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View Full Version : New TV! (And HD-DVD or Bluray?)


turbulentfurball
2007-08-02, 17:16
I'm moving into my new place in less than a month, and I want to get a new TV. My current 14" CRT with integrated VHS player just doesn't cut it anymore. (Yes, you read that correctly, VHS!)

I'm thinking a 720p 19" LCD. Now, these are available widely from many brands, and at a decent price. However, if I'm going for HD, should I stop at 720p, or go for 1080? It seems like I may be shooting myself in the foot by not getting the full High-Def experience, and not being completely future proof. I don't really want to go any larger than 19" because I'm not keen on overly large TVs for some reason. Maybe 23" at a stretch. Any recommendations?

Given that HD TV hasn't really gotten far in the UK yet, the main use of the HDness of the TV would be for Bluray or HD-DVD movies. I'm considering getting a PS3 mainly for that purpose. I'd play a few games on it too obviously, but mainly for the movies. BD movies seem to be available in most places here, but I've yet to see a HD-DVD movie anywhere. I think the format war is going to go in Bluray's favour. Standalone Bluray players are rather expensive, so I might as well go for a PS3 with the added gaming possibilities I figured. If anyone has any input as to their opinions on HD-DVD's future I may consider an XBox 360.

So... 19" 720p TV now, PS3 in about 3 months. Bad Idea? Good Idea? Any alternatives?

Fahrenheit
2007-08-02, 17:30
http://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-22LS4R-22in-Ready-LCD/dp/B000QII0WQ/ref=sr_1_19/026-2088358-7161215?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1186093619&sr=1-19


Something like this take your fancy?

Fahrenheit
2007-08-02, 17:32
Wait a hot second.

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/129761

Ryan
2007-08-02, 17:33
It's my opinion that for a screen that size, 1080p is a (semi) waste of money. I doubt you'll notice the difference enough to warrant the extra expense. FWIW, I have a 720p 92" front-projector system and I don't notice any "screen-door effect." Also, future proofing isn't a problem, because almost all disc players have to ability to scale to different output resolutions, and they will continue to have that ability for the foreseeable future.

Dorian Gray
2007-08-02, 19:50
It's my opinion that for a screen that size, 1080p is a (semi) waste of money.
That is probably more the case if you live in Texas:

http://www.texas-flyer.com/WallerFlying/bighouse.jpg

...than if you live in Scotland:

http://img512.imageshack.us/img512/2853/scottishhouseey0.jpg

:lol: I.e. screen size is meaningless without specifying a viewing distance.

But coming from a 14-inch TV (surely some mistake???) I suspect anything HD will look pretty mind-blowing. Could you swing a Sony Bravia? They look amazing (both image and device) and they're available in fairly small sizes (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-Bravia-KDL26S2030U-Ready-Freeview/dp/B000IBA2EU/ref=pd_bbs_sr_5/026-9903625-2186847?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1186102060&sr=8-5).

Ryan
2007-08-02, 20:39
That is probably more the case if you live in Texas:

...than if you live in Scotland:

:lol: I.e. screen size is meaningless without specifying a viewing distance.

But coming from a 14-inch TV (surely some mistake???) I suspect anything HD will look pretty mind-blowing. Could you swing a Sony Bravia? They look amazing (both image and device) and they're available in fairly small sizes (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-Bravia-KDL26S2030U-Ready-Freeview/dp/B000IBA2EU/ref=pd_bbs_sr_5/026-9903625-2186847?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1186102060&sr=8-5).True, but my point was that the difference is probably not noticeable enough.

joveblue
2007-08-02, 23:20
There's nothing overly large at all about something larger than a 19"... go the 23"

:)

Windowsrookie
2007-08-03, 10:55
SAMSUNG 23" 720p is fine, Xbox 360. Xbox HD-DVD player just had a price drop.

turbulentfurball
2007-08-03, 15:20
Wait a hot second.

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/129761

I think we have a winnah!

SAMSUNG 23" 720p is fine, Xbox 360. Xbox HD-DVD player just had a price drop.

I can get a PS3 for only £25 more than an XBox 360 + HD-DVD player. And I have my doubts about HD-DVD's future. I'd put money on Bluray winning.

Windowsrookie
2007-08-03, 15:24
BluRay may win, but the Xbox 360 will also win. :)

turbulentfurball
2007-08-03, 15:26
BluRay may win, but the Xbox 360 will also win. :)

Your bias toward it is rather well known, so I'll take that comment with a pinch of salt :lol: ;)

Fahrenheit
2007-08-03, 16:22
WR, is your only basis for liking Samsung that its the one you have?

Windowsrookie
2007-08-03, 16:51
WR, is your only basis for liking Samsung that its the one you have?

No, I don't own any TV. (I use my iMac as my TV) But everyone I know who has purchased a Samsung TV loves them.

alcimedes
2007-08-03, 17:25
No, I don't own any TV. (I use my iMac as my TV) But everyone I know who has purchased a Samsung TV loves them.

And the anecdotal evidence is in.

That being said, you might want to check into unbiased, professional reviews of TV's before you purchase.

While WR can't keep his stiffy in check for GM, 360's and Samsung, Consumer Reports consistently ranks Olevia TV's as the best buy among LCD TV's. Granted they don't rank anything below 32", but the Olevia 532H was the best overall ranked 32" TV.

Windowsrookie
2007-08-03, 17:29
And the anecdotal evidence is in.

That being said, you might want to check into unbiased, professional reviews of TV's before you purchase.

The best reviews are from people who have owned the TVs for several months. Which they have, and still love them. :)

Ryan
2007-08-03, 17:45
Your best bet is to find a number of models that are suitable for you and then check their "official" threads over at AVS Forums (http://avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=166). I'll warn you ahead of time, those threads get into the *thousands* of posts very, very quickly. Some are even over 10,000.

*But*, they are probably the best source of information you'll find on a specific model.

alcimedes
2007-08-03, 17:45
The best reviews are from people who have owned the TVs for several months. Which they have, and still love them. :)

And those people who own those TV's have tested 20 models against eachother in the same environment using scientific methods?

Didn't think so.

I don't know anyone who's bought an HD TV that didn't love it, regardless of the brand. It's not much of a test.

Besides which, there's considerable incentive for someone who just shelled out $1,200 for a TV to say they like it.

Ryan
2007-08-03, 18:00
The best reviews are from people who have owned the TVs for several months and have the experience to write a detailed, useful review.

Joe Blow with his Samsung does not make a good reviewer. An A/V enthusiast, who knows what to look for, and how best to conduct a review, does. Or, even better, a professional reviewer.

That said, I don't always agree with Consumer Reports' conclusions on these things. I take their reviews with a grain of salt.

World Leader Pretend
2007-08-03, 18:28
While WR can't keep his stiffy in check for GM, 360's and Samsung, Consumer Reports consistently ranks Olevia TV's as the best buy among LCD TV's. Granted they don't rank anything below 32", but the Olevia 532H was the best overall ranked 32" TV.

Plus Olevia is the only TV company that advertises in Dwell Magazine, so they must be high-class!

http://www.michelleshao.com/1_OleviaLady/LadyAd.jpg

Dwell ftw!

neiltc13
2007-08-03, 18:34
I have the earlier model of this (http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/3336290/Samsung-23-LE23R86WDX-XEU-HD-Ready-Freeview-Widescreen-LCD-TV/Product.html) television and it is fantastic. This year's version now has a digital tuner and an extra HDMI and considering I paid £549 for the old model, this one looks like a bargain to me.

It's available in piano black too.

alcimedes
2007-08-04, 00:48
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the CR is the be all, end all for anything. Rather, starting from there and moving forward is a better idea than asking "Do you like your new TV?" and taking it as gospel.

turbulentfurball
2007-08-25, 12:20
*bump*

I actually went with a Samsung after all that. This Baby (http://www.samsung.com/uk/products/monitors/lcd/lcdtvmonitors/ls22crasbedc.asp) is now in my possession.

turbulentfurball
2007-08-25, 13:15
My Core Solo Mac Mini struggles somewhat with HD video. It has the base 512MB of RAM. Will adding a GB help much with this, or is the CPU too much of a limitation?

turtle
2007-08-25, 13:22
Yes, max the RAM in it will really help it handle what you're doing. If you install the RAM yourself then you could upgrade the CPU too. :)

Koodari
2007-08-25, 15:03
My Core Solo Mac Mini struggles somewhat with HD video. It has the base 512MB of RAM. Will adding a GB help much with this, or is the CPU too much of a limitation?What HD video and what are you using to watch it?

My Core 2 Duo Macbook at 1.83GHz chokes on 1080p H.264 video played with VLC. The decoder in VLC is apparently not multithreaded, so for comparison purposes you can think of my processor as roughly a "1.83GHz Core 2 Solo" or possibly "2.2GHz Core Solo".

The Quicktime decoder shows 1080p fine from Apple HD Gallery, but that was to be expected with multithreading. I also don't know if the gallery has H.264 content or not.

If you're at high resolutions, your Core Solo is definitely the bottleneck.

That said, I think moving up from 512MB is so good for other things you might want to do it anyway. Because you're also on a GMA950 machine, seriously consider paired memory - either 2x512MB or 2x1GB - instead of one and half gigs. It generally doesn't matter for desktop work, just games, but I think it might for HD video.

turbulentfurball
2007-08-25, 15:30
I tried a few 720p movies from the QuickTime gallery. I really doubt I'd have any success with 1080p, but I'd love 720p to be playable. I'm considering buying 2x1GB for the reasons you've stated above.

Koodari
2007-08-25, 17:11
For video I think 2x512MB is plenty. I'd only get 2x1GB if your other stuff needs it. The PS3 runs full Blu-Ray with 512MB...

Just as a gut feeling, I think your Core Solo should be capable of running 720p - then again, I'd have expected unpaired 512MB to be enough too. Let me try to find some H.264 720p. Maybe I can say more about processor allocation then.

Koodari
2007-08-25, 21:34
Okay. I played a H.264 720p movie in VLC, bitrate about 1MB/s, whole thing is 8GB.

Using Activity Monitor's floating CPU usage meter, I saw both cores working surprisingly hard. Obviously, the one working harder is the one decoding video. It peaked at almost 80% in the toughest spots, most of the time it was in 50-70% range. Other core tended to stay about 20% lower.

Tried some MPEG2 720p movies, and saw the cores do between 30-40% with peak at 50% in one movie, and 40-50% with peak at 60% in another - this time both were working pretty much equally. The movie filesizes are somewhat larger at 9GB and 11GB, and the increased bitrate should explain why the combined work on both cores remains relatively high even though MPEG2 should be easier to decode.

With no movie running, I'm at roughly 10-20% on both cores. I didn't bother to stop any apps while testing.

It's starting to look like you should expect trouble running H.264 720p even if adding memory did help.

What kind of problems are you getting with the video?

ezkcdude
2007-08-26, 11:36
Joe Blow with his Samsung does not make a good reviewer. An A/V enthusiast, who knows what to look for, and how best to conduct a review, does. Or, even better, a professional reviewer.

That said, I don't always agree with Consumer Reports' conclusions on these things. I take their reviews with a grain of salt.


Go to AVS Forums. You'll find plenty of knowledgeable (insanely so, sometimes) support for Samsung LCDs. In fact, I was pretty set on getting a Sharp, but after visiting that place, I'm rethinking.

However, that's for a 42"-46" size HDTV. For my bedroom, I'll get a 24" iMac, and be very happy.

turbulentfurball
2007-08-26, 17:58
Yes, max the RAM in it will really help it handle what you're doing. If you install the RAM yourself then you could upgrade the CPU too. :)

This (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Intel-Core-Duo-1-73-GHz-T2250-SL9JJ-Processor_W0QQitemZ150155264707QQihZ005QQcategoryZ 96868QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) seems like a real bargain. It should work, right? It's not a CPU Apple ever shipped, but I don't see why not.

turtle
2007-08-26, 21:49
I'm not an expert on which are compatible and which one's aren't, but I would go to a Core 2 Duo if you're going to do it. I know they are compatible (at least some models are). It'll be a little more expensive, but much more worth it in the long run.

Souflay123
2007-08-27, 00:14
Blueray

NosferaDrew
2007-08-27, 00:20
Blueray
Blu-ray
At least try to spell it right. It gives your opinion a little more weight.

alcimedes
2007-08-27, 02:03
Blu-ray
At least try to spell it right. It gives your opinion a little more weight.

Does it seriously matter? Am I going to be confused between Bluray, Blue-ray or Blu-ray when talking about HD formats? Don't think so.

Anthem
2007-08-27, 09:31
Does it seriously matter? Am I going to be confused between Bluray, Blue-ray or Blu-ray when talking about HD formats? Don't think so.
If the dude doesn't know enough about it to spell it properly, who's going to take his opinions seriously?

Koodari
2007-08-27, 09:53
If the dude doesn't know enough about it to spell it properly, who's going to take his opinions seriously?If someone has dysgraphia or just is a bad writer/typer/etc., that disqualifies his opinion?

I don't think so. On some subjects I'm interested in, some of the people whose opinion I value most do not have very good literary skills.

If you for some weird reason feel the need to latch onto Souflay123's one word post, how about getting to the meat of the issue by asking "Why?". You aren't doing anyone any good by going Grammar Police on him.

Elysium
2007-10-02, 16:33
Bump for my recent foray into the realm of HDTVdom.

I recently picked up a Vizio 42" Plasma (http://www.vizio.com/products/detail.aspx?pid=28) for $699. I went back and forth with LCD vs. Plasma and Olevia vs. Vizio for best bang for the buck.

I finally settled on the plasma because its primary uses will be for sports, movies, and gaming and on the Vizio based upon many positive reviews.

I liked Panasonic and Samsung for the longest time, but I couldn't justify spending the twice the cash on a name for a negligible improvement in quality (to my eyes).