I’ve decided the time is right for us to get a new TV. I know I want a flat panel TV (can you even buy CRTs anymore??) but I haven’t quite decided on what exactly to get. I figured I’d put this post out there and see if I can solicit some information / opinions from others.
In terms of options, I’m set on some things, but either undecided or apathetic on others. For instance, I don’t think I want to go any smaller than a 46″ widescreen for size, but I’m not sure whether to go with plasma or LCD (or should I wait for the LASER TVs to start selling?). I’m sure it has to be an HDTV but should I go with one that supports 1080p? (probably) Another must is its ability to display a standard def signal well – lets face it, a lot of the channels we watch aren’t available in high def.
So – delving a little deeper, the first question is of course plasma or LCD? I’ve done some reading on the subject and have come up with this: these days there isn’t a lot of difference.
- Plasma TVs have better colour – mostly due to their blacker blacks which gives a higher contrast ratio – but LCDs aren’t that bad and are getting better. An LCD will never achieve a black as dark as a plasma due to the fact they they are backlit. Bottom line here is that darker scenes WILL look better on a plasma.
- LCD TVs last longer. I’ve seen quotes that say LCDs are good for 60000 hours while plasma’s can be as much as half of that (30000). Again, I’ve read this is less true these days with some plasma’s getting up around the 50-60K half-life that LCDs have.
- Plasma TVs suffer from burn-in problems. This could be a concern if you are using the TV for video games where there is constantly something in the same area of the screen, like a score display or something. I’ve read that this is less of a problem these days but still exists. I’ve also read that the burn-in is not permanent, it will fade away over a few days of normal TV use. Currently this is not a concern for me because Amy has outlawed game consoles from our house. :)
- Plasma TVs use more power. This is true, but the difference isn’t that significant I don’t think.
Other things to consider: viewing angle, performance in a brightly lit room (which is where it will be), inputs (HDMI, component video, VGA, etc), anything else?
So far I’ve taken a look at (on-line) the Sharp Aquos 46″ D-64 series HDTV. The reviews have been mostly positive. There are some banding problems and apparently the speakers aren’t so great – but I’ve heard that about most of these flat panel TVs (the audio I mean). I haven’t got a surround system and I’m not sure I’d like to put one in for the family room for the simple reason that I don’t want components and speakers and speaker wire around for Liam to get at. If I could find a TV that has decent sound – that’ll likely be good enough for me for now. Afterall, I’ve survived this way up until now.
With respect to price, I spent $2500 on my last HDTV (a 32″ Sony CRT) so I’d prefer not to spend more than that on the new one. I saw the Sharp Aquos LC46D64U advertised for $1899.98 at Costco a while back, but it seems to be gone from their website now. The same TV is selling for $2299.99 at BestBuy.ca right now.
Anyways – who’s got some opinions for me? (Where’s Steve when you need him? Oh yeah…off cycling around NZ!)