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Better off to wait for technology to mature?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 DaveDickey

DaveDickey

    Stunt Coordinator

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Posted August 23 2003 - 02:57 AM

Hi Folks,

I've been studying, checking, reseaching, and re-checking HT Forums for about a month now. It's an enjoyable and addicting new hobby. You catch the bug, and you are consumed! I have upgraded everything in my modest home theater... except for my TV.

It appears to me that digital / HDTV has just not arrived yet. Am I wrong?

Here's what I've found:

*RPT's are huge, heavy and they need expensive calibration and maintenance to look their best.

*CRT's are heavy and too small to fully display the impact of home theater.

*DLP's are expensive and display analog signals (standard satellite, cable) poorly.

*LCOS is a new, expensive, and unproven technology.

These are just my observations from what I've seen in stores and read about in forums. It seems to me that the dreaded "buyer's remorse" is almost assured if one delves into the TV market right now. Especially with the pace at which technology is improving.

I'm hoping that someone will tell me I'm crazy and wrong, and that way perhaps I can justify clicking on that "Buy Now" button. Posted Image

#2 of 6 Michael Silla

Michael Silla

    Second Unit

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Posted August 23 2003 - 04:22 AM

Quote:
I'm hoping that someone will tell me I'm crazy and wrong,


You are.

No display technology is perfect. The only safe assumption can be that this will always be so. Just like with computer technology, something new and fancy is always around the corner.

As far as HDTV is concerned, you certainly have a point. Even though the FALL 2003 will see the largest increase in HD programming by far, it is still "miniscule" compared to what is available on SD. Nielsen still does not track HD viewers, which should tell you something.

I have had my RPTV for a little over a year now. For it's first 9 months I was satisfied to watch just DVD's on my set. After seeing HD on it there is simply no turning back Posted Image. There is a darn good reason you see others clamouring for HD-DVD.

Michael.

#3 of 6 Bob McElfresh

Bob McElfresh

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Posted August 23 2003 - 05:02 AM

Quote:
RPT's are huge, heavy and they need expensive calibration and maintenance to look their best.

All televisions benifit from proper calibration, no matter what the technology behind them are.

Companies have been making RPTV style "Big Screens" for years. This is why the best values are in this style. Of course a 65" TV is going to be bigger than the more traditional 50".

Quote:
DLP's are expensive and display analog signals (standard satellite, cable) poorly

Yes, they are pricy for what you get. But some models like the Samsung DLP have some very good processing chips.

There IS some truth to "...display analog signals poorly". But this applies to all HDTV displays.

It's not the fault of the TV, but the fact that your satellite/CATV signals are very low-quality sources. It gets worse because the carriers do a lot of compression on the signal.

With standard-video you are taking a signal designed for a 9" Black and White tube in the 1940's. Color was added later when they found a way to kludge it in and fit the technology base at the time.

A HDTV is designed with 1990's technology in mind.

Dont blame the modern electronics when you feed it highly-processed, old-standard signals and expect it to look good. It wont.


Quote:
Especially with the pace at which technology is improving.

The problem is NOT the competiting technology. It's the lack of HD source material. It is taking acts of Congress to get the broadcast industry to move. You vote with your purchase.

Look, in 1996 I bought a 50" standard-video RPTV for $2500. Right now, there are a slew of HDTV's for around that price, many with larger display sizes. You can go with a RPTV style for no-more investment than a traditional big-screen television. Yes, you have to suffer through the 'growing pains' of the TV/Broadcast industry (these are not modern, forward thinking organizations). But things are changing.

#4 of 6 DaveDickey

DaveDickey

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Posted August 23 2003 - 08:31 AM

Thanks for the input fellas. Bob, you obviously know your stuff. No doubt there. The fact that the signal providers have their proverbial heads in the sand is reason enough for me to wait. I do so reluctantly, however.

#5 of 6 Bob McElfresh

Bob McElfresh

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Posted August 23 2003 - 10:14 AM

Quote:
fact that the signal providers have their proverbial heads in the sand is reason enough for me to wait.

Remember: asking the television stations to change formats is like asking a department store to change-out all the racks in the store. They WONT get any more profit and may actually make LESS money after the upgrade. A negative return-on-investment is considered a very bad thing to most business men.

Try this: go to www.antennaweb.org and try picking an antenna. This will tell you how much over-the-air HDTV you could get with an antenna, and what size antenna you need. (You may discover channels you did not know exist).

The next step: call your CATV company to see if they offer a HDTV service. The providers in my town dont charge any extra money over their digital service for the HD decoder box.

Finally, check into both Direct and Dish Network for a sat solution.

Only by doing this research will you know what the cost is to get HD signals.

#6 of 6 DaveDickey

DaveDickey

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Posted August 23 2003 - 11:50 AM

Bob, Thank you for the information and web link. I have heard about you on other HT forum and I respect your opinion. I primarily watch news channels and nature / science programs on TV. I have a standard DirecTV setup with Direcway high speed (what a joke) internet. I'll check out the site you recommended.
Thanks again, Dave


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