How old is your RPTV?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DanielKellmii, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    I have decided to buy a RPTV. My wifes concern is that it won't be bright enough for her. My concern is that she will be right. (You all know the drill.)

    How old is your RPTV and how long has it stayed bright enough for you?
    Any brand recomendations would be welcome, but right now some Mitsubishi model seems to be my top choice.

    I am going to assume that the sets were calibrated at least once.
    Thanks
     
  2. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I'm in the market for a RPTV, and I find that the current ones are quite bright and the picture is really impressive. Direct View is nice but I find RPTVs gives a film like appearance to your t.v. watching. I've seen some HDTV on a RPTV and I think it's really up there with direct view t.v.s.
     
  3. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    Daniel,
    I have only owned my Sony KP-57WS510 RPTV for three months, so I can not give a qualified opinion as to longevity.
    However, I can say that my family and I are extremely happy with this TV. When I first bought it I took the many reccomendations of this forum and adjusted the basic settings using Digital Video Essentials (AKA; DVE).
    I recently followed instructions from this forum to perform further tweaks while inside the "Service Menu". All this fine tuning has taken what was an excellent display, and made it even better.
    Bottom line; This is an excellent machine in my opinion, that gives even better perfomance with the help from this forum.

    Best Regards, Al. Wise
     
  4. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    My aunt and uncle has an older Mits 50" RPTV. Its about 8-10 years old. An year before they bought theirs, my parents got a Mits too, but its a 35" tube.

    The 50" has gone through several repairs and looks awful. Its very hard to watch tv in that room because you see all colors in the rainbow at the same time. I start to feel my head pounding and etc. Their family doesn't see the major fault of their tv, because they are use to of seeing the same awful picture everyday.

    On the other hand, my parents' tv has been working great. There is a slight show of its age, but the picture is great. They also had it serviced once in the beginning, due to heat issue.

    I bought my HD RPTV more than an year ago. It probably gets, 50 hours of use every week, HD, DVD, Cable. I expect and hope to have this set for at least 5-6 more years, until I see major notice of its age.

    This is not my last and only set. Unlike my aunt and uncle, I will not spend $500 to have the guns replaced.

    When its time, I will make the investment for another set, instead of being sick after watching tv because of its age.

    My repair guy tells me, anything over 6 years for a RPTV, you got your moneys worth.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    RPTV lifespan is something of a delicate issue. Stereophile Guide to Home Theater editor Thomas J. Norton caught some fire a couple of years ago for suggesting to a disillusioned letter writer whose RPTV expired after only four years that, "Four years seems like a reasonable lifespan for an RPTV."

    I brought that comment to the attention of the membership here, and there was much indignation throughout the land.

    It seems fair to say, however, that RPTVs don't have quite the muscle and oomph of their direct-view counterparts, and are much more finicky when it comes to the constant need for adjustment.

    If you purchase from a reputable OEM (Sony, Mits, Pioneer, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc.) and calibrate it carefully and use it strictly for home theater (i.e., no video games and only a little "TV" other than HD broadcasts), you can probably hope for ten years of decent service (probably more). The light output will drop off to about half in the first few years and maintain that level for the duration of its serviceable life. When the CRTs finally give out, you will more likely purchase a new model than replace the "guns" in the extant unit.

    Then, of course, there are the newer, light engine-based technologies going into RPTVs. The jury is out in their regard, as the technologies are so new. But it seems the potential is there for these sets to last a good long time.
     
  6. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Jack, So, as time goes on and the amount of use of the tv, we should expect the picture get dimmer over the years, leading to turning up the brightness?
     
  7. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    Is the dimming a function of time, or of how much the TV is used? (Is that question clear? What I mean is will the TV dim even if it is used 1 hour and not turned on for a year? Do the phospores "evaporate" somewhat, or do they "wear" with use? )

    I plan on calibrating it as per AVIAs recomendation. It better last at least 7 years. Otherwise I will get that "I told you so" attitude from my wife.

    It won't be used more than 20 hours a week, and that is on the high side. I have lots of projects: IB sub, in-wall wiring, programming the remote control, the yard!!!!!
    Some day I will get to enjoy this stuff. Well, at least the wife and kids like it.[​IMG]
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The dimming is definitely linked to length of time the set is on as well as the brightness of the image.

    The important thing to remember is that Contrast is actually "white level" or more simply how bright whites are. The higher you set this the more light the tv will produce and the quicker the phosphors will wear out. Most sets come from the factory with contrast set to 100%, and at this level the crts will wear out much more quickly. In most rooms with any kind of reasonable light control this can be reduced to 30-40%, producing a much better image and prolonging the life of the set.

    Brightness is actually "black level" or how dark blacks are. The lower you set it the darker black will be. Turning it up turns blacks gray, but since it doesn't increase total light output nearly as much as contrast it's not nearly as conducive to quick phosphor wear.

    My current rptv is a Sony KP57HW40, purchased new in October of 2001, so it's 2 1/2 years old. It started looking just a little washed out a while back, making me think the crts were starting to go. I pulled the back off the set and cleaned the crt lenses, and the image now looks better than when the set was brand new. I have played video games on it for 5 and 6 hours at a time, but turn down contrast to 25-30% when doing so and gaming is by far the lowest percentage of it's usage. I have watched countless hours of 2:35 movies with contrast at 40-45%. I watch most 4/3 material with either black or gray bars on the side, but that's mostly limited to the morning news and the occasional 4/3 aspect ratio movie. When the set is on just for background I always put it on an HD channel or stretch the image so there are no bars. I have no burn in whatsoever.

    It's on at least 3 hours a night on weekdays, maybe 8 hours a day on weekends, probably more. It's never had contrast set higher than about 45%. That's 31 hours a week for a total of 125 weeks which works out to approximately 3800 hours so far. It's still at least as crisp and bright looking as when new. I've done a couple of minor service menu tweaks and kept it calibrated with the AVIA disc, and it still looks every bit as good as any of thenew sets I see in the stores, better than the vast majority of them.

    I can exercise some light control, but am able to watch it comfortably in the daytime with the blinds over the double sliding door in the room about half shut.

    If you really need to compete with the sort of ambient light you'd have on a sunporch or in a room with a glass wall and no blinds or shades, one of the LCD or DLP sets may be a better choice. They do require bulb replacement periodically but the bulbs are a heck of a lot cheaper than a set of crts, no adjustment of convergence or focus is necessary after replacing a bulb, I think it's even a user serviceable item on most sets.
     
  9. Luis Cruz

    Luis Cruz Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm,

    Well, my parents bought a 50" Toshiba 5 years ago and we use it for everything (i.e. cable, dvd's, x-box, etc) and the brightness is the same as the first day we got it. The colors are still vibrant and everything looks good. The only problem we have with it is that I think the convergence board is blown as when you turn on the tv after a period of time of it being off the convergence gets all out of wack until like 2 hours later and then it settles up and looks normal. Weird problem I know. Needs to be fixed soon. But other than that it looks great.
     
  10. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    Steve, that post should be put in the "primer" section. A lot of really great information. Thanks.

    So far, only one person with an 8 year old TV. I guess that would make me happy.
     
  11. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    I have a Hitachi 50" that I bought back in 1996, it is our main set and we put easily 6+ hours a day on it and it still looks great and have had no repairs. I clean the mirror and lenses periodically which if not cleaned will hinder the picture greatly. Also if the coolant becomes contaminated will ruin the picture and is a fairly cheep fix!
    I have no burn in and we watch 4:3 TV (Sat) mainly with some widescreen DVD.

    Wes
     
  12. DanielKellmii

    DanielKellmii Supporting Actor

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    Uhhhh.... coolant????? RPTVs have coolant? I never knew that. Is that user servicable?
     
  13. Robert Houghton

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    I have a Mitsubishi 5061, that is at least 8 years old. I had it repaired once for about $400.00. Everybody says that the picture is tremendous. To me it looks as good as it did when I first installed it.
     
  14. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    My old JVC 55" widescreen is 9 years old and still handles the HOURS of use at my in-laws house! I thought this old war horse would have kicked it a couple of years ago. I hope my Mits lasts that long.
     
  15. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    This is off the subject, but when RPTV dies, how does one get rid of it? I mean, you can't put it out on the curb and expect for the trash man to take it away.

    What do you do with a 40++ tv?
     
  16. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Tim, you might have a good thread topic there if you care to start it separately. I have some comments about that topic, as do many others. Start the thread and we'll discuss.
     
  17. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Boy isn't this true! I have a Hitachi 42" and the constant need of alignment is ticking me off. Some people might like tweeting this or that but I don't. I don't want to spend several hundred dollars for a professional to adjust it either. I bought it back in 01 and regretted it. Everytime, I pull it out of the wall to do connection or something in the back, it needs adjustment. I just can't seem to get all the colors to align either. I know, there are bunch of websites and advice on how to do it. I just didn't expect to have to do so much research just to get a good picture. For those of you who find all this easy, fun and great, kudo to you. For me with a baby and barely enough sleep and time to eat, it's fustrating.
     
  18. David Norman

    David Norman Producer
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    Pioneer Elite 96 -- circa 1993. Still going strong. ISP calibrated in 1996 or so. Fairly recently I have noticed it being a little dimmer and I've had to bump the brightness up a few clicks from when it was calibrated and this is with the protective screen still in place which does dim the picture a little to begin with.
    I rarely have to mess with the crosshair calibration (couple times a year) and it shows minimum geometric drift even then. The colors are as strong as ever. Admittedly, I don't watch that set as much as I used to, that room is totally light controlled, and I mainly watch with the light down low though it is still plenty bright for full overhead lights though I do have different Picture Memory settings for Light/No Light viewing. Mainly for DVD's and special occasion (Super Bowl, World Series) now though it was run hard for its first 4-5 years.

    The Family Room has a 27in Panasonic XF40 which is a little older that gets a lot of work (Cable, VCR, PS2) and it's the workhorse for the kids and wife. It's got the daylight windows and the brightness settings on it are getting pushed to the max brightness settings. When new the contrast/brightness were at 12 and 35 (I think max is 62), now the contrast is around 35 and brightness in mid 50's to get close to the same picture.
     
  19. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Dustin, In the 2 1/2 years I've owned my rptv I've only done convergence once. It didn't look like it needed it in the first place, but I found instructions on the 'net and was bored one day so I gave it a try. This set was rolled into the house on it's own rollers from a parking lot 100 feet away, over cracked pavement, and convergence was great the first time I turned it on.

    One hint--only converge the set after it's been on for an hour or so. If it gets out of convergence as easily as you say it does, there may be something loose inside the set. I had an Hitachi before I got my current Sony and it's convergence was very solid.
     
  20. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    No, have a service person look at it and determine if it needs replacing. There are other tune up things they can do also that will give new life!

    Wes
     

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