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back to article Screen stars: Ten HDTVs on test

The world of TV is changing, as HD hits the mainstream and digital broadcasting finally overtakes analog. There are myriad options available too, from plasma to LCD, little to gargantuan and everything in between. One for every flavour then... Evesham Alqemi 32TX Evesham Alqemi 32TX - "Big Wednesday" image copyright Warner …

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Good stuff...

But I'd be very interested to know which DVD players work well with which TVs, and whether it's better to let the TV upscale the image, the DVD player, both, or use a 360. My biggest worry is getting an HDTV and having worse picture quality on SD!

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Anonymous Coward

I think I will wait a while

As much as I would love a new telly, the fact is that there new formats and improvements are coming out all the time. Until the choppy screen on fast moving images are resolved im not going there. Its no surprise that some reviews still suggest that CRT is still king when it comes to movies. I had a loaner 32", it was choppy, video sync on DVD playback was distracting and it was so bright that it gave you a headache.

Maybe in a few years when analogue has gone, double refresh rate is normal and the screen life is greater than 3 years will I reconsider.

For the time being, im happy with my 15 year old TV.

Footnote: is the Panasonic TH-103PF9 really £46,000 or is that the mother of all typos'?

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Sony was OK then?

Surprising. Last time I looked at 26/32in LCDs, the whole Bravia range looked pretty lacklustre. Over-sharpened, over coloured pictures, with dodgy skin tones. Most of the models are designed to sell from Comet, and so need to be brighter than their neighbours, which makes them pretty horrible for anything other than pop videos.

Panasonic get my vote, with Toshiba coming up a close second if they fix the lousy sound and less-good viewing angle.

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Samsung vs Sony

Strange isn't it.

Having recently been through the "techno son handholding the parents through a brave new world of TV's cos their 15 year old Panasonic is broken" experience, I can pass on one nugget of information gleaned.

The Sony X Series TV's and the Samsung M87 series TV's are identical - not on external looks but in the electronics inside. The menu system may be slightly different, but the actual physical panel and hardware are built side by side on the same production line in the same factory. Essentially they are the same TV.

So how can Sony, in their infinite wisdom, justify the huge extra the equivalent Sony set costs vs the Samsung??

Paying for the name?

Suffice to say I recommended they bought the M87 (40") and they love it. And I have to say, it beats the pants off my LG 42" Plasma.

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Panels

Many of the TV brands have pooled resources, sharing manufacturing costs and often sharing the same panels.

Sony jumped in with Samsung.

LG and Philips have had a long standing partnership on LCD technology.

Hitachi, Panasonic and Toshiba are also working together.

However, it isn't just the panel that makes the TV, it's also the image processing and range of control offered. I had a Samsung LCD TV and it had superb black levels and viewing angles, but it was absolutely impossible to get natural looking colours. Now I have a Toshiba Regza WLT68 and, since I found the right settings, it delivers superb natural pictures, although admittedly the viewing angle isn't quite so good.

The reviews above are a bit odd. If you got your hands on a 103" TV to properly test it, why would you only write a few paragraphs on it. Why aren't inputs and outputs considered and how can you give an award to one when the others are in completely different price brackets and may well be the leaders in their class? Odd.

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fon

good, but....

Read the 103" review properly... he does seem to wonder if many readers can really afford the size(2 or 3 times average!) or price! No, no typo, even £4600 would be cheap for this size!!

... But in only 5 years, when the whole country goes digital, these prices will be falling like stones!!!

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And now the real question

Ok lotsa luvverly kit to get the technophiles drooling but...

Is there anything worth watching on a £46,000 set ? So we get wonderful colours and Hi-Res definition to watch 'Richard and Judy' ???

Yeah my 'viewing experience' has improved beyond recognition ;)

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no, the real question...

... is which sets actually were capable of 24 bit color? I have yet to see an LCD or plasma that can, that is over 24" - and isn't a computer monitor. What a crock, paying so much for a set without that capability.

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A really important test is missing

A problem with nearly all modern LCD and Plasma TVs is hooking a PC to it... they won't accept the full resolution... And the hilarious Overdrive, which is still incoporated in most TV sets and even switched on when watching HiDef material over HDMI....

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These reviews are just waffle

I found these reviews completely pointless as no real effort was made to say how well the sets performed with different types of material. For instance, how does each set cope with interlaced input when compared to a CRT (the majority of LCDs are laughably bad at this), what is the colour perfomance, how do the sets cope with shadow detail, etc?

Really, all LCD tests should also run up the set next to a decent quality CRT and comment on the differences - without exception, a CRT will wipe the floor with any current generation LCD, we just need to know how big a quality drop we're in for!

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Do some better research

Good article apart from the glaring screwup:

"A quick(ish) game of Gears of War at the recent Sony European showcase proved as much."

So Sony were showing off a flagship Xbox 360 title at their showcase were they?

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Title

Err, and what happened to the Sharp XE1 Series??? Probably the best image i've seen on a "mid range" LCD yet....

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