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Getting a LCD TV and confused by 240 Hz, 120 Hz, and 60 Hz.

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October 13, 2010 6:42:46 AM

Hello all,

I am looking to buy my first LCD TV (yay!) and after looking at all this stuff I am a bit confused. I was just going to get a regular 60 Hz LCD TV (I was thinking that the 120 Hz and 240 Hz were just marketing, also saw what that had a 24 Hz cinema quality feature LOL), but then I was at Costco and saw a demo of a 120 Hz LCD. Yes I know that these are setup to make the TV look good, but is it worth the money?

I am in Canada and I am looking to buy a 40" and I was surprised to find several in the C$600 range by Toshiba, Sony, Vizio, and Phillips. Any brands people like best? I also like Sharp, but I am not willing to spend more than $699 for the TV.

Also Best Buy is having a sale which ends tomorrow so basically I have to decide in the next 24 hours.

I was just thinking would I be better off getting a 240 Hz that is between 30" to 39" instead of a 60 Hz one that is 40"?

As for the content I will be watching it will be a roughly even mix between OTA HD (I get about 4 to 7 channels crystal clear), Netflix from my laptop hooked up to the TV, and stuff on my laptop (1080p HD video and I guess using the LCD TV as a monitor). I guess Skype would be cool too.

Also is LED worth the extra money? The reason I ask is because isn't light just light? If it is a CCFL or LED backlight isn't it all the same?

Thanks in advance for the help and advice!

More about : lcd confused 240 120

October 13, 2010 11:35:12 AM

For what you describe, Streaming Netflix and OTA all you'll need is 60hz. Some fast motion at 60hz will blur slightly. The only time I've seen this on my Sharp was when watching Iron Man in Blu Ray.(close up fast motion blur) The 120 Hz TV's are alot less likely to blur with the 240 hz being the best. If you plan on BluRay then 120hz minimum.
If it were me today I'd get the largest 120hz I could afford.
I won't get into is light just light, but LED gives you better contrast and better blacks =better picture.
a b x TV
October 13, 2010 9:39:31 PM

LCD HDTVs take 60Hz inputs and they display output at 60Hz. DVD players and Blu-Ray players output video at 60Hz. LCD HDTVs operate a little differently from PC monitors that operates above 60Hz (meaning 120Hz monitors).

120Hz basically accepts two 60Hz inputs. Each input more or less refreshes half of the screen so combined you effectively have a monitor that refreshes at 120Hz.

120Hz and 240Hz HDTVs operates much differently. The "120Hz" and "240Hz" does not refer to video signal input or output. It referes to video processing to "improve image quality" and smooth out video playback; "240Hz" is more video processing than "120Hz". This is done by the HDTV's internal electronics. Some people like using "120Hz" or "240Hz" mode, while others do not. For my 47" LG 47LG90, I keep it at 120Hz.

If you are gaming on a LCD HDTV, I recommend using it in 60Hz mode; sometimes referred to as "Game Mode". As stated above, "120Hz" and "240Hz" refers to video processing performed by the HDTV. Since it takes a bit of time to do this it causes input lag for games. Input lag is basically the time between when you move the mouse or press a key on the keyboard and the time your action is reflected on the screen.

Heading out to a bar for some drinks right now... If I remember this thread I'll post about LED backlight...

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a b x TV
October 14, 2010 2:22:16 AM

OP: Personally I would avoid Sharp - Google or Bing "sharp aquos problems" and note all the links with bad power supplies or the screen going bad (which is what mine did right after the warranty expired).

LED backlighting can give you a wider color gamut than standard CCFLs and also increase the effective contrast ratio. I believe it also uses a bit less electricity as well, and thus generates less heat - all good.
October 14, 2010 3:57:47 AM

Thanks for the quick replies!

Also I should point out that I will be buying a Blu-ray player in the near future (Boxing Day?) and I use a movie rental service by mail that does not charge extra for Blu-rays.

After going to a few stores I have my short list of 7 HDTVs that I am looking at which are within my budget and have the features I want. All of the HDTVs on this list had very good to great picture quality. Below is the list in order of preference (which I admit is a somewhat subjective measure on my part)...

Sanyo LCD42E40W 42" 1080p 120 Hz LCD
C$649.99
- Internet connectivity for updating
- Contrast Ratio 5,000:1

LG 42LD450 42" 1080p 60 Hz LCD
C$679.99
- Dynamic contrast ratio 100,000:1
- 6 aspect ratio correction modes (the black bars on the screen really really really annoy me LOL)

LG 37LD450 37" 1080p 60 Hz LCD
- Dynamic contrast ratio 100,000:1
C$577.99

Toshiba 40E20U 40" 60 Hz 1080p LCD
- honestly not that impressed after reading the specs (8 ms and 150 viewing angles)
C$649.99

Vizio M320VT 32" 1080p 60 Hz LED
- Dynamic contrast ratio 50,000:1
C$549.99

Sony KDL-40EX401 40" 1080p 60 Hz LCD
C$675.99

LG 32LE5300 32" 1080p 120 Hz LED
C$549.99
- Dynamic contrast ratio 3,000,000:1
- Honestly I have no idea how to rank this one because specs wise it is the best, but 32" is a bit too small for me (or not? I am still undecided on this one)

Features wise I like the Sanyo. As for LG I had a LG DVD reader that died on me about 10 years ago so I am a bit cautious, but their TV do look amazing. I saw several Samsung HDTVs but for whatever reason I did not like the picture quality. Also all the HDTVs I looked at were running the same source so it was an apples to apples comparison.

Basically after having specs overload I decided to just go to the store and see which HDTV had the best picture quality and fluid motion in a design and price point that I like.

I included the prices of all the HDTVs in order to judge the relative value of each of them, because all of them are within my budget.

To sum things up there are three I am looking at which are...
Sanyo LCD42E40W 42" 1080p 120 Hz LCD
LG 42LD450 42" 1080p 60 Hz LCD
LG 32LE5300 32" 1080p 120 Hz LED
I have to admit that the 32" one is there only because it is exactly what I want (LED and 120 Hz) except for the size.


Let me know what you guys think and what your experiences are with the respective brands.

Thanks again for all the help!
October 14, 2010 7:42:27 AM

After way too much reading (spec sheets and product manuals) and not getting any sleep I have more or less decided. I am going on Friday to buy the HDTV so I still have time to think about it and any input and feedback is more than welcome.

I am going with the Sony KDL-40EX401 40" 1080p 60 Hz LCD instead of the Sanyo. I do have to admit that the Sanyo was my first choice in terms of watching video at the store on it compared to everything else.

The reason, however, that I am going with the Sony is because it can display 1920x1080 over VGA and the Sanyo can only do 1360x768/1280x1024. I forgot to mention that my laptop does not have HDMI or DVI only VGA so that is a huge issue for me since I am not getting a new laptop (works perfect running Windows 7) until Windows 8 comes out. I have to admit that it was a bit annoying that I had to dig around in the spec sheets and manuals to be sure, but by doing my homework I am 90% sure that this is the HDTV for me. Sanyo did actually post that info on their product info page, so props to them for giving consumers the info they need to make a decision without having to read spec sheets or product manuals. I have purchased Sanyo products in the past and if I find another one with the right mix of features and price (they came very close this time) I will buy again.
a b x TV
October 16, 2010 2:53:01 PM

Personally I'd agree with your choice of the Sony - I replaced my defective Sharp with a 46" XBR4 and liked it so much I bought a 52" to mount over the fireplace in the family room.

Also, when looking at HDTVs in the store, most of them have the brightness cranked way up (nowhere near what you'd use at home) so it's a bit hard to choose the best picture unless the salesman lets you adjust the TVs. If you go there late evening in the middle of the week, they might be more cooperative..
October 23, 2010 11:01:29 PM

Thanks to everyone for the replies!

@fazers_on_stun I know what you mean about the brightness being cranked up to max. When I used the HDTV for the first time it asked me if it was being used for retail use or home use. Also I set the picture mode to Vivid because Standard just looks too flat/dead to me.

I have been using the Sony HDTV for just over a week and it is perfect for what I need. What I am happiest about is that I can do 1920x1080 from my laptop VGA port instead of having to get a new laptop.

I ended up going a day later to Costco to get it (my friend giving me a ride had an exam) and it was lucky for me he did because the day we went they had just put it on sale for C$649.99 which was sweet. We like the HDTV so much that my dad is going to get a 46" to replace the Sony rear projection TV that we have in the recreation room which although still in mint condition has seen its day come and go.
a b x TV
October 24, 2010 5:19:20 PM

Always nice to save money :) . Funny how Costco and Sams Club (we belong to both :p ) always put their TVs right at the entrance to the store. I assume BJ's does the same. I may have to get one of those super-thin 3D-capable TVs in the near future..

The Sony should let you adjust the default picture settings and save them as a "custom" setting. I personally never use "vivid" because it's too artificial-looking. Instead I took the standard setting and tweaked the brightness & contrast for use in my family room (where the TV sits on top of the gas fireplace). That room has two 2-story windows facing south-east, so it gets really bright in the mornings.

For true HD movie experience (i.e., watching Blu-Ray), you probably want a darkened room and set the picture to Cinema, or a customized version of it. I invested $20 in a Home Theater "tune-up" DVD - Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune-Up 2001 - that lets you optimize all the adjustable settings using test pictures, as well as your surround-sound system, and it was worth the expense and trouble. Even comes with the red and blue glasses to let you adjust the tint correctly. You can buy this on Amazon.com - a bit dated by now but still top-rated.

Used it on both Sonys, but my actual BD home theater uses a 50" Pioneer Kuro Elite plasma TV, which had the best picture rating from a number of sites last year IIRC. With an Onkyo AV receiver and a 7.1 surround sound system (Klipsch speakers), and a Sony PS3 as the BD player, watching Avatar on Blu-Ray is a pretty stunning experience :) .
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