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  • #16
    Re: Flat panel TVs

    I don't think you can go wrong with either of those brands (Sony, Sharp, Vizio). If you look at them side-by-side in the store, one brand might have a better picture than the next, but you could take the least-awesome one home and it would still look fantastic in your living room. Unless you're going with a really cheap no-name brand, I wouldn't worry about picture quality.

    I also tend to not pay any attention to the stuff people say about sizing the TV to the room. I like having a big screen, even if it brings out all the flaws in the picture.

    My living room TV is a Sharp AQUOS. It's got a fantastic picture, but there are a few things I wish it had. First, there's no volume-leveling feature. My old TV had an option to level out the volume so that loud stuff wasn't so loud and quiet stuff was a little louder. It was really handy when watching DVDs late at night. Second, the AQUOS allows you to label each input, but there's no choice for "Blu-Ray", only "DVD". I know it's a minor thing, but I just got the TV a few months ago. You'd think "Blu-Ray" would be one of the choices.

    It does, however, allow you to update the TV's firmware via USB, so hopefully these features will be available later.

    When I bought the TV, I mounted it on my living room wall and cut holes in the wall to hide the cables. I was so proud of my handiwork, I took a picture:

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    • #17
      Re: Flat panel TVs

      Originally posted by zff View Post
      When I bought the TV, I mounted it on my living room wall and cut holes in the wall to hide the cables. I was so proud of my handiwork, I took a picture:

      Yeah, I'll probably won't be doing that on my single-walled home.
      Last edited by Random; January 23, 2009, 09:56 PM.
      Beijing 8-08-08 to 8-24-08

      Tiananmen Square 4-15-89 to 6-04-89

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      • #18
        Re: Flat panel TVs

        Originally posted by Jim75 View Post
        You would assume the tv tech staff at the store would set the tv's up for optimal performance in the store lighting situation. But frankly, I've been in electronics stores where I've known more about the merchandise than the salesperson. And it's not like I'm some sort of expert.
        I assume the salesperson wouldn't be the one to come to your home and make the installation.
        Beijing 8-08-08 to 8-24-08

        Tiananmen Square 4-15-89 to 6-04-89

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        • #19
          Re: Flat panel TVs

          I bought a 42" Phillips LCD at Costco in Dec. for $850. I did not come with HDMI cables. I assume most do not.

          I bought them on Amazon for $2 (yes, $2.00. I think they're $20 or more in stores). They make a HUGE difference from the standard ones.

          To get high definition, the cameras that take the image must be HD, as well as all the equipment between them and your TV.

          Without HDMI, or High Definition Multimedia Interface, cables, you will get something less than HD.

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          • #20
            Re: Flat panel TVs

            We have a four-year-old 50" SONY rear-projection LCD (not a flat panel) which is on a glass and metal stand. That was supposed to be my football TV, but the video game controllers were quickly switched from the old-style 27" and 24" SONY TVs. When I protested that I wasn't going to get the "big-screen" feel with the 32" flat panel VIZIO I bought two years ago, my kids "suggested" that I "sit closer" to the VIZIO to get the same effect!

            My study has a bank of wall cabinets that hold my books, CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes and nicely frame a 66" wide space that's perfect for a wall-installed flat panel TV. The bottoms of the bridge cabinets (15H x 33W x 12D) are 69-1/2" from the floor, The 65" SHARP AQUOS would fit nicely, but I'm not crazy about the $3500+ tariff. The $1000-1200 46" SHARP would do nicely at 1/3 the cost, as would the $1350 47" VIZIO XVT. The savings would be put to good use by purchasing a new DVD player, among other things. $2K will go a long way

            I appreciate all the information provided by the rest of the ohana and will also post a photo when I make my final decision. That's a real nice installation job, zff.
            Last edited by oceanpacific; January 24, 2009, 01:45 AM.

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            • #21
              Re: Flat panel TVs

              Originally posted by zff View Post
              When I bought the TV, I mounted it on my living room wall and cut holes in the wall to hide the cables. I was so proud of my handiwork, I took a picture:
              Nice work!

              Originally posted by oceanpacific View Post
              . . . my kids "suggested" that I "sit closer" to the VIZIO to get the same effect!

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              • #22
                Re: Flat panel TVs

                A few hours ago I came home from Best Buy with a 40" Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100. I finally bit the bullet after seeing the flyers in the Sunday paper; both Best Buy and Walmart had this TV at $999.
                (Apparently this is a new version of the one TutuSue has (see post #5). The label on the back of mine said it was made in March 2009... in Mexico, no less.)
                The service at Best Buy was okay, though of course the saleman tried to get me to upgrade to a much longer warranty, etc. He also said I should have their tech guy come out and calibrate the unit. For $300! I passed. Should I have done that?
                Also, to get a crystal clear picture I have it set at Wide Mode: Normal, which leaves 4" black lines on each side of the picture. If I switch to Wide Mode: Full, the image fills the whole screen but the stretching makes the image kinda blurry. Is there a setting I need to change?
                I'm using one of Oceanic's digital TV/DVR boxes. Oceanic says I need to upgrade to HD service for an extra $6.95 a month, and that I need to switch to an HD DVR box. Will that fix the full-screen problem?
                I plan to hook my 2008 LG home theater system (model LHT764) to the new TV. The sound from that is pretty awesome. (I was going to post a link, but LG's server is in maintenance mode at the moment.) The Oceanic guy will be here Thusday with the HD DVR box, so hopefully I can talk him into wiring up the LG system at the same time.
                (Eh, Tutu, you're not the only "non-techie" here. )
                .
                .

                That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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                • #23
                  Re: Flat panel TVs

                  Originally posted by LikaNui View Post
                  I'm using one of Oceanic's digital TV/DVR boxes. Oceanic says I need to upgrade to HD service for an extra $6.95 a month, and that I need to switch to an HD DVR box. Will that fix the full-screen problem?
                  I plan to hook my 2008 LG home theater system (model LHT764) to the new TV. The sound from that is pretty awesome. (I was going to post a link, but LG's server is in maintenance mode at the moment.) The Oceanic guy will be here Thusday with the HD DVR box, so hopefully I can talk him into wiring up the LG system at the same time.
                  (Eh, Tutu, you're not the only "non-techie" here. )
                  Why do we need to have a Ph.D. in physics to install household electronics now days? One of the reasons I'm refraining from "upgrading" my old television set (a perfectly functioning Sony) to a state-of-the-art HD entertainment system is because I hate the thought of all the research that's involved. It's a bit frightening.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Flat panel TVs

                    I have a new Sony Bravia 32" set on "wide mode: full" and it's not distorted. Maybe because my screen is smaller? I'm also hooked up to Dish Network but I don't know if that would make any difference with reception. as for "callibration" - I seem to recall that there was an "auto" mode for the original setup and I just left everything at factory default. I did notice that after about a week, the colors, clarity etc. were much better but also don't know why that happened. I not much of a TV techie so i may have made some mistakes in the setup but I'm really happy with my TV
                    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
                    – Sydney J. Harris

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                    • #25
                      Re: Flat panel TVs

                      Originally posted by anapuni808 View Post
                      [...]but I'm really happy with my TV
                      And, that's really all that's important!

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                      • #26
                        Re: Flat panel TVs

                        Well, I just watched "Chuck," and I had it set on Wide Mode: Full for the whole hour. I was wrong earlier in saying that the image was somewhat blurry. It's actually pretty clear! It's just looks... stretched. Kind of 3-D. Kind of a fisheye effect. Well, the 3-D comparison is the most accurate, I guess. Maybe Anapuni is right that it takes a while for the image to fine-tune itself.
                        And yes, it's still on the factory settings.
                        I'm still curious about whether or not to have it calibrated. It's hard to imagine that a brand new $1,000 TV set needs a $300 calibration.
                        Has anyone else been calibrated?

                        Gee. There's a question I never imagined asking.

                        .
                        .
                        .

                        That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Flat panel TVs

                          i figure it just took my eyes a while to get used to looking at a wide screen instead of the square box we've all been used too all these years.

                          did they tell you what the "callibration" is supposed to accomplish? It better be something really good for $300!

                          i wonder if it tickles?
                          "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
                          – Sydney J. Harris

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Flat panel TVs

                            I think the source, or input, that the image originates from is what makes the difference. If you watch a non-hi-def tv program on a large hdtv, the picture will not look super sharp, not bad, but not that amazing clarity. Hi-def programming or a blu-ray disc will demonstrate the capability of the tv to be super sharp. If you watch a standard DVD on a large tv it will just make more obvious the limitations of the format. If you get a hi-def reciever box (if your tv doesn't have that capability) and subscribe to hi-def programming, I'm confident your picture will be awesome.

                            Also, in order for the tv program to fit a wide screen, it has to be filmed and broadcast in widescreen format. Otherwise, on a wide screen tv, you will either have to have the black bands on the sides of the picture or have the picture un-naturally stretched to fit the screen. I personally prefer the black bands to an un-naturally stretched picture.

                            I don't think you need to pay $300 to get it calibrated. You may need to read enough of the manual to make some adjustments on your own. I think, as mentioned above, brightness is one of the main adjustments that need to be tailored to the typical lighting of the room.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Flat panel TVs

                              Originally posted by LikaNui View Post
                              He also said I should have their tech guy come out and calibrate the unit. For $300! I passed. Should I have done that?
                              Well, that depends. On if it's a real calibration or just some guy coming out and tweaking a few knobs and calling it one. But it looks like Geek Squad is one of the ISF trained ones in the area.

                              I've never seen it, but from what I've heard, the guys who have have raved about it. It turns a great set to unbelievable. The calibrator will access menus not listed in your user manual and will use a device that looks at the screen to set things up. Usually you don't have a set calibrated right away, but wait 30 days or so to burn in.

                              If you do a google for calibration, you'll find a ton of stuff. You can do a basic calibration yourself with a DVD.

                              Originally posted by LikaNui View Post
                              Also, to get a crystal clear picture I have it set at Wide Mode: Normal, which leaves 4" black lines on each side of the picture. If I switch to Wide Mode: Full, the image fills the whole screen but the stretching makes the image kinda blurry. Is there a setting I need to change?
                              It really depends on your source. Standard TV has a 4:3 aspect ratio (The screen is "4" wide and "3" high) while the HDTV screen is 16:9. You stretch a 3:4 to "fit" a 16:9 and everyone suddenly looks "fat". Some shows may be in 16:9 but stuffed into a 4:3 frame by putting bars at the top and bottom. You can zoom in to fill the picture, but you're zooming in a SD signal - it's going to be fuzzy.

                              But once you get a true HD signal - you might want to but tethers on your socks.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Flat panel TVs

                                Originally posted by LikaNui View Post
                                [...]
                                I'm still curious about whether or not to have it calibrated. It's hard to imagine that a brand new $1,000 TV set needs a $300 calibration.[...]
                                Maybe just wait 'til you're connected to the HD DVR and service and ask the Oceanic guy the same questions. He was very helpful to me. When I bought the tv at Video Life the subject of calibration never came up.
                                </insomnia>Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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