HDTV quality on direct view set

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BradZ, May 17, 2001.

  1. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

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    I've read that it isn't truly HDTV because of the shadow mask or aperature grill doesn't allow for full HDTV resolution. Makes sense to me. I don't expect it to compare with a fully dedicated 16:9 rear projection tv, but my question is more basic than that.
    with the 36XBR do you get the "WOW" of HDTV? Is it noticeably better than NTSC, or does it just look like a really good analog source? I'm interested in the Toshiba 40H80, but with the amount of 4:3 programming I watch, I don't want burn-in to become a factor. And I really don't like the stretch modes.
    so the question is, with a direct view 4:3 set such as the XBR or one of the Panasonic Tau's, does HDTV knock you down?
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    zaphod
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  2. Bob McD

    Bob McD Auditioning

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    I think most would agree that Sony's 36" XBR is an outstanding 4:3 direct view TV, if a bit expensive. I'm considering one for my family room (adjacent to my home theater). I'd use it for watching 4:3 source material, as I generally only use the 65" 16:9 set for widescreen stuff.
    In my opinion even the XBR 4:3 set won't really "blow you down" on HDTV broadcasts because HDTV is 16:9, which means you'll have the shows presented 'letterboxed' on your screen (or cropped). Even a 36" screen is pretty small for a widescreen image unless you sit right up to it (which IS an option with the Sony). The XBR will play extra scan lines on high-def (or anamorphic DVD) material, so you will get a smooth picture, but it'll just look a bit too small to really have the impact of a larger wide screen. Go to a store and watch a letterboxed image on a 36" TV to see what I mean. Watch from your normal viewing distance. Then watch a similar show (these don't have to be HD) on a widescreen TV.
    One more factor: if you have only so-so light control, the direct-view TVs will look better than any projection TV during the daylight hours. This is hard to see in showrooms because they always seem to have fairly good light control.
    If you're watching more 4:3 than widescreen, and expect to be doing so for several years, I think the Sony XBR is an outstanding television, but not the ultimate for HDTV.
     
  3. DaveGill

    DaveGill Auditioning

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    I was in the exact dilemma you are in and went with the 36XBR400. I have high def HBO and Showtime and I will tell you know that high def programming is noticeably better than regular broadcasts on this tv...in fact, noticeably better is an understatement.
     

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