HDTV on a budget

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HDTV on a budget

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:13 pm

A question to anyone who is up on the dos and don'ts of HDTV buying, especially fellow Canadians: is it possible to get a decent, 30"-plus, 1080p tv for under $600? I'm in a small apartment and really don't need anything larger. I'm currently stuck with a five-year-old 27" 4:3 CRT, so I'm looking to upgrade, but I don't need a 60" 3D monster. Is this do-able, and where do you think prices will sit in three-to-four months?
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Steve T Power » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:45 pm

Check Futureshop and Walmart, and don't worry about branding.

Don't let Futureshop sell you their ancilliary bullshit like calibration and $100 cables either.

I bought this one for Sarah for the bedroom, and movies and games both look fantastic on it. You may want to snag a surround bar for sound though. Any sub 50" flat-panel display is going to struggle in the sound department unless you're spending some cash money.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:13 pm

Thanks, Steve. My other option, possibly, is about just using a laptop for HD. I guess the real issue I'm facing is that I don't really want to keep buying SD product if I'm eventually going to want HD content, but I currently have no way of viewing blu rays. I mean, I'd be happy if the discs didn't even look amazing, provided I could actually watch them. The wife's laptop has an HDMI port, I'm assuming for output only. Is playing commercial blu rays simply a matter of having a blu ray drive, or are there software/component issues that I'm going to hit?

This sh*t gets complex, man.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Steve T Power » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:07 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:Thanks, Steve. My other option, possibly, is about just using a laptop for HD. I guess the real issue I'm facing is that I don't really want to keep buying SD product if I'm eventually going to want HD content, but I currently have no way of viewing blu rays. I mean, I'd be happy if the discs didn't even look amazing, provided I could actually watch them. The wife's laptop has an HDMI port, I'm assuming for output only. Is playing commercial blu rays simply a matter of having a blu ray drive, or are there software/component issues that I'm going to hit?

This sh*t gets complex, man.


My laptop included software that was integrated into Windows Media Centre. Cyberlink's PowerDVD, plays blu-rays like a mofo. The HDMI works like a champ for sending video to the tele as well.It's definitely not the ideal blu-ray player solution, but it certainly gets the job done. It's got a 17.3 inch screen and JBL speakers as well, so it's great for stand alone playback on the road or whatever.

It was ridiculously expensive though vs. a player/decent display. The sticker price on the laptop could have gotten me a 60" Bravia.

And some places (Blockbuster of all people) are selling players for below $100 these days.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby mkiker2089 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:18 am

Talking budget I am pleased with my 720p 32 inch TV. I looked at them and really didn't see a difference between the 720 and the more expensive 1080p models. The savings allowed me to get a speaker set up.

Speaking of budget, I bought a PC speaker set up for my bedroom for about 50 bucks. It has a subwoofer and is stereo only, but that's all I wanted for there. It plugs into the earphone jack on the back of the TV.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:39 pm

Thinking time. Thanks all.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:05 pm

Okay, so I was wrong about the HDMI port on the laptop (Toshiba Portege M800 model PPM81C-07602D). It has a spot for an HDMI port, but it's covered.

So, the HDCP question: Can I play BD at lower resolutions through a non-HDCP-compliant display, or will it simply not output any image? If I can watch Blu in SD, new purchases can be BD and I won't have to double-dip when I eventually get a proper HD setup.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Steve T Power » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:29 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:Okay, so I was wrong about the HDMI port on the laptop (Toshiba Portege M800 model PPM81C-07602D). It has a spot for an HDMI port, but it's covered.

So, the HDCP question: Can I play BD at lower resolutions through a non-HDCP-compliant display, or will it simply not output any image? If I can watch Blu in SD, new purchases can be BD and I won't have to double-dip when I eventually get a proper HD setup.


You can always watch, yep. HDCP just downscales to 720p is all.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:47 pm

Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:Okay, so I was wrong about the HDMI port on the laptop (Toshiba Portege M800 model PPM81C-07602D). It has a spot for an HDMI port, but it's covered.

So, the HDCP question: Can I play BD at lower resolutions through a non-HDCP-compliant display, or will it simply not output any image? If I can watch Blu in SD, new purchases can be BD and I won't have to double-dip when I eventually get a proper HD setup.


You can always watch, yep. HDCP just downscales to 720p is all.

Thank you sir.

I'm currently looking into the PS3 option. I figure I may as well get some gaming potential while I invest in a player.
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Re: HDTV on a budget

Postby Steve T Power » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:06 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Steve T Power wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:Okay, so I was wrong about the HDMI port on the laptop (Toshiba Portege M800 model PPM81C-07602D). It has a spot for an HDMI port, but it's covered.

So, the HDCP question: Can I play BD at lower resolutions through a non-HDCP-compliant display, or will it simply not output any image? If I can watch Blu in SD, new purchases can be BD and I won't have to double-dip when I eventually get a proper HD setup.


You can always watch, yep. HDCP just downscales to 720p is all.

Thank you sir.

I'm currently looking into the PS3 option. I figure I may as well get some gaming potential while I invest in a player.


Best bang for buck bar none. Quicker load times on blu-ray movies, more readily available updates, and you can play kick ass games.
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