Can a $2K< RPTV have as good a picture as a CRT?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by MichaelDDD, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    It's been awhile since I've been TV shopping. More than 5 years, actually. I've sort of kept up with TV technology. I read all the articles and reviews I can.

    Five years ago, RPTVs were technologically far behind CRTs. Now, they've caught up for the most part.

    Traditionally, RPTVs have had a very narrow viewing angle and that's what turned me off to them in the past. They've gotten better, I know. But how MUCH better?

    Also, nothing competes with a CRT for black level. How much better have RPTVs gotten lately?

    For what I'd pay for a really good 36" Wega or Toshiba, I can get a 60", 16x9 RPTV.

    Discuss amongst yourselves while I take notes. [​IMG]

    Thank you.
     
  2. Chad B

    Chad B Stunt Coordinator

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    Most RPTV's are still CRT based (though other types are quickly catching on), so black levels can be the same as CRT direct views. Picture quality can be stunning on a CRT RPTV if the set has had a good ISF style calibration. From the box, however, many RPTV's look disappointing. The viewing cone is determined by the high gain lenticular screen most manufacturers use. Lenticulars have a very narrow vertical angle and a moderately wide horizontal angle. In other words, you don't want to watch a typical RPTV while laying on the floor or looking down on the set, but right to left isn't bad except in extreme cases.
    If you have a very bright room, a direct view would be a better choice. RPTV's can handle moderate ambient light, but in bright rooms they will not look as punchy or dynamic as a direct view.
    IMO, the quality of RPTV's grew significantly when HDTV capabilities (and built in line doublers or scalers) started showing up.
     
  3. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Chad.

    Most of my TV viewing is done with the lights dimmed a bit; roughly halfway from "normal room lighting" if there is such a thing.

    All of my movie watching is done with as little light in the room as possible...they way it was intended to be. [​IMG]

    I'm reading up more...getting caught up.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    It depends on what you mean by ‘good’.

    A narrow viewing angle does not make for a bad picture if you watch in the prime positions, so for many this is not an issue. Black levels for CRT-based RPTVs are reasonably comparable to CRTs.

    If you have a lot of ambient light in your viewing room and watch during the daytime, RPTVs will suffer as they are not as bright as tube TVs. But in more subdued lighting this is not an issue. At night not an issue at all. In many rooms, not an issue at all.

    Some RPTVs (I don’t know if this is true in the $2,000 price range) have more definition that tube TVs, as they fully resolve all 1,080 lines (for HD purposes), while current tube TVs do not.

    Buy what best fits your needs and environment.
     
  5. Chad B

    Chad B Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,

    Sounds like a RPTV could work out well for you. The bigger size will be worth alot when watching movies. What brand are you looking at?

    Chad
     
  6. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    No brands yet, Chad...I'm kinda feeling my way around right now. From the reading I've done, I've come up with these...in no particular order.

    Mitsubishi
    Sony
    Samsung

    Any brands/models that you guys recommend, I'll look into.

    Most of my buddies are more into "just watching the game on anything with a picture" than HT. I'm slowly getting them hooked though. I let them bring over whatever DVD they want to watch. They leave my place with "that look" in their eyes...and then the WAF gets in their way. [​IMG]
     
  7. Chad B

    Chad B Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,

    My personal preferences lean toward Sonys and Hitachis for picture quality. It's just a matter of a few little PQ problems other brands sometimes have that might not be resolved during calibration. I haven't run across any flaws worth mentioning in the Sony or Hitachi CRT RPTV's yet.
    Even though I am one, I'll say this not as a calibrator, but as someone trying to give good advice- try to budget in enough money for an ISF calibration from one of the fine independent calibrators here on the forum. It can make a mid line RPTV look much better than a top of the line (uncalibrated) model.
     
  8. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Chad.

    You're ISF Certified? Cool. [​IMG]

    I'm curious about something. How close can I get with my Avia test disc, afa "perfect" calibration goes?

    I let the TV warm up for about an hour, then calibrate. Then play for another hour, then recheck calibration. It's a four beer...er four hour process. [​IMG]

    What's an ISF calibration run?
     
  9. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    An ISF calibration in and of itself has a recommended price of $225 for a direct view set and $275 for a RPTV. Mind you, for most RPTV's the calibration service taken is actually termed a full calibration which includes many more things than just ISF. Something akin to an oil change and a tune up. The full calibration services typically cost from $400 to $600.

    Regards
     
  10. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hi Mike,

    Wow, I'm sure there's a lot involved for that kind of money. In the big picture of things, it's not "a lot of money" per se, though.

    I'm sure the equipment that ISF-certified folks have to maintain on hand is not cheap at all, ergo the "MSRP" of the services.
     
  11. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    That's about it ... the equipment costs and the additional costs for keeping up to date with even more equipment.

    Now since this is a free market system, we are always free to make a better mouse trap. So nothing stops an individual from getting the equipment and charging $50 for the same work. Sort of like a $15/hr plumber ... or dentist.

    Regards
     
  12. Jon_Miller

    Jon_Miller Auditioning

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    Save up for an additional 3 months and get the Samsung 61" DLP RP. Best television on the market.

    It has:

    DVI in (Oooooh yeeeeeah)
    15 pin D-SUB (VGA) in
    HD Component in
    Component in
    S-Video in
    Composite in
    Coax in

    3:2 pulldown
    3D Y/C Digital Comb filter
    PIP
    Virtual Surround Sound
    DNIe

    It will support:

    480i
    480p
    720p
    1080i

    It is 20" deep! It weighs only 100 lbs. Its EXTREMELY THIN, and EXTREMELY LIGHT!

    This is the ultimate home theatre display.
     
  13. Chad B

    Chad B Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, I've been ISF trained (or certified, depending on who you talk to) for a little over a year now. Some self taught home theater enthusiasts feel comfortable tweaking in the service menu; in fact, that's how I got started. But without an HDTV generator and a color analyzer, you're quite limited even if you do alot of research. When I do a calibration, and I'm sure the other calibrators here do the same, we do much research about the model to find all the tweaks that we can do to it in addition to the ISF grayscale calibration. Some of those extra services (like a thorough geometry and convergence adjustment) are very time consuming and labor intensive, so they can add to the calibration cost.
    I think Avia and the user controls are an essential first step, but there's much more performance lurking in your set that a good ISF calibration can pull out.
    By the way, many people are surprised by this, but high end direct views can benefit just as much from a calibration as an RPTV.

    Chad
     
  14. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Jon_Miller, that looks like a heck of a set! A bit beyond my price range for now...but I'm not buying now. [​IMG] [​IMG] DLP is not really a "proven technology" yet. I'd hate to spend that kind of money and have it die a year from now...just a thought.

    Chad B, nice reply. [​IMG] I'm not even sure my old Sony even HAS a service menu...I don't think it does. The menu is pretty basic. Sharpness/Contrast/Tint/Something I can't remember. :b

    Once I spend the money and get a new set, i will have it professionally calibrated though. And then nobody will touch it but me. Ever. Mwuahahahaha!
     

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