slight confusion over TV spec s

  ben_m_G 03:41 10 Jun 2008

Its finally time to ditch the crt and go for a decent 37" LCD; scopeing the forum I know what brands to look out for and the definition meanings...

But what I would like to know is, what is a good contrast ratio and resolution?
I'm looking for a high quality image keeping in / around my budget of £700...ish.

Have been round the stores but the same ratio on two tvs seem completly different, where they are running normal 'foggy' channels on one its a special HD service on another.
(I did realise that this would be the case, but didnt want poor quality for general use.)

Is there a 'golden' number to aim for? I really want to see a differance with the new set, without overspending too much.

many thanks,


  Jim_F 09:01 10 Jun 2008

From what I can see 1080p (1920x1080) is the gold standard but as you point out there is relatively little true source material so you're looking at material that has been upscaled and hence looses quality. If you're not happy with this then AFAIK the options are to select a TV with a lower resolution or watch in letterbox mode.

I think this thread says it all: click here - still going strong after 2 years !

  ben_m_G 18:03 10 Jun 2008

thanks, i will review the link and see if I find an answer.

  ben_m_G 18:18 10 Jun 2008

uhh.. a quick read made my head hurt... didnt realise that there was such depth behind finding a good TV.

(especially when i asked about the specifics of a particular set in-store, i was told "well that one has a coloured light on the back")

  tasslehoff burrfoot 21:05 10 Jun 2008

Contrast ratio and resolution:

Put very simply, the higher the numbers the better.

But, of course, it's not really that simple.

Real world contrast ratio's are very, very different from the advertised spec, but it should still remain that the higher the advertised ratio, the higher the real world ratio will be.

Watch out for LCDs, manufacturers have started making them very bright; same black level but brighter whites result in a higher contrast ratio but little actual performance increase.

Resoution wise, 1080 is the highest you can get (for the moment) and offers the best picture quality, all things being equal. For example a 720 source will be better displayed on a 720 display than a 1080 display (whether you can notice this difference is another matter entirely).

Fixed pixel displays always have a native resolution and will always display at that resolution so if the source material is at another resolution there must be some processing involved (either by the source device or the display) so it is recommended to get a panel which best suits the source.

Then there is (i)nterlaced and (p)rogressive. Progressive is better. Indeed a digital display cannot display an interlaced picture so, again, more processing is involved if fed an interlaced source.

At the end of the day, nothing will tell you which telly is right for you better than your own eyes. Find a set you like the look of/price of/spec of visit comet and have a look. Ask them to display a Blu-ray disc on it, or DVD, or SD TV - whatever you will be using the telly for.

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