Wednesday, February 13, 2008

new TV !!!

at last, i got a new hi-def tv! at 70000 yen, this sharp aquos 32inch LCD TV is the best-valued LCD TV out there; well at least in japan. i bought this bigger, better tv because i was simply bored with my 4-years-old 14inch CRT TV (image above). it was time to upgrade into something that's future proof; into the high definition broadcasting era! although i'm quite late, i'm glad i made it.

with the small space in my current room, the tv looks huge and watching it for the first time is quite overwhelming. maybe for the size of my current room, a 26inch tv would be enough; but i'm moving to a new, bigger apartment this april so i just have to be patient and be 'overwhelmed' for another month.

so like every new electronics that i have spent my (read: malaysian tax payer's) money on, i did some testing to see whether it was a good deal or not . first, watching Digital TV Broadcasting of course! the factory setting for the tv is too bright for my taste so after fine-tuning and playing around with the software settings, i was more than satisfied with the superb picture quality. comparing a normal analog broadcasting with a digital one is like comparing the ps1 to the ps3: the bump in quality is HUGE! you can even see pores and lots of other visual imperfections of tv personalities that you can't see before with a CRT (analog) TV. i think malaysian tv stations should start broadcasting HD content as soon as possible; it's amazing!

this TV produces one of the best black colour on a HD TV ever! black is very deep and ghosting is very minimal although still noticeable if you look hard enough. the factory settings tend to make the skin tones a bit reddish too, but that can be easily fixed with software settings. to make it short, the picture quality from digital broadcasting is superb and i really can't ask for more at this cheap price range. the colour is very vibrant and vivd although i think the speaker lacks the 'umph' when compared to my computer's 5.1 speakers. actually, the worst thing about this tv is the speakers, it's quite 'murky'.

next, connection to the xbox 360. although this aquos does not support 1080p, it still look brilliant and sharp at 720p. well, a human eye can't really tell the difference between 720p and 1080i when comparing between two 32 inch HDTV at those respective resolutions anyways, so it's not really a big deal. you are only going to see a significant difference when the size of the tv is 40 inch and up.

when playing video games, the most concerning aspects of a HDTV is the response time; and this TV performed quite well. of course today's HDTV still can't beat the speed of a traditional CRT TV, but it's getting better and better and this aquos has proven to be a firm proof of that progress. i tried this with the new devil may cry 4; a very fast game that rely on fast button response and i have to say, i have not noticed any lag or what so ever. brilliant! but still, it's not even close to a CRT TV response time but i'll get used to it. so for the hardcore gamers, this tv is probably not the best tv for you. try the new samsung gaming tv instead, IF you have the extra dough.

lastly, i tested the TV as a second monitor for my computer. out of the three connections, this one looks the murkier and NOT as awesome; but of course it depends on the video source itself. you won't get crystal clear video when it's a 800x600 video! HD content still looks awesome though, but not the best that i've ever seen.

at first i got a bit confused with the automotive image stretching functions the tv used to handle videos with unconventional resolutions and size ratios; but using the media player classic has proven to solve many of the head scratching problems. now i can watch lost episode 4 with a bigger picture! then i tried watching 300 (hd-dvd version) and spiderman 3 (blu-ray version) and the picture quality is just amazing. holy shit. now i want all of my movies to be in native blu-ray quality! i almost got a video orgasm.

then i tried playing computer games with the tv, but i still couldn't figure out how to bump up the resolution to 1280p. both my graphic card and the TV support resolution higher than that, but i just can't make it work. so more research to do!

all in all, this is not the best LCD HDTV out there, but it sure has the best bang for the buck. or yen. at this price range, this is the best high definiton-capable LCD HDTV anyone could get. the picture quality is superb (digital tv broadcasting being the best, computer monitor being the last of the 3) although the audio is lacking. a very good product (considering the cheap price tag) from sharp and in the end, i have become another satisfied customer.

george lucas! give us star wars in blu-ray !!!

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