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Best HD RPTV for a little over 1000 dollars?


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Dan Shogren

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Posted July 01 2004 - 07:42 PM

Well, I've finally gotten myself a job, and a job = money, and money = a chance to improve upon my miserable current HT setup. At the end of summer, i'll have just about around 2,000 dollars, maybe a little more, plus an additional 500 i've earned from my parents to pay for a new reciever. (The other 1000 goes towards a new computer) But, being that I have a limited budget, what is the best possible RPTV I can get for this small amount of dough?

I've seen ads in BEST BUY and other retailers, around the holidays, advertising various RPTVs for a little over 1000, and I was wondering if any of these are good choices? Because my other option is projection, (Using an X1, probably) but my parents are against the idea because of the amount of wiring necessary, the hassle of trying to build/buy a screen, and the lack of portability. (Not that RPTVs are any much more so, those things are giagantic!)

So I was hoping some of you may have some good reviews/suggestions to help me in my journey to build my first "real" home theater.

Thanks a ton in advance.

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted July 02 2004 - 05:00 AM

The 47" Panasonic RPTV seems to be on sale a lot for around a $1000 or so, and that would probably be my top choice if I were on a limited budget.

Toshiba and Sony have 46" widescreen CRT based RPTVs. I've seen prices of around $1400 on both. However I'd imagine with all the sales Best Buy and Circuit City have you'd be able to pick them up for less. Also I've found that in the case of Circuit City at least, the stores have lower prices than what you see online. Might be worth checking them out this weekend.

I purchased an Akai 42" RPTV (really a Samsung)from Circuit City and it has a problem with the picture having a green tint in dark areas. I got a replacement set, and still have the same problem. However I was at Circuit City this morning and the same set on display didn't seem to have the issue. They have these listed for $999 and I was able to get another hundred off that during a Memorial Day sale, so got the TV for $899, but it needs a stand, which ran $100, so it cost $1000 in the end.

So, I'd try to find one of the 47" Panasonics on sale, or else go with the Toshiba or Sony 46" models. Don't think you could go wrong with any of these. Based on my experience so far, I'd pass on the 42" Akai or Samsung RPTVs. Might just be a grayscale issue with the green tint in dark areas on my particular set (the picture looks great otherwise), but it's irritating to have a hassle with the TV right of the box.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   SolomonP

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Posted July 02 2004 - 06:08 AM

I second the recommendation for the Panasonic. I frequently see it at Costco for $999.

I actually used to have a PT-47WX49 (or something like that), purchased in 12/01. It was a 47" widescreen without screen protector which was trouble-free and looked GREAT. Just spend a few minutes with a calibration disc--Panasonics are pretty bad out of the box, but can be adjusted (just using user controls--I never went into the service menu) in a few minutes to provide an amazing picture.

A thought..... I'm betting that you'll probably be moving out of your parents house in the next couple of years. A 170 lb RPTV can be a real liability both for moving and for space in whereever you end up (I'm assuming dorm room, small apartment, or shared larger apartment with still little space for you). My wife and I just bought a Sanyo Z1 projector with extra bulb for about a thousand bucks (X1's longer throw length would have given us too small an image, I wanted lens shift so that I could have flexibility in placement, and I wanted 16:9). It's easy to move, small, and gives a great picture. Since I see that your HT is in an armoire, I'm thinking that it's only used part time. Just put the projector on a TV table, pull it out when you use it, and put it back when you're done. No permanent wiring all over the place, no muss, no fuss. Furthermore, you can just project on a plain white wall. Since you're willing to settle for a 47" image, try to get 65-70" out of the PJ--you won't need as much light control and the quality of your screen (wall!) won't really matter. Heck, for now, we're projecting an 85" image on a TAN wall (think the color of the Master and Commander SE box) with the projector on a tray table with a 12' component cable (in a room with lots of windows and white/tan walls and ceiling). It's messy, but it works.

Oh, and your HT isn't pathetic at all. I started out with a 19" Magnavox with no composite (to say nothing of S-video or component!) inputs, a JVC Hi-fi VCR and a little Yamaha bookshelf stereo (40x2 wpc) back when I was a college student. As long as you can watch movies in your boxer shorts without having to hear screaming babies, you're doing better than the local multiplex!

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Dan Shogren

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Posted July 02 2004 - 06:32 PM

Is this the set you two were telling me about?

Panasonic PT-47WX53

Because if so, these reviews, combined with your recommendations have me itching to go pick up this big lug as soon as possible. Posted Image

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted July 02 2004 - 11:39 PM

Yeah, that's it. Actually the PT47X54 has just come out, which is just the next years model, so you may find the X53 on closeout. I'd definitely check around this weekend for sales, you might even get the X54 at a pretty good price.

The plasma and LCD TVs are getting all the attention these days, which has made the regular old CRT based RPTVs a real bargain. I've had my 56" Toshiba widescreen for over 4 1/2 years and it still looks great.