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Buying guide to LCD TV

  1. #1
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    Default Buying guide to LCD TV

    Buying guide to LCD TV


    Planning to buy an LCD TV this festive season. However, not sure how to go about hunting, what to look for? What size, what features and at what price points.

    The wide range and schemes being offered by various electronics makers like Toshiba, LG, Sony, BenQ, Samsung and Panasonic only making task more difficult.

    Worry not, here's a readymade guide to hand hold you through the entire process. Tell you the essentials you need to keep in mind while picking up that LCD.


    Screen Size
    As a buyer, screen size is the first thing you need to decide on. Users generally fancy large size LCDs. The general view is the bigger the LCD, the better. However, ideally one must decide the screen size depending upon the space and distance available. For a proper viewing experience, one must maintain the right distance between viewing area and television screen.

    This is important as a larger display when viewed from closer distance shows grainy or pixelated images. It also causes eye strain.

    The accepted distance for LCD displays is two to five feet for 20-27-inch displays, six to eight feet for 32-37-inch displays, 10-14 feet for 42-46-inch displays and 16 feet for 50-inch display and above.

    Also, LCD scores over CRT models in physical depth. Most are less than 3 inch in depth. Along with size, it is important to check viewing angle. LCD TVs have a good side-to-side view angle, with wide angle ranging from 160 degrees to 80 degrees from the center viewing spot.

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    Space for LCD
    Another important thing to keep in mind while buying an LCD, is the space you have to put up your LCD television.
    Since they are thin, they can be either wall or table mounted. However, wherever you place them make sure they are not near or over a microwave or a heater. As the heat may affect their life and performance.
    Also, make sure that you leave space for ventilation and connection access.

    ************************************************** ********

    Resolution
    Resolution or picture detail defines how finer or sharper the picture quality would be. Better the resolution, sharper the picture quality.

    Average LCD TVs offer a minimum pixel resolution of 1280x720. This should be treated as the minimum pixel count one should go for.

    Some large screen LCD TVs have as high pixel resolution as 1920x1080 , accompanied by obviously a high price tag.

    Like LGís popular Scarlet range which comes in 47 inch to 42 inch range has 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution while the 37 inch and 32 inch models offer 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution.

    ************************************************** ********

    Contrast Ratio
    Another factor to note is the contrast ratio. It determines the degree of variation of the whitest and darkest parts of the image.

    If LCD TV has a low contrast ratio, dark images will look grey and while light images looks washed or blurred. An average contrast ratio to have in an LCD TV is 10,000:1 for 32-inch.

    Toshiba's new range of LCD TVs offer Higher Dynamic Contrast ratio (maximum 30,000:1 in 37-inch LCD). Samsung's latest LCD LA46A650 has a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 50,000:1 in 46-inch.

    LG's Scarlet series also has a Dynamic Ratio of 50,000:1 in all models.

    ************************************************** ********

    Motion Response Time
    In case you are a sports lover or action movie buff, Motion Response Time is a must check. Motion Response Time is the ability of an LCD TV to display fast moving objects.

    This is important as otherwise fast moving scenes like say a speeding car or in a tennis match scene, you may see notice a blur. It is described as fast motion blur.

    So, before you buy, check the specifications for Motion Response Time (ms = milliseconds). On an average, an LCD TV should have a Response Time of either 6 ms, 8ms or 12ms.

    ************************************************** ********

    Connectors
    Check for the connectors offered. If you have a home entertainment equipment, make sure that the LCD TV has all the connections necessary to hook up to your home entertainment systems.

    Also, your LCD TVs can work as a computer screen. So, check for connections for composite, S-video, component video and RGB SCART inputs.

    You may also want to connect your TV to gaming console, HD DVD or Blu-ray player.

    ************************************************** ********

    Price
    LCD TV price depends on the size and features you are looking for. As the features and size go high, so does the price. In some cases, it may depend on the brand. LCD range starts from Rs 20, 000 and can go up to Rs 5,00000.

    Sony's new Bravia series (W,V,S) is priced between Rs 24,990 to 299,900. Panasonicís recently launched LCD TV line-up is priced between Rs 45,000 to Rs 75,000.

    LG's Scarlet series is priced between Rs 57,000 to Rs 1,60,000 depending upon the model variant. Sansui Kyuuten LCD 324H is available for Rs 39,990.
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  2. #2
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Buying guide to LCD TV - Some additional pointers


    Quote Originally Posted by jee.ramesh1983 View Post
    Screen Size
    As a buyer, screen size is the first thing you need to decide on. Users generally fancy large size LCDs. The general view is the bigger the LCD, the better. However, ideally one must decide the screen size depending upon the space and distance available. For a proper viewing experience, one must maintain the right distance between viewing area and television screen.

    This is important as a larger display when viewed from closer distance shows grainy or pixelated images. It also causes eye strain.

    The accepted distance for LCD displays is two to five feet for 20-27-inch displays, six to eight feet for 32-37-inch displays, 10-14 feet for 42-46-inch displays and 16 feet for 50-inch display and above.

    Also, LCD scores over CRT models in physical depth. Most are less than 3 inch in depth. Along with size, it is important to check viewing angle. LCD TVs have a good side-to-side view angle, with wide angle ranging from 160 degrees to 80 degrees from the center viewing spot.
    While this is true, for true HD TV, you can sit as close to as 2 or 3 feet from the TV and feel very little strain. This is because high definition reduces pixelation to such an extent that it is not discernable at all. Classic example, LCD screens/monitors for PC. So even if your viewing distance is only 8 ft., you will not have a problem with a 42" HD-TV.

    ************************************************** ********

    Quote Originally Posted by jee.ramesh1983 View Post
    Resolution
    Resolution or picture detail defines how finer or sharper the picture quality would be. Better the resolution, sharper the picture quality.

    Average LCD TVs offer a minimum pixel resolution of 1280x720. This should be treated as the minimum pixel count one should go for.

    Some large screen LCD TVs have as high pixel resolution as 1920x1080 , accompanied by obviously a high price tag.

    Like LG’s popular Scarlet range which comes in 47 inch to 42 inch range has 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution while the 37 inch and 32 inch models offer 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution.
    If you are going to invest in a costly LCD, then don't hold back. Go for full HD (1920x1080p). If you can't afford one right now, wait. Prices will fall. A year ago, Sony/Samsung/LG 40+" LCD's were at least 15-25% more costly.

    ************************************************** ********

    Quote Originally Posted by jee.ramesh1983 View Post
    Contrast Ratio
    Another factor to note is the contrast ratio. It determines the degree of variation of the whitest and darkest parts of the image.

    If LCD TV has a low contrast ratio, dark images will look grey and while light images looks washed or blurred. An average contrast ratio to have in an LCD TV is 10,000:1 for 32-inch.

    Toshiba's new range of LCD TVs offer Higher Dynamic Contrast ratio (maximum 30,000:1 in 37-inch LCD). Samsung's latest LCD LA46A650 has a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of 50,000:1 in 46-inch.

    LG's Scarlet series also has a Dynamic Ratio of 50,000:1 in all models.
    The actual contrast ratio of LCD is more like 3000:1 (10000:1 is the ratio for Plasma). Dynamic contrast ratio is marketing gimmick. There are no scientific methods to measure it. Also, in the showrooms, LCD TVs are setup with the hightest contrast and maximum brightness and the source is a Blu-Ray disk. When purchasing, ask the salesman to set contrast to 65%, brightness to 40% and source from DTH like TataSky or DishTV. Watch the way you will do at home. Then decide the best TV that you like.

    ************************************************** ********

    Quote Originally Posted by jee.ramesh1983 View Post
    Motion Response Time
    In case you are a sports lover or action movie buff, Motion Response Time is a must check. Motion Response Time is the ability of an LCD TV to display fast moving objects.

    This is important as otherwise fast moving scenes like say a speeding car or in a tennis match scene, you may see notice a blur. It is described as fast motion blur.

    So, before you buy, check the specifications for Motion Response Time (ms = milliseconds). On an average, an LCD TV should have a Response Time of either 6 ms, 8ms or 12ms.
    This is very true. Buy or rent an action DVD like "The Fast and the Furious" or any Arnold S caper. Take it to the shpop and ask the salesman to play that DVD in the action sequences.

    ************************************************** ********

    Quote Originally Posted by jee.ramesh1983 View Post
    Connectors
    Check for the connectors offered. If you have a home entertainment equipment, make sure that the LCD TV has all the connections necessary to hook up to your home entertainment systems.

    Also, your LCD TVs can work as a computer screen. So, check for connections for composite, S-video, component video and RGB SCART inputs.

    You may also want to connect your TV to gaming console, HD DVD or Blu-ray player.
    Check for HDMI inputs.. Only HDMI input can produce true HD (1080p) picture. Check for front, side and rear inputs. Here is the connectors guide:

    RGB composite RCA (Yellow-White-Red): 480i or 480p
    Scart or S-Video: 480i or 480p but video quality is better than composite
    Component Y-Cb-Cr RCA (Red-Blue-Green): 480i,480p, 720i, 720p
    HDMI: 480i,480p, 720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
    DVI: Only some TVs have this. This is same as HDMI but without audio. Useful for computer connection. If not present, use DVI to HDMI cable.

    Of course, if your TV is 720p, even with HDMI it cannot produce 1080p output.

    ************************************************** ********

    Quote Originally Posted by jee.ramesh1983 View Post
    Price
    LCD TV price depends on the size and features you are looking for. As the features and size go high, so does the price. In some cases, it may depend on the brand. LCD range starts from Rs 20, 000 and can go up to Rs 5,00000.

    Sony's new Bravia series (W,V,S) is priced between Rs 24,990 to 299,900. Panasonic’s recently launched LCD TV line-up is priced between Rs 45,000 to Rs 75,000.

    LG's Scarlet series is priced between Rs 57,000 to Rs 1,60,000 depending upon the model variant. Sansui Kyuuten LCD 324H is available for Rs 39,990.
    The Sony X series is the costliest. The difference between the X and V series is that the X series has dual tuner Picture-in-Picture (PIP) and the Bravia engine for picture clarity. If PIP is not important to you, no need to spend on a feature that you don't need.

    I will suggest the following choice (by order):

    1. Sony
    2. Samsung or Panasonic
    3. LG

    It is a pity that Pioneer is not available in India as Pioneer TVs are even better than Sony. Hitachi can also be considered. Ignore everybody else.

    Also remember the LCD panel of Sony and Samsung are made by the same company.
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  3. #3
    Guardian Angel just4kix's Avatar
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    Note: This is a copy of my own post on another thread. Normally I hate duplicates but in this case I though it justifiable to copy my own post in another (more informative and interesting) thread. So please excuse me. If majority feels that this is not justified, I will be happy to delete this post.

    Let us say we have a device (e.g. Blu-Ray player) that can output signals up to 1080p. Such a device will have Composite (Yellow-White-Red) or Normal AV output, component (Y-Cb-Cr) output and HDMI output. Assuming that a Blu-Ray disc is playing on the player. This is what will happen:

    Situation 1: Connected to full HD LCD TV (1080p) via Composite AV cable
    Effect: The true HD (1080p) source signal will be dowscaled to 480p by the player and sent to TV as such. Since the native resolution of the TV is 1080p, the signal will be upconverted to 1080p and displayed. So there is a servere loss of quality even though you are getting HD.

    Analyze this. You clicked a photograph with a 8mp camera. The native picture is 8mp. Using Photoshop or any other software, you created a copy of the photo that is scaled down for display with web pages (e.g., albums on this forum). Now if you blow this photograph to the original size again, you will get severe loss. Same thing will happen here.

    Situation 2: Connected to full HD LCD TV (1080p) via Component cable
    Effect: The true HD (1080p) source signal will be dowscaled to 720p by the player and sent to TV as such. Since the native resolution of the TV is 1080p, the signal will be upconverted to 1080p and displayed. So there is a some loss of quality even though you are getting HD; same as the situation 1 but less pronouced.

    Situation 3: Connected to full HD LCD TV (1080p) via HDMI cable
    Effect: The true HD (1080p) source signal will not downscaled and will displayed as true HD.

    Situation 4: Connected to 720p LCD TV (1080p) via Composite AV cable
    Effect: The true HD (1080p) source signal will be dowscaled to 480p by the player and sent to TV as such. Since the native resolution of the TV is 720p, the signal will be upconverted to 720p and displayed. So there is a some loss of quality even though you are getting HD.

    Situation 5: Connected to 720p LCD TV (1080p) via Component cable
    Effect: The true HD (1080p) source signal will be dowscaled to 720p by the player and sent to TV as such. Since the native resolution of the TV is 720p, the signal displayed as is. Although there is a some loss of quality because of downscaling you will not feel it because you have never experienced true HD on your TV.

    Situation 6: Connected to full HD LCD TV (1080p) via Composite AV cable
    Effect: The true HD (1080p) source signal will not downscaled and will sent as is. But because your TV is 720p, it will downscale it to 720p. But you will not realize any difference. In fact you will find this source better that a 720p source.

    (If you find that my analysis is incorrect, please correct me. If you like my post, repo me )
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  4. #4
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    can you plz update info about backlit, 200Hz motion flow, inbuilt HD turner

    now a dyas you can get contrast ratio upto 2000000:1
    Last edited by kissme; 22nd November 2008 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissme View Post
    can you plz update info about backlit, 200Hz motion flow, inbuilt HD turner

    now a dyas you can get contrast ratio upto 2000000:1
    Motionflow is sony technology. I really dont know what really it is and how true their stats are. A 240Hz TV is insane. So, i dont think its 240Hz, prolly be 120Hz(which still is a lot). For example, PC monitor's with 120Hz refesh rate and size 22" are very costly(Rs 22,000). Thats 2 times more that a normal 22" screen.
    Those contrast ratio's are not true. Their true values will not be more than 1:3000 or 1:5000. I really do not look at those specs as they are just confuse and not of much use.

    Just look at the following imo,
    1)Price- Do not tax your pocket too much. These things will get outdated so dont waste too much money on them.
    2)Have the people at the store play the same signal on all the TVs. Ask them for a Bluray demo. Infact, i saw a full HD movie on a 720p TV and a 1080p tv. They looked ditto same. After a lot of close observation, i realised that the color quality on the sony bravia Z series was best. You have to really look carefully to spot the difference. So, if u cant afford it, you can tell yourself that your not mising much and go ahead even with a cheaper TV. make sure its of a known brand, something like Samsung, LG, Panasonic, etc and they have warrenty. The different features that come with the TV are usually nothing and are gimicks.
    so, first priority is money, then resolution and brand, then the usefullness of the TVs.

  6. #6
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    Question help

    hi... i am not much of a technical guy.. i want to buy a 42" LCD television. my budget is 50,000/- can any of you please suggest me the best buy??

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