Toshiba LCD panel toss-up: please help me decide!

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs Forum' started by Persiflage, Jan 13, 2008.

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  1. Persiflage

    Persiflage
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    "I'm so tired / tired of waiting / tired of waiting for yoooooou..."

    No, I'm not an ex-member of the Kinks seeking solace for my faded glory in expensive AV equipment; I'm just a fair-to-medium ignorant consumer who has succumbed to "spec panic" once too often!

    About ten months ago I went through all the options that were currently available in the flat-panel market. I was all set to buy one. I'd decided that plasma screens weren't an option for me (my girlfriend's kids are prone to pausing DVD's and then going off and doing something else for hours at a time) and I'd checked out all the LCD screens available.

    I bottled out at the last minute because of a whole raft of new LCD screens that were a month or two away from the shops, which promised to get black levels to near-plasma quality and reduce motion blur. So, I waited.

    Then, more and more true HD 1080p panels came onto the market and I thought I'd wait a while for the prices to trickle downwards, and they have.

    Yesterday, I cracked - or thought I had. I zipped out to local electrical retailers and started looking at HD panels again, fully intending to buy one. I saw, for the first time, the utterly gorgeous-looking 46XF355 from Toshiba; what a beauty! Not only that, but the price was right; after a bit of negotiating, I could have picked it up for £1200...

    Of course, you can't really test something like that in the shop. It isn't set up properly, the lighting conditions don't let you determine how good the black levels are, and the SD content is coming from a signal source so inadequate that the TV is complaining about a poor signal. Tempted though I was, I didn't buy one there and then.

    I came home, and looked for a professional review before deciding between the Toshiba 46XF and its Sony equivalent.

    Of course, I couldn't find a professional review of the 46XF; I guess it hasn't been out long enough. I did, however, find you guys. It was with a howl of anguish that I learned that "some time soon" there will be a ZF panel on the way, and that it's likely to be relatively inexpensive; on the one hand the last thing I needed was another reason to wait!

    On the other hand, if the ZF screens are coming out in February, wouldn't I just be foolish to buy an XF now? Surely the 100hz MotionFlow feature will be worth the wait? And if it turns out not to be that great after all, isn't it bound to make the XF panel prices fall yet further?

    On the other other hand (yes, that's three hands: I've been known to sprout as many as six extra limbs during a major purchasing crisis :suicide:), isn't there ALWAYS going to be another screen due "in the next couple of months" that's going to supercede the one I'm in love with right now? Surely if I like the look of a TV and it sounds like it will suit my needs at a price I can comfortably afford, I ought to just buy it? Given that I'm currently having to watch movies on a 23-inch screen from 10ft away, isn't it time that I stopped prevaricating and just damn well BOUGHT something?

    For all you folks wrestling with this and similar questions; what would you do? Is it worth waiting? Is the ZF going to be so much better than the XF that I ought to hang onto my cash? Or am I completely deluded and should be spending the money on a totally different LCD panel that I haven't yet encountered?

    I only make major purchases like this every few years, so whatever decision I make I'm stuck with it for the forseeable future...

    Help me out here folks; I really, really need the advice! :lease:


    PS: I'm planning on getting a decent (Sony RDR series) upscaling DVD recorder, and a PS3 for Blu-Ray content as I think HD-DVD is likely to wither away and die... I don't know if that information helps you to help me or not!
     
  2. Lutz

    Lutz
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    Heh... the only thing that comes to those who wait is death. And maybe a pint of Guinness if they're lucky. ;)

    There will always been something better on the horizon. Always. What I did was think about what I wanted from a screen. Then priced up how much that would cost me, and how much I had to spend. 16 months ago what I wanted was about 3 times my budget, so bought myself an inbetween (which happened to be a 32", 720p Samsung) until prices for what I wanted came down to a reasonable level. (Which is happily about now.)

    New tech is always coming out, but that's not always a good thing. Although it's not quite an accurate analogy, it's like a car that can do 130mph. You can't legally drive that fast, so do you actually need that extra power? Same with PCs. Same with TVs. If you want and/or need the new features on upcoming TVs then hangfire a touch longer. If they're just shiny pretty things that you're never gonna use, then bite the bullet and get spending! :)
     
  3. Persiflage

    Persiflage
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    Thanks for that. I think you're right, but the problem is that I'm never quite sure whether the next feature on the horizon is something I need or not!

    I watch DVD's (and will play console games again when I get my PS3) but never watch TV. My girlfriend watches TV a fair bit, but she's not paying ;) Will the ZF panel make a huge difference to my DVD-watching experience over the XF or am I being a dithering old woman about the whole thing?
     
  4. SuperSquash

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    It sounds like you're in a similar predicament to me. All too often though you'll settle on a model and then come here and read what really goes on in the respective forum and it puts you off somewhat!

    One thing I have noticed from reading and reading.....and reading, is that it appears that Toshiba screens are very good on colour but not so good on blacks. I do get the impression that Toshiba have less reliability issues – although this is only what I’ve picked up.

    I am in the market for a new LCD at the moment, but if I read every thread about every TV i'm interested in, then I'll never buy anything as people always have issues regardless of what TV it is.

    I had made the decision to go with the Sony W series after reading reviews, weighing up the specs etc. But then I came here and read about a couple of issues that put me off for good. So now I see the new Sony series announced and wonder if they're going to be perfect at the right price....of course not! I guarantee you that when they come out, there will be problems with those and we'll be no better off! Not only that, but we could be looking at 3rd quarter ’08 before we see them anyway.

    You could wait around forever for the perfect TV to come along, but the truth is it never will. You could shell out £2k on an X series Sony and still have problems. I'm tempted to jump in there and just do it, but like you, I will have to live by this decision for at least a couple of years and so it needs to be the right one - especially for this amount of money. I sometimes wonder if I’d just be better raiding the missus’ piggy bank as well and getting a Pioneer 508 and being done with it!
     
  5. Lutz

    Lutz
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    And remember that no matter what TV you're looking at, no matter how many sterling reviews it's had, until you've got it set up in your living room you're never going to be sure if it's the right model for you. What bugs someone else doesn't annoy you, and whay irritates you isn't noticed by others. Ultimately you need to go out, find what you want, test it the best you can and then bite the bullet.

    Then upgrade in 2 years. ;)
     
  6. Persiflage

    Persiflage
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    Thanks fellas... advice and humour in one tidy package ;)

    I'm sooo tempted just to jump in the car and go buy the 46XF. Perhaps you could tell me this; how much does 100Hz technology improve things, from the point of view of someone with no prior exposure to this level of kit and who likes to watch movies more than any other viewing? Bearing in mind the likely feeds - PS3 (in a month or two) and the Sony RDRHXD970 (which I'll buy immediately) - will waiting for the 100Hz MotionFlow make that much difference to my life, or am I going to be forever disappointed if I keep waiting?

    If it helps, the one bit of SD content I'll be watching in the coming year will be the Six Nations ;)
     
  7. PH99

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    Hi mate, its spooky but you could have easily written the post for me....I too saw the Tosh in John Lewis and was blown away, it is cracking panel but was tempted to wait until the 100hz model comes out!!
    Are you happy sitting 10 feet away?, its the same distance that we will be sitting and I think it will be fine.
    By the way where did you get that price??, john lewis charging £1,499 with five years warranty.
    If its high street I can maybe do price match?
    Phil
     
  8. Persiflage

    Persiflage
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    It's a bit convoluted :) Apollo 2000 are a bricks-and-mortar store who will price-match with Internet retailers! Empire Direct are doing the screen for £1199 with a free three-year warranty and Apollo have confirmed that they'll match that deal. They've got stores in quite a few locations and they all have the same policy: go to apollo2000.co.uk and check if they're near you... a store that matches online prices is something to be treasured, and the guys in the Gloucester store (where I've been) seem to know their onions pretty well.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. faridi99

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    I was in a very similar position. I was looking to spend upto a grand on a LCD but it had to be perfect for that kinda money. Having read reviews i didnt really come across an LCD which was without issues. Luckily i saw a 42" Toshiba in Currys for £450, this for me was perfect as a stop gap, not too much money and a decent enough display. The main problem with the current crop of displays is that most are excellent with HD content but are not so good with SD content. I reckon i will buy another display in a couple of years when technology has improved further and HD becomes the norm for viewing.
     
  10. PMF

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    I'm in the same boat as you and its driving me crazy. I almost bought the z series, but the one thing that held me back was the viewing angle, the blacks and colours became lighter as you moved off centre, although it was then constant to quite a wide angle. A few have commented on this and as a couple of viewing positions in my household are not in ideal it was important to me. What I would say re the XF, it maintained its viewing angle much better and I couldn't noticable see any deterioration and the colours and blacks looked better. However I was watching an HD DVD demo and some of the panning shots seemed to judder a bit, which I didn't notice on the Z series.

    So to answer your question I'm waiting for the ZF as it will use the the same panel as the XF and have the 100/120HZ which from what I've seen in store demos does help with motion. PS also the new Panasonis plasma range is out in the spring when its likely we'll see the ZF. I'm not bothered re LCD/Plasma argument as mine will rarely be used for anything but television/movies, it will be whatever one of them I prefer in the spring and at the right price . If you watch a lot of movies and intend doing so on DVD I think 100hz is worth waiting for or go for the current Z series if you find the viewing angle fine, but admittedly it doesn't look as good as the ZF. Good luck.
     
  11. Persiflage

    Persiflage
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    I gave in. I cracked. I went and bought a Toshiba 46XF355DB, deciding that I'm prepared to lose out by a few hundred quid on the resale if I decide to go for a ZF later on!

    After all, it's no different to buying a stop-gap screen for £500. :)

    Thanks to everyone who responded; I'm taking delivery on Thursday and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. £1200 including a 3-year at-home warranty doesn't seem like a bad deal to me.

    Now... where can I find a how-to on configuring/callibrating this beastie? An "Idiot's Guide" would be best as I'm completely new to all this!

    Cheers fellas :D
     

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