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TV purchase advice after CRT broke

Discussion in 'Which TV Should I Buy?' started by pezman, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. pezman

    pezman Member

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    Hi all,
    I've been browsing the posts, because our old CRT tv broke the other day and so we now need another TV.
    It was a 28" Hitachi, from which we sit about 2 meters or so.

    I usually prefer to do some serious research before i buy any tech stuff, and tvs seem to be v technical these days. But i don't really have that much time.

    This is where you guys come in. :D
    I'm after some 37-40" LCD TV recomendations.
    I've noticed the Samsung's and Sony's get mentioned a lot. the sony w5500, got a good review on what hifi, but people on this forum have had problems with beeding.

    My reqs are:
    PC and internet (although limited i know) connection - Does anyone use these features?
    Decent viewing angles
    about 37"-40"
    Sound is not hugely important
    budget is about £800

    And how about the panasonic TV's? they don't seem to make a 40" lcd though.

    Thanks
  2. pezman

    pezman Member

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    Right, i've just come back from currys, and these are the tv's i liked:
    Panasonic TX-L37G10
    Sony KDL37W5500
    Samsung LE37B651T,

    I actualy could not see much difference in the pic quality, the samsung may have looked a little better. The both had similar connectivity.
    I think the sony and samsung has USB ports.

    Can you recommend any of these?
    Thanks
  3. Monarch

    Monarch Active Member

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    Well you can't tell anything from looking in Currys, but you have singled out what are probably 3 of the best LCDs at 37". If you want wide viewing angles though, the Panasonic is the one to get, and I would recommend getting the 40" Sonys and Samsungs as they use inferior panels in their 37" models (Panasonic don't).

    I would recommend considering the Panasonic P37X10 plasma as well though, although it's not 1080p it produces what I reckon to be the best SD and most natural 'movie' image in my opinion
  4. pezman

    pezman Member

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    thanks for the response,
    I think at some time i will be getting a blue ray player, which is why i did not look at the plasma's.

    But for now i think it'll be all SD, which is the best one for SD?

    Is there naything else I should consider?
    Do you know which series the samsung is? 6 or 7?

    Now, someone today, said that the LED versions look very good, do have you hany experience with them?

    Thanks again.
  5. gebbel

    gebbel Member

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    I have had the TX-L37G10 for 2 months now and find it really top notch. SD performance very good with unbeatable HD performance. My advice: look no further. It is as good as they get.
  6. pezman

    pezman Member

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    Thanks very much, personal exprience is very helpful!
    i don't suppose you know about its connection to the PC? As i'm also really interested in this feature because of all the films i have on the PC.

    Hope you guys don't mind all the questions.

    How much did you pay for it?, also how far do u sit from the TV?

    Cheers
  7. Monarch

    Monarch Active Member

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    Plasmas are just as good as LCDs for blu-ray, you wont get the full 1080p resolution on 37" but there is arguably no need for that on a 37" TV anyway, you can pick up a 42" 1080p plasma for £900, or even under, and that's one of the top ones. But anyway, plasmas hold plenty of advantages over LCD for watching movies, even in HD when LCDs get better (as plasmas are generally considered better for SD). Plasmas are still the general choice of the AV enthusiasts, it is getting much closer though. The main downfall of plasma in my opinion is that they don't perform well in bright conditions, they're much better in dim lighting, whereas LCDs are the opposite.

    The Samsung you looked at is the 6 series. There are the LED sets, and they do have some very good points (deep blacks etc...) but they also have some big drawbacks, the auto dimming would annoy me to the point where I would send it back, this is also the only time you can really get the very good black levels, when there's nothing or very little on screen, the blacks are still good though. The other main downfall in my opinion is price, you'll pay over £1k for the first 40" LED set worth buying (the 7 series), and it's not without its niggles as I said before.
  8. pezman

    pezman Member

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    Thanks for that,
    I think i'll stay away from the LED's, as its a little out of my budget range.
    I will be watching tv in a fairly bright room, and it will be near the main window, so i think it will have to be the lcd.

    I'm going to comet soon, so i'll see what they have on display and compare.

    I think the decision will now depend on what i read about the TV's pc connectivity.

    This is a great site!

    Thanks again.
  9. KUBBY

    KUBBY Active Member

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    The current LED sets from Samsung are edge light models.While looking good in the shops they have been set up to do so in that false situation.

    The reality is that they suffer backlight bleed at the edges and cant get as dark as what I would call a "Real" LED set with locally dimming LED's behind the panel.

    Having said that,the difference between Plasma and the later Non LED sets are in my opinion,minimal and have been stated by the other guys.

    The Samsung LE40B650 is one of the best available and if you decide upon an LCD set then I would go for that.Heres a review.

    Samsung LE40B650 Review: 40" 1080p 100Hz LCD Internet TV

    And just to even things up a review of the Panasonic;

    Panasonic TXP37X10/TXP37X10B & TXP42X10/TXP42X10B Launched

    Both within your budget,the plasma being cheaper.

    Good Luck,

    K.
  10. Monarch

    Monarch Active Member

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    There's an actual review of the P42X10 here - Panasonic TX-P42X10 Plasma HDTV Review at AVForums.com and as opinions can always change things between reviewers the B650 was also reviewed by the other AVF reviewer (unfortunately not the same one but it's still good as they share the same opinions on the whole) - Samsung LE40B651 LCD HDTV Review at AVForums.com There is of course also the P42G10 which is a bit more expensive than both, but that's where the plasma advantages really start to show in my opinion, it was also reviewed by David Mackenzie - Panasonic TX-P42G10 Review at AVForums.com (it's actually under £900 now!)

    Anyway, if you're viewing in a bright room then LCDs have several pros there whereas plasmas excel in dimmer lighting, I depends when you do your viewing really, a room doesn't need to be dark for a plasma to look good though, just not 'shop bright'
  11. gebbel

    gebbel Member

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    Pansonic TX-L37G10B 8 out of 10 stars review here.

    Another 92% review here.

    The review on this site was not so complimentary but, as a user, I cannot agree with the negative sentiments. This set is simply better than other 37" LCD TVs that I have seen..and I have seen the competitors in the flesh.
  12. Monarch

    Monarch Active Member

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    I also thought that the AVF review was a bit harsh, I think it's one of the best 37" LCDs on the market, it has it's offerings in motion, SD picture (although there's not much between this and some others) and particularly viewing angles. The lack of backlight control could be a concern to some though and the black levels are beaten by most
  13. gebbel

    gebbel Member

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    The black level has admittedly been criticized by a few. I, however, have not found this to be a hindrance in terms of overall picture quality. In fact I watched Sin City on Blu Ray a few weeks ago. This is a film that really tests the black level response of a display. The image quality was stunning, no disappointments at all. Blacks were black...not milky!
  14. Monarch

    Monarch Active Member

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    I can assure you that the blacks on the Samsung/Sony LCDs and all the plasmas on the market are markedly better, however as you have observed, despite the very average black levels, not much is drawn from the picture quality, one of the reasons for this is that you still get a good feeling of contrast because bright colours are done well, this will also make blacks percieved as slightly better than they actually are. One other thing is that black levels will actually probably vary slightly between sets, in the AVF review most of the black level performance was put down to high gamma tracking (near 3 as opposed to the desired 2.2) and lack of control to this, gamma tracking should vary slightly between sets so you may have a good one!

    Compared to the good performers in terms of black levels though, the G10 is pretty grey (which always feels wrong to me because the G10 plasma is one of the best for black levels!)
  15. pezman

    pezman Member

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    Cheers for all the helpful info and links.

    From the comments here it looks like sony is out of the loop now.
    In terms of looks the Samsung is better and it also has USB, which i would make good use of.

    The review links here are on the 40" samsung, would you say this was the same as the 37" or are there some other differences?

    The samsung and the panasonic both seem to be good for SD content.
    hmm....confused..

    I'll go through all the reviews and try to come to a decision.
    Cheers

    Sorry i forgot to ask,
    the black level issues with the panasonic, is this really noticable? or can you only see it in a dark room?
    Thanks again
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  16. gebbel

    gebbel Member

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    To fully notice how the blacks are on any display, you would need to turn off the lights at night and then you can gauge it. Don't let the black level comments be the deciding factor with the Panasonic! :)
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  17. Monarch

    Monarch Active Member

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    The 37" model uses an inferior panel, the main sacrifice with this is that the black levels aren't as good, they're still pretty decent, but not 'very good' like the 40" version. With the Sonys the 37" version also appears to be more prone to backlight bleed and clouding, it should be similar with the Samsungs, but appears to be to a lesser degree at least, I would say that the 40" version is well woth the extra. As you've said though, both are very good for SD content, the Panasonic has better motion handling and better viewing angles, the Samsung has better blacks. You might find yourself wanting to turn down the backlight on the Panasonic though, as it's quite bright, but you can't because you don't have a backlight control.

    Yes they are, they're very visible when it comes to a dark scene in anything, the differences aren't very noticeable when you're watching a bright scene, but with black levels comes richer colours with greater depth, which the Panasonic can't achieve like the Samsung or any plasma can.

    Numbers should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but this does illustrate the point well and these numbers are accurate;

    In my home I have a Panasonic 37PX80 (plasma) and an LG 32PG6000 (also plasma). The Panasonic has a measured black level of 0.05cd/m2 (near 0.04cd/m2), my LG has a measured black level of somewhere around 0.12cd/m2. The greyness of the LG is clearly visible if there is anything dark on screen, not only does the PX80 perform better on dark scenes, but it also has that added depth when watching most material which the LG just doesn't quite have, at least not to the same extent. That is the only thing the PX80 has over the LG, otherwise the LG is probably better (apart from image retention), it has more accurate colours, better motion and better SD scaling, but the black level improvement on the Panasonic is significant enough to make it the better TV. These TVs aren't in the same room either, I don't see this by doing side by side comparisons (although I have since first noticing).

    Now, the Samsung B650 has a black level of roughly the same as the PX80 (0.05/0.04cd/m2), but the Panasonic G10 has a measured black level of 0.23cd/m2, so it still quite far behind my LG plasma, so the difference is even greater. As I said though, the G10 gives a very good impression of good contrast with the brightness and with good colours, but it still just lacks that extra little something which the Samsung has with the deep blacks.

    This isn't to say that the Samsung is the better set though, as I have said before the Panasonic is much better with viewing angles and motion, the Samsung also suffers from a degree of trailing in black areas and screen uniformity is less consistent in the Samsungs as well, so you're more likely to get bleed or clouding, and it's more noticeable if you do get it.
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  18. pezman

    pezman Member

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    cheers for that guys,
    It now seems like i'll start looking at the 40" models as we might wall mount the tv, so we will not need a lot of space for a stand.

    So i think i'll take a closer look at the sony and samsung now, and check if panasonic do a 40" model.

    The reviews were very useful too, :thumbsup:.

    Thanks very much guys.
  19. Monarch

    Monarch Active Member

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    Panasonic don't do a 40" model, they are releasing a 42" LCD this year, but it wont be using the acclaimed Panasonic IPS-Alpha panels, it'll be using an LG sourced panel, which will probably also be IPS of some sort, whether or not it will be any good we'll see (LG do make good TVs so we have plenty of hope). Alsina, who is in the business, did say that nobody in their right mind woul by the L42S10 (42" LCD) over the plasma version (P42S10) though.

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