who best to believe, this forum or review sites

audiobox

Standard Member
Hi
I have been 'trying' to buy a plasma or LCD TV to replace my Toshiba rear projection for a year now. Each time i always find problems, mainly motion blur. i read many magazine and online reviews. Many contradict each other. i read sites like this, many different opinions exist on the same TV. i read a online review of a 1080p shootout where the Sony 40W2000 beat the Sharp 42XD1E (itself a best buy in 2 or more magazines)and a Samsung. This site allows opinions and questions from the public. The reviewer commented on one person saying many people on AVforums were dissatisfied with the Sony and preferred the Samsung. His reply was that 'im sure there are many satisfied Samsung owners' and also 'rather than biased owners wishing to justify their own expensive purchase, to whom "side-by-side comparison" means looking at the panels in Currys showroom in their uncalibrated form'. So who can you believe ? or is it a case of buying one , trying it out yourself and sending it back, until you find one suitable? Sorry if in wrong place.
 

jason g

Distinguished Member
actually ive always said it should be by your own judgement because everyone has there own way of looking at things, the people on the forums will give u their honest opinion but their settings and review could be different to someone elses or even your own, i think u get a general review in magazines but nothing beats finding out from someone who has the tv u are after.
but the best thing to do is have a look at the tvs yourself and see which u like the most, hopefully u can play with the settings to get the best from the tv in question but also the sd doesnt look good in shops though due to how they set them up.
so if u want a decent review i would ask the people on the forums if u cannot get to check out the tvs themselves.
 

MarVell

Active Member
I trust the forum more than any reviews. You don't have to worry about magazines/sites doing any favours to manufacturers or reviewing prototype models that are of a higher quality than those that make their way to the shops.
 

Badger0-0

Member
IMO, you should use a combination of reviews in magazines, people's opinions and a bit of your own intuition and judgement after actually seeing the set you're interested in.
I don't think you can always trust the mags, as they do have vested interests.
The point about people being biased about their own stuff is also valid, although I would say that anything that is consistently praised on these forums, is generally going to be a good product.
Also, after a while, people will start to mention things that aren't right, so the threads do tend to balance out.

Personally, I've only ever seen one LCD I've actually liked (Sony 46X2000) and that was running HD.
My latest viewing was my mate's LG50PC1D, which has favourable reviews on here, but for me, it was awful.
No motion blur, but the artifacts were so bad on SD at over 10 feet, I'd have ended up throwing something through the screen, if it was mine.

But then, that's just my opinion :D
 

JUS

Well-known Member
Agreed. Use mags and forums to narrow down the choice then go to a good dealer for demo. I travelled 300 miles to the Bristol show to see a large number of screens all together. Numerous dealers offer side by side comparisons...

There are expert dealers on this forum Joe F, Liam @ Progressive, AV-SALES who have installed 1,000's of screens (not just shifted boxes). They offer expert advice and quality post support as well. Just don't buy from one of the lame o shops that don't know what they are talking about and give you appauling after sales as well. My neighbour bought a dvd-recorder and lcd from comet and was sold the wrong cables to connect the two and the discs to use in the dvd-recorder!

Quesion for you...are you sure LCD is the one for you? I demoed loads of screens and couldnt find a LCD that gave a good enough natural enough picture for me (motion blur being the main prob)...I demoed screens that had received rave reviews from so called trusted mags only to find motion blur etc. ..I eventually went for plasma instead..(Fuji with no screen burn issues)

Im expecting to be attacked by the fan boys now :)
 

marcstang

Well-known Member
It's all personal preference at the end. Best to go to a decent AV specialist shop who can set-up a good demonstration for you. It's the lesson I learned whilst shopping for my 40 " recently. There are always the questions :

Which brand is better ? Do I need 1080p for my applications ? Do you sacrifice PQ with display size ? How does the set handle SD and is it acceptable to me ?

There are a few indipendant retailers here in Manchester which are very good, but I found that I also got a really good service from the likes of sevenoaks and superfi here.

Also John Lewis will run different feeds if you ask them and they have a good choice. You are right, people on here need to justify their purchases to an extend, but they are also the people who use their sets everyday and not just for a couple of hours to write a techy review. You will also find out any niggling faults a set might display on this forum.

It is a combination of all three really, but the one that counts the most is whether you like the PQ in SD and HD. My only advise is that it's worth to recreate you viewing position and distance as close as possible to your set-up at home.

Im expecting to be attacked by the fan boys now :)

Off with his head :devil:

It's a valid point though. Don't be set on an LCD but you should also consider Plasma.
 

Spafon

Active Member
This forum's an invaluable tool, but it highlights the complaints people have with their sets to such an extent that one can become overly wary of buying.

The problem is you get too much emphasis placed on the experience(s) of a few individuals. A set can be damned even though the individual doing the damning has little or no experience and whose complaints of a poor picture might be down to them rather than the set itself. When you get a report of a set breaking down, it's all too easy to tar every set from the manufacturer with the same brush. And because some self-appointed expert declares, for instance, Sony and Pioneer the best, and LG and Hitachi rubbish, then those opinions, which is all they are, are transformed for some into fact.

Magazines/website reviews on the other hand give you a snapshot of what the set can do in that instant in time. They should be unbiased, they might not be, but then there are fanboys on here of every make of set who can hardly be called unbiased, either. A magazine review won't tell you that the latest Sony has a wonderful picture but six months down the line you'll get clouds; or that after three months Toshibas start buzzing - and that's where this place has the edge, because it is something we need to know even if we also need to assimilate that information with some perspective. Because it's probable that the vast majority of purchasers will buy sets that don't have any of these problems and will be completely happy with whatever set they buy. And what's more, even if these problems do exist, many purchasers won't care or even notice. So while Panasonic's purple snakes take on a life or death importance on here, for most viewers who don't spend their time 3 inches from the screen searching for them, it's just not a problem.

In short, I read both. I accept that one great/poor review doesn't mean others won't have a different view. I take in the fact that all sets have problems, but in the end I'll choose a set for the good things it offers - and here again, this forum is invaluable. Finally I'll buy a warranty and hope I'm not one of the unlucky ones who can't live with whatever problem might (or more likely might not) occur.
 

audiobox

Standard Member
At the moment i prefer Plasma. My rear projection, although not initially as impressive as Plasma or LCD does not have many faults either ie it is neither very good or very bad, it is very sympathetic to bad quality programmes (i have cable NTL analogue). i will only watch SD for the forseeable future, i am not prepared to pay another £50 a month for HD at the moment so SD performance is very important to me. i am happy with the quality of DVDs at the moment (but maybe, after watching an HD/Blue ray DVD my opinion might change!). i am intrigued. Is it possible to watch several screens (presummably all set by the factory) in a shop, with the same feed and after calibrating (maybe professionally), find that the worse screen on show becomes the best screen after calibration. If that is so, watching them in a (normal) shop is useless. Or can you say, a screen which copes best with a poor feed will be best with a digital NTL (when i change from analogue) feed. Read a report about the upcoming 8th generation Pioneer plasmas. The reviewer said it was like watching HD all over again (what !! , another leap forward, when the current 7th gen sceens are supposed to be brilliant ...arggh). i really want to buy a screen. Suppose the only way, is somehow view somebody elses screen set up properly at home.
 

sTaD

Novice Member
in a nutshell chap.....its your own choice, however this forum is very useful indeed!

recently brought a samsung 40inch HD and the advice was spot on! :thumbsup:
 

audiobox

Standard Member
Maybe i should wait until the 8th gen Pioneer Plasmas! 'Its another huge leap forward' !!!! ( or next LCDs) Just like many things you can buy, you end up never buying anything, waiting for the next and better model to come along!
 

rondha

Novice Member
IMO, you should use a combination of reviews in magazines, people's opinions and a bit of your own intuition and judgement after actually seeing the set you're interested in.

....

I agree. Combination of mags reviewer and forum people's opinion.

The reviewers will give the important parameters to look for that determine the quality. While people's opinions will give the truth based on their experience.

Most of long threads here reveal the good at the start, and then begin to show the bad in the middle, and then mix of good and bad will continue until new series dominate the market.

On each thread you can find the specific problem people experiencing, it is up to you to accept this. My (short) observation showed Hitachi low blackness and humming, Panasonic purple snakes and green tinging, Pioneer dirty screen and screen burn, Sony backlight bleed clouding and halo, Toshiba backlight bleed and bad durability, Samsung low PQ and bluring, LG low PQ,
(but all of these were more a personal interest).

There are 2 major people we can select, who wants to show how great his new panel is, and who wants to moan about the problem he finds with his panel after sometimes.

The longer the thread the more the truth you can get from.

_
 
V

vulture_cage

Guest
This is a good question! I've been floating around these forums for a while now and been on the look out for a Plasma/LCD (32 to 37 inch) that can handle SD/HD films and SD/HD gaming for the best part of 18 months, so far nothing seems to fit the bill!

Purple snakes, phosphor trails, clouds, grey blacks and smeared images have all put me off! The best web site I've come across to review TV's is www.*, really in-depth reviews and as these guys source the TV's themselves they give unbiassed verdicts. It's a new web site so the amount of TV's they've reviewed is small but so far I've been impressed with what I've read.

But as ever you should go view the TV in the flesh before handing over any cash, easier said than done though in some cases!

...a word of warning for anyone using a Mac, Safari doesn't like the HDTV web site so for best results use Firefox!
 

Oakwood

Novice Member
I"ve found the forum comments very useful, because they look at a model over a period of time. Reviews don"t have that benefit.
I would say use a combination BUT then see the set in action at a good dealer and let your eyes be the judge!!
 

Yannis

Novice Member
Truth is that reviews are 90% of the time correct. For example Sony 40W2000 has been named best LCD (for the price) in ALL reviews i have seen. What HiFi , CNET , German sites even Greek magazines. All of them can't be wrong at the same time.

Owners always want to jutisfy their purchase and when soone says that he bought the X TV cause it was cheaper and it was better than the Y TV then be sure that he is not telling the truth.

BTW in case anyone is interested here are some sites with reviews:

http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/televisions
http://www.hdtvorg.co.uk
http://www.avreview.co.uk
http://www.*
http://www.areadvd.de/index2.html
http://www.testberichte.de/r/test/846/fernseher-lcd-fernsehgeraete.html
http://www.tomshardware.fr/cat.php?c=32
http://www.unbeatable.co.uk/reviews/
http://www.asbyon.com
http://www.av-magazin.de

Cheers.
 

audiobox

Standard Member
Thanks for all your replies and for the review websites mentioned. Like somebody said, when say, 9 out of 10 reviews praise one flatscreen, that should be a pretty good indication that its a good one. I'm still looking though! My own personal opinion is manufacturers should concentrate more on the SD picture because thats what most people (maybe not on this forum) will use the screen for. i probably would be happy with an okay HD performance, but i would want a very good SD performance.
 

Badger0-0

Member
In which case, you should go for a lower res Panny plasma (PH9?)
Untouchable at SD, IMO, certainly when compared to LCDs
 

Yannis

Novice Member
From what i have seen the HD Ready LCDs are better than Full HD LCDs in standard definition. Among others Sony 40V2500 and 40S2530 have a great performance in SD that is on par with the Panasonic PX60 plasma (haven't seen the PX70 yet).
 

JUS

Well-known Member
From what i have seen the HD Ready LCDs are better than Full HD LCDs in standard definition. Among others Sony 40V2500 and 40S2530 have a great performance in SD that is on par with the Panasonic PX60 plasma (haven't seen the PX70 yet).

Yes, logically you'd expect that. The higher the resolution of the panel the more scaling the set is going to do. 576i to 720 is going to be easier than 576 to 1080.

I have a 50" Fuji and it's supposed to have the best scaler of any set...SD looks great on it. Another option people go for is to buy a PH8/9 and an external scaler.

It's all down to how much money you have :)
 

paulr

Active Member
Trust your instincts.

Firstly go round the shops and have a look to see what you like. Make a note. Then pop down to WHSmith and get some mags. Read the reviews. Then come on here and do a search,maybe ask some questions. Then use these to either back up your original thoughts or make you hold on till you find something you like.
 

audiobox

Standard Member
Thanks . Like when i was very much into Hi-Fi , i will use magazine , reviews , and now forum sites , to decide. Its just a great leap of faith, if i fail to see a screen good enough myself , to believe that by further calibration , the performance can be transformed. I have to see a good screen before i buy. I will , like i did with Hi fi , start going to specialist dealers. The next generation Pioneers sound very good , but then again , so do most next gen models! After so much waiting , i am getting impatient!
 

JUS

Well-known Member
Really wasn't impressed with the 506, 406 Pioneers compared direcly with other makes....picture quality wasn't as good and screen burn is a big issue. Maybe the new ones fix that :)
 

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