36" 4:3 hd set vs 34" 16;9 hd set?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Ricky c, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a panasonic 36" hd set and was wondering if anyone has gone from a 36" 4:3 hd to 34" 16:9 hd set.What were your thoughts.Is it worth the exchange.I've been on the fence between getting a 34" sony xbr or waiting for a panasonic plasma.Would there be a major difference between the 36" vs the 34" to justify the exchange.Would appreciate any opinions or insights.FWIW we watch hd and sd as well as dvd's.Thanks
     
  2. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Ricky

    What is your viewing distance?

    If you are going to be viewing from 5 feet, the switch to 34 is OK.

    The reason is that on a 34 inch 16:9 set, a 4:3 SD image is only 28 inch diagonal. You would be losing 68% of your 4:3 image size on the 34.

    If your viewing distance is 8 feet or more, you are better off going with a plasma. At 8 feet or more you cannot tell the difference between an ED plasma and an HD plasma.

    So, for about $1,600 you can get a Panasonic 42 inch ED plasma.

    Of course, if you could find the Sony KE-42M1 ED plasma you would have a tremendous set that at 8 feet or more is the equal of the best 42 inch HD plasma.
     
  3. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    The 36" 4:3 gives you a 33" diagonal letterboxed 16:9 image.
    The 34" 16:9 gives you a 27.8" diagonal pillarboxed 4:3 image.

    If you watch much SD content I wouldn't make the switch. If you don't watch much SD and the letterbox doesn't bother you, I wouldn't make the switch either. If the letterbox does bother you, then the switch would be nice.
     
  4. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm assuming when you say letterbox we're talking bars at the bottom and top?Whats the difference between letterbox and pillarbox.
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Scott

    Ricky is going to have to put up with either letter boxing or pillar boxing or both (unless he is going to use stretch modes) regardless. Since he did not mention that letterboxing was a problem, I didn't even mention it.

    I have a feeling though, that he may not have been aware that an ED plasma looks as good as an HD plasma from 8 feet or more.

    There have been several posts by Michael TLV in which he explains not only the theory behind the truth of this issue, but also his own test on his own 40+ inch set. As I recall, the difference between ED and HD disappeared at around 7.75 feet.

    Ricky, if you would like, I can find those posts by Michael TLV.

    If you hurry, there are still a few of those Sony KE-42M1's around.
     
  6. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Ricky

    Letterbox are the black (gray) bars you see at the top and bottom when you watch a 16:9 DVD on your 4:3 TV. Pillar boxing are the black (gray) bars on the sides of the picture when you watch a 4:3 (non stretched) image on a 16:9 TV.
     
  7. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Ricky

    Here is the gist of the test that Michael TLV (I believe he is an ISF Technician) had to say about ED vs. HD.

    "I tested this theory out on my own eyes and putting up a 720X1280 test pattern on a 44 " RP DLP and then walked progressively back to see at which points I no longer could decern detail... and those mentioned distances are about right. I actually lost sight of the single pixel level by 7 feet on this 44" set".
     
  8. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys i appreciate the info.Not to go off topic but i do have a question regarding gray bars when watching dvd's.I have a marantz dv6500,when playing dvd's i see a gray bar under the black bar.I really never noticed this on my old dvd player(cant remember).The player is set to 16:9 and my tv does the anamorphic squeeze.Is this normal regarding the gray under the black bars?Sorry about the off topic,i just remembered when gray bars were mentioned.The gray bars i'm talking about may be just a lighter shade of black but they look gray.Thanks
     
  9. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    Ricky,


    I would think you are getting this when watching 2:35 to 1 movies: the dvd or dvd player is producing the inner bars while the TV is producing the outer bars. If you watch a DVD encoded to 16:9 (1.78 to 1) you should only get one set of bars (if you are getting two sets with this material there is something wrong).

    2.35 to 1 and 1.85 to 1

    Arthur,
    I was typing my reply before seeing yours. So my post doesn't add much after reading yours. I couldn't possibly recommend stretch mode, and of course he would substitue pillar boxing for letter boxing. I just thought he needed to know...

    In my opinion, the biggest reason to go from a 36" 4:3 to a 34" 16:9 would be to eliminate the letterboxing on HD material, as a 1" increase in diagonal is pretty minor. For me, that's not worth much. The loss in size for SD material makes this a bad idea to me.

    I have to agree, if you're going to spend money to replace a 36" 4:3 HDTV, you should go bigger. To have a 36" 4:3 pillarboxed image in a widescreen TV you need 55".
     
  10. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    A 36 inch 4:3 picture is 21.6 inches tall. A 44 inch hdtv will provide the same picture height.

    However, the letterbox on your old set is 16.2 inches tall. A 33 inch hdtv will provide the same picture height. While the widescreen tube may offer more scanning lines and lines of resolution for the image, the difference is likely to be marginal.

    my math, in case you find it useful:

    Conventional:
    3 high:4 wide:5 diagonal
    (or 9:12:15 for slightly easier math)
    Widescreen
    9 high:16 wide: 18.2 diagonal

    To keep the height constant, multiply the conventional diagonal by about 1.2 to find the corresponding widescreen diagonal.
     
  11. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    When playing wide screen material on a 4:3 TV in 16:9 mode it is not unusual to see a gradation in the top and bottom bars where a 16:9 rectangle filling the screen can be imagined to be. The black bar area might be darker at the very top and bottom and not so dark nearer the picture edge. The TV's true black is at the very top and bottom since there are no scan lines there. The part of the black bar area inside the implied 16:9 rectangle is prerecorded on the DVD and almost always is supposed to correspond to true black. You can calibrate the TV to make the entire black bar areas the same.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     

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