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Baffled By Widescreen HDTV Choices


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#1 of 4 BarryNS

BarryNS

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Posted May 26 2003 - 12:50 PM

I'm preparing to take the plunge to a projection HDTV set, moving up from my faithful old Mitsubish 27 inch tube of 10+ years now. I'm pretty much limited to a 60 inch screen max due to room geometry and layout (52 would probably be ideal), and I don't really watch very much "critical" 4:3 programming (if I have the TV on, it's showing DVD's or running satellite source music videos or maybe the Simpsons where I could deal with the 4:3 "stretch" modes I've seen on demo models in the stores). I'd say my viewing is 70% widescreen DVD's, 30% satellite (which will soon enough become high-def around Christmas time when I buy the "new" HDTV receiver that my satellite provider - ExpressVU - is supposed to have out by then). I'm partial to the Toshiba line, but a friend has a Hitachi HDTV and loves it, which was cheaper than the local retailers are offering the 50-inch range Tosh sets for these days. Any recommendations or other things I should take into consideration for choosing a set, preferably BELOW $3500 (Canadian)?
-Barry

#2 of 4 ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 26 2003 - 01:08 PM

Whatever you get, you should probably make DVI/HDCP input(s) a priority at this point unless you're sure it won't be an issue in Canada.

If I were you and the $$$ is a concern, I'd just wait a little longer for the new Panny 53wx53 given your viewing requirements unless you expect to watch lots of non-anamorphic DVDs up close, say <10ft. This is, of course, assuming the new models will have similar characteristics to the current models, which are on clearance.

With the savings, you can do more/better upgrades elsewhere in your system (or even get ISF calibration if you want).

_Man_

PS: Actually, w/ DVI/HDCP input, you might even get a DVD player that does good 1080i upconversion and offer scaling for the non-anamorphic DVDs so you can sit much closer, if you want. OR there are other decent players that scale, eg. the old Panny RP91 is a good one, which is what I just bought for my Panny 53".

Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)

#3 of 4 Jason Kleeberg

Jason Kleeberg

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Posted May 28 2003 - 10:12 AM

"Whatever you get, you should probably make DVI/HDCP input(s) a priority at this point"

How come? Just a question, I'm new to the home theater thing too and I don't know what these are/mean. Any info would be appreciated!

#4 of 4 ManW_TheUncool

ManW_TheUncool

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Posted May 28 2003 - 12:08 PM

In order to protect HD quality video from easy copying (and piracy), Hollywood and the MPAA have been pushing for a video interface that offers strong copy protection. The existing analog component video interface offers ZERO copy protection, so they want the industry to adopt a new interface. The current candidates are (and has been for a couple years) DVI/HDCP and Firewire w/ DVI/HDCP looking like the eminent winner for connecting to display devices and maybe Firewire to handle video transfer/copying for non-display devices.

So if you want to make sure your new HDTV won't become obsolete due to the video interface, you should buy one w/ DVI/HDCP. Of course, there will be other advances in technology that WILL obsolete almost any HDTV you buy now to some degree--that's just the nature of the beast, but the video interface is the biggest concern regarding obsolecense right now.

OTOH, it's quite possible somebody will come out w/ blackboxes (ie. convertors) to address the problem if a market exists OR lawsuits (or the threat of such) could prevent or slow down obsolecense. Also, if you can get a great deal on an HDTV w/out DVI/HDCP input, that could also factor into your decision, eg. the current great clearance deals on Panny RPTVs. But generally speaking, if all else are fairly equal, you really should get the TV that has DVI/HDCP input.

_Man_

Just another amateur learning to paint w/ "the light of the world".

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..." (St. Paul)