HDTV LCD Panels: LG and Toshiba experiences

This might seem an odd post from me but I think its a good thing to share experiences especially when you find a good and bad experience to help others with.

A couple of weekends ago I had to go and buy a new TV...long story, no time...:)

I had heard quite a bit about Video Only's reputation for service and great prices so I went there. The good salesman showed me a bunch of models. I didnt really want to go spending a ton on it so I found a 47" LG LCD TV (Model number 47LG70). Awesome picture, full 1920x1080 resolution, 120Hz refresh and a great price to boot. Rockin...

I got it home, plugged it into the Comcast HD box with HDMI and looked at some of the HD content. Really quite fantastic. Now Comcast's (Motorola) HD box does some really funky stuff. When I mean funky I dont mean that in a good way. As you change to HD content it switches the box to 1080i and 16:9 aspect. Then when you want to view standard content it switches down to 480p and 4:3 aspect. Nevertheless it should be ok with the TV right?? Wrong.

Im not sure quite how to put this but when it did this resolution and aspect change, it actually crashed the software in the TV. Like totally hung it. The only way to get it back was to switch it off and then switch it on again. Once you did that it came back fine...until you wanted it to switch resolution and aspect again. After some playing around I found it was only when it was switching both aspect and resolution at the same time. When you set the TV to fix on 16:9, and not let it auto switch aspect it behaved - but left the 4:3 content all stretched out. None the less I wasnt impressed. So I figured it was probably the Comcast box and went to the store and got another HD box and HDMI cable just in case it was one or both.

Got it home and it still did the same thing....grrr...

I talked to some friends who indicated that this didnt occur with their TV. As a troubleshooting step I tried component leads instead and all was fine. Through this I also discovered a pretty annoying audio delay between the optical out to my stereo reciever and the TV using HDMI. Not being one to accept poor implementations I figured there must be something wrong with the TV...so I called Video Only and asked if I could swap it out for another one. They gladly obliged.

So I drove there, swapped it and got the new one home, plugged it in and guess what...problem still occurred. Except this time it was worse! Now it wouldn't even view any content on HDMI at 480p with 16:9. This sucks....

Called Video Only again - talked to them about swapping it for a completely different brand after getting pretty annoyed with whole LG HDMI experience. It just seemed to be a really poor HDMI implementation overall that I wasnt prepared to accept. They understood and told me to bring it back again.

So the short of it is that I now have a 46" Toshiba Panel. It cost a little extra but works perfectly fine on HDMI, doesnt crash and looks visually better with its 10bit color processor.

I have to make a big call out to Video Only Bellevue. They were very understanding about it, tremendously helpful about the whole situation and did the right thing.

Hopefully this helps you if youre in the market for a new LCD panel :)