port

For quick connection of a digital camera, MP3 player or other USB device.

* Inputs

Include 3 HDMI, 2 composite A/V, 1 S-video, 2 component video and 1 PC.

* V-Chip parental controls

Let you block programming above a set rating to keep children from being exposed to undesirable material.

* ENERGY STAR qualified

Assures a high standard of energy efficiency.

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i also am in the market now that im back from the desert.... what do yall think about this one... seems like too good to be true for the price... what am i missing?

Samsung A650

Samsung - 50" 1080p Slim-Depth DLP HDTV

Model: HL50A650 | SKU: 8753734

Product Features

* Built-in HDTV tuner

Add HD-capable antenna to receive over-the-air high-definition broadcasts, where available. Optional set-top box required for high-definition cable or satellite programming.

* 50" screen size

Measured diagonally from corner to corner gives you a great view of sports and TV shows.

* 1080p display

Provides the highest quality progressive-scan picture possible from a high-definition source.

* 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio

Delivers a cinema-style entertainment experience.

* Cinema Smooth light-processing engine

With a next-generation DLP chip delivers film-like image quality with vibrant color and ultrasharp contrast and ensure smooth frame transitions during fast-action scenes.

* DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine)

Dramatically improves the picture by enhancing contrast, detail, noise reduction and white balance.

* 3D comb filter

Shows fine picture detail by reducing discoloration and providing purer color.

* 2500:1 contrast ratio

Offers more shades between white and black for accurate color representation.

* Entertainment mode

Adjust picture settings for movies, gaming and TV programming for a custom viewing experience. 3D HD-ready lets you enjoy future 3D games, movies and other programming via 3D-compatible glasses and hardware (not included).

* Built-in 20W hidden speaker system

With SRS TruSurround XT to deliver a virtual surround sound experience.

* Slim design and 3/5" bezel

For a sleek appearance.

* Progressive scanning

Maximizes the picture quality of progressive-scan DVD players, set-top boxes and digital video recorders.

* 3 HDMI inputs

Provide an uncompressed all-digital audio/video link for the highest quality connection and support copy-protected HD broadcast content.

* USB 2.0 port

For quick connection of a digital camera, MP3 player or other USB device.

* Inputs

Include 3 HDMI, 2 composite A/V, 1 S-video, 2 component video and 1 PC.

* V-Chip parental controls

Let you block programming above a set rating to keep children from being exposed to undesirable material.

* ENERGY STAR qualified

Assures a high standard of energy efficiency.

Contrast ratio is a little low. You'll want one with at least 25000:1, in my opnion, especially on a larger set. What's the refresh rate?

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i also am in the market now that im back from the desert.... what do yall think about this one... seems like too good to be true for the price... what am i missing?

Samsung A650

Samsung - 50" 1080p Slim-Depth DLP HDTV

Model: HL50A650 | SKU: 8753734

Product Features

* Built-in HDTV tuner

Add HD-capable antenna to receive over-the-air high-definition broadcasts, where available. Optional set-top box required for high-definition cable or satellite programming.

* 50" screen size

Measured diagonally from corner to corner gives you a great view of sports and TV shows.

* 1080p display

Provides the highest quality progressive-scan picture possible from a high-definition source.

* 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio

Delivers a cinema-style entertainment experience.

* Cinema Smooth light-processing engine

With a next-generation DLP chip delivers film-like image quality with vibrant color and ultrasharp contrast and ensure smooth frame transitions during fast-action scenes.

* DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine)

Dramatically improves the picture by enhancing contrast, detail, noise reduction and white balance.

* 3D comb filter

Shows fine picture detail by reducing discoloration and providing purer color.

* 2500:1 contrast ratio

Offers more shades between white and black for accurate color representation.

* Entertainment mode

Adjust picture settings for movies, gaming and TV programming for a custom viewing experience. 3D HD-ready lets you enjoy future 3D games, movies and other programming via 3D-compatible glasses and hardware (not included).

* Built-in 20W hidden speaker system

With SRS TruSurround XT to deliver a virtual surround sound experience.

* Slim design and 3/5" bezel

For a sleek appearance.

* Progressive scanning

Maximizes the picture quality of progressive-scan DVD players, set-top boxes and digital video recorders.

* 3 HDMI inputs

Provide an uncompressed all-digital audio/video link for the highest quality connection and support copy-protected HD broadcast content.

* USB 2.0 port

For quick connection of a digital camera, MP3 player or other USB device.

* Inputs

Include 3 HDMI, 2 composite A/V, 1 S-video, 2 component video and 1 PC.

* V-Chip parental controls

Let you block programming above a set rating to keep children from being exposed to undesirable material.

* ENERGY STAR qualified

Assures a high standard of energy efficiency.

I've had this exact TV for about a year and a half now and absolutely love it. I upgraded from a 34'' Sony HDTV and couldn't be happier (not that the Sony was a bad TV). For the size, it's really light. The only thing with a DLP is every few years you'll have to replace the bulb. That's the only negative I can think of, for a DLP. The picture quality is great, be it my HD-DVR, PS3 (Blu-Ray) or playing on my Xbox 360.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. I paid $1699 for it so $999 seems like a pretty good deal.

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Your query about the specific TV gives me a good opportunity to ask another question. So far what I've heard is that LCD is the way to go when choosing between LCD, Plasma, and DLP. Does anyone have any input on this?

I doubt, I'll add any more to this if you have more questions, mostly because I avoid this ##### forum like the plague during elections and the bottom line is you'll need to do a lot more research than just a thread in ABF. If you only want to limit your searching to the Falcons boards then buy whatever wherever all HDTV's have to meet a certain level of specs to be considered HDTV and you'll probably be happy no matter what you buy.

DLP- barf, LCD - meh, and Plasma is the way to go, at least that's how I regard them. Most of the arguments against plasma are dated and not as accurate anymore, and referesh rates and contrast are non issues with newer plasmas.

I don't know anything about how serious you are, but I'll take a guess that you probably aren't willing to spend a great deal, so my suggestion is to lookup 'Kuro' and then work your way down.

Do your research!

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Samsung's LCD line is very nice right now. Make sure you get the 1080p and 120 hertz refresh rate. You want to be up to date and the prices are fallling on smaller LCD's right now. Consumer Reports is also very good for reviews and I always read on AVSforum.com and post over there. IT's a bit in-depth but they have real person reviews over there.

DLP- Don't do it. Bad veiwing angle, usually dark and just don't have the picture the LCD and plasma does and not a flat screen.

LCD + Plasma's are the way to go. the newer LCD's (especially the Samsung 950 series, LED baacklit)are just as good as Plasma's and if you're not really into the hdtv's you won't be able to tell the difference. LCD's do have a little less of a viewing angle than plasma. LCD will use a little less power.

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This might be kind of long so bear with me...

First off, Goodoleboy, I wouldn't get a DLP set if I were you. My knowledge may be a little outdated on them, but I know generally how they work is with a lot of moving parts in the back of the unit to project the image forward. And of course, the more moving parts there are, the more likely a chance something is going to break. Also, contrast ratio is generally low in projection sets, at least compared to plasma and LCD, which will mean shallow blacks that makes the image quality go down considerably when the movie or show or whatever it is you're watching is in a darker setting. Samsung is a great brand though, so you may not encounter a lot of these problems but I think you would be a lot better off with a plasma or LCD.

As far as those two go, most people will recommend LCD nowadays. I don't know why this is. Maybe it's just because there's so many more LCDs than plasma sets. You may hear some people tell you that plasma sets are prone to "burn in" where a stationary image is on screen for a long period of time and then the outline of it is still there even after you change the channel. In the last two years, plasma TV makers have implemented new technology where the problem is virtually non existent. Plasmas have deeper black levels than LCDs and I find have generally better picture quality. The viewing angle is also wider than LCDs (at least from my knowledge, LCD technology may have progressed since the last time I read up on them). Another plus for plasmas are their cost. They are a lot cheaper than LCDs. If you want a big screen (50 inches and up) I think it'd be a lot more cost efficient to go with a plasma. The biggest downside to plasma TVs IMO is how hot they get. They get really really really hot. I have a 42 inch in maybe a 9 ft x 15 ft room and it gets insanely hot in there. This TV was recently moved from a bigger room and if I had to buy one over again, I would go with LCD just to keep the room at a comfortable temperature without running the A/C all the time.

Like I said, most people will recommend LCDs. They have good picture quality and can be found in smaller sizes than plasmas. Plasmas start at 42 inches I think. Make sure you have a good contrast ratio in LCDs so you can get deep blacks. It's hard to recommend a set ratio though b/c a lot of TV makers measure contrast ratio differently, resulting in ratios all over the place. I can say that Sony and Samsung are probably the best LCD makers, with Samsung being first. Oh, also, look out for refresh rate. Refresh rate keeps images from blurring on the screen, like during football games and stuff. Most retailers are advertising 120hz as an optimal refresh rate. Honestly I don't know much about it but that seems like a good number to go on if everyone is promoting it...

If you want to go with a plasma set, I would recommend Panasonics. They are hands down the best plasma TV maker besides Pioneer, and those things are uber expensive. Panasonics have a great picture and are very cheap nowadays. Here's a link to another message board where you can get a 42" 1080p Panasonic from Circuit City for $776:

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.ph...42&t=954203

That is a darn good deal and there are routinely deals like that for Panasonic plasmas that get posted on that website every week. Also a good website to check for other HDTV deals.

I can't really recommend any LCDs b/c I don't have a lot of experience with them. All I can say is Samsung is probably the best LCD manufacturer, with Sony being excellent as well. LG is also a good brand. I would stay away from the brands that are generally sold at WalMart. My parents bought a Polaroid LCD from there. It is horrible. Maybe for a first HDTV it would be fine since you don't really know what to look for, but compared to other TVs I've seen, it's just really bad. So I'd stay away from those brands. Vizio is a walmart brand that some people seem to love. They arent the best TVs but are decent TVs for a really good price so it might be something to look into if you're worried about cost. But like I said, that website linked above has some great deals on brand name HDTVs all the time. Wow, that was long. Hope it helps!

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Oh, and as far as 1080p goes, most researchers have found that on 42" screens and smaller, the overwhelming majority of people cannot tell a difference between 1080i and 1080p. It'd be nice to have, but I wouldn't let it be a deal breaker if you find a good price on a TV. If you are a videophile and are very particular and analytical when watching HD then yeah, you should probably get it. But for the normal person looking for a set under 40" I would say don't worry about it too much.

Just thought of something else too! I think someone mentioned above about not being able to compare TVs in the store when you are shopping online. NEVER go by what you see in the store. For one, a lot of stores don't have a clue when they are hooking all that stuff up. Especially Wal Mart. The TV, in most cases, will look better when you get it home if you buy it at Wal Mart. Another thing some retailers do is crank the brightness up on a certain brand of TV in order to attract attention to it. I know Sears used to have a cross promotion agreement with Samsung and it wouldn't surprise me if Sears turned the Samsung sets to a brighter level just to catch your eye. I've noticed this a lot in Best Buy and Circuit City too where the Sonys will just seem to be popping out at you more. But if you look at it closely, the only reason it's doing that is because of how freakin bright it is. It's usually waaay too bright than it should be to give you an optimal picture.

So yeah, go by cnet.com and avsforums and places like that to get your info. At avsforums, a lot of people over there have a lot of experience with different HDTVs. This is good because they can point you in the right direction. But also bad because a lot of things they may see as a glaring negative in a TV, a normal viewer wouldn't really care about it. Or not even notice at all.

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Your query about the specific TV gives me a good opportunity to ask another question. So far what I've heard is that LCD is the way to go when choosing between LCD, Plasma, and DLP. Does anyone have any input on this?

I've been selling and designing home theaters for 5 yrs. Every tv I have is LCD. Plasmas tend to be dimmer and give off a heck of a lot of glare. DLP's have $200 bulb that burns out about every 2yrs(depending on usage) and the have a viewing angle issue. What I mean is the tv is designed for straight on viewing, not good for side viewing. LCD's tend to last longer, are brighter, and wont experience "burn in". I have had great experiences with Samsung and Sony. Samsung's 650 series can change your f'n life! Football is a religious experience!!!

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I've been selling and designing home theaters for 5 yrs. Every tv I have is LCD. Plasmas tend to be dimmer and give off a heck of a lot of glare. DLP's have $200 bulb that burns out about every 2yrs(depending on usage) and the have a viewing angle issue. What I mean is the tv is designed for straight on viewing, not good for side viewing. LCD's tend to last longer, are brighter, and wont experience "burn in". I have had great experiences with Samsung and Sony. Samsung's 650 series can change your f'n life! Football is a religious experience!!!

I forgot to mention the glare with plasmas...definitely a problem if you are going to be watching TV in a brighter room. I always watch TV mostly in the dark so I don't really have to worry about that. I hate to disagree with an HD professional such as yourself, but I have to with regard to the burn in issue. I have a Panasonic TV that is about 2 1/2 years old and have never had a major burn in problem. And everything I've read tells me TVs nowadays are even better about eliminating burn in.

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I forgot to mention the glare with plasmas...definitely a problem if you are going to be watching TV in a brighter room. I always watch TV mostly in the dark so I don't really have to worry about that. I hate to disagree with an HD professional such as yourself, but I have to with regard to the burn in issue. I have a Panasonic TV that is about 2 1/2 years old and have never had a major burn in problem. And everything I've read tells me TVs nowadays are even better about eliminating burn in.

You have valid point. 2yrs ago we were watching the NFL draft at the showroom I was working and after about 5hrs or so every plasma in the store had the big "ON THE CLOCK" icon burnt in to the picture. I just about sh*t myself!! I mean top of the line Pioneer Eites as well as top end Panasonics and Samsungs. After about 2 days of being on they all reversed the problem, but it was still a pain to watch for 2 days. The GM was really pissed. But, you have to do something pretty severe to cause burn in though. The ticker bars on the bottom of the news stations will cause it if you just leave it on all day or if you leave a menu on screen all day.

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You have valid point. 2yrs ago we were watching the NFL draft at the showroom I was working and after about 5hrs or so every plasma in the store had the big "ON THE CLOCK" icon burnt in to the picture. I just about sh*t myself!! I mean top of the line Pioneer Eites as well as top end Panasonics and Samsungs. After about 2 days of being on they all reversed the problem, but it was still a pain to watch for 2 days. The GM was really pissed. But, you have to do something pretty severe to cause burn in though. The ticker bars on the bottom of the news stations will cause it if you just leave it on all day or if you leave a menu on screen all day.

****, never had a problem like that...of course I rarely leave it on one channel for more than an hour too.

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I have a few personal views on the TV market:

If you don't have a space issue, don't get a Plasma. Not that they aren't phenomenal TVs, because they really are, but because they still cost much more than a similar DLP or other high-tech Rear Projection TV (RPT).

I didn't need the space (my house was pre-built with about 2 feet of space for a TV, so I went with a 44" Samsung DLP. As far as big-screen, non-Plasma TVs go, I have heard/read that Samsung makes a good one. They also make a good plasma, but a brand like Sony is never a bad bet. I have also heard good things about Vizio, as well as a few other brands.

Also, I recommend, if you can, going to Brandsmart for your actual purchase. I shopped at BestBuy and got all my info. there, and when I compared prices at Brandsmart, they were significantly lower. If you can fathom going into the store, buy your TV there, their prices are unbeatable.

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Ok, guys, after listening to the comments and doing my some of my own research, this is what I'm looking at now...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16889102228

Model

Brand SAMSUNG

Model LN32A650

Display

Screen Size 32"

Recommended Resolution 1920 x 1080

Aspect Ratio 16:9

Viewing Angle 178°(H) / 178°(V)

Brightness 500 cd/m2

Dynamic Contrast Ratio 15000:1

Response Time 5ms

Connectivity

Input Video Compatibility NTSC/ATSC/QAM

480i/480p/720p/1080p

PC Input: Analog RGB

HDTV Capability HDTV Tuner Inside

Connectors HDMI: 4

Component video: 2 rear (Y, Pb, Pr)

S-Video input: 1 side

A/V inputs: 1 side/1 rear

PC input: 1

Wiselink (USB 2.0)

RF antenna inputs: 2

Headphone jack

HDMI 4

Convenience

Built in Speakers 10Wx2 audio output

Features ToC (Transparent and Opaque Color) process

Ultra Clear Panel technology

New Wide Color Enhancer

InfoLink (RSS)

Entertainment Mode

Swivel Stand

Wheel key remote control

Down Firing Speaker

Dimensions

Dimensions (W×H×D) 31.7" x 9.9" x 23.0" with stand

31.7" x 3.2" x 20.8" without stand

Weight 30.4 lbs. with stand

25.6 lbs. without stand

It's a 650 series like Charleston had mentioned. I also checked out the AVS forums with a specific thread about the 650 series which seemed very positive. It has a nice response time which is a must since I'll more than likely make this my monitor as well. Another reason I can't go with plasma, the burn-in would potentially be a problem with the task bar. But anyways, any further input about this selection?

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Seems like a good bet. Definitely want to get LCD if you're gonna be using it as a monitor. And also 1080p makes text from a computer so much clearer that it is definitely worth paying for. It is one of those new "Touch of Color" Samsungs so I wonder if you can find one that's not a ToC model for less...unless the little bit of red or whatever color is a big deal to ya. Also, in those customer reviews, one of the people say it is 120Hz. Even if it's not, it's a Samsung so I doubt you'd have a problem with it. It still seems kind of overpriced to me....$1000 for a 32" seems high...I haven't shopped for HDTVs in a long while though so I may be mistaken.

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