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32" 1080p LCD TV
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Mesmer
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Joined: 12 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: 32" 1080p LCD TV Reply with quote

I am in the market for a new LCD TV. Given various constraints, I'm limited to 32" but I want 1080p. I know there are very few such models around.

After speaking to Bob, I've pretty much ruled out the Sharp Aquos LC32X20E - his Aquos has had 3 failed freeview tuners.

Scott - Bob mentioned that you recently got a Toshiba of this spec. Are you happy with it? Where did you get it from?

My only HD source at present is the V+ box, which outputs at 1080i, however I do intend to try BluRay/HD at some point.

Comments and suggestions welcome.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My TV is certainly 1080p but is 37"

It is a Toshiba 37X3030D and I am delighted with it. As I spend nearly all the time watching SD broadcasts that was a major concern for me when picking and I am very happy with the freeview picture quality - it isn't overly blocky like some HD TVs can be with SD.

I have two slight issues with it...via VGA it does not allow 1080p (goes to WXGA I think), but it is not a major issue as I have nothing connected to VGA. Secondly, the program guide is functional but could be better - no PIP etc.

It does do 1080p over component which is apparently not all that common.

I got it from comet on the click-and-call thing. It was 1000 in-store but I got it for 700 by reserving it on the internet and then going to collect it. I think they are down to 650 now.
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Mesmer
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Scott, thanks for the reply. My thinking is moving towards a 37" now, given the sparsity of 32" models of the required spec. I'm just not sure if it's gonna look daft. Is yours in a typical living room setting, or a dedicated TV room?
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Bean
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a typical living room. We have a couple of sofas against the walls and the TV in the corner. According to the house plans, it means we are viewing from either 12ft or 16ft.

The TV that we replaced was a Sony 28" CRT and to be honest the Toshiba looked massive when compared with that. The actual width and height though were not massively more for the new TV when going from edge of bezel to edge of bezel, I think the blackness of the LCD against the silver of the old TV made it seem more obvious.

It only took a week or so to be used to it sitting there and I wouldn't want to go back now, but I wouldn't have wanted to go any larger than 37".

I was also considering the one of the 1080p 37" Samsungs as well. It had the advantage of full 1080p resolution available via VGA, but in the end I was not willing to pay 300 more for this feature (that I have not even used). I do not regret my purchase for a minute.

As my 360 does not have HDMI the ability to go to 1080p over component or VGA was important but limited my choices a bit. Only 2 HDMIs may be a limiting factor in the long run, but I cannot think of anything else I would want that would plug into one, but a switching box would be okay for me (although probably a new TV for the lounge with this one relegated to the dining room would be more likely - any excuse for a new toy!)

I don't have a problem with the refresh rate etc. of the TV, but I know the 100Hz ones are cheaper now and so probably worth looking at. Also, I don't really understand the contrast ratio/brightness stuff, but mine has quite a low number but is fine in all brightnesses of room and the blacks look nice and black. Samsung use a shiny screen filter on some of their LCDs to get them blacker (like with most laptops), but the reflections would put me off as our TV is near a window (although we had managed with a reflective CRT okay).

If you do a Google search, there are a few web sites that will tell you the ideal size/resolution you should go for based on distance viewing from....just remember that when you go and look at them in Comet, they don't look quite so big as they do in a normal room.


Last edited by Bean on Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bean
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and if you are not getting a 360 or PS3 yet buy an up-scaling DVD player as a minimum. It really makes a difference to the picture quality over a normal DVD player. You can get a Sony, Toshiba or Philips 1080i/p one for around 50.

e.g.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-DVP-NS78-Player-1080P-Upscaling/dp/B000TJE43Q/ref=pd_sbs_ce_title_2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-DVP5980-Multi-region-capable-Upscaling/dp/B000Q7ZCO6/ref=pd_sbs_ce_img_3

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-SD370E-Player-Upscaling-HDMI/dp/B000OA1W8A/ref=pd_sbs_ce_title_5
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Wij
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1080p over component doesn't work that well. You will get shadowing as it's greater than the amount of bandwidth component can easily handle. 1080i will look better over component. My PS3 certainly did. That's when I forked out for HDMI Smile

More importantly DVDs on SD CRT >>>>>>>>> Upscaled DVDs on LCD. LCDs are crap for films anyway but upscaling DVDs just makes it even blurrirer.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the upscaling image depends upon the quality of the upscaler. The PS3 certainly upscales better than my TV (I don't know if the TV is upscaling or just stretching) and in fact looks very good.

I have another Xbox 360 connected via HDMI and that looks really sharp as well (although it is only a 720p 20" TV - so smaller pixels on screen of that size probably help).

It really is important to get the correct size/resolution TV for your room...you don't want to be able to actually see the pixel by having a TV that is too large for how close you are sitting.

HDMI or component isn't really an issue any more...PS3 and Xbox both have HDMI now so you would be mad not to connect via HDMI when it is available. No matter what Microsoft claimed HDMI looks just a bit sharper than Component, although you would certainly live with component if need be. I get no shadowing.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:17 am    Post subject: Re: 32" 1080p LCD TV Reply with quote

Mesmer wrote:
My only HD source at present is the V+ box, which outputs at 1080i, however I do intend to try BluRay/HD at some point.


If you buy the PS3 you can also run Linux on it. This means that if you buy the Xbox HD-DVD drive you can still watch HD-DVDs on the PS3 by booting into Linux and doing it from there.

I don't think it is seamless...it seems with most discs you would have to decrypt the HD-DVD to a USB hard drive (internal only gives 10GB in Linux) and watch from there. I have seen the instructions and it is only a couple of commands that could pretty easily be shell-scripted. I don't know if the relative lack of RAM in the PS3 would be an issue - I may give it a go just to see.

Early days though and I am sure it will become seamless in the end.

The drive also works on a PC, so ripping to a PC and streaming to the PS3 would be possible.

Although the drive suggested by Monty in a normal PC makes more sense:-

http://forums.desertfoxclan.com/viewtopic.php?t=194
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Mesmer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After waiting a couple of months, several more manufacturors have brought out 32" 1080p TVs. Namely Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba.

I plumped for the Panasonic Viera model, which arrived last Friday (from Robertshaws in Elland, rather than online or a clueless chain). So far so good - BBC HD looks great on it, but now I need a Blu-Ray player that also does a good job of upscaling SD DVDs.

Is the PS3 still the recommended choice there?
The only concern I have about using a games console is the noise - what are PS3s like? Whirring fans, noisy DVD drives etc.
Also, can you run a PS3 lying down rather than upright? If I got one, it would replace my trusty old Samsung 709.
Are PS3s multi-region for old DVDs by default, or is some hackery required?

Bean - you're prolly best placed to answer these questions fella - any info appreciated Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS3 does a really beautiful job of upscaling SD DVDs. As far as I am aware it does respect region encoding of original DVDs and I do not think there is a hack available. I have some R1 DVDs so I can check this out for you (although I bet you could reboot into Linux and watch the DVD from there region free).

It can be used horizontally or vertically - in fact the little PS badge on it rotates so it looks correct whichever way up you have the console.

As far as noise is concerned the PS3 is very very quite. In a completely silent room you can just about hear it when it is switched on. It is certainly no louder than (but I think quieter than) a normal laptop sitting idling, or the slight HD noise you may get from a Sky+ box. The optical drive does not appear to give off any noise either.

If price is your driving force then the PS3 isn't the cheapest Blu-Ray player any more (see http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/3468512/-/Product.html for example). Personally I think the extra functionality of the PS3 makes it worth the extra 90 or so you are going to have to pay.

The extra functionality being that it is a pretty nice media player - the UI isn't great, and it does struggle with a small percentage of my DivXs, but plays most stuff either over the network or from the local HD. You can also install Linux onto it and use it as a proper computer (albeit with very limited 256MB of RAM). oh yeah, and it plays games.

I only really have 2 pretty small gripes with it

a) it uses Bluetooth remote control...which in itself is a really good idea as no line of site is required etc, but it is incompatible with universal remotes that will generally use IR (mine is a Logitech Harmony)

b) I use an Intelligent Powersaving multiway adapter that cuts the power to everything when the TV goes into Standby. If the PS3 is in standby itself at this point it is fine, but if it is powered on when the power gets cut it will not switch back on using the remote control or the controller...you actually have to get up and press the button on the console itself.
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Mesmer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info there Scott - very informative as usual.

I am interested in the Samsung player you posted. I don't really need a games console in the living room just yet, and if I was to get one then it would be a Wii. The two PS3 drawbacks you mentioned don't apply to me - I don't use a multi-remote and I don't have a 1-click power strip.

My telly has HDMI v1.3 and a glossy black finish, so the Samsung (or PS3 for that matter) would fit nicely. The customer reviews also praise the SD upscaling, which is important to me given the number of SD DVDs I have. I can't see anything about whether the Samsung is region-free or not tho. I'll have a dig round and get back to you.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't know how important it is in the real world, but you should find out which BD Profile version the Samsung supports.

The PS3 was recently upgraded to support version 2 - BD LIVE - that does all sorts of potentially jazzy stuff with discs accessing the internet etc.

I don't really understand it, and I assume it will not stop any films from playing, but some of the more advanced features may not work if the player only supports Profile 1.1. I am not aware of any players out of the box that support 2.0 so it just depends whether a firmware upgrade is possible over the Ethernet connection of Sammy if required.
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Mesmer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Scott,

Most of the customer reviews of the Sammy do mention having to do a firmware update over the ethernet port (or via CD if you can get hold of one). There was nothing explicit about the contents of the most recent upgrade tho, other than you needed it to get recent Blu-Ray discs to play. Out of the box, it is DB Profile 1.0.

Here's a link to the product page on the Sammy site:


http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/detail/detail.do?group=homeentertainment&type=blu_rayplayer&subtype=blu_rayplayer&model_cd=BD-P1400/XEU
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Bean
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bean wrote:
As far as I am aware it does respect region encoding of original DVDs and I do not think there is a hack available. I have some R1 DVDs so I can check this out for you.


Yup as suspected, region locked.

Although I have just ripped all my DVDs to my network share so it doesn't really matter for me. Prior to that I just copied the disc to be region free to allow it to be played. It turns out region encoding was not that big a deal in DVD-land for me...I have around 4 R1 DVDs from the early days but nothing since then.
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Bean
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mesmer wrote:
Hi Scott,

Most of the customer reviews of the Sammy do mention having to do a firmware update over the ethernet port (or via CD if you can get hold of one). There was nothing explicit about the contents of the most recent upgrade tho, other than you needed it to get recent Blu-Ray discs to play. Out of the box, it is DB Profile 1.0.

Here's a link to the product page on the Sammy site:


http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/detail/detail.do?group=homeentertainment&type=blu_rayplayer&subtype=blu_rayplayer&model_cd=BD-P1400/XEU



Did you get a Blu-Ray player at all?

I got the Samsung BD-P1500 and it is very good. It was 150 and is 1080p profile 1.1 (upgradable). I have just watched an episode of Planet Earth and it is stunning (although maybe not quite as stunning as the twice-the-price PS3 ?).

It starts up pretty quickly and loads discs quickly (unlike many of the early HD players). It isn't the nicest looking box in the world, unless you like black shiny slabs, but doesn't look too bad.
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