Widescreen or not?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JoeFish, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. JoeFish

    JoeFish Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello all. I'm looking to purchase my first HDTV, and I would like some opinions on something. I watch both DVDs and regular cable, and am trying to find the best purchase for my money.

    I'm trying to decide between a 30" widescreen like the Samsung TXN3075WHF/TXN3071WHF, or the Philips...
    Or a 32" 4:3 like the Sony KV32HS510.

    They will both display the same width/height 16:9 image, but the 32" will have a much, much larger 4:3 image.

    So, my feeling is the 32" 4:3 will give me much more enjoyment for my dollars.

    Is there anything I'd be losing by going with a 4:3 instead of a widescreen?

    Thanks!

    -Joe
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    At this stage of the game, I think not. Most programming is still in 4:3, and when you need all the set's lines of resolution to work in a 16:9 window, the Sony can do it.
     
  3. JoeFish

    JoeFish Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Yes, because the Sony collapses the entire scanning-line raster into a 16:9 shape when displaying 1080i sources and 16:9-encoded (i.e., "anamorphic") DVDs.
     
  5. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen
    Greetings

    You also need to decide what is more important to you. Is the quality and the size of the best image source paramount over the quantity of 4:3 material that you watch?

    When you go with a 61" 4:3 RPTV that does 16:9 mode ... you get a 56" 16:9 image. Either case, the image is still huge ... but this case gives you a really small DVD image.

    At a certain point when the image is small enough ... even VHS starts to look like DVD.

    Regards
     
  6. JoeFish

    JoeFish Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Michael, what do you mean by a "really small DVD image"?

    If I got the 30" widescreen, DVDs would appear 25x14". If I got the 32" Wega 4:3 and watched a DVD in 16:9 mode, the image would be 25.5x14.25". It would also be in the same resolution because of the "enhanced mode."

    -Joe
     
  7. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2000
    Messages:
    2,909
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen
    Greetings

    You are right ... not so small. Just a much smaller image for 4:3 material on the w/s set.

    Of course ... also bear in mind that not all DVD is 16:9. There is a ton of DVD stuff out there in 4:3 as well. So in this case, I'd go with the Sony TV too.

    Regards
     
  8. JoeFish

    JoeFish Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jack, Michael,

    Just wanted to say thanks. I will be buying a Sony KV32HS510 next week.

    Thanks!

    -Joe
     
  9. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1999
    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally, I'd have trouble buying any 4:3 TV these days. I'd rather have my 4:3 material "shrink" relative to my widescreen DVD material, but that's because the DVD movies are so much more important to me. It's a psychological thing. My brain tells me: "Lord of the Rings is supposed to be bigger than The Andy Griffith Show!"

    In this size range, honestly, I'd wonder if high-def was worth the money. I'd be tempted to buy a non-high-def set and save six or seven hundred bucks. Again, it's a personal thing, but I wouldn't spend anything on high def until I got up into the 40"+ range. On a "small" screen at normal viewing distance, it just doesn't have the wow factor, to me, that makes it worth the money.

    YMMV, of course.

    Jan
     
  10. Joey

    Joey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2000
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is an interesting thread that I wasn't following up but over the weekend, I was at Best Buy trying to decide between the Sony 36" KV36HS510 and the Sony 34" widescreen KV34HS510. I'd like to get a new set in place by the time hockey season begins again, and the 4:3 36" seemed more attactive to me despite the appeal of the 34" when watching my movies. I still haven't decided on my course, though. Every time I get close to buying a new set, Sony unveils a new line, it seems.
     
  11. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would say you should DEFINITELY go with widescreen. We have ws in our family room with the 57 inch Sony RPTV and in the bedroom with a 30 inch Samsung direct view. With the wide zoom mode in the Sony and the Panorama mode in the Samsung, watching normal shows is easy and the picture is not distorted to any noticable extent. When watching HDTV broadcasts and DVDs though, the widescreen is just great---it is SO much more natural than watching a letterboxed 4:3 screen.
     
  12. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    0
    I faced a similar decision a couple of months ago and decided to go with the 32HS500. For me the wow factor is there for video games and DVD's. Cable TV looks OK but not mindblowing. HDTV programming looks good but there is so little HD content available that I don't even think that should be a factor in your decision. But maybe if you got a lot of local HD channels you would feel differently (I only can get 1).

    The vast majority of programming is 4:3 so I decided to optimize for that material. I don't see how any zoom or stretch mode would work as well as a dedicated 4:3 tv.
     
  13. Joey

    Joey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2000
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, both of those points reflected basically why I was torn. Watching my DVDs on the widescreen would be so wonderful. That being said, though, the 4:3 36" would produce a widescreen picture of almost the same size (or so it seemed) as the 34" widescreen. Both are HDTV monitors, and the 34" widescreen is priced $200 more than the 4:3 36". I'm not all too sure of how much HD content is out there, but I do think Time Warner cable does offer a number of them? Not too sure, there. I just want to enjoy my movies and my hockey games. I am starting to lean toward the 4:3 - but I have coveted the widescreen for a while.

    I see this is going to be a tough decision.
     
  14. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Frankly, for the money, I wouldn't go with the direct view set at all. RPTVs are the best bang for the buck in HDTV right now. You can get a good 43 incher for what you'll pay for the Sony 34 inch direct view.
     
  15. Warner

    Warner Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ditto what Rick said.

    I've been there, and what no one has mentioned so far is that you get used to watching regular tv fill the screen of your 4:3 36" set. Nice big picture in the beginning compared to your old 27" or whatever, but after a while it just seems normal size. Then you pop in a 2.35 DVD on the weekend and like half your screen is black bars, and the relatively puny picture pisses you off. Yeah, the puny picture looks good, but it's like being married to a miniature doll size version of JLo, it just ain't as fun as the full size version. You start to wish you bought a widescreen RPTV, or go off the deep end and watch pan and scan movies instead.
     
  16. Joey

    Joey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2000
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've considered a RPTV but the reason I've shyed away from them is because of my personal experience with them. I know they're different now and a lot better than the one I had, but I had bought a Mitsubishi 48" RPTV well over a decade ago - and while it started off nice - the unit gave me nothing but problems in the ensuing years. I permanently marred the screen by cleaning it with simple water. The colours started to bleed as I started to lose the convergance of the three projectors. So, everything started to look fuzzier and fuzzier. Then one of the speakers started to fail. Ugh. Now, the only thing that bugged me was the convergence thing. It was at a point where it didn't pay to have it repaired anymore. The other areas (speaker, screen), I don't blame the set. However, as you look at it now - the fuzziness makes me dizzy. For example, I could not Fox News or CNN and make out the ticker on the bottom. Then - I look at a Sony Trinitron 20" that I also had for roughly the same period which received far more frequent use - and it's still running well today with no problems. I know it was just the luck of the draw and today's RPTVs look a lot more snazzy - but this whole experience soured me on them. It kills me because you are right - for a price not too different from the prices of the sets I mentioned above - I could get a pretty decent widescreen RPTV. Maybe I'll reconsider the next time I visit Best Buy - but it's hard to stop remembering the problem I had. The other concern is that I no longer have as much space as I used to have, which is a factor.
     
  17. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as the space issue goes, consider this: if you get a direct-view set like the 34 or 36 inch Sony, you'll have to get a platform on which to put it. The RPTV will come with its own platform. End result is, you don't use up appreciably more space with the RPTV.
     
  18. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2002
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    0
    Or you can do like me and have best of both world.

    Toshiba 65HDX82 16:9 for DVD and HD...

    Sony 40XBR800 for 4:3 standard NTSC programming and HD...

    No more fat looking hockey and football players for me (the Tosh stretch mode are the best...but still lacking IMHO). And no more fuzzy looking "bad reception" NTSC channels on the 65". The Sony gives an awesome and sharp Sat dish image. And the Tosh gives me an incredible HD displaying.

    Best of both world! Instead of a jack of all trade doing 1 good thing and one mediocre thing, go for 2 that are doing both things perfectly!
     
  19. Joe Reed

    Joe Reed Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joey, are you considering buying a set soon? Because I have the 36xbr800, I bought it less than 7 months ago, and would sell it for a great price with the stand! I also have the 40Xbr800, but that one is staying in my living room, I am buying the 65" LCOS when it comes out so I do not need the 36Xbr anymore, and I need the money towards the Toshiba. If you are interested just PM me. [​IMG]
     
  20. Joey

    Joey Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2000
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, not to bump this thread back up - but my visits to a few stores this weekend has given me a bigger dilemma - sort of about what some of you mentioned above.

    Thanks to the $1800-$2000 price tag of the 36" that I was looking at, I couldn't ignore some of the widescreens out there that could be had for less. I know I had misgivings about a RPTV, but the 46" Sony KP-46WT500 widescreen really almost made me forget all of them - especially since it was also a few hundred dollars less (and a lot lighter than 275 lbs, too, I might add). However, it might prove to be an impossibility since it's a bit wide (over 43") and I was pinning for something 40" or less. Next in line were some of the Sony 43" RPTVs that were also attractive, but not as impressive as the 46", I though. However, the width of those sets were about 38" - which is actually smaller than the 36" direct view I was looking at.

    Well, it looks like everything is back on the table and thanks to all the comments regarding RPTVs, etc... [​IMG]
     

Share This Page