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  1. #1

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    Default The best flat panel t.v.

    O.K. I know this is a question with alot of variables, but I have been out of the game for a while in terms of tv technology both present and what is coming down the pipe. I am looking to purchase a flat panel or plasma (I am a bit weary of the burn in problems of plasma and the life span issues.) I am not a gamer and I realize plasma is out of the question for that. I also realize that most screens are made by a few companies in Asia and that black screen quality is an important factor. I also understand that contrast ratio is important and that lcd's have trouble with fast moving action. I assume that 1080p is the standard I should look for.

    I am looking for a t.v. likely between 32-40" to go over my fireplace. I am leaning towards the 40" size (go figure) and I am thinking I can budget/stomach about $2500-3,000, but I don't have to spend that much and I am not hell bent on doing so. I don't know that I need the absolute best (but I wouldn't be upset, either.) I also am not sure if 40" is too large, but my viewing distance straight on is about 17'. I'm not hugely concerned about off angle viewing since this is all about me.....

    What company or companies and corresponding models are commonly thought to produce the best all around product when considering bang for the buck? I consider picture quality, reliability, and price as the most important factors. I am not looking for the cheapest set with the largest screen. Are the off brand sets a good idea or even worth a damn? I am not one to buy an unknown brand. I would sacrifice some picture quality for a reliable set.

    I know that there are some newer developments in the high def arena that will offer even better pictures, such as an HD player, but I don't know much about that and I want to be able to take advantage of that technology. I would like a t.v. that is HD ready (unless someone tells me otherwise) and that might not be obsolete in the immediate future. It seems that Toshiba and Panasonic are highly regarded as usual as are the Aquos sets. Phillips? Sony's always cost more, but are they actually better? Anyone looking to drop some knowledge of any kind as far as what to look for in plasma and lcd flat panels would be greatly appreciated. Technical stuff would be great as well. Suggestions on sites to find good deals and compare prices would be welcome. THANKS

    EDIT: I have just read this past link and have had some light shed. I am still open to anything further not addressed.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ght=flat+panel
    Last edited by univera; 06-05-2006 at 02:28 PM.

  2. #2

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    Get a Panisonic plasma in the 42" variety.
    Link: http://polkarmy.com/forums

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  3. #3

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    I just saw the new Samsung 1080p DLP sets. The picture was fantastic. I wish I waited a year to buy my TV.

  4. #4

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    The Panasonic for the money is hands down the best plasma on the market. Pioneer Elite is the king but cost alot more. They are coming out with a 1080p set.

    Dan
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  5. #5

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    Sound and Vision recommends a Westinghouse 42" LCD and the Vizio 42" plasma. Westinghouse is not a name I associate with quality and I know nothing about reliablity with either? Any knowledge? Also, can someone explain HDMI inputs? And, what's the difference between 1080i and 1080p?
    Last edited by univera; 06-05-2006 at 03:27 PM.

  6. #6

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    HDMI is identical to DVI, plus it adds an audio connection in the same wire. They will be changing the standard, soon, and while the video and the analog audio connection will be backwards compatible, some other stuff might not be. One other thing to note is that all HDMI equipment is HDCP compatible- that's a copy protection scheme that should make it hard to steal movies, but in reality it just makes it hard for all of your equipment to play nice with each other.

  7. #7

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    1080i -> 1080 interlaced (540 lines updated at a time)
    1080p -> 1080 progressive (all 1080 lines updated for every screen refresh)

    To date, the only true 1080p material I know of is stuff you can download on a computer (which means you have to hookup your PC to your TV), and Blu-Ray discs which is brand new and have very few titles.

  8. #8

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    Where is Toxis?

  9. #9

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    I'm very satisfied with my 32" Westinghouse. It handles SpongeBob Squarepants with elegance:D
    ***WAREMTAE***

  10. #10

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    Wait a while before you buy your tv. There will be a much greater selection in the next 6 months with more competitive prices than there are now. I don't believe there are any cable providers that support 1080p, but yes make sure you buy a tv with one, as it provides less bandwidth to broadcast than 1080i, making it much more attractive to cable providers.

    As with the rest of folks, I completely agree on checking out panasonic plasmas. Their top end ones have been rated hands down the best by Consumer Reports in their last several issues.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Refefer
    Wait a while before you buy your tv. There will be a much greater selection in the next 6 months with more competitive prices than there are now.
    That can be said every 6 months. ;)

  12. #12

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    I read about the Blue Ray and the competing technology. If I remember correctly, are they progressive scanning based info on a DVD?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis
    The Panasonic for the money is hands down the best plasma on the market. Pioneer Elite is the king but cost alot more. They are coming out with a 1080p set.

    Dan
    Im sorry but I thought the panasonic plasma looks very bad. I worked at circuit city and the panasonic was faded bad. It wasn't just this years model but last years too. The best plasma I have seen in this price range is the pioneer.
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  14. #14

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    For the price, the Westinghouse LCDs seem like they would be hard to beat. Just make sure you get the extended warranty. I haven't had any issues with mine, and 32" for $899 is tough to beat. This years WH models have built-in HD tuners, a sleeker black finish, HDMI inputs, etc.

    I really like mine and would upgrade to this year's model without hesitation, if I could. They have a 40" LCD as well for a great price. I can't tell difference in picture quality between it and the 2-3X more expensive samsung, sony, and toshiba models.

    If you go bigger and go plasma, Panasonic seems to be best picture quality per dollar. My samsung is, admittedly, not that great. HD is wonderful on it (and I got a STEAL of a deal last year from BB), but, still, lot of Macroblocking, clayface, artifact issues from DNIe.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyboy
    Im sorry but I thought the panasonic plasma looks very bad. I worked at circuit city and the panasonic was faded bad. It wasn't just this years model but last years too. The best plasma I have seen in this price range is the pioneer.
    Say what

    My new Panny Plasma is the BOMB Great looking... For the money hands down.

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  16. #16

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    Thanks. How long have you owned the Westinghouse?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Refefer
    I don't believe there are any cable providers that support 1080p, but yes make sure you buy a tv with one, as it provides less bandwidth to broadcast than 1080i, making it much more attractive to cable providers.
    not sure I'm reading you right, but the bandwidth necessary for 1080p is definitely greater than 1080i. As slow as cable providers are currently about adding current HD 1080i/720p, I seriously doubt 1080p is all that attractive to them. I'm all for the best picture (1080p) but I don't think we are going to see much programming for it anytime in the near future.

  18. #18

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    So, would the consensus be to get at least the 1080i set over the 720p? Is is better to have more interlaced lines with less updates per refresh (1080i) or to have 720 progressive lines updated completely every refresh? And, is 1080p required for the Blue Ray and related technology as well as high def players?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomOG
    not sure I'm reading you right, but the bandwidth necessary for 1080p is definitely greater than 1080i. As slow as cable providers are currently about adding current HD 1080i/720p, I seriously doubt 1080p is all that attractive to them. I'm all for the best picture (1080p) but I don't think we are going to see much programming for it anytime in the near future.
    Thanks for pointing that out, I forgot to add...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia.org
    The following examples refer to content that is encoded in progressive-scan form during recording or transmission—what would be considered "native" progressive signals. However, where 24 fps film-based material is concerned, a 1080i encoded/transmitted stream can become a true "1080p" signal during playback by deinterlacing to re-combine the split field pairs into their original progressive film-scanned frames. Regarding 24 fps film-source material presented in conventional 1080i60 form, the deinterlacing process that achieves this goal is usually referred to as "3-2 pulldown reversal". The importance of this is that, where film-based content is concerned, all 1080-interlaced signals are potentially 1080p signals given the proper deinterlacing. As long as no additional image-degradation steps were applied during signal mastering (such as excessive vertical-pass filtering), the image from a properly deinterlaced film-source 1080i signal and a native-encoded 1080p signal will look exactly the same. As more and more processors and displays come to market able to apply 3-2 pulldown reversal to film-based 1080i60 signals, the amount of available "1080p" content for viewing expands (encompassing film-based 1080i60 feeds from broadcast HD, cable, and satellite).
    To transmit 1080p natively requires much less bandwidth than using 1080i to broadcast it, which (if I'm reading the article correctly) you can use.
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  20. #20

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    What I know about 1080p you would need twice the bandwidth to transmit over 1080i. I don't ever see 1080p being transmitted over the air waves or via cable and or satellite. Just local based like DVD players and the such.

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  21. #21

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    I am with Joe on this one and who knows, the guy that wrote that artical could have been high when he typed it up so who knows but it has got to take more for 1080p than 1080i or at least you could sense the difference.
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  22. #22

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    FWIW we love our 32"LCD. it does do 1080i max. It's by LG. Maynot be the best name around but for the $$ we paid compared to other TVs out there this one blew us away.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by drew spelts
    I am with Joe on this one and who knows, the guy that wrote that artical could have been high when he typed it up so who knows but it has got to take more for 1080p than 1080i or at least you could sense the difference.

    The article is accurate, it just has nothing to do with 1080i vs 1080p bandwidth. Anything originally done on film will be 24fps. With a 24fps source, digital broadcast and a good de-interlacer you can send 1080i and turn it into 1080p without anyone noticing. In theory, they would look identical. Therefore, if you're a cable company showing a a movie done in 24fps, you wouldn't send it 1080p; you'd save bandwidth and send it 1080i. If you're showing the Superbowl and you've got 1080p cameras, you send it 1080p.
    Last edited by unc2701; 06-07-2006 at 09:52 AM.
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    Thier is always something "new coming out" and you get what you pay for but not always bad.. if you pay <$ 2-3K or better it's gonna be good.. everything else is the more reasonable tv's and you have to look and demo them yourself. NOt all flat panels are created equally regardless of price
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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by PolkThug
    That can be said every 6 months. ;)
    No kidding! I waited like 3 years. At some point you just gotta jump in if you want something.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701
    The article is accurate, it just has nothing to do with 1080i vs 1080p bandwidth. Anything originally done on film will be 24fps. With a 24fps source, digital broadcast and a good de-interlacer you can send 1080i and turn it into 1080p without anyone noticing. In theory, they would look identical. Therefore, if you're a cable company showing a a movie done in 24fps, you wouldn't send it 1080p; you'd save bandwidth and send it 1080i. If you're showing the Superbowl and you've got 1080p cameras, you send it 1080p.
    I don't know the complete facts, but I know this analog channels 2 / 3 / 4 ~ 14 / 15 / 16 are 6mhz wide channels. So I watching HD local right now NBC on channel 11 / shows as 2.1 / 2.2. 2.1 is the HD of channel 2 in 1080i / 2.2 is 480i if they could send 2 1080i channels in that MHz bandwidth why wouldn't they? Because my take is that 1080i is eating 4.5 / 5.0 meg so 1080p can't be sent this way because it would need 9 / 10 meg, to wide.

    OK wait I know want you're thinking but cable is...... NOT cable is the same MHz channel bandwidth.

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  27. #27

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    I bought a 32" westinghouse LCD last December, for the price the quality is awsome, HDTV channels are crystal clear with no distorion or artifacts.
    Mine does 1080i and 720p.
    westinghouse has a 37" and 42" lcd with 1080p, they have great reviews and price.
    Worth checking it out.
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  28. #28

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    I was always under the impression that taking a 1080i (or any interlaced signal), and de-interlacing it to 1080p is NOT the same thing as a true 1080p source simply being displayed that way.

    Back when progressive scan dvd players were still a relatively small market, there were TVs out that had de-interlacing capabilities which could take a 480i signal from a regular DVD player and double it to display 480p. However, at the time everyone said using a progressive scan player to directly send and display 480p provided a better picture.\

    ... or at least that's what I remember :P

  29. #29

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    OK, what I'm saying ONLY applies to film. 24 FPS film. With a perfect deinterlacer, 24fps original source and a TV that can do progressive, you don't get any benefit from broadcasting in progressive. There are only 24 frames of information. The deinterlacer can take the 30 interlaced frames, turn them into the 24 original frames, then shoot them back out 3 of one, 2 of the next to get 60 progressive frames. The problem with having an interlaced 3-2 system is that one of those interlacings will have two different frames up at the same time and give you the motion jaggedness associated with interlaced systems.

    You're usually better off doing the de-interlacing in the digital domain, thus progressive DVD players (all dvd's are 480i). The point of that article was that if you have a 24 frame film source, there's no need to use up bandwidth sending a 1080p signal. Same thing with DVD's- since 99% of films are going to be 24fps, they decided to go with 480i and save bandwidth.

    This does not apply if you're talking about a true 60 fps source- there would then be a difference in i vs p.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by unc2701

    This does not apply if you're talking about a true 60 fps source- there would then be a difference in i vs p.
    is there such a thing??

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