Whisker Barrel Cortex

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So my trusty cheap 19 inch TV short circuited a few days ago. I had been thinking of getting a new one, just not this soon.

So my dilemma is this: I am still a resident (and will be in training for another 3.5 years including fellowship) so my income isn't that great. At first, I figured I'd buy a new 30 inch or so CRT monitor (relatively small living room). These cost about $400-600. I figured this would keep me until I graduated and made attending money. But then I went to BestBuy / CircuitCity and saw how great the LCDs and Plasmas look. They would look great hanging on my wall and take up so much less space (the CRTs weigh 150lbs!). The downside, obviously, is the cost. I would be looking at a $1400 LCD at 27-30 inches. Cheaper plasmas would be more in the $1800-2200 for about 40 inches (which I don't really need).

I would mostly be using my TV for DVDs, occasional sports, and occasional regular TV. I may get an HDTV tuner in the future, but not right away.

So my questions to the technology buffs are as follows:
1. If I get a lower end LCD (brands such as Syntax Olevia, SVA, Hyundai), how likely is it that I will be very dissapointed in the picture quality? Anyone that has one of these sets please let me know how you like it.
2. How long will an LCD last? I figure I can use this set as bedroom set once I make attending money and get a better home theater system.
3. Is it really worth the price difference, considering I would be buying on credit and paying off over the next several months (i.e. I don't have savings set aside for this type of purchase).

Its just so tempting to get the flat panels, although my practical side says get the CRT.
 

heldicus

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Whisker Barrel Cortex said:
So my questions to the technology buffs are as follows:
1. If I get a lower end LCD (brands such as Syntax Olevia, SVA, Hyundai), how likely is it that I will be very dissapointed in the picture quality? Anyone that has one of these sets please let me know how you like it.
Definitely look at the models in the store if you can. It's not so much the brand of the television, but the manufacturer of the LCD screen itself that's important...and that's hard to find out. I suggest Googling the hell out of whatever models you are considering. Check amazon or epinions or cnet for reviews. Also, a wider viewing angle is better, if you can find that statistic (screen will look funny if you are seated outside that angle).

2. How long will an LCD last?
Heh...a lot longer than you and I, my friend

3. Is it really worth the price difference
Well, to each his own. I agree, the space saving feature is attractive. It's my personal opinion that CRTs have the advantage when it comes to color depth and saturation...ie, making the picture look 'real.' If you're considering HD in the future, you might want to think about that. But when you're an attending...you're going to get a bigger TV anyway...no one watches HD football on a 30 inch screen! That's like living in a trailer and driving a benz with 20 inch rims.
 

Sessamoid

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LCDs will last quite a while, but plasma's have a shorter lifetime. They also suffer from burn in more than either LCDs or CRTs. It depends on your needs. If you're very space-limited, then the LCD may be the better purchase, but if not, then I'd probably just get the CRT. Once you can afford it though, I highly recommend the Sony 60 and 70 inch LCD rear-projection screens. The Super Bowl looked super fine!
 
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Whisker Barrel Cortex

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So I went ahead and bought a 30" LCD. It'll look great on my wall. I just hope the picture is good. I'll let you know when I get it. A couple of nights of moonlighting will help pay the bill. :D
 

Sessamoid

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Out of curiosity, what brand and model did you get?
 
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Whisker Barrel Cortex

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I took a risk and got the Syntax Olevia 30 inch. Its a relatively new company. Although CNET gave it a pretty poor review, every other site and forum I went to gave it a much better review (it sounds like CNET didn't really even give it a chance). I don't expect it to be quite as good as the Sharp and Sony models, but they cost almost twice as much. It cost me 1250 including tax and shipping. Great deal at Target.com right now. Its usually around 1400 + tax + shipping. I fully expect the prices on LCDs to come down dramatically over the next year, but I need a TV now, so I went ahead and did it. I'll give you a review once I get it. I'm picking it up tonight, but will probably not have too much time to evaluate it until tommorrow since I'm going out tonight.
 
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The picture on this set is actually pretty good for the price. Not quite perfect, but there are a lot of things you can adjust to make it better. The expected comparatively poor black level is evident, but not overly distracting.

Overall, the picture looks good. Form factor is definitely a positive. After doing extensive testing (I plan on watching many movies, playing PSII, etc for the next couple of weeks and will return it if unhappy), I will decide if I will keep this or not. So far, I think I will. Once I decide, I'm buying a mounting bracket to put this sucker up on the wall!

Here's the TV playing Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind:




So this TV also easily hooks up to my computer. Here is the Windows Media Player "Visualization.":



Finally, I can surf SDN the way it should be surfed, REALLY BIG:

 

Sessamoid

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You haven't experienced true computer nerd excess until you've surfed the internet with a front projector and an 8 foot wide screen. Quake III on that was nausea-inducing.

I really like the case design of that TV. Looks good.
 

16846

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What's the resolution for the LCD? Can you actually read SDN from where you are sitting? How far away can you be before computer text become unreadible?
 

Sessamoid

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InfiniteUni said:
What's the resolution for the LCD? Can you actually read SDN from where you are sitting? How far away can you be before computer text become unreadible?
I'm guessing he can read it just fine. I can read the forum names on the low-res digital picture he posted, so I suspect the rest of the text is pretty sharp in real life.
 
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