I'm buying an HDTV and have some questions


#1

Now that I have a new job, I’m planning on buying an HDTV in the next few weeks. I have a few questions, though. If they sound like newbie questions, it’s because they are :stuck_out_tongue: The systems I plan to play on this TV are an Xbox 360, Xbox, N64, Sega Saturn, and PC.

  1. I’m planning on going with 1080p, but I’m considering stepping down to 720p due to cost. Is 1080p worth the extra cash?

  2. What brands are worth buying, and which ones should I stay away from? I’m thinking of going with a Samsung after seeing how nice it looked in the store…

  3. I read FubarDuck’s thread about HDTV Lag, but I’m still a little confused on it. Let’s say I go with the 1080p TV, play my original Xbox, and get lag. All I need to do to fix it is order one of those VGA boxes, right? What about if I buy a 720p set, or if I play any of my older systems? If I connect my PC through a VGA input on the TV, will it lag?

  4. Is there anything else I should know as a first-time buyer? Are there any other questions I should consider asking, but didn’t?

Thanks.


#2

Not really. You won’t notice the difference.

Samsung is the brand you should stay away from. Their sets are notorious for lagging even on High Def material due to all the postprocessing used in their sets.

A VGA box wouldn’t do anything for your original X-Box, because it can already output 480p (which is what the VGA box would output). Your main source of lag will be 480i-only systems, such as your N64 and Saturn.

If 480p lags on your set, a VGA box won’t help. Just make sure you buy an HDTV that has no lag at 480p. You can test for lag in the store if you’re worried about it using the Guitar Hero II test.

Your PC should be fine–many HDTVs don’t lag through the VGA port. Like I said, make sure 480p doesn’t lag (that’s 640x480 in computer resolution, and that’s the lowest resolution you’ll use).


#3

Another site had some really good info on buying HDTVs for gaming - at least 1000:1 contrast and a refresh rate of 8ms and that’s what I based my purchase on. Also, pay close attention to the inputs and verify that all of the ones you’re interested in are there.

I purchased a Westinghouse 1080i 32" HDTV at Best Buy for $600. It’s a great set and works very well with my PS2, Gamecube, Dreamcast and Wii. It has a good refresh rate (8ms), contrast ratio (1200:1) and nice blacks. I’ve noticed that ocassionally the Cube, which is piped in through S video jacks, slows down when playing CvS2 EO, but it’s very rare. The Wii is using component cables and has no problem at all, which is good considering I love the old SF games on VC and will buy the new GG as soon as it hits stores. NeoGeo games should also be hitting the VC soon. I still need to get the DC VGA adapter.


#4

I haven’t had any problems with videogames on my Samsung plasma, other than being worried about burn in. Virtually no lag and great picture quality…


#5

I don’t think you have to worry about Samsung. I have one and it’s great. Besides, isn’t every 360 Kiosk on a Samsung?


#6

I stand corrected. Guess they’ve gotten better!

The lesson here is that there is no single person who knows the differences between every single HDTV. There is no “perfect” HDTV either; thus, it’s the consumer’s responsibility to compare themselves and see what will best fit their own entertainment set-up. The tools are out there (Google, AVSForum, etc), use them!


#7

Samsung is one of the top TV manufacturers. Every HDTV will lag, some lag better than others ie Panasonic plasma sets.

1080P only matters in size 42"+ and how far you watch your movies.


#8

Thanks for the replies.


#9

So then which Samsungs in your experience are the ones to avoid?


#10

Track down an HD CRT if you have the space. Infinitely better picture on 480i material and minimal lag. You’re stuck with 1080i but cos you’re doing a 30-something-inch screen it won’t really matter. Sony/Panasonic/Samsung HD CRTs are pretty hard to find now though.


#11

My Samsung LN-S4096D (1080p) has been nothing but spectacular. Try this website, BTW, for great prices on sealed equipment. They’ll harass you into getting extra warranties and special shipping options, but their prices are about 20% lower than any other shop:

fotoconnection.com


#12

Can someone give me their opinion on this one: http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=0665000FS10085435&catid=23521&logon=&langid=EN

I’m really thinking of picking it up but I’m not 100% sure yet.

To save some money I was thinking of going for http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=0665000FS10085638&catid=23521&logon=&langid=EN
instead.
keep in mind those are canadian prices.


#13

^ They look good, but I have friends who complain about their 32 inch. If your room is big enough, I’d go with a 40-42 inch.


#14

I got a pretty small room. Honestly though which would you go for? Save about 300$ and get only 720p instead of 1080?


#15

The Sharp Aquos brand is supposed to be top of the line. Personally, I couldn’t justify that price. I bought my 32" HDLCD from Best Buy for $580, after tax and coupons.

Have you checked any local stores or New Egg? Best Buy usually has some decent prices, especially their sale prices, and New Egg tends to be as cheap as possible.


#16

The advantage to this is financing. I don’t have the money to pay it all right now.


#17

Okay, I think I’ve found the TV I want… Can anyone give me some opinions on it?

http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/plasma-lcd-televisions/m/34843204/

It’s a Samsung LN-T4665F 46" LCD. The contrast ratio looks amazing (15000:1), the response time is good (8ms), it’s got a nice screen size, and through a site I found on Pricegrabber, I can get it for about $2300 w/ free shipping (roughly 400 bones cheaper than BestBuy.com, NOT including shipping, and it’s on sale over there).

Does anyone own this model? Is there anything in its specs that I’m overlooking and should be aware of?

Thanks again.