Question(s) regarding HD LCDs and LCD monitors

In a few weeks I might be able to afford a 30-32 inch LCD hdtv. I am seeing ads for some models that are in the 600-900 dollar range. But I am a bit put off by the low contrast ratios. Those models have between 500-900:1 contrast ratios.
Am I correct in assuming that those low ratios have an adverse affect on picture quality??? Should I just save some more and try for a model with a much higher ratio??? Or, since I am content to stick with 720p for now, does a lower ratio not have that much of an effect with 30-32 inch 720p displays??


Most such ratings should be taken with a grain of salt. Go look at the monitors in action and decide for yourself. The LCD’s do tend to have “black level” issues when compared to other monitor types. Whether it’s an issue for you is up to you to decide. Many people might not see any difference in black levels.

The biggest issues that seem to be reported with LCD’s is how they display SD or analog content (480 and below). That’s what I would be looking at first. If your old VHS tapes or even satellite and cable broadcasts look like crap, do you really want that monitor? Anything can display 720/1080 well, it’s how it displays all the rest that separates the good from the bad.

Thank you for your response. I do agree that a huge part of a HDTV purchase is checking them out in person. Unfortunately, most stores do not put a lot of effort into optimizing the display … but the P.C. Richards a few blocks away from me recently created a wall to display their HD LCDs and they are all connected via component video to a HD source.

The thing is, the more I read and research about HD and delve into stuff like video capture, the more I find myself getting critical about stuff like black levels and contrast ratios.

One of my main complaints with LCD - and to some degree plasma - is that there are many instances where - for example - facial features are not detailed. They look smooth and pixelated. I am hoping this is a result of not using a HD compatible connection and a poor source.

Maybe I should get a crt based HDTV for now…one of those Samsung 32 inch slim fit deals.

Since you’re looking only at smaller displays, your choices are limited. In 50"+ displays, the DLP and related projection sets offer stunning picture quality. Many of them have surpassed plasma and LCD in most all areas.

Beware of stores where you cannot evaluate a monitor with a variety of inputs like broadcast and cable, or take in your own DVD for viewing. And don’t assume that because a monitor performs well with a digital input that it will do the same with analog. :frowning:

The majority of my viewing will be dvds, digital cable tv and HD cable tv.

If I had the room, I would save for a 40-50 inch DLP set, but the viewing distance between my couch and the tv is 8 ft at most.

Optimum viewing distance is 2.5x the size of the screen. A 42 screen would be 8.75 ft. Remember that the flat screen will be very close to the wall or on the wall. I have a 50" LCD Rear Projection and I sit 10’ away. It’s perfect. Get the biggest screen that you can or a few months later you will wish you had.

In your case I would go somewhere between 37" to 42", but not any bigger.

:cool: :cool: