Originally Posted by sugarbutch
I bought my television from a friend (who bought it from a friend himself). I think it's 32", and it does only 1080i. I have never thought to myself while watching something that I needed a bigger or higher-resolution television. In fact, I dread the day I need to replace it because every time I go to someone else's house who has a new screen, I am assaulted by how terrible everything looks. Movies look like overlit sitcoms.
That's all calibration issues. Displays often come with horrible calibration that is designed to make them look brighter and more saturated than the competition in a big florescent lit Best Buy. If you have a popular model, you can often find settings online that get you 75% of the way there...and you can find test images to display to get you to 90%. It was either CNET or RTings.com that had an easy guide that looked pretty good on my TV.
I've got a screen calibration puck (like the ones photographers use)...I intend to use it on my TV soon to get it perfect, but honestly, I probably spent a couple hours tweaking settings in the first month I owned my new TV just to get it looking how I wanted and that was sufficient (and I'm picky).
I just went from a 32" to a 50"...I didn't really want to go any bigger because I hate how giant TVs look sitting in your living room (I'd get a projector before an 80" monster any day), but it was the culmination of two issues. 1) I had moved, and my new seating position was a couple feet further from the TV; and 2) I've been noticing that the text and details used in TV shows/movies/games seems to have been shrinking now that you can buy 50" screens for $200 on black friday and everybody has HD. Those two combined were making me feel the screen was small...I don't game much on the TV, but I definitely couldn't play games from the sofa very well.
If I owned the place, I probably would have kept the small TV, mounted a projector on the ceiling/wall, and installed a screen that pulls down right in front of the TV. That way I could still have the TV on casually without wasting bulb life, but put on a movie at night on a big screen. You can get a solid 720p projector for under $400 or a great 1080p projector for $800...