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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Any suggestions? Set would be primarily used for movies. Viewing distance is 10 feet. I find it difficult to tell the difference between different monitors in the showroom and also wonder if the differences that I am seeing are do to calibration or actual differences in the displays. I want something that is just a monitor and doesn't have built in speakers. Aesthetically, I like displays where the screen takes up as much of the set as possible. I am leaning towards LCD because I don't even want to think about burn in and also viewing angle is not going to be an issue in my setup. The price limit is firm and I would like to spend around 800 but no more than 900. Thanks!

Also I wonder if someone could point out a few stats that would be worth using to objectively compare TVs. I.e. what stats actually translate into a visible difference? I know I am looking at 1080p and I am assuming that the resolutions matter. How about things like response time, refresh rate, and especially contrast ratio. Are these more marketing gimmicks or are they very important in objectively comparing sets?
 

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At 10 feet, you could move up to a 50" and still be sitting so far a way as to not see the difference between 720 and 1080, so if that will be your seating distance for the foreseeable future, I'd get a 720 and save money.

In short, in your case, resolutions don't matter.

As far as specs, refresh rate is a non-starter. 60 hz or better is all the same unless you like the over processed look of 120 interpolated frames, or spend real money to get a 120 set that will do 5:5 pulldown with p24 material.

Contrast ratio has also become something of a marketing gimmick in that there is no one way to measure it. What you could assume is that, from the same manufacturer, a higher contrast ratio will mean darker blacks.

As far as finding a set without speakers, very few are manufactured. I'd say you'll have to let that one go.

With burn in, is your concern that you will be playing lots of video games? If not, I would not worry about burn in for video content. Those scenarios should not pose much of a threat.

Compared to mass market sets from as recent as 3 years ago, I think even the lowest tier sets, properly calibrated, perform quite admirable. For a 40" LCD, I'd say the cheapest you could find a house brand for would be in the $500 range. For the extra $300, I'd try to get a bigger set rather than a better performing smaller set. I think the wow factor of more inches will be much greater than deeper blacks or smoother motion. Those things are certainly important, but I don't feel will add as much to your experience as the size.

If you want to consider plasma, you should be able to get 50" 720p for $800.
 

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At 10 feet, you could move up to a 50" and still be sitting so far a way as to not see the difference between 720 and 1080, so if that will be your seating distance for the foreseeable future, I'd get a 720 and save money.

In short, in your case, resolutions don't matter.

As far as specs, refresh rate is a non-starter. 60 hz or better is all the same unless you like the over processed look of 120 interpolated frames, or spend real money to get a 120 set that will do 5:5 pulldown with p24 material.

Contrast ratio has also become something of a marketing gimmick in that there is no one way to measure it. What you could assume is that, from the same manufacturer, a higher contrast ratio will mean darker blacks.

As far as finding a set without speakers, very few are manufactured. I'd say you'll have to let that one go.

With burn in, is your concern that you will be playing lots of video games? If not, I would not worry about burn in for video content. Those scenarios should not pose much of a threat.

Compared to mass market sets from as recent as 3 years ago, I think even the lowest tier sets, properly calibrated, perform quite admirable. For a 40" LCD, I'd say the cheapest you could find a house brand for would be in the $500 range. For the extra $300, I'd try to get a bigger set rather than a better performing smaller set. I think the wow factor of more inches will be much greater than deeper blacks or smoother motion. Those things are certainly important, but I don't feel will add as much to your experience as the size.

If you want to consider plasma, you should be able to get 50" 720p for $800.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply! I would love to get a 50'' but I live in a pretty small apartment and my finance quickly rejected the idea of a TV that big. I think 42'' is the biggest that I can get away with. The room is quite dark so maybe plasma would be the way to go. I do play video games occasionally. I'm not sure what a "lot" means. I rarely play for more than an hour straight but then again I would be kinda annoyed if I could not play longer if I wanted to because of worrying about burn in. I live in NY and found this TV. What do you think?
 

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Save $130 and get the 720p X1, unless as some point you think you'll be sitting closer than 7 feet from it. Also, if you buy from a new york store, you'll pay sales tax at the time of your purchase. Purchasing from an internet store without a New York B&M presence will save you the sales tax.

Plasmas have become less susceptible to burn in with the advent of pixel shifting technologies that can usually be set in the menu, and just plain resilience in the design of the plasma technology itself. The most important thing to do will be to calibrate it properly (use the THX optimizer from Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, or any of the hundreds of other DVDs that come with it). Beyond that, you should be fine, but keep a watchful eye and if you think you've been playing to long, go outside and take a walk.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I would like the flexibility of the 1080p cause I tend to move every few years. Also I like the idea of getting the best picture that I can. I would like to avoid tax of course but it seems like J&R has the cheapest price around, especially since I wouldn't have to pay shipping.
 
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