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Thread: What's the best 32" 1080p LED TV?

  1. #1
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    What's the best 32" 1080p LED TV?

    What's the best 32" 1080p LED TV? Not too concerned about price. If it's super quality/lots of options I'll pay the premium.

    I don't own (and have no plans on buying) any surround sound/audio gear. I may hook up a decent sounding 2.1 computer speaker set to the analog audio out port.

    I know diddly-squat about TVs, but I believe LED back-lighting is better than CCFL back-lighting. Right? I have determined that 32" would be the ideal size and I want 1080p as I'll be hooking a computer up to it as well.

    I'm kinda looking at this Panasonic: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16889187230 which is $481.99 (w/free shipping and no tax). Good/Bad deal? Now if something as good is available from Costco even better.

    What are your thought on service plans for 1/2/3 years at $50/$70/$90 worth it or waste of money?

    Much thanks in advance.
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    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    LED uses less power than CCFL back lights, so hence the draw to LED models, however some LED setups are rather lack lustre in the cheaper models leading to poor colour performance.

    Also where is the TV being located, and are there any direct sunlight issues.

    Not a fan of Panasonic, mainly due to crappy customer support, but that may be at least a Panasonic Australia issue. (FYI: Panansonic Australia will always repair, never replace a TV unless the whole panel is the issue).

    Also if you step up to 40" you should start seeing more models with IPTV support (for accessing streaming services direct from the TV, and some companies even start offering Skype support with the 40" models if that is something you would like).

    My only advise, is to go into store, and get them to demonstrate Blu-Ray content (and make sure it's HDMI, not component) on the TV to get a good idea of the performance.
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    Thanks for the quick response. I'll definitely need to work the google and get more info. I was thinking 32" because my viewing distance will be about 7' (foot of my bed) but if I need to step up to 40" to get the quality/features I want I can do that.

    TV will be on the same wall as the only window in the room and I can adjust lighting (and/or curtains) to eliminate any/all reflections.

    Also the Panasonic I listed above doesn't seem to have an analog audio out port/headphone jack so attaching a 2.1 computer speaker setup would be problematic. Hmmmm.

    Would love some make/model numbers. Doesn't have to be LED, but I'd like 32" (or maybe 40"), real 1080p resolution and an analog audio out port (or an easy way to attach 2.1 speakers).

    Thanks again.
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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    At seven feet you won't be seeing the difference of 1080 in a 32", but at closer distances and in a larger TV the differences become noticeable. Of course the better TVs will have better image quality as well as higher resolution. Some of the analog outouts are full volume only, so your 2.1 audio system should have a remote.
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    Storage? I am Storage! Santilli's Avatar
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    I can't say which is the best. I have had a Panasonic 32" LED from Costco. I could not tell much difference between the LED 27" Samsung monitors and the 32" panel.
    Be careful if power is an issue. The 32" TV drew nearly 60W of power. The 27" 20 W. I find the 37" sort of a price/value sweet spot.
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    Storage? I am Storage! time's Avatar
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    1. The NewEgg deal is not that special - Panasonic sells those direct for $500.
    2. The Panasonic extended manufacturer warranty is probably worth getting for the 2nd year anyway; it's only $27.
    3. Most Panasonic 32" are only 720p; I'd guess this is most likely what Greg had. I didn't think much of them either, but I really, really like the more expensive IPS variants like you're looking at.
    4. The 32" 1080p fluorescent backlit variant (TC-L32U3) quoted only 300 video lines ("Moving Picture Resolution"), versus 900 for the 42" model. Unfortunately, this spec is not stated anywhere for the newer TC-L32E5 with LED backlight.
    5. The LED-backlit variant is claimed to only use 35W versus 50W for the fluorescent backlight.
    6. The lack of any headphone socket is a bit of a show stopper - you'd have to get a Toslink converter from somewhere.

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    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    No idea if this one is available where you are, but it has everything you've mentioned:
    1080p support.
    Headphone jack so you should be able to hook up a pair of speakers. (called earphone jack).
    LED edge lit.

    http://www.sanyo.com.au/products/tvs...fh#keyfeatures
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    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    Another option, but really need to double check the audio out option...

    Toshiba 32TL515U: http://us.toshiba.com/tv/3d/32tl515u

    Detailed spec sheet is here:http://cdgenp01.csd.toshiba.com/cont...L515U_spec.pdf

    The back panel diagram does list "OUT - Fixed Audio", and does like a normal headphone jack, but can't be certain without seeing in store.

    PS. This is a 3D capable display, with a 240Hz panel. And also has IPTV and DLNA support. (Stream from either local LAN or Internet. Internet sources will be dependent on area/ISP, etc).
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    Storage? I am Storage! time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewy509 View Post
    Another option, but really need to double check the audio out option...

    The back panel diagram does list "OUT - Fixed Audio", and does (look) like a normal headphone jack, but can't be certain without seeing in store.
    I checked the user manual, and it's definitely only optical audio out.

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    Fatwah on Western Digital Fixture Mercutio's Avatar
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    It's my understanding that absolutely no one offers decent customer service on flat panel TVs. That's all anecdotal, but I hear stories from my students all the time. "My X-brand TV died with four days left on the warranty and they just sent me a $100 off coupon for another one. I'm never buying X-brand again!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by time View Post
    I checked the user manual, and it's definitely only optical audio out.
    Absolutely crazy, so WTF is the "OUT - Fixed Audio" port for on the back panel then? (pg 13 of the user manual). I've just scanned through the manual and there is zero mention of it???

    But a quick Google indicates that it is certainly a headphone jack for analog out, except Toshiba don't want you to know about it, however this post on T's support forum indicates that it's fubar as there is no associated volume control with it!
    http://forums.toshiba.com/t5/Televis...es/td-p/258699
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
    It's my understanding that absolutely no one offers decent customer service on flat panel TVs. That's all anecdotal, but I hear stories from my students all the time. "My X-brand TV died with four days left on the warranty and they just sent me a $100 off coupon for another one. I'm never buying X-brand again!"
    My grandparents' (at least 3 year old) 42" 1080p Panasonic plasma went out; one phone call to Panasonic and a service man made a house call later that week. Opened it up, swapped out a board, closed it up and now it works as good as new. Total cost -0-. No extended warranty purchased either. Maybe a silent recall? They were impressed and pleased (as was I, since I didn't even hear about it until after it was repaired!).

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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    I bought about seven Samsung TVs and they also have a fixed output. Eventually I bought receivers and real speakers, but have not decided what to do for the bedroom yet.
    --Lunar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewy509 View Post
    Absolutely crazy, so WTF is the "OUT - Fixed Audio" port for on the back panel then? (pg 13 of the user manual). I've just scanned through the manual and there is zero mention of it???
    You're right - I missed it because I was looking for specs, searching for any mention of "phone" or "output", and reading the parts about hooking up equipment. Not good enough, apparently.

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    I just look at the back and side panels for the evidence.
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    Storage? I am Storage! time's Avatar
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    The Samsung 32" TV (Series 5 and 6) specs I just checked specifically include a headphone jack, but no analog fixed output (only optical).

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    Storage? I am Storage! time's Avatar
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    Scratch that, I was looking at the international Samsung models, not the North American ones.

    I've also noticed that the Panasonic models available in Australia DO have a headphone socket (on the side); they actually appear to be slightly higher spec than the US ones, which I guess goes a small way to balance the exorbitant price difference.

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    Storage? I am Storage! Santilli's Avatar
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    My ex-wife took me to Japan three times to visit her family in Osaka. Panasonic had stuff we could only dream of at the time. The distribution system made it cheaper to buy the stuff in Oahu then in Osaka. Perhaps that corrupt distribution system is why the Panasonic stuff is expensive in Oz. M is right: it is MUCH better then Sony.
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    Wow, thanks for all the info guys. I have a lot of reading/googling/studying to do.
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    Storage? I am Storage! sechs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
    It's my understanding that absolutely no one offers decent customer service on flat panel TVs. That's all anecdotal, but I hear stories from my students all the time. "My X-brand TV died with four days left on the warranty and they just sent me a $100 off coupon for another one. I'm never buying X-brand again!"
    I had an LG TV where the main board failed. It took six weeks to repair, with five of those being the shop waiting for the part from LG. They had it in stock, and, even if they slow boated it from China, it shouldn't have taken that long. After they finally shipped it, it took only four days for the shop to get the TV back to me.

    With one exception, the Vizio I later replaced it with has been great. I contacted them about a missing part from the stand, and I had it in my hands in less that a week.
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    40" from Costco

    Well I went to a Costco today and I think I'm going to bump up my future TV to 40". Even though the TV will only be 7' away (at the foot of my bed) the 32" ones just seemed too small. Of course I was always the person who sat in the 2-5th row at the movies (went I went to the movies) so I think a 40" set is the way to go. I think by going to 40" I'll be able to get better quality/features.

    Thanks again for any suggestions/comments.

    40" sets at my Costco
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Westinghouse UW40TC1W $400
    Philips 40PFL4707 $470
    Sony KDL-40BX450 $480
    Samsung UN40EH5050F $670
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    Storage? I am Storage! timwhit's Avatar
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    I'll just recommend you don't buy a Westinghouse. I have one and it's garbage.

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    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    In regards to the Sony, try to get the EX range, rather than the BX. (EX gives you LED, higher Hz, IPTV - you may need to buy a WLAN adapter, as some EX's don't have the WLAN adapter builtin ).

    It's a pity the US doesn't get the CX range, as it's far cheaper than the EX range, and the only sacrifice is LED backlight and reduction in Hz, but you still get all the IPTV stuff including Skype support.
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    Storage? I am Storage! time's Avatar
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    Great minds think alike ...

    But it's more complicated than that; the EX420 is only a 720p unit - you need to go to EX520 to get 1080p and EX720 if you want "MotionFlow".

    So it's actually the digit after the X that determines the model level; EX vs CX means LED backlit vs CCFL backlit.

    For use just as a TV, I would save my money and go straight for a CCFL model. But you might want to research how much you can turn down that backlight for use in a bedroom as a computer monitor.

    Given that you're going to be hooking up a PC, I can't see any value in the IPTV stuff.

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    Storage? I am Storage! time's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, the local consumer organization tested a bunch of 32" TVs fairly recently. To me, it looks like the main difference between the BX and EX series was DVD picture quality - BluRay was comparable. In fact, the CX520 (which Snowhiker can't get) aced the BluRay tests, besting the top-of-the-line Panasonic (which Snowhiker can't get) as well as its far more expensive sibling, the EX720.

    So if you don't care about DVD playback, the BX450 appears to be a bargain.

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    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by time View Post
    For what it's worth, the local consumer organization tested a bunch of 32" TVs fairly recently. To me, it looks like the main difference between the BX and EX series was DVD picture quality - BluRay was comparable. In fact, the CX520 (which Snowhiker can't get) aced the BluRay tests, besting the top-of-the-line Panasonic (which Snowhiker can't get) as well as its far more expensive sibling, the EX720.
    Have a link for the test? (Being a 40CX520 owner, it peaked my interest).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewy509 View Post
    Have a link for the test? (Being a 40CX520 owner, it peaked my interest).
    A link would be nice.

    Also, any decent web sites/forums (HardOCP or Anandtech, etc), that have objective reviews of TVs. Seems MOST "review" sites are simply a conglomeration of specs with links to etailors (paid links=good reviews?).

    Thanks for the info.
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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewy509 View Post
    Have a link for the test? (Being a 40CX520 owner, it peaked my interest).
    I think you mean piqued. http://dissociatedpress.net/2007/02/26/peak-vs-pique/
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    And the winner is:

    I finally bought a TV.

    I only had three decent 40-42" sets to choose from at my local Costco as I didn't want a lower-tier or "off-brand" set.

    1) 42" Vizio M420KD. $600. http://store.vizio.com/m420kd.html
    2) 40" Samsung UN40EH5050F. $670. http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN40EH5050FXZA
    3) 40" Sony KDL-40BX450. $480. http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...specifications

    I purchased the Vizio for $599.99 (+ $57 tax) = $656.99.

    Wasn't much quality difference I could see between the sets. The Sony was a bit cheaper but it's CCFL vs LED and I don't really want to give Sony any of my money. The Samsung didn't have any WiFi/internet options like the Vizio. So I just said the hell with it and got the Vizio. Plus the Vizio is 42" vs 40" LOL. My mom has been very happy with the 42" Vizio (E420VA) I got her a few months ago, so I just bought the next higher Vizio model which is LED vs. CCFL and has some WiFi/internet stuff.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
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  30. #30
    Storage? I am Storage! time's Avatar
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    Would you be offended if I linked to this?

    Obviously most people don't have a problem, but it's the sort of business practise that I think needs some regulation.

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    Storage Is My Life MaxBurn's Avatar
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    He mentioned buying it at costco, not sure what the TV policy is there but I bet it is pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by time View Post
    Would you be offended if I linked to this?

    Obviously most people don't have a problem, but it's the sort of business practise that I think needs some regulation.
    I'm not offended in the least. Just about every electronic product ever produced has a small group of people who are extremely disappointed with the product and the company that produced it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBurn View Post
    He mentioned buying it at costco, not sure what the TV policy is there but I bet it is pretty good.
    Costco has a pretty good return policy. 90 day return to the store and Costco extends the manufacturer warranty from one to two years. I'm not too worried.
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    Does my HDTV support HDCP ??? Does it need to?

    I really don't know crap about this stuff so sorry for novice questions.

    I just upgraded my cable TV from basic, no-cable-box, SD-quality, basic-only service to HDTV service w/ HDTV cable box/DRV combo. At first I got a "...your HDTV does not support HDCP use component cable..." error but I called the cable company and all is now working with coax into cable box and HDMI cable to TV. (no coax or component cables from box to TV).

    Does you need HDCP these days? Or is HDCP out dated and as long as you have a "modern" BD-player, HD-content and "modern" HDTV w/HDMI you are good-to-go?

    The "...your HDTV does not support HDCP..." error message has me worried that I F'd up and bought the wrong HDTV. Searching the net I don't see my TV as having HDCP support. Spec sheet says I have "4 x HDMI" but no mention of HDCP.

    Does my HDTV (Vizio M420KD) support HDCP? My google mojo sucks and even the Vizio site doesn't mention HDCP support on their $2000 65" TV.

    I called Vizio support and the guy didn't know what HDCP was or if my TV supported it so I just hung up.

    Am I paranoid or AM I SCREWED and I NEED TO RETURN my TV and get HDCP?

    Without HDCP support am I limited to 720P (or less) over component only?


    Thanks for any help/suggestions.
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  34. #34
    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    I can't tell you for sure, but most modern TVs support HDCP via HDMI, especially since HDMI v1.3 pretty much mandates HDCP being included. (It's not 100%, but 99.999% of all devices that meet/exceed HDMI 1.3 spec implement HDCP).

    What the issue may be (and it's been a long time since I've heard of this), is that the TV and set-top box can't negotiate a secure connection between themselves. (This was common with the first generation PS3's, but was fixed with a firmware update).

    What you need to do is:
    a, contact the cable company and confirm what version of HDMI and HDCP the set top box requires.
    b, contact the Vizio and do likewise.

    Only then you will know if something has to be done...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewy509 View Post
    I can't tell you for sure, but most modern TVs support HDCP via HDMI, especially since HDMI v1.3 pretty much mandates HDCP being included. (It's not 100%, but 99.999% of all devices that meet/exceed HDMI 1.3 spec implement HDCP).

    What the issue may be (and it's been a long time since I've heard of this), is that the TV and set-top box can't negotiate a secure connection between themselves. (This was common with the first generation PS3's, but was fixed with a firmware update).

    What you need to do is:
    a, contact the cable company and confirm what version of HDMI and HDCP the set top box requires.
    b, contact the Vizio and do likewise.

    Only then you will know if something has to be done...
    Thanks for the very quick reply Chewy.

    Like I said, I called Vizio and the guy never heard of HDCP. TV specs say "HDMI v1.4a incl. CEC/ARC"
    http://store.vizio.com/m420kd.html
    Cable box is Scientific Atlanta 8240hdc. Quick google says it's HDMI 1.0 or 1.1 (not sure). I seem to be getting 1080i output from the box to my TV without any problem. I think my cox cable is 1080i only. Is the 1.3 spec only for 1080p content (ex. Blue Ray disks)?


    I guess I just worried sick thinking that my new HDTV will barf if HDCP is required and I don't have it.


    Again, MUCH THANKS.
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  36. #36
    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    I have a few 32" Visio screens that I use for the playstations and they play BluRay disks just fine. This would not be possible without HDCP support.
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  37. #37
    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    Not surprised, but as dd mentions, if PS and BR work fine with his, it should work fine with your setup.

    Since I think there is a little confusion, I'll quickly rehash the basics.
    HDMI - The physcial cable specification. (Think it like DVI, DisplayPort, Cat5e, etc).
    CEC - Signalling protocol on the cable (how the 1's and 0's are encoded on the cable).
    ARC - Audio feature on the cable. (allows pass-through of audio for AV receivers).
    HDCP - Copy Protection for the signal between two end points. (The 1's and 0's are scrammabled. Note: the master key for HDCP has been found and leaked online, and the overall system is basically worthless these days, as many HDCP strippers can be purchased easily online).

    Since you're getting 1080i from the cable service and it's displaying on the TV as 1080i, then it's all working correctly. (aka no issue with HDCP). IIRC without working HDCP you're limited to 720p or in some cases 480p/576i (depending on region and equipment).

    In short: It's working correctly, stop stressing.

    PS. HDMI 1.0 allows for 1080p signalling... (but there's no bandwidth left over for much else, with HDMI 1.1 fixes by increasing bandwidth on the cable). HDMI 1.3 is for enhanced colour-depth and audio, HDMI 1.4 is for 3D. Have a read at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hdmi
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  38. #38
    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    BTW, this is a classic example of why DRM (in this case HDCP) hurts legimate users... The organisations/groups/people who copy/download don't have these types of issues...
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewy509 View Post
    In short: It's working correctly, stop stressing.
    I really, Really, REALLY should. But I'm a very OCD-type person. And once again, thanks for all the useful info.
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    - 4770k, Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet, ASUS Z87I-Deluxe, 16GB G.Skill Ares c9 1600, Seasonic X-650 Gold, <video TDB>, 256GB Samsung 840 Pro, DVD, Corsair 250D, 27" Samsung S27D590P, Windows 7 Pro x64.

  40. #40
    Wotty wot wot. Storage Is My Life Chewy509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowhiker View Post
    But I'm a very OCD-type person.
    Yet, if you looked in the visual dictionary under OCD, you'll find me there...
    I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  41. #41
    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    I find it hard to believe that a new TV does not have the HCPD. even the <$100 TV in my toilet has it. I've never heard of vizio, but they probably use commodity parts that have the necessary functionality.
    --Lunar

  42. #42
    Storage? I am Storage! timwhit's Avatar
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    I find it hard to believe that a new TV does not have the HCPD. even the <$100 TV in my toilet has it. I've never heard of vizio, but they probably use commodity parts that have the necessary functionality.
    Well I bought a Panasonic Blu-ray DVD Player DMP-BDT220...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882103566
    ...so now I just need to buy a BluRayDisk to be 100.00% sure.

    Any suggestions as to BluRay Media? Something epic? Perhaps: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Lo...Blu-ray/12237/
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    - 4770k, Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet, ASUS Z87I-Deluxe, 16GB G.Skill Ares c9 1600, Seasonic X-650 Gold, <video TDB>, 256GB Samsung 840 Pro, DVD, Corsair 250D, 27" Samsung S27D590P, Windows 7 Pro x64.

  44. #44
    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    The newer disc release the better. Content doesn't matter I much, but you may want to check out the 3D.
    --Lunar

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    The newer disc release the better. Content doesn't matter I much, but you may want to check out the 3D.
    AFAIK my TV does not support 3D.
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    - 4770k, Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet, ASUS Z87I-Deluxe, 16GB G.Skill Ares c9 1600, Seasonic X-650 Gold, <video TDB>, 256GB Samsung 840 Pro, DVD, Corsair 250D, 27" Samsung S27D590P, Windows 7 Pro x64.

  46. #46
    Fatwah on Western Digital Fixture Mercutio's Avatar
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    I've just noticed how ridiculously affordable TVs have gotten in the last short while. I have two friends who simply do not own a flat-panel TV. I was able to find new 40" 1080p displays for under $270, less than I had expected to pay for a 32" set. My local Sam's Club has a mammoth 65" Vizio LED unit for a completely reasonable $1550. I don't know if that carries over outside the US, but it speaks to the idea that TVs are going to be ridiculous come the holiday season.

  47. #47
    Serial computer killer Hairy Aussie CougTek's Avatar
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    Since they usually don't last more than five years, it's quite normal the prices have fallen like that.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowhiker View Post
    What's the best 32" 1080p LED TV? Not too concerned about price. If it's super quality/lots of options I'll pay the premium.

    I don't own (and have no plans on buying) any surround sound/audio gear. I may hook up a decent sounding 2.1 computer speaker set to the analog audio out port.

    I know diddly-squat about TVs, but I believe LED back-lighting is better than CCFL back-lighting. Right? I have determined that 32" would be the ideal size and I want 1080p as I'll be hooking a computer up to it as well.

    I'm kinda looking at this Panasonic: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16889187230 which is $481.99 (w/free shipping and no tax). Good/Bad deal? Now if something as good is available from Costco even better.

    What are your thought on service plans for 1/2/3 years at $50/$70/$90 worth it or waste of money?

    Much thanks in advance.
    I will Samsung LED tv this festival season

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