We usually start off answering the "What set should I buy?" question by asking some questions right back. It's
always good to know what kind of budget we're talking about, what the primary uses will be the for the HDTV and where
the high-def signal will come from.
Buzz was kind enough to answer our questions with the following useful
- The budget is about $2,000, unless there's a compelling reason to increase it.
- College basketball is a must-watch
- The set will mainly be used for home entertainment; there are no
special gaming or PC needs.
- Cable is the most likely signal for reception.
Buzz is considering
an LCD model from Sharp: the LC-37GB5U
Right off the bat, it should meet all of Buzz's requirements. We've seen this set on-line in the $1,600 to $1,800 range
so it's within budget. Resolution-wise, the Sharp is 720p capable with a native 1366 x 768 resolution; any 1080i
broadcasts will get converted to 720p. This resolution might help with the "college basketball" requirement
due to the progressive line scanning. This is key if you plan to watch fast motion sports.
The Sharp has
both an ATSC and NTSC tuner built in, which is over and above the signal requirements Buzz has. If he's going to use
Cable for his HDTV programming, he doesn't need the digital tuner, but it's a nice add-on and could save a few dollars
per month with a good antenna.
All of today's (and tomorrow's) inputs are present on the Sharp as well. It
has HDMI, DVI-I, two component inputs, but it does lack a CableCard input. That's not a show stopper, but it will
require a cable set-top box for Buzz. All in all then, this choice isn't a bad one at all based on the requirements and
The only other sets that we might recommend Buzz take a look at are:
CT 34-WX15: It's less expensive and adds two-inches of screen. On the flipside, you don't get an ATSC tuner and it's
bulky at 160 pounds and two-feet deep.
Bravia KLVS32A10: It lists for $2k and offers more contrast (1000:1) over the Sharp (800:1) as well as a faster
response time (8 ms vs. 16 ms).
HL-R4266W: This DLP set is around $1,800 and takes Buzz up to 42-inches; possibly too big for his room, but not too
big. This model brings the contrast up to 2500:1 and adds a Digital Cable Ready tuner via CableCard slot.
those are our thoughts to help Buzz look at all of the options. What do you think? Did we overlook a great set
that's worthy of consideration?