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post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I want one. You got one? What would you get and why?

After some research I feel that I'd get a 40+ish LCD since it is better for a bright room. Plasma almost won out though, but the reflective screen is problematic. I'm disappointed in the native resolutions of all sets. It looks like I'll have to go with some odd, stretched 1024x768 screen, although I've seen some sets with at least a native widescreen aspect ratio. Nothing is 1080p native.
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post #2 of 48
Sony 55" LCD projection.

Got it because I like big, but no way I could afford that size in a plasma. Comparing side-by-side to the Sony plasma it was just a tad less bright and a slightly dimished viewing angle. Neither of which are a big deal.

The HD picture looks great, but regular TV shown on that size screen really looks grainy. The motorola DVR box doesn't help because it has a very bad analog tuner. Analog looks better if i play it through the old VCR.

The only thing that is a minor issue is that certain very busy scenes get a sploch of pixilation. Generally, just a little hiccup. I think this is the TV's fault not the DVR. This happens rarely, usually only in big war scenes or such with many moving objects. It happened over and over once while watching Master and Commander (maybe you can use that DVD as a test DVD?). I think it was all those moving straight lines from the ropes on the ship. I was watching live HBO-HD, but some portion that got recorded seemed to play better - so maybe the DVR has something to do with it??
post #3 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
I want one. You got one? What would you get and why?

After some research I feel that I'd get a 40+ish LCD since it is better for a bright room. Plasma almost won out though, but the reflective screen is problematic. I'm disappointed in the native resolutions of all sets. It looks like I'll have to go with some odd, stretched 1024x768 screen, although I've seen some sets with at least a native widescreen aspect ratio. Nothing is 1080p native.

If you expect to do any standard definition viewing, try, if at all possible, to see how the display you're interested in handles it.

There are lots of HD displays that make SD look completely unwatchable (and I don't mean "blow up the existing imperfections so you can see them better" unwatchable, I mean "do such a hideous job of scaling you appear to be looking at a fourth generation low res copy" unwatchable.

Also, you might look at the Panasonic-TH 37 and 42 PX50U, street around $2000 and $2300, respectively.

Plasma, yes, but over LCD you get much better blacks, to my eye a more "natural" looking picture (less edge artifacting) and (typically) much better SD performance.

Some plasma manufacturers seem to like that "high gloss" screen covering, but Panasonic looks reasonable to me.

Xool, since you're in Berkeley you can check them out at the Magnolia in the Bay Street shopping street village theme park thing (next to the IKEA).

They also have a slew of LCDs, which get better all the time, so there might be something that addresses what I think of as their shortcomings
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post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Plasma almost won out though, but the reflective screen is problematic.

Reflective screen? Each time I have compared things, plama tvs have had the lowest level of reflection of any set. Which plasmas are you looking at?

In fact, that is one of the primary selling points for me - you can watch plasma tv in a room with windows without the reflections from the windows ruining the experience.
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post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Reflective screen? Each time I have compared things, plama tvs have had the lowest level of reflection of any set. Which plasmas are you looking at?

In fact, that is one of the primary selling points for me - you can watch plasma tv in a room with windows without the reflections from the windows ruining the experience.

A lot of plasmas have glass screens which reflect ambient light too well. I'd primarily be using the TV for day-to-day viewing in standard viewing conditions, so glare is a big concern.

I do believe I'd get better and more accurate color (especially truer black levels) with a plasma, but I don't do home theatre all that often and so LCDs deficiencies may not be a big issue.

Also, thanks for the tip addabox. I've walked by that store plenty of times but never hopped inside. I'll definately take a look the next time I'm over there.

The GF is keen on getting HD for the olympics, so maybe I'm getting the HD TV sooner rather than later.

Last night I was looking at the Sharp Aquos LC-45GD6U, a 45" LCD that's about $3K and has native 1080p support! It also has received good reviews regarding color levels, but at this point I'm not exactly sure how it compares to standard plasma sets. This model also has HDMI and all the other inputs, see the specs on epinions. Here's the specs on Sharp USA Site

Thoughts?
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post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 
Yikes, there's also the LC-45GD7U which has support for ATSC as well as the usual NTSC standard. Anybody know how that's good for me? I'm not sure about the other diffs for this model, although it has support for PC Card which I'll never use.

Specs: epinions and
Sharp USA
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post #7 of 48
I got a Mitsubishi 48" HDTV. It's nice enough for me. Xbox360 looks really nice on it.
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post #8 of 48
I've got a 70" Sony XSRD model. Full 1920x1080 resolution.


It's very nice.
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post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Yikes, there's also the LC-45GD7U which has support for ATSC as well as the usual NTSC standard. Anybody know how that's good for me? I'm not sure about the other diffs for this model, although it has support for PC Card which I'll never use.

Specs: epinions and
Sharp USA

Is there a retailer that carries both this and the Panasonic plasmas? I want one last look before I pull the trigger on the TH-50PHD8UK 50" plasma.
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post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Is there a retailer that carries both this and the Panasonic plasmas? I want one last look before I pull the trigger on the TH-50PHD8UK 50" plasma.

You're never going to buy a new television, admit it.
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post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by groverat
You're never going to buy a new television, admit it.

It took me 3 years to decide on a car to buy - 2 years to decide on a TV is pretty quick for me 8)
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post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Is there a retailer that carries both this and the Panasonic plasmas? I want one last look before I pull the trigger on the TH-50PHD8UK 50" plasma.

The Panasonic plasmas have received good reviews. I'll tall all what I see when I go to the local Magnolia HiFi store this week.
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post #13 of 48
Sharp just announced a new line of LCD TVs - available in march.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=627263
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post #14 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Sharp just announced a new line of LCD TVs - available in march.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=627263

Arg! I keep forgetting that info on CES releases is not all out there yet.

And meanwhile, while I like the new features and improved displays, I don't think I want to spend $5K on a TV that will be "old" in about 3 years.
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post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Arg! I keep forgetting that info on CES releases is not all out there yet.

And meanwhile, while I like the new features and improved displays, I don't think I want to spend $5K on a TV that will be "old" in about 3 years.

That is MSRP - I think that street price is usually about half or 2/3 of that. One of the posters on the avs forum said that the MSRP had gone down on all the models.
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post #16 of 48
I just bought a 50" Panasonic plasma. Love it.
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post #17 of 48
Thread Starter 
Anyone know the specifics on Costco's return policy? From what I gather it is very lenient and I can return products with practically no questions asked.

If this is the case I'll probably pick up any old HD plasma at Costco to watch the Olympics and find out if plasma will work for me. Then, in July or whatnot, I'll take it back and purchase the real TV I want which will support native 1080p and the like.

Thoughts?

Oh, and thanks for the tip e1618978, now I'm not scared about the new Aquos TVs.
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post #18 of 48
I'm looking to pick up Samsung's new HL-S5679W LED dlp this summer
along with the Denon AVR-2807 receiver. This new TV has an LED bulb
that is supposed to last up to 20,000 hours minimum (I remember
reading somewhere that 20,000 hours may be a conservative
estimate). Bulbs on current DLPs last approximately 6,000 hours.
Another plus is that there is no color wheel which they say gets rid of
the rainbow effect. It has 2 HDMI inputs that accept a 1080p source.
It's also supposed to have a wider color gamut. And it offers a
"game mode" which I hear minimizes any lag that you may get while
playing.

I've been waiting for a while to upgrade to HD & just can't stand
waiting much more. If I had some concrete news that Canon's SED tv
was coming out this year at a price on par with plasma & LCD then I'd
probably get that instead. 100,000:1 contrast & 1 inch thick!
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post #19 of 48
Thread Starter 
Here's the deal. I swung by my local Costco today to see what TVs they had for sale. I can test it out during the olympics and if the resolution isn't up to snuff I can always take it back. (Costco has 3 year return policy on practically everything except computers and laptops.)

So when I arrived I found that the selection was pretty limited and there weren't any good candidates that were 40" in size.

However, a Panasonic 50" unit looked like it would work, the Panasonic TH-50PM50U. I could still test out the plasma in my living room and unlike the other units it had a 16:9 native pixel ratio (only 1366x768, but better than 1024x768!). Also, Consumer Reports really liked its sibling unit (TH-50PX50U) which I just learned only adds tuners.

Anyhow, the box was heavy and we didn't bring the big car, so we left Costco empty handed. But I think I'll return tomorrow and pickup the display, assuming I can cajole a friend to help me. The box has gotta weigh 120 lbs! (I don't want to think about returning it. )

Think I should go through with it? I'm pretty sure the price was $3299.
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post #20 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
I just bought a 50" Panasonic plasma. Love it.

Northgate, what model did you get? Sounds highly likely you're talking about one of the two I've mentioned.
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post #21 of 48
Well I was an early adopter. I bought a Hitachi 53" widescreen projection HDTV back in 2002. It has a great picture and even looks great with HD from cable or regular DVDs.

My gripe is that ( thanks to good old Hollywood pressure against piracy ) the new HD DVD players will down grade the signal to just above 500 lines of resolution through component inputs. The only way you can get full 1080 res from these discs is to have an HDMI connector which only the newest sets have. I'm sure Bluray will follow suit.

This format needs early adopters to succeed. And they just screwed those people. I really doubt I'm going to lay down another $2,600.00 for a newer TV ( Let alone $ 4,000.00 for plasma ) anytime soon.

Oh well my TV still looks good for most things.

As far as what I would buy today. Well Plasma is my first choice. Nothing looks as good. However at the rate they dropping in price in a few years they'll be down to a thousand dollars so I think for me waiting this time is the smart thing to do.
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post #22 of 48
Xool:

The TH-50PM50U also drops the cable card slot (compared to the TH-50PX50U), if you care about that.

I've hooked several clients up with the PX50U series plasmas and I think they are outstanding. Looks great with HD, DVDs and SD broadcast, and a great value for the money.
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post #23 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Xool:

The TH-50PM50U also drops the cable card slot (compared to the TH-50PX50U), if you care about that.

I've hooked several clients up with the PX50U series plasmas and I think they are outstanding. Looks great with HD, DVDs and SD broadcast, and a great value for the money.

Looks like Comcast's HD cable receivers don't have HDMI output, although they do have component and DVI out. Since the display doesn't have DVI is this gonna be an issue, like is the resolution of the component video limited? I thought I heard there are DVI->HDMI adapters.

At this rate though I'm pretty sure I'll pickup this panasonic display Saturday and tomorrow I'm dealing with Comcast.
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post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Looks like Comcast's HD cable receivers don't have HDMI output, although they do have component and DVI out. Since the display doesn't have DVI is this gonna be an issue, like is the resolution of the component video limited? I thought I heard there are DVI->HDMI adapters.

At this rate though I'm pretty sure I'll pickup this panasonic display Saturday and tomorrow I'm dealing with Comcast.

Gaaah, Comcast.....

They offer HDMI boxes in other parts of the country so I'm sure they'll get around to it. Completely inexcusable that they don't offer it here. Give 'em an earful.

Component isn't resolution limited so much as it necessitates an analog conversion in the signal chain, so it all depends on the quality of the electronics in the box. OTOH, there generally isn't any copy protection on the component feed, so you don't have to worry about that.

Take note that there are now a number of affordable DVD players with HDMI out, so you might want to give those a look. If you haven't noticed already, be prepared to be indignant at the unbelievably bullshit prices they're getting for HDMI cables (like $75 for 3 meters).
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post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Looks like Comcast's HD cable receivers don't have HDMI output, although they do have component and DVI out. Since the display doesn't have DVI is this gonna be an issue, like is the resolution of the component video limited? I thought I heard there are DVI->HDMI adapters.

At this rate though I'm pretty sure I'll pickup this panasonic display Saturday and tomorrow I'm dealing with Comcast.

I am using a DVI->HDMI cable right now to hook my DirecTv receiver to my video scaler, it works fine as long as the device receiving the video signal is able to select an audio input seperately from the video input (HDMI is bundled audio and video). If you are routing the audio to your stereo this is not an issue.
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post #26 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
Gaaah, Comcast..... They offer HDMI boxes in other parts of the country so I'm sure they'll get around to it. Completely inexcusable that they don't offer it here. Give 'em an earful.

Comcast's site only had this setup PDF which doesn't include HDMI on the box, but I might get a different box. Who knows. I'll definitely bitch them out and tell them that if I'm using analog cables I'll stream my signal out over the internet for my friends.

Quote:
Originally posted by addabox
If you haven't noticed already, be prepared to be indignant at the unbelievably bullshit prices they're getting for HDMI cables (like $75 for 3 meters).

Ok, I'm prepared now to spend a bunch of cash on various cable types. Thanks for the warning. My current setup is s-video or RCA based, spare my DVD player which is using component cables I believe. (I don't go to the back of my TV very often so I've forgotten the specifics.) I know the existing stuff should work at first but I'll upgrade the cables as I can.

Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
I am using a DVI->HDMI cable right now to hook my DirecTv receiver to my video scaler, it works fine as long as the device receiving the video signal is able to select an audio input seperately from the video input (HDMI is bundled audio and video). If you are routing the audio to your stereo this is not an issue.

Interesting. I'll look in to the tuning capabilities of the TV. I eventually want to get a surround sound system, but wasn't planning on doing that step for a bit longer. Might be sooner rather than later now. Yikes, more money.


Also, just got the latest Consumer Reports today and the Panasonic Plasmas are still tops. If only the set had 1080p native.

Lastly, regarding the tuners, if this was gonna be my final purchase I'd want cable card and a tuner, but since it'll probably be a trial hold-me-over purchase I'm not too concerned.
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post #27 of 48
sony 32" HDTV, forget what model, but it had the best picture, at least a few years ago
post #28 of 48
Thread Starter 
Got the HD settop box today. Also swapped my cable modem and my new one is much improved. W00t!

Regarding HDMI, only one of the two HD cable boxes had HDMI output. They all had component video out and even gave me cables for it. The only difference was the unit with HDMI was the unit with built-in DVR functions. I already have a TiVo, but it won't capture HD, so I'm trying out the comcast unit in conjunction. The one downside was that for my TiVo I had to switch from a serial cable to an IR blaster to get them communicating.

This new cable box has oodles of ports on it. Firewire, USB, all sorts of digital and analog video and audio. Wowzers! I plan to get the TV tomorrow so I'll report in after I get it.
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post #29 of 48
Thread Starter 
Got the TV.

Olympics look good. I'm a happy man. More after I watch some.
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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
Got the TV.

Olympics look good. I'm a happy man. More after I watch some.

Hell yeah! So, you got the Panny plasma?

The Comcast set top with DVR seems to be a pretty good unit, and the HDMI out is a big plus.

How does standard def stuff look to you?
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post #31 of 48
Thread Starter 
Ok, here's my report...

I picked up the Panasonic 50PM50U display from Costco on Saturday. The box is huge and heavy so I had a buddy help me maneuver it in to my apartment. I got the stand setup and placed it where my old TV was and fits perfectly against the wall. I practically rewired everything as I was connecting some of my system components differently and I still need a few other cables which I'll buy today. More on these details below.

The picture is great. During the Olympics, a few times I've thought it was a little dark. But this was during events that were poorly lit so I can't really complain too much. HD stuff is fantastic and I'm glad to see some HD commercials, although I skip over them using the Comcast DVR. SD stuff from my TiVo looks decent but it all depends on what level of stretching I'm applying. If I use standard 4:3 display setting with side-bar letterboxing, the picture looks great. However, if I start stretching it out, it starts to look pretty nasty and both the low signal quality and compression artifacts show. This TV had 3 stretch options, the standard "fit to screen" mode, a "zoom" mode, as well as a "justified" stretch that stretches the sides more than the center and does some other tricks. This looks the best as far as stretching goes. (If you need more details I'll scan the image from the user manual. It cleared it up for me.) The viewing angle is very good and you have to have an extremely acute angle to see phantom images.

It was fun to compare the SD and HD Olympic signals. Once you see HD you don't want to mess around with SD stuff.

During the Olympics from time to time the signal got screwed up or something and would stutter and pixelate for about a second or two. Since I have a ton of new gear I don't know what is wrong. Is it the HD signal? Is it the new Comcast Cable Box? Is it the Cable Box's DVR functionality? Maybe I'll TiVo the SD signal tonight so if there's a hiccup I can compare it on HD and SD. If I rewind the HD show using Comcast's DVR the hiccup still occurs when it is played again. The cable box is connected via component video cables, but I'll switch to HDMI today. The TiVo is using S-Video and is now using its built-in tuner so I can have it record SD stuff and I'll use the Comcast DVR for HD stuff or the rare SD show on Digital Cable (BBC America, for example).

My DVD player is progressive scan compatible and is connected via component video cables. The picture looks great for movies I was watching, but I was sad to see that my Babylon 5 DVDs showed a little bit of interlacing artifacts which surprised me since it was originally taped in HD. DVD playback is something I've barely looked in to at this point.

My GameCube looks pretty good. It is connected via S-Video also but is capable of outputting a progressive scan picture. Once the Cable Box switches to HDMI it will free a component video input which I'll use for the GameCube. I'm excited about Metroid and Zelda in progressive display. Yum. Like the DVD player, this is one of the inputs I've not tested too much.

Overall I have a good experience with the TV. Glare is not really an issue and is no worse than my old TV or LCD Cinema Display. Although I haven't used it during the day that much so the jury is out. The picture is very good and it was a snap to setup if you know what you're doing. It runs pretty warm and I'm sure it uses way more power than my old Sony CRT TV, but since I don't pay for power in my apartment I don't have to worry to much.

Now, some minuses. The built-in speakers are OK. I thought they were a little weak with the BASS so I turned that up in the audio settings. Now It sounds better but really I'm gonna need a separate surround sound system. It only has a single HDMI input, so when Blu-Ray comes out I'll have to pick which uses HDMI and which uses component. Also there's no DVI, so I can't connect a laptop and get the full native resolution. (And I wanted my pictos and such on there when I wasn't using it. Alas.) In the display's software I can't name the inputs either, so I'm stuck with them labeled as HDMI and Component 1, etc. Also, it is only 1366x768 resolution and I'm pining for a native 1080p resolution, 1920x1080. An additional front-mounted A/V input would be nice too.

The 50" size in my apartment is a little too big. This is something we're still debating, but I think a 45" would work better. Our current stand is too deep and too tall. The height of the TV is fine when standing or sitting across the room at my computer, but when sitting on my couch it is a little too high. The new stand we're looking at only lowers it a few inches. The TV's built-in stand (ie feet) also adds 2 inches or so and maybe I could find another solution there.

Right now I think I'll keep this unit for at least 5 months. At that time I'll see what the resale price is and what other units are out on the market. If I gotta have a better unit I'll take this one back to Costco and get something else. Otherwise I'll keep this on for a little longer and eventually sell it on craigslist or hand it to my Mom who will think its fabulous!

Bottom line: all the lugging was worth it so I can watch the olympics in HD.

Here's the inputs the TV has:
2 Component Video
1 HDMI
2 Composite Video

I wish it had 2 HDMI and DVI. Firewire would be nice but is hardly required. Also at this point I've changed my mind no built-in tuners. I don't really need one since I'm using all sorts of external units already. If this was a second TV or I wanted to place it in a place without a setup box I'd want a tuner though.

Phew, long post. More later today after I use it some more. If I upgrade to HDMI for the cable box I'll see if it gives a better signal.

Oh, one more thing... The Comcast DVR is pretty crappy. I liken it to Mac v PC when comparing it to TiVo. TiVo is like a Mac, it is a snap to use, is intuitive, and gives great feedback. Overall an excellent user experience. The Comcast DVR is clunky and doesn't have as many features. It's interface doesn't give any feedback and is slow to respond. It does do HD right now however, but on its 120 GB drive it'll only record like 13 hours of HD content! If you've never used a TiVo you might think the Comcast DVR is cool, but if you've used a TiVo you'll just find it lacking. Also the Comcast remote is insane!! I'll post a picture of all the remotes and you'll see what I'm talking about.
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post #32 of 48
Hmmm..... you could (hassle, I know) address several of your concerns by: exchanging the set you got for something smaller, like the TH-42PX50U (assuming Costco carries that model), which has a tuner, and use the extra money to get an HDMI switcher. Just a thought.

HD generally runs darker than SD, you might try a different gamma setting and see how that looks to you, or you could just do a custom set-up with the blacks raised slightly. Or, if you want to go crazy, pick up a display calibration DVD.

Definitely get you some surround sound ASAP, it really makes a huge difference.

The glitches you're seeing are almost certainly from the Comcast feed, or the Olympics, or both.

Oh, and I assume you've remembered to tell your DVD player you want to output progressive?
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post #33 of 48
Thread Starter 
It appears that I'm not the only one who dislikes the Comcast DVR and others have signal problems too. Some of those problems are related to defective hardware on O'Grady's side, but once he got a working box he still has signal problems. I guess I'll learn to live with it.

Also, the washed out/dark signals I was reporting are definitely part of the Olympics coverage. When they are live in studio or I'm watching other HD content the picture is very vivid.

Addabox that calibration DVD looks fab! I'm tempted to buy it as I'm the type who likes to do that sorta thing. (Reminds me of calibrating outbound signals when I was working at a TV station, back in the day.) Know if RAM makes good cables too? Their prices on HDMI cables aren't a rape and I'd love to give 'em a try.

Also, regarding glare and the plasma display, I've found that with bright mid-day sun I definitely get reflections. I'll have many months to decide if Plasma will work for me, but at this point I'd probably consider just getting LCD. I still haven't swung by Magnolia HiFi. If the picture from a top-notch LCD is only slightly worse but gives native 1080p resolution and more inputs I think I'd be content to make the switch.

Either way, 50" is too big for my apartment so this TV is going back to Costco in 5-6 months.
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post #34 of 48
The Comcast box has its problems. The biggest one is that if it starts to record a show you have scheduled while the TV&box are off, then the sound is muted and you can't watch the TV when you turn it on unless you stop recording and turn the box on and off.

Agree that built in tuners are of little use since Comcast doesn't offer any reliable card to connect to them (Thats what they say, but maybe they're just trying to get me to rent thier box).

Yes, 120GB goes fast when your recording HD. Wish i could just hook a hard drive to that firewire port in the back.

The remote would probably cause J. Ives to loose consciousness.

Going from HD to regular TV results in major changes in volume output on my set. The prober order is turn the volume way down, then switch to analog.

Do you really think that the HDMI connections are noticably better? I've got mine hooked up with Component Video cables from Monster. I'm not even sure if the very expensive Monster cables are notciable better than el cheapo cables that come with the box.
post #35 of 48
Thread Starter 
The main reason I want to use HDMI for my cable box is that I only have 2 component inputs on the TV and I want to use those with other devices. When blu-ray comes out I'll use HDMI on it for sure because there I think it would make the biggest difference.

So where should I buy the stupid HDMI cable?!
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post #36 of 48
For BRD, you'll definitely need the HDMI slot because Sony said they're downgrading all analog signals.

As for cables, IMHO almost any HDMI cable would basically work just as good as another. Digital is digital. Don't get boned by paying a Monster price, but don't get the cheesiest $15 cable either. They may get signal dropouts.

Any name brand $30 set is fine. Acoustic Research, Sony, etc. Even whatever comes with the device (if anything) will be enough.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
The main reason I want to use HDMI for my cable box is that I only have 2 component inputs on the TV and I want to use those with other devices. When blu-ray comes out I'll use HDMI on it for sure because there I think it would make the biggest difference.

So where should I buy the stupid HDMI cable?!

You might try these guys, out in Livermore.

I've used them for years, everything from big bulk orders to a few cables at a time. They've got good prices and quality. Basically one of the big internet wholesalers, but they do walk up retail sales and were kind enough to locate in our area.

About a 20 minute drive from Berkeley, walk up hours are 8-5. If you call ahead they'll have it waiting for you.

CableWholesale
208 Lindbergh Ave.
Livermore, CA 94551
888-212-8295

The page I linked to shows a 6' HDMI cable for $22. As I say, I've found their quality to be top-notch.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #38 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys! I'll be picking up an HDMI cable asap. I'm calling CableWholesale now to see what their pickup hours are.

Doh, 9-5 M-F. Since UPS ground isn't more than $5 I'd probably spend more driving to Livermore than having them ship it to me. If they were open on the weekend I wouldn't mind swinging by since I'd be going to Walnut Creek this weekend anyhow, but since they're closed I'll just have 'em send it.
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post #39 of 48
Thread Starter 
Got the HDMI cables today and hooked up my comcast box using HDMI instead of component video. I expected a negligible improvement if I was lucky.

But after watching for a bit I can certainly say that there is a significant and noticeable improvement! I am shocked by how much! The picture is slightly more vivid, but the main improvement is in picture clarity. The amount of pixilation and compression artifacts has decreased a lot and greatly improve the picture quality.

Maybe it is because it uses a cleaner digital signal. Maybe the TV's decoder is better than the one in the cable box. Or maybe I'm avoiding some extra layer of video sampling/scaling or something. I dunno.

I always thought the cable box put out a bad signal but tonight it surprised me too.

Bottom line: its a worthwhile upgrade. This makes me realize I need a TV with more HDMI interfaces because I don't want to downgrade back to component video!

CableWholesale.com worked out very well. Prices were good and I was able to add a few extra items to my order after I submitted it (s-video cable for $2... what a deal!). They rock.

More later.
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post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally posted by nowayout11
For BRD, you'll definitely need the HDMI slot because Sony said they're downgrading all analog signals.

As for cables, IMHO almost any HDMI cable would basically work just as good as another. Digital is digital. Don't get boned by paying a Monster price, but don't get the cheesiest $15 cable either. They may get signal dropouts.

Any name brand $30 set is fine. Acoustic Research, Sony, etc. Even whatever comes with the device (if anything) will be enough.

Actually, being a digital cable the only thing you have to worry about (at all) is signal impedance. The problematic kind is going to come from inductance, which can be cured by either keeping the cable really short or making the wires thicker. The shorter the cable, the less you need to worry about this stuff. Otherwise, just get the cable with the thickest gauge wires you can find. Often, name brands aren't the ones with the thickest wiring. Monster cables tend to have extremely aggressive shielding, which for a digital cable is superfluous, and in fact can be harmful if it causes too much capacitance.
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