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The new Toshiba 42H83: my review


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian Harnish

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Posted July 08 2003 - 07:01 PM

My current setup is as follows:

Toshiba 42H83
Toshiba SD-4700 Progressive Scan DVD player
Kenwood HTB-504

Movies watched so far:

Terminator 2 UE & EE (both anamorphic); I highly prefer the EE due to its superior transfer
Spiderman Anamorphic
Office Space (non-anamorphic)
There's Something (More) About Mary (anamorphic)
Titanic (non-anamorphic)
The Mummy (anamorphic)
The Matrix

Calibrations performed on the set:

Video Essentials calibration
9-point convergence

I was not home when Best Buy delivered my set last Friday. They promised a delivery window from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. but ended up delivering it at 9:30 a.m. (just as I was clocking in at work! ARGH!). Oh, well. Luckily I got a stroke of luck that day and got to go home early! They had an excellent deal on the set ($1224 plus 18 months no interest) so I felt it was the best time to buy it. And I'm glad I did! Posted Image

The review:

Keep in mind that this review is coming from someone that has just made the jump from CRT technology to RPTV technology. I made this jump because I felt that the single CRT setup is too limiting as far as size goes and RPTVs seem to have surpassed CRTs in image quality. Man, I was ever so wrong. IMO, Widescreen RPTVs have FAR surpassed single CRT setups in image quality.

With my brand-new Toshiba 42H83, I have been able to experience a dimension of home theater that I've never experienced before. Depending on the transfer, DVDs are crisp, clear, and the amount of detail in the picture is incredible (yes, my sharpness is turned down to below 12 on the settings scale). In my own opinion, on single CRT setups, the image looked a bit too artificial. On my new RPTV setup, though, the image looks almost identical to film. From Mary Jane Watson's strands of fiery red hair in Spiderman to eye sparkles, nose hairs (no, I don't look at nose hairs on a regular basis), and excellent action sequences in films such as The Matrix and Terminator 2, the Toshiba 42H83 performs flawlessly.

How are the stretch modes? IMO, I have never seen an RPTV that can do stretch modes as well as the Toshiba 42H83 (and believe me, I've looked at every affordable RPTV from Mitsubishi's to Sony's and the Panny we all know and love). That's one of the reasons I got the 42H83 in the first place: I still watch a fair amount of 4:3 material (Buffy, The Simpsons, Drew Carrey, MASH, etc.) However, on non anamorphic DVDs, the stretch modes do not seem to distort the picture at all. It's almost like watching an actual anamorphic version of the DVD -- however, minor detail loss is apparent as the transfer of the DVDs are no doubt affected by the artificial modifications to the picture.

How is regular cable? Surprisingly, I find regular cable to be pretty watchable. Of course, on any display device such as this one poor signals are going to be magnified a hundred times (which I found while watching one of the lower channels last Friday). I don't remember which one as I went to watching DVDs almost immediately.

I believe this to be one of the best electronics purchases I've ever made. I don't seem to have any of the problems that individuals with similar sets have posted here (most notably the ghosting issue. My set seems to display some minor ghosting problems with subtitles but that's it). The ghosting is not enough to distract from the image, however.

All in all, I am very happy with this set. I am so glad I pulled the trigger on what has proved to be not only a television, but a display device that has allowed me to take my home theater enjoyment to the next level. Now, for films that I never had the chance to see in the theater, I can at least have an idea of what it was like on that 100' screen.

I award 4.5 out of 5 stars to the Toshiba 42H83. Excellent value and quality. I am still excited about this set and I'm very glad I got it! Posted Image

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   david*mt

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Posted July 09 2003 - 12:05 AM

Do you notice any faint horizontal lines across the screen? They are most noticable on bright areas and fleshtones. I have them on my 42H83 and cant seem to remove them. Thanks

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   joey mr

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Posted July 09 2003 - 12:46 AM

switch from 540 to 1080 in the set that should do the job cheers

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted July 09 2003 - 01:31 AM

Brian,

Very kewl! You will love the set (long term).

consider doing a few things:

1. removing the glare screen
2. doing the 56 point convergence
3. lining the set with duvetyne.
4. back light
5. mattes for 2.35 ratio movies.

I can assist you on 1,2,3 if you want me to. Ill be back in LA in late July (but booked up) and again in October.

Email at any time with questions or post and Ill try to catch it (depending on my travel schedule).

Best of luck.

Gregg

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#5 of 21 OFFLINE   JohnnyG

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Posted July 09 2003 - 04:47 AM

Quote:
switch from 540 to 1080 in the set that should do the job cheers


I haven't seen a 42H83 yet, but as I understand it, this is the one model in the 2003 line-up that does not have the HDSC circuitry and does not offer this option. I'd love to hear otherwise though!

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   Dan B

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Posted July 09 2003 - 07:29 AM

Quote:
I haven't seen a 42H83 yet, but as I understand it, this is the one model in the 2003 line-up that does not have the HDSC circuitry and does not offer this option. I'd love to hear otherwise though!
I haven't taken delivery of mine yet, but it was clearly listed on the features of the 42H83 when I bought one the other day...at least on the Best Buy sign & also at the Best Buy website...Brian, can you confirm it?

#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Dan B

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Posted July 09 2003 - 07:37 AM

Gregg,

Is there any chance of you making it to central Wisconsin? I'm kinda in the middle of nowhere here & I'm not sure if you'd have luck finding any more customers around here to make the trip worth your while. If not, maybe you can recommend someone close to me. I was planning on waiting until the warranty expires in a year before doing the full calibration though.

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   david*mt

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Posted July 09 2003 - 08:28 AM

I have the 42H83 and the resolution cannot be changed. Brian, have you noticed the faint horizontal lines?

#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian Harnish

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Posted July 09 2003 - 01:38 PM

I've scrolled through all the user-menu options and the 42H83 does not have any type of user setting that can jump from 540p to 1080i. HOWever...

...the 42H83 WILL accept 480p, 720p, and 1080i signals via the DVI/HDCP input (according to the manual).

david- I haven't noticed any faint horizontal lines and I sit a little less than 5 feet away from the TV (awkward distance, I know but it's all I can do for now until I rearrange my room this weekend).

#10 of 21 OFFLINE   david*mt

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Posted July 09 2003 - 02:50 PM

Brian, what kind of DVD player are you using? I am using the Panasonic S35 and am also sitting about 5 feet away. Are you sure you are not seeing any faint lines across the screen? They are very noticable on my set during bright scenes and on fleshtones. If you aren't seeing them, then I may have a defective set. Can you check again and make sure? Thanks

#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Brian Harnish

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Posted July 09 2003 - 04:41 PM

david- My DVD player is listed in my review. But, just to reiterate the player I'm using is a Toshiba SD-4700 Progressive Scan DVD player.

And, BTW, I checked during bright scenes and fleshtones (watching Office Space right now) and couldn't find any hint of horizontal lines that weren't part of the picture. Also, I could not notice any extremely small scanlines until my face was right up against the TV. Are you using a progressive scan player? Is your DVD player set to output a progressive scan signal?

#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Mike D.

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Posted July 10 2003 - 01:04 AM

Brian,
Just curious: why do you consider a little less than 5 feet" an awkward viewing distance? Is it too close? I am trying to decide between this and the 51' model, my viewing distance is only about 6 feet. Do you think the 51' would be too big at that distance?

Thanks!
Mike

#13 of 21 OFFLINE   david*mt

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Posted July 10 2003 - 04:52 AM

Well, I went down to Bestbuy and they had the HD running and the lines weren't visible at all. I then got them to hook up a progressive scan dvd player and watch a couple dvds. The lines were clearly visible on the dvds. It must have something to do with the 540p upconversion. Others with the 51H83 and 57H83 have reported the same problem but when the tvs resolution was switched from 540p to 1080i the lines went away. This cannot be done with the 42H83 though. I wonder if I used the Bravo D1 player with the DVI and set the player to output 1080i would fix the problem?

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   joey mr

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Posted July 10 2003 - 05:05 AM

thanks david*mt i was not going to get the tosh because of this issue and i hope the hx models don't have the problem but you never know

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#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Pedrosa

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Posted July 16 2003 - 01:19 PM

I've been watching my 42h83 for about two weeks. I do have some very faint horizonal lines on non-HD material but I sit approximately 8-9 feet away so I don't see them.

A few other things have been bugging me a bit, though.

First, Brian (or anyone), what contrast setting are you using? I've been having some trouble deciding on a setting using Video Essentials.

Second, with my sharpness set below 25, I start getting some faint ghosting when watching DVDs (anamorphic or not). These lines are mostly vertical and in bright areas of the picture. Any ideas? I'm using a Pioneer DV-45A in progressive mode and Bettercables component cables. (And I've done the 9-point convergence).

Also, my convergence seems to drift slightly over a few days. I only do the 9-point convergence after the tv has been on for 1-2 hours. A couple of days later I find myself having to do the convergence again.

#16 of 21 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted July 16 2003 - 01:27 PM

Also, my convergence seems to drift slightly over a few days. I only do the 9-point convergence after the tv has been on for 1-2 hours. A couple of days later I find myself having to do the convergence again.


Your convergence will probably drift for the first couple of months. I know my Tosh had to be touched up every couple of days, but then after 8-10 weeks it stabilized very quickly.

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   BrianLa

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Posted December 21 2003 - 04:08 PM

I realize this thread is almost 6 months old, but I just picked up a 42H83. I think I also see the faint horizontal lines. I think they are there with all sources. I definitely notice them on the 'Two Towers' DVD with any large sky shots. For those who posted on this thread, did you resolve this problem? Overall I think the picture looks fantastic, and the lines don't bother me all that much. But if its something I can fix, I will.

Brian

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted December 22 2003 - 06:50 AM

I have a Toshiba 42hdx82 and have noticed the lines during extremely bright scenes only (not flesh tones), as with large expanses of overcast sky or fades to white (a good example is "Insomnia" during any fog scenes). I'm not sure of the cause as they do not resemble traditional scan lines (they seem irregularly spaced) and remind me more of the texture of projection material. Consequently I've assumed they are caused by the imperfections of the projection surface, though I've not been motivated to explore it further (i.e. crack the set open). Off the top of my head I can't recall if I've noticed them during HD programming; I seem to notice it most often with my DVD viewing. Other than that I love my set too. If you really want to maximize the image quality get a Bravo D1, or its soon-to-be replacement, which upconverts DVDs to 1080i through DVI. Once you see it you'll not want to go back to conventional progressive scan.
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#19 of 21 OFFLINE   BrianLa

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Posted December 28 2003 - 03:55 AM

Wow, when I got my HDTV cable box I could definitely see the difference between 1080i movies on cable and DVD. How much are those conversion units?

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   greg_t

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Posted December 28 2003 - 07:09 AM

Upscalling DVD players are not true high Def 1080i. They simply take the 480i image on the dvd player and upconvert to 1080i, but it is not hi def quality. The result is additional artificats as a result of the upconversion.





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