37 in LCD TV...buying guide requested.

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pnkrx

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I wish to buy a new 37 in LCD TV.
My options are the current models from Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp, LG, Toshiba, Hitachi. i.e. I have not been able to make up my mind. How do I compare..are dynamic contrast ratio or response time reasonable yardsticks. I have seen most of them in the showrooms 9ezne in Bangalore), but do not see any perceptible differences. This weekend I plan to carry my own DVD.

Most of the models are priced around 65k to 70k except for the Hitachi ones, I think.

Any experiences or advice will really help me in making my choice.

Best Regards
 

Srinath_Murthy

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They may appear similar in visible performance to you in the 100% boosted settings in the showroom display. IN fact, each of these make/models are starkly different from the other in their performance characteristics. To see this difference for yourself, ask the sales person to demo the following:
1. Turn down all - brightness, contrast, backlight - to ZERO.
2. Start by increasing the brightness (technically called black level) in increments, then do so with the contrast. Do the same with colour too and and finally touch the backlight (not more than 40% of its max).
3. You will see that the picture disappears from the 37" Sony S series - worst in the Sony range. Ditto with the 37" Samsung. Sharp, Hitachi is a little better.
4. The 37" Toshiba Regza will emerge the best as you will see for yourself. There detailed LCD TV evaluation stuff on the Net. Visit the showroom at a non-peak time. Good luck!
 

Kamal

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I would second Srinaths' recommendation-this is what I did myself.
Carry your own DVDs( recent ones' of a high quality)-I took Gladiator & Shakespeare in Love & then see for yourself;spend some time watching & don't hesitate to ask the salesman to switch back & forth as many times you need to come to a conclusion.Look at the performance with DTH/Cable also since most of the time these would bethe programme source.
I demoed a large range of brands-I won't tell you which one I settled for since I want you to make up your mind on your own.
 

pnkrx

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Hi, I spent some time since last post in going arond a few dealer shops with my divx dvd. I looked at 37 in versions of Sony, Samsung, Panasonic & LG. I will rank them as (LG being the first):
1. LG 37 LC7R
2. Sharp 37 BX6M
3. Samsung 37 R81B (Sharp's looks score over Samsung's glossy looks, in my view, of course)
4. Sony 37 (S series)
5. Panasonic (Why doesn't Panasonic upgrade its outdated range in India???)
LG, because of higher dynamic contrast ratio of 10000:1 & response time of 5 ms, may have had a psychological effect. I know LG is not a preferred band in LCDs but, as far as my eyes go, I think they were better than the others with a punchy color reproduction & less of ghosting or pixelated pictures. Also, there are other factors like the source DVD player, lighting in the shops etc (like some of you had already told me about). I was again confused, when I compared the Sharp & the LG in another showroom with a Phillips DVD player, & then both seemed to be nearly the same. I had purposefully carried a divx dvd because the pictures are grainier & any differences in picture quality are more visible.
But, my search is not over. And this is where I again need your help. I have to check out the Tosh A3500/C3500 & the Hitachi (37X01A). I have been led to believe that the Tosh scores over the Hitachi overall. I am also a bit perplexed at the fact that the toshiba-india site & the regza-asia.com site both cite different resolutions for these models. Toshiba-india.com says 1920*1080 (see LCD TV) and regza-asia.com says 1366*768 (Toshiba REGZA). Which is the correct one?

Also, I know that even after looking at all the models performing, I will still be undecided, at least between the Toshiba, LG, Hitachi & the Samsung or Sharp. So, please let me know which of these models is the best recommended. (If it helps to know, I will be watching lot of action movies, sports, drama, standard def, music dvds, (everything but soaps))
Best Regards
 

Srinath_Murthy

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pnkrx,

Did the salesperson help you with the demo as per my earlier post above?? Sometimes it's in your better interest to be demanding and stubborn and insist relentlessly about it. I did this and got them to do the exact tests that I had researched about.

Ignore the claimed "dynamic contrast ratio" stuff...it is totally unfounded in LG's case since (If I remember my homework correctly - done in Oct '07) their "native contrast ratio" figure is a ridiculously low 1000 or so...drops by one tenth...checvk this out in their specs.

Pls use a HIGH QUALITY DVD (see Kamal's post above) and not something with grainy pcitures to do your evaluation...

The Toshiba Regza site is correct (1366*768) is the correct nbr. Ignore their India site.
 

pnkrx

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Thanks for the info. Can you please let me know where I can get Toshiba in Bangalore? I called up Spar, Dairy Circle & they have A3000E while I will be interested in A3500 or C3500.
 

Srinath_Murthy

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No clue about Bangalore Tosh dealers. I live in Mumbai. I found the following nbrs in my cell phone book under Toshiba name: 022-28077197 / 022-28067175. Toshiba Govindan Nair (+91-9819900465). Hopefully the nbrs shd not chagned in the last 6 months.

I would think that in Asia, the model nbr is 37A3000E. This is the one that I bought. An after-thought: For testing in the store, I had found the best source to be the Samsung HD Generator's "Underwater Reef and Fishes" video. Funnily, Samsung appears to have shot themselves in the foot producing this one because the superb video quality exposes the short-comings of their own mid/lower-end LCDs (and the Sony V series too) when compared with the Tosh. Perhaps this video was meant to showcase their high-end full-HD models like the Mosel Blaque etc...
 
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square_wave

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Hi guys,
I too have been looking around these days for an LCD / Plasma around 70k.
Apart from the Hitachi and Toshiba, I models have seen the others mentioned here.
Then I came across this plasma model from Panasonic.
VIERA TH-42PV70H | Plasma TV | Digital AV | Panasonic India
VIERA TH-42PV70H. This is a 42inch model and uses the tenth generation panel with a native resolution of 10000:1.
They are selling this for around 75k now (panasonic brand shop in bangalore- koramangala). It is a 1080i model but from what I have heard from AV science forum, at sizes of 42inch and below, at 8ft distance, it is very difficult to make out the difference between a 1080p and a 1080i/720p picture.At 50 inch and above, yes it makes a difference.
Anyone has any experience with this model ? Panasonic are champions with plasmas but relatively new to lcds.
 

neo

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Yes it makes an almost invisible diff between 1080i to p in a 42?.
The Panasonic is a decent buy but the pioneer 428xg is better, but also expensive arnd 130-140K.

Panasonic is releasing new models with 20000 & 30000 contrast ratios this spring in Europe.
All the best.
 

raptor77

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square_wave, this is in response to your post.
Satisfied Panasonic plasma customer here. Bought the 42" PV60 (last year's model) and am very pleased with the picture quality. For watching DVDs (which is what I mostly do), the Panny plasma is unbeatable - except by Pioneer plasmas which are not available in India. LCDs are good no doubt for many applications and they consume less power. But for me, watching movies in a darkened home theatre room is a nearly daily affair and hence, low black level was very important to me. Therefore - plasma and therefore - Panasonic. There are numerous reviews/articles which substantiate the fact that good plasmas are capable of deeper blacks and that helps the DVD movie experience. I think the only LCD exception I've read is Sony's X-series LCDs which reviews say is as good as Pioneer/Panasonic plasmas. But of course, you will end up paying about 2x the price!

I guess the other mistake which most people make is thinking that by buying a higher resolution set (720 or 1080), they'll end up improving the picture quality of the material they watch. That is absolute nonsense since the PQ is only as good as the source material! DVDs are in 480p and any TV with a higher horizontal res will only upscale the image beyond that. And we know what happens when you upscale any image beyond its native resolution. That is why regular cable or even DTH looks worse on a higher res TV (whether LCD or plasma or DLP) than on a lower res TV (good old CRT). DVD is the highest res source available to us in India and hence, even a TV with an EDTV resolution (852x480) will suffice.
My $0.02!
 

square_wave

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Hi Raptor,
Good to hear that you are happy with the panny..:)
About resolution, If you play the PS3 or x-box 360 or if you have a hi-end upscaler like eh faroudja type, you can output higher resolution.
How much did you pay for the PV60 ?
 

raptor77

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Right, but I was mainly talking about DVDs. Also beware of buying a Panny plasma if you already have a Faroudja processor based DVD player. Apparently the two don't mix well together - macroblocking errors. Don't have any links right now but you can google for it. So that means Oppo, Denon players are out.

Best thing is to carry your DVDs or even player if possible to test. And better to go to a Panny brand shop rather than multi-brand electronics stores.

I paid 80K over a year ago.
 
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