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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 105175 28-Jun-2012 16:18 Send private message

Looking to purchase a cheap 40"-42" TV. Budget is very low.

LV Martin had a UT30 for $700 (I think they've changed the pricing back to $1100 unfortunately, which put it's out of budget now - hopefully one of the managers can still give me the same price in the weekend if I ask nicely).

Was considering an X50, but not not sure. Fallback is probably a Sony 40" LCD.

It's a replacement set for an old 21" CRT. SD/DVD performance is important.

Has anyone got a UT30? What are your impressions?

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677 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 647823 28-Jun-2012 20:57 Send private message

$1100 is too much to pay for that model. You could try and see if they're willing to sell you it for their previous and far more reasonable price of $700, being an old model.

The X models are 768x1024 TVs.

It looks like there are no cheap 1080p plasmas available at the moment as retailers are still charging a huge premium for 2012 models because 2011 models are still available. But 2011 models are selling out.

I'd wait until I had more money and prices come down.



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  Reply # 647909 28-Jun-2012 22:45 Send private message

Yeah, it's probably not a great time to be looking for a deal.

I have a friend with an X model. He got a replacement one for the same (well, equivalent X series I guess). It looked quite good with an SD feed (his lounge is rather dim). He doesn't have an HD feed (doesn't want one either - don't ask). I think the original 42" X model cost him $8K way back when. The replacement was about $1K. The lack of full HD doesn't concern me that much, although, I do notice it in stores when they're running a blu-ray movie connected properly (especially with menus/subtitles/text etc).

I'd like to wait as you say. However, it's semi-urgent so a little pressed for time.

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  Reply # 647918 28-Jun-2012 23:14 Send private message

If LV won't drop the price, the P42X50Z can be had on special for under $650
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=1192896


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  Reply # 647924 28-Jun-2012 23:32 Send private message

I will say, the 42UT50 is a step above last years 42UT30...
See what you can track one of those down for, it really does out perform it picture wise. Pity it doesn't have one more HDMI port...



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  Reply # 648023 29-Jun-2012 09:27 Send private message

bfginger: If LV won't drop the price, the P42X50Z can be had on special for under $650
http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?p=1192896


Yeah, thinking it's not a bad option if I can't get the UT30 for the cheaper price. It'd be for my parents, and to be honest anything is better than the crappy Sanyo 21" CRT they have - man, everything looks so "blurry" on that set (although the contrast is excellent of course). The lounge is quite dark, and it only get's late afternoon sun, so a Panny would be perfect.

The upgrade in experience will be relative (as always), so Sanyo 21 -> X50/UT30 would be an awesome upgrade for them. Spending too much money is just a waste in my opinion. Of course if I were buying for myself, that would be a different story entirely.



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  Reply # 648031 29-Jun-2012 09:42 Send private message

Dunnersfella: I will say, the 42UT50 is a step above last years 42UT30...
See what you can track one of those down for, it really does out perform it picture wise. Pity it doesn't have one more HDMI port...


Okay. I'll see what prices I can get. Unfortunately, since the LVM U30's gone back up I lose some leverage.



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  Reply # 649592 2-Jul-2012 15:03 Send private message

Purchased the 42UT30Z for $700 from LVM in the end. Was still the best deal around at the time. Also got a Philips DVD player from DSE.

Unfortunately, Dad started "talking" to one of the salesman - vultures who prey on the naive consumer. Thankfully, convinced him to stick with the plan.

Image quality out of the box looked good to me (used Cinema setting). The blacks are very black. Plan to calibrate when I next visit (poor man's version - AVS HD 709).

Got a nasty shock when I played an SD movie through the new DVD player connected via HDMI cable. There was lots of stutter - it was awful. After a wee bit of fiddling with both TV and DVD settings, isolated the issue down to either pre-processing (on TV) or post-processing (DVD), or combination of both.
Although, I did disable almost all pre-processing on the UT30 (only left the Orbitor thingy on), it didn't make much difference.
Changed the DVD to output HDMI at 480i - which was an improvement, but still had noticeable stuttering.
Went back to DSE, and purchased component cables, hooked them up instead, and everything was much much better.

SD quality via DVB-T is impressive. Watched a footy match on Maori TV, and it looked fabulous. It's better than our 55" Sony (must be the plasma panel?). Wimbledon was on TV1 (I think), and even Dad noticed how "clear" it was.

So, all in all, an excellent TV - for the price.

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  Reply # 649608 2-Jul-2012 15:28 Send private message

Changed the DVD to output HDMI at 480i - which was an improvement, but still had noticeable stuttering.

In case you didn't know 480i60 is used by NTSC DVDs. Nearly all DVDs sold in NZ are PAL which is 576i50. If it was a PAL DVD the stuttering may be down to poor conversion between the two framerates in the player. That TV might not handle 60Hz as smoothly as 50Hz too.

The other possibility is a faulty HDMI input or output either in the TV or DVD player.

But if the HDMI output in the DVD player can be proven to be faulty then I would take it back for a refund - the BD75 Blu-ray/DVD player can be bought for $99 and can be region freed for DVDs.

Unfortunately, Dad started "talking" to one of the salesman - vultures who prey on the naive consumer. Thankfully, convinced him to stick with the plan.

I'm curious, what did he try to talk him into buying instead?



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  Reply # 649638 2-Jul-2012 16:08 Send private message

bfginger: 
In case you didn't know 480i60 is used by NTSC DVDs. Nearly all DVDs sold in NZ are PAL which is 576i50. If it was a PAL DVD the stuttering may be down to poor conversion between the two framerates in the player. That TV might not handle 60Hz as smoothly as 50Hz too.

The other possibility is a faulty HDMI input or output either in the TV or DVD player.

But if the HDMI output in the DVD player can be proven to be faulty then I would take it back for a refund - the BD75 Blu-ray/DVD player can be bought for $99 and can be region freed for DVDs.
 

It was originally running at 1080i (I think). I've noticed the issue in showrooms (with Panasonic's) before, but, didn't think much of it. Certain TVs (namely Sony and Samsung) looked great when panning, but, the Panasonic's (about 4 different models) looked terrible - I think the "top" one was an ST. Seeing the issue again in the weekend reminded me of it, so I discounted the cable.

I can't recall seeing a 576i option in the HDMI setup to be honest. Although, component outputs 576i (I assume at 50Hz).
I've had issues with blu-ray content (different setup) playing "cleanly" at 60fps. Taking it down to 24fps generally seems to correct it - although, I guess in those instances the TV's own interpolation kicks in for the lower frame rates.

bfginger: 
Unfortunately, Dad started "talking" to one of the salesman - vultures who prey on the naive consumer. Thankfully, convinced him to stick with the plan.

I'm curious, what did he try to talk him into buying instead?


Trying to sell him a 5.1 surround sound system - I think. Would've doubled the price for negligible gain. Dad is definitely not (even remotely) an audiophile.

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  Reply # 649685 2-Jul-2012 17:36 Send private message

Sound on modern TV's are terrible... and while the UT30 is better than most, some sort of sound system would be beneficial I would have thought?
A soundbar (not necessarily a 5.1 system) is something I'd recommend if my folk were buying a new TV.



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  Reply # 649704 2-Jul-2012 18:33 Send private message

Dunnersfella: Sound on modern TV's are terrible... and while the UT30 is better than most, some sort of sound system would be beneficial I would have thought?
A soundbar (not necessarily a 5.1 system) is something I'd recommend if my folk were buying a new TV.


Interesting. What are the decent brand soundbars and/or 2.1 speakers?

Edit: Brief googling, and I hit the sound bar vs 2.1 debate. To be honest, I'd need some serious convincing to recommend an additional cost - would depend on price as well. However, I am curious for our own setup - I'm not really that up to play with sound.

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  Reply # 649771 2-Jul-2012 20:36 Send private message

I can't recall seeing a 576i option in the HDMI setup to be honest. Although, component outputs 576i (I assume at 50Hz).

I guess it's possible the DVD player was intended for the US market and doesn't even support 50Hz over HDMI but clumsily transcodes everything to 60Hz. If this turns out to be the case I would take it back because every HDMI disc player sold in NZ should be able to output 50Hz material at 50Hz over HDMI. There's going to be a quality hit for using YPbPr.

I've had issues with blu-ray content (different setup) playing "cleanly" at 60fps. Taking it down to 24fps generally seems to correct it - although, I guess in those instances the TV's own interpolation kicks in for the lower frame rates.

Nearly all Blu-ray movies are 1080p24 so transcoding to 60Hz can cause telecine jitter especially if the Blu-ray player doesn't transcode all that well or the TV is trying to interpolate from telecined 60Hz material to 120Hz.

Trying to sell him a 5.1 surround sound system - I think. Would've doubled the price for negligible gain. Dad is definitely not (even remotely) an audiophile.

Salesmen are expected to go along with a process of trying to sell extras.
The process of setting up or using an AV system with an external sound system in the mix would really confuse alot of older people.

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  Reply # 649781 2-Jul-2012 21:11 Send private message

I've seen Panasonic soundbars for under $400 recently. Not the small one, the larger... with the wireless sub.
It should be a piece of cake to use too - just turn it on and raise/drop the volume.
There will be other units out there too, just make sure you take a listen to them prior to laying down the $'s. For the money, I'd choose a good soundbar over a cheaper 5.1 system every time.

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