Angry Robot

HDTV watch: here's a good one

I’ve been speccing out HDTVs for a while now and thought it was time to share what I have so far. Long story short: Sharp Aquos 42in LCD 1080p. Reasons: good reviews, good stats (1200:1 contrast, 6ms response, 2xHDMI), 1080p. Compared to what you could get for $2300 CDN even a year ago, this is pretty sweet. However, there are new models coming out soon, and the main difference is that they operate at 120hz. What does this mean? These articles (1, 2) can tell you more than I can, but it has to do with the refresh rate and it sounds like:

  1. 120hz, since it divides equally by 24 and 30, will yield a ‘smoother’ image no matter whether it is video- or film-based
  2. response time will be faster, around 4ms, which is of interest to gamers.

That said, I’m not sure whether these things will make any real-world difference. I haven’t exactly heard current HDTV owners crying out for smoother refresh rates; not a whine from HD gamers saying their TVs make them suck at games. Whenever I’m ready to buy (crosses fingers) I’ll see which way the wind blows. Maybe when they clear out the existing models there will be Hott Dealz.

It hasn’t escaped my attention that the thing that drives my home theatre upgrades lately is gaming, not film viewing. Having surround sound speakers for films is a nice touch, but for games it’s a performance advantage. HD will likely be the same. This is odd for a film-school grad.

Oh, while we’re on the subject: apparently Blu-Ray won.