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Topic # 17722 8-Dec-2007 19:51
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Hi

I was looking to possibly purchase a 32 inch flat panel TV in the coming while (Christmas and Boxing Day sales maybe) and I was wanting recommendations from the knowledgeable folks at GZ.

I've heard good things about Sony's BRAVIA LCDs, and two friends have TVs from the Bravia series. I've also heard good things about Samsung, and one friend has a Samsung 19 inch LCD.

From Sony, I was looking at the Sony Bravia KLV32U300A, but I was told that the V series was much more preferrable than the U series, in which case, the Sony Bravia KLV32V300A. The U is $1248 from DSE and the V is $1749, so a bit of a jump. Is the V series $500 better than the U series?

The links for the DSE pages are U series and V series.

I haven't looked at Samsung's offerings, so couldn't give model numbers or anything, but either Samsung or Sony would be my preference (based on friends' recommendations).

I'm looking at LCD as opposed to plasma based on friends' recommendations (again) but if someone here can recommend a better plasma set, then I'm way open to take a look.

EDIT: I picked 32 inches because it fits in my house (I could go up to 40 inches, though) and more importantly, it fits in my budget ($2000 absolute maximum, around $1400-$1600 preferred).

Thanks,
Ant

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597 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 98948 8-Dec-2007 20:37
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Compare the screens side by side, using the exact same input. Preferably HDMI or component if you can. Some stores feed HMDI or component into some TVs and composite into others. Gotta test them on an even playing field. Or they daisy-chain the signal down the line so it deteriorates by the time at gets down to the other TVs. Also play with the picture settings, such as contrast, sharpness and noise reduction.

I compared a Samsung with a Sony Bravia side by side at the beginning of the year and bought the Samsung. I liked the picture better. I also like black framing. I plugged and upplugged the same cable in to both TVs. A family member bought a Philips not long after. It was about $1000 more for the same size screen. I wouldn't say it looked ~$1000 better, but the menus and functions were way better than the Samsung. The Philips has an amazing multimedia wizard to step through to tweak the picture and sound settings to your own tastes.

Things I wish my Samsung had? I wish it had more than one HDMI input, auto-zoom function, and a PiP mode that is not limited to the HDMI input plus one other source. Other than that it's basic, but nice.


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Ultimate Geek

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Reply # 98981 8-Dec-2007 23:32

My tips 4U:

1. Below 40", definitely go for LCD.
2. If I were you I would choose a Full HD LCD, because HD broadcasting is coming and what if you buy a PS3 next month? :)
3. Brand does not matter too much: Samsung, Sony, LG they all make good tvs
4. Don't drink and drive!




I is a kollege stoodent. Bee nice.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 98997 9-Dec-2007 09:39
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Aloha: My tips 4U:

1. Below 40", definitely go for LCD.
2. If I were you I would choose a Full HD LCD, because HD broadcasting is coming and what if you buy a PS3 next month? :)
3. Brand does not matter too much: Samsung, Sony, LG they all make good tvs
4. Don't drink and drive!


Full HD is fine if you're going to be watching full HD content but remember our digital TV here is only 720p so there is no real benefit in a 1080p screen unless you're watching Blu-Ray or HD-DVD content. You then have the 1080p24 issue to deal with - a large number of the 1080p TV sets on the market still won't take 1080p24 signals.

Even at 40" it's simply not possible to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p content at normal viewing distances.

My main piece of advice would be to check the TV for PC inputs or whether it will take a PC via HDMI and give you 1:1 pixel mapping. You may not think hooking up a HTPC is important right now but once you play with one you'll realise how cool PC based PVR's are.

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  Reply # 99438 11-Dec-2007 14:57
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I dont wanna hijack this thread but I was looking at the Philips 42PFL7422 which is a 42inch LCD that does 1080p
Does the 1080p24 issue come up mainly in blue ray and HD DVD or could you have problems when connected to a HTPC as this will be my main input once DVB-T gets up and running.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 99444 11-Dec-2007 16:16
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24 fps is only a HD DVD and Blu Ray issue.  The main concern with hooking up a HTPC is the 1:1 pixel mapping as sbiddle suggests above.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 99560 12-Dec-2007 08:51
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For me, earlier this year, it was a choice between the Sony, Samsung and the Panasonic.
The Sony had too little features for the price (only 1x HDMI etc)

Watching them side-by-side you see some very minor differences in the picture quality but nothing you will notice once
it's in your home B-)

I ended up choosing the Panny (TX-32LX700) over the Samsung as the audio was better (didn't want to get external speakers etc)
and it just seemed to operate/navigate a bit better for me.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 99581 12-Dec-2007 10:49
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We recently got a bigger V-series 46" Bravia (720p) for work. When I turned it on and played a DVD on it I was horrified at the quality - it was appalling. Noisy, bright, artefacts galore.

BUT - out of the box, these things have all sorts of bad factory presets. You will need to set the TV to as "base" a standard as you can - mid-range the brightness and colour, turn off noise-reduction, gamma, and anything else that dicks with the picture. You will then be able to judge it by its true colours.

In the end I've been very happy with it, especially the quality of PC presentations, when the VGA input is set to the correct (1280x720) dimensions for pixel-to-pixel mapping. Sharp as a button and true true colour.

Bear in mind that standard def DVD really shows up its limitations on modern flat panel displays.

I'd go for the V series if you can afford it.

Tom

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 99598 12-Dec-2007 12:30
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Can I just add that there isnt any 32" plasmas at all, Panasonic are the only ones who make 37" panels if they still do.

Personaly I prefer picture quality over resolution, for 42" anyhow, and Plasma to me always looks more filmic.

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  Reply # 99668 12-Dec-2007 20:12
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I have a 37" Panasonic plasma that i picked up for under $1900. Has 2 HDMI ports, PC support via VGA, component, composite and S-video inputs.
I run my HTPC thru it via the HDMI port (use powerstrip to overcome the lack of 1:1 pixel mapping via HDMI, altho it still overscans with a tv signal, strangely enough)
I was very keen initially at getting the D series sony 32" LCD, (one above the V) but found the panasonic to be superior picture, as Plasma usually is. I say go for a plasma if you don't plan on BluRay/PS3 in a hurry. And if on a small set like 37", if you can tell the diff between 720p and 1080p you must have the eyes of a hawk. Downsides are you can get screen burn in if you leave a still image on the screen for hours on end, and they use a bit more power when on. However, you don't lose detail in dark areas, don't get motion blur, can see it from any angle and don't have to worry about pixels dying.

I love my Plasma, but then I hate the loss of detail in LCD's. If I had a bigger budget (and bigger wall) I'd go for a Pioneer 50" full HD Plasma.  One day....




Lounge:
WIN7 HOME x64 HTPC -  E6420 2.13Ghz -  4Gb 800MHZ PATRIOT RAM - ASUS HD5670 1GB
ASUS P5B-VM MOBO - LG BLU-RAY DRIVE - BG3595 TUNER - 1.5TB STORAGE
PANASONIC 42" FULL HD PLASMA - PIONEER VSX1019AHK RECEIVER - WHARFDALE DIAMOND 10 SPEAKERS

Man Cave:
XBOX 360 MODERN WARFARE 2 EDITION - PANASONIC 37" PLASMA - SONY MONSTA 5.1 SURROUND SYSTEM

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  Reply # 99726 13-Dec-2007 08:29
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Get a copy of the latest NZ Consumer.  They have a write up.  Philips came last, Panasonic first  from memory

Tested.
Panasonic Viera TX-32LX70
Panasonic Viera TX-32LX700
Philips 32TA2800
Samsung LA32R81BX
Sharp Aquos LC-32PX5X
Sony Bravia KLV-32V300A
Toshiba Regza 32A3000

Picture quality

Most of our LCD TV test models had picture quality you'd be quite happy with - the best were better than ever.

The good news continues. Every time we test LCD TV sets we find the picture-quality benchmark has lifted a notch - and they've got cheaper too. The best model in this test is $800 cheaper than the best one we tested only eight months ago.

The Panasonic models had exceptionally good pictures and they've risen to the challenge of showing a nice deep black. Other dark colours also appear properly dark. Our top-of-the-test Panasonic TX-32LX700 also has an SD card slot: just plug in your camera card and your pix are on TV.

Only the Philips let the side down - it had poor blackness, a noticeable greenish tone, "white crush", and "banding-in-motion". "Banding" is where a non-flat object shows bands as it moves, instead of a gentle transition of shades. "White crush" is a lack of definition on white images: instead of a crease being shown, it's "crushed" out.

Better news from our pixel inspection, though. None of the sets had a faulty pixel.
Sounds good too

The two Panasonic and Toshiba sets show it's possible to have decent sound from the speakers on a flat-screen TV. All three had good treble and mid-range reproduction and acceptable bass. The Sony was good in the upper ranges but a little flat in the bass - but most listeners would be quite happy with the Sony sound.

Sharp got it quite wrong: its set sounded tinny and had practically no bass response. For that one, you'd be best advised to connect up your stereo or home-theatre system.




Regards,

Old3eyes




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Geek


  Reply # 100284 16-Dec-2007 19:57
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I went to Bond and Bond today (not as a buyer, just as a looker - the money's kind of not there any more, so I can't be buying anything, not even in the sales Frown ) and I looked at every television in the shop, had 3 salespeople try and convince a was better than b but c was best, and then listened in on conversation sother people had with the salesvultures (with their permission of course).

I've decided that plasma hurts my eyes. There is something about it that just does not work with me. It may have been the source BB was using, because it looked fairly crap, but the LCDs seemed to be of better quality than the plasmas, and the LCDs didn't hurt my eyes as much. The plasma screens also seemed to be more expensive than the LCDs, even at the same size.

I've also decided that 32 inches is a tad small - sadly. I looked at some massive monster (70" for about $8k) which thankfully was far too big, and then at the 32 incher which paled in comparison. I think 37 inches or maybe 42 is actually the sweet spot (but probably 37).

Luckily for me, DSE's price on the 37 inch Bravia is kind of within my budgetary limits - it's $1998. Hopefully this has come down by the time I can buy. Or I could look at TradeMe.

Damn TVs for being so expensive. I remember when our TV got nicked, going to 100% Electric and getting a new, better, bigger CRT for $350. Not $2000! Admittedly, the CRT is considerably smaller than the LCDs I'm looking at. But my point still stands, LCD is quite expensive - even Sony's 20 inch G series Bravia, which is 4:3 and not high def, is about $700 or $800.

I wish I had more income of my own. But I'm a third form (this year) student, with a $30 a week income, with a single parent training to be a teacher. Although middle class, technology is apparently not an appropriate thing to be spending the household monies on. Unfortunately, I'm saving what little money I do earn for a laptop later next year, so that ties up my savings and stuff. At least I'm going to start earning money from clients for web design and stuff (only one project, but client's been hinting that it's a well paid one).

Anyways, my point was, I'm no longer buying and now more interested in 37 inches. Thanks for your replies and help and stuff.

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  Reply # 100366 17-Dec-2007 08:41
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since buying a 46" TV back in July I am convince  that we are in a technology backwater here with every man and his dog out to price gouge you especally in the next gen DVD formats.  Prices here are twice  of those across the ditch and about 4 times that of the US.  And HD media players.  They're not even available..




Regards,

Old3eyes


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  Reply # 100608 18-Dec-2007 10:18
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And HD media players. They're not even available..


in what sense?  that's a pretty bold statement...

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  Reply # 100652 18-Dec-2007 13:15
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gehenna:
And HD media players. They're not even available..


in what sense?  that's a pretty bold statement...


Ok .  Point me to some that play Divx, Xvid, H264, MKV in HD in NZ.  Tvix 4100 anyone??




Regards,

Old3eyes


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  Reply # 100657 18-Dec-2007 13:35
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gehenna:
And HD media players. They're not even available..


in what sense?  that's a pretty bold statement...


Virtually any PC is a HD media player. There are plenty of people watching HD content on their PVR's/HTPC's hooked up to their big screen TV's as it's the only real way to get decent HD material.

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