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switch from CRT to LCD/Plasma...advice needed

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Fingolfin, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Fingolfin

    Fingolfin
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    Hello everyone!
    I've been having a Sony 16:9 29" 100Hz CRT Tv for a few years now and now I would like to change to an LCD/Plasma screen due to the fact that I would like to make loads more space getting rid of it
    I have been reading various posts about LCD/Plasma screens but i can see there are ppl in favour of the LCD tech and others for Plasma screens.
    Since I don't have a huge budget for this upgrade, I was considering the Samsung LCD 22" 16:9 which seems to be a good choice from what I could read.
    I'm just scared though the picture would be too small compared to my old 29" CRT. I would watch the TV from a distance of around 3 metres.
    I need the tv though just for normal tv use since I have a videoprojector for when I wanna see movies on DVD, so that's big enough. I would also use it as a secondary monitor for my pc which is right beside.
    I would just like to have an advice from you. Whether to go for the 22" LCD screen or wait a bit and go for a 42" plasma one.
    Are there Plasma screens smaller than 42" such as 32"?
    That would be perfect for my usage.
    Any kind advice from you would be really appreciated!!!!

    Thanks a lot in advance!
    Fingolfin
     
  2. JAMBO

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    The Hitachi 42PD3000 (excellent 42" plasma)is available from John Lewis, for £3,000 including a 5 year warranty. (See Hitachi 42PD3000- first impressions thread for details. It comes with supplied table top rotating stand, component connections and 3 scart sockets etc. They also do the same model in a 32" version... 32PD3000. Not sure of the price difference, but I think it is only about £400. The speakers are attached on the 32" model, but can be attached or left off of the 42" model. Looks much better without in my opinion.

    I'd certainly recommend the 42", but price, size of viewing room and personal preference make the world go round.
     
  3. LV426

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    First up: a 29 inch CRT has a usable screen diagonal of only about 26.5 inches (measure it if you like). Whereas a 22 inch flat panel (eg LCD) has 22 inches of viewable diagonal. So the reduction in size will not be as great as you first thought.

    Second - my opinion is that as this is a secondary device (ie - you use a projector for movie viewing) a smallish TV will be OK. I use mine from distances varying between 2 and 3 metres, and for routine TV use and/or watching DVD extras, its big enough.

    I would be very unlikely ever to accompany a projector with something as big as 42 inch - it just isn't necessary IMO.
     
  4. Fingolfin

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    Hello and thanks for your advice guys!!!
    2600£ for the Hitachi would be a bit too much for my budget even if I'm sure it's a great choice!
    Nigel: thank you very much for your advice too! What you say about CRT/LCD viewable surface is right! I have experienced the same when I upgraded my CRT pc monitor with an LCD one. It's still a 17" but looks muccchhh bigger than my old 17" CRT one.
    One question: do you own the Samsung 22" LCD tv!? If so, could you please tell me how you like it? Would it be better to go for a 20" 4:3 screen instead since I wouldn't use it for dvd's? Would I have a bigger viewable area?
    Sorry for all the questions and thank you so much for your kind replies!!

    Take care
    F.
     
  5. LV426

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    Yes, I have the Samsung LW22A13 and I can't recommend it enough. If you do a search here you should find my review. It is especially excellent when driven with an RGB signal from a decent freeview digibox.

    As for choosing between 4x3 and 16x9 - a 20 inch 4x3 will show a slightly larger image on 4x3 sources. Assuming you use a 22 inch 16x9 TV in true 4x3 mode (4x3 image laterally centred on the screen) the diagonal size of the picture will be about 18 inches.

    BUT:

    You should be seriously considering a digibox to accompany it. As well as additional channels (the value of which is a matter of personal opinion), the image quality, given a decent aerial signal, exceeds that of analog, plus the majority of modern TV content is made and broadcast as widescreen (16x9) via this platform.
     
  6. Fingolfin

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    Hi again Nigel and thank you very much for your kind support and advice!
    I must say I'm really interested into your Samsung TV.
    I would use it mostly with normal tv via analog signal (aerial) or with satellite channels via RGB SCART cable. Having a videoprojector I watch DVD's with it via component progressive scan mode. It is very interesting though the DVI port for PC connection. One last question about it. On my Sony 16:9 I have the "smart" mode which makes me watch 4:3 progs in 16:9 mode cutting the picture a bit on the horizontal borders. Doies the Samsung have the same feature? Here in Italy we have only 1 sat channel broadcasting in 16:9 mode so I'd watch 4:3 material most of the time. If it doesn't have that function I could as well just get a 4:3 screen.
    Also, what do you think about the Philips 23" LCD screen!?
    It seems like it's got good features such as a DCDi Faroudja chipset and that inch more could come handy! Would you recommend it too??

    Thanks again and sorry for all the questions!
    I hope I will return your kindness soon!

    F.
     
  7. LV426

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    > My guess is that, as time goes by, greater use will be made of 16x9 digital transmissions, so I suggest you are 'future-proofing' yourself if you go widescreen. This has certainly happened here already.

    > It DOES have an equivalent of 'smart' mode, although this is something I will never use myself. I prefer to watch 4x3 as 4x3.

    > It can be used as a PC monitor. I have done so. However, you have to set your PC to output a resolution equal to, or less than, what the screen supports, which is 1280 x 720. It won't, for example, display a 1024x768 signal.

    > I have seen the Philips model on display in stores and I think it seems a good set. However, I have concerns about the reliability of anything with a Philips label, so I never buy anything from them. These concerns stem back to poor experiences in the past (some years ago) and may no longer be justified. Nevertheless, I still stay away from them.
     
  8. Stereo Steve

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    The Philips appears to have been pulled from sale, no idea why.

    The Samsung is a very good set, I saw one properly set up the other day and was very impressed. I just can't get on with the styling though which is a shame as it is perfect in all other ways.

    Also consider the Sony 23" which comes in around £1400 online. It's got 1024x768, loads of inputs and has a slightly bigger screen. The styling is unusual though and it would pay to have a look at one in the flesh first. I really can't make up my mind if it's nice or not after seeing it in the Sony shop so I'm going to take my lady along who will give an instant verdict either way. I think she'll like it and I think I like it too.
     
  9. Fingolfin

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    hello guys and sorry for the late reply!
    Thanks a lot for your advice and precious info.
    Finally yesterday I found a store that had a Samsung 22" and 29" LCD as well as other screens connected decently.
    Unfortunately I guess 22" is really small for my room and I was looking at the 29" instead. I was pleased with the picture quality of the Samsung but then they showed me a Sharp Aquos 30" and I was really blown away by its quality so much at at first I thought it was a plasma. Seems like it's got more connections too and the price is nearly the same of the Samsung 29".
    I saw the Sony too but I didn't like its shape so much. Philips was a nice choice too i guess but it was even more expensive than the Sharp.
    Do you think Sharp Aquos is good too and I could go for it?!!

    Thanks again!
    F.
     
  10. LV426

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    I feel sure that the Sharp will be a good purchase, as would the Samsung. I don't have personal experience of either at the larger size (except in shops - where the signal source is usually poor).

    The reason I chose the Samsung at the 22 inch size is that

    a) the equivalent (22 inch) Sharp is a low resolution panel (848x480) whereas the Samsung is 1280x720. However, I am fairly sure that this difference is not true of the 30 inch models

    b) I did not like the styling of the Sharp 22 inch model

    I guess it is down to you making a choice now, based on your own preferences.
     
  11. Fingolfin

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    Hello nigel!
    Thank you SO very much again for your kindness!
    I'm going for the Sharp at last 'cause of its price and also 'cause a friend of mine can make me obtain some more discount on it.
    As you rightly guessed also the Sharp 30" is 1280x720, it just doesn't have DVI input but VGA but that doesn't matter so much to me.
    The only bad thing is that they had the last one that's been exposed for like a week but maybe that could be good in a way so I will be sure it won't have dead/stuck pixels having been tested for a while.

    If you like I can post a review on it when I get it tomorrow!

    Thanks you all again for all the precious info and advice!

    F.
     
  12. LV426

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    I wouldn't worry about a week-old ex-demo model, unless it is physically damaged. These things are good for something like 7 years continuous use (much more for typical patterns). And, as you say, you can check it out first. Enjoy.
     
  13. Alex Simon

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    Fingolfin
    Here's hoping that the new telly looks great
    VGA will be fine. DVI would have been better as one less Digital to Analogue conversion but I wouldn't worry about it.

    Just thought I'd mention that if your PCs graphics card wont do 1280x1024 then there's a program called Powerstrip http://www.entechtaiwan.net/ps.htm that will probably do it for you. There's a list of cards it supports on the site.

    Also, how are you planning to get your normal TV signal into the Sharp?

    The best picture (without spending silly amounts) will be delivered by a PC and there are loads of ways of going about this. Also your DVDs will be scaled to the TVs native resolution.

    You could also feed the two screens (projector + new telly) from the same PC.

    All food for thought:D

    Alex
     
  14. Fingolfin

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    hello Alex!
    I have an Ati 9000 Pro so that should be okay for feeding the tv.
    I know Powerstrip too from tests with my Panny AE300 vpj when I tried to feed the exact resolution...without success :p
    Thank you very much for the advice anyway!!
    I was thinking to feed DVD signal from my Denon dvd player with component in progressive scan mode but I need component signal for feeding my projector too so maybe I'll have to use the amp as a switching device for these two destinations (TV+Proj).
    I guess though as you said it would be great to feed the tv via PC through scart so I would get 720P signal instead of 625p from the dvd player...is that right? I guess my pc is good enough for being used as an HTPC since i have also an Audigy 2 soundcard.
    The only prob is that my pc has some 6 fans and it's quite noisy...let alone the neons :p
    Anyway, it's gonna be fun to try all these connections!!!

    Nigel: thank you once again for your advice!! :)

    I'll let you know when i get the "baby"

    Cheers!
    F.
     
  15. Alex Simon

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    LOL
    Yes, most people try and make HTPCs as invisible as possible, but your taste may differ:D

    PAL progressive is 576p rather than 625 as 625 includes overscan.
    When watching PAL movies you'd be watching at 576p
    When watching NTSC movies you'd be watching at 480p

    The problem with both of these is you're allowing the telly to scale and you can bet the scaler will be cheap as chips (unless it's the DCDi).

    The HTPC would supply the telly with it's native resolution (720p)

    As you've got a progressive dvd player the difference may not be as much as without but it will certainly be better.

    If you've already got a PC and don't mind fiddling about, it's free to try! (use the SPDIF out of the sound card).

    I'm surprised you didn't manage to hit the native resolution of the Panny. Have you looked for help with this on the pj or HCPC parts of this forum?

    Alex
     
  16. Fingolfin

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    hello again Alex!
    hehe it's more like i've never used my pc as an htpc 'cause i prefer stand alone dvd players and also for problems with cables etc...

    As for finding native res for the Panny I tried everything and read loads of threads about this but it seems like it's a problem with the Panny 300 and there's no way to solve it. Also it's got another prob with interlaced material with the infamous "hulk effect" but maybe it's getting OT hehe. By buying the progressive scan player I seem to have solved that nasty prob!

    Thanks again for your interest!
    F.
     

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