HDTV purchase situation

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andy Yeater, Apr 9, 2002.

  1. Andy Yeater

    Andy Yeater Auditioning

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    I am new to big screen TV’s and HDTV ready as well. I have been doing research on these forum’s and at Consumer Reports, stores, etc.….but still would like your input.

    I am going to purchase an HDTV ready rear projection set when/if I settle on the following issues.

    My viewing style: I will probably use the set 70% of the time on 4:3 aspect (normal TV, Playstation 2, etc) All the DVD’s I buy I get Widescreen. Some PS2 games also have a “widescreen” mode of play. The HDTV broadcast signal is not important at all to me. Few years down the road when more of it is broadcast and more easily accessible, then I will buy a set top converter and get that….but that is probably several years off for me. Main use will be for Digital Cable, DVD’s and PS2, (I understand still not true HDTV quality).

    Based on the above, I have been looking at 2 models. Pioneer SD533HD5 53” Widescreen and the Sony KP51HW40 51” Widescreen. The price difference between the two is not an issue. I have couple other issues:

    1. I had a salesperson tell me to be careful of screen “burn in” if I watch too much TV in the normal or 4:3 aspect ratio (in my case probably 70% of usage). This alarms me and wanted some feedback from people who have experience with this. I am also not a big fan of “stretching” the pic to widescreen mode to avoid this. But really want the widescreen for when I do watch the DVD’s and future programming in widescreen. I understand I can get the calibration DVD’s and set contrast etc….is this really going to work and not be a problem. I mean I won’t have the set on for 8 hours at a time. Is there a setting where you can "stretch" the 4:3 signal so it doesn't look too "stretched"?

    2. What are peoples opinions of the Sony KP51HW40 vs the Pioneer SD533HD5 based on my viewing style. Consumer Reports rates the Pioneer at #2 but says it lacks Auto Convergence adjustment and its menu is more difficult than most. Are those two things big deals? CR says the Sony lacks Automatic flesh-tone correction and Selectable video noise reduction. Again, are those two big deals?

    3. Are there new models of either of these units coming out in next couple months that would be smart for me to hold off for month or so? I have read on the DVI issue and not trying to turn this into another of those discussions.

    4. Playstation 2 gaming. I have been reading that playing video games on the set is one of the easiest ways to cause this burn in. I was wondering if I should never play it on the set or if having the contrast set properly, as well as not gaming for 4 or 5 hours at a time, I should be OK. Where the set will go I really want to be able to hook up the PS2 if it doesn’t ruin my investment.

    5. Would I be better served getting a 4:3 rear projection and forget the Widescreen altogether based on 70% usage in this mode?

    Sorry this is so long but wanted to give the appropriate info. Thanks in advance for any opinions!
     
  2. Mike I

    Mike I Supporting Actor

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    Do you watch a lot of prime time programming..If you do I think you will find your use of an HD sets full capabilities will increase quite a bit..This fall just about all primetime programming will be hd...More and more special events are being broadcast in HD and more and more cable companies are carring the hd signals....
     
  3. Niranjan

    Niranjan Auditioning

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    Burn in wont be a huge probelem as long as u take care of ur tv. When you get it the factory settings for brightness and contrast will be max, so you should turn that down most people say 50% and below. You can play video games on the tv but in some games there are stationary things like health bars, ammo, etc. so just be careful to limit the time you play i ve heard people playing 8 hours i think it was with no problems; and if you are going to pause and leave the system on turn the tv off.
     
  4. James St

    James St Supporting Actor

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    Andy,
    I am in a similar position as you. I'm seriously considering a Pioneer SD533HD5 as well but haven't pulled the trigger yet because of the concern with DVI/HDCP. My viewing consists of 80% 4:3 tv/gaming but I'm still going with a widescreen. The Pioneer has several stretch modes which makes 4:3 viewing acceptable for me. Plus the line doubler is said to be as good as the one from last years Elite line of rptv's. After hours of tinkering with it at Best Buy I felt it was the best chioce for me. Besides, the enjoyment from the 20% widescreen viewing will outweigh the 80% 4:3.[​IMG]
    Sony is releasing their new line beginning in July and will include a DVI input. Whether Pioneer is coming out with new models in the fall is still unclear.
     
  5. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    Andy, be honest with yourself about what you will watch the most for the next, say, three years. Farther ahead than that and the future is more unclear. If you value widescreen DVDs over the other 70% 4:3 normal stuff you watch, then get a widescreen. If you want to watch 70% of programming in its normal (unstretched) mode or on a much bigger screen than watching it in 4:3 with black bars would be, then get a 4:3. If you don't plan on spending the money on an HD tuner for a good while, and as you said HD is unimportant to you, then until you do, a widescreen would be useless for HD material, of course, and a widescreen would be compromising your viewing up until that time.

    A main selling point to me is that a comparable 4:3 HD set can do EVERYTHING its widescreen counterpart can do *and more*. (As long as it can do anamorphic squeeze, which most can.) About the only thing you give up at all with a 4:3 HD set over an HD wide is that you will get black bars on the top and bottom for widescreen DVDs and for HD material. The opposite is for a widescreen to have black bars on the sides for 4:3 material (with a MUCH smaller picture) or stretches it. Other than black bars for wide material, a 4:3 set gives up nothing to a widescreen set. Even stretched, 4:3 material on a 50" widescreen sure seems small compared to 4:3 on a 50" 4:3 set.

    Think about what will be the majority of your viewing for the next few years, and gear your thoughts that way. Let us know what you decide.

    For games, people don't seem to have much problem with burn-in as long as they keep the contrast quite a ways down. You'll give up some brightness compared to a direct-view, but that's a minor annoyance when you get to play on a screen that big and only have to take a little extra care when doing it.
     

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