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A/V and TV advice sought

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,638
26
behind the viewfinder
i think it's time to change my receiver...i like it (Marantz SR7200, 6.1 w/ 105 W/channel), but the limiting factor is that i bought it 8 years ago, and it's got no HDMI inputs or outputs. So, i was looking at Best Buy and the guy was talking up the Pioneer VSX 40 but the reviews on it seem middling. however, for $350 or so, it's a good price for what i want to spend. any thoughts on this or other units i should consider?

also, i might want to upgrade TVs as well...we finally broke down a got the kids a PS3, so i'm thinking we could give our current tv (panasonic plasma) to them for their game room, and go about getting a new set. is the LCD vs plasma debate still raging?

talk to me, monkeys.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
How are you going to keep your older plasma without the newer burn-in protection features from being burned-in by your kids? Since its really old its not as sensitive but its still a problem.

Plasmas you'll still generally get better bang for the buck (without as much worry about burn-in) but they aren't as bright and they use more power. To get equal or better performance from LCD you'll have to spend more on a mid to high end set (depending on how picky you are - many wouldn't notice unless the screens were side by side or you point out the flaws), but LCD w/LED backlights are probably the most popular option these days. Most of the PDP panel manufacturers are getting out of the game so your options for plasma will grow shorter each year.

2012 will see the first mainstream consumer 4K resolution HDTV sets and hopefully some large screen OLEDs HDTVs. Its not a good idea to be an early adopter of either. Don't bother with 3D either, its not mature - so far its still a gimmick as 3D has always been.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
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VT
Important factors:
-Lighting in the room, artificial and natural sources
-Viewing angle (LCD generally have narrower viewing angles and can distort colors significantly or lose shadow detail off angle)
-Screen finish (matte, semi-matte, gloss) - in general glossy sucks as it makes the screen like a mirror, only positive is it will appear brighter. You need an ideal room lighting configuration for a glossy finish not to be distracting.

If you are going with an LCD w/LED backlight, the best possible backlight is a full array LED backlight with local dimming. The more zones in the array, the better for dimming performance without noticeable drawbacks. These are usually only found on the upper range of LCD HDTV. The cheapest model this year was the LG 9500 w/local dimming LED full array backlight - sold for $1500 for a 55" on HSN (unfortunately it was semi-gloss).
 
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IH8Rice

I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
24,548
492
Im over here now
Pioneer's lower end Elite series receivers are bleh (ask UncleCliffy.) if you are looking for an Elite receiver (which i do recommend,) dont go any lower then the VSX52 or maybe the 51....though both are well above the price range you are looking at. if you dont want to spend that much, look at the Yamaha RXV series of receivers. particularly the RXV571 (can be found for $400-450 online.) stay away from the HTR series of receivers since they are more entry level and arent nearly as nicely built as the RXV line of products.


despite your old tv being plasma, i wouldnt worry about it having a burn in problem unless your kids or you forget to turn the tv after several hours of displaying the same image. im my old store, we left plasmas running on CNN or ESPN almost all day and had little to no effect on burn in. dont forget, LCD's can have a issue with burn in as well if left on the same image continuously.
despite what some people think, i still believe that plasmas are the best picture quality but do have drawbacks...particularly with glare and power consumption. if you can control the light in the room, then i would look for a plasma. if not, then look for an LED LCD set. LED LCD's offer deep blacks, typically have a matte finish on the screen, dont consume much power and are thing (not that it matter IMO)


if you want to get a 3D tv, you may want to look at a LED LCD since all of the 3D plasma use the expensive "active" 3D glasses. if you want enough glasses for friends and family to watch a movie, prepare to spend a couple hundred dollars just on the glasses alone. most of the nicer LED LCD 3D sets use the cheaper glasses like you would get in a movie theater. 3D is very much mature in the consumer electronics market. companies have been pushing 3D for years. and in this business, that is almost a lifetime.
since this set is probably going to last you a long time, i would look into a 3D tv since more content will be available in the coming years....unfortunately there is a big lack of content right now. yes it is almost a "gimmick" now but little kids love it and it will be more widespread in the media aspect in the coming years. 3D will not be going away anytime soon. if you want to hold out a bit longer, several companies are coming out with tv's that dont require glasses to view. 6 years ago, my old company was one of the first to show a set that didnt require glasses to view 3D.
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
I would still say 3D is not mature since almost all film 3D is an afterthought (games are another story, makes more sense there), there are few 3D TV stations, and there is no 3D standard across brands - various versions of active, passive, and glasses free systems. I don't think all that much has changed in two years since we last discussed it - http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/f82/3d-tv-debate-227535/

I agree the risk for burn-in is lower for an older plasma but kids can forget to turn the screen off and with some video game interfaces you'd have more static content than headline scrollers which go on and off the screen with news channels. LCD burn-in is a very limited concern with certain types of LCD panels with overdrive.

Mitsubishi's Laservue technology is very good too, like a DLP only with less drawbacks (don't forget most movie theaters use DLP some of which are 4K). 75" model sells for about $4K and only uses about 86 watts:

http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com/product/L75A94

 
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narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,638
26
behind the viewfinder
thanks for the info. i'm not worried about screen burn in, as the tv will certainly be relegated to 2nd duty and probably be game and dvd only viewing.

the viewing angle for how we've got the room set up is ~45 deg off axis on either side. will that be a problem for LCD sets?

and though the room is three quarters windows, the current plasma set is fine wrt to glare and brightness.


edit - i really don't see 3D as being important...i assume it adds to the cost of a set?
 
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syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
the viewing angle for how we've got the room set up is ~45 deg off axis on either side. will that be a problem for LCD sets?
It varies by brand and model as it depends on the LCD panel used. You can check them out in store to get a feel for the off-axis performance.

Plasma is going to give better bang for buck but as noted its not quite as thin (not a huge problem), uses more power (likely less than your current model though), and its not as bright as LCD w/LED (if you didn't have a problem with your old one, not likely to be a problem now).

Also a much better forum for this stuff is:
http://www.avsforum.com/
 

IH8Rice

I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
24,548
492
Im over here now
only a small solution to their failing tv line.
hopefully they dont cheap out on the video processor when it goes to production. ive seen varies protos from several companies that also showed still images only, which looked great, only to have the video image look bad when it came closer to final protos
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
only a small solution to their failing tv line.
hopefully they dont cheap out on the video processor when it goes to production. ive seen varies protos from several companies that also showed still images only, which looked great, only to have the video image look bad when it came closer to final protos
Sucks the FED/SED died due to legal bull****.
 

IH8Rice

I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
24,548
492
Im over here now
Sucks the FED/SED died due to legal bull****.
when i first saw Toshiba's SED during "ultra secretive" viewing, it looked stunning. id love to see what they could have done after 5 years since i last saw it....all the benefits of a CRT with none of the drawbacks
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
35
Look at the Panasonic or LG tvs.

They use IPS panels for excellent viewing angles and colors. (like the panel that is in your Dell 2209wa)...


The Panasonic models with IPS and LED back-lighting look superb.

Also, they play nice with other Panasonic electronics. (cameras, blue-ray players, etc)
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
Moving video on the Sony LED TV (video's audio dies midway but video eventually comes back):