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Too Much

May 22, 2010

I must be growing up.

I mean, what other explanation could there be for thinking that a TV is too big?

This is our 52″ JVC rear-projection LCoS HDTV. It fit pretty well in the upstairs game/media/what-have-you room.

But now that it’s been moved to the downstairs office and stuffed into a room smaller than half the size, it’s become overwhelming.

If it were a better TV, I might not object. But it’s not.

For starters, the JVC is only a 720p set, and sitting so close, yeah the resolution difference is noticeable. Especially with video games.

The JVC is also ridiculously bright. Turn the brightness as low as it’ll go and this set is still brighter than the Samsung DLP in the living room. I’ve actually worn sunglasses to play Forza 3 on this thing. At full brightness, I imagine the JVC probably burns shadows into the walls.

Why is it so bright? Blame the LCoS projection. LCoS (liquid crystal on display) is kind of a hybrid between DLP and LCD, and has a reputation for being really bright. Maybe that’s why it never really caught on. Who wants a TV that could suddenly ignite into a star?

The other annoyances – the solitary HDMI input, the lack of an ATSC tuner, the 90-second shut-off/start-up delay – aren’t as mission critical, but they grate anyway.

Taken as a whole, all these frustrations add up to a nice stack of “I want a new TV”. Especially considering I’ve been using the TV a lot more since it moved downstairs.

And just because that’s not happening any time soon hasn’t stopped me from looking and evaluating. I’ve browsed Best Buy and Costco and Amazon, read reviews, and turned things over and over. My qualifications are pretty basic. I want solid picture quality at a decent price. I don’t need 3D. I don’t care about internet widgets or other gimmicky crap. I hate the way most motion blur reduction technologies look. I just want crisp details, vivid colors, and deep, rich black levels. Oh, and a built-in tuner and the ability to turn it off and back on with in a minute. Screw you JVC.

After a lot of searching, I finally found the TV I like – the 42″ Panasonic Viera S2. It’s a plasma, and I don’t typically go in for plasma, but the S2 has an anti-glare coating and wouldn’t have to battle with too much ambient light in the office. And besides, the picture quality is just stunning, even in the crappy viewing environment that is Best Buy. So stunning that it blows away some of the higher-end LCDs that were scattered around it.

Not bad for $800.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    May 23, 2010 12:46 pm

    Don’t say “this TV is too big” too loudly, or they take away your Man Card.

    It’s a good find on the TV … except that if you’ll be playing video games on it, I’ve always thought you should never ever never go plasma. Too easy for burn in/damage/etc. Worth paying a little bit extra for LCD just to make sure you don’t damage it that way.

    And if you think you can trust yourself to watch out for that … think of the children. Do you really want to see a faded image of Super Mario’s gold stars every time you turn on the TV? 😉

    • Dave E. permalink
      May 23, 2010 5:43 pm

      I think it sounds like a great pick. Any newer plasma should not have the burn in issues any more. It was an issue for older ones but even our four year old Samsung has never even come close to succumbing to it despite gaming, pc use, etc.
      I know what you mean about something looking too big for a certain room, but agree with Tim to be careful saying that too loud. 😉
      Mel and I picked out our plasma together, and in the end you just have to trust your eyes. We have never been disappointed. Would love to check it out sometime!

  2. Doogs permalink*
    May 24, 2010 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the comments!

    Yeah, I should really qualify that the TV isn’t too big…just too big for the room it’s found itself in. That combined with the ridiculous brightness.

    I’d considered the burn-in issue with plasmas, but it’s largely a thing of the past, and you have to try really hard to produce burn-in with today’s models. Gaming is certainly an area for concern, but facing reality, the chances I’ll get to play a single video game for a long enough span to risk any sort of burn-in is ridiculously low.

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