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I've been doing well following Thunk's lead.

 

A few years ago, he was raving about the Samsung 50" Star Trek Bridge DLP TV (for lack of a better phrase). I checked it out, and 2.5 years later, I'm still wowed by it. It's not 1080, and not even current DLP technology.

 

Technology doesn't always go better. The key to this DLP vs. later Samsung's, is that it has one mirror per pixel. Then Texas Instruments developed Wobulation (I kid you not), which meant one mirror served two pixels.

 

And they advertised Wobulation as an advance. What it did was allow them to go with less mirrors. Of course, 3 years ago in TV years is like 30 in human years.

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If you compare the current 32" 1080p from SONY than you do with an equivalent SHARP or TOSHIBA, or even a Mitsubishi or a Panasonic, you'll average between 100 and 200 dollars difference, perhaps as high as 250 or 300 depending on the retailer. That extra money is not just for paying for SONY's label, its paying for their reliability and some of the other intangibles to the consumer such as superior decoding chipsets and higher manufacturing standards than some of the others use. SONY's technology that it reserves for itself versus what it licenses out to competitors is proprietary, and it costs the company more money, which it passes down to the consumer, but it pays off in the end.

 

Sorry OTB, but that's just not the case. The difference in overall quality between Sony, Panasonic, or even Samsung is not that significant. Often the Sony model you'll see selling for just $150 more is one generation older, or one feature set lower, than what other firms are offering, while the current generation from Sony is much more expensive.

 

All the brands, including Sony, are still struggling with correct color decoding in extreme cases (white whites, black blacks, sharp edges, fast moving boundaries, etc.) so it's not as if you can pay extra and get a clearly superior product, nor is it the case that Sony's research always ends up yielding such a product (or I've got an MD player to sell you, and a psychotic Aibo)

 

So if you're in the market for a high end 46"-50" display and you don't care about budget, and for one reason or another you don't want a plasma set, Sony may be a very good choice if they're just released their latest and greatest, but that's practically never the case for smaller displays.

 

 

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I haven't looked at the TVs that are less than 40", but I in the 40"+ category I have a Samsung and a Sharp LCD (each is 1080p), which were the 2 manufacturers that I felt offered the best quality relative to price. Between the two I prefer the Samsung, which offers (to my eyes anyway) deeper blacks, brighter colors, and sharper contrasts.

 

If you aren't looking for post-purchase service or help with installation, I'd suggest that you find the model you like and then do some comparison shopping on sites like froogle and cnet. You will often find that internet merchants like Abe's of Maine and LCDTVs.com will show up on those comparison sites with better prices than a place like J&R or B&H, and you can save on sales taxes. It is also worth calling one or two of these places and hondling a bit if you can show them that a competitor is offering the same model at a lower price.

 

It is also worth checking cnet.com for reviews of the various models. Although third-party reviews are not a substitute for looking at the TVs in person and making your own assessment, be aware that the picture on the same TV in 2 different stores can appear dramatically different based on factors like the lighting in the immediate vicinity, the elevation of the set and its effect on your viewing angle, and the source of the images, so it is likely that the TV will perform differently in your home too.

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I have both a SHARP 42" 1080p and a SONY 40" 1080p of equivalent vintage. I paid $350 more for the SONY than I did for the SHARP only a few months later. Are both sets excellent? Yes. Do I perceive a difference between the two products? Yes, because I am a videophile and I can tell the difference between how both sets perform using the same recorded 1080i HD DVR program and using the same 1080p Blu-Ray source media when they are correctly calibrated. The SONY has slightly better black on black representation and produces less aliasing and digitally induced "jaggies" artifacts. Will the average consumer care about this stuff? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I can tell the difference even if your average consumer can't.

 

Can you really? Or maybe you sense a difference knowing that you paid more for the Sony? Unless your test is truly blind (he-he) your reaction could be psychological or just personal preference.

 

Still, it doesn't answer someone's question about whether they should pay up for 1080p in a smaller set. Especially when you admit that your source is the lesser 1080i, or if someone has a regular DVD player or regular DVD discs. The difference in price is great enough that your advising someone (omni in this case) to throw away money on a feature she doesn't need is not very sound.

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I'm not going to spend more than let's say $599 on this thing, so I think 1080 is not going to happen anyway. And besides, it doesn't matter for a screen that's about 30" and we don't watch very much and I'm not going to get good cables or upgrade the DVD player or anything like that. If you saw what we've had up until now you would laugh. ANYTHING in this category is going to be a huge upgrade for us. We have a 19" TV that's 20 years old with a built-in VCR. If we get a 30" (ish) cheapo HDTV LCD TV that's not 1080 that's gonna be more than fine for us. The question is, within that category, what should I get.

 

 

 

 

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Obviously I have to measure, but I think I'd like something bigger than 22". I have to look at the total external dimensions of the unit including the stand and figure out what will fit in our space inside the armoire.

 

That Samsung says this:

 

# Dimensions: Width 22.0" x Height 16.0" x Depth 3.0" / 22.0" x 17.8" x 8.5" with stand

 

 

Is that the most exterior dimensions including the bezel? I thought that 22" always meant the diagonal dimension of the screen itself? I have plenty of space from left to right, so width doesn't matter. It's the height that matters in terms of the armoire. How big is the screen itself on that one?

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Okay so are these the exterior dimensions then:

 

Width 26.4" x Height 17.7" x Depth 3.5" / 26.4" x 19.7" x 8.5" with stand

 

And how big is the screen itself - I mean what is the diagonal measurement of just the screen?

 

should be 26 inches. it's always expressed as diagonal actual viewable screen.

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