The Top Tips for Choosing an HDTV


Proud Staff Member
Original poster
Staff member
The Top Tips for Choosing an HDTV

By David LaGesse

Posted Sunday, November 19, 2006

Buying an HDTV set doesn't require an engineering degree. Just decide how much money you're willing to spend, then buy the set with the picture quality you like most. You can pretty much ignore all of the tech jargon the salesperson and the reviews spew: 1080p, 16:9 aspect ratio, 10,000:1 contrast, and--a favorite-- 3:2 pulldown. The leap to high definition from your old TV set is guaranteed to blow you away regardless of any small differences among the HD standards.

Here are some basics for buying your first HDTV:
Rear projection still gets the biggest set for the dollar, but flat panels make a nicer piece of furniture, giving them an appeal dubbed "the wife factor," says Ross Rubin, a market analyst with NPD Group. Among flat panels 42 inches and larger, plasma remains the best bang for the buck, with some prices dipping below $1,500, though its competitor LCD has advantages in bright rooms.
If the set is going in a wide room, plasma is probably better. LCDs and rear-projection sets can fade when viewed from the sides.
Don't fret over resolution. Maybe your videophile neighbor can discern 720p from--gasp--1080p. Just don't invite her over.
Seriously consider unfamiliar brands. "You might get 90 percent of the performance [of name brands] at a big savings," says Eric Haruki, a market researcher at IDC. Did we mention all HD looks great?
Try to get a set with at least one HDMI connector, which transfers the best signal from video sources such as DVD players and video game consoles.
Bottom line: Don't overspend. HDTVs are still maturing, and unlike your old TV that you kept for decades, you'll want a different HD set in five to seven years, if not sooner. By then, the low end will beat today's top-of-the line specs.
(Originally posted at High Def Forum)
Agreed, and yet again these so called experts fail to dispel all the mis-info out there; they nearly continue to perpetuate it. Shills for the higher profit margin items; that are not the pure quality and bang for the buck winners.
Last edited:
The low bulb life, in my opinion, does not make it the best bang for the buck when it comes to projectors in many cases, depending on how many hours you watch tv. If you watch tv a lot then having a projector gets awful expensive in the long run but if someone plans on upgrading every few years then that is different. Good for the short term bad for the long term when it comes to money putting into it unless you want a large screen and have the money for the replacement bulbs. I was about ready to get one and thought to myself "why would I want to spend several hundred a year on replacement bulbs? That would add up to a whole lot eventually." Its the best bang for the buck though if you MUST have that large of a picture and you figure what the price of the bulbs will be over a period of perhaps 3-5 years (or however long you plan on keeping it) for the projector vs. what a television that would be equal to that size would cost over that same period of time. If you do not need that large of a screen and you have a budget then a projector may not be the best way to go. Personally, I am waiting for the televisions next year that are supposed to be better and cheaper, that provides over 20,000 hours of bulb life for less money. I hope by that time that there will be a huge improvement in bulb life for the projectors.
Last edited:
Another myth busted in another thread. How many hours per day do you really watch (not just have it on in the background)?

To many it is really no comparison (cost, quality or size) for people that want a real home theater and not just a new fancy looking, in fashion display that is still just a TV because right now their cost for such a small screen kills it.

Take a top rated projector that can do 96" - 106" @ $2000 (mine included 2 lamps/ so 2 years worth at least) with a new lamp every 2555 hrs @ $300 (7hr x 365 days = 1 per year) x 5 years: $1500 (assumes they NEVER get cheaper with age) = $3500 total over 7 years of use. I have gone just over 1yr with no new lamp needed yet and no degraded images or briteness (sp?).

Will you keep a $4600 or higher cost display or a FPTV 7 years; likely not; so the FPTV gets cheaper the flat panel doesn't!

Compared to a like flat panel. First find a flat panel that big! 70" or more LOL! But lets compare it with just a quality low cost display.

Here is the lowest cost typical large flat panel I could find that size - Samsung HP-R6372 63 in. HDTV @ $4600 a tiny 63" for MORE money.
Last edited:
I've had my Projector for almost 3 years and no bulbs yet... paid $1,000 for it, paid $1,700 for the Hitachi in the living room with a 43" screen. When off I watch the X1 almost exclusively and have the Hitachi on as background...
I just bought a Panasonic AE900U and probably have 8 or so hours on it. I just got it a few days ago but man I love this thing. I haven't gotten my screen yet or my cables I need to hook everything up. I should get that today so right now I'm projecting on the wall. Right now I have my 721 hooked up with S-video to it and my DVD player with a RCA cable as thats all I have long enough to reach it. Honestly SD material looks pretty good on it despite what others have said. The dish stuff looks better than the digital cable my uncle has on his 65" tv and his is a higher end Mitsubishi hdtv although it is a few years old. I figured SD would look like on his only worse since it was bigger and I could live with his but it was to my shock that it actually looks better. I haven't gotten my HD dish reciever hooked up yet so can't comment on HD. DVD's and SD stuff look great though and this is all without a screen. I ordered 106" screen but am thinking I may not be happy with that as right now I have it projecting 126" and love the size of it. I don't know how often I will have to replace bulbs but honestly so far I love this projector and would reccomend it to anyone. To me a 65"-70" TV is really just too small for a dedicated home theater room.
Seriously consider unfamiliar brands. "You might get 90 percent of the performance [of name brands] at a big savings," says Eric Haruki, a market researcher at IDC. Did we mention all HD looks great?
This is idotic. Big problem now is people are buying 27 inch off brands-aka Insignia/Polaroid/Sylvania/Westinghouse and sit 12 feet away. Crappy TVs that are to small for the distance.
What are your ambient light conditions? Are you wanting plain pull down, pull down with tentioner (I have this), a fixed or electronic screen? Is budget a factor?

I would suggest the Da-Lite Deluxe Model B 106" 16:9 High Contrast Matte White.

The Model C also comes in 110", 119", 133" and 159"

Here is the screen calculator:

I ended up getting a 106" Pulldown Draper screen. I can't say I like it all that much. To me it doesn't look any better than projecting onto the wall did and I'm very picky about this stuff usually. I also think it's a little too small but it works ok. It looks pretty good but if I had to do it again I don't know that I would buy a screen. I guess maybe I should have looked at the Model C since it comes bigger. I have windows in the room so a little light gets in during the day but most of my tv watching is at night anyway so it works out well for me.
I have a Mits.

The bulb went out and I bought one on EBAY, brand new from the Chinese factory (Fedexd from China), for $99 incl shipping

I even put it in myself!!!!

Now thats ok by me

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 1)