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Author Topic: Need Advice on a TV...  (Read 4720 times)
Stoic Joker
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« on: November 19, 2011, 11:25:39 AM »

Greetings
    While historically I have stayed as far away from the multimedia stuff (focused on business systems), the wife is pondering a new TV. Which means I need to ponder a new TV also. Given the amount of new technologies that are now involved in TVs, I'm ...(due to avoiding the multimedia stuff)... basically in the dumber than a box of shit category.  smiley

    So... I think that the LEDs are ahead of (better than?) the LCD, but haven't a clue where Plasma fits into the mix. I'm assuming that since we buy a TV once every decade (or so...), that now would be the time to get something "Internet Enabled" which brings up the whole (media-tastic) DLNA capability/compatibility/? ... That I'm about to drop myself into the middle of.

   Can anyone give me a thumbnail sketch of what I should be looking for/avoiding/trying to make sure is/isn't there/missing, etc.

Thank you,

Spastic Joker
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JavaJones
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 04:58:16 PM »

The basic competing tech is LCD and Plasma. LED is a back lighting method for LCDs; plasmas don't use backlights as far as I know.

Of those two, LED is more common and has no screen "burn in" issues, plasma is cheaper and has better blacks and hence contrast ratios (due to no backlights), but does burn in if you leave a static image on it too long (or something like a logo in the corner of a TV station screen). Burn in is probably less an issue for newer Plasmas, but still a concern, depending on your usage (e.g. video game playing with a game's HUD). There are much fewer plasmas and the tech tends to be less "advanced" than LCD, in general, as far as fancy features supported, etc. Also I think plasma still tends to use more power. The upside of plasma is basically you can get the same screen size and resolution as an LCD, usually for cheaper, and with potentially better image quality (depending).

Go for some form of Internet capability if you want to, but basing much of your decision on it seems foolish to me as almost all of this tech is limited (not a general "You can do anything a browser can do, but on your TV!). The better solution in my view is to hook up a nice little HTPC and then you truly get all capabilities. Plus, who wants to type URLs on a TV remote? Wink

Now if you're talking about *media streaming* support (DLNA, etc.), that's different, it actually has little or nothing to do with Internet support, per se (except that they're both network-based, of course). And in that case yes it can be useful, unless you have the previously mentioned HTPC. Bottom line is I think getting a "dumb TV" with a "smart computer" attached to it is going to give you way more long-term flexibility and capability than any other option. But if you really don't want to deal with an HTPC, don't want to spend the extra money, don't have space in your AV space, etc. for one, then I guess try to get as much of that stuff built-in as possible. Just keep in mind that the industry is in flux and a lot of stuff that's supported now may not be supported in, say, 5 years, and if you're planning for a 10yr lifetime, well... then again you can always buy an HTPC and add it on to any TV you get. cheesy

The other thing to think about is 3D. I personally dislike almost all 3D media and technologies I've seen so I wouldn't bother and it tends to add to the price anyway. If 3D is important to you, you might want to wait for better tech if at all possible. I would basically suggest not getting 3D (and saving money), and then buy something new in 5yrs for 3D if you really want it.

I know that's not a comprehensive answer to everything you asked, but hopefully it's somewhat useful. smiley

- Oshyan
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4wd
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 06:46:48 PM »

Bottom line is I think getting a "dumb TV" with a "smart computer" attached to it is going to give you way more long-term flexibility and capability than any other option.

+1 here.  Maximum flexibility with potentially minimum outlay - after all, a smart HTPC/computer is likely to outlive what it's attached to simply because it can be upgraded both in software and hardware.

Quote
But if you really don't want to deal with an HTPC, don't want to spend the extra money, don't have space in your AV space, etc. for one, then I guess try to get as much of that stuff built-in as possible.

Not sure about that, having recently purchased a WDTV Live for AU$58 and with it being the size of a couple of 3.5" HDDs stacked together, can play almost anything and has an alternative firmware available, (WDLXTV) - if you can't find space for that in your system you have other problems, (eg. air flow).

A decent dumb TV plus even something like the WDTV Live will provide you with DLNA and internet media access, (YouTube, SkyNews, etc), a dedicated HTPC will give you the same access to the internet as your computer and play a lot more.

The only thing I will say about the TV is make sure you have enough inputs and then add a couple more Wink
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Renegade
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 08:44:12 PM »

As far as I can see, 3D and smart TV is still in its infancy.

For 3D, the basic competing technologies are passive (LG) and active (Samsung & everyone else). I've not really kept up much there. It all still looks pretty immature as a technology, and not really something that I'm particularly interested in. My leanings there are towards LG's passive 3D as it sounds a bit more convenient.

I remember looking at TVs about 10 years ago, and at the time LG had the best displays hands down. That's changed though. Whenever I browse TVs now, the sharpest pictures are generally Samsung -- but that's just from what I've see browsing for TVs, and purely subjective.

It makes sense though. Round about 2003 or so (not exactly sure of the year, but close enough - maybe 2005), Samsung pulled 300 engineers out of Samsung Semiconductor (a very successful division at the time) and put them in it's ailing display division. This pissed off everyone who was used to nice bonuses - they didn't want to go into the lame duck division, but were given assurances that they'd be adequately compensated as they had been before.

So with an influx of 300 engineers, Samsung's display division began development on custom chips that were specifically designed for TVs/displays. This put Samsung at an advantage because while everyone else was using generic chips, Samsung had what nobody else did - chips for displays.

The practical upshot there was that Samsung's display quality rose dramatically and that business division started to catch up in the markets as people started noticing the better pictures. CES was a big part of that, as it is for most CE manufacturers.

Anyways, just my $0.02 on the topic. Not sure if it will be useful for you or not. I don't really keep up to date on a lot of the end user features in TVs or displays -- all my knowledge is from "behind the scenes".




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steeladept
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 11:11:58 PM »

Of those two, LED is more common and has no screen "burn in" issues,
Definitely not true, no matter what the industry pundits keep saying.  I am looking at 6 different 42" Samsung LCD monitor/TV's here at work right now and 3 of them have severe burn-in.  They also have a nasty habit of burning out completely after only a year or two...Of course they are on 24/7/365 - so that may have something to do with it.  The only time they are "off" is during the PC reboot.
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Renegade
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2011, 12:05:28 AM »

Of those two, LED is more common and has no screen "burn in" issues,
Definitely not true, no matter what the industry pundits keep saying.  I am looking at 6 different 42" Samsung LCD monitor/TV's here at work right now and 3 of them have severe burn-in.  They also have a nasty habit of burning out completely after only a year or two...Of course they are on 24/7/365 - so that may have something to do with it.  The only time they are "off" is during the PC reboot.

Are they commercial or consumer?
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2011, 12:13:11 AM »

Not certain on the answer to that.  Consumer I believe, but that is only a guess.  CNet review calls it a "presentation display", so maybe it is commercial...

They are the SyncMaster 460P and 460px models (I believe the px models were the replacements for the original p models we got - I think).  The 460 means a 46" display, so I guess I was off, but it really doesn't matter to the discussion....
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Renegade
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2011, 12:52:59 AM »

Those are commercial displays, but they are older (2005 models). Samsung has improved a lot over the past few years with their displays FWIW. I couldn't find any warranty information on them, but what I expect are similarly purposed displays now have 3-year on-site warranties.

I'm not really sure about how they now fare with burn-in though. Most of the stuff I look at is chip-based.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 01:40:30 AM »

Samsung and LG are the two to look for if you're looking for - 1) Internet enabled 2) HDTV feat 3) 3D. There isn't much you'll notice in 3D with current TVs but still it's okay.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2011, 08:58:08 AM »

Cool, thanks guys. I had tried Googling, but kept running into articles that either had no date ( mad ), or were over a year old ... And my brother keeps claiming that Plasma screens need to be "Re-Charged" every (six-ish) few years. *Shrug* It didn't make sense to me...But it also outside my skill-set. But...

Given that Plasma has much higher power consumption, I think I'll aim for the LED/LCD (over the CCFL/LCD) for much the same reason ... Assuming I can find one that is fully back lit (don't recall the correct term) as apposed to the edge lit ones in my price range.

Which still leaves the internet/DLNA question. The last thing I need is another computer ... So if I can get the TV on the wire and just pitch it a movie from my (current) comp (or one of the existing servers) that would be fine. The question is: Does the TV need anything specific to be "future friendly"? Or is all the "work" handled by the server software that the TV pulls from?

JJ's spot on about the surfing from/typing URL with remote part ... That ain't gonna happen. I'm just looking for the option to play a downloaded movie over the network so I don't have to screw with burning (and storing) disks. I don't know if the qualifies as a dumb TV or not, but I'm hoping that there is a balance point I can hit.
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2011, 09:13:35 AM »

It will need 'a couple' of HDMI input connectors, as you'll be connecting from cable set-top box, harddisk recorder, network mediaplayer, computer, videotape player (probably on SCART), and hen some...
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 02:40:24 PM »

Well, gotta wait for delivery next Saturday (long story) ... But the wife & I just picked up one of these (for about $1,400):
LG 55" LED 1080p 55LV5500

It got some funny assed Harry Potter looking 6 button remote, but after playing with it in the store it's kinda nice. It's like a mouse you can point with and the cursor moves around the screen. WiFi supposedly comes with it, but it's got an RJ45 jack so I'll just hard-wire the damn thing ('cause I can ... and it ain't exactly portable anyhow).
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Ath
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2011, 01:26:46 AM »

Well, that one sure is big enough Grin
And you're quite OK on the feature side. Can't say much about the deal, haven't bought a flat TV yet, but the pictures look good.
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2011, 12:39:19 PM »

I'm voting with Oshyan (despite our recent disagreements in other areas  Wink ).

As Mr. Joker himself noted at the top of the thread, a TV is a longer-term purchase. I can't imagine the platforms and protocols used by "smart" TVs remaining stable for the time period I'd like to keep the TV for, and if I'm right, that means that simple software obsolescence would drive me to throw away a TV that's otherwise perfectly good.

So I say, get a stupid monitor, and then get a box (Roku, Google TV, Apple TV, etc.) that does the smart stuff, so you can cheaply throw that out when it's outlived its usefulness.

Note that I say "monitor". As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to pay for even a tuner or speakers. The HDMI video signal is produced by the smart box, or a DVR, etc. And sound is handled entirely by the stereo.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2011, 02:44:51 PM »

I'm with ya. That's why I went for just a reasonably bright TV that could (at least) be connected to something on my network that I could (tweak to death/as necessary) send video from. Instead of expecting the TV to "keep up" with whatever goes on in the future.

Chances are I'll probably never use any of it.  cheesy
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2011, 09:23:47 AM »

Hmmm... I was just thinkin'... If you expand the old saying, how are you supposed to understand "smart idiot box"? tongue

How's the new TV anyways? Like it?
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2011, 11:55:51 AM »

Hmmm... I was just thinkin'... If you expand the old saying, how are you supposed to understand "smart idiot box"? tongue

Well, I've pondered this question for some time now, and I feel the it would probably be best for society as a whole if that question was never (ever) answered...

 cheesy

How's the new TV anyways? Like it?

I won't know util Saturday when it's delivered.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2011, 01:10:40 AM »

Looks like a pretty good choice. LG makes nice displays.

Just a quick note regarding number of HDMI ports: the best way to handle this in my opinion is actually with your home theater receiver/surround decoder (if you have one - if not, then yes, TV needs lots of HDMI). Modern ones will handle simultaneous switching of audio/video signal, which can otherwise be a pain if you do have a separate amp and surround system (i.e. you're not just relying on the TV's speakers). The receiver is what has all the HDMI inputs and then 1 or more outputs and it handles switching internally, feeding your TV the appropriate video signal over HDMI, without having to switch your TV's own input source (i.e. HDMI 1, 2, etc. on the TV).

- Oshyan
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2011, 06:57:31 AM »

For now it'll be fairly basic Just have satellite box->TV ... And probably a network connection. No surround sound, players etc. I may (down the line) sprint for a surround sound system depending on how well the TV's built in speakers work in the (mt house) real world ... As I find myself frequently wanting to boost the vocals because I can't make out what people are saying.

...Sadly I did not even think of the fact that the only DVD player we had was/is built into the old TV that will be getting hauled off this Saturday when the new one is delivered. wallbash #! ... I'm getting old.  Sad
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« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2011, 09:11:45 AM »

the only DVD player we had was/is built into the old TV that will be getting hauled off this Saturday
But for something like $40 or $50 you'll have a plain DVD player, with hdmi output, so that shouldn't be much of an issue
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2011, 11:32:47 AM »

the only DVD player we had was/is built into the old TV that will be getting hauled off this Saturday
But for something like $40 or $50 you'll have a plain DVD player, with hdmi output, so that shouldn't be much of an issue

Quite true ... Except for the not thinking of it part. If i had thought of it before, I could have tried to get them to throw one in with the TV (it's a bit late to try that now). Being retarded is an issue...That I apparently need to address at some point.
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