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Topic # 94875 20-Dec-2011 17:08 Send private message

I've survived without tv for a few stages in my life, with the longest being the current period of 6 years.

So now I'm looking to buy one (with the Boxing Day sales in mind) and I'm hoping to get some recommendations as I obviously don't have much of a clue.

The primary driver for getting a telly is the almost 2 year old.  Duel 24" monitors of the Wiggles is no longer cutting it, especially when Nan has this 50 something inch thing.
So daytime children's telly (in SD?) will be the main use.

And I believe the programmes he mostly watches are on Freeview.  Should every new tv be able to tune into the Freeview channels or will a need a decoder/set top box?

There'll be the odd movie and I can see an Xbox as a media centre and the occasional game in the near future.

The budget is $1500 and from reading around, plasma seems to offer the best bang for buck.  The room is not overly bright either which I understand also works in favour of plasma.  I'm also thinking size is more important than features as I'll just never play with all the functionality. 
Based on that, I reckon the 50" Samsung PS51D550 could be a goer.

Any other options or things to think about?  A smaller but more fully featured tv for example?

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  Reply # 560018 20-Dec-2011 17:16 Send private message

Where do you live? If you're in the Freeview HD coverage area then all you need is the TV and an aerial; the tuner is built in to almost all new TVs.

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  Reply # 560022 20-Dec-2011 17:22 Send private message

TH-P42ST30z would give you the best picture from a plasma under $1500.
However, it would be considerably smaller than the Samsung.
This, however, may be a good idea as SD content on a big screen will never look that good. Best you take a DVD of one of your kids shows into a store and check it out. I do recommend trying this prior to Boxing Day though... as during the full-on madness of Boxing day, you may not get a chance to do this.



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  Reply # 560138 21-Dec-2011 08:50 Send private message

Behodar: Where do you live? If you're in the Freeview HD coverage area then all you need is the TV and an aerial; the tuner is built in to almost all new TVs.


According to the map we've got both UHF and Satellite coverage but this place doesn't have a UHF aerial, only a Sky dish.  So I'd still need some sort of box, right?  I'm in this place for 12 more months and I presume the price of getting an aerial installed is greater than a STB??

That site suggests HD content is through UHF only.  Is that really right or is it a partial truth?  This is for my info only - I'm not really fussed about HD freeview content as I don't watch tv and at 22 months I'm pretty sure he doesn't care :P



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  Reply # 560143 21-Dec-2011 09:02 Send private message

Dunnersfella: TH-P42ST30z would give you the best picture from a plasma under $1500.
However, it would be considerably smaller than the Samsung.
This, however, may be a good idea as SD content on a big screen will never look that good. Best you take a DVD of one of your kids shows into a store and check it out. I do recommend trying this prior to Boxing Day though... as during the full-on madness of Boxing day, you may not get a chance to do this.


The idea of SD content on a big screen doesn't worry me so much as the little guy won't know any better and I'll only be watching movies on it so will find an HD version if necessary.

Apart from quite a few posts on GZ commenting on how good it is, I can't seem to find any traditional reviews on that model.  Is the Panasonic ST designation an NZ/Aus only thing?  

Good tip on the 'get there early', I'll definitely try them out before the end of the week.

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  Reply # 560144 21-Dec-2011 09:06 Send private message

tigercorp: That site suggests HD content is through UHF only.  Is that really right or is it a partial truth?

That's correct; satellite is SD only.

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  Reply # 560150 21-Dec-2011 09:30 Send private message

tigercorp:
Behodar: Where do you live? If you're in the Freeview HD coverage area then all you need is the TV and an aerial; the tuner is built in to almost all new TVs.


According to the map we've got both UHF and Satellite coverage but this place doesn't have a UHF aerial, only a Sky dish.  So I'd still need some sort of box, right?  I'm in this place for 12 more months and I presume the price of getting an aerial installed is greater than a STB??

That site suggests HD content is through UHF only.  Is that really right or is it a partial truth?  This is for my info only - I'm not really fussed about HD freeview content as I don't watch tv and at 22 months I'm pretty sure he doesn't care :P

Correct, FreeviewHD is through UHF only. 
You can pick up a DSE UHF aerial kit on special for $50, that has the aerial and mounting kit and cable. If you are confident installing it yourself that could be a goer. http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/product/L4735/dick-smith-hd-uhf-outdoor-antenna-pack



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  Reply # 560154 21-Dec-2011 09:39 Send private message

trig42: ...

Correct, FreeviewHD is through UHF only. 
You can pick up a DSE UHF aerial kit on special for $50, that has the aerial and mounting kit and cable. If you are confident installing it yourself that could be a goer. http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/product/L4735/dick-smith-hd-uhf-outdoor-antenna-pack


Thanks, at the price I'll definitely give it a go.

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  Reply # 560160 21-Dec-2011 09:52 Send private message

If you get a new TV and want to use the freeview tuner inside it, you WILL need a UHF aerial.

If you don't want to use the TV's inbuilt freeview tuner, then you will need to use some form of external box to supply the television signal. The existing SKY dish means you can get SKY or freeview via satellite to supply the TV.

However, as above, satellite freeview does not offer HD pictures or surround sound. If you are in a freeview HD reception area, and have a new TV with freeview built in, you really want to be aiming for freeview HD, using the TV tuner.

If you purchase SKY then in some respects you don't need to buy an aerial, but SKY is not HD either unless you pay extra for that option.

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  Reply # 560306 21-Dec-2011 15:15 Send private message

The Z at the end of the P42ST30Z designation is for the NZ model, so searching for P42ST30 will get more results.

Features like an built-in Picasa interface are mostly there for marketing purposes. Videophiles seldom take them into consideration. A Blu-ray player can give the same functionality and a laptop with HDMI does more.

Most people buy televisions on the basis of wanting the largest television at the lowest price with the most internet features, without factoring the more important build and picture quality into the equation.

As pointed out, SD content has limited resolution so getting a larger television may make it look worse instead of better. And it doesn't matter how big the TV is, it still won't have more than 1080p resolution, so unless you sit far enough away from the TV, a larger TV may actually look worse due to lower pixel pitch and more perceivable CCD artefacts and film grain.

For these reasons I wouldn't get the PS51D550 in that situation. The P42ST30 has a higher pixel pitch and should have a better build and picture quality.

A larger TV can look better with good HD sources and an appropriate sitting distance. Good HD sources aren't yet common as the industry clings to archaic equipment and source material.

Make sure whatever you get is well anchored so it can't fall near the child, and turn the quality-killing overscan off after the month or two break-in period :)



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  Reply # 560403 21-Dec-2011 19:36 Send private message

bfginger: The Z at the end of the P42ST30Z designation is for the NZ model, so searching for P42ST30 will get more results.


Thanks, that results in a _lot_ more info.

As pointed out, SD content has limited resolution so getting a larger television may make it look worse instead of better. And it doesn't matter how big the TV is, it still won't have more than 1080p resolution, so unless you sit far enough away from the TV, a larger TV may actually look worse due to lower pixel pitch and more perceivable CCD artefacts and film grain.

For these reasons I wouldn't get the PS51D550 in that situation. The P42ST30 has a higher pixel pitch and should have a better build and picture quality.

A larger TV can look better with good HD sources and an appropriate sitting distance. Good HD sources aren't yet common as the industry clings to archaic equipment and source material.


I'm actually now looking at extending the budget to the 50" Panasonic P50ST30Z :D
That range totally kicks the equivalent competitors to the curb.  Had a really helpful Harvey Norman sales guy point out all of the bits I wouldn't have looked for or probably noticed like the judder, pixelation during movement, reflection and black panel.  He also demonstrated the solidness of the unit by slapping the hell out of it, which I guess says something about that type of screen plus its build quality.  
Big respect to the Dunedin HN tv crew :)

For me I think the SD thing won't be a problem for a few years at least, by which then I'd expect most content to be HD.

Make sure whatever you get is well anchored so it can't fall near the child, and turn the quality-killing overscan off after the month or two break-in period :)


Great point about the anchoring, I also wouldn't have considered this unless something had happened.  He's a pretty tough kid but would probably come off second best if the 50" landed on him.  :P

I've just read this on overscan  and some more stuff about the break in period, but I can't see why I shouldn't just turn off overscan immediately.  What dya reckon?

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  Reply # 560785 22-Dec-2011 18:52 Send private message

I'm actually now looking at extending the budget to the 50" Panasonic P50ST30Z :D

Be careful about the pricing when selecting the model. In the USA the 42" ST30 and the 50" are only around US$200 different in pricing. But NZ retailers like large margins. The lowest price I can see for the P50ST30Z, which is Harvey Norman's, is NZ$900 higher than the lowest price for the P42ST30Z and NZ$700 higher than HN's price for the P42ST30Z.

The next-model-up P50GT30Z is only another $37 on Pricespy than HN's price for the P50ST30Z, and the 55" P55ST30Z is available for only $71 more than the price for the P50ST30Z.

There is alot of movement on prices. The top end P50VT30Z was briefly available for only another $400 earlier.

So unless the "offline" prices are alot better than the merchants' prices listed on Pricespy, the P50ST30Z won't be good value for money.

I've just read this on overscan and some more stuff about the break in period, but I can't see why I shouldn't just turn off overscan immediately. What dya reckon?

In plasma televisions the overscan also allows a pixel orbiter function to reduce the risk of image retention and burn-in. The television is more vulnerable to permanent influences during the first couple of hundred hours of operation so it is a good idea to have the pixel orbiter on during that time although the risk is still minimal.

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  Reply # 560800 22-Dec-2011 20:02

You shouldnt worry too much about burn in - the panels have some inbuilt smarts - and unless you leave it stuck on teletext or a DVD menu overnight its not likely to hurt it. Actually - even that scenario would 'heal' itself.

The overscan thing sort of annoys me. Cant recall if I have it on or off now (I have a panny 50" plasma).
The only channel that seemed to need it was tv one because they had some annoying white spot in the top left corner of the screen. I think they also had some funny little black marks at the top as well. 2 and 3 were all fine - maybe tv one sorted it. Anyway - you could cleanup the edges by turning overscan on - but I figured it was throwing a bit of the picture away.

For the record there is also this TV:
http://www.dicksmith.co.nz/product/GE6017/sony-bravia-139cm-55-quot-full-high-definition-lcd-tv-ex500

Its a lot of TV for the money (55"). We bought a couple for work a month or 2 ago. The picture looked quite respectable to me and there IS no such thing as a TV that is too large.... seriously!


pricespy.co.nz show the prices start around $1699 - who knows what it might be on boxing day.
Gets quite good reviews here as well:
http://www.retrevo.com/s/Sony-KDL-55EX500-TVs-review-manual/id/23622bh926/t/1-2/




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  Reply # 560879 23-Dec-2011 08:57 Send private message

bfginger:
I'm actually now looking at extending the budget to the 50" Panasonic P50ST30Z :D

Be careful about the pricing when selecting the model. In the USA the 42" ST30 and the 50" are only around US$200 different in pricing. But NZ retailers like large margins. The lowest price I can see for the P50ST30Z, which is Harvey Norman's, is NZ$900 higher than the lowest price for the P42ST30Z and NZ$700 higher than HN's price for the P42ST30Z.

The next-model-up P50GT30Z is only another $37 on Pricespy than HN's price for the P50ST30Z, and the 55" P55ST30Z is available for only $71 more than the price for the P50ST30Z.

There is alot of movement on prices. The top end P50VT30Z was briefly available for only another $400 earlier.

So unless the "offline" prices are alot better than the merchants' prices listed on Pricespy, the P50ST30Z won't be good value for money.

...



Now thats some good advice, thanks.  
On paper it looks like the best value for money is the P46GT, so I'm gonna head into JBs today to decide if the extra $500-600 is worth it for an additional 4 inches.  Although while typing this, I guess spread over the lifetime of the telly it will be.

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  Reply # 561022 23-Dec-2011 17:06 Send private message

An additional 9 inches, infact, but you might not want a 55" TV ;)

They don't have that model listed on their website so their price better be better than the $1,899 it's available for elsewhere.

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  Reply # 561451 25-Dec-2011 21:58 Send private message

lol.

P50VT30Z for $2599, down from $3899.

It looks like there are boxing day sale prices going after all.

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