What to look out for when buying?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs Forum' started by Benh123, Mar 11, 2006.

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  1. Benh123

    Benh123
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    Hi All,
    I am just about to buy an HD LCD and I am really after some advice on what the important specs of the screens I should be comparing and also what the +tives and -tives of said specs are.

    Also if anyone can tell me the benefits of each of the major manufacturers "engines" are that too would be welcomed :thumbsup:

    I am really only interested in picture quality as I have a separate sound system that I will use.

    Thanks for any response!

    :)
     
  2. Giblets2

    Giblets2
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    I looked for:

    1. Number of HD inputs - at least 2 digital (of which at least 1 HDMI) and at least one component. This is far more important than the number of SCARTS, etc. as HD is the future and why most people are buying a new TV.

    2. Ability to do 1:1 pixel mapping - if you're going to use a PC on the TV you NEED this, it's not just a desirable, it's an essential. Loads of panels still don't do it!

    3. SD picture quality - this is where the TV's internal scaler earns its keep. Be it Pixel Plus, XD or whatever its most challenging job is to make non HD, interlaced content look decent on an HD panel. Make sure you test this on a decent signal - Freeview Channels 4 and 5 tend to be the best broadcast, DVD via component or HDMI the best locally delivered.

    4. Response time - look for at most 8-12ms Grey-to-Grey, I'm fussy and didn't like a panel that claimed 12ms, it lost definition when things moved and I couldn't stand it - mine is fine at 8ms.

    5. Black levels - the worst trait of LCD at the moment but improving. Basically, black is dark grey. All depends on your lighting conditions but it's hard to test in the shop under flourescent lights. My TV is average in this respect but it doesn't bother me - you may feel differently if you like watching films in the dark.

    Errm... that's all I can think of at the moment but it'll keep you busy! :)
     
  3. Benh123

    Benh123
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    Thanks Giblets,

    Thats is very helpfull will look it to that, thought of something else to ask which companies generally make the best LCD's these days?

    Thanks

    B
     
  4. Giblets2

    Giblets2
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    That's really a judgement call and all sorts of people would give you a list of what they think are good reasons to go for a particular make/model (usually the one they bought).

    I got myself an LG but there's plenty of people who would shoot that down for Sony, Panasonic, Philips, JVC, Toshiba, Samsung, Sharp, Loewe, etc. People buy a particular screen for their own reasons so it's hard for me to advise on what I think you'd like. I reckon that the best option is for you to read up on here, sort what seems to you like the wheat from the chaff (ignore people who knock every make but the one they have and make out their own screen is faultless) and go and properly demo the ones you like the sound of.

    Try to take a known good source like I did with my Topfield PVR for Freeview SD material. Most shops have upscaling DVD players on demo so take a couple of favourite films so that you can compare what you get at home with what the screen does instore - you can usually convince a droid into letting you set up the gear, usually!

    By the way, these screens tend to make Pixar/Dreamworks animations look good so take along something more challenging for them to show - that's why you always see Finding Nemo as the demo material in the shop.

    Your mission, if you choose to accept it... :thumbsup:
     
  5. Neil Davidson

    Neil Davidson
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    Like it or not price is still one of the best rules of thumb for gauging overall "quality". For example when viewed on it's own my Samsung looks great (although proving to be a b*tch to calibrate) and looks great. Do a side by side with a Loewe or Panasonic though and the limitations are more obvious, especially in build quality.

    For all that your own eyes need to be your guide - set a budget. Identify the sets within your budget that have the features that you are looking for (Giblets and I disagree on the value of 1:1 mapping). Discount those models that you dislike cosmetically and then do the rounds to see which performs best to your taste.

    My tips for trying are to take your own test material be it a DVD or otherwise and always take the time to go through all of the various picture standards and coulour tones.

    Neil
     
  6. blakey1

    blakey1
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    One thing I would say is that if you are buying HD make sure that any demos you do involves HD demos.
     

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