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Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

All consumer TV models have Smart Features now, and in most cases it is the actual UI. Get used to it.
A/V cables? - MONOPRICE. Note: HDMI 2.1 requires cables with a 48gbps spec.
Lowest input lag for VIDEO GAMES? - Display Lag or Rtings.
Value-for-money? - Hisense ULED 8/9 series, TCL 6/8 series Vizio OLED/M(7)/P series, Black Friday/Boxing Day deals for Sony (9 series).
MORE INCHES PER DOLLAR? - TCL 4/5 series, Hisense 7/8 series ULED, LG stuff, models on clearance.
Money is no object?: Sony/LG OLED, Samsung 8K, Vizio P-Series Quantum X, Sony 950H, TCL 8 Series.
How do I calibrate the harlequin-rear end colour balance of my TV? - Check Rtings, CNET, and AVForums for general settings, and/or DIY with test patterns on Youtube. (See the Second Post).
Up to date as of June 2020.

HDTVs, the big-rear end screens for your gaming, streaming, and yes, even cable, satellite, and broadcast television viewing needs!

A true visionary:

Televisions have come a long way since their invention (utilizing a glass cathode ray tube) around a century ago. Hell, they've come a long way in the last ten years alone. CRTs? DEAD. Rear Projection? DEAD. DLP? DEAD. Plasma? DEAD. CCFL backed LCD? DEAD. 3DTVs? You better believe it’s DEAD. SCART video? S-Video? Component video!? DEAD. DEAD. DEAD. Projectors? Still alive, and NOT MY DEPARTMENT. It’s been seven years since I updated this OP, and the technology for TV displays is still changing. The once-new poo poo is now the cheap poo poo. Colours, contrast, and input lag has, in general, improved across the board. The competition’s race to the bottom has driven down prices; where a 50”, 1080p television used to be a $1000 or more, now you can get a 65", 2160p (“4K”) unit for USD $500 or less, and while it won’t be great, it will be fine. What are all these abbreviations, you may be asking? LCD, LED, OLED, ULED, QLED, mini/μLED? The gently caress? IPS, S-IPS, PLS, VA, SVA? What is pixel response time vs. input lag? What are the good brands? How can you have a “dirty screen” when it’s brand new? And HDMI has version numbers?

Well, this OP and the posters of SA will help to answer those questions and more.

The Technology: Flat Panel Displays

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is the panel type used. LED (Light-Emitting Diode) is the backlighting solution that replaced CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lightbulbs), used to shine light through and illuminate the panel. The pixels in an LCD display do not emit their own light, and need a separate light source. This places a limit on the darkest a scene can become as you need some light for the rest of the image. There are multiple LCD panel designs and backlighting solutions, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Quantum Dot, i.e., QLED, “SUHD™” (Samsung - deprecated), “ULED™” (Hisense), “NanoCell™” (LG), etc. displays are a new type of colour filter layer placed overtop the LCD layer, providing both more colours and even better accuracy, while blocking less light to illuminate the image. A blue LED backlight shines through the filter to also create red and green with little to no interference with each other. In combination with IPS and VA panels, this is the current state of the art in LCDs with respect to colour.

The Panels:
IPS/S-IPS - In-Plane Switching/Super In-Plane Switching - LG-made panels. Great colour accuracy, better contrast than TN, Pixel response times good enough for 60/120Hz, widest viewing angles for an LCD panel, worst black levels. Good for lit rooms.
Note: LG is one of the largest LCD panel manufacturers in the world, you can find their panels in many other television brands at all price levels.
PLS - Plane-to-Line-Switching - Technically different from an IPS panel, but still similar in performance characteristics. The Sony X800H is an example.
VA/SVA - Vertical/Super Vertical Alignment - Great colour accuracy, best-in-class contrast ratios and black levels, worst-in-class pixel response times (can appear as a “smearing” effect noticeable in FPS games), and viewing angles. VA panels are made by a different manufacturers, with Samsung owning the SVA trademark; a variation that has improved viewing angles at the cost of a reduced native contrast ratio.
Note: Samsung is ending their VA/SVA LCD panel production at the end of fiscal year 2020.

The Backlighting:
Backlit - One big LED panel. The dark areas will never really be truly dark. The bargain bin option. This will be less noticeable if the TV is mostly used in a well lit room.
Edge Lit - The edges of the screen have an LED array. This is the budget to mid-range option. Improved contrast (in general) over backlit. Edge Lit Arrays can be segmented to allow a more dynamic manipulation of the brightness.
Full Array Local Dimming - A grid of LED panels behind the LCD screen which independently illuminate their zone for an increase in “effective” contrast based on the image displayed. Can range from dozens of panels to thousands. More panels reduce the size of the “bloom” (unintended light bleed) effect of lighting an area surrounded by a dark one.
MicroLED - This is the new poo poo as of 2019/2020: Every pixel has its own microscopic LED light, allowing for a theoretical black level of zero/infinite. Full Array on steroids. A version incorporating quantum dot colour filtering (“QD-LED”) is in the early stages as of 2020.

The most accurate colours, the widest colour gamut, the deepest blacks, the fastest response times, the thinnest chassis designs, the highest prices, the… worst image burn-in? Yeah, the potential exists. The compounds used to emit coloured light via current are organic, and decay over time. Televisions which repeatedly display the same colours and/or brightness levels in isolated areas can, over time, show a noticeable difference when a uniform colour is displayed onscreen over the affected area. However, if you use all the mitigation strategies included in your panel's settings, keep the brightness down a little, and reasonably vary your media use, you'll get many years out of it. While Quantum Dot LCD displays can exceed the brightness, have the biggest screen sizes, and won’t suffer any form of image degradation, OLED just whips rear end everywhere else.

As a result of the industry’s chase to produce the thinnest display possible, the built-in audio solution for flat panel televisions is, to put it politely, loving crap. You’re talking 5-20 watt (40 watts on select high end models) single-driver downward/rearward firing speakers. With no room for a resonance chamber, or woofer, bass is non-existent, mids are typically muted, and highs distort very easily at volume. You will want a separate audio solution.

Smart TV Features
Once rare, all displays have this now, as streaming media via app continues its market growth unabated. The various solutions include but may not be limited to: Roku, Android TV, Apple TV, or a proprietary solution (e.g., Tizen). Manufacturers may or may not have advertising, voice activation, Wii-like motion controls, and who knows what other bullshit in the UI. This can differ even between the model lines of a single manufacturer, and even between updates on a single model. This poo poo is very much Subject To Change.
Note: Hisense has announced both Roku and Android TV SKUs as of CES 2020.
Note 2: Android TV has separate image settings for each input and each app. In addition, some apps only show their HDR settings when HDR content is being played, otherwise it defaults to SDR (e.g., Amazon Prime).

Glossary of Terms

Standard Definition - 480i (NTSC) or 576i (PAL) interlaced horizontal lines of resolution in CRT displays, it now means 480p (progressive) horizontal lines.

High Definition - Anything above that ^, and as of ~2019, anything above 720p, too.

SDR - Standard Dynamic Range. An industry standard for luminance and colour range in media content that can be calibrated for.

HDR - High Dynamic Range. A very loose set of standards for luminosity and colour gamut that’s followed by the industry about as closely as the Pirate’s Code is in the Johnny Depp films.
- HDR10: mastered at 4000 nits, targeting 1000 nit displays, 10-bit Rec.2020 colourspace. If your display can't reach the nit level the media was mastered for (e.g., 1000nits on a 500nit display), highlights above that level will be clipped white.
- Dolby Vision: Mastered at 4k-10k nits, targeting 4k nits, 12-bit Rec.2020 colourspace. Supported content dynamically adjusts its brightness data scene-by-scene to avoid clipping (by talking to your display), and also supports HDR10. It requires a license, so it will be less supported on displays. Most feature films are currently mastered in Dolby Vision.
- HDR10+: Samsung and Amazon version of the Dolby Vision system.
- Advanced HDR by Technicolor: LG & Technicolor version of the Dolby Vision system.
- "HDR Ready": marketing bullshit that means the display will not meet the level of brightness required by the media being played. It may be better than SDR, but will depend on the display in question.
Note: All current consumer television displays are technically incapable of meeting these specifications, as they have anywhere from 300-2000 nits of brightness, and the best only just meet the P3 colourspace (approx. 65-80% of Rec.2020).

Refresh Rate - How many times the display draws an image per second, to give the illusion of continuous motion, measured in Hertz. The industry standards are currently 60Hz or 120Hz. 120Hz evenly divides into 24, 30, 60, and 120, allowing the display of all forms of video content without noticeable “judder” (unevenly repeated frames) during panning shots. 60Hz displays with HDMI 2.0 support the ability to lower to 48Hz, allowing for smooth playback of cinema content.

4:3 - This was the aspect ratio of the vast majority of CRT television displays and the earliest LCD panels.

16:9 - This is the aspect ratio of modern flat panel displays, also known as “Widescreen”

720p - 1280x720 - Once called “HD”, it isn’t considered as such anymore (if Youtube’s image quality settings are any indication). Might still be found on budget screen sizes of 32 inches or less.

1080p - 1920x1080 - Once called “True HD” this is now called “Full HD”. This is a budget resolution and has mostly been phased out by “4K”

4K/4K UHD - 3840x2160 - Ultra High Definition. Four times the pixel density of 1080p, with a data rate to match, if you’re streaming. The current mainstream television resolution sold today, even if the majority of media still doesn’t display it natively. Gotta love marketing.

8K - 7680 × 4320 - See: 4K. While RED Cameras and others can record at this resolution, drat near nothing plays at it natively. When people talk about “Halo products” they mean these.
Note: If you plan on buying a television 75" or larger and for whatever reason don't want to use a projector, this is the resolution to shoot for; maintaining a higher pixel density for upscaled 1080p and 4K content.

HDMI - High Definition Multi-Media Interface. This is a combination (surround) audio and video cable. Versions 1-1.4b Support 1080p60fps and 4K30. HDMI 2.0 supports 4k60 to 1440@120 and E-ARC, HDR, and limited VRR. 2.1 supports 4K120, E-ARC, ALLM, VRR, and 8K60 If I recall correctly.

ARC (HDMI 1-1.4)/E-ARC (HDMI 2/2.1) - Audio/Enhanced Audio Return Channel. This is the HDMI port you connect to your audio solution (typically a soundbar), using your TV as the host for all your media electronics (console, Blu-Ray player, etc.):

ARC does not support Dolby Atmos, or lossless/uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 surround codecs. E-ARC does. Lip-synch correction is also mandatory with E-ARC instead of optional. The other option is plugging all your devices into an Audio/Video receiver, then plugging that into the television, with the receiver handling all audio duties and passing through the video signal from the source to the television.

ALLM - Auto Low-Latency Mode. A gaming feature which automatically detects a gaming console (PCs too? idk), and improves input latency times by speeding up image processing on its end.

VRR - Variable Refresh Rate. rather than operating at a fixed refresh rate, the display can match the uncapped framerate of a video game being played through the Freesync or G-Sync .APIs, up to the native maximum of the display.

Response Time - Pixel Response Time, generally defined by how fast a pixel can move from one unit grey to the next (GTG). Some manufacturers measure based on white-black-white or vice-versa. This is not a standardized or regulated measurement. Some displays may need to be set to a PC/Gaming/etc. mode to activate a faster response time. The longer a pixel takes to change, the more evident "ghosting" or smearing will become with fast moving objects/sudden panning. Most noticeable in FPS video games. OLED is currently unbeatable in this category.

Input Lag - Input Latency. Not to be confused with response time, this is how quickly a display can take an image frame from a source, process it, and display that frame onscreen. For example, if you hit the jump button on your controller in a game, that signal is sent to the console, which renders an image of you starting to jump, whereby it sends that frame to the television so you can see it happening after the television processes the signal. The faster it can do this, the better. While the human eye generally won’t notice a delay between input and display up to 50 milliseconds, most people are capable of timing button presses (independent of visual feedback) as low as 10. Above 50ms, and it can very quickly start to feel like you are playing drunk, and motion sickness may result.

Soap Opera Effect - A.k.a., Motion Interpolation. Known by many trademarked names, it is a post-processing effect whereby the display inserts new image frames between the originals, effectively doubling/quadrupling the original framerate and leading to smoother motion overall. When film (24fps) or most standard television shows (30fps) are doubled this way, the effect can be off-putting, looking like the 60fps video shot by cheap digital cameras in soap opera programs. In addition, film played at “48”fps doesn’t divide evenly into either a 60Hz or 120Hz panel, and “judder” may become evident.
Note: If you have a 120Hz panel, using this feature for video games locked to 30fps or under (as is common on the Nintendo Switch) will look like 60fps without appreciably affecting input latency.

Crushed Blacks - A.k.a., Black Crush. A tendency of some manufacturers to kill luminance and/or colours when the brightness is lower than 5%, to make the black levels look better/deeper, when it should in fact be showing something, like the dimmer stars in a night sky scene.
Note: Depending on the content, this may be a style choice by the director, or a technological limitation (example: BBC Earth's "Madagascar" documentary).

Clipping - An unintended effect where, when trying to display a scene with a highlight or bright area, the display is incapable of meeting the luminance level required, and everything in the highlight zone is rendered white. Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor are all designed to avoid this by talking to your display in order to dynamically adjust the maximum luminance of each scene.

Colour Banding - Televisions can’t display perfectly smooth colour gradients. There can be noticeable gaps/bands along the colour and/or grayscale spectrums. The human eye is capable of viewing a range of colours and shades far, far in excess of any industry colour standard currently in use today, and displays lack the processing power or data bandwidth to display that many, even if the panel itself can.

Dirty Screen Effect - Panels aren’t made perfectly uniform, and there may be noticeable discolouration in scenes where large uniform patches of colour (sports, video games, etc.) are displayed. This also includes vignetting (darkening in the corners).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:) How do I calibrate my TV's picture settings?
A:) Settings on the internet/Youtube, buy a colorimeter, or see the second post below.

Q:) What is a good peak brightness for sunlit rooms/direct sunlight?
A:) Not really an issue anymore

Q:) Where do I buy cheap A/V cables?
A:) It's at the top of the page .

Q:) What TV is the best?
A:) The best TV is one that most fits your intended viewing space, limited only by how much you're willing to spend. If money is no object, it’s OLED, as big as you can get it. MicroLED/QD-LED could also be contenders when they hit mass production. Second is Quantum Dot LED, followed by standard LED displays. Value-for-money-spent segment: OLED - LG B9, Sony A8G, QLED - Vizio M/P-Series Quantum, or Hisense H9F/H9G, LED - TCL 615/617.

Q:) What brands are the best?
A:) As of 2020, these are the hot poo poo: Samsung (QLED), LG (OLED), Hisense (QLED), Sony (OLED, QLED), TCL (LED, QLED)- European models may be missing features, Vizio (QLED)

Q:) What brands should I avoid?
A:) Everything else. If you just want stupidly big for stupidly cheap, Hisense, TCL, and LG got you covered, and include all major smart TV platforms.

Q:) What TV is the best for __?
Literally everything on this list except longevity and price - LG C9/E9, and Sony A8G/9G OLED.
Sports - A display with a refresh rate of 120Hz or decent motion interpolation, good screen uniformity (due to large patches of uniform colour, like a field/rink), and vivid colours.
Movies - A 120Hz display with accurate colours, little to no black crush/clipping, a high native contrast ratio with deep, uniform blacks, and a high density full array backlight with a good processing algorithm.
Video games - A display with input latency of 16.6ms or less, the fastest response time possible, HDMI 2.1 for 1440p support, ALLM and VRR.
Contrast - Quantum Dot displays with really good (and bright) full array local dimming. You will definitely need to check reviews on this.
Colour accuracy out of the box - LG, generally.

Q:) I use a 32” Apple Pro Display XDR, and...
A:) Ooh, with or without the USD $999 stand?

Q:) Where else can I go to get answers to my questions?
A:) The internet.

Q:) Should I get the extended/in-store warranty?


FilthyImp posted:

You get 1 year CostCo warranty after the manufacturer's warranty period. If you use the Costco Visa you get an additional year out of it. Then Squaretrade kicks in.
5-7 years is a pretty good deal.
Note: Burn-in coverage (for OLED panels) is not included, and is a separate expense.

Red Warrior posted:

The Geek Squad protection is generally considered the best out there, and although you aren't concerned about burn-in, is the only one that does specifically cover that, and anecdotally seems to be the easiest to deal with. Squaretrade if you get if for cheap/free is better than nothing but lots of stories of people being asked to settle for way worse TVs as replacements or really having to fight to get repairs or compensation otherwise. For what it's worth LG's own support is supposedly very good and has extended to one time out of warranty replacements but YMMV, don't necessarily expect that, etc.

Q:) What am I going to put my TV on?
A:) Try here: And there's always Amazon, Ikea, Wal-Mart, etc.

Q:) Where can I go for reviews?
A:) Rtings, CNET TV Reviews, Flat Panels HD, Quantum OLED Displays, The Tech Giant (UK), Telly Dan (UK), Digital Fernsehen (Germany).

Q:) How do I view my torrented files?
A:) Plex Server or USB key. Televisions support a pretty wide variety of codecs natively.

Q:) Why do my TV's speakers sound like poo poo?
A:) Because they are poo poo. Between 2-20 Watts, downward/rearward firing, and the cheapest that can be mass-produced in their thousands. It wouldn't surprise me if companies have been buying the same speakers since 2003. Mid and upper-range soundbars are good now. Hell, after Samsung bought Harman Kardon they improved their entire lineup across the board (Sound+/Q series). Or get an amp and a pair of speakers from a thrift shop. Guarantee you they'll be better.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 12:52 on Feb 7, 2021


Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Calibrating Your Television Set By Eye

1.) First, you need a Test pattern to calibrate your Brightness, Contrast, Colour, and Tint, in that order.
2.) Drop Colour to 0 (monochrome), and raise or lower Brightness until there is only one narrow grey bar near the bottom right (There are two more to its left, and they should not be visible).
3.) Max out Contrast, then do the same thing as 2.
4.) Check the TV's Calibration Settings for an RGB/Blue Only Mode, and set it to Blue. Raise Colour back up the scale until the outer bars match the smaller bar beneath them as closely as possible Note: you may only be able to see one of the outer bars due to the menu.
5.) Raise or lower Tint, doing for the inner bars what you did for the outer bars: making them match the smaller one beneath.
6.) Turn off RGB/Blue only mode. You are now done.
Settings that can affect your calibration: Colour Temperature, Active Contrast, Local Dimming, Gamma, and Colour Space (maybe). If you have a colorimeter, going through the colour tuner to adjust Hue, Saturation, and Brightness for each individually will help you fine tune your results.
Note: Youtube has their own luminance adjusting, so you may still need to futz with your Brightness or Contrast when watching actual content, so nothing is blown out.

Design Flaws

lovely speakers - They all have this. That being said, your TV's speakers should be properly shielded, without an audible hiss from EM or radio interference.
Cracked screen - Typically a shipping accident. This may or may not be more common in display sizes in excess of 55". Check every corner, and always follow setup instructions.
Dead pixels/pixels stuck at one colour - Panels should not have these, and if they do out-of-the-box, the unit should be returned or exchanged. Same with entire lines or areas.
Dirty screen effect - If this is noticeable as uneven patches/streaks even during normal viewing, you should try exchanging the unit for another. While it can be reduced, panel manufacturing cannot yield perfect screen uniformity at this time.
Screen flicker - If it's flickering like a lovely fluorescent bulb at less than 60Hz, something is wrong with the backlight.
Note: The backlight of televisions can refresh at a rate independent of image framerate as a way to control overall brightness (Pulse-Width Modulation or PWM) and some people can be sensitive to it, experiencing headaches/nausea at lower frequencies.
UI issues - Including, but not limited to: forgetting image settings, soft-locking in the television settings/smart TV menus, freezing/stuttering/buffering of streaming video independent of network strength, App cache space filling up and negatively impacting smart TV menu performance, graphical errors such as miscoloured squares or artifacting, and a lovely processor that drops frames and thus doesn't register input commands from the remote.
Audio desynchronization - in HDMI 1-1.4x, Automatic Lip-synch Correction is optional, and you may need to adjust the sound delay on either your TV, AV Receiver, or speaker bar. With HDMI 2.0/2.1, Lip-Synch Correction is mandatory, and it may be worthwhile to upgrade your audio solution.

- I'll add others as I remember them.

Marketing Bullshit

Response Time - measured in milliseconds. Not standardized or regulated. has a fixed standard, but their TV selection is limited (darn Canadians! ). 2, 4, 5, don’t trust any of it.
Contrast Ratios - Not standardized or regulated. the ratio between the luminance of the brightest white and the darkest black that a TV can produce, it is vastly exaggerated by manufacturers. Display technologies like OLED where each pixel emits its own light has an infinite contrast ratio (can’t divide by zero). LCDs, at least by the standard uses, are in the tens of thousands at best, not the “millions to one!!!” claimed by OEMs.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 17:29 on Dec 31, 2020

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Fixed it. Thanks.

Something must be wrong with my 360.
If I use my VGA cable, I can watch DVDs, Netflix and Zune (Yes I rented one. Canada sucks for apps) video fine on my monitor. But if I use any of my 3 HDMI cables (1.3, 2x 1.4), all I get are HDCP errors from both the monitor and my TV. Plays games fine, but anything else is hosed using HDMI. Switched cables around, and all that. poo poo, I even formatted the drive and downloaded my profile again.
I'd use the VGA cable on my TV, but alas, it's too new.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 11:38 on Dec 20, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Kloaked00 posted:

So I'm finalizing which TV I'm going to get myself for Christmas, and I think I'm going to go with a 50" Samsung UN__EH. Using the TV mainly for normal watching, video games and Bluray movies in a moderately bright room Looking between then EH5000 and EH6000 models, they're $100 apart and as far as I can tell the only difference between the two is that the EH5000 has a contrast ration of 3.5 million:1 while the EH6000 has one of 5 million:1. Is there something else that I'm missing between the two, and is that difference something I'd necessarily notice?

If you're going to make significant use of Blu-Ray, I'd recommend the 6000, for it's 120Hz refresh rate.
Motion will be noticeably smoother with film content (and sports) compared to a 60Hz tv/monitor.

And I completely forgot about the whole "contrast marketing" in the faq .
Here's a comparison from televisioninfo:


Generally speaking, peak brightness above 200 is usually good enough to withstand being washed out by daylight.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 03:28 on Dec 21, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

BexGu posted:

Are Sony TV's in general worth the extra price? I have a chance to get the KDL-46EX645 ( for $629 through my corporate perks website and I was wondering if it was worth it.

At that price, it's cheaper and larger than a 42UT50, and it's SMART.
If you can get the 50" for less than $800, I say go for it.

Such a shame Sony's default prices are so loving high (like, $150-300 higher than anyone else high).

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 22:19 on Dec 21, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Will the TV actually be facing your windows?
Panasonic's and Samsung's upper-end plasmas (Sam's 6-Series and up, Pan's ST50 and up) have louvered filters, which help with bright light and reflections.

Also, speaking of Panasonic plasmas:
Panasonic May Pull Plug On Plasma TV R&D Come March 2013

Bad news for OLED too. 4K Ultra HD appears to be the future:
Deterred By Low OLED Yields, LG & Samsung Switch Focus To 4K TV

It would appear that my long term strategy of buying in 2012, and waiting five years for the new tech to mature (and by extension, drop in price) was a good idea after all.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 13:15 on Dec 22, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Panasonic TC-P60GT50

~$1900. Leaves enough for extra 3D glasses!
And it's plasma!

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 19:03 on Dec 23, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Televisioninfo said the screen uniformity with edge lighting is somewhat problematic.
The ES6100 specifically says this:

televisioninfo posted:

The edgelit ES6100 has the usual problems showcased by edgelit, LCD televisions. A fully white screen proved to be smooth and uniform from center to corners, and the usual bezel shadow was eliminated by the UN40ES6100’s very thin bezel. We saw considerable flashlighting during the all black screen, but awarded points for the ES6100’s auto-dimming feature, which does an alright job hiding this problem from the viewer. Overall, the uniformity is imperfect due to the problems with edgelighting, but at least 100% dark screens are salvaged by the set’s auto-dimming, which is implemented fairly well.

Depending on how similar your remote and user interface are to mine...
Menu -> Picture -> Advanced Options -> Dynamic Contrast -> Off

For your HTPC, if it's Windows, make sure the monitor res it's outputting to is set to 1920x1080.
And check how your HTPC front-end (XBMC, Plex, etc.) is set for outputting your media.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 02:15 on Dec 24, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Swagger Dagger posted:

I'm at my cousin's house, and his TV has some weird feature where the movie we're watching is at way too high a frame rate and looks weird and not at all what a movie is supposed to look like.

I'm in the market for a new TV, so how do I make sure I can avoid that look at all costs?

That would mean this feature is turned on:

Soap Opera Effect/TruMotion/ClearMotion/Motion Interpolation - A picture-processing effect that makes movement look super-smooth by adding frames of animation between the original ones.
Also, are you in Europe/UK? In some reviews on HDTVtest, there are apparently problems with some televisions not being able to turn off the feature, either partially, or at all. This may, or may not also be true for very early NA models with this feature. (~'06/07)
Otherwise it should be possible to deactivate it.

Brand names and their marketing name for the "feature":

Wikipedia posted:

Hitachi – Reel120[2]
Insignia – DCM Plus, for Digital Clear Motion 120 Hz
Kogan Technologies – MotionMax 100 Hz,[3] 200 Hz
LG – TruMotion 120 Hz, 240 Hz, 480 Hz
AOC – Motion Boost 120 Hz
Mitsubishi – Smooth 120 Hz
Panasonic – Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC)
Philips – HD Digital Natural Motion[4]
Samsung – Auto Motion Plus 120 Hz,[5] 240 Hz, Clear Motion Rate 100 Hz, 200 Hz, 400 Hz, 500 Hz, 600 Hz, 800 Hz (PAL video system), Clear Motion Rate 120 Hz, 240 Hz, 480 Hz, 600 Hz, 720 Hz, 960 Hz (NTSC video system)
Sharp – Fine Motion Enhanced,[6] AquoMotion 240 Hz,[7] AquoMotion Pro
Sony – MotionFlow 100 Hz, 100 Hz PRO (XBR series, Australia), 120 Hz, 200 Hz, 240 Hz, 400 Hz, 480 Hz, 800 Hz, 960 Hz.[8][9]
Toshiba – ClearScan 120 Hz, 240 Hz
Vizio – SmoothMotion [10]
Sceptre – MEMC (Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation)

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 02:16 on Dec 24, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

46-50" televisions in that range (Amazon prices):

50" Vizio - 60Hz, LCD
47" LG - 120Hz LCD
50" Toshiba - 60Hz LED
46" Samsung - 120Hz LED

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 21:02 on Dec 25, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

LG has had consistently low input lag with their models, though it would take a little hands-on to be sure (Rockband calibration test, etc.)
After a quick Amazon search, here's one you might want to ask to fiddle with, when you're in a brick & mortar:

LG 47LS5600
- 100Hz
- DLNA and Freeview (whatever that is)
- Not Smart or 3D
- 109cm wide
- Under £600

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

PlayStation 3D display.

It's 24", 240Hz, has low input lag, and has none of the things you don't want, except audio and 3D.
And they're rather affordable these days. I saw them for $99 over the holiday, and they won't be higher than $200.

Comes with Motorstorm: Apocalypse!

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 03:13 on Dec 29, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

I had a chance to see the ES8000 when I was checking out the Panasonic plasmas, and I gotta say, I thought it was the bee's loving knees.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Vintersorg posted:

Regarding 3d glasses, just get the ones made by my TV's brand? In this case Panasonic?

For 2012, Samsung and Panasonic's Active 3D glasses are compatible with each other's televisions (not sure about other brands).
If your TV doesn't include any, I'd just look for the cheapest/least goofy set.

And I'll probably make a sub-FAQ that addresses marketing/feature related questions (refresh rate, contrast, 3D, SMART, etc.).

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Cenen posted:

Panasonic Plasmas seem to be pretty popular around here and are getting rave reviews around the net. Any drawbacks to plasma Vs LED? I'm pretty much stuck between the Samsung ES8000 and the Panasonic TC-P65VT50. I'm pretty sure at this tier they should both be pretty good products but I just want something that when I pop my copy of Black Ops 2 in I go "nice". A quick answer would also be appreciated since there is a CRAZY good deal on the TC-P65VT50 that is over by the 1st.

Plasmas' only drawbacks are image-retention, and overall brightness. And burn-in can be avoided by remembering to turn the bloody thing off before you fall asleep on the couch . As for brightness, just don't have it face a window, and you'll be fine. The 2012 Samsung and Panasonic (HDMI slot 1) plasmas have a "PC Mode" that eliminates most of the picture processing effects, allowing for less input lag for gaming. For LEDs, it's hit or miss, and will require internet-sleuthing to know what's fast, and what isn't. AVSforums is typically up-to-date. SRK also has a list, but I don't think they update their OP.

TL;DR get the plasma.

Number_6 posted:

This is a more general question; I'm not generally an early adopter and my current setup is an old (2005) 42" 480P "ED" Panasonic plasma, which for me does a fine job with standard DVD, and a reasonable job scaling down HD content. I'd like something bigger and better, but I'm kind of concerned with how well a 50" 1080p display will handle my collection of standard DVD. I'm not at all keen to re-buy everything on blu-ray. Is the scaling of 480p source material good on new 1080p displays?

As long as the scaling is done by the playing device before it reaches the television (and is set to the TV's native res), it'll look pretty good. I used a PS2 Slim, and my new Sony BDP-S590, and they both upscale to 1080p nicely. Even Black Dynamite, with its Super 16 format and 70s film grain, looks fine in my opinion.
In fact, I'll pop in The Good The Bad and The Ugly to compare. I just bought the Blu-Ray version of my DVD. I love Sergio Leone flicks...
Personally, I only plan on buying a select few in Blu-Ray, and leaving the rest as DVD. Gonna rip 'em to an HDD at some point too, so I can shove them out of the way into a box, and make space.

Mr.Trifecta posted:

So anyone have any experience in buying TV's within the next month? Figured some of the best deals to be had all year was during Super Bowl time. Need a pair of tv's for my virtual pinball cabinet. I have been long out of the tv buying game for quite a few years.

What do you mean by "pinball cabinet" exactly? Are you going to lie the TV down at an angle, like the glass on a pinball machine, or put a monitor in a standard upright arcade cabinet?

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 09:44 on Dec 31, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

A couple of years ago, organized, professional console (PC players doing this: right now) gaming didn't really exist. When you play for cash, you look for every advantage you can find. In Evolution Fighting's case, they looked to standardize the monitors used. Wannabes, fans, and aware people also look to improve their game, and this awareness spreads, albeit slowly, quietly, and exclusively through the internet. In SA's Games forum alone, there's typically hundreds, to thousands browsing at any given time, and their , , and mentality means there's a noticeable awareness here than would be in say, Samsung's official forums.

Depending on the games played, and the person playing them, it can be quite noticeable at the 50ms+ mark (~3+ frames), especially with frame-sensitive games like fighters and rhythm games. With shooters, it's easier to subconsciously compensate for, as players are already used to internet lag/framerate dropping.

That flat-panel televisions have had 1-7 frames (min. 1) of input lag hasn't changed, though which TVs have had it worst has. 3-5 years ago, any "S"-brand television (Sony, Sharp, etc.) was guaranteed worse input lag than say, LG, or Panasonic. And LG using three different panels for any given model didn't help any, either . Cheaper TVs in general were usually better about it too. But picture processing effects keep getting added, and as they trickle down to cheaper sets, it becomes more of a crap shoot. Outside of bringing a console, Rockband and a RB guitar, there's no easy way to determine it for a given TV. At some point a marketing exec will stumble upon using it as an advertising bullet, but who knows when that'll happen, or how accurate it'll be.
Currently, "Game Mode!" is as elaborate as they get in this area. For some brands, this turns off some of the picture processing. For others, it's literally just a colour palette change.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 09:47 on Dec 31, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

AVSforum really requires a shaker of salt (and a bottle of tequila, because they'll drive you to drink).

To hear them tell it, half of all plasmas have a buzzing sound loud enough to be confused for a bug-zapper.

As for image-retention, unless you're deliberately looking for it, on a very bright screen, it'll be unnoticeable unless you leave a static image for like, an hour or more. For 2012 TVs, it's overblown in my opinion. I've seen it maybe three or four times since buying mine in November, and it never lasted longer than a minute. A MINUTE (probably less). I didn't bother with the bullshit image slide "break-in period", either.

Also, I bought mine sight unseen.
I only knew about the next lower Samsung (PN51E550), last year's model (D6500), and the ST50 in person.
I took a chance at my lovely pay, and I couldn't be happier having done it.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 10:01 on Dec 31, 2012

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

For $400 less, I'd give it serious thought.
If you want to make a fashion statement as well as acquire serious performance hardware, I don't think the ES8000 can be beat.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

drat, look how thick that TV is...

3.8 inches? My plasma is only 2.25".

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Vizio's are solid TVs for their price, and when we had a goonmeet last winter at this one guy's place, RB3 said his TV's lag was only a frame and-a-half. (~25ms)

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Samsung's "Unprecedented new TV shape" :

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

^ ^ ^ Added to the OP FAQ.

Currently updating the OP for 2013. Now with 20% more Wiki links!
- Almost completely rewrote everything to be less poo poo.
- updated the Glossary of Terms.
- Added more questions to the FAQ, and revised a few too.
- added pics!

Been busy watching lots of HD content, and reading too much Debate & Discussion lately.
Hooked the Mac up to the plasma, streamed Eurovision a few weeks back, and got drunk with friends. Fun times.
Blu-Ray Seven Samurai is absolutely beautiful, even compared to upscaled DVD.
Everyone should own BBC's Blu-Rays of Africa, Microcosmos, and The Great Barrier Reef.

I'll have something in a couple hours or less.


gently caress, I'm a slow typist.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 10:21 on Jun 4, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

I've updated the following questions in the FAQ to be more brand neutral; emphasizing the technical requirement for a given category/feature, and how personal taste/needs will influence the selection process.
I'll (try to) leave anecdotal opinion to you guys.

What TV is the best?
What's the best brand?
What gives me the most bang for my buck?
What is the best TV for __?

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 10:19 on Jun 4, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

I was thinking... since most displays are capable of playing content directly from a USB key now, a great way to test a television would be to ask a rep if you can play a movie/show you're very familiar with.
There's no real downside, as the worst that'll happen is the rep will refuse.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Soul Glo posted:

I'm most interested in what brands I should absolutely avoid, especially when it comes to more affordable in-house store brands like Insignia.

Store brands like Insignia and Dynex (BB and Future Shop respectively) aren't necessarily bad, they're just not the best.
It's the brands with names that never existed before the year 2000 (Asian "brands of the day") that I would avoid like the plague.

Vizio is excepted, (est. 2002) as they're an American company that knows how to design and source a decent product.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 18:04 on Jun 4, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

The '09/10 model a bunch of friends and I RB3'd on also only had 1.5 (~25ms) frames of input lag, so they're worth checking out as a gaming television.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Also, from page 1:

scary ghost dog posted:

Never buy Sylvania televisions.

Not sure who their supplier is, but Siemens AG owns the Sylvania name in a bunch of countries.

I have the same (personal) opinion with Philips. Their devices have always failed on me, and I said never again.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Both my plasma and my blu-ray player have options to prevent screen burn with dimming/auto-off.
I've woken up a few times now with either the TV off or the screen dimmed, to no lasting effect.

And if they're both Anynet/CEC-enabled, you can set them so turning off one turns off the other.

My plasma is a Samsung, the Blu-Ray is a Sony, and they talk to each other.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 20:33 on Jun 4, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

ijii posted:

My two biggest complaints so far are: 1. No power on/off button on the TV

On 2012 models, it should be located in the bottom right or left, on the back of the unit.
It's a circular four-way button, with the fifth in the middle. Push in to turn on.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 02:42 on Jun 5, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Syves posted:

I'm leaning towards a f7100 now from Samsung myself. Best Buy had the Samsungs set up so the 8000 series TV's looked better than everything. Even then, the entire wall was pretty pixelated and looked like a turd on a sidewalk. Went to another place and the picture quality was much better across the board. f7100 series looked good. Not just picture wise, but cost as well. Was still hoping to get out under 1500, but now that I've seen some decently set up TV's, I don't think I can go cheaper.

And thanks to the information on this site:

I've got a good idea on what to expect for lag on the different models I've been looking at.

Ooh, nice. For the longest time, all I've known about was the 1-frame input lag thread on the Shoryuken forums, and the display-specific forums on AVS.
I'm putting that right at the top of the OP, with the cables link.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 17:33 on Jun 5, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Astro7x posted:

I am just completely overwhelmed when doing research on TVs, but for some reason I think that I'm overthinking it. The current TV we have (a 40" Samsung Plasma) was a gift and I know nothing about the settings and features and I'm happy with it. Maybe I just need to buy something within my price range rather than what some videophile recomends.

I just saw this TV posted elsewhere as an Amazon Deal today. Thoughts?
663.63 - LG Electronics 42LA6200 42-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV with Smart TV and Four Pairs of 3D Glasses

Yeah, ignore video snobs. Display technology in the last two years has advanced to where (almost) anything from the Big 5 companies is a safe purchase in terms of quality.
I personally recommend setting either a size or price limit, before anything else.

As for the TV, I can't speak to average prices in the States, but that'd be a solid deal in Canada, and LG's 3D had good reviews last year.
Their colour accuracy and brightness are consistently excellent, and while I don't see a review for that display specifically, 31 Amazon reviews averaging 4.5 stars is promising.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 19:14 on Jun 8, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

^ ^ ^ - I don't go in for the "plasma break-in" theory myself. Unlike speakers or engines, there's no moving parts.

tyrelhill posted:

So I'm about to buy a new Plasma for gaming... But my living room has 5 windows facing the sun. Is the reflection that bad? Should I buy an LED with high refresh rate?

It's not so much the reflection of the light, as it is the sun washing out the screen, like it does with phones, by simply being brighter than what they're putting out.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 17:52 on Jun 9, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Astro7x posted:

So is it a dumb idea to spend an extra $130 to go from a 42" to 47" on the TV I'm looking at? 47" to 50" is $210, more, and that's a bit too much for me. Just wondering if the difference will even be noticable.

As someone with both a 51" screen, and a working class budget, I would still recommend getting those first 5".

I tend not to find the 47-50 difference all that noticeable when I'm looking around in say, Walmart though.
I grabbed mine because it was a Hell of a great Black Friday Deal. (like, $300 less than a ST50 for basically the same level of quality great)

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 03:10 on Jun 11, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

KingKapalone posted:

I'm curious what I'm missing out on by having a TV that is 5 years old now. I have a Panasonic TH-50PZ80U which is I guess just the 2008 version of what everyone gets now. Can someone summarize what upgrading would do for me? Obviously I know about the new features like 3D and Smart TV, so I'm mainly interested in picture stuff.

Comparing just Panasonic plasmas:

- Black levels improved
- Peak brightness improved
- colour accuracy basically perfected in 2012's 50 series
- Image retention reduced
- Motion blur reduced
- Speakers still poo poo
- Louvered filter to diffuse reflections/sunlight
- Possibly more HDMI slots
- Play media from USB
- Smaller bezels
- 3D glasses software compatible with Samsung and Sony versions
- Phone-as-remote control apps
- Compatibility with Anynet/CEC devices (cuts down on remotes)
- Updatable firmware

I'm not sure what else. I'm just going off reviews.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 22:00 on Jun 11, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

I don't plan on upgrading again for 3-5 years.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

I purchased a 2012 Samsung Smart 3D plasma (51") back in November, so I'm pretty much set to wait for OLED tech to mature and fall in price.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

- Corrected and clarified What does "__ms refresh rate!" mean? in the FAQ.
- Added "motion blur" to the Glossary.

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

The biggest difficulty is getting a 47"+ TV for $700. $800 would be better. $900 would be ideal. As you've likely noticed prices are easily 10-20% higher than in the United States. Before sales taxes. At that price point, you generally are limited to plasmas and store/value brands. Plasmas and budget brands will have a larger bezel bordering the display, and the TV's actual thickness will be greater. Naturally, my first recommendation is a road trip to an American Walmart/Best Buy/Target/Fry's Electronics. Barring that, here's what I could find:

2001 Audio Video:
47" 120Hz LCD - $499
2012 47" LG 120Hz LED - $599.
2012 47" Panasonic 120Hz LED - $699.
2012 50" LG - $499.
2012 50" Panasonic - $599.
2012 51" Samsung - $599.
Physical locations only in Ontario. Free shipping for TVs 43" and under. Price drops very rare.

Gibby's Electronic Supermarket:
2013 51" Samsung plasma - $698. Only 2 HDMI ports.
Free shipping on select items (rotates). Not this one though.

The Source (yes, Radio Shack exists in Canada ):
2013 51" Samsung plasma - $699.
Free in-store pick-up. Otherwise you pay.

And is a bigger joke than Netflix Canada, which is saying something.

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 09:03 on Jun 15, 2013

Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Gobias Ind. posted:

I'm looking to get a new LED in the 50" range and would go as high as $900 (before tax), but ideally it'll be closer to $800. I'm not looking for Smart or 3D capabilities; just something that'll look sharp for movies and HD sports. I'd also like to be able to play movies from a USB. Any recommendations would be appreciated, but I'd really appreciate some feedback on this deal:

Seems like it's got everything I need (although I don't know for sure if it will play movies through USB - I know some don't), but my big question is about refresh rate. I've found conflicting information on whether it's especially important and in the OP it was mentioned that it has become largely irrelevant. Could someone please expand on that? Would I notice/regret not grabbing something at 120hz? I've been targetting deals at 120hz, but this seems like a pretty good option for $750.

If anyone has experience with this TV, or any helpful suggestions, it'd be much appreciated. I'm in Toronto if that changes anything.

The irrelevance of refresh rate is in reference to motion blur. It's no longer the main cause. However, the smoothness of the film when panning/zooming may have noticeable judder at 60Hz compared to 120/240/600Hz, all of which are divisible by 24; the normal framerate of film content. This has to do with "3:2 pulldown". Technically known as telecine judder. And like an idiot, I forgot to mention it.


Mister Facetious
Apr 21, 2007

You're Goddamned right I support Medicare for all.

Is it giving you a reason why? Like Game Mode being active? or input device being set to PC?
Also, HDMI in itself is not the source. The media source would be Blu-Ray, DVD, streaming (Netflix PS3/360 for example, which is 60p), running a file from PC/NAS via TVersity/XBMC/ etc..
In the case of Blu-Ray and DVD, it will further discriminate whether it's 24p (film) or 30/60p (television).
The UI for 2012 Samsung TVs is similar/the same across most models, so run through what you do exactly, and I'll have a good idea of how to help (if I can).

Gobias Ind. posted:

I'm looking to get a new LED in the 50" range and would go as high as $900 (before tax), but ideally it'll be closer to $800. I'm not looking for Smart or 3D capabilities; just something that'll look sharp for movies and HD sports. I'd also like to be able to play movies from a USB. Any recommendations would be appreciated. I'm in Toronto if that changes anything.

Check this sweet deal:
ConnectShare™ Movie lets you watch videos, play music or view photos from a USB connection without needing to use a PC or special equipment;
Last year's model, but it's 55 friggin' inches!
Multiple locations in Toronto.

Personally, I'd go on a road trip to St. Catharines for this baby:
It's last year's second best Samsung plasma, masquerading as the 2013 mid-range model, with all the bells and whistles!

Mister Facetious fucked around with this message at 05:55 on Jun 17, 2013

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