<-- This Guy needs a new TV! Help

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<-- This Guy needs a new TV! Help

Post#1 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:22 pm

Hello Everyone..
Well my old Sony KDL46Z-4100 HDTV finally broke.. We bought it when Circuit City was going out of business a few years back now. It has performed really well. Today while watching TV the screen on the right hand side decided to start making weird Vertical lines and the started getting a really odd dark fading screen that would fade in and out..
I did some testing and determined the TV is on its way out.
So.. I haven't kept up with TV's., I don't know what's good/bad/ugly etc.. So I'm asking for suggestions from you guys. The rest of my equipment is Sony (AVR) and I have always had good luck with their products so far, although I am open to other screen brands I just want something with a great picture and possibly 3D capability. I want to keep the size of the TV in the 46-50" range max for size and I have a stand that it needs to mount to as all the shelves are taken with HTPC/AVR and Speakers so I can't use the table stand that comes with most TV's.

With this happening now would it be a good time to venture into 4k TV's? The cost on a 4K vs.1080p isn't huge (depending on brand of course and the smaller size I'm looking to buy) and I know there isn't a lot of 4K content yet. Most of my stuff is Blu-Ray quality rips. How would they look on a 4K TV? Would it just be better to get a higher end 1080p HDTV instead?

So I guess I'm looking for some input and suggestions... I also like to game on the TV using Steam Big Picture Mode so it will be used for that as well. My GPU in the HTPC supports 4K.
Thanks,
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Post#2 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:05 am

The only thing I will comment on is the 4k mode in Steam. If you're actually planning on gaming at that resolution (for games that support it), you better have the rig to put out that kind of power.

Expect your frame rates to be cut in half at least.
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Post#3 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:54 am

I am by no means an expert in 4K tv (like....at all!) but I did read a good article recently stating why you should at least hold off on 4K until later this year. Apparently there are a few competing standards and until that is sorted or TVs support them all it's better off to wait. Also high end 1080p sets will be much cheaper now that manufacturers are pushing their 4K sets.
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Post#4 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:10 am

I went to add a Roku box to my older Samsung's second HDMI input...only to find out that with anything plugged into that input, the picture will disappear after some random amount of time, while the sound continues.

So, last night I went to Best Buy and bought a Hisense Roku TV. $300. In my mind, I call that $200 for the TV plus $100 for the Roku box I would have otherwise bought to plug into said TV.

And I repurposed the Roku box itself to another TV.

I bought Hisense because of the 50" unit I put down in the basement 6 months ago. Very happy with it. My other option was the TCL Roku TV, available only at Amazon (just like the Hisense is available only at Best Buy). Same price, would have saved tax, but I'm happy with my Hisense.

1080p. 60Hz, which I prefer. Great screen, just like my other Hisense.
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Post#5 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:22 am

Adam,
I am intrigued by those Roku TVs, if I buy any "smart" tv it will be one of those. Are you running an HTPC or extender on that it, and how does it handle switching between the Roku interface and back? How long does the TV take to start up? I know a Roku itself takes a bit.

Sorry to semi thread jack but I haven't seen a decent video showing how that works.
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Post#6 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:02 am

Natch, I have my WMC box plugged into HDMI 1 (out of 3). Setup was superb; when I first turned it on the resolution was set wrong, but I changed it to 1080i (as I recall), changed the zoom on the TV, and all was well. I went ahead and went through WMC TV picture setup as well; didn't have to change anything other than to change the picture from "eco default" to "normal" on the TV to make things look good.

What's cool about the Roku TV interface is that the ENTIRE thing is Roku. Period. From the moment you turn it on, it's Roku. What they've done is add the TV inputs to the Roku channel screen. The remote is a Roku remote; hit the Home button, and the inputs you've said you're using are right there at the top of the Roku channel list. Use your arrow keys to choose them. There's an extensive library of names you can assign to inputs (but you can't freeform type a name). I have DVR (WMC), game console (Wii), and antenna TV.

It doesn't show all inputs, just the inputs you've told it you're using. Nice.

Speaking of antenna TV, it took forever to scan the channels. Yeah, I go ahead and split the cable and plug raw cable into the antenna jack. My cableco provides clear QAM for its basic lineup, standard def, plus hi def for the locals. It found everything, read the virtual channel numbers, and all was well. I like the interface for antenna TV; left arrow over and a listing of all the channel numbers and network names moves onto the screen, and you move up and down the list that way. Program info pops up at the bottom of the screen--program name, etc.--at initial tune and on demand (OK key). On the other hand, I have no idea how to hide unwanted channels.

So I have that setup as the backup plan, or for relatives that "just want to watch TV".

Other than that, it's pure Roku. 100%.

My Hisense has some system settings related to the hardware; I can define an auto power off time, and I can also say that on power on I want it to do one of a variety of things--go to a specific input, go to the last input, go to the home screen, etc.

I did struggle with one thing: network connectivity. Much to my chagrin, Hisense (and TCL) saved the ten cent cost of an actual network port and instead made it all wireless. That's OK as far as it goes, I guess--my strong preference is always wired--but this thing fought me. It really wants an N connection, so heads up. B and G won't work well. But my problem seemed to center around my hidden network SSID. It would not connect, period. I had to unhide the name, make it broadcast, then scan and choose it from the list in order to get it to connect.

I'm sitting here right now watching a movie on the Roku FXNow channel.

Like I said, 3 HDMI inputs. Also 1 composite input (no component). I guess that's good enough. With Roku built in, three HDMI should be plenty.

I'm also planning for the future. When the Roku software in this TV can't be upgraded anymore (no doubt that day will come), I can just go buy a new Roku 5 or whatever and plug it into one of the three HDMI ports.

BTW, power on is plenty fast--much faster than my several year old Samsung. Immediately after a power off, power on is instant for some reason.

Digital optical out, works great with my ZVox 580.
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Post#7 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:25 am

Thanks for the info, sounds like a great setup!
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Post#8 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:47 am

Don't even think about playing games in 4k with a 750ti. Maybe minesweeper.
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Post#9 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:23 pm

I didn't plan on gaming at 4k, it would mostly be TV viewing at that resolution..problem is most TV content is 720p. Most of my movies are 1080p and some 720p archived TV shows. What I am wondering is how well does the 4k TV handle up scaling 720p and 1080p signals? I would leave my games resolution at 1080p as it is now.. I just don't know how good/bad that would look on a 4k TV up scaled. I'm kind of leaning toward a better 1080p screen at this point from what I'm reading online about 4k.
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Post#10 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:46 pm

After doing a little research I think I have decided to go with a 1080p display. Andrew Van Til has been helping me out via twitter with suggestions. He recommended either a Samsung or Sony TV for the size I'm looking at getting. (46-50") So far I have been eyeing the Samsung UN48H6400AFXZA. There is a pretty good sale on it at Walmart and Best Buy at the moment.
I have never owned a Samsung TV.. Anything I should know or watch out for? And I usually don't go for the extended service plans.. but I have kids so it may be worth it?..
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Post#11 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:22 am

Samsung will never get another dime of my money as long as I live.

It started with a phone they "upgraded" right into the ground, then denied any responsibility for. They pointed fingers at the carrier, the carrier pointed fingers at Samsung, both of them said "nothing we can do". It was a Galaxy S3, the flagship iPhone-competitor of its time, EXPENSIVE. 18 months later, useless. Not a brick, but not functional for what it was designed and sold to do. And of course, the software update is not reversible.

My father has a Samsung TV he spent quite a bit of money on 5 years ago. A year ago, the HDMI inputs just QUIT WORKING. Component still works, so that's how his cable box is plugged in now, but that's ridiculous.

However, that's not unprecedented. 4 years ago my brother gave me one of his TVs, a Samsung, on which the picture would go out after many minutes of viewing but the sound would remain. Huh. So, I googled it and replaced a board which seemed to fix it--until just last week, when I plugged in the Roku into HDMI2 and the same problem came back (HDMI1, the WMC box, doesn't have the problem). This is why I ended up buying the Roku TV I mention above in this thread.

To summarize: Samsung sold me a $600 phone and then ruined it with a new and not reversible software update and took no responsibility for it, and their TVs have proven themselves to be junk.
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Post#12 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:06 pm

I've had two Samsung TV's now - both have been great for me.

I recently bought the UE46H7000 while it was on sale and love it!

I looked at 4K as well but went with a decent 1080p for now.
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Post#13 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:48 pm

IMO... Samsung's have the best screens/picture by far. I am on my 4th one and my friends always comment thinking they are higher resolution than 1080. Outside of picture I will say that Samsung needs to "up" their customer support as well as make their equipment my friendly to common standards rather than try to create their own. Ex.. ARC CEC-Anynet. If you want your tv to talk to your non-Samsung equipment you may run into some incompatibility, inconsistency, or trouble. Of course... If you use ALL Samsung component’s you'll have no issue. Which I think is their master plan.

On the 4K subject. Please be aware there are 4K TV's that are HDMI 1.4 and 2.0 interface standard. The 1.4 standard is only capable to 30 fps and 2.0 to 60 fps plus a whole bunch of other features that's in HDMI 2.0. Currently the 4K HDMI 1.4 prices are dropping like a rock because of this difference. See wikki link for more info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI

Oh! and lastly. All this mumbo jumbo about 4K upscaling is misleading. It does not raise a given input from "A" resolution to 4K. What you really have is it will take a given signal convert it to show on your 4K screen, stretching/adding pixels so that it fits the full screen. ie... You will have 1080 showing on your 4K screen if that is your input. It is also not tied to the incoming resolution either. ie... If you are watching a cable tv program that is non-HD quality but is being passed to your 4K tv via HDMI cable (1080) then the result is your 4K TV will show you 1080 stretched (upscaled) to fit your panel. This is a nice feature... But again I say misleading. It's a great way to stretch a picture thus eliminating the black borders I'm sure we have all seen in the past. You will only have 4K quality if you send it 4K content.
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Post#14 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:43 pm

Thanks for all the input guys.. Who knew picking out a new good TV would be such a PITA! haha...
You all have given me lots to consider. Koberhol.. thanks for the information on 4K. I guess maybe I need to just visit a best buy and start looking at features and what a 1080p signal looks like on a 4K TV. I figured I would hold off on 4K at this point because of the information you posted re: HDMI 1.4 vs. 2.0.. I just think things aren't quite settled with the format at this point to make it a viable option quite yet.
Since my TV is going out now (although it has been working ok the last two days but I can tell the screen is way brighter than usual and blacks aren't normal either) I don't want to wait until later this year for 4K to go main stream to replace the panel, I just don't see it making it that long. I would give it a few more days/week max.
So I guess I'm still leaning toward a good 1080p display w/3D capability. There are so many options. Andrew Van Til has a Samsung display and he likes it. I have mixed feelings on Samsung.. I have had two phones of theirs and both worked well for me but they always felt for lack of better terms.. cheaply made. I have had 3 Sony TV's and they all worked great. I can't even fault the one I have now it was built in 2008 I believe and is used daily by the kids and the adults. It's probably been on more than off at our house since it was purchased. My wife was upset that it didn't last longer but with it's constant use I'm not surprised it's on its way out. I did contemplate repairing it but the rest of the set is just as old and who knows what part will go next.
The Reviews I read on the Samsung set Andrew recommended were good especially for what I will use it for but the rest of my components (AVR) is Sony and with all the good luck I have had over the years with their stuff I kind of lean that way. I have seen the Samsung sets at Best Buy before and the picture does look VERY good. I just want something that will last years and is good quality and excellent picture.
I am definitely going to research more before I buy.
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Post#15 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:21 pm

+1 for Sammy, mid range and up.

I've had quite a few over the years. Once tweaked up they out perform most other makes.
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Post#16 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:29 pm

The problems with Samsung units is you have to do research and take part in the 'panel lottery'. It's still worth it though IMO.

Once you find the model you want, research the model online to find what panels the unit ships with/what the different panel codes are/what panel is the best.

Then, hunt down the model with that panel. This also excludes shopping online as you can only guarantee what panel your getting if you purchase it in person.
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Post#17 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 5:31 pm

^ Yeah, that's pretty much standard procedure for any make IMO ;)
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Post#18 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:35 am

ok I did a little more asking around and figured who would know what panel out there would be a good one to buy? I know Andrew Van Til knows quite a bit and he gave me a good suggestion. But I also remember watching a lot of HD Nation and Robert Heron really knows TV's. He owns a company that calibrates them and I know he's done a lot of research and testing on them. So I sent him a few tweets and he replied. (Thank You Robert!)
He suggested the Samsung UN46H7150 46-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Smart LED TV. http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-UN46H7150 ... B00IDXIL7K
He said for my price range that it was a good balance of price/picture. I think I'll start there and give that one a good look over.
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Post#19 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:30 pm

+1 to newfiend in considering the Samsung 7150 series! That's a great screen. All the good stuff!!! I love mine! You won't be sorry.
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Post#20 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 5:51 pm

I've read quite a few places where Hisense uses Samsung panels. The fact is, there are only a handful of panel makers in the world.

I can tell you this: Samsung's underlying electronics suck, and their customer service sucks worse.
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