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  1. #1
    Calisoxfan
    Guest

    Help. Explain what I should look for in a 40"+

    flat panel TV. Where should I buy?

  2. #2
    ERIQ
    Guest
    It all depends on what you're looking for it to do, and what you're gonna be using it for.There are alot of formats out there. Tube, LCOS, LCD, DLP, etc. Here's a little info on some of 'em.If you're talking about 40" plus, you've effectively ruled out picture tube based televisions, they don't get above about 36". Pros for those are excellent contrast, excellent color, closest to lifelike picture quality, and the best viewing angles. Cons are the size limit, they're really heavy (bigger ones in excess of 200lbs), and they're really deep.On the low end of things you have a standard CRT-based (cathode ray tube) rear projection model. They're the cheapest of the big screen bunch, and they offer very good color output, but also the worst for viewing angle, contrast, and many times you're gonna get glare on the screen. You also have to worry about poor light output, and burn in - this happens when a static image (such as your health meter on a video game, or a stock ticker on the bottom of the screen, for instance) stays in one spot for an extended period of time and it permanently burns it into your screen. You're essentially gonna get what you pay for.Next, you get into the front projection world. While this format is wrought with lots of things to concern yourself with, and is without equal for the most difficult and elaborate set-up; it also offers the closest to a theater-like experience one can get in-home - it also offers the biggest screen, depending on the size of the screen you purchase. There are a few different formats you can get for the projector, that is you can buy LCD, DLP, etc - more on those formats to come - differences between them are lessened in this format, the most important things to look for are a high contrast ratio, giving you better and more black levels, allowing more black levels, greys, etc) and a high lumen output. (basically the light it's putting out) Something to consider, you have to have a very dark room, just like a theater, for this format to work for you. It's also very important you don't skimp on the screen - this is just important as the projector you choose. Don't forget, you're also gonna have to worry about buying a mounting system for the projector..and typically the projector will not have it's own tuner or speakers, so you're gonna basically have to have a home theater system for sound. Sound like a lot of work and hassle? You're right, it is.Now you have your flat-panel displays. First, LCD (or Liquid Crystal Display) has been used for years and years in computer monitors, they're great because they're often very thin, have very good light output, they're reasonably light and easy to hang on the wall, and don't use much power or product much heat. However if you're looking to view HDTV (high definition) with it, (more on that later) watch out, many times the best resolution you'll get out of these TV's is EDTV - (extended definition) - which is not quite as good. Also, keep in mind LCD has an issue with not being able to display a true black, but instead displays a very dark grey.The other flat panel is your Plasma TV. They're extremely nice, they produce a more true black-color than the LCD, and have great viewing angles. They're also pretty expensive, pretty deep, and heavier than LCD, thus very tough to hang on the wall. These are also have a very high potential for burn-in. There are newer televisions with protection against this burn-in, features that move static images imperceptibly, so little that the human eye can't detect it but enough that it will prevent a burn in, however TV's with this feature are typically prohibitively expensive.My personal favourite of the bunch are the 'microdisplay' rear projection models. These are great televisions. They're much much thinner than the CRT projections TV's, much lighter, smaller cabinets, great viewing angles, and after you've used them for years, it's fairly simple to have the projection bulb replaced and the TV will perform like new again. Again, here, there are a few formats..you have LCD again, LCoS (a newer format, stands for 'liquid crystal on silicon') which is supposed to offer a smaller pixel size on the screen, and thus a more seamless, better picture quality -- and finally you have my personal recommendation, the rear projection DLP television. DLP stands for 'digital light processing', it's a format brought into existance by Texas Instruments. It has better colors, and better reproduction of black than LCD, and virtually no potential for burn-in. The only disadantage is a 'rainbow effect' a small percentage of viewers experience, a side effect of the way the color is produced on the screen. The good news is that technology has moved away from the rainbow effect, and it's much less of an issue with DLP now. The other good news is that it's very, very inexpensive to pick one up if you know what you're looking for. I was able to find a very, very nice 43" DLP HDTV television on the internet yesterday for slightly over $1000 delivered. An awesome price.Now - there's SDTV (standard definition) EDTV (extended definition) and HDTV (high definition) when you're looking at what they can do. SDTV is basically what you're looking at on television right now. It is output at 480i. This basically means 480 horizontal lines of resolution interlaced. Interlaced means the horizontal lines in your picture refresh in an interlaced pattern, so lines 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc..refresh, and then lines 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 refresh. TV right now, unless you have digital cable (and even some of those channels aren't really digital yet) or a mini satellite dish, is analog. But there's a move to digital on the way for everything..and furthermore, everything is going to be moving to HDTV before too much longer. Back to our story. If you have an extended definition TV it will display an image at 480p which is 480 lines of horizontal resolution in progressive scan. Progressive scan is great, it means instead of the way interlaced scanning works, progressive refreshes the horizontal lines of your picture in order, like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and this will give you a much smoother, more stable, more accurate picture. And then there's HDTV. You get your 720p, and your 1080i resolutions, and for the really new, really fancy, really expensive TV's you get your 1080p resolution. This is a fantastic looking picture.Now we get into the aspect ratio of the television picture. Most of the things you see on broadcast TV except for things that are clearly displayed in widescreen, certain movies, or things like ER or The Sopranos, are displayed in 4:3 ratio, that is 4 is to horizontal as 3 is to vertical. These screens are the ones that show the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen when you play something in widescreen. The good stuff is 16:9 ratio, that's right, 16 across, and 9 up and down. This is the standard widescreen aspect ratio, if you have a 16:9 TV you won't have to worry about those black letterboxes on the top and bottom of your picture for widescreen, but if you're watching an old-school show, or movie in 4:3 ratio you're gonna get the black bars on the sides instead - luckily, most TV's like this will stretch it out to 16:9 for you.There we go..my best advice, get a rear projection DLP with upconversion to 720p, (that's right, good HDTV's will upconvert everything you send to it to the native resolution of the TV [native resolution: the way the TV looks the best] it won't look as good as the real resolution, but it will look pretty damn good) 3:2 pulldown, (something that converts a movie back to the format it's supposed to be in) and as many other fancy-sounding features as you can find for the price.Samsung is really really good, Toshiba is pretty great as well. Shop around a bit..best places to check: http://www.pricegrabber.com/ -also try- http://www.epinions.com/


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