BEST HDTV RPTV set for the Money???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Corey_S, Feb 16, 2002.

  1. Corey_S

    Corey_S Auditioning

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    I was simply wanting your opinions on which big screen HDTV is the best buy for the money.
     
  2. Corey_S

    Corey_S Auditioning

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    I was just hoping for your opinions on what big screen HDTV is the best for the money.
     
  3. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll go out on a limb and say the latest Toshiba 65". I've seen them go new for as low as $2550.00.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Corey,

    That's a wide category. Maybe you could narrow it down a little with approximate screen size and price range you're looking to purchase.

    Also, maybe an idea of features that interest you might be in order.

    -Vince

    PS: Please do not double post topics on this forum. Select ONE area that the post falls under, and post it there. YOu will find double posting doesn't offer you any additional info, and only serves to clutter the forum.
     
  5. Gus Donis

    Gus Donis Auditioning

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    Vince,

    What would you expect one to pay for a Mitsubishi 65 inch WS-65908??? My local high fi store wants $4999 for it.
     
  6. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Corey, as someone recently pointed out to me, the new March 2002 issue of Home Theater has a "big-screen face off" and there are 10 RPTVs reviewed, including two that I am considering. The article points out several interesting pros and cons for each HDTV, "value" being one of them. (**They do state, however, that the testing was performed PRIOR to any professional calibration, and had that been performed, the final results may have varied. In other words, an out-of-the-box performance test.)
    The article also contains a interesting sidebar, "The Future of HDTV Connections" and states which manufacturers are already addressing future "connectivity" requirements.
    I found the article somewhat helpful, but I'd still rather preview the sets' picture quality for myself, as well as get some feedback from the salesmen as to which HDTVs are returned to the store more frequently for repair.
     
  7. AdamGott

    AdamGott Auditioning

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    I must have misread that article in HT because I could have sworn that they had a tech calibrate all of the tv's. How else could it be fair/accurate?

    I did like their sidebar on the future of HDTV (which is bleak as far as I can see it, living in Idaho Falls Idaho where we have yet to adopt the STEREO tv audio standard).

    And remember, only one of those tv's has handles! Maybe it is just me but I never move my tv's around that much anyway.
     
  8. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    So, What did the article say was the best buy?
     
  9. George Carlisle

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    according to the article...

    "best" = pioneer xx3hd5

    best buy = toshiba hx
     
  10. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Adam, regarding the recent HDTV review/article in HT:
    The author, Mike Wood, wrote that "each display was calibrated (by him)...using only the consumer-accessible controls..." A few paragraphs later, he wrote, "While we didn't re-review the displays after their respective proffesional calibrations, I'd highly recommend that anyone spending this kind of money on a TV...have their TV properly calibrated by a trained technician using appropriate test equipment."
    Later, when reviewing the Sharp HDTV, he wrote that it "battled its way to the final round..." A few sentences after that he wrote "to be fair, the Sharp also started out in the last round, as there were just too many sets to shove into our small testing room at one time."
    With that, I dismissed the "face-off" as just a page-filler article. While I enjoyed reading about the different features of each set (and getting a chance to compare the configurations on the rear panels), I'd hardly regard their "HDTV Face-Off" to be either fair or accurate. I've viewed practically all the sets in person and thought that the Pioneer had a much softer picture than the Hitachi & Toshiba. The hands-down best HDTV picture I've seen was the Sony 57XBR2 at Circuit City.
    Personally, I feel that when you purchase any set that expensive, the manufacturers should include a professional calibration upon delivery. Now THAT would be fair! [​IMG]
     
  11. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    Best picture was at Circuit City!!! I would always take the HT review over someone's viewing of a TV @ CC!

    I agree with the article and I personally own the Toshiba 50HX81 and absolutely love it! It is not ISF Calibrated, but I did buy a grid overlay for the 56pt conversion and calibrated it using the Video Essentials DVD, and the picture is amazing.

    I hate to say it, but I would honestly find an ISF rep and ask them their personal opinion. I am sure they have seen their share of TVs and I am sure they can tell you which TVs have the best Pic right out of the box and then which TVs have the best Pic after them calibrating it!

    I would much rather get an opinion from some one who is in the field compared to a person in a sales floor or especially in a BB or CC. Shoot even my high end dealer around here does not even calibrate their TVs to Avia or VE. They just pull it out of the box and display it in HDTV. Anything in HDTV looks amazing to someone that has never seen it, so you can just make the sale due to the higher quality DHTV instead of properly calibrating it for YOUR viewing environment.

    Ultimately it is your choice and you should just do as much research and find out what you like. You can go to the Home Theater Spot Forum and ask people that are specifically owners of each brand of TVs, but you must remember that you might be dealing with people that think their TV is the best TV ever made and nothing could EVER go wrong with it. heh heh.

    All in all, I wish you the best of luck and hope that you find a TV that is right for you, and hopefully will not cause too large of a strain in your checking account (like mine did)
     
  12. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Grady's Quote: "Best picture was at Circuit City!!! I would always take the HT review over someone's viewing of a TV @ CC!...Anything in HDTV looks amazing to someone that has never seen it..."
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Grady, no need to belittle anyone's opinion here...I believe ALL comments and opinions are important to the person asking for them. Also it's presumptive to assume that I'd "never seen HDTV before".
    I've been researching HDTVs for a purchase for over 6 months now. I've read every home theater magazine there is; have requested and received detailed information from suppliers and have spoken to their techs on the phone. I've traveled hours to view particular sets in person, as well as read their specs online. Additionally, I've posted questions to the forum and have received very thoughtful and considerate information and opinions that assisted me in my purchase.
    While it's helpful to read the magazine reviews; not everything you read in print is accurate. Just because they give a "favorable" review to a particular set, doesn't mean you won't get a lemon if you buy that set; nor does it mean that you haven't heard a dozen horror stories about the set from disgrunted owners (as I have with many Toshibas).
    HAVING seen HDTV before, I stand by my statement that the best HDTV picture I've viewed is on a Sony 57XBR2 which just happened to be in a Circuit City. Additionally, I took some test DVDs with me on my rounds and viewed them on practically every set I've considered purchasing, as most of what I watch won't be high-def. The Pioneer (so praised by HT) didn't fair as well as the Sony did when viewing the DVDs. I saw a stunningly sharp picture on a Samsung...doesn't mean I'd purchase it over a Pioneer. Too many different variables to consider: connections on rear panel, #inputs, #outputs, remote, ease of menu operations, quality, price, reputation for reliability, and word of mouth. What's most important to me will only be the deciding factor in MY purchase. But if it helps someone else, terrific!
    Each of us makes up our own mind ultimately, and hopefully, our experiences and opinions will be treated with respect by other forum members.
    Cory, I hope you find the perfect set for you!
     
  13. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    Please forgive me for any insulting that I may have caused. It was never my intention and if anyone thought that, let it be known that I apologize and am fully sorry about causing it.
    I just know how important it is to compare a calibrated TV in the viewing environment that it will be used in. That is all that my intention was. Please forgive me if you or anyone else was/are offended by my response.[​IMG]
     
  14. Kishu

    Kishu Stunt Coordinator

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    Corey,
    You have plenty of choices (as seen by responses). Let us narrow it further...
    a. What's your budget?
    b. What will be your viewing preferences with this set? (HD/DVD/NTSC)
    c. Do you like to tweak by yourself (convergence/play with settings)?
    Most of the prevailing brands today look excellent after calibration (~$600ish for a total makeover for you widescreen TV). So whatever choice you make- you will not be sorry [​IMG]
    Cheers,
    Kishore
     
  15. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    I have a 4-5year old Pioneer Elite SDP5193 non-progressive monitor and I can't afford another Elite monitor right now. I was wondering if Toshiba offerings will be a worthwile upgrade or will I better off upgrading in 2-3 years time?
     
  16. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    My Hitachi is perfect, but as the person said, they make lemons too and so does Sony. I went to circuit city and was amazed at the Sony wide screen. $2000 more than the Hitachi next to it, but a perfect picture. If I had the dough, I would get the 65" Sony. But the Hitachi has a great picture for lots of reasons. They make all the components for their TV's and some for others and all the screens. Pioneer is another excellent choice. Sorry I don't have $600 for a tweak(price of a 36" TV these days). The average customer doesn't! Mine had better look great out of the box or it goes back and back and even switch brands if I have too. Sure, mine could look better, but no one has ever posted a list of nation wide contacts for tweaking RPTV's. Maybe $100 if they did a great job. But I just bought a 3802 from an authorized dealer for less than $800. That was needed more than a tweak and a half on my RPTV.
    Interesting article=
    Quote:
    http://www.theperfectvision.com/arti...1_hitachi.html
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by MikeGF:
    The following is Hitachi's reply to Perfect Vision's review of the 53SWX12B. Locate the review at Perfect Vision
    "Thank you Perfect Vision for a great and accurate review of our top of the line 53" HDTV Monitor 53SWX12B.
    It is nice to have critical viewers notice the advantages of 6-element lens systems and wide-neck CRTs. It’s even nicer when you engineer and manufacture these key components in your own factories. Larger diameter lenses allow us to use more of the face of the CRT for a brighter and sharper picture. Using more elements produces better focus by modifying the light in smaller increments. The wide-neck CRTs allow us an advantage in creating a finely focused electron beam. And with our upconversion to either 1080i or 540p we use more lines to make a smoother, tighter picture. All of that great engineering makes it even more disappointing that Mr. Tomlinson received a sample that had an incorrect white balance setting.
    Unfortunately, the incorrect setting caused the darkest areas of the picture to contain too much green. We caught the white balance error early into production and have corrected the setting. We apologize to Mr. Tomlinson and all consumers that received one of the affected sets. Any consumer who has purchased one of the affected sets can simply call 1-800-HITACHI and request an adjustment to the correct factory setting from a service center. We stand firmly behind our products and regret any inconvenience that our customers experience."
    BILL WHALEN
    HITACHI AMERICA LTD., HOME ELECTRONICS DIVISION
    If you have the problem, I would call Hitachi referencing Bill Whalen's quote. It is always worth a try.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  17. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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    I always check the setup at CC. They had a PROGESSIVE SCAN dvd and a HDTV simulated signal. Two different trips, two different setups. I did not see any front inputs on the Sony. They must be hidden behind a top secret panel.[​IMG]
    But since they make cameras that plug up to a SVHS tv jack, you would think those inputs would be there.[​IMG]
     
  18. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Earl, I too, had a little trouble locating the front A/V inputs on the Sony XBR2. There's a panel on the front that pops out & downward when you push on it. Many control buttons are located on the front face of it (which I like because I frequently misplace my remote). Look on the right SIDE of this pop-out panel and you will find the inputs which include an S-Video input. [​IMG]
     
  19. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi yall!

    This has been an interesting read...

    First, Id insist on getting a "good" DVD player along with that new HD ready set.

    Second, every set Ive worked on has needed some tweeking. With an almost exception for a couple of Pioneer Elite units (they only benefited from a grey scale calibration).

    No set (with the exception of the Elite) looks close to its potential out of the box.

    Things to do to improve the picture:

    Removal of antiglare screen

    Adjusting overscan, geometry, and convergence

    Mechanical and electronic focus

    grey scale calibration (makes whites look white and blacks look black)

    Adjustment of front panel controls (Brightness, Contrast, Color, tint)

    Lense stripping

    Once the above is done to your HD ready set, they can make a world of difference to your preception of the image.

    Other tweaks to do :

    Add a 6500 K back light

    Make mattes to cover up the letterbox bars

    Gregg
     
  20. Michael St. Clair

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    The only fair way to judge sets are based on your own needs and preferences.
    Do you watch a substantial amount of the following:
    4:3 video-sourced material like sports
    4:3 DVDs
    letterboxed laserdiscs
    Cable television
    Satellite television
    If you care about any of these sources and how they look, you need to go to a dealer and make them show you the sources you care about on the set in question. Directly connected, not through some nasty switching system. You will want to play with the stretch and zoom modes if applicable.
    Then you have to take into account the whole issues of how good does it look in your typical room light, how good does it look out of the box, how good does it look with user tweaking, are you afraid of user tweaking, how good does it look after ISF calibration, etc.
    How much do you trust brand X, how much is an extended warranty, what is your viewing distance, and so on.
    A ton of questions to answer, and by the time you are done you may find the set is right for you may not be the set that is right for some other people with the same budget.
    Short answer: "it depends"
     

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