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Which do you prefer for gaming? 16:9 or 4:3?

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by CraigPilecky, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. CraigPilecky

    CraigPilecky Member

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    Im going to finally get an HDTV soon. But im undecided between a 34" widescreen and the Sony 36" KV36HS510 HDTV.

    Im leaning twords the Sony 4:3 for a few reasons. 1) All older games are 4:3 and wont have to be stretched to make a decent screen size. 2) Widescreen DVDs, etc, will still be 33" only 1" smaller than a 34" widescreen. 3) All of my DVD's are widescreen, and im sure some of them would end up with black bars are all 4 sides. 4) All TV programing im going to watch will be 4:3 since im not getting a HDTV tuner.

    So what is everyones opinion on this matter? Which would be better for gaming?
     
  2. Trent_N

    Trent_N Well-Known Member

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    I thought this would be a big issue for me when I chose a 16x9 RPTV, but it hasn't been the case. The vast majority of 4x3 games look terrific when stretched, in very much the same way that most cartoons look terrific when stretched. My opinion is to go for the 34" widescreen...you won't regret it.
     
  3. Jeff Cooper

    Jeff Cooper Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget that for dvd's even though it will be roughly the same size as a widescreen TV, you'll lose all the resolution gained from anamorphic display that a widescreen TV would give you.

    Get the widescreen [​IMG]
     
  4. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Well-Known Member

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    Even when a 4:3 TV has anamphoric squeeze?


    Chris
     
  5. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Well-Known Member

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    Another option would be to buy the widescreen TV and play 4:3 games in the 4:3 mode on your TV. If the set displays grey bars on the sides, you can always make some mattes to cover them up.
     
  6. Brad_C

    Brad_C Member

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    Get widescreen, no doubt at all!! More and more games should be supporting it I would think.
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

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    If you are getting it largely for gaming, a 4:3 digital tv with a 16:9 squeeze mode would be the way to go. I can't believe that there are folks out there who think 4:3 games stretched to 16:9 look fine. It looks like dog poop to me.

    If they are both direct view sets, then burn-in should not be a severe issue. With a 36" 4:3 set, the 16:9 mode will be equivalent to a 33" 16:9 screen. With a 34" 16:9 set, the 4:3 mode will be equivalent to a 22" 4:3 set. Unless you are allergic to black bars, it is a pretty easy decision between those two options, and you are already leaning in the right direction.

    Regards,
     
  8. Danny Beck

    Danny Beck Well-Known Member

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    I was in your exact same position about 6 months ago Craig. [​IMG] I was looking at the exact same 36" Sony too. [​IMG] I had all the same questions as you and all the same thoughts about 4:3 games. So, what did I end up doing? Well, I bought the 36" HS510. I had it for 4 months and ended up returning it. Luckily for me I bought it from a store that was willing to work out a deal to let me return it. I ended up getting a 42" Sony GW III LCD Projection for $2500. In case you were wondering I paid $1500 for the 36HS510. Believe me, you CAN negotiate at most electronics stores. Just try.


    So, lets get to the details. Why did I return the 36HS510? Well, I loved the tv's picture and the quality was superb. I also enjoyed the 4;3 setup for Gamecube games since almost all of Nintendo's first party games were do not offer widescreen options. It's pathetic but it's true so it worked out great for the Cube games. You are also correct about the widescreen compression on the 36" set is basically a 33" widescreen tv. So, you kind of get the best of both worlds with the 36hs510. The thing you have to ask yourself is this. Do I think i'll be keeping this tv for years and years? If you answer is definitely yes I would go with the widescreen tv. Because the future is widescreen and it's coming very soon. HDTV is already being offered in most of the country and within a couple years it will be everywhere and readily available. The same goes for videogames. About 15% of today's games offer widescreen options and I would guess that number will only continue to go up. Especially when it comes to the next generation of systems. By that point (which is only a couple years from now) I would guess that 90% of the games will offer widescreen.


    So, I know it's tough right now because we are in the middle of the big transition but mark my words. Widescreen will be the norm by 2006 at the latest. It's very quickly turning that way right now.

    Here is the solution I came up with. When I got my widescreen tv I decided that only my Xbox would be hooked up to it. The reason? I could play all my Xbox games on the widescreen set (and many of them are widescreen games) and I could use the other two HD inputs for my DVD player and a HD reciever input which will happen very soon. You've got 2 component inputs and 1 DVI input and i'll likely end up using the DVI for a DVD player and the other 2 as stated. I then have my Gamecube hooked up to another tv in the house that is 4:3. It's only a 24" Sony model but it looks great with component cables from the Cube. That way I get to play those games in 4:3 and it makes for another little gaming option in the house if someone is watching something on the big tv. It works great for me and i'm happy with the setup. More and more Xbox games will offer widescreen in the coming year. At least i'm expecting it. [​IMG] So far they should offer more.


    Lastly, stick on your current path. Sony is the way to go. I've tested and checked many a tv in the past 2 years and they came out on top again and again. You'll get a fantastic tv either way you go.


    Danny
     
  9. Jeff Cooper

    Jeff Cooper Well-Known Member

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    No, you are correct, if the TV has anamorphic squeeze, then the resolution will be there.
     
  10. Alanna

    Alanna Well-Known Member

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    AGH you people talking about stretching your media just makes me feel queasy. YUCK! For the love of everything honest and good, don't do this, its just so depressing!

    Anyway, definitely go widescreen. I have a 60" Sony Grand Wega widescreen and its awesome for games. Sure 4:3 stuff has "bars" on the sides, but so what? Its still a 47" picture. 720p stuff looks just godly and the future IS widescreen, alot of great games support it like SSX3, F-Zero, and DOA: Xtreme Beach Volleyball [​IMG]
     
  11. Leo_P

    Leo_P Well-Known Member

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    Alanna, I think it depends on the game and more importantly, IMHO, how the TV handles stretching.
    On my Samsung DLP,a 4:3 image is completely and EVENLY stretched to form a 16:9 image. To me, it looks good enough to do ALL my viewing (games & TV) this way. The only time I have bars on my TV is when I'm watching a widescreen letterboxed DVD.
    Now, some TV's leave the center of a 4:3 image alone and stretch the sides. Now THAT looks like utter crap. NOTHING looks good stretched like that.
     
  12. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Wrong. My Mits 55513 has a *great* stretch mode that does this. Other sets may vary, but on mine it looks fine. (Which I did NOT expect before actually getting the set and trying it out for curiosity's sake -- I never thought I would be playing games in stretch mode, but I am!)

    The set actually has a bunch of different stretch modes -- there is one that works really well for games and 4:3 material; the others don't look so good (but they're meant for different purposes).
     
  13. Michael St. Clair

    Michael St. Clair Well-Known Member

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    I've seen every stretch out there (including all the modes in Pioneer, Toshiba, and Mits sets), and they very from poor to godawful. No, they aren't all the same. But they all distort geometry, just in different ways.

    The worst stretch modes are the ones some people like the best; the ones that stretch more towards the edges of the screen than in the middle. Objects actually get fatter as they approach the edge of the screen, and thinner when they approach the middle. Disgusting!

    I really like the 4:3 sets with anamorphic squeeze for gaming. I've got one with an XBox, Gamecube, PS2, and Dreamcast hooked up to it and it looks stunning.
     
  14. Leo_P

    Leo_P Well-Known Member

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    These are the EXACT stretch modes I'm talking about.
     
  15. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Well-Known Member

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    Moving to hardware.

    I would agree with those above in that the stretch modes will mean different things to different people. Regardless how well a particular monitor handles filling the screen the image is being modified (cropped, stretch, some combination). Some are more sensitive to it then others, personally I hate it. Take the time to look at the sets in question with their respective stretch modes active on 4:3 native material to see what you think. Also consider the majority of your viewing content. If primarily 4:3 you would do well to consider the 4:3 sets with vertical compression noted above. That way you get the best of both worlds. That said the trend is clearly towards widescreen and you may enjoy more mileage with a 16:9 configuration.
     

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