HDTV anything new in the next few months?

I am seriously considering buying an HDTV right now because football season, hockey season, and the Xbox 360 are all within the next two months and the PS3 will be sometime in the next year so it seems like a reasonable time to buy.

I have several questions

– Is there any real reason to wait?
– By Christmas will there be significantly lower prices?
– 1080p doesn’t seem very important at least not now but I am planning on whatever I buy to last at least 5 if not 10 years. Will 1080p be a significant factor anytime soon?

This is the TV I really want: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7253447&type=product&id=1115366829183

This is a more inexpensive alternate I am considering:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7045397&type=product&id=1099396990967

Any thoughts on either of these? I will be sitting roughly 6-7 feet from either. I find my 27" regular TV to look and play fine at the same distance.

– Xaroc

  1. Not really. Prices will continue to go down over time, of course, but that’s always going to be true.

  2. They probably won’t be a whole lot lower by Christmas, unless you can find a good sale. Then again, you might be able to find a good sale now, if you shop around. I got the 46" version of that Samsung set (well, the one generation earlier model, anyway) for $1600 this year. I absolutely love it, BTW.

  3. I don’t think it’s that important. I know some folks are hardcore 1080p cheerleaders, but it’s totally not worth the premium that you pay for it, IMHO, and it’s a pretty minute leap, image quality-wise, over 1080i.

This is the TV I really want: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7253447&type=product&id=1115366829183

That’s a really nice set, and I’d definitely recommend it. Shop around a bit before you buy, though, and you may be able to find a better price. I got mine as an open-box discount (larger set–46"–for $400 less).

Any thoughts on either of these? I will be sitting roughly 6-7 feet from either. I find my 27" regular TV to look and play fine at the same distance.

Jason Cross’ advice to me when I was shopping for a set was “buy something bigger than you think you need,” and it was good advice. I thought 46" was enormous when I got the set (going from a 27" TV; I also sit about 6-7 feet away), but now it seems about right, and I’m glad I went with that over the smaller (32") LCD that I was considering.

1080p only has an advantage if you’re able to run you set as a PC monitor. Otherwise there is no content available for that high resolution. Broadcast HD is usually 720p or 1080i. You can upscale content to 1080p, but depending on the quality of your scaler, much content looks better scaled less.

That being said, it’s expected that Blu-Ray will be 1080p (partial evidence for this is the PS3’s announced support for that resolution), so if you really are looking to use this set for 10 years, you may want to consider waiting if Blu Ray is in your future. I certainly wouldn’t worry about 1080p for gaming, I don’t expect many game developers to reach for the stars (1080p) on the PS3.

In truth, though, I’ve read several places that your best bet, money and long term planwise, is to get an HD rear-projection DLP like the Samsung you’re considering, get it as cheaply as you can, and upgrade in 5 years to OLED, which will very likely be affordable by then.

/Eph

That being said, it’s expected that Blu-Ray will be 1080p (partial evidence for this is the PS3’s announced support for that resolution), so if you really are looking to use this set for 10 years, you may want to consider waiting if Blu Ray is in your future.

This is a good point. I would consider waiting until the HD format wars look like they’re going to end before making a significant investment - unless I had a specific need to be fulfilled right now. I would recommend buying the cheapest HD set you could live with for now, and in 3 or so years, move it to the bedroom and buy the set that works best with the winning HD format.

Well 1080p is going to be the next format standard no matter what but really at this point its not worth getting. Perhaps in a few years when the price starts to fall it might be but as it is right now you will be getting something that you really wouldnt be able to use for at least 6-8 months and even then the use will be very limited.

No, you’d still be able to use it. All the 1080p sets scale the content up to their native resolution. It’s not a hugely noticable difference, but HD does look just a tiny bit better on the 1080p sets I’ve seen. I’d still hold off strictly because of price, though, since those sets are all going to be more expensive for a while and at the moment the benefit doesn’t justify the cost. A good non-1080p DLP or LCD rear projection will last you a very long time. Only if you plan on running the set as a PC monitor would I recommend a 1080p set. Most “normal” HD sets run at 1280x720, though, which still don’t look too bad with computer desktop on them.

Just something to consider with a dlp set is the cost of bulb replacement. How much do you leave the tv on? A friend of mine just bought one and was unpleasantly surprised that he could expect to have to buy a replacement $400 bulb in 2-3 years.

2-3 years? Jesus how much TV does he watch.

The bulbs in the Samsung sets, at least, have an expected lifespan of 5000-8000 hours. Assuming the worst (5000), he’d have to watch 12 hours of television a day, every day, to burn out a bulb in two years.

Of course there’s also the fact that the bulbs probably won’t cost $400 in two to three years (most of them don’t cost that much now).

He has a habit of leaving it on as background noise. So there not actually watching, but it is on. His bulb was only rated at 3000 hours as well. The projectors are actually rated as low as 1500 hours, so you should be a little careful about this.

which is best:

  • dlp
  • lcd
  • rear projection (or is that the same as one of those)
  • plasms?

They’re basically good for different things. Someone else will do a better job than me, but I believe LCD is pretty much the best except for the fact that they can’t be made bigger than a certain size, DLP = projection, and plasmas are awesome except for being so expensive and being very susceptible to burn-in.

DLP is much, much better than regular projection TVs. I think the good DLPs look better than most of the plasmas I’ve seen (the picture looks crisper and brighter to me), but I guess that’s a matter of personal taste.

The lamp in any of the DLP or LCD rear projection sets is definitely something to consider. Just like any bulb, it will go out and just because it’s rated for a certain number of hours doesn’t mean it’ll last that long, but it also doesn’t mean it can’t live longer. Depending on the TV, I’ve seen lamps for $250 or so, which isn’t too bad considering the rest of the TV should live forever.

Also, there was an article I read recently (I have already forgotten where) that pretty much debunked the myth of plasma burn-in. I don’t remember the specifics, but it basically boiled down to the fact that while plasmas can get images that will “stick” if a static image is left on for several hours, it’s never been shown to be permanent on recent models and goes away completely after normal use. Of course, different manufacturers’ plasmas had different results and some did have genuine burn-in issues, but most current models have features in place that completely avoid it. I work around lots of plasma displays and the only one I’ve ever seen get permanent burn-in was some cheap piece of junk we sold at one point from some brand I had never heard of previously which we never carried again.

Won’t the prices of all of these have to come down considerably considering the government is moving everything over to HD? I mean the average person won’t be able to buy a television if the prices don’t come down. Since those standards are supposed to already be done (but an extension through, what 2007, has been given?) you would think the prices will start to drop very soon. In fact, someone at CC told me that they expect HD prices to be far lower this time next year, and perhaps even after Xmas.

This only applies to people whose sole source of television is via antenna. Anyone who gets their TV through cable or satellite will be fine with the conversion. According to this article cable penetration is at 65% and satellite at 20% so you’re looking at less than 20% of people who are effected by the move to digital, not really the “average” user.

All that will be required is a some sort of digital to analog conversion box, significantly cheaper than a new digital TV and I believe there has even been talk about the government subsidizing that to an extent.

Also, in this case Digital TV does not mean HDTV.

DLP is much, much better than regular projection TVs. I think the good DLPs look better than most of the plasmas I’ve seen (the picture looks crisper and brighter to me), but I guess that’s a matter of personal taste.[/quote]

I looked at dozens last winter and didn’t see any difference between regular projection and DLP models. Aside from the inflated DLP price. I bought a non-DLP 53" Panasonic with a fantastic picture. I think it looks better than Panny DLP models, but YMMV.

I tend to agree- a good calibrated RPTV will look every bit as good as an LCD or DLP model and they’re usually cheaper too. The only drawbacks for RPTVs are that they are much larger than the other options so don’t fit as well and can be a bit of an eyesore for some and also the viewing angle is usually more limited which can be a problem depending on the viewing area setup.

I bought a non-DLP 53" Panasonic with a fantastic picture

I have the older brother of that model and its an amazing TV. It has given me a fantastic picture and doing a calibration on the TV only makes it look 10x better. Really anyone that owns a 1k+ TV and doesnt at least do a self calibration is kinda throwing their money away.