• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

HDTV Dilemma... Mr. Frugality Battles Mr. Pic Quality Whore

SystemShock

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
173
Reaction score
0
Aurgghh. Been shopping around for my very first HDTV (though I actually know a lot about 'em already, having worked in the video game industry with HD sets for years), and I've kind of hit a brick wall in terms of choices. Basically, I'm torn pretty much dead-even between two sets. One that appeals to my sensible, frugal, bang-for-the-buck side - a Panasonic 42" 720p plasma (PX80U) which can be had for the ridiculously cheap price of under $700 on Amazon right now, and has quite good picture quality. Bang-for-the-buck is off the charts. And the other set, a 46" Samsung 1080p Series 6 or 7 LCD set (PN46A650/750) that costs about double that ($1500-ish on Amazon), but which does have exactly the kind of picture quality I really like. And objectively, overall, probably does beat the Panny's PQ out by a bit regardless. Now, before you say, "Just get the Sammy, then", it's not so simple. The Panny is very good too - I'd say that the pic quality on it is about 85-90 percent as good as the much more expensive Sammy LCD, to my eyes anyway. The Panny's picture is just more subtle, for lack of a better word - a little darker, a little softer. But better blacks than the Sammy, and better handling of motion. So, the Panny's really good, especially considering the price. Just a steal, honestly. The Sammy, though, is just exactly my *personality/preference* when it comes to pic quality - bright, sharp, colorful, in-your-face instantly impressive. But I do wonder if I'll eventually tire of that, or if I'll appreciate it even more over time. Some ppl say that the more 'realistic/true-to-life' picture of plasma sets wears better over time. Tough to know what's what on that one. It's just a really hard call to make. The overall pic quality difference between the two sets isn't that huge at all (but it is noticeable), and 720p vs 1080p isn't really an obvious determining factor for me either, though I did notice a bit of the 'screen door effect' if I sat closer than 6 feet to the Panny... not really an issue though, since I'll be sitting 9-11 feet away at home, and could not discern any SDE at all at those distances in the showroom. Anyone else seen a lot of these two sets, and have any impressions to offer? Or are familiar with the "85-90 percent of the performance for half the money" dilemma?
---
 

Ambulance Chaser

Stylish Dinosaur
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
10,503
Reaction score
1,819
Do you watch a lot of movies? If yes, the Samsung is a no-brainer, as Blu Ray is 1080p. Also, consider the room in which the TV will be placed. LCDs are better in rooms with ambient light.
 

Mute

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
1,149
Reaction score
67
If you plan on playing games and watching HD movies (e.g. Blu-Ray), you're going to want the Samsung. If the price is not an issue, you're always going to think, in the back of your mind, that you should have brought the Samsung if you go for the less expensive set.

After having watched a number of BR movies on the newest 120hz LCD sets, all others pale in comparison on the image quality. It's not even close.
 

Nahmeanz

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
276
Reaction score
1
go to costco and get the Panasonic TH-C46FD18 for $950. It's a 1080p plasma.
 

mikej77

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
770
Reaction score
19
I have the Samsung 46A650 and love it. Consider that 1080p is the future of television so at least you know that it will not be outdated. I use mine with a bluray player as well as Verizon FIOS and just love the picture quality.
 

SystemShock

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
173
Reaction score
0
Wow... most ppl seem to be really focusing on the 720 vs 1080 thing. Thing is, when I've gone to look at sets, I really have not noticed a big diff in picture quality between the 720p sets and the 1080p sets, to my surprise. And yes, I have really good vision, better than 20-20. From all the viewing I've been doing recently, it seems like other things matter more than 1080 vs 720 (unless you're sitting real close), like the maker and price point. Not that, all else being equal, I wouldn't want 1080. But it isn't equal- the 1080 sets cost more. Hurm. Off to Best Buy for more looky-seeing. Hope I don't run into some high-pressure blue-shirted teenager who won't leave me alone and knows no more about sets than the catchphrases they taught him in training.
---
 

SystemShock

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
173
Reaction score
0
Just got back from Best Buy. It was SO MUCH WORSE than I imagined over there... hardly any customers, so all the blue shirts converged on ME. This recession is doing wonders for their biz, 'parently, even on New Year's Day. So, I got hassled SIX TIMES while trying to check out the TVs. Please, Mr. Blue Polo Shirt Squad, eff off. IF I have any questions, I WILL LET YOU KNOW. Really, geniuses.
Anyways, upon much further viewing, have to agree with Indy... 46" does seem like the way to go. It's the first size step where I go, "Hmm, that's big." I could live with a 40" or 42" set, but the 46" class sets just feel right. Also looked at some 52-inchers and up... that's just a lil' too big. For my space, anyway (14' x 12'). Gotta say that, upon further mulling, the dimness of plasmas really started to bother me. I kept thinking, "Nice picture, just wish it was a little brighter. A little brighter." About the only plasma set I didn't say that about was the Pioneer Kuro, which was playing 'Night at the Museum' on Blu-Ray VERY impressively. It really did look just about exactly like it did in the movie theatre.
But, it really wasn't significantly better than the (much cheaper) Panasonic plasmas when it came to sports or the TV sources they had in there, and the Kuro is definitely more than I want to spend. If you have the cash and you're going to throw mainly top-notch source material at it, the Kuro is probably worth it... but I don't watch movies all that often, and we don't get FIOS out here, so can't guarantee that I'd be able to feed that beast of a set properly.
I was also pleasantly surprised by LG's lcd sets. Once I discarded plasma, I really thought it was going to be all about Sony XBR vs Samsung 6/7/8 Series, but the best LG LCDs were competitive with them. Unfortunately they weren't any cheaper than the Samsungs, so there wasn't much point, but good to know. Also was shocked at how bad the off-brands continue to be. The Insignia LCD sets were a total and obvious disaster- completely washed out picture, really obviously bad pic quality. Displaying them right next to Sony and Samsung's best was probably not a stellar move on BB's part. All that's gonna do is make the ppl who can't afford better sad. When all is said and done, looks like it's gonna be a 46" Samsung Series 6 or 7. Sony XBR is just as good but is several hundred dollars pricier. Memo to Sony: You do not dominate anymore - adjust accordingly. Though to be fair, the non-XBR Bravias were very good too, and priced similar to the Samsungs. Is looking like Amazon for the purchase, too. The big box retailers just cannot seem to compete on price, even on sale. If they were at least close, I'd buy from 'em... I'm a 'put it in my car and go' kinda guy. But they just can't compete. I have to wonder why anyone buys a TV from the big box stores anymore. And if I were them, I'd be screaming bloody murder at the manufacturers... Amazon and the like are going to cut their throats, sooner or later. Ah well, interesting process. Pretty confusing & dumb, but interesting. I'll miss my old Sony WEGA tube TV, tho'.
 

Lucky7

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Messages
566
Reaction score
0
System,

It seems like you have answered your own question. Just from reading your post it seems as if you will be more than happy with the 720p deal. If you get the 720p and don't like it after a while...it's just an excuse to put that in your bedroom, and get a new one!
 

A Y

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
5,744
Reaction score
574
It's pretty tough comparing displays in a Best Buy because none of the sets are calibrated, and are usually set from the factory to catch your eye from a distance with the brightest, most delineated picture usually by boosting the contrast, brightness, and sharpness. Kuros are a rare exception to this. If you look at the images more closely, you will see all sorts of unpleasant artifacts as well as inaccurate color (usually too blue).

--Andre
 

SystemShock

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
173
Reaction score
0
You're absolutely right, Andre. But there's not much I can do about it, 'cept tweak the settings and hope for the best once I get a set home.

The Kuros are great but too pricey. Best deal I've seen on 'em is $2700 or so, on Amazon. At least a grand more than I want to drop.
 

TheFoo

THE FOO
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
22,512
Reaction score
3,505
A few months ago, we went shopping for LCDs. The Samsung Series 7 was impressive, particularly for the price, but the image lacked detail although the colors and contrast were exceedingly strong. We wound up going with Sharp's top of the line 52" LCD, which was less impressive upon first glance, but had a far more nuanced image.
 

SystemShock

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2008
Messages
173
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by mafoofan
A few months ago, we went shopping for LCDs. The Samsung Series 7 was impressive, particularly for the price, but the image lacked detail although the colors and contrast were exceedingly strong. We wound up going with Sharp's top of the line 52" LCD, which was less impressive upon first glance, but had a far more nuanced image.


What did you think of the Sony XBR lcds? Or LG's?
 

TheFoo

THE FOO
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
22,512
Reaction score
3,505
Originally Posted by SystemShock
What did you think of the Sony XBR lcds? Or LG's?

I've never gotten to see one of the new XBR LCDs in person, actually. We were interested, but the prices were too much higher than Sharp's or Samsung's equivalent models to justify looking around.

Never really considered LG.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

  • 1 - 4

    Votes: 32 3.8%
  • 5 - 10

    Votes: 144 17.1%
  • 11 - 20

    Votes: 280 33.2%
  • 21 - 30

    Votes: 132 15.7%
  • 31 - 40

    Votes: 71 8.4%
  • 41 - 50

    Votes: 49 5.8%
  • 51 - 60

    Votes: 25 3.0%
  • 61 - 70

    Votes: 22 2.6%
  • 71 - 80

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • 81 - 90

    Votes: 8 0.9%
  • 91 - 100

    Votes: 9 1.1%
  • 100+

    Votes: 54 6.4%

Related Threads

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
429,247
Messages
9,231,282
Members
193,771
Latest member
Shelcey
Top