SD Viewing - Advice before purchase

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs Forum' started by Janeygi, Dec 28, 2006.

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  1. Janeygi

    Janeygi
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    Hi Guys and Gals,

    I've been viewing the forum for a while now and it's taken 'til now to post.

    When I think i've made my mind up which TV i'm going for, I seem to hesitate.

    I wondered if I could ask for your expert opinions.......

    Right this is my situation......

    wanted: a 32" LCD HDTV with freeview.
    It will be mainly for SD viewing.
    Some DVD playback (was thinking of purchasing Panasonic EX 85 HDD- though I think i'll have to discuss that elsewhere)
    At present there's no danger of HD viewing - can't afford SKY (boo hoo!!)
    And no gaming either - bet you wonder what I do with my time!!!

    I am quite fussy - in that i'd like the best that i can afford (if that makes sense?). I don't mind spending a bit extra for quality.
    My budget is around £800 - although less would be a BIG bonus and more could be negotiated.

    Basically, if there's no danger of HD coming my way - do I need an all singing, all dancing TV??

    I do like the look of the Samsungs and am secretly hankering after the M73 (although not widely available). At £950 is it worth it as opposed to an R series for nearly half the price???

    With some sweet talking, I could be persuaded from this brand......

    Please, please, please help my sanity and help me make my mind up!!!

    Thank you in advance......
     
  2. Janeygi

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    Hey peeps, I appreciate this isn't as exciting as some of the antics you discuss but i REALLY could do with sme help.........
     
  3. Rajveer

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    How about a Toshiba wlt66 or wlt68, both at 32". The wlt66 at empire direct is £600 whereas the wlt68 is £864, both have native resolutions of 1360*768 and both looks bloody nice! With a John Lewis price match with empire direct, you could get them for empire direct prices but with a 5 year warranty :)
     
  4. CFCCFC

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    Janeygi, with SD it is really really important that you check out how the picture looks. Some sets look poor with SD no matter how good they look with HD.

    I have a Toshiba 37WLT68 and I'm really happy with the way it looks with SD. I looked at a very pricey Sony and I didn't like the way it handled it.

    You can get a good idea from here of models that should be on your 'eyeball' list.

    Go and look - there is no substitute for it.
     
  5. nwgarratt

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    If you are not bothered about HD then get a TV with 852 x 480 resolution. The SD picture should be a lot better than a HD Ready TV.

    They are still HD compatible and HD gets downscaled to the resolution of TV.
     
  6. Analogue

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    Forgive my ignorance but why 852x480?? Most SD we view in the UK is PAL which in 16:9 is 1024x576, 852x480 is NTSC??? Why downscale to an inferior resolution?

    As an add on as I seem to be posting a lot elsewhere IMHO the Philips 32PF7531 is unbeatable on SD and is now available fo less than £600.
     
  7. nwgarratt

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    Most SD I have used over the years have been 704 x 576 or 720 x 576. Both Freeview and PAL SD DVD's are that resolution.

    Anyway dowscaling is a lot better in quality by taking away information than upscaling to 720 where it has to make up information that is not there to start with. Watching Freeview upscaled to 720 looks crap a lot of the time. It is much better to use a SDTV instead.

    Is there a TV at 576 resolution? It would then involve upscaling with anyone with R1 SD DVD's.
     
  8. Analogue

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    Its called a CRT I think! Most of my DVD's including the ones I record myself are at 576! If I play a region 1 DVD then my CRT just displays less lines. (480)

    I am beginning to get the impression that LCD/Plasma displays are all based/configured/targetted on the upscaled multiples of the lower resolution NTSC format as used in USA/Japan as against the PAL/SECAM 576 format used virtually everwhere else?
     
  9. nwgarratt

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    It seems that if you want LCD TV/Plasma's then you are stuck with 480, 720 or 1080. No 576. I would be amazed if people can see a difference between 576 downscaled to 480 and proper 576.

    If HD is no concern then I don't see why 480 resolution should be overlooked if the person wants to retain SD quality.
     
  10. Analogue

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    I could be cynical and say get a new pair of glasses! However with apologies I have to express my amazement that the difference between NTSC 480 and PAL 576 is not immediately obvious - certainly when viewed on a good CRT.
    In the 1990's I used to have a lot of US and Japanese visitors as part of my job. Several remarked on how good European TV (then CRT) quality was compared to their local off-air NTSC material. When I subsequently showed those visitors what I got in my home compared to what they had seen in their hotel they were stunned (even the Japanese!) One of the Japanese visitors who was touting an NTSC version of the virtually identical JVC S-VHS PAL Camcorder I was using was also incredulous at the quality of my PAL S-VHS material.

    I have never seen an NTSC 480 source look anywhere near as good as PAL 576
     
  11. nwgarratt

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    My vision is fine thank you.

    We are not talking about CRT. The OP wants a LCD TV (and this is a LCD sub forum). I can't tell the difference between 480 or 576 when scaled to 480 at 80" using a projector. It should be even better when considerably smaller on a LCD TV.
     
  12. pateja

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    I'm also in the market for an LCD (26 inch) for only SD viewing...

    So any advice on models that would adhere to the lower specs required ??
     
  13. Analogue

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    As I said no wish to be cynical. My point is that if we cant see the difference between 480 and 576 on modern displays - why are we using them? I want an LCD display as well - for space and sheer "eye occupation" but have big BIG doubts about the SD PQ I am seeing on them - my original point is that I am suspicious that this is due to the fact that the technology is based on 480 and its upscales rather than 576? Maybe this is why the better sets from the only real European manufacturer (Philips) give a significantly better SD performance as far as I have witnessed.
     
  14. nwgarratt

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    A HDTV at 26" will probably be ok for SD as the chance of artefacts being seen is considerablely less compared to a bigger TV.

    This is getting good reviews despite being Digihome make and perhaps a little ugly to look at.

    Digihome 26" at Amazon.
     
  15. nwgarratt

    nwgarratt
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    That is because most LCD TV's upscale SD to HD resolutions (720 and 1080). Freeview uspcaled that far looks crap. SD DVD's look better but only because the bitrates are higher than Freeview. That is which is why I suggest a SD LCD TV instead if no HD is being shown.

    As I said, downscaling is a lot better than upscaling in retaining quality. Plus you are keeping the PAL colour at 480 and not NTSC colour.
     
  16. Analogue

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    I am not talking about colour but resolution. The "Never Twice Same Colour " NTSC acronym died in the mid eighties. Whatever I cannot accept that a 576 image displayed at 480 is going to be as good as a 576 displayed at 576.. If you cannot see the difference on your LCD projection system `then I do not know what to say? I can only draw the parallel that if you wear glasses and leave them off if its blurred its blurred and changing the resolution of what you are looking at has no influence on what you perceive. So the perception is only as good as the display is capable of in that mode which I argue is 480 not 576. So 576 looks as good or as bad as 480 but not as good as 576 might look on an optimised display!
     
  17. Loobster

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    Those two statements don't go together very well. LCD is the worst type of display out of LCD, plasma or CRT for viewing SD pictures.

    If you have no need for HD then I'd personally get a good quality CRT which will only cost you £400.

    If you really must have a panel then make sure you don't get fooled by all the shop displays showing HD trailers, make sure you see the standard broadcast picture using the built-in freeview tuner.

    I have yet to see an acceptable SD picture on any LCD display - although the closest I have seen have been Philips models.
     
  18. tonyten

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    I have to agree with that statement. I saw the Philips 32PF9641D in John Lewis and the freeview picture was near HD quality, I was really impressed with it, way better than the Sony V2000, Panny LXD600 and the Toshiba WLT68.
     
  19. Analogue

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    Thanks Loobster - someone who has similar misgivings as myself.

    My 28"CRT after 9 years is showing the first signs of dying - slightly darker area spreading from right of screen.

    The advantages of an LCD are space and "eyeview"screen size. Having experimented with card board cut outs with a collage of magazine pictures in display areas I am convinced my optimum size is 37" although I originally thought a 32" would be plenty big enough.

    When I first started looking I was appalled by the PQ on all but HD sources and even these did not look "astronomically" better than my CRT. Having now found that there are some differentials in the panels I am pleased to see that you agree with me that the Philips panels with PF7 or 9 codes give a significantly better PQ on SD. Unfortunately whilst the 32PF7 and 42PF7 models are offered at a very attractive price now, the 37PF7 models are still relatively overpriced
     
  20. Analogue

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    Welcome to the "SD sensitive" club. Its great to see another person agreeing with my observations. I think that Loobster was also effectively saying that the best Sd he had seen was on Philips LCD's but it also somewhat depends on the source etc.

    As I and other posters have said the acid test is BBC1Freeview with some rapid movement relative to the background even if its someone shaking their head! Also I have observed that detail is visible on the Philips sets that you would not have realised was there on others even the V2000 or WLT66/68 (e.g. grain in a piece of wood!)
     
  21. nwgarratt

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    I don't have a LCD system, I never said I did. However, I have viewed about a dozen LCD's all across the price range. Forget about 576, it doesn't exist in LCD TV's. It's either 480, 720 or 1080. The OP wants a LCD TV not a CRT that is capable of displaying SD material the best it can. That is a SD LCD TV.
     
  22. Spinstorm

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    I think the point to be made here is if you want the best value for money you can get then you should get an HD ready TV.

    Whilst you can't imagine having HD now unless your planning on getting a new TV every 2 years the likelyhood is by the time your ready to get another TV to replace the one you want to buy now that HD will be so cheap that even you will be able to afford it (and lets be honest if you have close to a £1000 to spend you can afford it anyway let alone in 2 or more years!).

    Havingsaid that again, if you want a 37 inch TV you will only be able to find HDTVs easily at that size. I always figured if you want 37" why not got for 40-42" the price difference is small enough to make it worthit!

    You could of course always go for Plasma - there are plenty of 37"-42" Plasmas at around the £850 mark now thanks to the sales!

    I noticed someone else on another thread bought a big screen plasma for their bedroom but had a 28" CRT in their living room - having bought a 42" plasma 3 weeks ago having it go wrong after 2 weeks and had my old 29" CRT back it looked like a calculator screen to me and the picture quality was awful compared to the plasma (even at SD levels although on a huge screen you can see inperfections in the broadcast much easier)... I can't imagine how that guy feels going from his bedroom to lounge now!
     
  23. Janeygi

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    I really appreciate you all coming to my rescue......

    The reason I wanted an LCD is obviously they take up less space and can be attractive pieces of kit.

    At present I have no access to HD but the idea was really to buy a set now that could accept a HD service in the future (if I win the lottery!!).

    So I suppose I want the ultimate......a TV with good SD viewing AND one that will provide good HD viewing if I should be lucky enough to afford it - it's hard work sometimes being a single gal !!!! And to be fair in some respects this puts me off trying to question salesmen in stores!!!

    Which is why i have come here for some expert advice - without the patronisation!!!!

    So any thoughts on any particular sets???
    Previous mentions to the Philips models. Any others?

    I take it from my original post no-one is impressed with the Samsungs with SD????

    In summary I really want to know if at the moment it's worth me spending £900 on a TV as opposed to £500???
     
  24. InterNUT

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  25. nwgarratt

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    How about a slim CRT that does HD for only £385? I have been impressed with them. It looks like a LCD TV from the front but bigger at the back. It is still a lot smaller than a CRT widescreen.

    It has all the usual connections such as HDMI and component

    32" Freeview Samsung Slimfit TV

    edit.

    I juist found a thread. It seems long term they are not good. I spent a few hours with one and was impressed though. :(

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=331180&page=103
     
  26. a8ch

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    Hi

    I have bought the Hitachi and am very pleased with the sd performance, be advised though as others have mentioned, lcd's seem ruthless to broadcast quality, from meer mediocre to something like Blue planet on ukhistory which is stunning.

    The 32" can be had for £499 now I believe. Well worth a look imo.

    Check out the following thread for a pic.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=423512&page=10&highlight=acoustic+solutions
     
  27. CFCCFC

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    Janeygi, I know it's not what you want to hear, but I restate again - go and look at the sets you are interested in.

    The next part is somewhat of an essay, I hope it is of some help to you cos if not I've totally wasted my time LOL :rotfl:

    As a female owner and purchaser of a 37 inch set who has actually taken the plunge, so has been in your position quite recently, I can assure you that nobody else's opinion really matters. HD, unless you are buying an upscaling DVD or watching the very limited subscription services that are available, is often a red herring for 'non-rivet counters'. The format war between Bluray and HDDrive has yet to be fought, and it's like betamax vs VHS - unless you have money to burn, it's best to wait and see which is the winner. So that's HD DVDs out of the window for me.

    Ideally what I wanted, and what I'm guessing you want, is for someone to tell you what the best set is, or the best set for the money that you have. The short answer is that nobody can give you that advice. People either buy a set that theyr'e happy with, or have their eyes on one that they're happy with, so obviously that's the one they reccomend, of course. The short answer is that there is no 'one or two best sets for the price', because if there was, there would only be one or two contenders, and that's not the case.

    I can only talk you through my decision making process, and take what you want from that:

    I posted on here originally and got some very helpful suggestions,including the very sound advice to go and eyeball them all so not to make my decision just off the specs. After considering it, I decided to create a shortlist of tvs I was interested in, with input from the suggestions given to me.

    Personally, having done a bit of research, I decided I didn't want to go with a 1080p panel only, but a 720 panel was also an option because the sources I'm putting in for the forseeable future are not going to be 1080p and I felt that a 720 would be fine for me. So I then didn't care about the panel specs from that perspective, as I would be more than 6 foot from the set I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, and what's more, if suddenly HD was being broadcast everywhere, it still wouldn't make any difference. For me, it was very much more important that the set handled SD well.


    Secondly, I read all the threads where people were raving about their tvs, especially the way the set handled SD, and made a note of the names. I browsed the web looking for reviews, bought a couple of home cinema mags and read them. I made a shortlist choice of ones I wanted to see. My original choice was a LG machine, which I liked when I saw in the flesh, and it was 400 quid less than what I ended up spending in the end. It was available from Richer Sounds who have a good cheap 5 year guarantee offer. I'd owned LG kit before and had been impressed with the value for money.

    Because I intend to keep the machine for at least 5 years, and its a bit unknown in terms of reliability, I wanted a 5 year guarantee when spending so much money. This meant that I had to take into consideration guarantee prices or offers when choosing my supplier so this made a difference to the shortlist of sets that I could purchase. I also wanted to see them all outputting SD, so I also was only prepared to consider the sets I could actually see an SD feed on. I viewed the LG set in JL because my local Richers has only DVD or HD feed, but was going to buy it more cheaply at Richers.

    However, after reading about the problems people had posted about on here with getting repairs done on the LG under guarantee (only one repair centre in the uk and a month turnaround not uncommon), the LG went out the window and I decided to spend more money and look at a better brand. My next visit was to a Sony centre and I looked at those. I quite fancied one of the Sonys, was double my original budget but had a good finance offer. Then decided I wanted a 37 inch and Sony don't have those, plus I decided after watching it for 30 mins that I didn't like the way it handled some particular fast motion shots as it made me feel nauseaus for some reason. Sony was then out.

    JL was one of my chosen suppliers and one of the reasons for that is that they have a SD feed available so I could see how the set performed with it.

    Next step was to view more lcds till I was sick of it and my head hurt. I got my shortlist down to two, checked the connectivity specs over, was happy with those, then spent 2 hours in JL watching it and messing around with it, looking at every channel and playing an ordinary DVD on it. Only then was I happy to part with my cash. And I do not regret my purchase. I'm totally happy with it. It was over my original budget, and it was the right decision for me.

    Is it better to spend £400 or £900? The answer to this question is the same as if you asked, is it better to spend £400 or £900 on a pc. Buying a new technology tv is more like buying a pc than buying a CRT ever was, and it has all the associated problems, like in a year's time your top end piece of kit is rubbish compared to what's now available at the same price. So you can buy expensive and try to future proof it a bit, or you can buy cheap. So make sure that the HDMIs are all HDCP enabled (not sure if you can still end up with HDMIs that aren't, doubtless the rivet counters know, sorry boys:hiya: ), maybe make sure that it has more than one HDMI if possible, check that you like the style and most importantly, that you're happy with the picture.

    Sorry I can't give you an opinion on specific sets, I wasn't in the market for a 32 incher. The set I finally ended up with 37WLT68, I'm really happy with and I know they do a 32incher which you might want to consider looking at. I hear it has good reviews.

    Having done a little research, I note that the M73 you're dribbling over has 100hz, as does the Toshiba, but the R series does not appear to have it. In my opinion it does give a better picture so 100hz is worth the extra cash if that's important to you. It was to me. But doubtless someone else will disagree with me...

    Thread on the M73 and other Samsungs is here :

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=430687&highlight=Samsung+M73

    Review on Toshiba 32 inch is here:

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/tvs/review/2006/11/23/Toshiba-Regza-32WLT68-32in-LCD-TV/p2
     
  28. a8ch

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    Excellent advice CFCCFC, just the way you should buy good hifi as well. I would only add that unless you are sure that any reviews you find are totally impartial either user or magazine etc, (ie Which?) you should use them as a rough guide only & not take them too seriously!

    I also think long term spares availability, is an important part of the decision process.
     
  29. kjt2004

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    Well

    i have read this with interest and concur with some of the posts , my observations are as follows


    And yes i know PJ`s are good as well but i dont own one so cannot comment


    For SD viewing (in order of PQ)
    CRT
    Plasma
    LCD


    For HD viewing
    LCD or Plasma dependant on size, viewing conditions etc

    Gaming/PC
    LCD
    Plasma

    Football
    CRT
    PLasma
    LCD


    I am one of those in the "what is all the fuss about HD" surely in reality we have all been watching it every time we use our PC or laptop monitor to a certain extent

    And as a side note i have noticed that i can get a lot better quality freeview Pictures out of my 26" HD LCD via a PC with a USB Freeview adaptor than i do with a standard Freeview box hooked up to it.
    The only downside is you have to boot up the PC first

    Regards
     
  30. charlton111

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    really happy with my Philips 42PF7621D in sd
     

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