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Help please regarding HDtv's

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tom_p1980

Guest
I am new to this forum :hiya: so please be gentle with me.

I am in the process of doing away with my old CRT :clap: and replacing it with a HDtv, however after doing what seems like weeks upon weeks of research I have narrowed down my list and what I have come down to is:

Panasonic TX-32LMD70
Panasonic TX-32LXD700
Samsung LE37R88BD
Sony KDL-37P3020
Toshiba 37X3030
Toshiba 37C3035
Sony KDL32S3000
Sony KDL32D3000

Now it will primerily be used for my Xbox 360 Premium, Sky Digital and watching DVDs and we're not too bothered about Blu-Ray or Sky HD. I don't want to jump in both feet first and later regret my decision, however I would be most grateful for any advice, feedback, positive/negatives and recomendations that people may offer with the above HDtv's.

I have done a lot of research and wasted many days, but taking the plunge is too scary and I want to know which would be the better all rounder.

Thank you. :)
 

andrew markwort

Novice Member
Welcome to the forum! Generally folks will be gentle with you anyway!

I've looked at all of the models you've cited recently, and I chose the Toshiba 37X3030. Largely because at the moment it's as cheap as you're going to get a TV with all the necessary specs - 1920 x 1080, 1080p, one to one pixel mapping, etc. The reviews (barring an inexplicably poor one in What Hi Fi) are uniformly excellent. The killer for me is Which, which generally uses blind testing (the *only* valid way to run consumer tests), and they put the model second behind a Panasonic (which was a bit pricier, as far as I recall). Plus, this doesn't seem to just be a Brit bias. The European reviews have been solidly good as well.

I can't make too much judgement about the picture quality on standard sources, however, as a high proportion of my 'critical' viewing is on HD. Certainly, the picture is superb over high def sources. I have a HD player, a PS3, Sky HD, and they all look great. Standard def TV is, from what I've seen, fine - it's not exceptional, but it ain't awful. Having said that, this same comment will apply to most other TVs. The better the fidelity of the television, the more it's going to reveal problems with standard definition broadcasts. If this is really going to bother you, and you're determined not to get a high definition source in the future, then maybe you'd be better with a 32 inch set.

Returning to the Toshiba, there are two problems with it, which are unlikely to be deal breakers, but they should be mentioned. First, although it says it does 24 fps, there is some debate over how well it does it. I've tried the usual test materials and I'd say there is still a slight amount of judder, but it's a ton better than normal (and bear in mind that there is some motion judder in most panning shots anyway - if someone doesn't know that, then they must sit through films at the cinema with their eyes closed). I'm pretty obsessive about judder, and I'm perfectly happy with the Tosh in this regard. The second downside is relatively minor. My PS3 looked appalling on it - the picture kept flashing, there would be noise bars, etc. The solution was simple - upgrade the HDMI cable to a 1.3 model (if you don't fancy paying through the nose for one with a fancy name, they're as cheap as chips on ebay).

If I hadn't gone for the Tosh, I'd probably have gone for one of the Sonys. The Panasonics are good, but if I recall correctly, they lack 24 fps and also, I *think* one of the models you cite isn't Full HD (though happy to be corrected on that point).

Hope this helps.
 

YellowSphere

Novice Member
Never really been that impressed by any of Toshiba's current models, save the XF picture frame TV.

If you decide to go for 32", then the D3000 is an easy choice. Fantastic TV.

At 37" I'd consider the new Panasonic PX80. That will be absolutely excellent for your Sky and DVDs. Xbox, bit more difficult. Yes, whilst it's a plasma, screen burn isn't the worry; it's phosphor lag. This is something that some people are more susceptible to than others, so a demo would be useful.

Otherwise, things get a bit more difficult. Sony's 40" models can be found very cheaply, but a lot of people have been reporting problems with LCD motion blur on even the higher end models. Philips make a fantastic 37" (9632, I think) which is excellent with SD TV and DVD, and I would imagine it'd do a fantastic job with gaming too. Not the last word in accuracy though, and pricey. There's also Panasonic's Full HD 37" LCD, which is a very good TV also. Not sure how much that can be found for at the moment.
 

Phlog

Novice Member
I can't give you specific advice, but I do think your list is much too long. My advice would be to decide approximately on these areas first:

1) What features are esssential (e.g. number of scarts of HDMI sockets)
2) Minimum/maximum screen size and resolution.
3) LCD or plasma - will you want to watch in daylight or blacked-out.
4) The look of the thing - it's a big lump!
5) Price - what you can afford taking into account any other essential items like a stand, HDMI cables etc. Incidentally prices vary widely, and day to day.

And then look around for two or three sets that meet your basic criteria.

For what it's worth I recently went through a similar process. I took a couple of models (from magazines etc) as strawmen. Then researched reviews: on-line, inprint, and at the Which website. I ignored the Which test results because they are crap technically (in my experience over many years) but did note which brands were most reliable. In the end I got a 40" Samsung, because it was good enough (according to four full reviews I'd found), looked good, was the most reliable brand, and was "cheap".

Homework time I'm afraid :(
 

andrew markwort

Novice Member
I ignored the Which test results because they are crap technically (in my experience over many years) but did note which brands were most reliable.
An interesting view of blind testing. Just never go for a job in the behavioural sciences, that's all I can say. ;)
 
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tom_p1980

Guest
Thanks for the feedback guys, very much appreciated.

I think at the moment I am leaning towards the Sony's. But I think that I am going to have to shorten my shortlist even further. I do have a very limited budget of around £700 to £750-ish, hence why the bulk of that shortlist are around that price range.

However if anyone else can add anything to this, then feel free to contribute.
 

YellowSphere

Novice Member
An interesting view of blind testing. Just never go for a job in the behavioural sciences, that's all I can say. ;)
I don't care how Which do their reviews, the content is often completely misinformed and downright misleading to the consumer.

They're even worse than What Hi-Fi.
 

eric_m

Standard Member
I have the Toshiba 42X3030 and over-all I am very happy with it.
I am very suseptable to motion blur and yes the Tosh does it sometimes on SD and HD sources, but it's not bad enough to spoil the TV for me.
I tried 24fps once... and then quickly turned it off - It was a judder fest.
Normal SD TV quality varies from a blurry mess to very good depending on the program and channel - All in all though you do actually get used to SD TV after a while.
With HD depending on the quality of the transfer it ranges from sometimes meh (The Omen remake Bluray) to sublime and almost 3D (Children of Men HD-DVD.)

I'm pretty fussy about my PQ quality and although the Tosh isn't perfect it's a lot better than my brother in laws 50" Samsung plasma and over all my Tosh ranges from good to superb :)


Hope that helps you a little.
 

logiciel

Moderator
I do have a very limited budget of around £700 to £750-ish....
I have a Tosh 423030 and add my vote to the other guys' who have it or the 37, and the price is well within your range.
 
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