HD or No?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeremy Hegna, Jul 11, 2001.

  1. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Hello fellow forumers....
    I live in Anchorage Alaska as my profile suggests. I've been shopping for HiDef sets, both direct and rear projection...as well as front projection systems, and I'm in a dilemna.
    As most of you know, even in the major markets (NY, LA, Chicago, Houston, etc...) HiDef programming is VERY limited at the present time. In Anchorage, it's even more so. We HAVE to have a 6 foot dish to get any kind of reception by satellite...but 10' is the recommendation. Also, the further north you are, the less opportunity of getting a southern shot.
    Dish Network and Direct TV are only available services here.
    You must live in certain parts of town, you must sacrifice your first born, yada, yada, yada...you get the picture.
    Hence my dilemna. I love watching DVDs and would like to take advantage of a 16:9 screen...but with little or no chance of receiving HiDef programming (for maybe a couple to several years) Is it worth the coin to invest in one now? Or wait it out, IYO?
    Have those of you that got rid of your 4:3 in lieu of a 16:9 screen found cable TV watching decent? Or must one have both 16:9 and 4:3 to enjoy each type of viewing at it's best quality?
    Just wanted to get your opinions...
    Thanks,
    Jeremy
     
  2. Evan A

    Evan A Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you watch a lot of TV? The money would be better spent on a TIVO!
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    Evan Adams
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  3. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Yes, Evan...I do watch a lot of TV. Especially sports.
    I've been debating about a TIVO for this football season, but I really want a big screen to enjoy it on [​IMG]
    I'm turning 30 in September and my bride's given me permission to take the HD plunge...but without programming, I'm not sure it's worth it.
    I watch several movies a week and I know it would help with my DVD experience
    Life is full of trade-offs. I would like this to not be one of them....sacrificing decent cable reception and viewing for better a better DVD experience.
    Any others with an opinion?
    Jer
     
  4. JerryHatchett

    JerryHatchett Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeremy,
    Funny how we all seem to have that wife angle to contend with on our HT stuff. [​IMG]
    I'll have to agree with the TiVo recommendation, which is IMO a quantum leap in TV technology that truly changed the way I use television.
    The downside to the TiVo experience is the fact that I'm sure HD TiVo is eons away. [​IMG]
    Nonetheless, I have to vote for the HD set. If you haven't seen one in action yet, go do so and you'll probably have your answer pretty quickly. I'm in the same boat here: I wouldn't be surprised to learn that our local TV station is still in mono. Our cable system now offers digital cable but I called them and asked them if any of the channels were offered in HD. Their response: "What's that?"
    I ordered a 65H80 this morning and am shopping for the right progressive scan DVD player to go with it now. I've posted that question in another thread and hoping to get some feedback there soon.
    Jerry
     
  5. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Moving to HD area. Also add my two cents that, yes, despite there being rather little in the way of HD programming a progressive scan set is still a great solution for watching DVDs. Once you spend some time watching it you'll never go back to interlaced. The picture is much more solid and detailed.
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    --Jay
    "No one can hear when you're screaming in digital."
    My Home Theatre Pictures...
    "You're no mesiah. You're, you're a movie of the week. You're a ... t-shirt, at best."
     
  6. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    Definitely get a HD-ready set even if you will "never" get HD. However, HD is not synonymous with a 16:9 screen, only a 16:9 picture. You can consider a 4:3 HD-ready set that has a 16:9 mode, producing widescreen pictures the same way 16:9 sets do, just with wider letterbox bars at top and bottom. Cable TV stinks in most areas, so get satellite, then a TiVo, then a HD-ready set. Next, I suggest getting a HTPC. DVD's at 1440x960i on my Radeon card with ATI Player are sometimes superior in quality to the worst HD transfers. Then think about HD. BTW, this just in, Dish says they are going to add CBS-HD. And May 1, 2002, Anchorage is scheduled to be blessed with 7 digital OTA stations.
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    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Philips_HDTV/joinClick to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
     
  7. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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    Actually the amount of HD programming has increased quite a bit in the last year, thanks primarily to CBS which has most of it's prime time programming in HD..ABC also has a few movies a month and 4 or 5 of their fall prime time drama's will be HD this coming season..
    Also this just in from HDTV magazine..
     
  8. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Guys,
    Thanks for the suggestions.
    When is the new line of RPs due to hit the shelves? I've heard the new line of Mits will have the fire wire port, keeping it a bit more future-proof I suppose.
    This should also lower the prices on "last year's best" brands, wouldn't you think?
    I'm not too concerned about HD programming, moreso about DVD playback at the present time. Satellite, again, is hit and miss in Alaska. We've been promised over the last couple of years that the addition of new satellites in the Northern sky will alleviate the necessity to have such a massive dish...or no reception at all. So far, to my knowledge, this hasn't happened.
    Jeremy
     
  9. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Yes. I would most definately get an hdtv set. The prices have dropped quite a bit. Even if you are not able to get hdtv programs via satellite, they are still great to watch anamorphic dvd's on. Just make sure you get yourself a progressive scan dvd player. I am telling you, there is a night and day difference between interlaced and progressive scan! Also with alot of hdtv sets you have options of different aspect ratios. So you can stretch out 4x3 programs to fill your entire screen.
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    "I'm your Huckelberry"
     
  10. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Jeff,
    I've done my HT completely backwards [​IMG]
    I already have progressive scan (Denon 2800), so I'm ready there. Everything's in place to take advantage of the "big screen experience."
    I just went to a local B&M in town and took a look at some of their sets. They just got a couple of Panasonics in.
    The PT47WX49 and WX51. They are both 47" HiDef displays, the 49 is $2k and the 51 is $2.2k (with screen guard).
    This seems to be a phenomenal deal. The smaller Mits is still around $2.5k
    Anyone with one of these new Pannys around? They didn't look nearly as sharp or bright as the Pioneer Elites standing next to it. However, if the sets are new, they may not be completely calibrated.
    You guys have convinced me to take the plunge...now I suppose the question is whether or not to wait for the newer technology, or buy now.
    Jeremy
     
  11. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    For more information on the Pani 47WX49, check the "TV and projector" forum for a thread started by BrettW called: "Panasonic 47WX49 Service Manual". There are great hacks for this TV and a mention by Brett of his web site he put together for support/ect. It's worth a look.
    ALSO, check out the post in the same forum for red push for more great info!!
    ALSO, do make sure you get a progressive DVD player. Brett has a Skyworth with a Fujoura (sp) chip and on his Pani it simply blew away my Sony 650d (which is non-progressive and I can say looks simply incredible on my 36" non-progressive with the verticle squeze trick = well, plus a few mods of my own I've come up with and a few more I'd really like to finallize some day soon).
    ALSO, I think you can get the Pani at onecall.com for just over $1725 delivered to your door. They have excellent prices and better than that service. Do me a favor and tell them [email protected] sent you.
    I can say IMO that this Pani with the Skyworth DVD player is by far the best projection I've personally looked at (yes, IMO, comperable to the Pioneer Elite as well, but then again, they did have a different DVD player!!).
    Whatever you decide to purchase, plan to spend at least a few weekends tweaking you won't be disapointed.
    Good luck!!
    John
     
  12. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Thanks John
    Precisely what I needed to hear...under 2k for an HD TV, damn....I'm happy I waited [​IMG]
    Jeremy
     
  13. Michael Jsmith

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    Jeremy,
    I would recommend a 53 or 61" Sony HS10 or HS20/30. With the 61" Sony, you basically get a great 4:3 set for regular viewing, but also HD capability and anamorphic squeeze (for anamorphic DVDs) on Video 5. It's like having a built-in 56" 16x9 TV, which is pretty darn big...and priced lower than most that size! I'm in a similar situation. I watch a lot of cable (4:3), some Hi-Def (16X9) and a whole lot of anamorphic DVDS (16x9). My 61HS10, IMO, delivers outstanding picture quality in all modes. Right now, you can get some great prices on the 53HS10 ($1999) because the new models, the HS20/30s are just coming out. The main difference is the newer models have 3:2 detection and 2 HD inputs vs 1 for the HS10. Anyway, I love my set--I think it's the perfect bridge set until everything is broadcast in 16x9.
    mike
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    Consuming air and other valuable resources since 1953.
     
  14. John Morton

    John Morton Stunt Coordinator

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    Good post Mike.
    I checked out the Sony 53"ers as well (I'm actually a Sony die hard and thus far have purchased nothing but if you want the real truth). I agree it looks quite nice. The only problem I had was both stores I viewed it at had it connected to a real crappy DVD player so there was quite a bit of pixelation (which although I find hard to believe was caused by a Sony, does make it tough to give an honest "TV" opinion = could've also been VSM instead of the DVD player now that I think of it??). Anyway, I've been looking as I'm debating on staying status quo for at least 2 more years, spending the $ to upgrade my 36" wega, or buying a new 16:9 projection (IF THEY JUST MADE A 47" SONY WEGA 16:9 FORMAT = CAN YOU HEAR ME SONY?????). I'm 95% toward buying the boards I need to upgrade my wega to the new xbr450, but my FV15 looks so darn good with the verticle squeeze (especially since I got rid of the scan lines by changeing the aspect to 0 and vsiz to +2 in the service menu) that it's hard to see any difference?? As you can see I try to do as much research as possible before making a final decision. I gave myself til Aug 1 and I'm ordering then if I'm going to order at all. Assuming I upgrade as planned, I'll then new-post to HTF with results when finished. If I don't order, I'll still post with my suspected plan anyway. :)
    If you've decided to buy local, something that may help you make your final decision would be to call and ask them if they mind you bringing in YOUR DVD player (WITH CABLES and select DVDs), let you connect it to a few sets, maybe tweak them a little (at least Avia), and then purchase. This way you'll get a much closer apples to apples comparison and at the same time get a better education.
    OH (speaking of that), and keep reading HTF!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck!!
    John
     

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