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Old 04-21-2011, 02:20 PM   #1
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LCD projector vs. TV?

Can't decide which to go for. Whatever we choose, it will serve two main purposes:

1. Hook up my new laptop via HDMI (so if we go with a projector it must have an HDMI input, it seems like most of the newer TVs already do). My resolution is 1366x768 (14" screen). I have mini-display or HDMI out and already have an HDMI cable but also have a mini-display to VGA adapter.
2. Hook up Wii for playing Wii and we have Netflix Wii. We also have a cable TV feed so we planned on hooking up the cable feed and the Wii to our VHS/DVD combo unit and then connecting that to TV or projector via composite/RCA.

We don't have a Blu-Ray player yet and don't really need one. I understand the Wii has a fairly low resolution, however I like getting a fairly comparable resolution when using my computer (sometimes I d/l hi-def stuff or like to show my pictures).

Originally we wanted to go the projector route but now I'm thinking a TV might be better because of the size of the room and how close we would sit. The projector would give us a larger image, but at a distance of 5' or so, a huge image would not even fit in one's line of vision.

I work in IT and manage classroom equipment so I am fairly well versed in LCD projectors but if we go the TV route, I need help. Size, resolution, LCD vs. Plasma, etc.

ETA: budget.... I don't know, $600? I can get a projector that meets our needs for that, but I don't know what the going price is for decent TVs, and with the projector you are dealing with lamps that need to be replaced, filters that need to be cleaned, etc.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:02 PM   #2
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You aren't going to find a projector with comparable contrast ratio and brightness for that price as you would with a tv. And those are the two main components for getting a quality image from any digital projector. Also, since your room seems to be relatively small, it wouldn't be a good fit for that set-up either, especially since projectors degrade in quality a bit at a shorter throw distance. Really, I think you'd be able to find a quality 1080p LCD television that suits your needs extremely well, plus it would give you the hardware you'd need if you do eventually decide to get a blu-ray player or what-not.

If you want a real quality LCD tv, I'd suggest looking at Samsung's line. Just as far as personal preference I've found their products to have the best image quality and design among their competitive class. Get the biggest size screen you can within your budget, but like I said, I'd suggest just making sure it's 1080p resolution and has a decent contrast ratio. LG tends to be more competitively priced for the same size, but their screens tend to blemish or lose color quality around the corners.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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Is the jump in price between 720p and 1080p significant? If so, is it worth it? The way I understand, my laptop is like 720 and not 1080 (and the Wii is what, 480?). We'd probably get a Blu-Ray drive for one of our computers a lot sooner than a player. We've always put a lot more into our computers/laptops/monitors than TV stuff and I think we only have a regular DVD player b/c someone gave it to me.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:40 PM   #4
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You'll definitely be able to find something of similar screen size for a lot cheaper if you downgrade from 1080 to 720, but the upgrade in resolution really is significant. But thats only if you're displaying 1080p content, i.e. blu-ray or video games. From the sound of it, you wouldn't be getting a stand-alone 1080p blu player any time soon, and the Wii doesn't even output in 720, so if you want something more affordable it's certainly an option you should consider.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
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One can get a pretty good plasma for $600ish (46"), but plasmas are bigger energy hogs than lcd. Review sites like cnet still give plasma an edge, although LED LCD models are gaining ground (but are very expensive). Plasmas generally have superior blacks and off-angle viewing quality.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
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Hmm, I do like a black blacks. But we've had two plasmas at work and they showed burn-in almost instantly. We assumed the first one was b/c it was a newer technology then, and when that one died we got a new one (this was just a few months ago) and it has the same burn-in. Is that still an issue? Angle is not a major issue since it will be down in the basement. Either we're sitting in front of it, or we're on another floor of the house, not like trying to watch the news from the kitchen or something like that.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #7
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Pretty sure burn-in is always an issue with plasmas. Just the technology.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:25 PM   #8
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yeah, i think it is too. it's the reason i didn't get a plasma when i upgraded to hd. i don't play a ton of games but i tend to watch the same handful of channels and didn't want to risk it. (plus i think lcd looks just as good )
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:52 PM   #9
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Some websites give tips on avoiding burn-in, which is more common when the tv is new. I personally went for lcd (a 46" Samsung) because the plasma runs hot and uses a lot more power. Blu-ray is good to have (the DTS-HD soundtrack on the U2 Rose Bowl disc is probably the highest quality live recording I've heard).
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