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do I *really* need HDTV?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by eddieZEN, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Well-Known Member

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    ...if 95% of my TV viewing is watching DVDs using a component video input? No video games, no cable or local TV.

    My DVD player does have progressive scan which supposedly produces a better picture on a HDTV...my question is, just HOW MUCH of a better picture? Is it really noticeable enough to make the extra expense worthwhile, or is it the kind of thing that you sort of have to squint and consciously look for in order to really notice?

    To give you a good idea of how picky I am, my DVD is currently on RCA cable into a 20" curved tube...and I'm pretty OK with the picture quality, just want to upgrade to a larger screen size because of all this letterboxing on DVDs.

    I'd guess that this is mostly a subjective value judgement, so I'd just like to hear your personal opinions on it.
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Well-Known Member

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    No! You need HDTV about as much as you need regular TV, but if you're going to be buying a new set why not spend a tad bit more and invest in something more future-proof?

    You'll get the most benefit using an HDTV from an HD signal. Comcast and most other cable providers only charges an extra $4-5 a month for the added HD stations.

    Another thing to think about is how much you'll be using your new set. It's like buying a new, ergonomic cordless mouse with handy buttons on the side. Some people could really use it since they spend a lot of time on the computer, but other people just check their email and log off, and for them it's not worth the $65. It just depends on the person.
     
  3. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Well-Known Member

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    eddie, on a 20" screen most DVDs are going to look great. Scott was right, no one NEEDS HDTV, but once you start watching it you will be amazed. I am not really that big of a sports fan, and I live near San Diego, but watching the Chargers-Jets game a couple of weeks ago in HD and 5.1 surround was truly an experience. The picture and sound on my 40" RCA HD RPTV was absolutely awesome. The bigger the screen the more you are going to notice improvements in picture quality.....and the flaws. I have to admit that MOST regular standard cable channels could look better on a large widescreen HDTV, but I believe the pros outweigh the cons. I would imagine on your 20" TV the letterboxing can get pretty annoying since the picture is probably quite small. While you don't always get rid of the letterboxing with widescreen TVs, for the most part the black bars are a lot thinner than they would be on your TV. As for the difference between progressive and non-progressive DVD viewing, on a larger TV there is definately a difference. If you were to get a TV that does progressive conversion of a regular interlaced DVD signal (most digital TVs do these days) then you could enjoy a progressive picture without even upgrading your DVD player. I replaced a relatively expensive Panasonic 32" non-digital TV with my RCA and have never regretted doing so.[​IMG]
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Well-Known Member

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    Eddie,
    it's all in the numbers, really. You can see how clear DVD is, well DVD is only rated for 480 lines of progressive resolution, now HD on the other hand is rated at up to 1080 lines of interlaced resolution. HD starts at 720 lines BTW, which still buries DVD in terms of clearity.

    Believe me, my man, once you've seen HD in action, you'll never want to give it up, squinting to see the benifits isn't necessary, not by a long shot, it's THAT good. Just go to your local Best Buy or another store like it for a demo on one of their displays, you'll be blown away.

    Now, do you need it? No. I have a 96" front projection system without HD (can't afford it right now) and am quite happy watching DVD's on it via a componant connection.

    A tip though, if you choose to buy an HDTV, make sure it has, in addition to componant inputs, either a DVI, HDMI or both input. If you go with HD, using DVI or HDMI is the best way to connect HD. Use the HDMI input for HD and the DVI input for DVD, you'll have to buy a DVD player with a DVI output terminal on it though, but it supposedly upconverts DVD to HD but I haven't seen it in action.

    I don't believe that most here in the forum put much stock in that though, I never even see it mentioned anywhere here.
     
  5. John S

    John S Well-Known Member

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    The larger the screen size the more difference 480p will make on your DVD quality. Much over the 40" mark, and 480p is really a nessecity, most sets line double all sources.
     
  6. Evan M.

    Evan M. Well-Known Member

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    I think I am going to go against the grain on this one. I too only watch DVD's and some sports. I will not be getting HD until I have to. I really do not care how nice and clear Dan Rathers head is.....that will not make me watch T.V. more. Believe it or not there are people out there who do not watch a lot of T.V. LOL!! With that said, if I were you I would opt for a decent size tube tv.....GASP!! like a 32" or 36". They are cheap and will get you by when you are forced to get HD. DVD will still look very good on it.
     
  7. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys, you've given me a lot to chew on.

    But I have still more questions:

    1. If DVDs are 480p which is fully visible only on an HDTV set and a prog-scan player, how many pixels are there on a standard TV?

    2. What's the difference between EDTV and HDTV when it comes to DVD viewing? Right now there's a 27" EDTV by Samsung that I can get locally for $300, as compared to $500-600 for a 27" HDTV by Toshiba and Panasonic.
     
  8. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    If we're talking about CRT-based sets, then there is likely no difference when watching DVDs - since CRT sets typically adjust their scanrate to display 480p regardless of whether the set is ED or HD. With digital technologies, however, there is a distinct difference.

    Digital display technologies are "Fixed Pixel" displays that ONLY display content at a set resolution (referred to as the set's "native" resolution). ALL input signals, be they 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i will be scaled to the native resolution of the display. With HDTV sets, that native resolution is higher than the 480 that is output from the DVD player, therefore scaling of some sort is required to display the DVD picture. If you are viewing DVDs on an EDTV set, then you have the advantage of your DVD signal already matching your set's native resolution, and there's no need for any additional image scaling.

    Many EDTV sets will accept HD signals, but again - they will require image processing to downconvert the HD signals to the non-HD 480p format. Many have said that this still results in a gorgeous picture, even though it's not true HD. As you can see - when it comes to digital display technologies, there will ALWAYS be a compromise of some sort when it comes to the issue of resolution.

    Hope this helps.

    -Jason
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    You don't need HDTV. If your budget is around $400, buy a good analog TV with 16:9 compression for DVDs.

    But if you're looking to spend $900, it's silly to spend that much on just on an analog TV. Save a bit more and buy an HDTV for around $1200.

    I've got a HDTV Sony Wega. I don't have any HD material, but regular TV looks great on it, better than on an analog set, and DVDs look superb. And video games are also fantastic.
     
  10. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Well-Known Member

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    I bought my HD-ready 57" widescreen primarily for progressive scan dvd, it replaced a 53" analog model. I do have HD sources but even if I did not, the improvement in picture quality for dvd was well worth the investment.

    Once you get into screen sizes over 32" or so the difference between 480i and 480p is overwhelming.
     
  11. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Well-Known Member

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    OK, after lots more reading I'm now down to 3 choices:

    1. Samsung 26" widescreen HDTV ready, $500
    2. Samsung 27" 4:3 HDTV ready, $500
    3. Toshiba 27" 4:3 flatscreen, $350

    Remember, 90% of my TV watching is DVD and I have *zero* interest in watching broadcast HDTV, so my main question is:

    At such a small screen size, will I *REALLY* see much of a difference between 480p and 480i during DVD playback using a component video input?

    Oh, and I sit about 9 feet away from the TV, if that makes any difference.
     
  12. PerryD

    PerryD Well-Known Member

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    If 90 to 95% of your viewing is DVDs, you _MUST_ get a widescreen high-def set, the bigger the better, although it will still amaze you on a 26/27". Just like someone else mentioned earlier, I bought my 65" HDTV just to watch DVDs in full resolution on as big of a display as I could afford.
     
  13. Dan KW

    Dan KW Active Member

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    I say go with the widescreen display too. On the 4:3 set you will be losing a lot of size when you are watching dvd's. And since they are your main viewing habbit, I would say go for the best you can get within your budget.

    widescreen good[​IMG]
     
  14. Craig

    Craig Well-Known Member

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    Best Buy has a JVC 30 inch widescreen model that's not an hdtv, it's on sale for $499 on the BB website. Says it has 3:2 pulldown capability also.

    JVC at Best Buy
     
  15. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Craig, but I think if I do widescreen I'll stay with the 26" Samsung---same price plus HDTV and more importantly, 64lbs lighter...the JVC looks nice and is a great price but I'd have to buy a new stand for it.

    Reminds me, a couple of months I had a chance to get a very nice 32" Toshiba flat screen for just $300 but the bulk and weight of it stopped us! [​IMG]
     
  16. Elinor

    Elinor Well-Known Member

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    >"If 90 to 95% of your viewing is DVDs, you _MUST_ get a widescreen high-def set, the bigger the better, although it will still amaze you on a 26/27". Just like someone else mentioned earlier, I bought my 65" HDTV just to watch DVDs in full resolution on as big of a display as I could afford."

    Absolutely. 42 - 45" is the perfect "small" HDTV. Bigger is nice too [​IMG]
     
  17. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Well-Known Member

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    Elinor,

    So would you say that HD doesn't really make much difference at the relatively microscopic 26-27" size if you're watching a prog scan DVD with component hookup, but only at the 42" and up sizes?
     
  18. John S

    John S Well-Known Member

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    I think your asking is 480p (ED) good enough at smallers sizes? I'd say yes, even in bigger sizes.

    480i covers decent up into maybe even the 46" size, beyond that and the scan lines become quite annoying.

    480p(ED) will be notice-able on a 27" screen over 480i(SD).

    I hope that helps some more.
     
  19. Elinor

    Elinor Well-Known Member

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    Eddie, if you have room for a larger set and no WAF objections, you will absolutely, positively, without any doubt, enjoy the increased size. Even just for DVDs.

    I doubt there will be any "wow" effect in simply changing from SD interlaced DVD viewing to a SD progressive DVD viewing.

    In the larger sizes that you really "see" the improved resolution and deinterlacing. Personally, I'd go for a fixed pixel set or, with a non-fixed-pixel set, I'd get a decent upscaling DVD player, to really get a "wow" improvement.

    Have you had a chance to view the 27" and mid-40" sets in person?
     
  20. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Well-Known Member

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    John,

    whew, thanks for the sweet, short & straight answer! [​IMG]
     

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