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Started by Arathrael, June 17, 2008, 01:17:55 AM

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I've decided to get an HDTV. Mainly because I can't see the map in GTA4 very well on the CRT, and it's worth spending hundreds of pounds to be able to see that little map. That's my justification and I'm sticking to it.

But I don't know which one to get. :-k

I know I want one that's 37" - 42", and 1080p (I'll be plugging my PC into it at least some of the time), and ideally less than £700. The more under £700 the better. But I suspect I'll end up buying one more at the £700 end since I get the impression that some of the lower end TV have issues (e.g. backlight bleed and greys instead of blacks), and I'd rather spend an extra £200 than have a £500 tv that bugs the hell out of me.

So anyway, 37-42" and 1080p. That narrows it down. So far I've seen this one:
Panasonic-TX-37LZD80, £692 at Amazon

Which has some good reviews here and there. Panasonic also have a 37LZD800 (£979.99) that is obviously much more expensive, but has 100Hz (how much difference does that make? I haven't a clue) and 'better blacks', apparently, and also a 37LZD85 (£836.20) which has 100Hz, and, um, dunno if that's the only reason why it's £150 more. I'm not spending that much, but I'm also wondering if I'll be wishing I had a 100Hz TV later if I don't have one.

Then, there's this one:
Samsung LE37A656A1. £799 @ SoundandVision which looks nice and apparently got 5* in What Hifi, and has 100Hz. But it's not £700, it's £800. But not £836.20. Actually, searching about, Dixons have it for £769.99. Well, they have a LE37A656A, I don't know if there's any difference between that and a LE37A656A1, or the LE37A656A1FX that Amazon have listed, or even the LE37A656A1FXXU that Comet have listed. Although I wonder if Comet added the FXXU bit for their own reasons. ;)

But anyway, those are the two I've seen so far. I'm planning to roam a few stores on Saturday to actually look at some screens, but I could use some opinions, especially from people who actually have HD TVs and/or have any idea what they're talking about, which I obviously don't.  :)

Cave Cricetum! :hammering:


100Hz is supposed to give a clearer, more defined picture, but since its HD already then how more clearer do you want it? :lol:. Usually you can only tell the difference between a 60Hz HDTV and a 100Hz HDTV by staring really closely at the screen. Of course some nutcase will tell you there is a major difference, but they are just trying to justify buying a 100Hz TV to themselves :D.
I play games on a:
ZX Spectrum 48K | Grundig C410 cassette recorder (adjustable head) | 20BT TV Philips Multistandard Color V37cm | ZX Interface 2 | New Kempston Compatible Competition Pro Switched Joystick | Sinclair BASIC OS


I have a 47" inch Samsung and I can't fault it but I was really picky with the technical specification.  Strong lighting in the shop will not give a true perspective, but it's a useful comparison. Personally I would go for the highest number "true contrast" ratio set for my budget, over any other feature.

"Dynamic Contrast" cheats. If a scene in a movie is at night, for example, the set thinks "Ahhh, the picture is dark, I'll dim the backlight to make the picture darker". The problem arises when a character in the movie switches on his torch. The set now has to decide what to do, leave the backlight dimmed making the torch not very bright, or turn the backlight back up making the torch bright but now making the rest of the scene brighter as well.

Figures for Dynamic contrast are always way higher than "real" contrast.

Go for a brand make, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Philips, LG for example,  lesser and unknown brands are usually the "Last Generation" panels from the top brands and inferior.

Then order online and pay by credit card.


Yeah, I've been reading about dynamic contrast. Some specifications don't even seem to include the real contrast which makes comparing them a bit tricky! No idea what it is for the Samsung LE37A656A for example.

What model is your Samsung 47" JF?
Cave Cricetum! :hammering:


The Samsung LE37A656A is £755 at Dixons online...


and it's a 15,000:1 contract ratio, which is pretty damn good.


Yeah, I know, I linked to it. :)   It's come down from £769.99 since Monday. There's also Dixons vouchers around to get another £20 or so off, plus 3% (I think) cashback via quidco. It's definitely an option.

That 15,000:1 is dynamic contast I think. The 40" version of that model has 50,000:1. No idea what the real contrast is.

There's an obscenely long thread on these Samsung models at avforums. There might be some more info in there, but I haven't read through all 249 pages of it...
Cave Cricetum! :hammering:


Sooooo, I still haven't decided. :)

I've been to a few stores to look at them, and while bearing in mind they're almost certainly not set up properly in the likes of Comet and Currys, this is what I think at the moment:

The 40" Samsung 656 looks good. But, it's also the most expensive and there's less offers around for it (with it also being one of the newest).

The 37" Samsung 656 also looks good. The 37" Panasonic LZD85 looked slightly better, but from what I gather, the LZD85 has lots of sharpening and noise reduction options that are not only on by default, you can't turn them off if you want to. So the Panasonic might be better out the box, but I suspect the Samsung would have the edge once you've tweaked the settings. The 40" apparently has better contrast, but I couldn't really see a huge difference - the 37" certainly looked OK.

That's all the 100Hz sets I'm considering. Of the non 100Hz sets, there's loads of offers and bargains. The 40" Samsung 556/7/8 is available for under £600 for example. as is the Sony 40" D3500U, and then there's the 42" Toshiba 42XV505DB for around £670. They all looked OK in store, but various reviews mention some limitations. For example, the Samsung 5 series apparently doesn't do real 24p support, so blu-ray discs played at 24p are apparently a bit jerky.

I'm temped to just go for the 40" Samsung 656, but then I'm spending over £200 more... hrm...  :-k
Cave Cricetum! :hammering:


Bear in mind that these things are always a lot bigger than you expect when you get them home. I was also contemplating between a 37" and a 42". In the end, I got a 37" one, and it's just as well I did - because it's HUGE. A 42" would be way too big for the room.


Absolutely. And make sure your post box is big enough.


Buy from John Lewis, they are never knowingly oversold and you get a five year guarantee for free...

Can't find my model on the site anymore, it was the best Samsung they had.. pfft.


got a 52" Samsung LCD and its the dogs bollox


After talking to Toesy, I went for the 40" Samsung 656 in the end, and very happy with it I am too. Sky, freeview, xbox, dvds, and PC all look awesome on it. :)
Cave Cricetum! :hammering:


quite an interesting page on hdmi cables here: http://www.bluejeanscable.co.uk/articles/hdmi-cables.htm

also, go to their front page and read the 'fighting monsters' bit - quite funny :-)