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Which 26" LCD!?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Rob20, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. Rob20

    Rob20
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    I'm currently thinking about replacing my 21" 4:3 SONY CRT tv with a 26" widescreen LCD. Only thing is, I'm not 100% sure whether now is the right time to buy one what with prices continually falling and picture quality improving. My main concern is with the faults inherent with lcd displays, i.e. smearing, contrast levels etc. How noticeable are faults such as these?? is it worth waiting for picture processing to improve or is it only a minor complaint? I'd be interested to hear from people who currently own an lcd tv. Picture quality is the main criteria, connectivity, followed by aesthetics.

    Anyway, I've narrowed my search down to three 26" sets namely:

    1) Panasonics hi-def TX26LXD1 (£1,630)
    2) SONY's WEGA KLV26HG2 (£1,640)
     
  2. cerebros

    cerebros
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    The best advice really is to try and get a demonstration of any sets you're interested in under conditions similar to where the set will be used in your home.

    Unfortunately, unless you live in London this may well be difficult, as finding stores that have all the sets you're interested in will likely be difficult. If you do manage to find a store stocking all the sets, you then have to hope that they have a proper demo room or that the lighting is similar to what you'd have during normal use.

    As for the "faults" such as smearing, IIRC this is mostly down to screens with slower response times. I believe the current generation of screens (inlcuding those you list below) have a response of 16ms or less which should be fine (unless any additional processing is causing problems).

    The real killer issue with LCD, from reading other threads in this forum (which I strongly advise you do) is that the black level can be lacking, resulting in dark areas of scenes being grey rather than black. How much this is an issue in real life Im not sure as I've never had the chance to put an LCD screen fully through it's paces.


    I don't know about better (without having demoed or seen reviews of the above sets), but the Samsung LW26A33W has a pretty decent connection spec on it.

    I don't think there's really any good place to look for reviews. Magazine reviews can't be taken as gospel as reviewers don't seem to spend a lot of time with sets, miss or dismiss problems that cause a lot of people to send sets back (particularly bad with CRT TV's), and you have to question how independent the reviews are when the manufacturers are also paying for the advertising...

    Reviews on the web, or even this forum can be just as tricky, as a number of people seem to expect sets to be set up perfectly as they come out of the box. The fact is that they aren't, and this is just as true of LCD as it is CRT or plasma, and some tweaking will be needed to make the best out of the picture. But you will often find people (not too many here since most people are aware that you need to set things up properly) who slag off a set without having taken the time to set it up and evaluate it properly first.

    Generally it's best to find the opinions of several people who have the TV you're interested in (not easy with very new TV's) and bear their coments in mind when demoing.
     
  3. Rob20

    Rob20
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    Cheers mate. Thanks for the advice. Unfortuantly, where I live there isn't a great deal of electronic stores apart from your comets, dixons and the like that won't stock any of the models I'm interested in. Personally, I'm leaning towards the panasonic. I'm having great difficulty in stopping myself from ordering one now being the impusive buyer that I am. Thinking about it a bit more, the connectivity all the tv's isn't really an issue as all have at least 1 component/2 RGB inputs. So just picture quality, then asthetics as prices are pretty similar. The Toshiba's probably the best looking, then the Pan, sony etc. Just not sure!? :confused: :laugh:
     
  4. fuji

    fuji
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    Hi,

    I just bought the Panasonic 26LXD1 two weeks ago, I havent had many changes to put it through its paces yet, been decorating. But primarily brought it because of its built in freeview tuner, I was toying with the Samsung 26" and Sony 26" (Im a Sony person at heart) but the built in freeview swung it for the Panny, plus the wife thought it looked much nicer (but i liked the Sony design). The blacks are actually quite good, and havent notcied any significant smearing when watching the tennis. The only downer with the Panasonic is the lack of DVI or HDMI. I upgraded from a 16 yr old Sony 21" and the Panasonic 26 fits in quite nicely in the bedroom.
     
  5. Rob20

    Rob20
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    I'd be interested to hear what you think of it once you've had a chance to use it a bit more. Personally I prefer the looks of the Panasonic to the Sony. Then again I find tv's can look quite different in the flesh. I really liked the sony from net pictures yet wasn't so keen when I saw it in the shop. Particularly didn't like the 2 black plastic bars down the sides of the screen that dissapear when a picture is superimposed onto it. Thought nothing of Pan 22" T3 set til I saw it in a customer's living room.

    Can someone explain to me why the Pan claims hi-def and the other 2 sets don't when they have the same resolution? Also, I thought hi-def was a higher res of 1920 by 1080!?
     
  6. cerebros

    cerebros
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    I was looking at getting the Panny myself until i saw it in the flesh and realised that the side speakers can't be detached (the pictures I'd seen of it seemed to show distinct lines above & below the main black bezel which seemed to suggest detachable speakers). The girlfriend wasn't too keen on the styling either which was another mark against it.

    Personally I prefer the styling of JVC's current LCD TV range, but I don't like the fact that the 4:3 picture mode on them displays grey bars either side of the image rather than black.


    Probably becuase apart from the satelite channel, Euro 1080, there's no HDTV broadcasts or other sources in the UK yet, so it's debateable how much of a selling feature this is for Joe Bloggs, so Sony and Toshiba may have decided not to play up the compatibility much.


    Hi-def covers several different resolutions (depending on who you believe, it covers 480p progressive scan), but 1920x1080i (interlaced) is the highest resolution, with the next one down being 1280x720p (progressive) are the ones most people on this forum are interested in, since they're higher res than PAL or NTSC (whether interlaced or progressive).

    At present there don't seem to be any LCD TV's (or plasma's for that matter) that have a screen resolution of 1920x1080, so they would have to down-convert to the screen's resolution anyway.
     
  7. Rob20

    Rob20
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    Have decided now that I prefer the Panasonic TX26. It has a digital tuner and one extra rgb scart plus superior looks over the Sony. All I need to find out now is whether the pictures are similar. If they are I'm gonna go for the pan. Cheers for the advice. :)
     
  8. Rob20

    Rob20
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    Thanks for all the advice. I have decided on the panasonic and have just ordered one. Can't wait! :D :D
     
  9. cerebros

    cerebros
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    Well, be sure to let us know how you get on with it.
     
  10. Rob20

    Rob20
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    Found out my card has been declined. Still gonna get the tv, just will clear my CC debt before putting another £1,600 on it. Plus I want to try to get John Lewis to price match as they offer a free 5 year guarentee worth at least 300. Also, wanna get a new CC with a 0% free for 9 months offer so I can spread the payments out £200 a month. :)
     
  11. Rob20

    Rob20
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    ...or I might take advantage of Empiredirect's finance option which includes 12 months interest free credit. The price is the same as RGB but they do charge £20 del. Still, £20 for 12 months int free...plus if I put £200 into a high interest account every month for the 12 months, I should probably cover that anyway. :)
     

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