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4:3 RPTV??? Is RPTV even right for me?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Eric*B, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Eric*B

    Eric*B Agent

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    Hi All,

    First off, I'd like to thank you guys as this forum has already been a wealth of information to me. I've been doing a lot of research and finally had a question I thought I'd ask.

    We've been looking at RPTV's - we watch a lot of DVD's currently (have a 32" Direct View) and some cable programming as well. I'd like a large TV but as this will be located in our living room and will need to suit all our needs, maybe RPTV isn't the right choice? I know DVD programming looks awesome, but I've heard that regular programming doesn't look all that good on an RPTV. We probably won't spring for the HDTV tuner yet, there's really not enough of what we watch broadcast in HDTV format yet.

    My other problem is that when looking at Widescreen RPTV's, 4:3 programming looks odd to me - I guess they use some sort of compenstation stretching to fill up the screen. We were at Ultimate Electronics looking at a 4:3 and a 16:9 side by side and 4:3 programming looks really odd stretched out on a 16:9. Granted, most of my movies are watched in letterbox format, but I can get a 51" large Panasonic 4:3 Television for a couple hundred less than a Panasonic 47" Widescreen. Would I be just as well off to get the 51" 4:3 HDTV Monitor knowing that I'll loose a little off the top and bottom when I watch widescreen stuff? I've been looking at RPTV's for about 2 weeks and I'm going crazy. Oh, here's the Panasonic I'm looking at - Ultimate Electronics has it for $1199:

    [PT-51HX43]Panasonic 51" 4:3

    Looking for some good advice [​IMG]

    Thanks!
    Eric
     
  2. Josh~H

    Josh~H Stunt Coordinator

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    If you'll use your set for > 50% widescreen DVD's (and consequently < 50% 4:3 material), then a widescreen TV of some sort might be a good choice. The fact is, you can watch widescreen DVD's in "letterbox" mode on a large 4:3 TV and be perfectly happy; and likewise you can watch 4:3 material on a large 16:9 TV in "pillarbox" mode and be perfectly happy. But if you can clearly determine that the majority of your viewing is closer to 16:9 than 4:3, then you might be happier with a widescreen TV.

    It's true that most stretch modes found on 16:9 TV sets aren't that super. I think the ones on my Toshiba 42H81 are OK, particularly the one that stretches the sides of the image the most, and leaves the center relatively untouched. I don't really find the image quality to be that poor...unless I compare it to that of a good DVD transfer or HD programming (then it's annoying -- almost intolerable -- by comparison).

    If you use your set primarily for 4:3 material, and plan to do so over the next couple years, then clearly a 4:3 set might be a better choice; no weird stretching, and you'll be able to pick up a rather large 4:3 set for pretty cheap. But DVD's (particularly anamorphic transfers) aren't going to look quite as sharp as on a widescreen, unless your TV has a 16:9 compression mode to focus the resolution on the center of the screen.
     
  3. DouglasBr

    DouglasBr Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Eric*B

    Eric*B Agent

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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the input. My programming is split about 50/50% Widescreen vs Standard. I think I am going to have the salesguy run a widescreen dvd so I can see what it looks like on this 4:3 screen.

    Do I need to worry about burn-in on the top and bottom of the screen if they have the black bars a lot?

    Thanks!
    Eric
     
  5. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Even though your viewing is 50/50 you should also consider which programming that you watch with the more critical eye. Then choose accordingly.
     
  6. MTrotter

    MTrotter Stunt Coordinator

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    But what about the question of burn in? Has anybody had this happen to their set?
     

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