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  1. #1

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    Default Need quick tv advice, please

    I've never kept up with TV technology at all. The little I've read and learned and bought has all been strictly audio. But now Mom's shopping for a TV for her room. Since I know NOTHING on the subject, I'd really appreciate it if those of you who DO know about it could chime in with some advice.

    She went shopping and already narrowed it down to two choices. Either a Panasonic Viera TC-L26X1 (link) or a Samsung LN26B460 (link). They're both 26" LCD's, and she can get either one for $419. She's slightly concerned that the Panasonic only has 2 HDMI ports whereas the Samsung has three, but I can't foresee her needing more than two. If, however, she does, do those HDMI extenders actually work? Do they significantly degrade the PQ? Keep in mind she'll be watching the news, quilting programs, and occasional movies. So while we all want it to have a great picture, no one's going to be over critical of it.

    Which is the better unit? Which would better suit her? What does she need to know during this shopping phase that I don't know to tell her? She's looking to buy sometime tomorrow (Thursday) evening.

    Any and all advice on the matter would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by audiobliss; 10-08-2009 at 02:20 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
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  2. #2

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    If she isn't going to be overly critical of the PQ of either unit I would say it would pretty much be a coin flip. I have heard good things about the Sammy's, and not much at all about the Panasonic's. Doesn't mean that they are no good, just haven't heard much on them. They have similar specs, and similar inputs/outputs with the Sammy having one extra HDMI in like you stated in your post. The Sammy also has a much higher contrast ratio of 30,000:1 (compared to the Panasonic's 12,000:1) but you said PQ wasn't a deal breaker so that may not even enter into the equation. Depending on what she is going to have hooked up to it, for example a cable box, or satellite, DVD/Blu-Ray player you may not need the 3 inputs of the Sammy, but more is always better when it comes to that kind of stuff IMO. The HDMI splitters or switchers or whatever you want to call them work fairly well from what I have heard, but have no first hand info on them. Long story short, if you can get them for pretty much the same price, my vote is for the Sammy. Good luck.

    -Jeff
    Last edited by wutadumsn23; 10-08-2009 at 02:59 AM.
    HT Rig
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    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
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    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
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    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

  3. #3

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    I am by no way an expert, but I would recommend stepping up to 1080p and go bigger...
    Heck, 26" is the size of my computer monitor...hehe

    I helped my parents upgrade to a 32" and they thank me almost every time we talk.

    As far as 2 vs 3...I think 2 are fine...gives input for HD TV and DVD...I doubt she will ever have both a DVD and Blueray....only other thing would be a HTPC....but that can be handled like you say...plus most HD cable is only 1080i anyway....so you could go component if it came to that.

    I got a Visio and I am happy with it. Someone else may beat them up, but I am happy with the price point.

    Here is one that Costco has...37" LCD, 1080p 50k contrast ratio. $530



    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...All=22&topnav=

  4. #4

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    On any screen size below 42" you will notice no diff. between 720p and 1080p. While I agree to step up the screen size (I have a 60" SXRD) save the cash and buy a 720p for anything below 42", if she is happy with a 26" screen, it is her money right? LOL

    -Jeff
    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
    Blu-Ray- 80 GB PS3


    2 CH rig (in progress)
    Polk Audio Monitor 10A's

    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

  5. #5

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    Thank you guys so much for the input. I agree that 26" is pretty small. I'll mention the possibility of stepping up to something larger and tell her about that unit from Costco, but I bet she's set on one of these two.

    As far as what she'll have connected to it, just a cable box and DVD/VCR combo unit.

    I, too, think the Sammy's looking like the better unit. The only thing that sways me from thinking that is that the Panasonic is usually a bit more expensive. But she found a deal elsewhere that the store is willing to price match.

    Thanks again for the input!
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jstas View Post
    Simple question. If you had a cool million bucks, what would you do with it?
    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
    My Saga
    Equipment Pictures

    [2CH]
    Rotel RCD-02
    Yamaha KX-W900U
    Sony ST-S500ES
    Denon DP-7F
    Parasound P/HP-850
    Parasound HCA-1000A
    Klipsch RF-35


    [In Storage]
    Yamaha CDR-HD1300
    ASL Wave 20 monoblocks
    Pro-Ject Phono Box MKII


    [Car System]
    Pioneer Premier DEH-P860MP
    Memphis 16-MCA3004
    Boston Acoustic RC520

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wutadumsn23 View Post
    On any screen size below 42" you will notice no diff. between 720p and 1080p. While I agree to step up the screen size (I have a 60" SXRD) save the cash and buy a 720p for anything below 42", if she is happy with a 26" screen, it is her money right? LOL

    -Jeff
    I guess I just sit too close to mine, since I use it as a monitor...cuz I can definitely see the difference...but that's just me

  7. #7

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    Blurb from a CNET review on diff. between 720p and 180p, link to full article at the bottom.

    "9. Side by side, how do 720p and 1080p TVs match up in head-to-head tests?

    We spend a lot of time looking at a variety of source material on a variety of TVs in our video lab here at CNET's offices in New York. When I wrote my original article over three years ago, many 1080p TVs weren't as sharp as they claimed to be on paper. By that, I mean a lot of older 1080p sets couldn't necessarily display all 2 million-plus pixels in the real world--technically, speaking, they couldn't "resolve" every line of a 1080i or 1080p test pattern.

    That's changed in the last few years. Virtually all 1080p sets are now capable of fully resolving 1080i and 1080p material, though not every 1080p TV is created equal. As our resident video guru, Senior Editor David Katzmaier explains in his HDTV resolutions feature, Blu-ray serves up another video format, 1080p/24, and not every TV properly displays 1080p/24. The 24 refers to the true frame rate of film-based content, and displaying it in its native format is supposed to give you a picture exactly as the director intended you to see it (for a full explanation, click here).

    Whether you're dealing with 1080p/24 or standard 1080p/60, doesn't alter our overall views about 1080p TVs. We still believe that when you're dealing with TVs 50 inches and smaller, the added resolution has only a very minor impact on picture quality. In our tests, we put 720p (or 768p) sets next to 1080p sets, then feed them both the same source material, whether it's 1080i or 1080p, from the highest-quality Blu-ray player. We typically watch both sets for a while, with eyes darting back and forth between the two, looking for differences in the most-detailed sections, such as hair, textures of fabric, and grassy plains. Bottom line: It's almost always very difficult to see any difference--especially from farther than 8 feet away on a 50-inch TV.

    I said so much in a 2006 column I wrote called "The case against 1080p," but some readers knocked us for not looking at high-end TVs in our tests. But the fact is, resolution is resolution, and whether you're looking at a Sony or a Westinghouse, 1080p resolution--which relates to picture sharpness--is the same and is a separate issue from black levels and color accuracy.

    Katzmaier stands by his previous analysis: The extra sharpness afforded by the 1080p televisions he's seen is noticeable only when watching 1080i or 1080p sources on a larger screens, say 55 inches and bigger, or with projectors that display a wall-size picture. Katzmaier also says that the main real-world advantage of 1080p is not the extra sharpness you'll be seeing, but instead, the smaller, more densely packed pixels. In other words, you can sit closer to a 1080p television and not notice any pixel structure, such as stair-stepping along diagonal lines, or the screen-door effect (where you can actually see the space between the pixels). This advantage applies regardless of the quality of the source."

    -Jeff


    http://reviews.cnet.com/720p-vs-1080p-hdtv/
    HT Rig
    Receiver- Onkyo TX-SR806
    Mains- Polk Audio Monitor 70
    Center- Polk Audio CS2
    Surrounds- Polk Audio TSi 500's :D
    Sub- Polk Audio PSW125
    Retired- Polk Audio Monitor 40's
    T.V.- 60" Sony SXRD KDS-60A2000 LCoS
    Blu-Ray- 80 GB PS3


    2 CH rig (in progress)
    Polk Audio Monitor 10A's

    It's not that I'm insensitive, I just don't care.. :D

  8. #8

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    +1 on Samsung and LGs.

    I've owned both in LCDs and they by far make the best quality LCDs.
    ~Dan
    --------

    Projector: Epson 705HD on 106" DaLite
    TV: Samsung 50" Plasma PN50B550
    Receiver: Onkyo 607
    Fronts: Polk 1000i
    Center: Polk Csi40
    Rears: Polk Fxi30
    Sub: Velodyne Minivee 10
    PS3 and Xbox

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