Help Me Buy the Right TV

I know ther have been quite a few threads about this around here, and I’ve read most of them, but since I wasn’t in the market at the time I didn’t read all that closely.

My television has been acting up lately and I think I’m going to go ahead and buy a new one at the end of the summer. I’m thinking that a 42" will be about the optimal size for my modest sized living room. I want something that will look great for DVD’s and videogames. I will be buying an Xbox 360 in the fall and a PS3 next year and want to be able to take advantage of the new features these consoles will be pushing. And I’d like to keep the price under $2500, though I’d be willing to go a bit higher for a compelling reason.

What should I be looking for? DLP, rear projection, plasma? What features do I want? Is there any new tech on the horizon I should hold out for? It’s been so long since I’ve shoped for a television I feel a bit lost when looking these days.

Thanks for any feedback.

The threads are still there, you know. ;-)

I’ll just get to the conclusion. Get the Samsung 47" HLP-series DLP set. No burn-in, reasonable price (under $2,000 now), lots of inputs, looks great with consoles, home theater PC, and HD Tivo alike.

I know you said 42", but 47" isn’t that huge – the diagonal measurements sound giant because of the 16:9 aspect ratio.

As far as I know, Samsung has 46" models, not 47". :wink: But yeah, for the price the Samsung DLP’s are pretty good. I’d still say go with one of Sony’s 42" rear projection LCD models, though. To my eyes, they have a much smoother picture and none of that rainbow effect that not everyone sees with the DLP sets. DLP’s are a bit sharper and produce deeper blacks, but with a lot of sources, sharper looks worse. But it’s mostly personal preference. The best thing to do is to just go see for yourself and decide which one looks better to you. But for $2500, you can get a pretty awesome ~42" TV.

Thanks guys.

I take it the DLP’s aren’t the set’s I read about that had problems with ghosting when playing your consoles?

Thanks again.

Here is the honest truth…

Just go and look at the TVs yourself. All the technologies are equally good at this point. There is no way you can decide what you want and what you will like based on a bunch of posts on a message boards. I started a similar thread here and the usual group claimed chimed in the DLP is the end all be all of HDTV. When I finally got to look at them, I found DLPs were horrible and Plasmas were lovely. I heard horror stories about ghosting and burn in problems with Plasma. Turns out both are way over exaggerated. So I took the dive about 7 months ago and got a 46 inch Daewoo Plasma TV. I still love it and I mostly use it to watch movies and play Xbox. No burn in or ghosting at all. That said, DLP may be perfect for you, you just have to see for yourself.

To add to Rob’s post …

… make sure you find out what connections each TV has and that they line up with your needs. If you’re planning on getting the Directv / HD / TiVo box, for example, an HDMI input will come in handy. If you want to hook up a PC, make sure it has the proper connections.

FWIW, I’ve had one of the 50" Samsung DLPs for 18 months now, and it’s just awesome. No ghosting, no burned out bulbs so far (knock on wood), and it’s just droolworthy with HD stuff like Lost or hi-def sports.

Any reason to avoid some of these off-name brands I see advertised, like Esa or Akai? Other than lack of reputation? Some of the deals I see for these are pretty good.

Slight warning about the Sammy sets: while they are awesome for most things (DVDs, HDTV, even SD content), they have a slight lag issue with 480i content. Basically, the processing that the TV does to an analog signal to make it digital and then display it on the screen causes a small delay. You wouldn’t notice this for most things, but if you play a PS2 game with timing-based gameplay (non-Tiger Woods analog swing golf games, rhythm games), you’ll notice it. Again, it doesn’t affect most things (I can do platformers and RPGs and whatnot on mine), but for things that require precise timing, you’ll need to factor the lag. This isn’t a slam against Sammy sets, as I love my 5063W, but then again, I tend to play progressive-scan Xbox and GameCube games on it (I look at my PS2 enough at work that I tend to not play it when I get home). So I can play God of War (480p support!) and even GTA: SA fine on it, but I have to adjust for the button-tapping dancing sequences in GTA:SA.

Scooter,

Is your 5063W an HLP or an HLN? As I understand it, the delay issue only affected the HLNs and the first few months of HLP manufacturing. By the time I got my set (9/04), they’d fixed this. I’ve seen no delay issues on 480i PS2 games.

There’s some threads on AVSForum about it. I think you can wrangle a new logic board out of Samsung to address the delay.

I have an HLP, and I got mine in Dec '04 (I think mine was manufactured Sept or Oct '04). I noticed it when I put in Mario Golf in 480i, before having my GC display stuff in 480p.

In theory, I can probably wrangle a new board, if it is fixed. But as I mentioned, I hardly play precise-timing-required stuff on the PS2, and the few PS2 games I do play, the lag isn’t an issue. It’s all progressive gaming for me at home!