Best Gaming TV?

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Matt Barton
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I am wondering if anyone has recommendations for the best all around and best budget TV for gaming purposes in the $300-$600 range. My current monitor is an HP w2408h which is 24" and has HDMI and VGA inputs. Not bad, but I'd like something bigger with more inputs, especially components and svideo. This monitor has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 that I've gotten used to and would hate to settle for less.

I'd probably go for picture quality over size, of course, and don't need built-in speakers (I'll work something else out). It'd be sweet, of course, if it had enough inputs that I didn't have to keep plugging and unplugging consoles all the time. I haven't decided yet if I want to use this second TV just for consoles or movies or use it with my main computer, but I'd at least like to have that option.

Can I get something decent for this price range? Is it possible to get something decent for under $300? It's probably all pie in the sky anyway, but just wanted to get some opinions.

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Bill Loguidice
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Thoughts
Matt Barton wrote:

Great points. There seems to be little point (IMO) in getting a giant TV and then sitting a long ways from it. Why not just get a smaller set and sit closer to it?

Again, it's not like you're sitting a great distance, you just sit as close as is comfortable. You sit right in front of your computer monitor for lots of reasons, but some of those reasons include its small size. I guess a better way to put it is you try to get the TV that's scaled to your room size. There's about 10 feet of distance from my sofa to my entertainment center, so a 50" TV is just about right. If I were only 5 feet away, an ~42" TV would probably be just fine.

In our bedroom, we only have a 27" LCD HDTV, and it's too small for the distance we're from it. It's fine for TV, but playing games on it with lots of detail is difficult. We probably need somewhere in the 30's for it to be comfortable, though I'm thinking a 42" would right on the border of "just right".

Matt Barton wrote:

My main interest in this is just getting a set with the svideo and better inputs so I can finally experience my consoles and DVDs in their full glory, with an eye towards upgrading to Blu-Ray at my earliest convenience.

Well, you don't need a new TV for s-video, as most TV's over the past decade, save for the lowest of low end have at least had that, and frankly most things sub-HD are not widescreen anyway, so you have to either watch it letterboxed or stretched. You also don't need anything better than S-video for the old consoles or even DVD's, though at least the DVD's can benefit from upscaling with a player that does so.

It's also arguable if an upgrade to BluRay really is that important. It's a cool tech and all, but an upscaled DVD does look pretty darn good and is generally cheaper. With that said, I do appreciate the BluRay's like Coraline, which gives me the BluRay movie, the DVD movie and the digital download in the same box, all for just $25 (at Target). That to me represents value and the best combination of "future" and compatibility. After all, my ONLY BluRay player is my PS3, so if I wanted to watch the movie elsewhere (like in my wife's car), I have to use the DVD (technically I could stream it wirelessly to my PSP, but I haven't tried that yet). The digital download is nice because I can watch it on my iPhone or Archos 7. I could of course just rip and convert the DVD, but why bother if I don't have to? That's also a wonderful deterrent to piracy, because frankly with the nice box, all of that stuff in it, plus four pairs of 3D glasses, all for just $25, it's hard for anyone to justify pirating the thing, you know? Value like that needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Great points. There seems to

Great points. There seems to be little point (IMO) in getting a giant TV and then sitting a long ways from it. Why not just get a smaller set and sit closer to it?

My main interest in this is just getting a set with the svideo and better inputs so I can finally experience my consoles and DVDs in their full glory, with an eye towards upgrading to Blu-Ray at my earliest convenience.

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Bill Loguidice
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TV sizes

There are guidelines to getting the size of TV that matches your sitting distance from it. I believe 50"+ you're going to want to be about 8 to 10 feet from the screen. That's what we have now and it's certainly a more than comfortable distance.

It matters less with a hi-def source, but seeing standard def up close on a big screen can be unpleasant because naturally all of the flaws are magnified.

It's interesting because in watching Coraline in 3D the other day on BluRay on my PS3, I think we would have been better off much closer to the TV, as for the 3D to work really well, I think the screen should be the majority of your view, if not all of it. I think the GT3 experience you mentioned, Mark, would be interesting, particularly in first person view, to experience up close, but as you say, there are side effects to that, probably partially due to the body expecting to be moving along with the viewpoint, but it's not.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Mark Vergeer
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A larger TV isn't always better

I recently played Gran Turismo 3 on a super huge tv which actually turned out to become a nausiating experience. A big screen is nice, but I don't like it to dominate a room and big tvs have a tendency to do that. It is more of a strain the head and neck muscles if you sit too close to a screen that is too big. Most people I have visited actually have way too large tv screens.
It is also a striking difference between European homes I have visited and American ones. Large projection screen tvs were pretty rare in the day over here in Europe - in the States they were pretty much run of the mill - often seen in more effluent homes. Not in Europe.

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Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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I'll probably end up with

I'll probably end up with the 37" LCD I mentioned earlier if I can. I'm really tired of my crummy TV with its composite inputs. Plus, the damn thing is huge (the TV itself, not the screen!) and weighs a ton.

I'd rather go for something much larger of course, but what can you do? I'll be lucky even to get this one.

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Bill Loguidice
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Limitations of DLP
Catatonic wrote:

So I guess DLP's still have those nasty looking spinning colour wheels.

Not the newer ones that I'm aware of, no. It's a different type of technology, but it still has a downside, obviously, even though they're really thin, have great pictures and accommodate large size screens easily. Believe me, it's not even something you notice 99% of the time. Only on super white scenes do you sometimes notice a light (or bright spot) in the center of the screens.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Catatonic
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DLP

So I guess DLP's still have those nasty looking spinning colour wheels.

Bill Loguidice
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TV's and online storage/sharing
clok1966 wrote:

I agree with the DLP thing, as LCD's and plasma (seems to be dying) are the current thing, many places are closeing out the DLP stuff. I bouhght a samsung 56" Projection TV with LED's about ayear ago for $999 at Best Buy (closeout) with 3 year warrenty. LOVE IT! if i had one bad thing to say about it... Whites seem to sparkle a bit, really the only time i notice it is the 360 load screen with the white and green ball. But many have listed cheap LCD's. I saw some off brand at Best Buy last weekend, 42" for $599, and if you hunt you can get a 5% coupon off alot of the time.

Yeah, due to the display technology, on screens with heavy white (depending upon where you're viewing from the severity varies) you can see some of that in the center of the screen. Otherwise, I agree, very rich blacks and great picture. It was certainly the best budget friendly option for a very large screen, though LCD's are dropping dramatically in price finally. What sucks is that my TV supports hardware-based 3D (it essentially splits the 120mhz signal into two 60mhz signals I believe), but nothing really supports it and you need an expensive and annoying add-on to make it work. Too bad. The future though is the 3D TV's without requiring any glasses, but we're still at least a few years away from those even going into production, let alone being a reasonable price.

clok1966 wrote:

A-Drive: WOW this is sweet, thanks so much for mentioning it!!!!

Yeah, I love it. I used a pay service that no longer exists (MyOtherDrive), and this free one is so much better! I would happily pay for it if I had to.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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clok1966
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DLP

I agree with the DLP thing, as LCD's and plasma (seems to be dying) are the current thing, many places are closeing out the DLP stuff. I bouhght a samsung 56" Projection TV with LED's about ayear ago for $999 at Best Buy (closeout) with 3 year warrenty. LOVE IT! if i had one bad thing to say about it... Whites seem to sparkle a bit, really the only time i notice it is the 360 load screen with the white and green ball. But many have listed cheap LCD's. I saw some off brand at Best Buy last weekend, 42" for $599, and if you hunt you can get a 5% coupon off alot of the time.

Cracked disc's been doing the Netflix thing for maybe 4 years now... DVD's (last count i had rented about 400) i have gotten maybe 5 broken or cracked. Only been doing the blu-ray since it started (year?) i have rented maybe 75-100 and havent gotten a bad one yet, but I did get wrong movie 2X.

A-Drive: WOW this is sweet, thanks so much for mentioning it!!!!

Catatonic
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Cracked discs

I used to rent DVD's by mail and they did occasionally arrive with cracks, sometimes the whole disc was split in two. And a couple times they never arrived at all. They have started to use plain envelopes to try to reduce theft.

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