I'm planning on buying an HDTV in the next couple of months. I'm looking for web sites with competent and objective reviews of HDTVs. There are plenty of sites and forums where people extol the virtues of Plasma versus LCD and vice versa as well as yammer about 720p, 720i, 1080p and 1080i. These are interesting but I'm looking for more specific reviews of various HDTV models to help me decide which one to buy.
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Look at Consumer Reports for a basic intro but the models they review are months old (last year's models). There is no one site that is an authority. You need to follow the model intros then look for credible real user feedback in sites like AVS Forum and even Epinions. Read but don't follow company and seller hype. Trust real user feedback for the downside and actual performance.
There are many subclasses in this market and each has a following (e.g. LCD-TV vs. large screen plasma vs. projector).
PS: We are in the middle of a new product intro cycle. There are large improvements in this cycle vs. last year's models for tuners and display performance. Better to buy the new generation in most cases and avoid the bargain closeouts.
I have looked at a number of Sets in several stores. A lot of them do a poor job of showing the various models. One of the most distracting things is huge amounts of interlace lines that are very apparent when there is any motion. Another is what looks like encoding distortion on edges and complex patterns. Some of the stores do such a bad job of displaying HDTVs that they mange to make SD look better!
Originally Posted by SCDVD
a bunch of others out there. ecoustics has a bunch of links to reviews sortable by date, etc.
good luck. 8)
One of the problems with looking at HDTVs in stores is that most stores have the same signal split 10 ways or more going to 10 different sets, or more. One of the best ways of comparing, before HDTV and HD DVD and Blu-Ray, was to bring along your own portable DVD player and connect it to each set to compare the same video on different sets. I don't know if a laptop exists with a video card with the right connections for doing this with Blu-Ray or HD DVD, and even if one did exist, most people don't have one.
So, if you can find a store that will let you bring your own HD DVD or Blu-Ray disk, or use one of theirs, and use their HD DVD or Blu-Ray player to connect to each HDTV individually, you could compare pictures that way. Of course, if you did find such a store, you would probably feel too guilty about inconveniencing them this way, and feel obligated to buy there.
If you have your own stand-alone HD DVD or Blu-Ray player and HDMI cable, and you don't mind dragging it along with you, you might be able to plug it in and compare pictures that way. This too, is a pain in the ass.
I guess you could still do the portable DVD player thing, as long as you don't mind comparing 480i signals on HDTV sets.
In any case, looking at a signal split several ways is probably not optimal for comparing HDTV pictures.
Not to mention they're probably all using poor settings. They're usually all in some kind of 'torch mode' to make 'em look as bright and shiny as possible...I want NBC's Ed on DVD/Blu-ray!