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Old May 4th, 2012, 03:36 AM
Posted in reply to flyingcheesehead's post "Buying a TV"
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Oh, speaking of compressed. CATV and Satellite are also significantly compressed vs OTA live. Some CATV and satellite vendors are as low as 4Mb/s some of their "HD quality" channels. Nasty.

They cheat a bit by using higher bandwidth on popular channels and lower on less popular. Some upstream content providers (Discovery for example) don't allow heavy compression by contract.

If you watch local sports, (your Packers) throw up an outdoor antenna or if you're lucky enough to be close to your broadcast towers, good old rabbit ears and a UHF loop.

Hockey is a great example. It looks significantly different OTA vs through one of the regional channels on a satellite provider. Hard to describe, but you'll see little cracks in the ice whereas that same area will be a washed out white patch with compression.

There's also some calculators for room size and viewing distance. All us males think bigger is always better, but sitting a few feet from a 60" monster means you'll be turning your head to follow fast action which isn't the best viewing experience for most content.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:10 AM
Posted in reply to denverpilot's post starting "Oh, speaking of compressed. CATV and..."
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Re: Buying a TV

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Originally Posted by denverpilot View Post
There's also some calculators for room size and viewing distance. All us males think bigger is always better, but sitting a few feet from a 60" monster means you'll be turning your head to follow fast action which isn't the best viewing experience for most content.
wrt screen size, note that a 42" 1080p screen will have the same number of pixels as the 80" monster 1080p screen. So a bigger screen means you need to sit back from the screen lest you see the individual pixels.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:37 AM
Posted in reply to denverpilot's post starting "Sounds like Vizio used Costco to get..."
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Re: Buying a TV

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Originally Posted by denverpilot View Post
Kent, the AppleTV stuff is highly compressed even if it is "1080p" on the third version of ATV. (Only 720p on my version, up converted to 1080p.)
It's not noticeable to me though... I'm not going to specifically go looking for compression artifacts, I'm just going to enjoy the show, and while watching in that mode I've never seen any lack of quality on the AppleTV.

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If you compare a BluRay player version of a movie to an ATV streamed movie you will see a difference side by side.
I have no desire to buy yet another player and have to collect everything in yet another physical medium that the MPAA won't let me copy to the next thing when it comes along.

For content that I want, first I'll look for it on iTunes or Netflix. Second, I'll look for it for free on the Internet. A distant third is to buy the overly-locked-down crap that they want us to buy (and then buy again in a few years the next time they come out with a new format, etc.) It's a sad fact that these days, they actually penalize you for trying to be legal and to buy their stuff.

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Since you're a geek. (Hey, I've met you.) Don't forget to look for lots of inputs on your TV. Some lower end ones are chintzy in this regard.
Yup. Looking for at least two HDMI, two component, and a VGA. Probably at least one extra of each, since I tend to have a lot of "stuff."

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Someone mentioned calibration. Do it. Get the calibration DVD/BluRay and get the settings right. It really adds to how good these TVs look.
Where do I find a calibration DVD? Is that something supplied by the manufacturer, or is there a generic one? Would stores have this?
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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:45 AM
Posted in reply to denverpilot's post starting "Oh, speaking of compressed. CATV and..."
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Re: Buying a TV

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Oh, speaking of compressed. CATV and Satellite are also significantly compressed vs OTA live. Some CATV and satellite vendors are as low as 4Mb/s some of their "HD quality" channels. Nasty.
Not going to do cable or satellite. The prices are absolutely ridiculous unless you're spending several hours a day watching TV, which I don't. I'm going to use this maybe 2-3 times per week for cuddling on the couch with my girlfriend and watching an episode of Big Bang Theory, Firefly, Flying Wild Alaska, Pan Am, etc. which I have on iTunes. Anything I want to watch that's on cable is available via iTunes or Netflix or online for free, and I simply don't watch enough to ever make cable worthwhile. All I'm going to miss is the Packer games that are only on cable, and if I want to watch 'em that bad I'll just go to a sports bar or something.

Quote:
There's also some calculators for room size and viewing distance. All us males think bigger is always better, but sitting a few feet from a 60" monster means you'll be turning your head to follow fast action which isn't the best viewing experience for most content.
The living room is pretty much 9 feet from the eyes sitting on the couch to the wall where the TV will be. I haven't found a "calculator" but I did find a grid that seemed to indicate anything from 40" on up would work. Based on the size/price curve, I think I'm going to go with a 46" one. I'm not gonna blow four figures on this thing.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:55 AM
Posted in reply to flyingcheesehead's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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Where do I find a calibration DVD? Is that something supplied by the manufacturer, or is there a generic one? Would stores have this?
Don't bother. Just go here (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/) and look for the Plasma or LCD TV sections, and search for the model # of whatever you end up buying. There are plenty of people who will have already done it. Copy their settings.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:57 AM
Posted in reply to kgruber's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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Buy your HDMI cords on eBay. Huge scam at retail stores.
Get them thrown in for free... little known fact, you can haggle a good bit with the guys at Best Buy..
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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Re: Buying a TV

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It's not noticeable to me though... I'm not going to specifically go looking for compression artifacts, I'm just going to enjoy the show, and while watching in that mode I've never seen any lack of quality on the AppleTV.
BTW, Kent, which version of the AppleTV do you have? 2 or 3? Since most TV's are now 1080, it might be worth going to gen 3 for another $100 smackers. If you have a gen 2, sell it to someone stuck on a 720 TV.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/09/...store-content/
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Old May 4th, 2012, 11:14 AM
Posted in reply to flyingcheesehead's post "Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

Eye level or slightly above. Don't go hanging it real high, like over a fireplace kind of high all the "Cribs" have. Very uncomfortable to watch.

Get as many HDMI ports as you can, just in case you want to add games, satellite, blue-ray and stuff that that hasn't been invented yet. Wii tennis is pretty cool on the big screen.

Wal-Mart has publicly stated they want to be the biggest volume seller of HDTV, and they price accordingly, brick and mortar and online. I got a 46" Visio a couple of years ago from them and have been very happy with it. Invariably, when I put in a blu-ray, I say "I just can't believe that picture". Wife is getting sick of hearing it, but it's true.

Even "over the air" HD is 780p. Unbelievably clear for sports. Watching a hockey game, you can actually see the puck!
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Old May 4th, 2012, 04:45 PM
Posted in reply to rpadula's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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Originally Posted by rpadula View Post
BTW, Kent, which version of the AppleTV do you have? 2 or 3? Since most TV's are now 1080, it might be worth going to gen 3 for another $100 smackers. If you have a gen 2, sell it to someone stuck on a 720 TV.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/09/...store-content/
I've been watching an AppleTV 2 on a Vizio TV belonging to one of my roommates. I'm going to buy myself an AppleTV 3 to go with this TV, which is gonna live at my girlfriend's so that we don't have to watch stuff on my laptop any more... She's got an old CRT analog TV and no converter box, so it's only good for Wii and DVD's right now.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 09:27 PM
Posted in reply to flyingcheesehead's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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Not going to do cable or satellite. The prices are absolutely ridiculous unless you're spending several hours a day watching TV, which I don't. I'm going to use this maybe 2-3 times per week for cuddling on the couch with my girlfriend and watching an episode of Big Bang Theory, Firefly, Flying Wild Alaska, Pan Am, etc. which I have on iTunes. Anything I want to watch that's on cable is available via iTunes or Netflix or online for free, and I simply don't watch enough to ever make cable worthwhile. All I'm going to miss is the Packer games that are only on cable, and if I want to watch 'em that bad I'll just go to a sports bar or something.



The living room is pretty much 9 feet from the eyes sitting on the couch to the wall where the TV will be. I haven't found a "calculator" but I did find a grid that seemed to indicate anything from 40" on up would work. Based on the size/price curve, I think I'm going to go with a 46" one. I'm not gonna blow four figures on this thing.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 05:36 AM
Posted in reply to flyingcheesehead's post "Buying a TV"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Sylverne View Post
Even "over the air" HD is 780p. Unbelievably clear for sports. Watching a hockey game, you can actually see the puck!
Actually different networks are using different standards and all are messing around with sub-channels and "robbing" a little bandwidth here and there out of the "HD" main broadcast channel. CBS, NBC, and PBS are 1080i@60fps. ABC and Fox are 720p@60.

http://usjvc.com/blog/?p=263

And one guy's prediction is that everyone will drop back to 720p@60fps as the OTA standard due to the math of wanting to run the additional bandwidth for sub-channels or other data services, and only Fiber to the Curb will ever offer 1080p "broadcast" content by 2020.

http://www.coax.tv/EXEC_NAB2011.pdf

Figuring out what "HD" truly means gets even stranger when you find that most content isn't shot at 60fps.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 04:02 PM
Posted in reply to Chip Sylverne's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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Even "over the air" HD is 780p. Unbelievably clear for sports. Watching a hockey game, you can actually see the puck!
Some stations transmit 1080i.

Last edited by Palmpilot; May 5th, 2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 05:10 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

I do not have cable, satellite or internet TV. I just have my 70" TV connected to the attic antenna. I get 47 channels over the air here at Fort Lauderdale which is plenty for me. All the channels looks crystal clear with no problem when it rains. No need for converters on every room. Just connect the TV antenna connector to the wall connector.

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Old May 5th, 2012, 11:18 PM
Posted in reply to kgruber's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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Buy your HDMI cords on eBay. Huge scam at retail stores.
There's a local supplier in my area that has good deals on all sorts of cables:

http://www.mycablemart.com

When buying a LED backlit TV you should know that there are two different technologies available and many retailers don't understand the difference or even try to pass the lesser one off as the same as the better one.

One type simply replaces the CCFL backlights (originally used with almost all LCD displays) with LEDs which provides very little if any improvement. The other uses a large number of leds with each led individually controlled. This allows the display to operate with a much larger contrast range across the display.

The latest thing in LCD TVs is "3D without special glasses" but I'm told that the current versions aren't very effective and the result is adversely affected by changes in the location of the person watching as well as any head movements.

Unless you intend to watch TV from less than 2ft away, 1080 resolution is a waste of time on anything less than about 36 inches on the diagonal. Also worth noting is that the advantage of 1080p is lost on any DVD, off the air, cable, or satellite viewing. IOW a BlueRay disk is the only source that supports 1080p AFaIK.

Finally, there's a lot of content out there that's only available in 480i (NTSC) or 720i/p and the quality of those images as rendered on a higher resolution screen is very much affected by the type of signal processing used to upconvert the images and that varies considerably between models and manufacturers.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 12:18 PM
Posted in reply to kimberlyanne546's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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Old May 6th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

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Buy your HDMI cords on eBay. Huge scam at retail stores.
Monoprice.com is way better than Ebay.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

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Also worth noting is that the advantage of 1080p is lost on any DVD, off the air, cable, or satellite viewing. IOW a BlueRay disk is the only source that supports 1080p AFaIK.
As far as I know, that's true about 1080p. However I just checked, and channels 5.1, 9.1, 11.1, 44.1, 48.1, and 66.1 were transmitting in 1080i off the air in the SF Bay area. On at least one of them, the improvement over 720p was pretty easy to see.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 04:35 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

LED. Samsung. That's all you need to know other than size.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Posted in reply to Skylane81E's post "Re: Buying a TV"
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Re: Buying a TV

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That's what I did, figured the tv I wanted, then shopped around. $1000 give or take 50 everywhere but Costco, Walmart and Vizio. Costco wanted $1950, while Walmart and Vizio were asking $850, Vizio included two extra pairs of glasses and shipped for free with no tax.
Also try www.abt.com

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Old May 6th, 2012, 10:02 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

If you are of the old vintage you will also need High Definition eyeglasses. Otherwise you are wasting your money on all this HD technology.

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Old May 6th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

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As far as I know, that's true about 1080p. However I just checked, and channels 5.1, 9.1, 11.1, 44.1, 48.1, and 66.1 were transmitting in 1080i off the air in the SF Bay area. On at least one of them, the improvement over 720p was pretty easy to see.
Yes, OTA signals are often in the 1080i format.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

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This one does!

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If I thought for one second that was true I'd quit flying.
Yeah, we should be manly men and not admit such things in public, or something...
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Old May 6th, 2012, 11:49 PM
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Re: Buying a TV

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When buying a LED backlit TV you should know that there are two different technologies available and many retailers don't understand the difference or even try to pass the lesser one off as the same as the better one.

One type simply replaces the CCFL backlights (originally used with almost all LCD displays) with LEDs which provides very little if any improvement. The other uses a large number of leds with each led individually controlled. This allows the display to operate with a much larger contrast range across the display.
Yeah... I think that an LCD TV with local-dimming LED backlights is what I'm after, but it's difficult to find that listed among the specs anywhere.

Quote:
The latest thing in LCD TVs is "3D without special glasses" but I'm told that the current versions aren't very effective and the result is adversely affected by changes in the location of the person watching as well as any head movements.
I'm really not looking for 3D. Today's 3D technology isn't good for much, IMO. I'd also need to try it out to be sure it doesn't make me sick anyway - Seeing Avatar 3D in the theater (pretty close to the screen) really made me feel awful.

Quote:
Unless you intend to watch TV from less than 2ft away, 1080 resolution is a waste of time on anything less than about 36 inches on the diagonal. Also worth noting is that the advantage of 1080p is lost on any DVD, off the air, cable, or satellite viewing. IOW a BlueRay disk is the only source that supports 1080p AFaIK.
iTunes does too, that's where a lot of my content will be coming from. Not sure what Netflix streaming is, but it's "good enough." If the content isn't engaging enough to hold my attention at 720p, I should probably be doing something that doesn't involve the TV anyway!

Also, is there really a noticeable difference between 1080i and 1080p content (such as the over-the-air TV stations that are 1080i)? Heck, old-school NTSC was interlaced too, and at 60fps there shouldn't be much difference visible to the eye, it's more a matter of how the TV has to draw it.

Quote:
Finally, there's a lot of content out there that's only available in 480i (NTSC) or 720i/p and the quality of those images as rendered on a higher resolution screen is very much affected by the type of signal processing used to upconvert the images and that varies considerably between models and manufacturers.
True - It's awfully hard to get a good idea of that, though. Any suggestions?

Stan - Good call on Flanners. Maybe I should just head over there, they are good.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 02:46 AM
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For movie content it doesn't matter that the TV does 60fps, unless the movie was shot at that speed. Most are 24fps and the content provider does a 2:3 pull down to get to just below 60fps.

I think you're going to be happy with just about anything that does decent black levels, Kent. The sheer number and scope of "HD" standards is mind-boggling.

Peruse this if you want to go cross-eyed thinking about it.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecine

I think you may have linked to this ARSTechnica article previously but it's a good comparison and read if not. The third gen AppleTV does show things slightly sharper with the 1080p support.

The Mrs has been joking that she wants an Apple TV in the bedroom. The Gen 2 may end up in there with a Gen 3 downstairs. Perhaps if we do that I could temporarily hook both up to the living room TV and see if there's a noticibly difference between the two in a side by side comparison.

I've also got an SD Wii hooked to the living room TV via discreet video (which sits mostly unused) but I did do comparisons between it and the 2nd Gen AppleTV streaming Netflix. (Long ago the Wii was our primary Netflix streamer.) It's bad. Really bad.

Some TVs now are providing frame rates that are perfect multiples of 24 so BluRay doesn't have to go through the pull down process. Just multiply the frame rate up from 24 and voila. It's probably not worth hunting for those sets unless you're building some videophile home theatre in a basement or similar, though.

If you have the time, check out the back catalog of Revision 3's "HD Nation" video podcast. Robert Herron is a rediculous HDTV über geek and goes so far in depth (and seriously has the stuff memorized) into HD tech it's mind-blowing. I subscribed for a while, and couldn't possibly keep up with it.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 03:10 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 7,958
Re: Buying a TV

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcheesehead View Post
This one does!



Yeah, we should be manly men and not admit such things in public, or something...
That's OK, Kent, I asked your friend Bill if I could see his man card when he was in my plane and used the word "mauve." I told him men should not know what mauve is. Or periwinkle.
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