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Topic # 128720 21-Aug-2013 11:10
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Hi all,

I'm currently in the research mode, looking to buy a jack of all trades Full HD TV. I intend to use it for PC gaming, streaming movies and youtube from a PC, playing Bluerays, Freeview etc.
I've read the 2008 sticky thread on LCD vs Plasma, and while it sure got me some old school base knowledge, I somehow suspect things are a bit
different in the year of our Lord 2013.
I have looked a few pages back, didn't find any topic similar to this, that offers all the information I'm after, if I somehow missed it, please feel free to berate me.

I saw people have been recommending LED LCD TVs for gaming, but haven't really went in detail why. A friend of mine said
their 100hz refresh rate is just an imitation, not the actual 100hz, like you get on Asus gaming monitors, for example.
Can anyone offer some explanation on how things are with today's LED LCD TVs?

I'm personally swaying towards Panasonic Plasma TV, specifically the 50inch Full HD, non Smart, non 3D. From all the articles read, and from
Panasonic website, it would appear Plasma has continuously grown and  upgraded their performance.
Is this just PR or have they surpassed LCDs or at least caught up in some fields?

Also, the price to screen size ratio is either 40inch LED LCD or 50inch plasma, and seeing as I plan to spend the rest of my life in my new lazyboy, bigger screen means less strain on eyes.

Let this be an update to the 2008 thread, no flaming or arguing please.

Thanks!-M

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  Reply # 882083 21-Aug-2013 11:24
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There is a current discussion on 70" TVs that has a number of recommendations.

I personally love my Panasonic ST60 Plasma - but it does have fairly high lag if you are gaming (i don't use it for this so haven't noticed, going off third party reports)

Otherwise love it.



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  Reply # 882377 21-Aug-2013 19:44
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The Panasonic TH-P50S60 would be the pick of the plasmas in my books... IF, you only require 2 x HDMI inputs. The movie performance and motion handling would be pretty hard to beat for the money (around $1150 is the best I've seen). Only 2 x HDMI's though, which is a little on the low side.
The downside with plasmas and gaming is two fold.
1: They can't push out the same luminescence as an LED, something people looking for reference level performance.
2: Some panels can suffer from image retention (some are worse than others), especially if not run in correctly. I've seldom seen it happen to the more recent plasmas, aside from the C series Samsung models.

For an LED 42" the LG's would have to be my favourite units, as the dual play functionality makes for some pretty cool dual screen gaming fun. The 42LA6230 and 42LA6620 seem to be pretty sweet.

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  Reply # 882464 21-Aug-2013 22:15
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What actual implementations of dual play are currently out there? Is it a console game thing?

I noticed that some LG monitors can now put two separate inputs side by side. Its a shame that (correct me if I'm wrong) you can't dual play from 2 sources the same way (e.g. me surfing the web while my wife watches a movie, both on the TV in full screen simultaneously)

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  Reply # 882469 21-Aug-2013 22:24
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psk20: What actual implementations of dual play are currently out there? Is it a console game thing?

I noticed that some LG monitors can now put two separate inputs side by side. Its a shame that (correct me if I'm wrong) you can't dual play from 2 sources the same way (e.g. me surfing the web while my wife watches a movie, both on the TV in full screen simultaneously)


My LG 47LM6700 will only do dual play from 1 source (console). Just checked. Last years model AFAIK.

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  Reply # 882475 21-Aug-2013 22:43
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It's currently only one source, gaming consoles with split screen modes are all I've used... but I'm sure, if a PC game allows it, you'll be away and laughing.



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  Reply # 883214 23-Aug-2013 09:50
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Thanks guys, that was helpful, as well as information from that 70's topic :)

Now that I have it narrowed down to LED LCD, can anyone offer some more feedback on picture quality between brands and models?

I'm currently torn between Sony Bravia, Panasonic, Samsung and LG, their 42inch versions. Sony has the most fancy words listed under features, but does it justify being the most expensive?

Basically, Sony and Panasonic are on the average 200-400 more expensive than Samsung and LG, and it's the money I'd gladly pay if it's worth it.

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  Reply # 883217 23-Aug-2013 09:55
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Looks like the LG 42la6620 has local dimming, which is supposed to be a big plus. You can get one on special for just under 1400. Do comparably priced models from other brands have that feature? Also, passive 3d sounds better than active, but I don't really know :)

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  Reply # 883237 23-Aug-2013 10:45
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Dunnersfella: The Panasonic TH-P50S60 would be the pick of the plasmas in my books... IF, you only require 2 x HDMI inputs. The movie performance and motion handling would be pretty hard to beat for the money (around $1150 is the best I've seen). Only 2 x HDMI's though, which is a little on the low side.
The downside with plasmas and gaming is two fold.
1: They can't push out the same luminescence as an LED, something people looking for reference level performance.
2: Some panels can suffer from image retention (some are worse than others), especially if not run in correctly. I've seldom seen it happen to the more recent plasmas, aside from the C series Samsung models.


The S60 vs ST60 is Night and Day when side by side. ST is miles better (movement, quality, brightness, colour, blacks).

I was concerned about the luminance - Only ever an issue in the middle of the day when sunlight is direct on the TV - in which case close the curtain.
From what I have read image retention is a non-issue in modern plasmas unless you try to break them.

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  Reply # 883567 23-Aug-2013 19:42
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I'd agree that the ST is acres ahead of the S60, but the OP was looking for non-3D, non-smart etc... and that's my pick in the current range of 2013 plasma TV's that fits the bill.
The 42" LED's are another option of course, I'd put the 6620 from LG next to the ET60 from Panasonic and make your decision based on the picture...

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  Reply # 883629 23-Aug-2013 21:21
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Is there any particular reason why you dont want smart/3d?
I just purchased a Samsung UA50F6400 for $1888.
So far it seems to be quite a bit of TV for the price.



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  Reply # 883708 23-Aug-2013 23:41
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Hi guys,

Again, I appreciate the input, and so I feel like an explanation is due to my specific requirements.

I feel like the TV hype is going in the wrong directions, people are worrying and getting hyped by which TV has the best smart phone software, or which TV has the best internet browsers, on demand service etc.

And it seems silly to me.

Call me oldfashioned, but I'm looking to buy a TV with the best picture quality, with least lag, no ghosting etc. Isn't that what TV is supposed to be about?
And that is why I don't care about smarts or 3D, it's simply not important enough.

Now that we have this amazing TV technology, I want to combine the best of both worlds, a big screen with the best interactive platform, a PC.
After some 20+ years of ruining my spine, shoulder blades and neck sitting in a computer chair, I'm planning to finally sit comfortably and still retain the freedom PC offers, without having to settle for a console, not that I'm excluding the option.

So, after doing some more research, I'm thinking of buying this hidden gem: http://www.harveynorman.co.nz/sharp-40-full-hd-3d-ready-led-lcd-tv.html

It has the focus on everything I care about, and the stats are being compared with $2.5k worth of Sonys and Panasonics. And it's currently on special, and I hope some greedy salesman will get it even lower (one can dream).
Feel free to offer some feedback on it, if you have any.

Thanks for your help though, you have definitely helped with the thought and evaluation process.

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  Reply # 883732 24-Aug-2013 01:49
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For the $'s, it looks like it's worth putting into the mix...
Again, put it next to the LG / Panasonic and check it out with broadcast TV and a BluRay. See if you can get your hands on the remotes and ask if you can play with the picture - and you should be fine. The Sharp is definitely well spec'd, and I agree, 'Smart TV' are merely window dressing that will leave a TV outdated within 6 months to a year. It's all about picture, and if you don't have a h/theatre, the sound performance of the TV.

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  Reply # 883761 24-Aug-2013 08:11
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To some extent I agree, but at the same time, I am not so sure that a "generalist" HTPC (i.e. having a rig that will do your gaming and movies and torrents etc etc) is a great way to go. Not sure if that's what you were planning. But it's what I did last time, and now that I'm looking to replace most of my setup, I'm thinking I'll go a very different way this time. Why?
 
1) The software can be quite clunky. I didn't enjoy using Media Portal. Media Center was a huge improvement but it was a real pain to get it displaying EPG data (and every so often my solution would stop working and I'd have to find something else).
 
2) Ergonomically, mouse + keyboard with an HDTV on a sofa isn't particularly enjoyable. I'd rather use a laptop, desktop or tablet.
 
3) Traditional "desktop" mouse/keyboards tend to have a <2 meter range. My solution was to get the super expensive Microsoft Bluetooth wireless entertainment desktop, but I don't really think it was worth the money, particularly. Maybe there are better, cheaper options now. Probably. But it was a bit of a hurdle.

4) You'll probably need to put your lazyboy quite close to the TV if you want to use windows on a 40-50" screen at 1080p. And/or make text/icons larger.

5) Why buy one generalist computer when you could get maybe two or three specialist computers for about the same price? If you're running a p2p download client, playing games, providing centralized network storage, and watching TV all on the same rig, there's a premium you pay in terms of convenience, imo. Gaming PCs TEND to be much noisier than, say, the system-on-a-chip that resides inside a TV (some graphics cards are much better than others though, and my hd 4870 was about as bad as you could get, admittedly). If you have to fire up your gaming PC just to watch a movie, then you're needlessly burning energy and the signal to noise ratio of your home theatre setup will be terrible regardless of the audio fidelity of your audio equipment. With maybe $1500, you could build a pretty sweet gaming rig with a TV tuner card. But with that same budget, you could get, say, a decent NAS (with the ability to manage p2p services, stream and possibly even transcode video, and deal with backups, being left in an always on state - and therefore always being accessible to all computers on the network - and consuming maybe 10% of the power of a gaming rig) and a gaming console / media player / blue ray player (pick your device).
 
I'm not sure you were planning on going the generalist do-it-all PC route, but I thought I'd just put in my 2 cents and warn you against it, just in case. It can probably be made to work but there are definitely many pitfalls, which I discovered first hand. Personally, even going the HTPC route, I think probably the best way would be to have a small, quiet, low power HTPC to act as your media player. And then to have a separate PC for gaming. But then... that's a slippery slope; a NAS just is a specialized computer for managing storage and related services, and an xbox is also just a specialized computer too ;P Same goes for one of those cheap WD media players.

Lastly, I think many of us here probably aren't massively excited about smart TV features. Personally, I'm a fan of 3d. And I like the idea of some of the smart features, as long as I don't have to pay too high a premium for them. And that's the thing. Because of the TVs on offer, there doesn't really seem to be a good way of foregoing the smart features and saving several hundred dollars - at least, not without foregoing some other features that are more useful/desirable (such as 3d, panel quality or connectivity). At least, that seems to have been my experience since I've started looking at the options.



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  Reply # 883773 24-Aug-2013 09:14
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It sounds like a horrible experience you've had there.

I have thought my plan through, and I believe it can work, because I've seen it and tested it at my friends place.

By putting a smooth slab of wood, resting on the chair armrests, you get a makeshift desktop surface for keyboard and mouse. I'll use an extension usb cable for my gaming mouse, while keyboard can stay wireless.

The noise of running high spec games is rarely an issue, so if anything, distance will help. But lucky for me, I don't play Crysis type of games, so basically last time I had noise issues was when I fired up Witcher 2 on very high :)

I have been playing Dota 2 on high, with various things running in the background, with no issues whatsoever, so I don't think getting a bigger monitor will impede my day to day functionality.

I also have an LG blueplayer with usb, in case TV is missing a codec, so having a PC running to watch a movie will never happen.

A man can dream, and while I have been fearful of some good points you've brought on, I owe it to myself to at least try make this work.

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  Reply # 883779 24-Aug-2013 09:39
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Don't let my advice stop you from trying, but make sure you have a good plan for mitigating those issues. It can work, but there are pitfalls you need to be aware of :P Looks like you're already working on it :)

One option is to put the PC in some sort of cabinet/closet - just ensure you have enough airflow! Also, use nice big slow 120mm fans as much as possible. Check for firmware/software updates, especially for your graphics card, to improve its power management and fan controls. See what kind of power management features you have access to through your graphics card software - for instance, you could probably set up a launcher that changes your profile when launching media center, so that your graphics card underclocked itself and lowered its fan RPMs. If you are on the market for a new graphics card, you can get some decent-enough upper-middle-end graphics cards that are designed to be relatively quiet. From memory, when I bought my Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 a few years ago, Sapphire also made "toxic" (?) HD 4850s which just had a really big heat sink in lieu of a fan. Perhaps running a few of that kind of card in crossfire, with attention paid to adequate 120mm fan airflow, could give you plenty of gaming grunt without much noise.

Oh right, just saw that you won't be using your PC to run movies. You can pretty much ignore what I said, then :) Sounds like we'd like to have similar setups, ultimately... except that I'm considering switching to console gaming (It's been PC games only for me up until this point, but I'd like to have a platform with games that are more easily enjoyed with my wife, and when he's a bit older, my 2 year old son :P Split screen mode, etc, is a big plus for me this time round)

Would you recommend the Witcher? I've never touched the series, but I must say many of my favourite games have been RPGs (I've played bioware games since Baldur's Gate 1).

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