[mythtv-users] OT: Need a new HDTV

Dewey Smolka dsmolka at gmail.com
Mon Jan 15 06:03:15 UTC 2007

On 1/14/07, Mark <fairlane at springcom.com> wrote:
> Has anyone got any good links to research on HDTV's or a recommendation
> for some?  I don't have a good handle on this sort of thing yet.
> My current SDTV is dying and I'd like to get a nice replacement that
> works well with Myth.

First suggestion: think about your requirements and what you're willing to pay.

For example, how are you planning to feed your new TV? There are
'HD-ready' displays (meaning that the display is capable of showing an
HD signal given to it), or devices with HD tuners built into them. If
you have an external tunig source (like a cable box or an HD-cabable
Myth machine) than you'll save some cash by getting an HD-capable
device and not having to pay for the tuner which you won't be using.

Second: How do you run your sound? If your sound is handled by the TV
then you'll want something with an integrated amplifier and speakers,
if not then you can save some cash by picking a model that doesn't
include speakers or amplifier.

You can find all kinds of advice on the relative merits of LCD vs
Plasma vs Projector elsewhere. In short it comes down to this: LCDs
are great until you get to displays larger than 40 inches or so;
Plasmas cost out the ass, handle contrast marginally better than LCDs,
and are best in formats greater than 40 inches; and projectors which
offer a low cost for the massive picture size, but have the
disadvantage of bulbs that need to be replaced at not inconsiderable

The best advice I can give you is to look for displays first from
computer retailers like Microcenter. SInce HD displays are much more
akin to computer displays than traditional TVs, you'll get a much
better deal, or at least a better selection through an IT vendor than
through 'Vinnie's Discount TVs'.

Look for flexibility in inputs -- look for something that supports a
variety of HD inputs including VGA and DVI as well as HDMI and
component. Look for systems that don't have integrated tuners if you
are using a Myth machine or other external device for your signal --
the tuner can add $100 or more to the cost of the display, and that is
licensing cost that you've already paid to your card manufacturer
and/or your cable/sat company.

Avoid rebates, but look for a vendor that will honor returns and/or
warrantee repairs. If your new toy breaks down it will likely break
down quickly. I recommended Microcenter before because I have always
had good experience returning things with them -- pieces that failed,
pieces that just didn't work with Linux, and even pieces I bought and
then realized I couldn't use on my system. In every case they accepted
my return with little question and gave me either store credit or cash
refund. I returned an HD display (Syntax Olevia 27") six months after
purchase because of a bad column and they exchanged it with no

Good luck.

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