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Old
12-02-2008, 12:26 AM
  #1
OneSharpMarble
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HDTV Advice.

I am looking to buy a HDTV and instead of talking to sales people I figured you the owning public would be able to help me in a unbiased way. My own preferences...
- 30" - 40" screen
- Under or around $1000

Some questions I have...
- What is the best store for the best deals?
- What is a the preffered brands and models?
- Should 1080p be a must have?
- Should I get instore policy or is that a con like car dealer warranties?
- Can I barter with sales people and get things for free or is this a waste of time?
- Plasma or LCD better for gaming?

If you have a horror story or something negative to contribute about a brand please do. I live in Vancouver Canada so do take that into consideration when suggesting stores.

Thanks.

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Old
12-02-2008, 12:31 AM
  #2
Le Tricolore
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you can definitely barter with sales people. go to a few stores, and see who makes the better deal. always mention deals that other stores are offering you. see if they can top it.

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Old
12-02-2008, 12:35 AM
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http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...9&sku=A1977316

This is the deal I bought into not too long ago, the TV is pretty much awesome for the price.

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Old
12-02-2008, 12:42 AM
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Looks like you'll be looking for an LCD tv since plasmas usually start at 42 inches.

-If you want a great deal, check Amazon. They always have great deals on HDTVs, and they'll also throw in some free goodies every now and then too. I've heard that they're white glove delivery service is pretty good. If you're too worried about having a tv shipped to you, then let me suggest shopping Costco or Sams Club if you have membership there.

-Sony, and Samsung lead the way here, although you won't find a new Sony model around your price range. Sharp is good if you can avoid the banding problems that plague some of those sets. I've heard good things about the Panasonic line of LCDS as well.

-1080p really won't help you in a tv this size, especially on that smaller end.

-Not sure about warranties.

-Not sure about bartering, but i wouldn't count on it unless someone really needs you to buy their tv.

-You can go either way as far as gaming is concerned. For an LCD you have to worry a little bit about lag, and for plasma you might have to worry about phosphor trails.

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Old
12-02-2008, 01:07 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Bob View Post
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...9&sku=A1977316

This is the deal I bought into not too long ago, the TV is pretty much awesome for the price.
That is a mighty nice deal, is that in the States and in American dollars though?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindcircus View Post
Looks like you'll be looking for an LCD tv since plasmas usually start at 42 inches.

-If you want a great deal, check Amazon. They always have great deals on HDTVs, and they'll also throw in some free goodies every now and then too. I've heard that they're white glove delivery service is pretty good. If you're too worried about having a tv shipped to you, then let me suggest shopping Costco or Sams Club if you have membership there.

-Sony, and Samsung lead the way here, although you won't find a new Sony model around your price range. Sharp is good if you can avoid the banding problems that plague some of those sets. I've heard good things about the Panasonic line of LCDS as well.

-1080p really won't help you in a tv this size, especially on that smaller end.

-Not sure about warranties.

-Not sure about bartering, but i wouldn't count on it unless someone really needs you to buy their tv.

-You can go either way as far as gaming is concerned. For an LCD you have to worry a little bit about lag, and for plasma you might have to worry about phosphor trails.
Ok you twisted my arm I want a 42 inch favoring plasma because I game. I am looking hard at http://www.londondrugs.com/Cultures/...5&ProductTab=3

Now if I could get it down to 1000-1100 I would be much happier.

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Old
12-02-2008, 01:54 AM
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Ack now I am reading that if I am going to get a 42inch plasma than I wont notice much difference between the 1080p and the 720p?

I will probably sit 5 or 6 feet away so I am leaning towards the 720p. I don't really want to spend an extra $300 for a very small increase at close range.

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Old
12-02-2008, 02:25 AM
  #7
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My advice is futureshop dec 26th.

1080p - yes, you would be silly not to get one

brands - Sharp, Sony, LG just won awards for best of the best

barter - don't be cheap, research it

Plasma is good for low light areas like a basement, LCD is a must if you have any outside light at all

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12-02-2008, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
Ack now I am reading that if I am going to get a 42inch plasma than I wont notice much difference between the 1080p and the 720p?

I will probably sit 5 or 6 feet away so I am leaning towards the 720p. I don't really want to spend an extra $300 for a very small increase at close range.
If that's the case then I'd lean towards an LCD and a 1080p one at that.

A) The closer you get to a set is where the difference between 1080p and 720P can be seen, it's not the other way around. I've place two lines on this graphic that was posted in another thread approximately at 42" and 50", to make it easier to read.


You have to actually be closer to a set in order for your eyes to appreciate a higher resolution. As the distance you are away from a TV increases, the less the eye is able to perceive the detail. I'm assuming you mean console gaming, and many consoles now are 1080p capable both in the game's graphic display, and their ability to play Blue-Ray discs. Since you've mentioned your close proximity to the TV this would tend to lean towards you being able to take advantage of the higher resolutions of 1080p sets.

B) Plasmas are still not the most reliable when it comes to resisting "burn in" from static images. Many console game contain static images that can't be removed or opted out of being displayed. And although most don't consider burn in an issue any more for plasmas, LCD's still, in general, are considered the choice for console gaming. I'm a plasma person, love em, and own one. But when the right circumstances exist, an LCD can be the better choice.

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12-02-2008, 11:05 PM
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OK now I have switched from a 42" Plasma Panasonic 720p to a LG 42" LCD 1080p. I know people say Plasma is better for gaming but I think the 1080p is more valuable than the difference between plasma and LCD.

I found that Visions has the best price right now but I want to know if they will throw anything in with my purchase or I will go down the street to Future shop and see what freebies I can get even if they are $50 higher I know they will drop it to get my business.

Thank you all for your contributions, you have been most helpful.

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Old
12-03-2008, 10:45 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
Ack now I am reading that if I am going to get a 42inch plasma than I wont notice much difference between the 1080p and the 720p?

I will probably sit 5 or 6 feet away so I am leaning towards the 720p. I don't really want to spend an extra $300 for a very small increase at close range.
Most plasmas can't even display 720p properly. Plasmas look really nice, but at 42" the vast majority of panels can only display at a resolution of 1024*768. By contrast, the actual resolution for 720p is 1280*720 and the actual resolution for 1080p is 1920*1080.

Plasma's are really only good in big sizes where LCDs become extremely expensive.

My advise is to get a Sharp Aquos set that displays at 720p. BluRay movies are the only things that come in 1080p at the moment. Having spent some time as a software engineer in the broadcast industry, I can tell you that true 1080p TV broadcasts (recorded, edited, broadcasted as opposed to just being upconverted from 720p) are still a long way from being feasible. Only get the 1080p set if you're willing to shell the extra $$ for it. It's one of those things that's nice to have (and it's definitely worth it) but you *could* live without it.

If you're going to do any kind of gaming on your TV, look for something that has a "game mode". That basically disables all of the post-processing the TV does (that stuff is really only neccessary for standard def. signals anyways) that create "input lag". As far as I know, virtually every Sharp LCD has a game mode.

Also... if you get a TV that boasts "120hz", MAKE SURE you turn that off when you're playing games.


Last edited by noobman: 12-03-2008 at 10:53 AM.
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Old
12-03-2008, 11:19 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobman View Post
Most plasmas can't even display 720p properly. Plasmas look really nice, but at 42" the vast majority of panels can only display at a resolution of 1024*768. By contrast, the actual resolution for 720p is 1280*720 and the actual resolution for 1080p is 1920*1080.

Plasma's are really only good in big sizes where LCDs become extremely expensive.

My advise is to get a Sharp Aquos set that displays at 720p. BluRay movies are the only things that come in 1080p at the moment. Having spent some time as a software engineer in the broadcast industry, I can tell you that true 1080p TV broadcasts (recorded, edited, broadcasted as opposed to just being upconverted from 720p) are still a long way from being feasible. Only get the 1080p set if you're willing to shell the extra $$ for it. It's one of those things that's nice to have (and it's definitely worth it) but you *could* live without it.

If you're going to do any kind of gaming on your TV, look for something that has a "game mode". That basically disables all of the post-processing the TV does (that stuff is really only neccessary for standard def. signals anyways) that create "input lag". As far as I know, virtually every Sharp LCD has a game mode.

Also... if you get a TV that boasts "120hz", MAKE SURE you turn that off when you're playing games.
exactly what noobman said

I dont know if i would ever get a plasma, they have a finite life as compared to LCD's. Also I believe there is still a worry about if you play games on a plasma, they might still etch an image on them, after you play with them. I have a 37" LCD and i am glad that even if i went up to a 42" LCD that there was no chance at etching or "ghost image" on an LCD.

OneSharpMarble this is what i would be worried about. But if you dont care that it might not last as long as an LCD or you are only going to use it as a video game screen, then ok go with the plasma.

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Old
12-03-2008, 12:58 PM
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That is in american dollars, so I guess in the end it might be closer to the 1000 you're willing to spend, lol.

Anyway, I agree that 1080P right now is virtually useless unless you plan to watch a lot of blu ray movies, I just got it because the deal was way too good to pass up.

And yeah, I've heard the horror stories of plasma getting stuck on the screen, especially since games have HUD's and whatnot. Though I've heard that this has been reduced to almost nothing?

For the record, I use a website called slickdeals.net, and sometimes they'll have sweet deals on this sort of stuff, which is where I found the TV I have now.

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12-03-2008, 01:19 PM
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I thought the top consoles were capable of 1080p, and therefore at the distances he'd be sitting from the TV, it would be a benefit. I'm not all that familiar with the exact nature of the console formatting and rendition, so that might have been bad advice. Is there a reason why it wouldn't apply under these circumstances?

I'm also a 720p advocate unless you've got the money or plan to buy Blue-Ray and sit in close to your TV.

But I thought marble's situation might warrant 1080p.

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12-03-2008, 01:43 PM
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http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...58&catid=23244 The TV I want... Might get the 32A550 instead or wait for the 650 to drop in price.

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12-03-2008, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parabola View Post
http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...58&catid=23244 The TV I want... Might get the 32A550 instead or wait for the 650 to drop in price.
Love my Samsung. But what are you using the 32" for? You could get something bigger for the same cost. Or something the same size for much cheaper... ?

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12-03-2008, 01:51 PM
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Love my Samsung. But what are you using the 32" for? You could get something bigger for the same cost. Or something the same size for much cheaper... ?
gaems

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12-03-2008, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by OneSharpMarble View Post
OK now I have switched from a 42" Plasma Panasonic 720p to a LG 42" LCD 1080p. I know people say Plasma is better for gaming but I think the 1080p is more valuable than the difference between plasma and LCD.

I found that Visions has the best price right now but I want to know if they will throw anything in with my purchase or I will go down the street to Future shop and see what freebies I can get even if they are $50 higher I know they will drop it to get my business.

Thank you all for your contributions, you have been most helpful.
You're in Edmonton?? Check out Soundsaround....they have great stuff, better than Visions for service and quality products. And they will do anything to steal a deal away from FS, BestBuy, Visions etc.

Just be aware that TV's are low low margin items, so if that's all you are buying, the store isn't gonna give you too much in the way of freebies....but they should all try to beat one anothers price.

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12-05-2008, 03:42 AM
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You're in Edmonton?? Check out Soundsaround....they have great stuff, better than Visions for service and quality products. And they will do anything to steal a deal away from FS, BestBuy, Visions etc.

Just be aware that TV's are low low margin items, so if that's all you are buying, the store isn't gonna give you too much in the way of freebies....but they should all try to beat one anothers price.
I wish I was still in Edmonton, im in Vancouver now, that little tidbit cost me another $120. Damn pst.

Anyways I got the LG 42" 1080p LCD with a 3 year warranty because I am paranoid about these things. I probably could have gotten away with a 720p but whats done is done and now is not the time to be angry over wasted money, it is the time to play Gear of War 2 in HD.

I am just curious if anyone knows any good sites that will help me calibrate it. I have heard these tv's are never calibrated properly in the stores and before I go running around the web I was wondering if someone had a good site to reccomend.

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12-05-2008, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disfigured View Post
I thought the top consoles were capable of 1080p, and therefore at the distances he'd be sitting from the TV, it would be a benefit. I'm not all that familiar with the exact nature of the console formatting and rendition, so that might have been bad advice. Is there a reason why it wouldn't apply under these circumstances?

I'm also a 720p advocate unless you've got the money or plan to buy Blue-Ray and sit in close to your TV.

But I thought marble's situation might warrant 1080p.
I'm bumping this because I didn't see an answer from the console people and I'm curious.

At 5 to 7 feet away from the TV itself is it not an advantage for a new console? Do consoles have 1080p capability? Is it progressive, or is it just the resolution that they can output in?

I might (big might) switch to HD in the bedroom which will be close viewing, and I might (big might, I'm a hardcore PC multi-player for the most part) eventually have a console on it. So I was curious.

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12-05-2008, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by disfigured View Post
I'm bumping this because I didn't see an answer from the console people and I'm curious.

At 5 to 7 feet away from the TV itself is it not an advantage for a new console? Do consoles have 1080p capability? Is it progressive, or is it just the resolution that they can output in?

I might (big might) switch to HD in the bedroom which will be close viewing, and I might (big might, I'm a hardcore PC multi-player for the most part) eventually have a console on it. So I was curious.
The PS3 and 360 both support 1080p via HDMI cables (although not many games are "native" 1080p yet - that is, they're actually 1080p and not upscaled from 720p). Although the PS3 plays 1080p BluRay movies.

The distance/resolution chart is just as relative to HD gaming as it would be to HD television, etc.

But as I think you said yourself above, 1080p is only worth it if your TV set is larger than 40" or so, then taking into account viewin distance, etc.

My 40" TV is 720p/1080i and I do a lot of gaming with no complaints.

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12-05-2008, 12:31 PM
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The PS3 and 360 both support 1080p via HDMI cables (although not many games are "native" 1080p yet - that is, they're actually 1080p and not upscaled from 720p). Although the PS3 plays 1080p BluRay movies.

The distance/resolution chart is just as relative to HD gaming as it would be to HD television, etc.

But as I think you said yourself above, 1080p is only worth it if your TV set is larger than 40" or so, then taking into account viewin distance, etc.

My 40" TV is 720p/1080i and I do a lot of gaming with no complaints.
I also have a 40" and it's 1080p. I know most people say there is very little visible difference between 1080i and 1080p on that size, but it is something I notice. That little bit extra clarity and detail is just nice.

I would go with a 40" 1080p LCD if you're doing gaming. I would also stick with one of the three big brands in Sony, Samsung or Panasonic. LG and Vizio tend to break down more often and require repairs. I also have first hand experience that Samsung's support and repair service is excellent.

You can get a 40" samsung(LN40A550) on amazon for $1050. 1080p, 30,000:1 contrast ratio, 5 ms response time. Totally worth it if you ask me.

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12-05-2008, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by disfigured View Post
I'm bumping this because I didn't see an answer from the console people and I'm curious.

At 5 to 7 feet away from the TV itself is it not an advantage for a new console? Do consoles have 1080p capability? Is it progressive, or is it just the resolution that they can output in?

I might (big might) switch to HD in the bedroom which will be close viewing, and I might (big might, I'm a hardcore PC multi-player for the most part) eventually have a console on it. So I was curious.
In your case, I'd invest in a better PC monitor. A 24" or 28" monitor will come with a resolution of 1920*1200. If you get one that supports 1:1 pixel mapping, you can easily hook up an Xbox360 or PS3 to it and run at 1080p (or choose 1920*1080 if you use the 360s VGA cables).

As a PC gamer you're probably used to sitting very close to the screen. You just can't do that with an HDTV. My friend has a 26" Samsung HDTV (720p) and my 24" BenQ PC monitor blows it out of the water. He paid close to $1000 for his TV, whereas I payed about $420 for my monitor. Of course he can actually watch TV on his w/ the built-in tuner, whereas I'd have to hook up a digital cable box from Rogers.

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12-05-2008, 02:47 PM
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exactly what noobman said

I dont know if i would ever get a plasma, they have a finite life as compared to LCD's. Also I believe there is still a worry about if you play games on a plasma, they might still etch an image on them, after you play with them. I have a 37" LCD and i am glad that even if i went up to a 42" LCD that there was no chance at etching or "ghost image" on an LCD.

OneSharpMarble this is what i would be worried about. But if you dont care that it might not last as long as an LCD or you are only going to use it as a video game screen, then ok go with the plasma.
Yeah mine is only rated to 60,000 hrs...it'll live longer than me.

I have a 50" plasma @1368 * 720. I game on it (Xbox360 mostly), though not as much as most, and I have never had any image retention issues (i am lucky to get a few hours a week). The key to owning a plasma is to break it in properly when it's first set up...if done right, there shouldn't be any problems.

I also have 2 LCD's and am happy with both. I would base it on which looks best to you in the $ range you can afford.

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12-05-2008, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobman View Post
In your case, I'd invest in a better PC monitor. A 24" or 28" monitor will come with a resolution of 1920*1200. If you get one that supports 1:1 pixel mapping, you can easily hook up an Xbox360 or PS3 to it and run at 1080p (or choose 1920*1080 if you use the 360s VGA cables).

As a PC gamer you're probably used to sitting very close to the screen. You just can't do that with an HDTV. My friend has a 26" Samsung HDTV (720p) and my 24" BenQ PC monitor blows it out of the water. He paid close to $1000 for his TV, whereas I payed about $420 for my monitor. Of course he can actually watch TV on his w/ the built-in tuner, whereas I'd have to hook up a digital cable box from Rogers.
Well I already have a new 26" Samsung for my PC , what hardcore multiplayer PC gamer wouldn't have something like that . Plus I'd never tarnish my rig with the presence of a console anywhere near it. .

Eventually I'm going to be converting to HD in the bedroom, but since I don't see Blue-Ray in the bedroom anytime soon or ever for that matter, 720p was my only consideration, because DirectTV with perhaps a DVR would be the feed. But when I think about trying to "future proof" myself now, I was wondering if I ever bought a console for the bedroom, if 1080p would have an advantage or even be necessary.

See the TV is coming first, but the console may never come. I haven't had one in years (first PS), and I gave that one away in about a month. But with the close proximity to the TV in the bedroom, I was thinking maybe 1080p would be worth it for an Xbox or PS3 (not to mention they have BlueRay players).

From what your all telling me though, the 720p would be just fine (for the console) . The graphics quality difference being minimal, and a pretty big savings considering the console may never be purchased anyway.

PS: I have 50" 720p plasma in the living room, but it's an 06' HP and I don't trust the burn in protection on it.

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12-05-2008, 11:18 PM
  #25
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I wish I was still in Edmonton, im in Vancouver now, that little tidbit cost me another $120. Damn pst.

Anyways I got the LG 42" 1080p LCD with a 3 year warranty because I am paranoid about these things. I probably could have gotten away with a 720p but whats done is done and now is not the time to be angry over wasted money, it is the time to play Gear of War 2 in HD.

I am just curious if anyone knows any good sites that will help me calibrate it. I have heard these tv's are never calibrated properly in the stores and before I go running around the web I was wondering if someone had a good site to reccomend.
If CNET has recently done a review of your TV, they often provide the calibration settings they used (which are supposed to be good, but they calibrate in a black room, no light, so a bit artificial maybe, but very useful nonetheless).

If that fails check out www.avsforum.com. Its the HF boards of all stuff A/V.

If you have a "THX Certified" DVD movie disc (The Incredibles, Toy Story), it comes with a really good basic calibration test pattern set on the disc. I think some discs even came with blue lenses to look through for colour calibration.

Nothing beats doing your own calibration in the room you intend to use. Also, with a THX disc, you could do the calibration playing the disc on your console player and thereby get the best calibration related to that player and those inputs on the TV.

Third party settings, even from a pro, are 2nd best to doing your own. (If the THX DVD disc isn't enough for you, there are discs by Avia, HT Essentials and others that have far more stuff to tweak if you are interested).

BTW, expect a darker picture than you probably anticipate once you calibrate. Especially if you are used to seeing the images in the stores. TV's come with the brightness jacked up, so that TV is the one that stands out in-store. People generally are dazzled by brightness in the store as opposed to definition and detail. But once calibrated, black images on black backgrounds will show greater definition (ie. black hair in the dark won't just be a mass of undistinguishable black anymore) and previously jagged edges are often smoother.

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