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Kickaha
2009-12-13, 00:17
Hey all, my in-laws are looking to buy a new TV for the first time in, oh, 15-20 years. Their needs are a little different than most people I'd suspect.

1) Basketball - my mother-in-law needs clear viewing of fast motion - 60Hz LCD isn't going to work.
2) 1080p is probably going to be useless - 10-12' viewing distance, 70yrs old... 720p is probably all they'd be able to resolve, and I really don't think their cable input is going to give them 1080p anyway.
3) They don't want something huge - originally they were talking about a straight replacement of their current 24" size, we pointed out that the move from 4:3 to 16:9 would make normal broadcasts look smaller, so they're looking in mid-30" size. 32" is the minimum they'd want, 37" is probably the sweet spot, but you're in the LCD tech at that smaller size.

120Hz LCD can be found in 720p, in some cases, but 240Hz is really only found in 1080p... which they don't need with their eyes at that distance. I don't see a reason for them to pay for 1080p just to get the clear fast motion in LCD, when they can go for a good but fairly inexpensive plasma.

Now, I'm thinking the Panasonic X1 42" plasma. No motion problems, 720p, a little bigger than they wanted, but avail for around $600.

Comments? Alternatives?

MCQ
2009-12-13, 03:10
I don't think you'll see a 42" LCD with 120Hz at a similar price point.

At the 37" size for LCD, perhaps the LG 37LH40?
http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=95066

curiousuburb
2009-12-13, 07:00
70 yrs old and their killer app is... Basketball? :confused:

Any other UI/environmental factors?
Gloss vs matte finish for 'glare-proof' viewing environment...
Giant buttons on remote/idiotproof menus/etc...
P-in-P?

torifile
2009-12-13, 08:20
10-12' viewing distance and they want to stay with a 24" screen? No wonder they can't see!

gsxrboy
2009-12-13, 08:46
42" Panasonic plasma @ 720p will be the perfect solution.

elpuoc
2009-12-14, 01:28
You can consider Toshiba 32AV502U 32" LCD TV 720p. Perfectly meets your requirements and will cost you for only 369 bucks flat plus free shipping included. Definitely, one of the best LCD TV (http://www.smartratings.com/electronics/plasma_and_lcds/472) you can find for its size and budget. Hope this helps.

Brave Ulysses
2009-12-14, 07:40
10-12' viewing distance and they want to stay with a 24" screen? No wonder they can't see!

Seriously... do them a favor and get something that would actually be visible and enjoyable. Unless they are bionic, I can't see how they would see the score and time and stuff on a basketball broadcast from that distance with that screen size. I certainly could not.

Kickaha
2009-12-14, 10:02
70 yrs old and their killer app is... Basketball? :confused:

They live in North Carolina. 'Nuff said. :)

elpuoc: That's the kind of set they were originally looking at, but without something to counteract LCD jitters during games, it's a no go.

Xaqtly
2009-12-14, 12:21
I found this deal and had to share it. Oddly enough it's at MacMall and nowhere else that I can find.

http://www.macmall.com/p/Vizio-Video/product~dpno~7991513~pdp.fjgbicb

37" Vizio LCD 1080P HDTV, refurbished - $439.99.

I bought one, partly because of the price/performance ratio there, and partly because it has all the ports I want including a 1/8" headphone jack out as well as optical and analog audio out, 2 composite, 2 component, 3 HDMI, RF, RGB and S-Video in. Pretty much everything.

Nobody else had this deal that could find, and I couldn't find any other TVs in that size/resolution range for anywhere near that price. Just wanted to share the wealth. :D

Yontsey
2009-12-14, 16:46
Wow, thanks for posting that Xaqtly. That's a great deal.

I wonder if it's 60hz or 120?

Kickaha
2009-12-14, 17:06
Considering I can't find anything about the rate, even in the User's Guide, I'm going to assume it's 60Hz. (Also, the UG states it has a 768 vertical pixel count, which has me a bit confused...)

http://vizio.com/documents/downloads/hdtv/VO37L/63User_Manual.pdf

Dorian Gray
2009-12-14, 19:43
I don't see a reason for them to pay for 1080p just to get the clear fast motion in LCD, when they can go for a good but fairly inexpensive plasma.
Does upping the Hz really do anything to solve the problem of pixels not turning on and off quick enough? I've yet to critically watch something on one of these high-hertz LCDs, so I don't know.

I do know that any LCD TV in this price range is going to look like rubbish beside a Panasonic plasma, and I do mean rubbish. Blacks, colours, viewing angles, motion sharpness - everything favours the plasma, and by a lot. Whether your in-laws will care is another matter (many of us don't care, apparently!). The other thing is power consumption. While Panasonic's latest panel tech has cut power consumption in a big way, the older stuff uses about twice as much power as LCD + CCFL backlight (and maybe 3x more than LCD + LED backlight?). If this TV won't be replaced for another 15 to 20 years that's perhaps something to consider. Especially if it spends a lot of time in an air-conditioned room.

Comments? Alternatives?
I don't think there is a realistic alternative to a Panasonic plasma. The best Bravia LCD TVs are astonishingly good, but vastly more expensive.

42" Panasonic plasma @ 720p will be the perfect solution.
Yeah, I think so.

Yontsey
2009-12-14, 19:57
Does upping the Hz really do anything to solve the problem of pixels not turning on and off quick enough? I've yet to critically watch something on one of these high-hertz LCDs, so I don't know.

I've seen some lcd's at bars that will be playing sports games and you can tell which ones are 60hz because they lag a little bit with fast paced motion.

joveblue
2009-12-14, 20:34
That's the kind of set they were originally looking at, but without something to counteract LCD jitters during games, it's a no go.What's an LCD jitter? I've just bought a couple of Sony Bravia 32" LCDs recently, one at 50Hz and one at 100Hz (they're PAL). The 50Hz I've been watching a lot and not had any problems in the slightest with "jitters" Or anything. The 100Hz I bought and set up for a friend (with his money) and I haven't watched it a lot but the motion is pretty superb. The only problem with them is the blacks aren't particularly black, but that wouldn't be an issue for basketball. Granted, I never watch any sports on them but any action looks great on them, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one. They're not the most expensive Bravias either.

the older stuff uses about twice as much power as LCD + CCFL backlight (and maybe 3x more than LCD + LED backlight?).When I was buying the 100Hz Sony Bravia the other day there was an LED model from a different brand (Samsung?) sitting next to it, and the energy rating was actually slightly worse for the LED :confused: Dunno what was up with that... Maybe the Sony is just extremely efficient?


Anyway I think energy usage should be a very serious consideration these days for an appliance that consumes a lot of power, is used frequently and will be owned for a long time.

Kickaha
2009-12-14, 22:14
What's an LCD jitter? I've just bought a couple of Sony Bravia 32" LCDs recently, one at 50Hz and one at 100Hz (they're PAL). The 50Hz I've been watching a lot and not had any problems in the slightest with "jitters" Or anything. The 100Hz I bought and set up for a friend (with his money) and I haven't watched it a lot but the motion is pretty superb. The only problem with them is the blacks aren't particularly black, but that wouldn't be an issue for basketball. Granted, I never watch any sports on them but any action looks great on them, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one. They're not the most expensive Bravias either.

PAL TVs don't have nearly the issue with it that NTSC does. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDTV_blur and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_interpolation .

Film (24Hz) -> PAL (50Hz), they just speed it up ever so slightly evenly across all frames, while in NTSC (60Hz), they change how long individual frames are visible, so it's not even. This is judder. On a phosphor or plasma screen, the 'stickiness' of the image means a smoother move. On a fixed-frame rate LCD, a slowly panning camera will go *bap*bap*bap*bap*bap*. It's really rather annoying.

On the fast-motion side, the 60Hz LCDs are really noticeable to me, at least, compared to 120Hz LCDs, but I'll admit it takes a particularly crisp signal to make a 240Hz display noticeably different to my eyes. Plasmas are just smooth, across the board.

As for their energy use, these folks watch the news, the odd PBS special, and basketball, with maybe a film a week from Netflix. Not a huge drain. I'd be happier if the X1 series used the NeoPDP panel, but it's the previous gen.

gsxrboy
2009-12-14, 23:15
Also lets not forget how tvs shrink in size quickly, so while a 32" LCD might look big to them now (even though the vertical height might not be bigger than the crt they currently have), by the time they have watched it for a few months it wont be. They need to grow into the size, therefore anything smaller than 42 (in reality 50 at that viewing distance) would be a bit of a waste in 'upgrading' if they don't really. If they can stretch their budget to 42" and can physically fit it, then that is def the way to go.

pscates2.0
2009-12-14, 23:20
Kickaha, I just saw that the same 42" Magnavox my Mom got a week-and-a-half ago at Target for $679 (and it looks GREAT) is now on sale for $599.

It's in this week's Sunday circular, but here it is at their site. (http://www.target.com/Magnavox-42-1080p-LCD-TV/dp/B001THHVPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&searchView=grid5&frombrowse=0&node=1038576&keywords=magnavox&field_browse=1038576&searchSize=30&id=Magnavox%2042%201080p%20LCD%20TV&field_availability=-2&refinementHistory=subjectbin%2Ctarget_com_age%2Cta rget_com_gender-bin%2Ctarget_com_character-bin%2Cprice%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin%2Ctarget_com_size-bin%2Ctarget_com_brand-bin&searchNodeID=1038576&field_launch-date=-1y&searchRank=target104545&searchPage=1&field_keywords=magnavox)

1080, etc. It's a really good look...sharp, good color, etc. Out of the box, it was really impressive. She loves it, and I like going over there and watching "Jeopardy!" on it. I'm not sure what the Hz is, but it looks really nice.

It might meet their needs if you're not finding anything else you like?

joveblue
2009-12-15, 06:05
PAL TVs don't have nearly the issue with it that NTSC does.
Thanks for the explanation, I didn't realise there'd be a noticeable difference between PAL and NTSC.

Kickaha
2009-12-15, 09:44
I didn't either - the 4% speed change probably isn't noticeable, but it certainly simplifies the pulldown issue.

gsxrboy
2009-12-15, 18:55
Except in the older days when psx games etc used to run faster in 50hz countries making them harder to play :-P

NTSC = Never The Same Color

alcimedes
2009-12-17, 18:22
I think I'm finally in the market for a replacement TV, got any websites that would be a good place to start? It's been ages since I looked into these things, so I'm way out of luck.

DMBand0026
2009-12-17, 18:46
Depends on what you're looking for? What kind of websites are you looking for? Ones with info about different TVs? Prices? I'm somewhat of a home theater guru, so just let me know what you're looking for and I'll do all I can to help. :)

alcimedes
2009-12-17, 20:57
Oooh, in that case:

I'm looking for something in the 34" - 42" range, LCD if possible, 120Hz, 1080p. After that I don't care. I'd like to have *some* composite inputs if possible, but if it only has one I can live with that.

For price range, I'm looking to keep it under $1,000. I'm also not in any huge hurry, so if that means waiting around for the perfect deal I'm totally fine with that. :)

Otherwise I was just looking for site to help me figure out which brands had generally decent stuff, which features are real and which are gimmicks, the usual.

Partial
2009-12-17, 21:09
Monitor Slickdeals.net for a TV with the specs you're looking for. Almost all newer LCD's are pretty good.

http://slickdeals.net/

alcimedes
2009-12-17, 21:21
Yeah, I was touring slickdeals today, then realized I'm not 100% sure what is "good" now vs. what was good last time I was buying a TV, so thought I should start educating myself before something showed up.

Kickaha
2009-12-17, 22:22
Depends on what you're looking for? What kind of websites are you looking for? Ones with info about different TVs? Prices? I'm somewhat of a home theater guru, so just let me know what you're looking for and I'll do all I can to help. :)

Care to weigh in on the choice I selected? They have put off the decision until after the holidays...

DMBand0026
2009-12-18, 15:40
Oooh, in that case:

I'm looking for something in the 34" - 42" range, LCD if possible, 120Hz, 1080p. After that I don't care. I'd like to have *some* composite inputs if possible, but if it only has one I can live with that.

For price range, I'm looking to keep it under $1,000. I'm also not in any huge hurry, so if that means waiting around for the perfect deal I'm totally fine with that. :)

Otherwise I was just looking for site to help me figure out which brands had generally decent stuff, which features are real and which are gimmicks, the usual.

You should be able to get a 42" for around $1000, you'll have to shop around a little, but that shouldn't be much of a problem. In the world of LCD TVs, Samsung is king right now. You'll pay a premium, but most agree that it's worth it. I have a 46" Samsung LCD in my living room right now and I'm astounded at how good the picture quality is and very happy with how reliable it has been.

First thing I'd check out is the Samsung LN37B650. It's a 37" LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate (not always the easiest thing to find in that size.) That model also has built in internet connectivity which allows you to access RSS feeds, weather, stock info, and some news directly from your TV without the use of a computer. I don't know how much use this is to you, but it's possible that this TV may allow for Netflix direct streaming at some point in the future, I'm not totally sure about this though.

The Samsung has 1 composite video input, it's on the side. You'll be hard pressed to find a lot of brand new LCD or plasma TVs at this size with more than one composite in. In a few more years, they will probably cease to exist. It has no S-Video, 4 HDMI inputs, 2 component, VGA in, optical out (if you don't have pay TV,) and a USB port for software updates. Comes with a lighted remote (something you didn't know you needed until you don't have it,) PIP, and a swivel stand. It has no Wi-fi, the internet is via ethernet.

MSRP on the Samsung is $1050, that's too much. A quick search on amazon shows it for $929.18 brand new. You may be able to find it in a local electronics store for cheaper. It never hurts to try to get them to come down on the price either. They may be willing to haggle with you, something that you obviously can't do on Amazon.

If you're not interested in paying that much, there's the LG 37LH55. This is a 37" LCD with what LG calls "TruMotion 240Hz technology." It's not really 240Hz, it's 120Hz with a scanning backlight. It looks nice, but won't look much nicer, if any, than a 120Hz TV. It's a lot of hype, really. However, you're getting a 120Hz TV in the end. MSRP on the LG is $900, a search of Amazon shows $1,169.99. Obviously too much, you'd have to shop around to find a better price, there's no reason to pay that much for this TV. It too has a composite video in, 4 HDMI inputs, 2 component, and VGA.

General wisdom when buying a TV is similar to that of buying a computer, buy the biggest and best TV you can afford at the time, you'll never be watching your 42" TV and think, "damn...I wish I would have gotten a smaller TV!" Of course, you want to make it room appropriate, generally bedrooms don't need a 55" TV, but if it's for a living room that's a good size, don't cheap out and get a smaller TV because you're afraid it'll be too big.

In the 40-42" range, the best TV is again a Samsung. It's the Samsung UN40B7000. 40" LCD with LED backlight. I can say from personal experience that the LED backlit TVs look phenomenal. They should be more energy efficient and the backlight should last longer. However, that's not really that much of a concern. By the time your burn out a backlight on an LCD, it should be time to replace the TV anyway, so don't let that sway you to pay more for an LED TV.

The MRSP on the Samsung is around $1500. That's a lot for a 40" TV, but it is 120Hz, has Samsung's Medi@2.0 service which allows you to stream movies from Blockbuster (with subscription,) Amazon Video on demand, and has a handful of games too. This will also allow you access to RSS feeds, weather, stocks, news...etc. Amazon has this TV for $1,399. Again, check local stores, they'll have big sales this time of year and you can haggle. This TV has no composite video inputs, 4 HDMI inputs, 1 component, and VGA. No Wi-fi, only ethernet.

Another great 40" TV is the Samsung LN40B650. It's the "little" brother to the above Samsung. Same screen size, exact same LCD panel, but this one has the traditional CCFL backlight. Colors won't be as vidid, it will cost more to run (not that much, really only a few dollars a year, so not a big concern) and blacks wont' be as deep. This has the same internet services as the LED Samsung, so you can stream movies, play games...etc. This TV has 1 composite input, 4 HDMI, 2 component, no S-Video, and VGA. MSRP is right around $1,000, Amazon has it for $999.

Edit: All the above listed TVs are 1080p.

Hope that's somewhat helpful, there are other options of course, but I think if you're going to spend the money on a nice TV, you should get yourself a nice TV. I got a lot of info from Consumer Reports, some from my own experience, some from AV forums. If you have any more questions or just want me to STFU, let me know. :)

DMBand0026
2009-12-18, 15:41
Care to weigh in on the choice I selected? They have put off the decision until after the holidays...

I'm not sure which TV you decided to go with, sorry...I read the thread again and can't seem to find a model number anywhere.

Kickaha
2009-12-18, 16:28
Panasonic TC-P42X1

DMBand0026
2009-12-18, 16:56
Free Xbox 360 with purchase of Samsung LCD of 40" or more. (http://signature.crutchfield.com/s_30540B6000/Samsung-UN40B6000-LED-TV.html?o=p&search=Samsung+LED+TVs+-UN32B6000&ssi=0&searchdisplay=Samsung+LED+TVs+40%22+and+larger) That's one hell of a deal, thought you might like to check it out.

Here's a better link: click (http://www.crutchfield.com/app/product/search/searchresults.aspx?o=p&search=Samsung+LED+TVs+-UN32B6000&ssi=0&nvpair=FFCategory|[rank146350]LCD+%26+Plasma+TVs&searchdisplay=Samsung+LED+TVs+40%22+and+larger). The first one is just for the 40". You're going to go a little north of your $1,000 budget, but you get a free Xbox.

DMBand0026
2009-12-18, 17:12
Panasonic TC-P42X1

That should be a nice TV for what you say it will be used for. Panasonic makes a good plasma, the picture quality should be above average and you should be able to find it for a good price. It's a plasma, it will cost more to run than an equally sized LCD, but at this size it shouldn't be much more than $10 a year or so. It's a 720p, fine for what you say it will be used for. Should be able to play Blu-ray with no trouble, if that's a concern.

Plasma are best for sports and things with a lot of quick movement and action. A basketball game in HD should look wonderful on this set. To the untrained eye, there will be no difference between 720p and 1080p. TV has no internet capabilities, 2 composite video inputs, 1 S-video input, 3 HDMI inputs, and 2 component inputs. For the money, I'd say it's hard to beat that TV. If you're not worried about 720p being "old technology," go for it. $634.99 from Amazon. Great deal.

alcimedes
2009-12-19, 02:08
Ooh, I'll check those out. Def. have to keep an eye out for a sale on either of those as well.