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HDTV

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Postby TAsunder » Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:12 pm

I wonder how much power the HD-DVD player I got for $85 is using? It takes a minute just to be ready after powering on... I'm hoping that means it has to go slowly due to low power consumption and not that it is using half of madison's power grid for some unknown purpose. Time to get a kill-a-watt I guess.
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Postby Ted » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:45 pm

I doubt it's using substantially more than other devices like a DVD player, VCR, stereo, etc. If you add up all your stuff that's left on, it's probably substantial though. Even when stuff is off they draw a little bit, which is called vampire power....

For a simple test, just lay your hand on top of the unit. Is it cool? Than it's not using much. Warm? moderate amount (maybe 50 watts?) Hot? then maybe 100 watts+
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Postby MadMind » Tue May 20, 2008 12:16 pm

4 reasons to buy a high-def TV now
Ahhh, now if I only had that sort of money to spare...
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Re: HDTV

Postby MadMind » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:45 am

What does everyone think of the Westinghouse brand of HDTV's?
My Uncle purchased a 42" 1080p LCD refurb off of ecost and I was pretty impressed with it.
As far as I've heard Westinghouse offers some of the least expensive HDTV's on the market, though I've also read that they skip out on some of the features that higher-priced HDTV's have (although I'm not privy as to what they are).
The friend that tipped him off on ecost did have a HDTV refurb delivered that didn't work correctly, though he didn't experience any difficulty returning it.

Right now on ecost they have a 47" 1080p Westinghouse HDTV (refurb) for only $796. Now as far as I know, that's about as cheap as you can get!
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Re: HDTV

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:12 am

There is lots of lively opinion about consumer electronics on the boards at avsforum.com.
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Re: HDTV

Postby Bwis53 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:29 am

Suppose I wanted to buy an HDTV and be able to record the same way I record with my VCR? HDTV with recordable? I'm not sure what to look for.
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Re: HDTV

Postby Shipley » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:27 am

Bwis53 wrote:Suppose I wanted to buy an HDTV and be able to record the same way I record with my VCR? HDTV with recordable? I'm not sure what to look for.



You need an HD DVR, which you can buy standalone as a Tivo, or get one through a cable or dish provider. your old tapes held 6 hours max, these bad boys hold 30-50 hours depending on the model. if you want to make a permanent back up of anything you recorded, look into blu ray burners.

MadMind wrote:Right now on ecost they have a 47" 1080p Westinghouse HDTV (refurb) for only $796. Now as far as I know, that's about as cheap as you can get!


That is quite cheap, the only spec I'm concerned with is the contrast ratio. 5000:1 isn't bottom of the barrel, but you could probably get 10000+ for only a couple hundred more on a 42"

Not that you'll get a bad picture now, that contrast ratio minimalizes ghosting and makes the darks darker and the brights brighter. for gaming, i find this essential.
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Re: HDTV

Postby Bwis53 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:34 pm

I still like the flexibility of my VCR.
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Re: HDTV

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:07 pm

DVRs are wondrous. I haven't looked back.
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Re: HDTV

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:10 pm

Yeah can;t live without the DVR. You might want to consider a 720p Plasma. There is very little 1080p content out there. Some PS3 Games not all. Some Blu Rays not all. The cable box doesnt do it neither does your xbox 360. A 50" 720P plasma from say a good company like Sony or Panasonic would be a pretty cost vs. real estate smart move. We bought a 1080P DLP. I like it and the price was good but kind of wish we had gone with a panasonic plasma.
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Re: HDTV

Postby Shipley » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:30 pm

Bwis53 wrote:I still like the flexibility of my VCR.



What felxibility? recording to analog tapes that you can put on a shelf and search for when you want to watch something? Have you ever used a DVR? Its as simple as playing music from your computer. choose the show, and watch, thats it!

fisticuffs wrote:Yeah can;t live without the DVR. You might want to consider a 720p Plasma. There is very little 1080p content out there. Some PS3 Games not all. Some Blu Rays not all. The cable box doesnt do it neither does your xbox 360.


False. 1080P support was added in the 360 dashboard almost 2 years ago. You'll need to use an HDMI cable or a VGA out, but it is available.
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Re: HDTV

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:33 pm

Hate to go back and forth with you here Ship but specs indicate it does 720p and 1080i which are pretty much the same. Also not one 1080 game out there. Maybe they added support but it certainly doesnt output from the disc drive. Maybe if you were a sucker and bought the external HD DVD drive for it. whats up with that anyways?
http://hardware.teamxbox.com/articles/x ... cations/p1
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Re: HDTV

Postby fisticuffs » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:34 pm

And of course I link to something from 2005. Damn you Shipley!
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Re: HDTV

Postby MadMind » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:42 am

Shipley wrote:
MadMind wrote:Right now on ecost they have a 47" 1080p Westinghouse HDTV (refurb) for only $796. Now as far as I know, that's about as cheap as you can get!


That is quite cheap, the only spec I'm concerned with is the contrast ratio. 5000:1 isn't bottom of the barrel, but you could probably get 10000+ for only a couple hundred more on a 42"

Not that you'll get a bad picture now, that contrast ratio minimalizes ghosting and makes the darks darker and the brights brighter. for gaming, i find this essential.

Thanks for the input Shipley. Are you saying that it's the size which is compromising the contrast ratio, or because it's lower end?
What sort of contrast ratio should I be looking for?
Would you suggest not going any larger than a 42" for gaming?
Here's a 42" 1080p LCD Westinghouse for only $629, yet it only has a contrast ratio of 1000:1.
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Re: HDTV

Postby Beer Moon » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:34 pm

VCRs are crap. Aside from the horrific quality compared to digital, they don't know when shows stop or start. They can't record more than one show at a time, and you can't skip from one show to the next - or back and forth between a recorded show and a live show. You also can't quickly navigate to a specific point in a show with a VCR - you have to wait for the tape. Tapes also decline in quality with use, and hard drives provide the same quality until they die. There really isn't any comparison. My DVR records over 100 hours of HD content, or it can hold about 900 hours of SD content, and I never have to touch it. Also - with DirecTV I can schedule shows to record from the internet (TiVo and others allow this too) - forget to set your VCR? Have fun driving home.

On to HDTVs...

Contrast ratio tells you the same thing the salesman will tell you - a bunch of bullshit that amounts to almost no valid information.

Measurement of contrast ratios differs between manufacturers - so it is not possible to tell the difference between manufacturers. It's essentially useless. You MIGHT be able to see how a specific model has improved over time - but you can bet each manufacturer "improves" its measurement of contrast as the years go by - probably as much as or more than they actually improve the technology intended to actually change the contrast. Quite frankly, if you don't plan to have your HDTV professionally calibrated - then the contrast ratio listed on the spec sheet is utterly useless.

At any rate - it's actually a lot simpler than that. If you want the best blacks (and therefore the best detectable contrast), you get plasma and that's that. Of course, most people will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between plasma and LCD anyway, but the nature of plasma (works like a CRT) means it can reproduce blacks much more accurately than any LCD or rear-projection can.

I would recommend you go look at the TVs in the stores - just one major caveat there - the out-of-box settings for TVs are calibrated to make the TV "pop" in the store - which means the white levels and colors are pretty much jacked up as high as they'll possibly go in order to compete visually with the other TVs they are shown next to. Once properly calibrated, any HDTV worth its salt is going to look pretty damn good.

The fact is, HD is HD to a certain degree. The most important criteria that I had were MOSTLY the same as I had for non-HD:

#1 - Price vs. display size - to me, bigger is better. I base my needs on visual acuity - you can get 1080p - but can you see it? On a 42" TV - based on visual acuity - you start losing the ability to see the extra definition 1080 offers after only 5.5 feet back. Nobody sits that close to a 42". Luckily - you can see detail in 720 back to almost 15 feet.
#2 - Connections - I have since added an AVR to handle video switching - but before that, I looked for enough HDMI connections on the TV to handle my devices (console, DirecTV DVR, and DVD player).
#3 - Longevity - is this thing going to die over time - what kind of warranty does it have? Is it by a well-known manufacturer? Are the parts that wear out cheap or easy to replace?
#4 - HD quality/technology. I wanted 1080p because - contrary to what another user posted - there is a TON of 1080p material out there. Blu-Ray (I have HD-DVDs) - and now both satellite services Dish and DirecTV are offering on-demand movies in 1080p. Now more than when I purchased - TVs can usually "upconvert" material to their native resolution for you. Some do it better than others. Having a quality scaler chip or a TV known to upscale well can be well worth it - given the amount of SD material still out there.
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