Author Topic: Television buying  (Read 303458 times)

Offline filopastry

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Television buying
« on: October 18, 2005, 02:01:27 pm »
Can anyone recommmend any decent websites for buying chepa TVs ?

I'm trying to pickup a 32" CRT for my parents, and trying to find a website that is prepared to deliver to Northern Ireland and actually has stock of the sets they advertise.

Just to make it tricker ideally I want something with narrow sides (like the Toshiba picture frame models) and 3 scarts (or 2 scarts plus component).

I thought it would have been quite easy but it hasn't, Dixons keeps showing ludicrously cheap prices on some of the models I was interested in but has no stock and seems unlikely to ever have any.

Offline Ben_JP

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2005, 02:02:23 pm »
Empire Direct seem to have a fair selection, but not sure about their delivery regions I'm afraid.
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Offline Johnnyboy1973

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2005, 02:02:26 pm »
Comet are good for this.

Panasonic make the best telly's.

Offline Ben S

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2005, 02:05:25 pm »
Ebuyer sell tellys and stuff now, no idea how the are compaired with others but might be worth a look.

Offline filopastry

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2005, 02:12:12 pm »
Cheers for the tip Ben, one of my favourite sites, unfortunately they don't seem to have any in stock that are suitable.

Comet won't deliver to NI.

Empire direct looks my best bet so far, has their service improved, I know a few years ago they had a lousy reputation on order fulfillment.

Actually they charge an extra £50 for delivery to NI of that size of TV as well so not quite so attractive after all
« Last Edit: October 18, 2005, 02:26:30 pm by filopastry »

Offline Ben_JP

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2005, 02:34:38 pm »
Ah, didn't actually know about their reputation. Richer Sounds sometimes have some bargains, but again not sure about their delivery. It's not an electronic site as such, but have you tried shopgenie.com? That might throw up some alternatives...
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Offline filopastry

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2005, 03:02:28 pm »
I think Richersounds only do Plasma and LCD unfortunately  which is a shame as its a bit above their price range

Offline Nanor

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2005, 04:35:37 pm »
Currys are selling the Philips 32PW9570 for £499.  I've had the previous pixel plus 2 model for over a year and think it's great, mates just bought one of the 9570s and is over the moon with it.  It's got three scarts, two of which are RGB.  Not sure what their delivery policy is but might be worth a look even though i hate the thought of buying anything from Currys.

Offline filopastry

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2005, 04:45:57 pm »
Currys/Dixons have some apparently great offers at the moment, the problem is when I try to buy them they all show as having no stock !

Offline Nanor

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2005, 04:51:52 pm »
Might be worth enquiring in store.  I managed to get a pioneer DVD recorder from comet last year at the price stated on the web (was £100 cheaper online!) and that was in Derry.  Think it depends on who you speak to on whether or not they're willing to be flexible.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2005, 04:55:13 pm by Nanor »

Offline filopastry

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2005, 04:55:22 pm »
I'll try that out, as online they just seem to be advertising lots of CRTs at low prices without having any or indeed the prospect of getting anymore in according to their sales staff.

Thanks

Offline The Scouseologist

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2005, 12:30:52 pm »
Somerfield get in 32inc widescreens with double scarts the works for £159.00 I got one 4 months ago and its been superb.
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Offline filopastry

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Re: Television buying
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2005, 12:36:45 pm »
They really need 3 scarts though which is the problem, it seems more and more manufacturers are just going with now, I assume thats down to cost cutting in the face of cheaper LCDs

Offline Socratease

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High Definition TVs
« Reply #13 on: January 5, 2006, 10:55:45 pm »
My old Sony (10 years!) 28" flat screen TV is falling apart - well, failing, and I've been looking for a High Definition TV, and some of my neighbours were having problems with their new sets and I found the following article has helped them and my future decisions. If anyone is stuck with some of the identified problems mentioned below I hope this article from the NY Times might help.





For a Just-So Picture, Today's Knob Twisters Call It Calibration

             
By ROY FURCHGOTT

Published: January 5, 2006


On a typical day, Chris Baker, a senior technician at Crutchfield, the electronics retailer, takes five calls from angry customers who say their televisions are not delivering the picture they paid for. In most cases, they are right.


 
Dave Ember

Take the customer with a new $1,500 26-inch Aquos high-definition television who called the company's headquarters in Charlottesville, Va., last month. "He was disappointed with how most everything looked," Mr. Baker said.

It turns out the customer's set had been hooked up to a standard-definition cable box, and with a low-grade cable at that. Mr. Baker gave him instructions on how to tune in a high-definition broadcast over the air. When a PBS show about polar bears appeared on the screen, "he had one of those 'Oh my God!' moments," Mr. Baker said.

For consumers puzzled about the lackluster picture on their new TV's, the problem is rarely a defect in the set. Many high-definition TV owners don't know they need a special cable box or satellite receiver to view HD programs.

"I have friends who say, 'Look at my display. Doesn't it look great?' And I say, 'It would look better in high definition,' " said Kevin Zarow, vice president for marketing and product development at Marantz, a maker of home entertainment equipment.

It's not just new HD sets that can have less-than-optimal images. Owners of standard sets often fail to make the few simple adjustments that can make their TV pictures more true.

Virtually every TV comes from the factory with the color levels set incorrectly. Sometimes the necessary cables are not included in the packing box. And sometimes additional equipment may be required. Still, most improvements can be made easily, often at little or no cost.

A picture may be poor because the set is hooked to the wrong kind of cable input. Although some TV's can get a signal through any of seven types of cables, only three of them - component, DVI and HDMI cables - carry high-definition signals. A common mistake is using an S-video cable from a conventional TV on an HD set.

The quality of the cable also matters. New gear often comes with cheap ones that can make the picture fuzzy or snowy. Cables should be heavy enough to carry an unrestricted signal, shielded from interference, and have sturdy plugs.

Adjusting the color is crucial because manufacturers usually set the colors to high brightness to grab attention in the store.

They adjust the set "so it will scream at you when you come in the door," said Joe Kane, a consultant to the television industry. "They make the gray scale blue, they make the light output as high as it will go, and they quite often use edge enhancement so that when you are far away it appears to have detail." Experts call this "torch mode," which may be effective on the salesroom floor but is painful for home viewing.

Most new TV's have options in the on-screen menu that can improve color fidelity. Dedicated settings like "sports," "cinema," or "vivid" alter color and brightness for specific viewing conditions.

Sports mode usually emphasizes greens, to make fields look spectacular. Vivid usually pumps up colors and brightness for watching in bright rooms. Movie or cinema mode is usually the closest to studio standards.

But even these settings do not necessarily produce the truest color. For that, you have to do the calibration yourself.

The simplest and least expensive way to calibrate a TV is to use the free THX Optimizer on any THX-certified DVD, like "The Incredibles" from Pixar. The DVD offers instructions on how to set color, tint, contrast and sharpness with on-screen tests.

"The procedures are basically the same we do on the master display monitor at the studio," said Rick Dean, vice president for technology development of THX, which has created certification standards for sound and picture in theaters and consumer electronic equipment. The optimizer works best with a $2 pair of blue-lens glasses available from the THX Web site (www.thx.com).

Sound & Vision magazine offers Home Theater Tune Up, a DVD with step-by-step instructions, tips and test patterns for adjusting the picture (www.soundandvisionmag.com, $21.95). But because it was produced in 2000, some of its advice might be outdated.

The Monster Cable I.S.F. HDTV Calibration Wizard (to be available this month at www.monstercable.com, $29.95) is even simpler to use. Instead of using test patterns, viewers watch video clips for adjustments. For instance, the viewer adjusts the black level until the lapel of a dark jacket onscreen is distinct from the dark shirt beneath it.

Another option, Joe Kane's Digital Video Essentials (www.videoessentials.com, $24.99), is up to date, but requires you to sit through lengthy explanations of how the tests work before you can use them.

The Avia Guide to Home Theater (www.ovationmultimedia.com, $49.99) has a great deal of information arranged in detailed menus so you can get an overview of a home theater setup, deeper information from submenus or skip right to the comprehensive collection of tests.

For the highest degree of picture accuracy, technicians certified by the Imaging Science Foundation use electronic color analyzers to adjust a TV to industry standards. The I.S.F. Web site, www.imagingscience.com, offers a list of technicians around the country who can perform this service.

Even after you have your TV calibrated properly, settings can drift over time, requiring readjustment. And sometimes a calibrated TV looks a little dull to viewers accustomed to torch mode. "Live with it a few weeks," Mr. Kane said, "then go back to what you used to watch. In most cases you'll say, 'Wow, this is awful.' "

The various devices that are hooked up to most TV's also affect picture quality. The cable box, DVD player, TiVo or digital video recorder - in addition to the TV - all have computer chips that process the video image on your screen.

The problem is these chips are not perfect, and each round of processing can add errors that diminish or distort the picture. The goal is to have the best-suited chip handle the processing, but how do you know which is best?

Only trial-and-error testing will tell. In most cases, the TV set has the best chips, but there are exceptions. To ferret out the superior chip you have to try various settings and connections.

For instance, you can connect a DVD player to your TV using a component cable. Component cables send an analog signal, which lets the TV do the bulk of the processing. Then for comparison, you can connect the same DVD player, set to progressive scan, using an HDMI or DVI cable, which transmits a digital signal largely processed by the player. Decide which connection gives you the better picture.

If it's too close to call, you can use the HQV Benchmark DVD from Silicon Optix (www.hqv.com/benchmark.cfm, $30), which has tests that reveal signal processing differences that may be subtle.

And if fine-tuning your set sounds too complicated, fear not. Even professionals like Scott Jordan, a home theater consultant with Electronics Design Group, say just about anyone can do it. "For the few hours it takes," Mr. Jordan said, "you'll have years of better TV."

I hope this helps!

Socs.


.

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.

Socrates

Offline Barney_Rubble

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #14 on: January 5, 2006, 11:16:17 pm »

Not worth getting HDTV yet in UK.

Gonna be a few years yet before HDTV broadcasts are up and running...

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Offline Paul_McG

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #15 on: January 5, 2006, 11:49:30 pm »
Not worth getting HDTV yet in UK.

Gonna be a few years yet before HDTV broadcasts are up and running...



Sky going live later this year , sure I read that included premiership football

Found site http://hd.sky.com/
« Last Edit: January 5, 2006, 11:51:14 pm by Paul_McG »

Offline james_f

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #16 on: January 6, 2006, 12:22:50 am »
Not too many channels in HDTV though by the looks of it just yet, think it;s probly best to leave.  Have heard from someone that HD looks awesome tho.

Offline Matt S

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #17 on: January 6, 2006, 12:30:01 am »
but surely if your buying a new tv anyway you might as well go for a HD?

Offline Ben S

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #18 on: January 6, 2006, 02:11:20 am »
but surely if your buying a new tv anyway you might as well go for a HD?

Will probably more than half in price anyway within a couple of years so probably not.

Offline Barney_Rubble

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #19 on: January 6, 2006, 02:11:28 am »

Well for the price of em now and the improvements and features that will be added along the way, I'd rather see it up and running before such a commitment.

I know Sky have been trialling it, but it's still in developement.

I still remember Betamax... ;D



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Offline keithcun

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #20 on: January 6, 2006, 03:58:36 am »
Will probably more than half in price anyway within a couple of years so probably not.

Not quite sure how you watch HD in the meantime though.Using that anology,no-one would ever buy a PC.

Well for the price of em now and the improvements and features that will be added along the way, I'd rather see it up and running before such a commitment.

I know Sky have been trialling it, but it's still in developement.

I still remember Betamax... ;D

Graeme is actually trialling the Telewest version TV Drive and they will both be up and running before summer and possibly the World Cup will be shown in HD.

All this season's Prem football and the Final in Istanbul were all shot in HD as well.
« Last Edit: January 6, 2006, 04:00:27 am by keithcun »
I might have single handedly ruined Warrington's picture houses,but personally thought my pocket money was better spent at Anfield.

Offline L12

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #21 on: January 6, 2006, 04:24:25 am »
Have a 26'' Toshiba HD widescreen and compatible DVD player, it's great for movies and sports. more satelite programs are being broadcast in HD, at least over here in Canada.
However after living with it for six months feel that should have spent extra for a bigger screen,  26" is in my opinion too small for widescreen

Offline filopastry

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #22 on: January 6, 2006, 01:25:22 pm »
Sky have started doing a bit of marketing for HDTV and are keen to get it up and running before the world cup.

Personally I'm still not that convinced by the HD displays I've seen and will probably hold fire for a year or 2 and stick with my 36" CRT although the original poster is right in that the set-up can really make a huge difference with LCD sets, set up incorrectly they generally look bloody awful

Offline keithcun

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #23 on: January 6, 2006, 05:46:53 pm »
Sky have started doing a bit of marketing for HDTV and are keen to get it up and running before the world cup.

Personally I'm still not that convinced by the HD displays I've seen and will probably hold fire for a year or 2 and stick with my 36" CRT although the original poster is right in that the set-up can really make a huge difference with LCD sets, set up incorrectly they generally look bloody awful

you've probably answered your own question there Filo.Walked into Dixons today just to have a look at the 42" Panasonic PV500 plasma and the 43" Pioneer  436XDE plasma which are the 2  best  flatscreens that normal money can buy at the moment.Both pictures were crap to say the least and all because of the feeds they were getting.In this day and age,shops like Dixons etc should not be showing HD ready TV's unless they are being fed digitally and from a good source.They do themselves no favours.Anyone want to see a proper demo should go to the likes of John Lewis and view the screens in the demo rooms.

As for ISF calibration,for £200 - £300 it will make a hell of a lot of difference to the picture you will see and it will be as close as you can get to how the director wanted it to look like.Most plasmas out of the box are set to high on contrast etc as this is what attracts the attention in the shops,a big bright picture.
I might have single handedly ruined Warrington's picture houses,but personally thought my pocket money was better spent at Anfield.

Offline medley

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #24 on: January 6, 2006, 06:03:57 pm »
I get confused with all this plasma, LCD, HDTV business. Can you get ghosting on LCD's/flatscreens like you do on some pc monitors? My panasonic tv is around 7/8 years old but its tube is starting to go i think (theres a faint line down a part of the screen) so i'm gonna have to start considering what to go for sooner rather than later...

I better start checking some websites before i decide what to purchase instead of walking into a random shop and going 'that looks nice, BAM'
My mate is Sarah Harding's cousin from girls aloud, he looks a fair but like her which is a bit weird when i'm cracking one off over MTV like

Offline keithcun

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #25 on: January 6, 2006, 06:10:31 pm »
I get confused with all this plasma, LCD, HDTV business. Can you get ghosting on LCD's/flatscreens like you do on some pc monitors? My panasonic tv is around 7/8 years old but its tube is starting to go i think (theres a faint line down a part of the screen) so i'm gonna have to start considering what to go for sooner rather than later...

I better start checking some websites before i decide what to purchase instead of walking into a random shop and going 'that looks nice, BAM'

here you go Medley,try this site out.It's very informative.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/index.php

As for the ghosting etc.It all depends what you pay,quality is everything in a plasma or LCD.You can't expect a £800 Tiny plasma to look anywhere near as good as a £3000 Pioneer or Panasonic.

I might have single handedly ruined Warrington's picture houses,but personally thought my pocket money was better spent at Anfield.

Offline filopastry

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #26 on: January 6, 2006, 06:11:32 pm »
To be fair Keith I've been more impressed by the plasmas I've seen than LCDs, the contrast on LCDs isn't ideal and even on DVDs in independent stores I haven't been blown away by most of the sets I've seen, they don't really match up to a CRT on SD broadcasts  and for the next year or so even if I got a new set and HD box most of what I was watching would probably be on SD.

Hence I've made the decision to hold fire and probably get a better set for my money in a while.

Have you gone for a plasma in the end Keith?

I've read varying reports as to whether screen burn is still an issue with plasmas, I believe the useful life is no longer a problem, although power consumption remians high, it would probably be my technology of choice if I was upgrading though

Offline Pheel

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #27 on: January 6, 2006, 06:25:46 pm »
Hd is test broadcasting now via Sky, will be out Feb March is best info at this time, There is a HD trial via Terrestrial scheduled in London slightly after that. As has been said already all this years Pem games filmed on HD equipment, as will the world cup, Sky are ahead of the curve on equipment and are filming all there new stuff HD.

As for live Demo's Comet, Currys etc all have a pod wth HD demo's if you look at the hundreds around the store you will get awfull pics. Search out the HD area ( usually LG  ) and prepare to have yer jaw drop!

Price is already down, premium of £100-200 really.

Hope that helps

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Offline keithcun

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #28 on: January 6, 2006, 06:31:58 pm »
To be fair Keith I've been more impressed by the plasmas I've seen than LCDs, the contrast on LCDs isn't ideal and even on DVDs in independent stores I haven't been blown away by most of the sets I've seen, they don't really match up to a CRT on SD broadcasts  and for the next year or so even if I got a new set and HD box most of what I was watching would probably be on SD.

Hence I've made the decision to hold fire and probably get a better set for my money in a while.

Have you gone for a plasma in the end Keith?

I've read varying reports as to whether screen burn is still an issue with plasmas, I believe the useful life is no longer a problem, although power consumption remians high, it would probably be my technology of choice if I was upgrading though

I'm like you Filo,I keep wanting to go and get one,then pull back at the last minute and think I should wait.I'll never get one at this rate.Deffo plasma at the moment and the 2 best for around £2000 are the Pioneer 436 XDE and the Panasonic PV500. I think Panasonic are not far off revealing their new sets for this year,so I'll end up waiting to see what Pioneer come up with because I prefer the Pioneer as it looks lovely with it's piano black surround and no speakers.

Screen burn is an issue with plasmas,but I think the main problem is that people are running them at the factory settings which are much too high.The sets need to be toned down for around the first 200 hrs to let the screens bed in.The Pioneer that I mentioned above seemed to have a problem on the earlier build models around Sept/Oct but from what I've been reading after that the majority have been Ok.As I've no intention of running a games console on it I shouldn't have a problem but I just wish those bloody TV channels would bugger off with the onscreen icons.I don't need an icon in the top left to tell me what channel I'm on.

So all in,I'm gonna wait to see how much Sky HD is gonna cost and compare it with Telewests example,which should be cheaper as I don't think they'll charge for the box and have a look at the Pioneer and Panasonic range then and hopefully they may have brought some new panels out by them.Hopefully should have one for the summer,but there again,last year I was hoping I'd have one for Xmas.  ;D
I might have single handedly ruined Warrington's picture houses,but personally thought my pocket money was better spent at Anfield.

Offline the duke of dapper

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #29 on: January 6, 2006, 06:40:09 pm »
the only problem with plasma's is you have to get the warranty just in case. and they cost around £750-£1000 for 5 yrs

Offline keithcun

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #30 on: January 6, 2006, 06:42:35 pm »
the only problem with plasma's is you have to get the warranty just in case. and they cost around £750-£1000 for 5 yrs

John Lewis do  a free 5 year gaurantee and also pricematch.  ;D
I might have single handedly ruined Warrington's picture houses,but personally thought my pocket money was better spent at Anfield.

Offline Pheel

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #31 on: January 6, 2006, 06:44:33 pm »
I'm like you Filo,I keep wanting to go and get one,then pull back at the last minute and think I should wait.I'll never get one at this rate.Deffo plasma at the moment and the 2 best for around £2000 are the Pioneer 436 XDE and the Panasonic PV500. I think Panasonic are not far off revealing their new sets for this year,so I'll end up waiting to see what Pioneer come up with because I prefer the Pioneer as it looks lovely with it's piano black surround and no speakers.

Screen burn is an issue with plasmas,but I think the main problem is that people are running them at the factory settings which are much too high.The sets need to be toned down for around the first 200 hrs to let the screens bed in.The Pioneer that I mentioned above seemed to have a problem on the earlier build models around Sept/Oct but from what I've been reading after that the majority have been Ok.As I've no intention of running a games console on it I shouldn't have a problem but I just wish those bloody TV channels would bugger off with the onscreen icons.I don't need an icon in the top left to tell me what channel I'm on.

So all in,I'm gonna wait to see how much Sky HD is gonna cost and compare it with Telewests example,which should be cheaper as I don't think they'll charge for the box and have a look at the Pioneer and Panasonic range then and hopefully they may have brought some new panels out by them.Hopefully should have one for the summer,but there again,last year I was hoping I'd have one for Xmas.  ;D

Good news with the icons is that they are now translucent so that helps with the screen burn issue, spot on about the 200 hour burn in as well, I would advise not just sticking with the "big names" only a few panel manufacturers and lots of badging going on ;)

Bang for buck LG have it. LCD is great upt about 37" after that go plasma.

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Offline the duke of dapper

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #32 on: January 6, 2006, 06:44:58 pm »
John Lewis do  a free 5 year gaurantee and also pricematch.  ;D

that sounds good. might have alook at that then.do they do the price match with online stores though.

Offline filopastry

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #33 on: January 6, 2006, 06:47:38 pm »
that sounds good. might have alook at that then.do they do the price match with online stores though.

Not unless that online store has a real world shop close enough to a John Lewis store.

As far as I know they also don't price match on their website just at the stores

Offline the duke of dapper

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #34 on: January 6, 2006, 06:50:40 pm »
Not unless that online store has a real world shop close enough to a John Lewis store.

As far as I know they also don't price match on their website just at the stores



you get alot better deals online . my lcd cost £2400 when it came out in comet and other places got it online for £1650 delivered.not a bad saving.

Offline Consigliere

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #35 on: January 7, 2006, 02:24:40 pm »
Useful guide - thanks the original poster.

Offline medley

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #36 on: January 8, 2006, 02:43:43 am »
here you go Medley,try this site out.It's very informative.

http://www.avforums.com/forums/index.php

As for the ghosting etc.It all depends what you pay,quality is everything in a plasma or LCD.You can't expect a £800 Tiny plasma to look anywhere near as good as a £3000 Pioneer or Panasonic.



cheers homes. I found the john lewis guide which helped a bit http://www.johnlewis.com/guides/Television.aspx
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Offline wilo in berlin

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #37 on: January 9, 2006, 04:33:34 pm »
I bought a new TV a year ago, and ended up getting CRT. Great price/quality.

My next will deffo be a 42" plasma. Got a 32" at the moment and its just not big enough. I used this site quite a lot www.whathomecinemamag.com has has some good reviews but you have to buy the magazine if you want this months articles. I'm looking to buy next year after HD has had chance to bed in.

From the original article, its amazing how many people I know have the screen as bright as possible and stretch the picture to fit the screen.

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2006, 12:56:34 am »
Anyone know anything about rear projection TVís?  In particular why theyíre so much cheaper than other large TVís?  Or just point me in the right way.

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Offline keithcun

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Re: High Definition TVs
« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2006, 05:43:57 am »
Anyone know anything about rear projection TVís?  In particular why theyíre so much cheaper than other large TVís?  Or just point me in the right way.



The difference with flatscreens ie Plasma and LCD,you are paying for the technology to cram the pictures in such a small thickness of TV,whereas rear projection TV's are huge,although probably not as deep as some CRT's.

If you want some more info on them I'll give you a link to a forum as I don't have much idea on them to be honest.

Try here

http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=165
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