Question Options for 2nd TV

Adrian E

Active Member
Hiya

We're due to be moving house before Christmas and will have a need for a 2nd TV in an additional family room to where we live now, so considering our options for re-purposing what we have, and/or finding the most suitable option for the 2nd screen.

Complicating things is a likely change in broadband source, as we're moving away from a cabled area with 100MB+ broadband and will be limited to BT based offerings at circa 60MB. Our new house has a Sky dish only so although we'll retain Netflix we're likely to move from Freeview to either Freesat or most likely a fairly basic Sky Q subscription.

We have a lovely Panasonic TX-P55VT65B plasma (calibrated) with an Arcam UDP411 for disc spinning duties, and a Yamaha YSP-3300 soundbar for audio. Typical viewing distance is 3-3.5m at the moment. I can't see us moving to UHD any time soon (we have a spare Pioneer Blu-ray player that pre-dates the Arcam which will be fine for 2nd screen). In use terms probably SD60% HD40% UHD0%. It's mostly used at the moment for kids TV, with films, general evening TV and F1 lagging behind, and no use with console or PC at the moment and it’s got about 7,500 hours of use on it. The lack of ongoing support from Panasonic for the 'smart' features the TV came with has been a massive bugbear - Skype, Netflix, YouTube have all ceased to be supported within 2 years of buying it.

The lounge in the new house is a fair bit bigger but we'll probably be limited to having the TV in a corner, whereas at the moment it's almost ideally placed on a wall mount with straight on viewing angle in our current house. The viewing distance is likely to be anything from 3.5-6.5m so I'm worried the existing screen will be on the small side, plus there's a lot of windows on 2 sides for daytime viewing. The lack of brightness from the plasma is a bit of a pain, but we can live with it by pulling the blinds on the rare occasions it's too sunny to see!

The family room I'd probably prefer to go for something new of a similar size to what we have now, as the room is about the same size as our old lounge, and it's a more favourable shape with the option to view straight on. It's likely to gain a games console (we don't own one at the moment but my son is of an age now where he's pestering us for one!) and spend most of its time tuned to Pop or watching Power Rangers on Netflix, so although the Pana plasma is the right size it feels like it'd be wasted for these duties, or possibly just 'not as good' as available alternatives – but given the age of the screen and new tech maybe a new ‘main’ screen is called for? I'd quite like the family room to be the go-to option for junior to watch the crap he enjoys, as it's open plan to the kitchen, and keep the lounge for sitting down to watch a movie together and reduce the amount of screen retention we're seeing from the poxy Pop logo! Not bothered about built in sound quality as depending on circumstances I'll either put the existing Yamaha sound bar in the family room for audio and ARC duties, and get the Atmos version for the lounge when I can afford it, or live with the sound quality and use the soundbar we have in the front room.

For PQ attributes it depends a bit on suggestions for whether the plasma stays as our main source or gets relegated! For our 'main' screen I'd list as follows:


Blacks

Motion handling – I like it to look natural and find motion clarity settings distracting

HDR Colour Accuracy
SDR Brightness
HDR Brightness
Local dimming
HDR Colour Saturation
SDR Colour Saturation
SDR Colour Accuracy
How accurate the picture is out of the box (without having to change any settings) – don’t mind having it calibrated to get the best result

Now for bugs, tell us your possible pet hates related to TVs, in descending order (the lower ones I’m not really aware of, hence not definitely issues that wouldn’t bug me!):

Temporary image retention
Soap Opera Effect
Bad screen uniformity, Dirty Screen Effect, Clouding, Light Bleed, Blooming
Loss of detail in dark areas
Reflective screens
Haloing
3:2 Pulldown Judder with 24hz movies. See: Judder-Free 24p on TVs
Colour banding. See: Gradients on TVs: Color bit depth (warning this is not the same as vertical banding, for vertical banding see bad screen uniformity)

Now which is most important to you?

Price – depends on recommendations, but I’d rather wait and spend more than buy cheap/buy twice
HDR PQ
SDR PQ
Smart TV (which apps)? - Netflix/Now TV as options would be nice
Connections - built in Freesat might be useful but not sure if the house is pre-wired or relies on wireless
Sound – as above, not that bothered

Thoughts/suggestions welcome! Will probably look to buy in January

Adrian
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Any replacement of your main screen will be worse in some areas like SD processing and motion quality with all the settings turned of but will get rid of some of the bugbears you have now like poor contrast (having to pull the blinds) and image retention.

If you're happy to live with the devil you know then I'd be inclined to keep it until you're ready to upgrade to HDR sources and buy a 55" Full HD TV like an M5500 for the family room.

All TV manufacturers have poor smart system support.
 

Adrian E

Active Member
If you're happy to live with the devil you know then I'd be inclined to keep it until you're ready to upgrade to HDR sources and buy a 55" Full HD TV like an M5500 for the family room.

Is the M5500 an old model? Struggling to find it in 55" but there's a M5520 which I presume is just a minor update....
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Is the M5500 an old model? Struggling to find it in 55" but there's a M5520 which I presume is just a minor update....

No, TV manufacturers (except philips) use letters to indicate the age of models. For Samsung all M and Q models are 2017 releases, last year's version was the K5500 et al.

The different numbers at the end are just minor variations so it'll add or be missing a smart feature or two (voice recognition etc.) or have a different coloured casing.

I think there's an M5500, M5510, M5520 and M5600. The curved M6300 will also be very similar, although last year's K6300 handled motion a little better.
 

Adrian E

Active Member
Thanks both - I'm currently harbouring dark thoughts of going for an altogether pricier option of the HDR route. Finding myself idly browsing the LG OLED B7 screen in 65", but that'll mean a new soundbar too, and a 4K player eventually......

I think the decision will come down to whether the plasma is lost in the room or not :)

ETA - actually I think I'm OK with the Yamaha soundbar - was told today it doesn't support 4K, but I've done a firmware update that adds 4K pass through so should work
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
Well no need to hurry, spring is the best time to buy with prices historically at their lowest then.

Regarding your soundbar, it supports UHD pass-through but it only uses HDMI 1.4a which means it will only pass UHD @ 30hz or less.

It also doesn't have HDCP 2.2 support which is going to be a drawback connecting new devices as often they are not backwards compatible with HDCP 1.4.
 

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