A Look at the Toshiba 30HF83 HDTV

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Tom Boucher, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Tom Boucher

    Tom Boucher Second Unit

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    I recently aquired the Toshiba 30HF83 HDTV flat tube television for my downstairs area above the fireplace.

    I currently have a Sony 57" Projection HDTV (57W600) upstairs in my main 'theater' room but they are going to be doing some remodeling behind the room so we knew we wouldn't be able to watch TV or anything for about a month or so. Our home came with a TV nook above our gas fireplace in the main living room and I had been debating on putting a television in there but I didn't want to put just any TV in there, I wanted an HDTV capable screen that was 16x9.

    I also had to do it in under 34" wide and 25" deep space that had sliding doors that per the wifes request must be able to be closed.

    So naturally I thought LCD or Plasma Television.

    After choking on the pricing of those things for what I considered sub-par picture on even the most expensive Plasma I saw I started looking at CRTs. I've been a Sony person for some time now and I immediately looked at the 32" and 36" Sony Wega screens. They were too big.

    For my source I'm going to use basic cable through a seperately purchased Toshiba HD400 TiVo/DVD Player (this rocks) but that is another topic. One note on this thing is no matter what the source it will upconvert/sideconvert/whatever convert it to play out your Component video output. Basic RF Cable never looked so sharp.

    I searched around the web and posted some questions here, there wasn't many people that had a space restriction like I did or I didn't ask the question right. Somehow, not quite sure how, I stumbled across the 30HF83. At first I tried to order it from Best Buy. But their website wouldn't let me order it because I'm 'out of the special delivery area' for that TV. Not sure what the criteria was but Raleigh/Durham/Cary/Chapel HIll/Wake Forest zip codes didn't work so I guess they didn't want to sell me a TV.

    Joy of Joys, I found it on Crutchfield. Best Buy's lack of selling me the TV cost them about $1800 in sales including the HD400 that they had. Oh well, their loss.

    I ordered the beginning of March and the HD400 shipped right away. However the TV was backordered. It finally arrived right at the end of March while I was out of town (naturally) but I finally got home and we wrangled it into the spot.

    Note to self, sliding a 150 lb tv across a wooden trim piece will scratch and destroy said trim piece. It's not real noticeable but it annoyed me.

    Got the TV in, I'm using some monster cables I bought with the TV and DVD (THX Ultra I think was the brand name) I plugged the cable TV into the HD400 and proceeded to play around for a little bit. It was rather late so I didn't do much, transferred a few programs via the TiVO HMO from my other player so I'd have something to watch, crawled into bed at like midnight.

    I have yet to do any calibration.

    I watched Down with Love, School of Rock, part of Chicago, Matrix Revolutions so far on it. The only weird thing I've not figured out is that the TV will not autosense when it's getting a progressive video feed and go to widescreen mode. So I had to put the TV into one of the 'zoom' modes and leave it there. What's weird is when it is interlaced from the HD400 it'll go widescreen on a DVD and 4:3 on a TV picture, but it won't when it's in progressive mode (the HD400 has a progressive button to go in/out of the mode, the TV recognizes that it is Progressive and displays that for 3 - 5 seconds along with interlaced when you go out. Haven't bothered to read the book to see if there is anything I can do to change that yet, I'm lazy and the picture looks pretty good to me.

    As far as the sound goes I didn't hook up a 'ht in a box' type solution to this as I'm not too fond of the speakers that come with most of them. So I'm relying on the internal speakers of the TV. I find myself having to crank up the volume quite a bit though to hear things. I'm not that deaf I don't think because using the regular volume on my TV upstairs I don't have to crank the bar 1/2 to 3/4 the way up. Maybe one day I'll put a surround sound system on the downstairs but right now I'm going for the minimalist look and you can't do that running speaker wires everywhere and I'm not yet to the point to start drilling holes in things to run wiring. House is not a year old yet.

    One of these days I"ll get around to running digital video essentials. Right after I run it on my big screen [​IMG] I'm lazy that way.

    Picture looks excellent. On DVD it's very sharp and nice looking and I attribute that to the HD400. The HD400 made my upstairs television and the Sony 755 I got in August 2002 look like crap. I'm debating now picking up another HD400 and selling the TiVo I use upstairs and combining the two units.

    Along those lines I'm also thinking of replacing my venerable TA-E9000ES but that's another thread.

    Ask any questions if you'd like. This TV seems to be under-represented in the HT Forum world.
     
  2. Rick Westfall

    Rick Westfall Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the post. Can you talk a little about watching regular TV on it? Is the picture really small or do you use one of the widescreen modes with TV? What does the widescreen mode do to it? I have seen on some LCD TV's that the some modes stretch the sides of a TV picture leaving the middle mostly normal instead of stretched.

    Thanks
    Rick
     
  3. Tom Boucher

    Tom Boucher Second Unit

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    I leave it in a widescreen mode quite a bit when watching regular television. I don't notice much picture loss and they definitely do edge stretching and not center stretching because the tickers on CNN have a tendancy to speed up slightly at the edges.

    But otherwise I don't notice much of a difference when watching programs on TV
     

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