Crazy to buy a 4:3 HDTV??

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Chuck H, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Chuck H

    Chuck H Agent

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    I am looking to buy an HDTV, specifically the Philips 60pp9202 that my wife and I saw at Costco for $1500. It is in 4:3 aspect ratio. I know that purists saw if you get HDTV to go widescreen, but I am wondering how long it is going to be before we REALLY see the majority of broadcasts in 16:9. The set will be used in this order
    TV watching off of our Directv dish
    Xbox gaming
    DVD's
    since most programing is in 4:3, and most xbox games are 4:3, is it really a mistake to go with a 4:3 HD set?
    Thanks for your input,
    Chuck
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I think it will be a long time before we see a large number of 16:9 broadcast. I just bought a 16:9 TV, and while there are a number of stretch modes, I am still getting used to seeing everything "fit" or hacked off. The 4:3 window looks odd too. Some things stretch better than others. I'd recommend going to a store and playing with the stretch modes of the TV you are interested in and see if you can tolerate the image. If you can't, then 4:3 is not a mistake, IMO.

    I only briefly tried a PS2 on my system (by brother brought his by to try it on my TV), and it was WOW. DVDs look great too.
     
  3. dave_brogli

    dave_brogli Screenwriter

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    THats the way I thought of it, I bought my 4:3 TV almost two years ago. Figuriong when Widescreen gets bigger and all the laws are through, I will pick up a HD widescreen for my living room and move my 36 4;3 to my bedroom. (figuring about right around 2006.......

    oh and my viewing preferences (directv, xbox/gc, dvd) are excactly the same for me.
     
  4. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    If you buy a 4x3 TV having the same width as the widescreen set you wanted (given an appetite for ws)- or a widescreen having the same height as a 4x3 you fancied (given a preference for 4:3), there is no physical difference in the image (but may be in the price!). One will be "handier" than the other, depending on your viewing habits.

    Zoom modes are evil. [​IMG]

    Advantage of a widescreen TV set: the image of a widescreen movies is indeed wider than a TV broadcast (or a 4:3 movie). )n a 4x3 set it isn't.


    Cees
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    I just ordered the same TV, and am getting Comcast HD, I use a lot of laserdisc and dvd...

    I bantered back and forth over this forever....
    In the end, the 4:3 fits in the space much much better, and I already have a 48" 4:3 and realized even a 65" widescreen would not have provided much size improvement at all over what I have now.

    I viewed this TV at several places, and man does it have a nice picture, even running when displaying widescreen HDTV material.

    With this set, I figured you will get a 52" Widescreen, and a 60" pan and scan of course. I totalled my media and it seems I am really about half and half on it.
     
  6. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Personally, when I buy a TV set, I buy it for the long haul. Those of you who can afford to drop $1500+ for a new TV every two years must be trading in your Lexuses every two years, too! [​IMG]

    So, two years ago, when my old 4:3 TV died, I bought a new widescreen set, because I'm looking for the most value over at least the next eight years.

    The TV standard is changing. It's going widescreen. Here's the official schedule from the FCC (quoted from this article).

     
  7. Rob Ritch

    Rob Ritch Agent

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    I went through the same thing 18 months ago. What I did was bought the Sony 53 HS30. This is a 4:3 set but has a widescreen mode. In this mode it compresses the image when you watch a widescreen image. The advantage is that the set does not "paint" the top and bottom bars so you get the full resolution in the widescreen mode. my 53 is about the same image size as a 47 when in widescreen mode. Until recently (past week) I never regretted the decision. Last week I hade comcast HD installed, now I am starting to question my decision. The networks now are broadcasting most of their prime time in HD, and with the other HD channels that are offered there is quite a bit of HD available to watch now. Don't get me wrong the image is still 1080i and incredible, but now I have black bars top and bottom when I watch HD. If I was to do it again, I would definately go with a 16:9 set. YMMV
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    Good points....

    This Philips model also has the 16:9 mode, so you loose no resolution. In other words, it can be native in both aspects...

    I decided 52" is quite large enough for me, on widescreen materials, for now and in the future.

    Also bear in mind, that all movies before 1950 were 4:3, and will always be in 4:3, so if your an avid old movie buff as I am, you get some really large B&W dramatic very old movie cinima like viewing for these sources, now and in the future. Just an additional thought on it all.
     
  9. Chuck H

    Chuck H Agent

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    Hey John S,
    I know this set supports 1080i, do you know what other HD resolutions it supports? 480i, 480p, 540i, 720p????
    Thanks,
    Chuck
     
  10. GarAlb

    GarAlb Stunt Coordinator

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    A year and a half ago I bought a Toshiba 50H72 4:3 set. Even after just recently getting Comcast HDTV, my viewing is still probably 90/10 in favor of standard broadcasting. With the minimal amount of content offered, I really only watch HDTV for sports. I'm still happy with my decision. In a few years when HDTV becomes a 100% requirement, I'll hopefully be able to get a non-tube 16:9 set (LCD,DLP,ICOS)at mass market prices [​IMG] .
     
  11. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    How much TV is in HD all depends on what you watch. Almost all prime time programming on ABC, CBS and NBC (except reality shows) is in HD right now. WB has some shows in HD, including Gilmore Girls, Everwood, Smallville and Angel. Enterprise is in 16:9 format. PBS is mostly not in HD, but a few programs are. Fox does not have any HD, but plenty of prime-time in 16:9.

    The only late night show in HD is Leno. I am not aware of daytime TV, but I don’t think that much, if any is in HD. News is not. Network sports is on the increase and depending on what you watch might even be significant. Monday night football, the Masters, a lot of playoff sports, U.S. Open (tennis), one AFC Sunday game and one SEC Saturday game. Plus Fox has a 16:9 NFC game every Sunday.

    In non-broadcast TV, both HBO and Showtime have an HD channel. ESPN has an HD channel, though not a lot of programming in HD as of yet. Discovery has an HD channel. There are PPV HD movies.

    And on and on.

    Plus some movie channels like FMC and TCM always show their films in OAR—you will benefit from a 16:9 set in watching most post-40s films on those channels.
     
  12. JasonWW

    JasonWW Agent

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    Lew Crippen- "Fox does not have any HD, but plenty of prime-time in 16:9."

    Just thought I'd mention Tuesday's "24" is in HD. Not many realize this.

    Take care.
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    Chuck H, as far as I can tell, anything that is not 480 or 1080 has to be upconverted. Like I say, I expect the set any day, and then Comcast HD shortly after that. I will have to post back about how it all works.

    I have not come across many sets that support all the DTV and HDTV modes yet. I did get to go see a decent Comcast HD setup last night though, his set only did 480 and 1080, and his HD looked really really awesome, so I am encouraged.

    Upconverting is not as bad as some make it out to be, that is for sure, and may even have some odd advantages to it, from what I observed last night.
     
  14. Chuck H

    Chuck H Agent

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    Thanks John. Now I am in a quandry as I stumbled apon info on front projectors, in particular the Sanyo Z1. Looks like I can get one and make a diy screen and a diy ceiling mount for less than the 60" set, and it displays all the HD signals, including 720p that more and more xbox games are in. My two big hang ups about going that direction are how good is it at showing Directv signal over svideo, and how long will the lamp last before needing to be replaced? My wife won't buy into it if we can't watch our evening TV programs on it on a fairly regular basis.
     
  15. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    I went through Sam's Club on Saturday to get diapers for both kids and stopped to look at the widescreen t.v.s they had and I noticed a Panasonic Widescreen HD ready RPTV for $1100.00. I looked pretty good, with two component inputs and S-video inputs. At that price my decision would be easy, get the widescreen and be ready for the future. I'm not sure if it had DVI though.
     
  16. DouglasBr

    DouglasBr Stunt Coordinator

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    Component inputs -- iirc, that was the thing that turned me off about the Philips 4:3 at Costco, as it only had one set. I assume it's the same model that the OP was talking about.
     
  17. Richard_B

    Richard_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone know what the actual screen size difference is between a 36"4:3 and a 34"16:9?
     
  18. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmm the 60PP9202 lists that it has two....

    But, I still have not got mine yet.
     
  19. David S

    David S Stunt Coordinator

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    "Just thought I'd mention Tuesday's "24" is in HD. Not many realize this".

    Actually its not. Fox does not brodcast in HD yet (Jan 2004 I think). What we are getting is Fox "Enhanced TV", which is 480p I belive.

    Still looks pretty damn good, just about 100% worse than CSI on CBS though. CBS HD Football vs Fox Enhanced Football, not even close!
     
  20. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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