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The Gamer's Guide To HDTV

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August 8, 2007 1:52:09 PM

Its a shame you don't even consider Rear Projection TV's.

The technology has been significantly improved by certain manufacturer's ( See Sony Grand Wega SXRD or high end Samsung DLP Sets ). I can honestly say I went to look at all the TV's at Circuit City and Best Buy for multiple days ( sales people were sick of me ) and the only way to tell what works for you is to actually *SEE* the sets.

When I saw the image quality of the Sony SXRD projection sets along with having a price tag of $1500-2000 less than a comparable sized 1080p LCD or Plasma the decision was a no brainer. It suffers no burn in, no black level issues, no contrast issues ( SXRD have Contrast Ratio of 5000:1 ), amazing brightness levels and 5ms response times. The only drawback is the size, and even then its still nothing compared to the sizes of the old projection sets that required a wall to itself. The depth of the SXRD sets are around 19 inch's.

When I plugged in my 360 I was totally floored by the image reproduction of Gears of War and the trailer to 300 in HD. People who read this review really should consider these types of tv's. Go to a store and see for yourself. but please look at the 1080p sets from Samsung and Sony .. the others are garbage.
August 8, 2007 2:01:09 PM

Interesting article, but there were some things I wasnt happy with. I'm no console gamer, but I sell TV's at Circuit City. Although my knowledge isn't necessarily extremely advanced, I had some problems with your explanations.

All LCD tv's claim to have 176deg of viewing angle. Thats virtually side on before you lose picture quality. I stand around looking at them all day and am hard pressed to find picture degredation from an angle, and you would never watch a tv past around 140deg. Now if you were speaking of rear projection/dlp, much different story. Past 60 degrees off of straight and you can barely see the picture on some sets. Plasmas can occasionally get a double image when viewed on angles in many lighting situations. The reason is because of the glass screen, which is also the reason for it to have glare, which was not mentioned. LCD's plastic screen shows no reflection whatsoever (except samsung 65f's) , you can only tell where a lightsource might be pointed at it.

The panasonic comparison was more like 1800-3000 on 720p 50" to 1080p 50", but it still fits the 1k for 1080p. Also i believe the pz700u is the direct comparison to the 75u. It isn't always that way though. You can get a 1080p lcd in 46 inches for under 2 grand. In my opinion that is worth losing 4" off the panasonic and still getting full rez. The difference price between 1080p/720p in LCD is much less vast then plasma. Although you are hard pressed to find an LCD in over 42" in 720p, The comparison between Toshiba's 42hl67 and 42hl167 (720/1080p respectively) is 1200$/1600$, only a 400$ jump for what most rate as a great value tv. Maybe the comparison should be made as 1/3 more, not a dollar amount.

There was no mention of current MS response times of lcds. Its my understanding most are 8ms with Sharp's having 6ms, which yes that is ok for gaming, if not absolutely wonderful.

Plasmas would give you amazing colors, especially in shading which is what developers seem to focus on as of late. But I never recommend a plasma to a gamer, and I won't until burn-in is a thing of the past. All those games with health bars, maps, scores, consoles (like nascar first person views) would possibly burn in, and as far as I know, it isnt something which cannot happen after a time period of owning the tv. It could happen anywhere in the lifespan of the TV.
Last, I would LOVE a review of how some TV's have socalled "gaming" inputs. Do they do anything? Sharp has vyper drive, which supposively reduces lag on the 32gp1u.

Informative article, but a lot of opinion. If I knew your source for facts, Id be happy to change my viewpoint. I love learning everything I can about TV's :) 

Chris
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August 8, 2007 2:15:39 PM

muk said:
http://www.geardigest.com/2007/08/08/the_gamers_guide_to_hdtv/index.html

Gamers who opt to remain ahead of the pack want their HDTV. But tread carefully before plunking down the cash for a new set.


pfft..., obviously written by a guy who sells plasmas..., whatever.

Didn't even mention PC gaming which for example on a 37" 8ms 1080p Westinghouse run fantastic, look even better without resorting to bizarre 1358x768 or whatever off the wall resolution, for around $1500. Plasmas can't touch that.
August 8, 2007 2:40:48 PM

I'm not impressed at all by this article. Mark Raby wrote an article last week - "A Quality HDTV for Less Than $1,000" - that was pretty much panned as well in the forums. It's pretty limited in the first place, and honestly, I could sum up the article in one sentence - "Get a HDTV - either a Plasma or LCD and make sure it's 1080P!"

I want to see a comparison - and some benchmarks or something. THG is excellent in reviewing PC hardware like processors and graphics cards, but leave the HDTV to someone else like CNET or AVSForum who knows how to do it, because these articles are (IMHO) an embarrassment to THG.

August 8, 2007 2:51:29 PM

Some mention of DLP should be made. Especially the LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon), there are several models that offer true 1080p, many DLP units use wobulation and other techniques to achieve 1080p, but LCoS panels display the full 1080 raster lines.

JVC's 70" HD70FH97 can be purchased WITH shipping for less than $2500 (and the 60" is under $2000). With a DVI to HDMI cable they seem to work well for HTPC rigs. I only had the opportunity to plug a laptop into a floor model and with no tweaking, the windows desktop text was VERY clear and easy to read.

The only drawback with this technology that I have found is lamps. The lamps have a finite life and cost about $200 to replace. This can be compensated for if you purchase an extended warranty that covers lamps. A 3 year extension is about $350. So, essentially if your lamps go twice in the 4 year period, you saved $50. JVC says the lamps have a 6000 hour life but this is heavily decried as false. A smart consumer would be wise to figure typical performance is half that.

LCDs also have lamp issues and they cost about as much as the DLP lamps.

Plasma has the biggest drawback and that is a fixed life. When it dies, it dies big. Like buy a new set big. I believe 10000 hours is the average MTBF on most plasmas. If you watch tv 30 hours a week figure 6 to 7 years before you have to shell out for a whole new set. For some people this is not daunting, but if you pay six or seven thousand for sparkly wall ornament you might not want to have replace it every 5 years or so.

At the 60" and larger size, LCDs can be had (the Sharp Aquos line goes up to 85") but a 65" will cost you a cool $8000+ dollars. For that cost I could by 2 LCoS sets and a whole LOT of lamps. At 60" a 1080p Plasma will run you around $5000.
August 8, 2007 3:00:30 PM

I noticed in this article, that there was a strong bias towards Plasma TVs. If anything, this is an editorial at best. However, I see nothing mentioned about the other deficiencies of Plasmas, such as the heat they generate, their problems with altitudes at or above 4500 ft (This matters to you if you live in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, half of Oregon and Washington; parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and almost everywhere in Alberta, Canada), and also the DO NOT USE ABOVE Xft... although sales people tend not to tell you that, gotta make that buck. Plasmas have a problem with color bleeding and progressively louder "buzzing" the higher you go up in altitude, and in places as high as Colorado Springs and Santa Fe, you are in high danger of the screen poping (poping as in giving up the ghost, not as in exploding at you!) at any time because of the lack of atmospheric pressure on the screen.

I'm not talking as the "word on the street" either, please go to www.audioholics.com and research on ALL the current available HD technologies out there, and the pros and cons of all. DLPs are actually an excellent choice for gaming both with consoles and PCs, because of there being NO latency whatsoever (none of the <8ms baloney, there is NONE), and with current LED lighting, the DLPs give you the ability to get >50" screens with superior color reproduction, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, no screen door, no blur, no burn in, and no rainbow effect. AND they're Energy Star compliant!!!!!

Saying DLPs lack the "wow" effect for a serious gamer because they're not flat panels that hang on a wall.... very very subjective statement. Gamers care about picture, not about thinness, look at how many serious PC gamers still use CRTs (I know, blasphemy!!) because of the 140Hz refresh rate you can get @ 1600x1200 res...

3 chip DLP, SXRD, and LCOS TVs have industry leading picture quality and color reproduction, with some as thin as 18". Yes, you might not be able to hang something 18" deep off your wall, but you can then get a 70" screen for a FRACTION of what you'd pay for a Plasma the same size.

Hope this helps! :hello: 
August 8, 2007 3:58:28 PM

I found this article shallow and at times misleading. I've been using my HDTV for pc and console gaming for over a year now, and I can tell you that off angle viewing is not a problem, at all. In fact this where LCDs predominantly maintain an advantage over plasma and DLPs.

I would concede though that picture quality tends to be better with plasmas because of their saturation, contrast and black levels. A friend of mine recently took the plasma route and that got me shopping around for a new HDTV (I've been itching to upsize from 32 to 46 anyway). I was pleasantly surprised that the latest Sony and Samsung LCDs can now match mid-range plasmas in terms of constrast and black levels, and it makes a word of difference. I'm going with LCD again until plasma burn-in is truly solved.

I echo earlier statements that THG articles need to be fact-driven, supported by benchmarks and/or test comparisons. And while I agree that other sites feature more extensive reviews/articles on HDTVs, few of them touch on the PC gaming aspect at any great length (they mention consoles more often though), and few audio forums/sites tackle PC surround sound gaming using home theater setups (eg. your AV receiver may need multichannel analog input depending on your PC soundcard, or that HDMI pass-through is needed if you don't want to hook up your PC directly to the TV to take advantage of the receiver's video switching to reduce cable clutter). Therein lies the opportunity for THG.

August 8, 2007 4:05:52 PM

I do not know why people stress that burn in on a plasma TV is still a relevant issue. I have had my 50’ Panasonic plasma TV for more then a year and I game on it all the time and I see any lasting burn in. When I do play a game for an extended period of time I do notice an image of it when I turn off the TV but it goes away within minutes. It seems to me that you would have to have that same image in place for a very long time before you would have a permanent burn in.
August 8, 2007 4:36:01 PM

You have a point there. Plasmas have made great strides in countering burn-in. What I've noticed though is that desktop applications tend to leave images more often than games, possibly implying desktop applications are more static than game materials. In any case, it's just disconcerting even when it does go away eventually. And when plunking this much cash, it becomes one of the things you weigh your money on.
August 8, 2007 4:42:54 PM

Once again Mark Raby's completely irrational bias against DLPs.

"DLP and other projection TVs are just not a perfect fit for serious gamers. Unlike plasma and LCD, these technologies have not been aggressively improved, leaving them as the less-expensive HD alternative. They're bulky and not always reliable it just doesn't exude the same "wow" factor as a sleek flat-panel display."

1) Who cares if they are 'aggressively improved' if they already work as well as they are supposed to?

2) They are not bulky. They are the same horizontal and vertical dimensions as any plasma/LCD and the current batch are only about 14" deep and weigh 75 pounds. I have yet to meet a single person who wall mounted their flat screen and if you are going to put it on a stand 14" doesn't make a lick of difference.

3) "Wow factor", "sleek display"? What the heck is wow factor? The only wow factor I care about is image quality and accuracy. With his hand waving he dismisses the fact that LCD response speed is still sub par, not a 'thing of the past' in many cases. Mark is obviously a TV salesman on commision.

4) I do agree they are a less expensive alternative. I see this as a plus.

5) Not reliable? In what way? 10 months of 6+ hour a day use and mine has had no problems at all. Sure I'll have to replace a bulb sooner or later, but I have a 3 bulb replacement plan.

I have a 1080P DLP which is connected to a PS3 (HDMI), a XBOX360 (Component, Samsung DLPs do 1080P through component), and a Macbook Pro (HDMI via DVI-HDMI crossover cable). Obviously the 2 consoles are used for gaming and my roommate plays Company of Heroes on the Macbook. These give anough "wow factor" for me - no artifacting, excellent sharpness, and the response time is so negligibly low that people play DDR and Guitar Hero on it perfectly without turning on the 'projection tv' compensation menu options.
August 8, 2007 4:49:54 PM

I'd also point out in a quick addendum that if anyone has a home theater setup along with their TV the depth/thickness of the TV is going to be rendered moot anyway. Most center channel speakers are as deep or deeper than the TV already, as well as the electronics sitting in the stand below it. Even if the TV was paper-thin you'd still need that space for the speaker(s), receiver, cable box, game consoles, DVD player, etc. Sure you can put some of those off to the side but then you just offset your equipment footprint to the side of the TV, you still have to have it available.
August 8, 2007 6:25:48 PM

Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks that this article is ridiculous to dismiss DLP so quickly. They are hands down the best for the $, especially for gaming.
August 8, 2007 6:41:48 PM

Another terrible HDTV article that says exactly the same thing as the last crappy HDTV article.

Every time I read these geardigest HDTV articles I get the "WOW" factor. Wow, how wrong and opinionated is this article.

The great misinformation campaign continues.
August 8, 2007 6:49:11 PM

Quote:
These official Nintendo Wii component cables will bring out what little HD or semi-HD power the Wii can produce. With the lower price tag on the Wii compared to other consoles, it's a justifiable purchase.


Just found this little awesome blurb. So by little HD or semi-HD you mean progressive scan DVD quality??? And where is the HD in that? That is a great nugget of information there. Thanks!
August 8, 2007 8:35:23 PM

Hey Mark,

I have an idea. Every time you open your mouth (or type) you make it clear how truly uneducated you are. So stop. To Tom's Hardware: please fire this moron.


"DLP and other projection TVs are just not a perfect fit for serious gamers. Unlike plasma and LCD, these technologies have not been aggressively improved, leaving them as the less-expensive HD alternative. They're bulky and not always reliable it just doesn't exude the same "wow" factor as a sleek flat-panel display"

wow just wow. Your lack of knowledge is astounding. Let's start with DLP, shall we? Faster spinning color wheels, 7 color segments now, complete loss of so-called rainbow effects, now have 1080p sets, oh and new sets will have the option of LED lighting instead of the bulbs... but yeah, you're right their Marky Mark, no upgrades.

Oh, lets not even mention, LCOS/SXRD which only made it to market less than 2 years ago and are now within reasonable price ranges. No no, lets not do that, that would show intelligence and actual investigation before we start writing, wouldn't it?

"You can, however, forget about what you may have heard about LCD being a bad choice for fast-moving images. This was a problem in the infancy of LCD HDTVs when sluggish frame rates were a major drawback, but this is no longer the case today."

Infancy? It was a problem with all but the highest end sets a year and a half ago. Yes, most new sets have, for a typical user, eliminated the problem, but the quality of LCD varies more than any other tech. It can be great, but it can also be crap. If you plan on purchasing an LCD set you need to do enough research on that specific set to make sure it is quality. Sets can even vary within a manufacturer between different sizes, so you have to be extra careful compared to other tech.

Let me tell, Mark, what a "serious gamer" really wants...
1) High response time
2) No burn in
3) great black levels
4) Doesn't care about "wow" factor - unless he's a rich twit with too much money
5) High performance without turning a blind eye to $/performance
6) Bigger is better, despite what your... ahh, nevermind :) 
7) full compatibility with 1080p/i and 720p

Where does that leave the smart gamer?
hmm... DLP and LCOS unless they have money to burn.
A "full HD" plasma display is going to cost 1.5 -2x more then a comparable rear-projection set.
If you have the money, excellent, but most people don't have that much to spend - i guess you don't care about them, after all they're poor and don't deserve your time or effort.
Black levels - try and actually see the difference between them in a lit room, good grief...
DLP/LCOS are both much larger than LCD
A lot of plasma's are not full HD, often at resolutions of 1280x1080 or 1366x768, a true 1080p set is over $3000

"Wow" factor. I've got some "wow" factor for you.

How about...
"Wow, that rear projection technology looks great"
"Wow, a true 1080p 50"+ set for less than $2,000"
"Wow, what kind of moron would write off this tech because it isn't ultra thin?"

-tiger

August 9, 2007 12:10:24 AM

"To Tom's Hardware: please fire this moron." +1 vote
August 9, 2007 3:11:39 AM

Like many people on this forum, I disagree with most of the findings of this article. For me, the battle isn’t between LCD and Plasma. It is between CRT and LCoS. Basically, if you want a superb 720p/1080i HDTV that is less than 40 inches, the 34-inch Sony Wega XBR970 CRT HDTV is the way to go not the LCD. There is no LCD or Plasma on the market that can match the overall video quality of a high-end CRT. And please lets not even talk about black levels or response time or even SD picture quality. CRT is the reference standard for all those metrics. If you want a large screen size, say 50 inches or more AND you want 1080p AND you don’t want to waste money, LCoS from Sony or Samsung gets my vote.
August 9, 2007 5:54:24 AM

Great article although i dont think i totally agree with the conclusions. I've just bought a samsung M8 (40" LCD full HDtv with 1920x1080pixels) and i have to say its fantatsic. i've got an HTPC (athlon 3500+ with 7800gs AGP, vista home premium) running my movies and other cool features and the TV's Digital High Def tuner for watching tv's..

I find that movies watched through the PC are far better than those played through a samsung dvr 1080i recoder/player. may have something to do with the upscaling perhaps.

Where this monitor really shines is then i plug my x2 into is with dual 8800gts cards.. games at the resolution look amazing and its impressive to behold.

my only real problem for this is cost for performance. are gamers who own a wii, ps2, xbox 360 or a ps3 (i have wii and its component output is absolutely rubbish on this monitor. comparable to my psone) going to spend upwards of AU$3000 to purchase these screens? lets not forget that a full hd screen of 40 plus " is a ton of money when they can simply spend a few hundred on a 22" screen, plau at 1680x1050, sit 6 feet closer to the screen and get about the same effect.? not to mention people who purchase so called hd plasma's or lcd's that are only 1366x768 or close to it.. big step backwards.

after purchasing an HD LCD TV, my computer doesn't get plugged into is as often as you would expect.. i'd much prefer to game on my samsung 226bw or my chimei 22"....

this is all well and good untill you pic up your spare 21" (for my cad) philips CRT sitting in teh corner and dial in so insane resolutions to work out that the image is amazing compared...

i dont believe that this article should be about HD gear that costs more than most people first cars, it should be about "maximising your gaming experience" and should touch on things like 1024768 projectors, rear projetion screens, standard resolution large format plasma or lcd, and then start looking at higher end ($3000 isn't affordable for a screen when a ps3 is $998 to start with) 1920x1080 devices. and with pioneer claiming their 50" and 60" full HD plasma's retailing at AU$9000 and AU$14000 respctively. your ps3 toting teenager isn't exactly going to go out and snap one up for xmas...

Ben.
August 9, 2007 5:57:34 PM

DLP lacks the WOW factor... translation... "I didn't feel like doing my job so I'll just skip this whole segment of the market."

Further, an entire article on HDTV gaming and not even a mention of PC gaming? (Never mind a paragraph on minumum hardware requirements for a PC to run at 1080p, and any titles that offer the 1900x1080 resolution.) This is half an article. Please let me know when you are ready to finish it.
August 9, 2007 8:12:47 PM

Completely agree that DLP should have been included... The past year has been a HDTV hunt for me; I'v owned a 37" lcd then a 42" plasma... Then a 50" samsung DLP... and now a 62" Toshiba DLP and I must say... I LOVE THE DLP!

I picked up my current set off ebay for around $1k, rented a uHaul and picked it up a mere 40miles away. They even threw in the stand ;) 

The DLP offers better black levels, better uniformity, better contrast, NO GHOSTING, AND no rainbow effect can be seen by friends of mine who were sensitive to my slightly older 50" Samsung set.

Of course the viewing angles are not as good and the unit has a solid 9" of depth on 62" Plasmas... DLP sets are however extremely light weight for their size and very easy to move.

I feel dlp is a great technology and I am much happier with the picture of this late model Toshiba than I was with any other set I've owned.
August 9, 2007 8:42:49 PM

Wow, Mark. You suck. Haven't seen people hate a THG writer so much since Patrick Schmidt.
August 9, 2007 11:58:35 PM

If you are looking for wow factor get a DLP projector. Sure it limited to night and dark areas to use but its a 100"+ screen.There increadably portable, most will fit in a bookbag. My friends and i played GOW on the side of a building, about a 20 foot span and it was amazing. I use it in my apartment as a tv (I watch hardly any tv), been in 3 apartments and have found no shortage of walls to throw at.

Sure the bulb has a short life of 3000 hours but when it cost the same as a good plasma and is 4x the size, 200$ every 2 years is not all that bad. If only getting my car fixed yearly costed that little.

This is defiantly not a setup for most people, but as I find myself moving allot being able to carry your television with one hand is nice.
August 10, 2007 3:33:23 AM

LOL i would not buy a plasma or lcd TV for gaming you cant beat the price of a good 24" computer monitor for 500 bucks can i got myself a 24" lcd computer monitor 1080p ,hdmi, component ,PiP.

The picture on my ps3 is amazing super sharp, bright clear colors, i can't really complain.

LG-L246WP

The text on folding@home is very readable even though its a tiny font, very sharp ,clear text.

I use my other devices on it as well a multimedia box plays divx,xvids 1080p output with a 750 gig hd.

Also has hdmi->dvi cord and component inputs.

Blu-ray well when i play blu-ray movie on it at 1080p you really see detail and very nice picture.

let see i can pay 3000+ 1080p plasma or lcd or pay 500 bucks for a 24" 1080p lcd that sits right next to my 19" lcd computer monitor.

I don't watch tv anyways there are no sci-fi shows playing thats all i watch.
If i do want to watch tv i can hook a digital tuner to my monitor on my vcr anyways has one built in.
August 10, 2007 7:11:08 AM

Something that I always find a little strange and will probably be flamed for is this whole 1080p issue. I personally wouldn't want my game to be playing at 30fps. The strobing would kill my brain. Maybe when they start adding motion blur in games as standard but until then I'll stick with 1080i (60 interlaced frames per sec.) and save the extra money on getting other stuff to enhance my gaming experience. And as for the whole DLP issue, they are a great addition to any home as long as your not sensitive to the spinning color wheel (super sensitive now that they have faster color wheels and the like). A 3 chip DLP is really where it's at if you can afford it. Great color and beautiful blacks, can't go wrong with that.

C
August 10, 2007 7:46:11 AM

While I am not one to say anyone's opinion is wrong, I will say that in this situation I would lean towards that opinion. I am not talking about preferences or why one thing is better then another, I am talking about things from a purely practical standpoint.

Here are a couple of facts I would like to throw out that I feel the article does not address.

1.) Console Gamers - No matter what the happy go lucky buzzwords, that vendors use to sell crap, are it will not change the fact that most console games are going to be written at 720p. There will be a few that hit the 1080 mark, like small staged games (fight night for example possibly NBA games) most are going to be written at 720p. Not even sony and their true HD hype machine can change that. For Example. Virtua Fighter, a one on one brawler in a small arena is unable to keep a solid frame rate at 1080p so they opted for 720. Soul Caliber is another one being designed with 720 because they can't get the frame rate to lock at 60fps at 1080p.

2.) TV watchers - Not one broadcaster that I know has stated they are going to be delivering 1080p content. There are rumors that espn may start broadcasting and filming in 1080p, but I have a hard time accepting that for a few very practical reasons, such as most peoples tv's do not support 1080p, and they spent millions upgrading to 720p already. Broadcasters that I have experience with are all fairly solid on their HDTV options. TV shows and movies seem to be going with 1080i, while sporting events are focusing on the superior frame rate of 720p. Add the major networks together and we are starting to get into the billions spent on current hd programming. Like it or not, this is not likely to change in the immediate future either.

3.) The two above reasons are very real scenarios. This brings me to another point. Having a 1080p set can be a hindrance instead of a benefit because of the above statements. No matter what, a 1080p set must have the image scaled to fit it. Going from 720p to 1080p is a large jump (over twice as many pixels). Using an LCD and Plasma that are fixed displays many times will make the image worse then viewing it at it's native resolution. At best your scaler will give you an image that is equal to the native resolution. That's a lot of if's for not much of a payout.

The only things I know that currently plan on fully supporting this 1080p thing is Blue Ray, HD-DVD, and PC games at this point. Broadcaster may start broadcasting at 1080p down the road, and console games may start releasing every title at 1080p, and in the future every tv may have a hollywood quality video processor, but until then you are asking people to pay a premium for something they may never, ever, take advantage of.

If you are going to be heavy into bluray or hd-dvd, if you do a lot of pc gaming and have a monster videocard that can render at 1080p / 60fps, if you have money to burn then this article may be for you. If you are a budget conscious consumer looking for the best bang for your buck you may want to look around and educate yourself by going to hd websites, and looking at the products and comparing real world images.
August 13, 2007 7:17:36 AM

This is a silly article. I would call it more of an advertising.

A) HD "gaming" = marketing... PLEASE. High resolution games are about 12 years old. My 21" IBM that is in brand new condition, that I picked up used for $70.00 laughs at "1080P" at 100Hz. (But I digress).

B) Everyone who claims to care about lag, video quality and "gaming" would be best advised to pick up a 34" Sony. Craigslist... under $500.00 easily with a stand... nationwide. As sure as the sun sets. As SURE as the sun sets.

C) 34" CRT Sony has TRUE or native 1080i, which compares very well with 1080P. 1080i through a 1323x754 pixel screen is just plain weird... and nothing like 1080i on a high end CRT HDTV.

D) Gamers are mostly: young males, not filthy rich, and have good enough eye sight to tell the response time improvement, the true black levels, and overall image quality. So you grab a fellow gamer, pick one of these 200lbs gorillas up and have yourself a good time. You'll sweat, but the reward is sweet.

Honestly, I see how the latest LCDs are beginning to make sense for gaming on a PC, b/c your face is a couple of feet if not inches away from the screen. Which LCD will be more comfortable and so on. But there is just no contest for TVs... it's CRT all of the way (for gaming that is). And while an advertisement article such as this can't dwelve into it... the fact is that people that don't have an eye for quality (the same people that are likely to not care whether or not the signal is HD or not, and stretch the image without hesitation... i.e. 80% of people) are shedding these used 34" Sony's in lieu of thinner sets that they can newb on.

If after getting the deal of the century on a 200lb masterpiece, you feel you have too much money left over, you can always buy some games for your HD console, or buy another HD console as well.

I have nothing to gain here. My firm recommendation for "gaming" HDTV set is a used Sony 34", hands down. If you consider that dwelving into used is "cheating", or you're obsessed with warranties, then a 30" Samsung HDTV might do I suppose... but not nearly as well.

You'll be much better off with something like that, and buying yourself a couple of years of use this way will save you thousands of dollars in style. In two years, the situation may very well be that these 1080P plasmas are reasonably priced and you can proceed to buy a better one than the ones discussed here for a fraction of the price.

This idea that you must get a 1080P now in order to "future proof" is bogus. Future proofing might work in some limited way, the way that the people that spent $7000.00 on the first 34" Sony HDTVs ... when there weren't Xbox 360's, PS3's, or even Bluray or HD-DVD... not to mention much of any HD programming... they "future proofed", and technically it's true. But at what cost and what did they really gain?

If you're a gamer, my other line of advice is to be nimble. Swap your TV whenever you feel like it, and don't blow all of your money on some bad advice.
August 13, 2007 7:28:49 AM

True... a 24" Computer LCD is not a bad option for gaming as well.

If you really have the money to buy top of the line stuff every year than go for it. Though you may consider picking up a better hobbie then, like traveling, or getting a really awesome car...

It's best to spend at the point where you could replace things every two years. It wasn't always this way with TVs... but HDTVs today are in a constant state of flux, and will change the same if not more than computer parts typically have.
!