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What should I look for in a new TV?

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What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby mad_ady » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:15 am

Hello guys,

I need your help in shopping for a new TV. Last time when I bough a "televisor" they were all CRT, now, in the past 5-6 years I've seen all sorts of gimmicks being sold.

Here are my requirements:
* flat screen, possibly LED
* good picture quality/sound
* DVB-C decoder
* a decent screen size - something nice to watch from maximum 4m away.
* something like ambilight would be nice (is it any good?)

What else should I be looking for in a TV? I plan on using the WDTV as a media player, so I don't really need media player capabilities (I'm not using any paid services like Netflix, so I don't need support for anything else than local media and youtube). I'm not sure if TVs with ethernet are of any use, and also I don't know what to do with 3D.

So, my question is - if you were to shop for a new TV, what would you be looking for? What is important and what is just a gimmick?
Thanks
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby recliq » Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:41 am

* HDMI input ;P
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby mad_ady » Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:32 am

Noted... How many should be a minimum requirement?
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby kroetkroet » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:59 am

Hello my friend,

my suggestions:
- at least 2 hdmi (although that might be optimised if you're working with an amplifier of any kind (in which that device has tons of hdmi input for PS4, xbox, wdtv, and 1 hdmi output for the tele)
- wired ethernet is overshoot for TVs, my wireless experience with samsung is "worst reception ever". If you gonna use the WDTV, you don't need fancy smartTV apps anyway ;-) Although skype on a 46' samsung TV is frightening ;)
- screensize: it's not that bigger is better :D You find tons of resolution/size charts versus sofa sizes, but keep an eye on the content you gonna play back, if it's 720p stuff, your 4K tele investment is kinda "lost". I'm happy with our 46' FullHD panasonic plasma and sitting 2.5m away.
- ambilight: my personal taste is "avoid", but it all depends on your house arrangements: if you got a nice flat wall behind your teevee, painted in a preferable light color, without cupboards and other stuff hanging around the wall: it could work, but if there are picture frames, crosses, flowers or wallpapers with hears, the ambilight light gets "too much attention" and distracts your TV experience. Make sure that IF you get ambilight, that you can set the "strength", I once saw a philips with different mood settings, the lightest was the best. Also if you like watching movies without any light on in the house, it might be frightening too :geek:
- last but not least: technology! 5 years ago, one had to choose between LCD and plasma. We opted for the latter and never regretted it. Today, the choice is still difficult, yet plasma is a goner, but you still need to think LCD/LED/3D/4K/... My final suggestion would be: go to these large malls, where you have these video walls. We picked like 3 television sets from such a wall, after which I turned the service manuals inside out to know all bits and pieces, which lead to the panasonic we bought. If it doesn't "look" good (like ghosting) in the shop, you might miss it when looking in a small shop on the corner with only 5 television sets.

Hope this helps :mrgreen:, I for once liked this shopping experience :twisted:
KK
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby KAD » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:08 am

yeah, this really depends on if you want to future proof or not

although there's not really much available that I would currently consider

HDMI 2.0
but the thing most people forget is that they also need HDCP 2.2

so my wish list would be something like

55 inch or larger
HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 (minimum 2 ports) - not sure if this is actually available, careful here I know there are HDMI 2.0 devices that are not HDCP 2.2 available
4K
LED

in my opinion the rest of the stuff they try to sell you on is just filler, apps, integrated wifi, etc ....
all that's great

but as long as it's got a good set of connections and has great picture quality, that's what matters
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby kroetkroet » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:34 pm

I forgot to mention the WAF factor :lol:

Don't underestimate the power of WAF :twisted:
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby mad_ady » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:40 pm

I had to google this one...
WAF Wife Acceptance Factor (stereos/gadgets)


... but it shouldn't be an issue. The wife is trying to convince me to get a newer TV, although there's nothing wrong with the old one (except the bulkiness).

Thanks for the suggestions on ambilight - so it works best when there's open space around it, right? In my set up I could mount the TV on a wall but it will be encased between shelves with books (both vertical and horizontal), so maybe ambilight won't look good.

I've been looking over the web charts with distance vs screen size and the sizes I need to get are way over what I expected. For viewing from 3.7 m away I would need something between 65"-85" to view the difference between 720p and 1080p. Those are huge ass TVs... I was hoping to get away with something around 37-40". Maybe I'm reading the chart wrong... I don't want to be able to see the difference between 720p and 1080p because I mostly watch low quality content (mostly 480p), so I'd like it to look as sharp as possible (which was natively possible on my trusty old CRT) :)

Also, I don't want to spend a lot of it, while at the same time futureproofing the choice (because I'm cheap and I don't like throwing away something even when it's broken :P). I'm mostly worried about this scenario: http://www.shitmykidsruined.com/2011/10/04/shattered-dreams/, but I doubt they make rugged designs.

I'm not sure about chosing from how it looks in a store. I read an article a while ago that chosing from a store can be tricky because of poor lighting and the effect you get when stacking multiple tvs together. I think I will decide on the specs and then go and see it in person (or a review on yt)...

So, regarding Smart TVs - I should stay away, right? I guess, I can always plug in a USB/HDMI android stick and turn it into a smart TV...
Regarding 3D/4K - I have the following questions:
* are there 3D movie releases on the less-than-legal internet? If yes, can more than one person view it? In terms of experience is it about the same as you would get at the cinema (with 3D glasses), or is it a far cry from it? So far I've seem 2 3D movies at the cinema and except for Gravity, I was unimpressed... What are the odds that in 10 years most content (videos/games) will be 3D?
* 4K sounds great for a desktop experience when viewed up close. Are there any reasons to invest in it? I mean, to get a video torrent of 1080p you'd have to search a lot. You mostly get CAM quality these days - is it really worth it to use for video?

What about gaming? What would I want in a TV if it was used also for games (as console/tablet output)?

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby recliq » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:25 am

mad_ady wrote:I had to google this one...
WAF Wife Acceptance Factor (stereos/gadgets)


...it even has been in the WDLXTV Dictionary for years:
http://wiki.wdlxtv.com/WDLXTV_Dictionary
:mrgreen:
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby kroetkroet » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:49 am

Good one Recliq :) I remember even adding the WAFWAF - I already was a pain in the @ss back then :mrgreen:

Regarding your add'l remarks Mad_ady:

- "good" 1080p >2GB versions are "easy" to spot in torrent land, however the downside is you're up for a moment of download time, I'm currently in series-mood, and then it's bit easier (and "smaller") 8-)
- 3D: IF you'd go for such technology, bear in mind you have two categories: the ones with active glasses, and the ones without. Many people on the internetz are shouting good stuff on both types, but I, as a permanent n3rdy glass wearer, I can't stand any of these types. Headache after the first minute. So please do me a favor: if opting for 3D, let the shop provide you with popcorn, put the wife and kid in the testing seats, and keep your Dafalgan at hand :lol: Also keep in mind that you are required to have a 3D playback device of any sort, and if I remember correctly, wd tv doesn't do it.
- ambilight & closets: I personally think it would be a no-go, it'll casts shadows, so preferably "without" is better.
- 480p content: just a wild idea (and making your setup "kidsproof" lol): when I graduated, budget for television was limited, so what I did, I looked at (professional) second hand beamers, found one decent "infocus" beamer for 350€ (which originally costed 750€). My reasoning was: in a beamer, the expensive part is the lamp, "in theory" it should have lasted 1.000 burning hours, a new lamp would have costed me 180€, but the lamp lasted over 5 (!!!) years, then the lamp blew up but damaged the interior. My (worst case) business case with 350€+180€ for 2-3 years came down to a mere 350€ for 5 years, not bad at all. For the installation, I had an armory at the opposite wall, the beamer went upside down (with swapped image) and the projected display was +3 meters in diameter. How many movies we watched with the friends in the sofa: uncountable. This, in combination with 5.1 surround, we were living the mancave dream :lol: Coming back to 480p: fullHD beamers are expensive, but the "old" generation could be a fit for you? And as long as kiddo can't climb cupboards, your beamer is safe :-) The only investment might be projection screen (but my wall was smooth & painted lightly grey), so you could optimize there too.
- video wall setups in shops: indeed, you have to look behind the screens: if they don't use proper hardware (eg for video splitting), what-you-see-is-not-what-you-get (WYSINWYG) at home. But were I live, shops try to sell stuff, so they don't cheat (often) :lol:

Hope it helps :mrgreen:
KK
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Re: What should I look for in a new TV?   

Postby KAD » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:10 am

HDMI 2.0 enables 4K up to 60hz , definetely makes sense on a PC monitor

on a TV 4K is iffy, depends on who you talk to.
in general 4K if thought to be a waste on a TV

although I've heard 4K does improve some 3D situations on TV's
it apparently depends on which 3D tech was used
I haven't followed 3D to closely, headaches here as well, so no 3D capable devices in my house
so I can't remember which 3D tech it was that actually benefited from 4K

WD SMP and Gen4 is capable of playing some 3D content, but again, never really paid much attention
you know who would know that stuff really well is JoeySmyth, he was my main beta tester for Gen4 device

as for getting 3D content, there is some out there
just not nearly as much compared to 2D

as for other 3D content, maybe somebody else can comment, but I think viewing distance, how many people can view, etc ...
depends on the tech used, and the specific TV

the biggest disruption I see in all of this is still the hdcp 2.2, it's not backwards compatible
and if I understand it correctly, putting a hdcp 2.2 device in the chain will require all other devices in the chain to also be hdcp 2.2

player with hdcp 2.2 - receiver with hdcp 2.2 - tv with hdcp 2.2 = ok
player with hdcp 2.2 - tv no hdcp 2.2 = no picture
player with hdcp 2.2 - receiver no hdcp 2.2 - tv with hdcp 2.2 = no picture
player no hdcp 2.2 - receiver with hdcp 2.2 - tv no hdcp 2.2 = no picture
etc ...

but hdcp 2.2 is also new enough, that very few devices out there have it
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