General Question

andrew's avatar

LCD TV: Better to get a larger screen or a higher contrast ratio?

Asked by andrew (16496points) November 2nd, 2009

I’m starting to look for an upgraded LCD TV (thank you belated tax refund!). Primarily I’m doing gaming, netflix streaming (via xbox), and streaming content from my MacBook, with some HDTV thrown in there. Based on The_Compassionate_Heretic’s suggestion, I’m looking at getting a 120Hz Samsung (I trust the brand)—most likely 1080p.

So: Better to sacrifice a few inches to get a much higher contrast ratio and bump up the refresh rate to 240Hz?

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11 Answers

casheroo's avatar

Most of what you asked is jibberish to me.
We have everything you specified, but it’s an Insignia 42”. I picked it because of the gaming reviews. Umm. Hope that helped lol

andrew's avatar

I’m also hearing that Plasma may be a good option for gaming (and from what I’ve seen, the prices on plasma displays has come way down).

dpworkin's avatar

It depends upon the distance from which you will be viewing the screen. There are formulae to determine optimum distance based upon screen size.

If the seating arrangements work out, I would sacrifice size for acuity and contrast.

filmfann's avatar

I got a LED 55” Samsung Saturday. 120hz. 6000 series.
Seems nice, but I needed to turn off a feature to help the picture become less flat (some kind of movement focus).
The best way to judge how big a set you should get is to sit where you would watch the TV, and measure 15 degrees to the spot the TV would be.

kevbo's avatar

There’s an article on gizmodo or somewhere about how it’s useless to buy more than 720p unless you’re sitting close or have a relatively big screen because your eyes won’t be able to recognize the difference.

andrew's avatar

@kevbo Yeah, both of those I think will be true, for me.

Now I’m leaning towards plasma, since they’re perdy, possibly better for games, and you get more set for your money. Hrm.

@pdworkin According to that, I should get a 100” TV. So, perhaps I“ll look into the Plasma—since I certainly can’t afford that much TV. (No WONDER i had to park myself in front of my 30” TV!)

dpworkin's avatar

Plasma has matured, and no longer has “burn-in” and “fade-out” difficulties, but I’m not sure it is destined to be a “heritage” technology; hence the low prices.

filmfann's avatar

Plasma’s are huge energy wasters. Conan the Republican is considering outlawing their sale in Cali-for-nia.

casheroo's avatar

Boo to plasmas. LCDs are the way to go. that’s my techie response.

Jack_Haas's avatar

Plasmas definitely offer the best value for money. They are, however, recommended for demanding videophiles. Gamers usually prefer the LCD’s sharper image and after all, an LCD tv is a computer monitor with a tuner.

LCD TVs have closed the gap when it comes to contrast ratios though, and unless you are a discriminatingg videophile I’m not sure you will notice a huge difference. And while Plasmas do have an advantage they still don’t offer perfect (or “infinite” blacks).

In the end, buying a TV is not about your favorite features, it’s about the compromises you feel most comfortable living with.

Now, before you make a choice, visit the AVS forums and take some time to read the owner’s thread about the models you want. Whatever flaws you won’t hear about in the professional reviews have been discussed at length by dozens if not hundreds of owners.

andrew's avatar

Ok all. I’ve decided to go with the Samsung 530 series LCD. Matte finish—which will help with the large windows in the room. Thank you for your help!

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