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View Full Version : Flat Screen TVs, is 1080p worth it?



BrianW
11-23-2007, 07:27 PM
It's time for a new TV, as the old Sony died the other day. After lugging that thing out the door, I realized that crt televisions are just way too heavy. So in keeping up with the times, we're going to get a flat screen tv.

I'm leaning towards plasma, a Panasonic to be specific, and it isn't a 1080p format. Just a 720p, or whatever they are called. We don't get fancy with the tv, just throw in a dvd, or watch cable, so should I be concerned about living without this feature?

Memphis Mike
11-23-2007, 07:31 PM
Can you believe the prices on those things? When this Sony of ours goes out I'm tempted to not replace it at all but like you enjoy watching movies on the DVD player.

Joe (SoCal)
11-23-2007, 07:41 PM
I was in Best Buy pricing a wii for Tess for Christmas and man those flat screens have come down in price oooofa ;) But to me now that would just be to much of an extravigance. Ooh but think how cool it would be to play the wii on a plasma :D

Uncle Duke
11-23-2007, 07:56 PM
Quick comment:
The "p" means "progressive", "i" means "interlaced".
'Progressive' means that each line on the screen is done sequentially. 'Interlaced' means that every other line is done and then the next pass does the other ones (all the 'even' lines, then all the 'odd' lines)
Normal (what we grew up with) is 480i, which means 480 lines of resolution, drawn in 2 passes - first the odd lines, then the even lines.
Anything you are looking at is better.
The real question is "what is your 'input' capable of"? If you have cable/dvd which can send better than 480i, then you should match to that. Otherwise, it's all the same.
Assume that in today's world that you will get a better (?) TV every 5 or 6 years anyway - that's what the market rewards - in the meantime get whatever is better than "current" and relax.
720p is better than 480i.
But... if they have a 1080p for $50 more, go for that.
Just my opinion, it could be wrong.

brad9798
11-23-2007, 08:40 PM
Duke is correct ... 720 is great ... ten eighty is even better ... but just like most things ... 95%+ of the people will be HARD-pressed to actuallly see the difference!

Heck, a 37" LCD 1080HD WITH a built-in DVD is under $500 bucks where I live.

I still remember my neighbor spending over 12 grand for a 50" SONY plasma six years ago ...

I can buy the SAME one now for less that $1,800!!!

Oops, that was a bad investment.

I have a 37 LCD ... an 8" LCD under the cabinets in the kitchen ... and a 19" LCD in my bedroom ...

all are 1080 ... but by luck only!

The Bigfella
11-23-2007, 08:53 PM
I still remember my neighbor spending over 12 grand for a 50" SONY plasma six years ago ...


You should have seen the prices out here. I bought a 50" in 2003 - and they were retailing at $20k at the time - not that I paid that, as I was buying hundreds for a client I was working for. Two months later, the supplier ran out of stocks of 50s - so supplied us with 60's at the same price.... and they were retailing for $40k at the time. Damn!

Yep - I reckon the higher quality is well worth it - and your DVDs will seem amazing.

BrianW
11-23-2007, 09:01 PM
Ooh but think how cool it would be to play the wii on a plasma :D

Don't think I'm above bring the Xbox 360 upstairs (from the 27" crt TV) and hooking it up to the new TV! I'll get some pics of Becca and I shooting it up in Halo3. :)

I'm a horrible parental example. :D

BrianW
11-23-2007, 09:03 PM
Okay, I'm no longer concerned with the 1080p specification. That's a big relief! Now it's down to plasma or lcd, and I'm still leaning towards plasma, but wouldn't pass up a good deal on a lcd.

Thanks to all! Our town is granting 2 days 'sales tax free', so the timing isn't too bad.

brad9798
11-23-2007, 09:44 PM
I prefer plasma ... but I don't have one! LCD is more than adequate!!!

George Jung
11-23-2007, 09:51 PM
Check some of the sites such as dealnews.com; they're having Black Friday sales right now, and lots of TV's listed (I assume they ship 'out of the (lower 48) country). Perhaps you're more comfortable buying local. there are some pretty good sites that discuss the differences; and about a year ago, we had this same talk. I believe the nod went to plasma, but it was about a toss up between that and LCD. Hitachi (the one I bought), panasonic and Pioneer were thought to have the better plasma sets; don't recall which LCD's were recommended. I really like my set, but 1)needs a big surround sound setup 2) my signal is 480; my 1080 set doesn't get to run much 3)but the DVD's are really nice (get a player that 'uplinks' to 1080, or go blueray or HD - I think that's all correct).
Good luck!

john l
11-23-2007, 09:59 PM
about a year ago i read reports that the plasma screen use 4-5 times more electricity than the LCDs. a friend was telling me that his son has his 60" panasonic plasma on all the time. when i mentioned the electricty thing a light went off. he has noticed the increase on his bill ever since he purchased the plasma.
LCD seems to be the way to go. But Panasonic has been the forefront of Plasma.

GregW
11-23-2007, 11:32 PM
about a year ago i read reports that the plasma screen use 4-5 times more electricity than the LCDs. a friend was telling me that his son has his 60" panasonic plasma on all the time. when i mentioned the electricty thing a light went off. he has noticed the increase on his bill ever since he purchased the plasma.
LCD seems to be the way to go. But Panasonic has been the forefront of Plasma.
A friend of mine, an electrician, mentioned just that point a little while back, it never occurred to me, but plasma does indeed use a lot more electricity.
I think most, if not all DVD's, are 720p, however 1080p isn't all that much more might as well go it. Another thing, read the warranty closely paying close attention the what it says about burnt out pixels.

MattL
11-24-2007, 11:03 AM
We have the 1080 p. The dish input doesn't match this resoulution and we get a chopped off screen.

Bob Adams
11-24-2007, 11:26 AM
Just went with my Mom yesterday to get a set. The price differance between 780 and 1080 was hardly nothing if the 780 was available at all. We went with an LCD as she had a glare problem with her old projection TV.

Cass
11-24-2007, 12:04 PM
I don't know much about Plasma TV's cause we have one of those big movie screens and a cannon (projector) on ceiling.

Last summer when Mom and Dad were in Alaska and I staid here at the farm, the light bulb in the cannon blew. Wasn't even six month old.
I watched movies on the computer. That was a drag...:(

Yeah, should read the fine print. The bulb had three month warranty and it cost over 400 euro's to replace. :eek:

I think maybe they should have bought a big TV instead. :)

Cass
11-24-2007, 01:01 PM
It was 415 euros just for the bulb. (they paid 1700 euros just for the cannon at Christmas time)

Mom called the insurance company and had them pay 260 euros.
She was pretty ticked off at the manufacturer because the hours in the bulb were not used up. :(

As far as know, Finland is one of the most highest taxed countries in the EU. 22% tax on goods and you pay about 30-44% tax from your earnings. :eek:

I guess that's how they pay for the socialized medicine.

Spin_Drift
11-24-2007, 02:41 PM
I have no idea what the quality of life is like, in Finland.... but at least everyone gets health coverage. I don't suspect the high taxation rate matters much to someone who would otherwise suffer and die from some horrible disease, as opposed to getting sufficient medical care.


The quality of life in Finland is on the top ten of the highest in the world.


That's true, now that you mention it Norman. I think the socialized medicine here is a good thing :) . Every person can go to the doctor for 22 a year. You have the choice to go to private sector if you want and can afford it.

In the States if a person don't have money or can't afford an insurance, they are SOL. :eek: Many people have gotten sick and lost everything they have worked for all their life. -Their homes, savings, everything they have... and in addition to that they have accrued large debts. What do they have look forward to when they go home... (What home... they just lost it)

I think the socialized medicine would be a good thing to have in States....

Sorry, didn't mean to get diverted off the subject of TVs :eek:

George Roberts
11-24-2007, 06:28 PM
Spin_Drift ---

Each of the states has a program that provides free health care for those who cannot afford it. There are even almost free programs for those who can almost afford health care. There are even private programs that help people in need.

No one needs to lose everything. Often they simply choose to do so.

BrianW
11-24-2007, 07:40 PM
Picked a an LG brand 42" plasma today. Regular cable looks fine, but not great. The picture is much better with dvds. Got to look into getting some HD cable channels.

Bob Adams
11-24-2007, 08:12 PM
Picked a an LG brand 42" plasma today. Regular cable looks fine, but not great. The picture is much better with dvds. Got to look into getting some HD cable channels.

China appreciates your support.

BrianW
11-24-2007, 08:27 PM
Couldn't fine a Curtis-Mathis dealer in town. But hey, at least I bought it at a local 'mom & pop' store, and not a Wal-Mart.

Bob Adams
11-24-2007, 08:30 PM
Good on you. I'm not even suggesting an American made TV could be found, but LG sure has put a hurt on US appliance manufacturers.

LeeG
11-24-2007, 08:57 PM
er,,what US appliance manufacturer makes flat screens in the US?

Bob Adams
11-24-2007, 09:58 PM
er,,what US appliance manufacturer makes flat screens in the US?

None. I'm talking fridges, dishwashers, air conditioners, ect. LG everywhere.

BrianW
11-24-2007, 10:51 PM
I'd never heard of LG, until the other day.

Nicholas Carey
11-25-2007, 03:21 AM
Okay, I'm no longer concerned with the 1080p specification. That's a big relief! Now it's down to plasma or lcd, and I'm still leaning towards plasma, but wouldn't pass up a good deal on a lcd.

Thanks to all! Our town is granting 2 days 'sales tax free', so the timing isn't too bad.Plasma draws waaay more power than an LCD (strike 1). A 50 inch plasma display might, depending on what is being watched, draw as much as 500 watts @ 120 volts.

Plasma screens have a lifetime (screen half-life, the point at which the display has lost 50% of its brightness) of less than 10 years. Plasma displays also suffer from burn-in, which also helps degrade the display (strike 2).

And the higher the brightness level to which you set the display, the higher the power draw and the shorter the display half-life.

One the plus side, the picture on a plasma screen is crisp and clear and...the viewing angle is wider. Plasma also tends to have a high contrast ratio.

One other thing to consider relative to digital/HD television is somewhat odd: what do you normally watch? If you watch a lot of sports or other media with a lot of fast action, consider the refresh rate and technology. If you pick wrongly, you may wind up with a display that gets all pixelated around fast-moving "sprites" on the screen. This ties in to both display technology and the power of the underlying CPU/graphics hardware that drives the display.

Bob Adams
11-25-2007, 09:47 AM
I'd never heard of LG, until the other day.

Go to a Home Depot. Pretty much every major appliance they sell is LG.

cs
11-25-2007, 10:22 AM
A couple of months ago we got a little froggy here at the house and bought a new TV. We had a 37" CRT and a small living room.

We ended up getting an Olevia 32" LCD flat screen. With it we decieded to re-orginize the living room, get a new entertainment stand, new couch and recliner.

In the end we ended up making more room in our living room and actually getting rid of the stereo stand by combining it with the TV stand.

I really like the flat LCD screen and the viewing angles are great. A couple of things though that aren't as good. One is the old CRT would display the name of the program at the bottom of the screen for a few seconds when you changed channels. This was great for quickly scanning the channels and seeing what was on.

The other was the sound, the sound quality was not as good as my big CRT. Everything sounded like it was in a box. A entry level souround sound fixed that and an universal remote fixed the multiple remote problems.

About picture quality it is great. I'm still kinda at a lost for the wide screen format and the best aspect ratio to use. You kinda have to play with it when putting in a DVD.

We have basic comcast cable for local channels and Dish TV for most of the rest. We have looked at different options to try and get only one provider, but this works out the best and the cheapest with the current packages available. And it also gives me the option of running basic cables to other TV's in the house without having a another "box".

I can do a direct comparision with the quality of basic cable and satallite. We get TBS both on cable and dish and the difference is unbelievable. Cable leaves a lot to be desired, at least on these lower channels.

Chad

cs
11-25-2007, 10:32 AM
I"m sure that you are right. I was at my sister's house Thanksgiving and they have cable. I was able to see the difference between regular broadcast cable channels and the same channel on HD. Another big difference.

Chad

cs
11-25-2007, 10:38 AM
I think that may change in Feb of 2009 when all broadcast channels have to be broadcasted in digital.

Chad

George Roberts
11-25-2007, 01:19 PM
Brian W ---

We only have over the air HDTV - 1080i. I think any HDTV will be produce a very good picture for you.

---

There are so many options for those without cable ...

We use a computer rather than a TV. Four HD tuners, four SD tuners, and lots of audio and video CDs on hard drives. That computer is networked to our other computers.

---

The only problem with HDTVs is that many DVDs are produced in a wider format.

Access to Live TV, TIVOed TV, recordings, or CDs anywhere in the house. With quality as good on a 19" wide screen monitor as on our 32" LCD HDTV.

cs
11-25-2007, 08:46 PM
I underdstand that the move in 2009 only really affects those that recieve over the air broadcast, I believe though that even the signal they send over basic cable will be upgraded also to digital.

Chad

David Tabor (sailordave)
11-27-2007, 07:48 PM
I hate to burst your bubble, Chad... but it's not going to change a damn thing, except for people who get their TV reception over the air.


THAT WOULD BE ME!!!:D:D

No cable here. Won't get a d*mned dish.

I am however looking at getting a 1080p Sony 40". Considering the LG...

Would like to watch the occasional DVD on something good instead of a 12 y.o. Sony CRT TV. Not much pic size to the DVD on that.

Rum_Pirate
11-28-2007, 08:41 PM
I bought a 37" Westinghouse (http://www.westinghousedigital.com/product_comparison.htmlLCD) HDTV for less that $700.00 this year from Tiger Direct. Seemingly no longer on theirs list.

here is the link
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/category_tlc.asp?CatId=37

skuthorp
11-28-2007, 08:44 PM
While the content is still rubbish it doesn't matter how good the picture is. There's better stuff to do with my time.

Kaa
11-28-2007, 09:23 PM
I am however looking at getting a 1080p Sony 40". Considering the LG...

Would like to watch the occasional DVD on something good instead of a 12 y.o. Sony CRT TV. Not much pic size to the DVD on that.

Um. DVD resolution is same old NTSC, 720x480 pixels. Absolutely no point in getting a 1080p screen just to watch DVDs.

You want a high-def screen only if you have something recorded in high-def to show on it. That would be some programming over cable and movies specifically released in high-def which is usually on either HD or Blu-Ray discs.

Kaa

George Roberts
11-29-2007, 12:30 AM
Are the HD movie disks produced at 9:16 ratio or at the original aspect ratio?

JTA
11-29-2007, 06:42 AM
..... They're not going to pay for all those cable boxes... and customers won't, either...

This remains to be seen. If the cable companies see that they can make $5.00 more per month per drop within the house, they might actually force the change. A customer of the cable company normally only has one other choice, satellite, which charges $5 per month per drop.

Jack