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Old 03-30-2011, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default TV shopping...need suggestions on locations

Anyone know of a store here in Denver that has KNOWLEDGEABLE people in terms of televisions? Best buy , soundtrack, and sadly micro center all have salespeople that don't really seem to know the intricacies of modern sets.

I'm looking for a place that I can go have an intimate conversation about pixel response time, refresh rate (and not just ZOMG THIS 120HZ IS AMAZING11!1!1), and how they differentiate whilst seeing the differences on actual t.v's.

I've been doing a TON of reading online, but would like to have a discussion with tangible items in front of me.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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I've gone through this process a few times, and I've found that there are very few places in person that will do an effective job in this area with any consistency. It's too tough IMO because you won't be able to see much in the way of differences between sets (other than size), except what they want you to see.

Stores have a habit of messing with the settings so much that they will look completely different in your home. Some do it to make them all "pop" as much as possible. Some will do it to make the ones they are pushing look better than the others. Some mess with the overhead lighting so they all look different. It's just one of those things you need to know going in.

Best bet is to read reviews at places like avsforums or cnet and ask your questions there....or here to some extent. If you must go in person, make sure it's a high end speciality home theater store and not some chain. They're the only ones who can not only match the lighting in your room of choice, but also mess with the settings exactly how you'd like and test drive whatever source material you'd like.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:19 PM   #3
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There are quite a few threads with a lot of good information on flat screen TV's here on the Mane. I would start there, do your own research and find a set you like. Then shop around for the set. We did a black Friday thing. My wife and I camped out and got a nice 50" Plasma, 1080p For 600 bucks, no interest for 18 months at Best Buy. Didn't even talk to the sales guy beyond "I'm buying this."
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
I've gone through this process a few times, and I've found that there are very few places in person that will do an effective job in this area with any consistency. It's too tough IMO because you won't be able to see much in the way of differences between sets (other than size), except what they want you to see.

Stores have a habit of messing with the settings so much that they will look completely different in your home. Some do it to make them all "pop" as much as possible. Some will do it to make the ones they are pushing look better than the others. Some mess with the overhead lighting so they all look different. It's just one of those things you need to know going in.

Best bet is to read reviews at places like avsforums or cnet and ask your questions there....or here to some extent. If you must go in person, make sure it's a high end speciality home theater store and not some chain. They're the only ones who can not only match the lighting in your room of choice, but also mess with the settings exactly how you'd like and test drive whatever source material you'd like.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. I just don't know if such a store exists...I'm sure it does, but I don't know which one to go to. So, any suggestions?
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:30 PM   #5
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I've read some good reviews about these guys and they're local to you:

http://www.listenup.com/support/locations.php
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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There are quite a few threads with a lot of good information on flat screen TV's here on the Mane. I would start there, do your own research and find a set you like. Then shop around for the set. We did a black Friday thing. My wife and I camped out and got a nice 50" Plasma, 1080p For 600 bucks, no interest for 18 months at Best Buy. Didn't even talk to the sales guy beyond "I'm buying this."
Believe me, guys like you, bean, drek...have all pushed me to learn more about the subject through your threads. I feel like an expert on the subject now, but I'm the kind of person that likes to get my hands on a product before I buy it. I can research online until my hands cramp up, but there comes a point in time where I feel the need to discuss it in person with someone that has extensive background with the item itself. Being able to talk with someone that deals with tv's on a daily basis, and has the ability to discuss lesser known technologies within them that make subtle differences I couldn't see in someone's blog.

Again, I'm super happy for you and your wife, sounds like you guys got an awesome deal! I've done similar things before, but I'm becoming a trusted source amongst friends as a kind of "shopper" for them, so I'd like to delve into the mind of someone who lives and breathes tvs, in order to further my own knowledge. I dunno, kind of hard to explain.

Maybe I should go take a class or something haha
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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I've read some good reviews about these guys and they're local to you:

http://www.listenup.com/support/locations.php
That might be the ticket...they're pretty close to my house too.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:36 PM   #8
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Listen Up is about the only place to go in the Boulder/Denver area for any real knowledge and for some of the best high end gear you can get. There stores don't even look like retail stores so they don't bring in a lot of rucus either.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:38 PM   #9
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Sweet. That's two recommendations. Listen up it is!
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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Sweet. That's two recommendations. Listen up it is!
Thats where John Elway goes to get all of his home theater stuff. Or at least it was back in the day.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:25 PM   #11
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Sounds like Listen Up is a legit option. I can tell you no chain ever is. Its corporate policy for them to jack the contrast and brightness to near burnout levels because statistics show thats what sells TVs best.

Try to find a place where you can tweak settings and throw your own disc into. If you have some reference quality materials you could really do well by just flipping the TV's video settings off the store custom to a different manufacturer pre-set that will be more in line (though not truly "right") for in home viewing.

If you want some good ref. material options I'd suggest the following:

black levels: Dark City. Almost any scene but especially one with a close up of a partially shadowed brick wall. It should display popping colors that gradually fade into an inky black ocean.

motion response: action movies and video games. A store with a 360 or PS3 hooked up is a great trial for this to see if you get any ghosting or motion blur. Otherwise bright colored dynamic action flicks. Hero would be an excellent choice since.

Color quality: Again, Hero is a great choice here since it intentionally oversaturates the screen with a particular color. If you can still pick out clean crisp details and lines then its quality. The red scenes are great for picking out color bleed.

Lot of other things but those are just some examples. If you want a single catch all for ref. material have them throw in any of the old classic Disney movies. They are absolutely masterful updates that should have bright, popping colors with zero bleeding outlined by sharp, clear black ink strokes. On my Kuro I can literally see brush strokes from when they colored the original cells for Alice In Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland is also a great ref. for how the set will handle 4:3 aspect ratio. You want to set that makes the side bars fade out of view, not stay as some dark gray back-lighting that minimizes the impact of the colorful 4:3 image you're trying to watch.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #12
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Do your research on avsforums.com first. Do not buy the damn HDMI cables they try to sell you for a 600% mockup. Go to monoprice.com for the real stuff.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:54 PM   #13
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Ultimate electronic s going out of business in springs had sony backlit led s for half off
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:13 PM   #14
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OK! SO.

Went to a few shops, and read quite a bit more online. Apparently input lag isn't something they really emphasize with anyone in retail these days haha. THIS particular purchase is for a friend of mine, and he wants a tv SPECIFICALLY for gaming. After going back through some of the older threads (including an input lag thread I'd created, a big thanks again to Drek for piquing my interest on the subject and consequently starting my 3 day researching journey on the subject), and reading some on the other forums (chris, I've loved and used avsforums quite a bit over the last year, they're incredible), I've come to the conclusion that the television industry as a whole doesn't REALLY give a **** about us as hardcore gamers. This is inherently true when you realize that not ONE major company out there advertises any type of input lag test results in their tv descriptions. VERY frustrating. But I digress.

In searching for the perfect gaming tv for my friend (mostly fps fast twitch type games), I found little help from any particular store employee. The concept of input lag as it correlates to the latest consoles was met with inquisitive, perplexed, and outright confused looks all around. I finally just brought my ps3 with me, and after some trial and error (and some very interested passers by), have found a tv that's been rated as low (under 20ms on average at avs) as I can find for my friend's budget. The Panasonic TC-L32U3.

A big thanks to all of you for the suggestions and help once again.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
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This is exactly what I'm talking about. I just don't know if such a store exists...I'm sure it does, but I don't know which one to go to. So, any suggestions?
In San Diego they have a huge Fry's Electronics that has such a room and knowledgable people working there.

The Sony store has knowledgable people but of course they want to sell their products.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:01 PM   #16
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Go with DLP, imo. Cheaper but with a better picture and you can get an amazing one for a great price for that reason.

I got a 65" 1080p etc, etc, for the price of a 42" plasma

It's not a "flat" screen, but far from bulky. Things are the best bang for the buck by miles, imo.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylore View Post
There are quite a few threads with a lot of good information on flat screen TV's here on the Mane. I would start there, do your own research and find a set you like. Then shop around for the set. We did a black Friday thing. My wife and I camped out and got a nice 50" Plasma, 1080p For 600 bucks, no interest for 18 months at Best Buy. Didn't even talk to the sales guy beyond "I'm buying this."
Very well done!

I do NOT have the patience for anything involving black Friday.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boobs McGee View Post
Anyon...
I'm looking for a place that I can go have an intimate conversation about pixel response time, refresh rate (and not just ZOMG THIS 120HZ IS AMAZING11!1!1), and how they differentiate whilst seeing the differences on actual t.v's.
...

Any suggestions?
Anyone know of any store where I can go in and have an intimate conversation about how Gene and his team won the space race (and not just ZOMG HOW DID THEY BUILD THAT CO2 SCRUBBER OUT OF A SOCK AND STUFF!!) while waiting for my deli meats?






Sorry Boob's I couldn't help it
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:32 PM   #19
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Go with DLP, imo. Cheaper but with a better picture and you can get an amazing one for a great price for that reason.

I got a 65" 1080p etc, etc, for the price of a 42" plasma

It's not a "flat" screen, but far from bulky. Things are the best bang for the buck by miles, imo.
The general consensus, is that out of the big four, DLP is the worst in terms of input lag. Have you noticed any on yours? I realize you're more of an rpg guy where it isn't as noticeable... what model do you have? Where did you find yours? If the pricing is that cheap, I'll do some checking into it, as he doesn't want anything over 40".
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:33 PM   #20
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Anyone know of any store where I can go in and have an intimate conversation about how Gene and his team won the space race (and not just ZOMG HOW DID THEY BUILD THAT CO2 SCRUBBER OUT OF A SOCK AND STUFF!!) while waiting for my deli meats?






Sorry Boob's I couldn't help it
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:48 PM   #21
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Just bought a Panasonic 55st30 myself and loving it. I'm an AVS member too, that place is amazing. Another one that's cool is highdefjunkies.com.
There's a 50" 9g Kuro on craigslist in Denver, if anyone’s interested. It was tempting for me but ultimately I wanted a 55" and 3D.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
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The general consensus, is that out of the big four, DLP is the worst in terms of input lag. Have you noticed any on yours? I realize you're more of an rpg guy where it isn't as noticeable... what model do you have? Where did you find yours? If the pricing is that cheap, I'll do some checking into it, as he doesn't want anything over 40".
I've never noticed any input lag on any console game I've played. I probably don't really care to pay much attention though...

I have this one and got it off Amazon. Had some issue with it being broken in delivery, but it got swapped out and absolutely love it now.

http://www.amazon.com/Mitsubishi-WD-...1800087&sr=8-2
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:30 PM   #23
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Wow that's a pretty sweet deal!
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:39 PM   #24
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Wow that's a pretty sweet deal!
Yup. Love how economical DLP's are.

Outside of that, I'm sure there are plenty people wayyyyyyyyy more knowledgeable than me on current TVs. I just love mine and it's ****ing huge.
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