HT Guys HDTV Recommendations
We receive emails from listeners all the time asking us which HDTV we recommend. That list will vary depending on the use case and budget of the emailer. On today’s show we’d like to tell you what our picks are for a typical use scenario for low to medium budgets.
Samsung LN46C650 46-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV – We selected this TV for a variety of reasons. At 46 inches it is the perfect size for most family rooms. Yes you can go larger but this TV doesn’t dominate the room and provides you easy options for placement. As far as features are concerned, this TV is packed full of them. Its 1080p 120Hz that provides a beautiful picture whether you are watching a movie of sporting event. Samsung uses a technology they call “Wide Color Enhancer 3″ to provide better blues and greens. Note – picture quality assessment is being made on the performance of this model’s predecessor the LN46B650. This unit will be available for pre-sale and will be released March 8th.
The TV is also Internet capable (wireless support built in) and has easy access to weather, news, sports and stock information. In addition to news the C650 supports Yahoo widgets so you can keep up with Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. Finally, as if all this isn’t enough the TV supports Amazon Video on Demand.
Simple media center – The TV is DLNA certified so you can view movies and listen to music from your PC essentially turning the TV in a standalone media center. While you won’t be able to serve the content to other TVs it will save you the hassle of having to find your DVDs to watch your favorite movies.
The Samsung LN46C650 will sell for $1300.
Panasonic VIERA G10 Series TC-P50G10 50-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV – This plasma was selected for some of the same aesthetic reasons as the Samsung. Fifty inches will fit in almost any family room without taking away from the room decor. From a technical point of view the TV has one of the best pictures we have seen. It produces a brilliant picture from any viewing angle and has lightning quick response times so watching everything from movies to Ice Hockey is free of motion artifacts.
The G10 is also Internet capable but instead of Yahoo Widgets it supports Panasonic’s own VIERA Cast technology. Like Yahoo widgets, VIERA Cast displays news, weather, and stock information as well as supporting YouTube, Picasa Web Albums, and Amazon on demand. Unlike the Samsung, the Panasonic requires a wired connection to your network for the Internet features.
You can also connect an external drive with H.264 AVCHD turning the plasma into a basic media center.
The Panasonic TC-P50G10 goes for $1270.
VIZIO VA370M 37-Inch Full HD 1080p LCD HDTV – In our budget line we chose a smaller TV. Its a compromise in size for price. At 37 inches it can still function as your primary screen in most family rooms. The TV is 1080p which really doesn’t matter since you’ll have to sit about three feet away from it to see the difference. Regardless you can tell your friends that you have a 1080p set. Picture quality is good but it won’t compare with the previously mentioned TVs. However, if this is your first HDTV or you plan on using it for your bedroom you won’t be dissatisfied.
Like the other two TVs the Vizio supports viewing multimedia content on an external drive. However, there is no support for online content like YouTube or Yahoo widgets.
The Vizio VA370M goes for $478
Posted by The HT Guys, February 18, 2010 10:40 PM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.