What is the best Big Screen TV?

O.K. Here's an old audio guy that is about to put together a home theater system....and:

What is the best tv in the 35" to 45" screen size range? I saw a rear projection Sony at a store recently that looked better than any big guy I have seen...but would love to hear some opinions..on..rear projection, plasma, LCD...etc.

www.avsforum.com They have great forum's that discuss the virutes of each technology LCD, DLP, etc plus powerbuys on new equipment for good deals.

I like my 103" front projection! Size does matter...
Wait another few months until 2005...when the giants (Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic etc.) will be releasing the 1080p HDTV monitors (probably using DLP, Realta HQV chips). Current technology is at 720p.
I just read an article in one the forums today. They say the wait will be worth it.
Take a look at the LG product line in the LCD rear projection, they are doing some really good things for the money
HOw much do you have to spend and how much room do you have? If you've got the space, a rear proj CRT is probably the best value in terms of cost vs. PQ. If you don't, and you can afford the freight, the Fujitsu 42" plasma is pretty darn good. Loewe Aconda 38" also would be hard to beat if you can handle (physically and space-wise) a 38" conventional CRT that weighs over 200 lbs and is over 20" deep. I've got a 30" loewe that displays 480p, (not the 1080i that the Aconda can do) and it is quite remarkable.
Hey jd,

Like Swampwalker I have a Loewe, the Aconda. I bought it over a year ago and haven't looked at tv's since then, no need to, so I am not up to the minute on what is out there.

I looked at everything out there at the time and NOBODY had
a picture that compared. It has a 38" screen, and weighs
240 lbs. They can be hard to find as they are considered a
"Hi End" product and are very pricy, but worth it.

Highly recommended !
I'm not that into high end TV's, but the Loewe televisions are pretty amazing. They've actually caused me to stop what I'm doing and respectfully view their pictures on a couple of occasions when in an A/V shop. One dealer told me that they have processing within them on par with some of the high-end projectors such as Runco that provide for excellent film-like quality when viewing DVD's and also address the inherent problems with motion blurring and artifacts present in digital video. Of course, the best "TV" you're gonna get for film viewing is a projector...IMHO.
Gaudio_eek is definitely on the right track. 1080p is definitely going to be where it's at. A lot of really good 720p choices out there right now, but if you hang on just a little bit longer, this coming year should offer some truly excellent sets. As to which technology to go with, well that's hard to say, as each one has it's pluses and minuses. DLP is really picking up speed with better and better performance and larger screen sizes coming. D-ILA looks very promising (but it's still too early to tell how it's going to fare with consumers).

Plasma has a loyal following with a lot of folks (especially the female variety), as Plasma sets are very sleek and thin as a wafer(which is great for space limited areas). So the W.A.F is very high for Plasma sets. Performance wise Plasma is a bit iffy, at it's best it can deliver some incredible images, but on the other hand, it's prone to a variety of problems like pixel burn out and it can look a bit artifacty. And prices for high quality Plasma sets over 51" are still up in the stratosphere.

LCD has a proven track record, and is capable of doing 1080p(sets are either just being introduced or will be soon). And screen sizes for LCD are getting bigger and bigger, and prices are coming down, so that's a definite plus.

Good ol' CRT is the granddaddy of them all, but CRT still has some life left in it. New sets are still being offered (as to how much longer I don't know), but as I see the trend going, the future is definitely going to be digital. So as to which technology you should adopt (be it LCD, DLP, D-ILA, LCoS {Liquid Crystal On Silicon}, or Plasma), you need to look, look, and look, and only then will your eyes lead you to that holy grail of TV display.

Let's see what 2005 offers us, should be fun :)

Nice Post Wolf Man. Their was some news I read today that Intel decided to pull out of LCoS.

Questions for you. You are saying DLP and LCD will have 1080p capability, does that mean plasma and D-ILA can not, will not, or its not clear whether in the future they will be able to produce a 1080p image ?

2nd Question , Will networks eventually broadcast in 1080p ?

3rd question , Will the upcoming hi def DVD format most likely be 1080p ?

Thanks for the post, I know The AVS Forum probably has this information , but thank you for presenting it in a concise manner.
Some really good questions Darrylhifi. I'll do my best to try and answer them all :)

First off, I read the same thing about Intel bowing out of LCoS. Very interesting.

As to whether Plasma and D-ILA will do 1080p, from what I've been told yes they will. Some D-ILA front projectors already do 1080p so I think that D-ILA RPTV's that are 1080p capable are going to be appearing soon. As to when Plasma sets will start 1080p, I'm not sure.

Re networks broadcating in 1080p, yes they will eventually do this (a few are already in talks about doing this), but it's going to be a while. With many stations just barely starting to change over to either 1080i or 720p, it's unlikely that many will want to spend even more money to make a change once again to go to 1080p (even though we know that's the ultimate). Probably really large metropolitan areas (like NYC and LA) will offer 1080p first.

Re Hi Def DVD, yes it is my understanding that it will indeed be 1080p. All the more reason to get a 1080p set :)

I hope I was able to answer all your questions. Thanks for picking my brain :)

Check out the Sony's 70" LCD rear projection TV.
Eandylee why would he "Check out the Sony's 70" LCD rear projection TV" when that's almost twice the size of what he wants?

There are several ways to skin this cat - I for one really like my 42" Fujitsu plasma, NEC makes a decent panel too, and if you MUST have speakers, the Sony XBR is the best non-monitor panel I've seen. If you don't want to spend the approx 4-5k for a good plasma tv, or don't need the thin size / wall-mountability etc then that brings us to rear projection...

Rear pro will always suffer re: viewing angle, black levels, and so forth - but what you DO get is a big picture for the money.

The 42" sony 3x lcd rear pro is a very nice set and can easily be had for 2400. It's got the best black levels of any LCD set I've seen but LCD still produces a kinda murky dark grey.

I've seen some decent Toshiba and RCA rear pro DLP sets, but the rainbow thing still kills me. DLP typically has better blacks since it's reflective not transmissive (aka the light bounces off the chips not shines through it).

Which brings us to LCOS /D-ILA. The current entry level JVC piece was not as impressive as I thought, I had one on order, and when they arrived, I wasn't as excited as I thought - due, in no small part I'm sure, to the fact that the entry one is 52" vs the 42" Sony LCD that was sitting next to it. The LCD tv was far crisper looking, the LCOS just looked slightly out-of-focus no matter what we adjusted. The big advantage of LCOS is that it's a reflective technology like DLP but is 3 separate chips, so color separation is great, black levels are pretty darned good -- but JVCs implementation was anything but impressive... except maybe from a $ to size ratio... but you didn't want as big as 52 anyway...

Rumor has it that Sony's new high-end grand wega xbr and xs sets will be using LCOS instead of LCD in the coming year or so, supposedly the 70 or one of their upcoming flagship models already is... if you aren't in a rush this might be worth the wait, but that will be a year or two wait.

Personally, if you stick below 34" I say go CRT, and above, you'll never beat the black levels and image quality of a good plasma set - direct view technology blows away all but the best FRONT projection (such as the 777 from InFocus - but that's a nearly $30k projector plus you need a screen and a dark room).
Not a rumour but a fact -- Sony has a 70" LCOS set (they call their technology SXRD) that they claim (made at CEDIA in Sept.) will be out in January 2005. I saw this set, and it is by far the best RPTV set I've ever seen. At its projected price of $10,000, it is still a bargain. There is no front projector at anything near this price that would look that good on a 70" screen, even in a room with perfect light control. Mitsubishi had the misfortune of having its booth near the Sony booth at CEDIA where its $20,000 LCOS set looked dim and dingy by comparison. The Mitsubishi set was in a dark "cave" while the Sony was in a fairly well lit public area, but the Sony more than took that disadvantage in stride.
Each technology has its plusses and minuses. One of the plusses of digital microdisplay (DLP, LCOS, LCD) rear projection sets is they do not have to stretch non-widescreen pictures to account for burn-in problems. Personally, I much prefer watching everything in Original Aspect Ratio (OAR), which is a limitation with CRT and plasma based sets.

I watch TONS of 4:3 stuff on my fujitsu 42 and have NEVER had burn-in issues. good plasma or crt sets don't really seem to have an issue unless you leave a stock ticker on 24-7 for months etc...

Very interesting about not seeing burn-in with 4:3 material. Appreciate that information. Do you do any gaming on your set?

I had always read burn-in was an issue, and every time I see a plasma or CRT based display (tv store, restaurant, etc.) 4:3 images are always stretched to fill the screen and that drives me crazy. Of course, that doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

Are some brands/models less prone to burn-in than others?

I also saw the SXRD Sony TV at CEDIA, and there's absolutely no question that its the best Big Screen TV out there - by a comfortable margin. If you have bucks you can't do better. And I hate you.
for since I only watch movies and not TV, I went with a front projector. For me the pluses out-weight the minuses. But they aren't for everyone. Mine was under $2k for everything. 80 inch wide, 92 diagonal. It's something to think about.
i'd have to say the sony grand vega. built in line doubler that can be bypassed.