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4:3 vs 16:9 for everyday use


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 Tom Jakes

Tom Jakes

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Posted August 13 2003 - 08:01 AM

I've been looking for a new TV for my "Family" room (20' x 16').I'll be roughly 9' to 11' viewing distance.
I want something that can handle the everyday use of watching, via Direct TV, Primetime TV, Network News to DVD's and eventually HDTV. At some point Direct TV HDTV will be in my house.

I recently was at a party where there was a 65" Sony. The Digital cable picture was so stretched that everyone looked short and fat. My wife was not happy with that and neither was I.

We both like the Sony 40" XBR800 TUBE.It's on sale for $2100 right now.The Picture is pretty dam good and I think it'll be OK in that room. I've not been to impressed with the Rear projectors thus far either.The Picture always looks amazing in the stores with their HDTV programming but when it's changed to Cable or Direct TV it's not that amazing.

This will NOT be my TV to end all TV's, that will be saved for my Basement in 2-3 years.

My Question is What can I get for $2000 right now and be happy with for years to come??

any help would be appreciated...

#2 of 10 Michael TLV

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Posted August 13 2003 - 08:16 AM

Greetings

Spend $1400 and get a budget Panny or Toshiba RPTV in the 42 to 47" range and then another $400 to have it calibrated.

Larger image than the Sony for DVD's and a watchable cable image ... (watchable is completely dependant on the quality of the cable signal source.)

Or look for a 50 inch type 4:3 RPTV that gives you your normal 4:3 programming and a vertical squeeze mode for 16:9 DVD's and HD material.

Regards
Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
THX Video Systems Instructor/ISF Instructor
Lion A/V Consultants Network - TLVEXP.com


#3 of 10 Tom Jakes

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Posted August 13 2003 - 08:39 AM

Thanks for the info.

What do you think about the Sony 40xbr800? Is it something I should consider?

#4 of 10 Michael TLV

Michael TLV

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Posted August 13 2003 - 09:10 AM

Greetings

Smaller image ... very heavy ... prone to geometry/convergence problems that cannot be fixed at all.

Regards
Michael @ The Laser Video Experience
THX Video Systems Instructor/ISF Instructor
Lion A/V Consultants Network - TLVEXP.com


#5 of 10 Tom Jakes

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Posted August 13 2003 - 09:14 AM

Thanks for the info.

How does the calibration work? is it something that can be done by me?

What do you think about the Sony 40xbr800? Is it something I should consider? Only drawback is weight and 4:3. I want something before the NFL season.

#6 of 10 John Doh

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Posted August 13 2003 - 02:44 PM

Tom,

I'm in the same boat about the 40XBR800. I have been scouting this set for months and have been told good and bad things about it. I prefer the direct view tube because of sheer image quality over RP and plasma (motion blurr). However, I have heard of the geometry issues on the XBR and have recently been told that they are discontinuing the 40'er! This was a shock but a reality because on Sony's site, they already have the successors to the XBR directview line showcased. Problem is, they are all 16:9 (which isn't too big of a deal) but they are no larger than 34" (which is roughly 30" in 4:3 viewing) which blows. So basically I am in the hunt for a new set as well. One of the only RPTV's I've seen so far people have spoke well of consistently is the Sony 46WT500 (510 is the newer model now available). I'm doing my homeowrk but it has more features than the 40XBR800 already with true 720p support to go along with the 1080i and has DVI inputs. Check it out for yourself, and good luck!

#7 of 10 Tom Jakes

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Posted August 14 2003 - 04:04 AM

John,

I did see your posts and thanks for the heads up. I'll have to look at it. It looks good on the CC website with all the features.
I am also having a hard time going with a projection because of the picture quality. The XBR is excellent but it's a 4:3 and with everything going to 16:9 in a few years, I think I might regret it.

So many decisions...

#8 of 10 John Doh

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Posted August 14 2003 - 04:07 AM

Lol, I hear cause I am at the same crossroad! I wish someone would step up and make another 40 incher sirect view for some comp!

#9 of 10 Joey

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Posted August 14 2003 - 06:24 AM

Are they really discontinuing the 40XBR800? I know that they discontinued the 36XBR800, which I have - but I was under the impression that they were keeping the 40 inch as their only 4:3 XBR in their line. Especially since it's the largest 4:3 direct view out there. The Sony site still shows the 40XBR800 (not the 36XBR800) and the 34XBR910 replaces the 34XBR800. The 30XBR910 looks new, though, as I am not familiar with a Sony 30" 16:9 prior to this one. I was actually shocked that they discontinued the 36XBR800 seemingly w/o a replacement at that size. The 36HS510 becomes their best 36" set. But this just made me believe that they were going to keep the 40XBR800 around.

It's hard to believe that there is a set out there heavier than the 36XBR800, though. Posted Image

#10 of 10 Levesque

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Posted August 14 2003 - 02:45 PM

Tom.

I have a Toshiba 65HDX82 and a Sony 40XBR800 at home. I've done my homework and paid for the ISF calibration of my Tosh. The Sony OOTB have a really good convergence (did surprised me), awesome black level and after some easy tweaking in the service menu, I've been able to completely get rid of the red push.

With the same Sat SD source, the Sony wins by a wide margin, because it's smaller, so the image looks sharper. And on some good signals SD channels, it's really DVD-like. For DVD's, with my Denon DVD-3800, surprisingly, the blacks are better on the Sony then the ISF'd Tosh.

But the biggest difference lies in the stretch modes. The Tosh got probably one of the best stretch modes in the industry, but my wife and I were annoyed by those fat-looking peoples.

For HD-viewing, the Tosh is AWESOME and laugh out loud at the Sony. No comparison here. A 65 inches 16:9 sharp clear, out-of-a-window looks of the Tosh is a sight to behold. But I just discovered the "jump" setting on my Sony, and after tweaking the MID3 settings in the service mode, I was able to obtain a 40 inches 4:3 screen in HD! And it doesn't look stretch at all! So now the Sony can compete with the Tosh in HD.

So for DVD's and HD, I use the Tosh. But for the news, soap of the wife, toons of the child, sports, all the family goes to the Sony. The 40XBR800 was made for SD 4:3 viewing, and it's where it shines. Common day-today viewing.

I was able to sell the tosh to a friend and the Sony 40XBR800 is a keeper. I'm going with a FP for 16:9 HD and DVD viewing soon.

Will keep the Sony for 4:3, because IMHO, no RPTV can compete with it.

It's a matter of choice, and don't forget your listening habit. And when 16:9 broadcast (3? 5 years? who knows) will finally be more prevalent then 4:3 on "normal" channels, them you will just have to buy a new set to enjoy it then. That's it.