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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


# 22298 23-May-2008 02:57
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Hi, I am a university student (with a very limited budget) who plans to purchase a 32" LCD TV in the near future.

I have narrowed my possible choices down to:

  • Sony KLV32U300A - $999

  • Samsung LA32S81BX - $1098.00

  • Toshiba 32A3500 $1199.00

  • Sony KLV32V300A - $1297.00

  • Samsung LA32R81BX - $1300.00


$1000.00 was my original max budget, but somehow that crept up to $1100.00 :). This leaves me with two choices : Sony KLV32U300A or Samsung LA32S81BX. Have any of you geekzone members ever purchased one of these two? If so I would be very interested to hear your thoughts / experiences.  I would also like to know what factors contribute to the price difference between the two Samsung models or the two Sony models? Is the KLV32V300A far better than the KLV32U300A etc.?

http://www.samsung.com/nz/products/tv/lcdtv/la32s81b.asp?page=Specifications
http://www.sony.com.sg/product/klv-32u300a

I mainly plan to use the TV for the Playstation 3 (using HDMI) and viewing bluray/DVD movies. Our reception sucks so I doubt I'll watch much TV on it!

Tomorrow I am going to walk into DSE and do a side-by-side comparison. What are the most important things to consider when comparing the TVs?

In the list above I have included three TVs outside of my budget just in case you guys come to the conclusion that my first two alternatives suck and that it is crucial I get something else! :)

Ultimately my question for you is, if you were to visit your local electronics store with my budget, which TV would you walk away with?

Thanks very much for reading my first geekzone post!
Ben







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Uber Geek

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  # 132693 23-May-2008 08:05
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Keep saving until you can afford FULL-HD resolution of 1920*1080 (looking at around $2400 but will net you 40-42 inch)
Your PS3 and Bluray movies will thank you for it.

If your already have a tv to play them on you better off saving i think.




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Master Geek


  # 132716 23-May-2008 09:09
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We got a Sony KLV32U300A a few months ago and it's great.
It's also connected up to a PS3 for BluRay and the BBCs Planet Earth looks amazing on it.

The only downsides I can see with this TV (they don't affect me though) is that it only has one HDMI input but it does have plenty of others, and the fact it is only really 720p.  It does support 1080i so can handle that if that's all the device sends to it but it must jiggle it about a bit to squeeze it into 720 lines.
I have the PS3 set up to 720p and the picture quality is great, at $999 you can't go wrong.  I'd highly recommend it.

 
 
 
 


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  # 132728 23-May-2008 10:00
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I've got the previous model to the Toshiba you mention.  I can't recommend the REGZA series enough!  I've had no issues with mine whatsoever, for the price you can't go wrong.

However, you should look around....my brother got a 37" REGZA recently through either Harvey Norman or Noel Leeming on special for around $1299 which is only $100 from what you're looking at spending on the 32".  Maybe ring around (which you probably have already)

Doing a side-by-side is all well and good but usually retailers only have SD content running through their televisions, and sometimes even just over the air SD tuner content - so it usually looks like proper crap in the shop.  See if you can get them to hook up a PS3 or Xbox 360 to each of the ones you're looking at and either run a game through both, or connect a PS3 to each TV and run a Blu-ray movie through each.  Whether the shop assistants will be ameniable to this is questionable - I've had bad experiences with a few retailers who have the attitude that "these things sell themselves so we don't have to accomodate your requests".  Pain-in-the-a really.

Other important considerations are the amount of inputs and variety of inputs to cater for old and new technology.  Native resolution is important but doesn't usually come into play until you get to a 42" panel where some are 1024x768 (WHY?!?!?) instead of 1366x768 (720p/1080i) and 1920x1080 (720p/1080i/1080p) - with the 32"-37" they should all be 1366x768 and that will give you a nice 720p Blu-ray and PS3 gaming experience for your money.

32 posts

Geek


  # 132737 23-May-2008 10:44
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Staz,
   Mentalinc is right, full HD is the best but since the limited budget, I would recommend the samsung LA32R81BX mainly because of the Movie Plus imaging engine. The Movie Plus effect makes your DVD movies even satelite transmission either freeview or Sky shows looks like the movie is a studio taken effect. I had visitors at my house watching sky and had recognized the difference since he had the LA32S81BX model. Go check on the stores for a side by side comparison and have them turn on the Movie Plus engine to see the difference. With this feature I had decided to postpone getting a Blu-Ray player as my HDMI DVD player is already looks great with the Movie Plus imaging engine.
   Make sure you have a look at the Movie Plus effect as some people I know don't like the effect but for my case I like it just fine. See if it is worth the price difference for you. If your testing bring your own DVD that you are familar with your current system, since sometimes stores will insert a demo disc which will make a crappy TV look fantastic.
   Hope this helps.

Rgds
MF

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  # 132742 23-May-2008 10:53
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mf26: Staz,
   Mentalinc is right, full HD is the best but since the limited budget, I would recommend the samsung LA32R81BX mainly because of the Movie Plus imaging engine. The Movie Plus effect makes your DVD movies even satelite transmission either freeview or Sky shows looks like the movie is a studio taken effect. I had visitors at my house watching sky and had recognized the difference since he had the LA32S81BX model. Go check on the stores for a side by side comparison and have them turn on the Movie Plus engine to see the difference. With this feature I had decided to postpone getting a Blu-Ray player as my HDMI DVD player is already looks great with the Movie Plus imaging engine.
   Make sure you have a look at the Movie Plus effect as some people I know don't like the effect but for my case I like it just fine. See if it is worth the price difference for you. If your testing bring your own DVD that you are familar with your current system, since sometimes stores will insert a demo disc which will make a crappy TV look fantastic.
   Hope this helps.

Rgds
MF


Hey mf is that the feature that stops jaggies?  Like, viewing a standard def image on dvd or whatnot shows slightly jaggy straight lines usually, is this the feature that a lot of TVs are incorporating now to smooth out those edges and enhance the image?  Or am i thinking of somthing else?

32 posts

Geek


  # 132753 23-May-2008 11:18
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Gehenna,
   Not sure if the same one I was referring to, but have a look at how Samsung describes it:
Samsung’s Movie Plus imaging engine creates fast action images without the judder often experienced with LCD TV’s. By calculating the incoming source, and interpolating the additional images required for 24, 25 or 30 frame per second movies, Movie Plus creates new images that eliminate the judder effect
   It's hard to actually describe it, you have to see it for yourself to confirm. I think Sony calls it Motion Flow technology (at least from their description looks the same) but have not compared the effect if similar.

Rgds,
MF

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  # 132757 23-May-2008 11:27
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ah cool, thanks.  what I'm referring to is the setting that most people don't know about in their TV which is usually called Movie/Film/Cinema Mode or something similar.  it smooths the lines and edges of things so their not as pixelated.  Turn this on if you can find it on your TV people!!! You'll love the results!  Although I think it *could* be dependent on the input source (ie hdmi vs component vs composite)

 
 
 
 




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Wannabe Geek


  # 132771 23-May-2008 12:25
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mentalinc: Keep saving until you can afford FULL-HD resolution of 1920*1080 (looking at around $2400 but will net you 40-42 inch)
Your PS3 and Bluray movies will thank you for it.

If your already have a tv to play them on you better off saving i think.


As tempting as this is, there are two problems with this scenario.

1. I have a small bedroom in a small student flat so a 40 -42 inch TV would be far too big! I even wondered if 32" was too big. Smile

2. Most of the money I have saved away for the TV was thanks to some birthday money I received from relations. My usual situation is student_loan + student_allowance < expenses. In other words I don't see my budget rising to $2400 in the near future.

Thanks very much for the reply. I look forward to being able to afford expensive electronics once I've finished uni!  Smile



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Wannabe Geek


  # 132773 23-May-2008 12:31
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neilinnz: We got a Sony KLV32U300A a few months ago and it's great.
It's also connected up to a PS3 for BluRay and the BBCs Planet Earth looks amazing on it.

The only downsides I can see with this TV (they don't affect me though) is that it only has one HDMI input but it does have plenty of others, and the fact it is only really 720p.  It does support 1080i so can handle that if that's all the device sends to it but it must jiggle it about a bit to squeeze it into 720 lines.
I have the PS3 set up to 720p and the picture quality is great, at $999 you can't go wrong.  I'd highly recommend it.


SONY_KLV32U300A++

Thanks very much for sharing that. I am very tempted to leave this lecture now and walk straight to DSE to purchase it! Laughing

BBCs Planet Earth - Now that's a series I have been meaning to watch for ages. A new TV will be a good excuse to hire the boxset.

Awesome
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  # 132777 23-May-2008 12:39
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I have a 32" U Series BRAVIA and love it to bits.

Problem is that while you can certainly tell the difference between SD and HD, 32" inches isnt really big enough to fully apprecaite the difference. The difference between SD and HD on a larger screen (Say 40 inch plus) is much more contrasting.



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Wannabe Geek


  # 132787 23-May-2008 13:22
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gehenna: I've got the previous model to the Toshiba you mention.  I can't recommend the REGZA series enough!  I've had no issues with mine whatsoever, for the price you can't go wrong.

However, you should look around....my brother got a 37" REGZA recently through either Harvey Norman or Noel Leeming on special for around $1299 which is only $100 from what you're looking at spending on the 32".  Maybe ring around (which you probably have already)

Doing a side-by-side is all well and good but usually retailers only have SD content running through their televisions, and sometimes even just over the air SD tuner content - so it usually looks like proper crap in the shop.  See if you can get them to hook up a PS3 or Xbox 360 to each of the ones you're looking at and either run a game through both, or connect a PS3 to each TV and run a Blu-ray movie through each.  Whether the shop assistants will be ameniable to this is questionable - I've had bad experiences with a few retailers who have the attitude that "these things sell themselves so we don't have to accomodate your requests".  Pain-in-the-a really.

Other important considerations are the amount of inputs and variety of inputs to cater for old and new technology.  Native resolution is important but doesn't usually come into play until you get to a 42" panel where some are 1024x768 (WHY?!?!?) instead of 1366x768 (720p/1080i) and 1920x1080 (720p/1080i/1080p) - with the 32"-37" they should all be 1366x768 and that will give you a nice 720p Blu-ray and PS3 gaming experience for your money.


To be honest before reading your post the Toshiba was near the bottom of my list. That has now changed!

I will give the Toshiba 32A3500 a very thorough looking-at too. I sure hope that they let me hook up a PS3 / watch a bluray movie.

If any of you GZers are in the Hamilton DSE Powerhouse this afternoon (or any other electronics retailer for that matter), and see a guy analysing the TVs at the back of the store for hours on end, you will have just spotted a Staz!

Cheers



8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 132788 23-May-2008 13:40
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mf26: I would recommend the samsung LA32R81BX mainly because of the Movie Plus imaging engine. The Movie Plus effect makes your DVD movies even satelite transmission either freeview or Sky shows looks like the movie is a studio taken effect. I had visitors at my house watching sky and had recognized the difference since he had the LA32S81BX model.


Your were supposed to tell me that there is no difference whatsoever between the LA32S81BX and the more expensive LA32R81BX! Tongue out

It was good to know all the same. Maybe, just maybe I can stretch my budget a little further if I also notice a significant picture quality difference between the two models. At this rate my budget will have increased 10-fold by tomorrow morning.

Thanks for the reply!

32 posts

Geek


  # 132789 23-May-2008 13:47
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Staz,
    I know what you mean. Compare the 2 models and see if you will like the difference. As mentioned, some of my friends had mixed opinions about it personally I really like it thus postpone my blu ray purchase for at least a year.
    Good luck. Let us know what you decide on.

Rgds,
MF



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Wannabe Geek


  # 132790 23-May-2008 13:49
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adamj: I have a 32" U Series BRAVIA and love it to bits.

Problem is that while you can certainly tell the difference between SD and HD, 32" inches isnt really big enough to fully apprecaite the difference. The difference between SD and HD on a larger screen (Say 40 inch plus) is much more contrasting.


SD on the Bravia will still look better than on my current 21" CRT that I bought from DSE years and years ago though right?

Cheers

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  # 132791 23-May-2008 14:03
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Staz:
adamj: I have a 32" U Series BRAVIA and love it to bits.

Problem is that while you can certainly tell the difference between SD and HD, 32" inches isnt really big enough to fully apprecaite the difference. The difference between SD and HD on a larger screen (Say 40 inch plus) is much more contrasting.


SD on the Bravia will still look better than on my current 21" CRT that I bought from DSE years and years ago though right?

Cheers


Definitely, while adamj makes the point that the screen size isn't really large enough to see differences between SD and HD, the difference between a CRT and LCD displaying SD is huge imo

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