Speakers in LCD TVs: Are 5 watt speakers adequate?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by P Watt, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. P Watt

    P Watt Guest

    Now that several companies are offering large discounts off the retail price
    for LCD TVs (up to 20%), I thought it might be a good time to buy. I have
    been comparing Samsung, Panasonic and Sony 26 and 27 inch LCD TVs. A friend
    suggested that I should aim to get 2 x 10 watt speakers, giving 20 watts in
    total. However, several of the TVs in this size have only 2 x 5 watt
    speakers, giving 10 watts in total.

    Now I know that if you want really good sound you should hook up your TV to
    a decent external stereo system. However, I wondered whether it's worth
    paying a bit more to get 2 x 10 watt speakers which are on, for example, the
    Sony and Panasonic TVs?

    The Samsung 26 and 27 inch TVs have 2 x 5 watt speakers, but their LCD
    panels seem to have better specs than Panasonic or Sony, in that the
    contrast on the Samsung is advertised as 3000:1, whereas the Sony and the
    Panasonic have 1200:1. I'm a bit disappointed that Panasonic LCD TVs don't
    have a PC input, but Sony and Samsung do have this.

    I think that overall, my choice would have been for a Samsung if it had 2 x
    10 watt speakers, so because I am not feeding the sound into a stereo
    system, would you notice much difference in sound between 10 watts overall
    and 20 watts overall? Thanks for your comments.

    P Watt, Dec 26, 2006
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  2. P Watt

    steve Guest

    I don't use the pseakers in my TVs at all and haven't for at least 8 years.

    The sound comes through the stereo from the stereo VCR and the TV is
    just a monitor.

    I wouldn't care if the TV had no speakers at all. :)
    steve, Dec 26, 2006
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  3. P Watt

    E. Scrooge Guest

    Good luck with the Samsung. I know it's not a plasma but after seeing the
    amazing specs of 50" Samsung Plasma TV and seeing the awful picture that it
    actually produces - you'll need luck and plenty of it.
    Most of the problem is in the faces of people, you'd damn near think it was
    only displaying 16 colours instead of the claimed Billions of colours from
    As for the speakers that should be the last thing to worry about. These
    days they're very well designed, the Samsung does offer real good surround
    sound. We did have it connected to a stereo like his previous TV. When
    selecting the surround sound options it was pointless having it going
    through the stereo.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Dec 26, 2006
  4. P Watt

    Roger_Nickel Guest

    Listen to both. 10Watts is only 3dB above 5 watts and barely perceptible,
    speaker efficiency counts for more. Power ratings can be quoted in so many
    ways that they can be misleading if not deceptive. An efficient and
    honestly rated 5W loudspeaker can easily outperform an optimistically
    rated 10 Watter
    Roger_Nickel, Dec 26, 2006
  5. P Watt

    Don Hills Guest

    It depends on too many other factors. 2x10 watts can sound louder and
    clearer than 2x20 watts if the speakers in the first set are better quality.

    Forget the specs. Sit/stand in front of each set at your intended viewing
    distance. Turn the sound down low and see how well you can follow the
    dialog. Turn it up as loud as you would want to use it and see if it is
    still clear and undistorted. Pick the set that performs the best.
    Don Hills, Dec 26, 2006
  6. P Watt

    Richard Guest

    There is more to it then the made up wattage figure they give you, go
    and listen to them in a shop and see how they go. I know what the
    panasonic 32 that the flatmates have is ok, no bass at all tho as one
    would expect.
    Richard, Dec 26, 2006
  7. P Watt

    P Watt Guest

    Thanks a lot for the advice given in your replies to date. A salesperson
    told me that Samsung and Sony LCD panels were made in the same factory in
    Korea and that Samsung were ahead of Sony in the development of LCD TVs.
    Apparently Sony has yet to match the latest TV panels that are used in
    Samsung sets? Perhaps Scrooge, LCD TVs are not directly comparable with
    plasmas and there may be fewer quality control issues with a 26" inch LCD

    I have often bought Panasonic products, but I'm surprised that their latest
    LCD TVs do not have a PC input. I guess that if you do have PC input (15 pin
    D-sub) on your LCD TV, this would provide a reasonable picture from your
    computer? I'm not sure whether you can use the HDMI input on your TV set to
    connect with a computer?

    It's also a good time to buy a projector, both the HDMI offerings of Sony
    and Panasonic are selling for $2800 (down from $3500), but I guess you need
    a darkish room for best results.

    P Watt, Dec 26, 2006
  8. P Watt

    Richard Guest

    Not really any guarentee of any sort.

    One I tried would only accept 4:3 resolutions and then scale it to fit
    the panel roughtly , with still about an inch of black around the edge.
    Using powerstrip to make a mode at the native res and in 50 or 60hz made
    the tv lock on poorly and still not get pixel accurate conversion. There
    was major underscan with it and it was not correctable.

    Another, (a panasonic) makes everything look like its running in less
    then 16 bit colours, everything is solarised looking so badly that its
    unusable for anything other then looking at text.

    hdmi is luck if it will accept pc modes or if you have to make a 720p
    mode and hope for the best as far as overscan goes.
    Richard, Dec 26, 2006
  9. P Watt

    Dave Taylor Guest

    This is why I don't use the speakers in my LCD on my PC or the speakers in
    my living room CRT TV set. Small speakers are really bad. If you have a
    stereo, just hook up the tv to that. If you don't, then go buy a system.
    You will thank yourself in the long run. The built in stuff in the LCD's
    is generally a very small speaker. This is so the LCD is thin and small.
    Think Laptop speakers in a TV. Ok maybe not that bad, but you get the
    Dave Taylor, Dec 27, 2006
  10. P Watt

    E. Scrooge Guest

    A good idea is to take a DVD round (a good recent movie, not one from the
    1950s) and compare how it looks.
    Sales people are a mixed bunch. First thing you should notice is black
    letterboxes on widescreen TVs. In most cases there's nothing wrong with TV,
    they just shouldn't be there. The dickhead that setup the DVD player to
    them in each was too lazy to ajust the TV type in the damn menu, by default
    most players are set for 4:3 TV types. The menu setting needs to be changed
    to 16:9 TV types.
    LCD quality is changing for the better.

    The room doesn't end up that dark with a good projector. Light comes back
    off the screen in some cases. Pink Floyd Pulse is magic on a large screen.
    Difference with my Epson Projector while down on a resoultion to 800x600 -
    not actually a big deal. The big deal with it is that it displays 4:3 shows
    etc on the full 100 inch screen. A 3 grand projector shows a much smaller
    4:3 show in it's widescreen mode with the shorter height and the black out
    sides. Widescreen movies are still shown the same size as a 3 grand
    widescreen projector would.
    The darker the room the better, but once the movie starts the light from the
    movie projected give some light to the room.
    Movies look a damn sight better through the Epson than they do on the 5
    grand plus Samsung 50" Plasma.
    real HDMI will be better on resolutions of 1280x1080 and higher. Outfits
    are advertising 42" TVs with a resolution of 852x480 or something as being
    high definition ready. They'll probably connect and show a picture but
    that's about all.

    Panels may be similar on some TVs but the electronics inside are bound to be

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Dec 27, 2006
  11. I've yet to see an LCD TV that comes close in size to an LCD monitor. I
    have a hole that is just big enough for a 26" widescreen LCD television,
    but I can't put a television in there because they are all surrounded by
    more than an inch of plastic, and in most cases several inches of
    'speakers', which are probably tiny as you note, with a large panel to
    make them look larger. My CRT is certainly like that. The entire side is
    textured to look like a speaker, but the holes only go through in a
    small part of it.

    On the subject of speakers, there is no reason small speakers cannot
    sound good. I have some very nice Altec Lansing speakers for my PC that
    at around $30 (Retail at around $70), delivers much better sound than
    many LCD televisions do, and take up a fraction of the space the
    television has for them.

    The Other Guy
    The Other Guy, Dec 28, 2006
  12. You also need to watch out for various zoom modes. A lot of televisions
    support a mode where the centre of the image is stretched very little,
    and the edges are stretched more. Look for text on the screen or
    movement... if it seems to go from large to small to large, it is
    probably in this mode. Can't do a fair comparison when it is like that.

    To add to Scrooge's comment, there may be black bars if the movie is
    wider than 16:9, even on a widescreen television.
    There is a very nice $5,000+ Pioneer plasma I'd like to compare that
    with. Nicest screen I've seen in a long time.
    Given there are only a small number of LCD panel manufacturers, this
    happens quite regularly. There is a good chance that two televisions
    right next to each other from different manufacturers contain exactly
    the same panel. There often is a huge difference in picture quality
    between them despite this. Look at gradients and noise cancellation,
    both of which are problematic on LCD televisions.

    The Other Guy
    The Other Guy, Dec 28, 2006
  13. Just use an DVI to HDMI cable, and you've got yourself a PC input
    (assuming your PC has DVI). They are essentially the same thing with a
    different connector.

    The Other Guy
    The Other Guy, Dec 28, 2006
  14. Provided, I think, that the DVI end is DVI-D or DVI-I, not DVI-A.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Dec 28, 2006
  15. P Watt

    Geoff Guest

    Just set the TV to automatrically accurately display the correct incoming

    Put up with the black bands where they are necessary to display the corrwect
    aspect ration, cos to do otherwise is inept. Salemen may tell you

    Geoff, Dec 28, 2006
  16. P Watt

    E. Scrooge Guest

    Older moves that are 235:1 are in letterbox on the widescreen TVs, but
    movies like King Kong which are 235:1 play full screen on widescreen TVs
    because of the Anamorphic widescreen feature that more recent movies have.

    E. Scrooge
    E. Scrooge, Dec 28, 2006
  17. A movie that is 2.35:1 will show with black bars on a widscreen TV. If
    you take DVD as a typical example, an anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1
    video will still have black bars encoded as part of the image.

    The Other Guy
    The Other Guy, Dec 28, 2006
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