Help me choose which to go with?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by mike_frontier, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. mike_frontier

    mike_frontier Supporting Actor

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    I am looking to either buy any of these HDTV's in 16:9.
    Tell em which you would go with?


    1. Hitachi 43'' Widescreen HDTV Projection Monitor
    HIT 43FWX20B $1799.00

    2. Panasonic 53" Widescreen HDTV Projection Monitor
    PAN PT53WX42 $1799

    3. Sony 51'' Widescreen HDTV Projection Monitor
    SON KP51WS500 $2199.00

    ---------------> I'm looking towards to #2, the panasonic,, but let me get your feedbacks or what you think would be better to get and not paying over $1800.00.

    thanks for your help.
    Mike
     
  2. Blair Lee

    Blair Lee Agent

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    I don't have input on the answer, but I have a very similar question. Interested to see what replies you get. [​IMG]
     
  3. mike_frontier

    mike_frontier Supporting Actor

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    so far nothing. Must not be good HDTVs [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Mike,

    They're all decent sets, as are the comparable Toshiba and Mitsubishi models.

    The Hitachi has a nasty looking variable stretch mode with lots of funhouse mirror effect at the sides of the screen. Upconverted ntsc pictures tend to have sort of posterized looking fleshtones. All 480i and 480p sources are converted to 540p--it won't display native 480p, but doesn't suffer much resolution loss as a result. It will stretch/zoom a 480p input. The HD picture is very nice. Hitachis have had a few initial quality control glitches lately but if you get a good one it will hold up very well.

    The Panasonics seem to require more tweaking to get the best picture than some other makes, won't stretch or zoom a 480p picture so you have to use a scaling dvd player or switch the player to interlaced output when watching nonanamorphic dvds--a minor factor. The Panasonic is very good value for the money and improves a lot with professional calibration.

    The Sony has a better variable stretch than the Hitachi. They also seem to have a consistently better out of the box picture than most other makes, requiring only a setup with the AVIA calibration disc in the user menu to get a nice picture. The WS models use last year's HW model's service menu, in which you can easily defeat or adjust SVM and eliminate red push-no need to clip wires or install attenuators. They will display native 480p and the stretch/zoom modes are available when inputting 480p. HD picture is also very good indeed. Some owners of this set have had problems with "flicker" or brightness instability--Sony has issued a service bulletin and newer production models should be ok. Color reproduction, especially of subtle fleshtone variations is really very good on the Sonys.
     
  5. Blair Lee

    Blair Lee Agent

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    Do all progressive scan DVD players switch to interlaced? I'm looking at the Panasonic RP62.
     
  6. Blair Lee

    Blair Lee Agent

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    Well, I just went to Circuit City and bought the Panny 53WX42 and the Pan CP72 dvd changer, along with the requisite surge protector and cables. It should be delivered in a few hours. [​IMG]
    Based on the research I did here (great source of info BTW) and my own impressions on the sets, I went with the Panasonic. The picture quality was impressive just with the simple 9-point convergence I did in the store, definitely on par or better than the Hitachi with the Magic Focus convergence. I therefore went with the bigger screen and made sure to get a high-quality DVD player. I really wanted the RP82, but CC only has the RP62. The CP72 is a 5-disc changer that uses the decoding hardware of the RP82. It costs about $250 but there's currently a $30 mail-in rebate, so it was not much more than the ~$200 RP82.
    Can't wait to get that sucker in here!!!!
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Blair,

    Good choice on the CP72, that's the player I'm using. As you probably already know, the player will switch between progressive and interlaced output, but you must enable progressive scan output capability in the player setup menu. They ship with progressive mode disabled.
     
  8. Blair Lee

    Blair Lee Agent

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    Steve,
    Yup...I figured out the control for switching between progressive and interlaced pretty quickly. [​IMG] Now I have to go read up on terms like "nonanamorphic." I see that my Shrek DVD is actually a 2-disc pack, one in the 1.33:1 (4:3) aspect and one in the nonanamorphic 1.78:1 (or something like that). But when I play it in progressive mode, it fills up the screen quite nicely. I must be missing something...off to the FAQs I goes.
     
  9. mike_frontier

    mike_frontier Supporting Actor

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    Thanks guys for all the replies.[​IMG] this is help me on my search for TVs [​IMG]
     
  10. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Blair,

    Shrek's widescreen version is anamorphic.

    A widescreen set uses 480 scanlines to display the picture, same as a 4/3 set, but the lines are wider.

    Using the 1:85 aspect ratio widescreen picture as an example, a non-anamorphic dvd will put the picture in the center of a standard 4/3 tv with black bars at top and bottom using 480 lines to display both the picture and the black bars. As a result, only 360 lines are being used to display the picture.

    An anamorphic dvd of the same picture will use all 480 lines to display the picture--none are used to display black bars on a 4/3 set. As a result if displayed natively (player in 16/9 mode) on a 4/3 set, the picture fills the screen with no black bars, but is vertically stretched so everything is tall and skinny. To compensate for this on a 4/3 set, players have a 4/3 mode which in effect throws away every 4th scanline to squeeze the picture back down so the 4/3 set will have black bars above and below as it should and the picture geometry will be correct. Throwing away every 4th scanline reduces resolution.

    Displayed natively (player in 16/9 mode) on a widescreen set, however, the set stretches out the picture from side to side because the scanlines are wider--the picture geometry is normal and no scanlines are wasted.

    So since a non-anamorphic dvd only uses 360 of the available 480 scanlines to display the picture, and an anamorphic dvd on a 4/3 set throws away 1/4 of the scanlines, the only way to get all 480 scanlines working on a widescreen dvd is to use an anamorphic dvd on a widescreen set.

    To make things even more confusing, some 4/3 HD-ready sets and some 4/3 flatscreen direct view sets have a 16/9 mode for anamorphic dvds, which squeezes the 480 scanlines into a 16/9 area on the screen. With these you also leave the player in 16/9 mode and lose no resolution.

    Because a 2:35 aspect ratio is wider than 1:85, you will still have black bars on a widescreen set because it's aspect ratio is only 1:78. Many movies are 2:35, such as Gladiator, and some even wider like Ben Hur which is 2:70. The 1:85 movies usually have no black bars even on a 1:78 set because most all sets have a bit of overscan.

    Most dvd packaging will describe an anamorphic dvd as either "anamorphic" or "enhanced for widescreen tvs", and most will list the aspect ratio (1:85, 2:35, whatever). Unfortunately not all anamorphic dvds are labelled as such, so it's a good idea to check here in the software section or at an online dve review site for proper specs.
     
  11. Blair Lee

    Blair Lee Agent

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    Jeebus, that's confusing. Thanks for the wealth of info, but I think I need to go do more research before I can fully understand what you're saying. I had no idea home theater got to be this technical...but I'm a geek at heart, so I'm soaking it up like a sponge. [​IMG]
     
  12. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    I just want to add that the panasonic will stretch and zoom a 480P non-anamorphic picture. It was the previous models (53WX49,53WX51) that would not do this.
     
  13. Blair Lee

    Blair Lee Agent

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    Ah, Chriss, your message is starting to make this whole thing a little clearer.

    So basically, a NON-anamorphic DVD is encoded with only 360 scanlines in order to appear letterboxed on a regular 4:3 television. Therefore, a 16:9 TV (like mine) will only show the image correctly if it is in 4:3 mode, which will do two things: Display the black or grey bars on the sides of the screen and displayed the black "letterbox" bars on the top and bottom of the screen. My TV has a "ZOOM" mode, which effectively enlarges a 4:3 aspect image. So I should be able to view a non-anamorphic DVD without any problems, although I think I read that the picture won't be as good as one from a scaling DVD player (in which the player itself does the "zooming" while the TV remains in 16:9 mode).

    Very interesting. So what's all this talk about 1080 on TV sets?
     
  14. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    Yup that's pretty much it. A non-anamporhic dvd is encoded with all 480 lines but a portion of those are wasted on creating the letterbox bars. You can watch a non-anamporphic dvd with both the grey bars and the black black bars, or you can zoom it to fill your screen. On the older panasonic models you would have had to switch your DVD player to interlaced mode to do this, but the newer models will stretch a progressive image as well.
     
  15. Aaron Whitaker

    Aaron Whitaker Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have a progressive player yet, maybe next week (RP82). But I do have a Panny 47wx42 and I set my DVD player to 16:9 mode and I watch anamorphic DVDs in FULL mode and non-anamorphic DVD's in ZOOM mode. THe only problem with ZOOM mode is when their are subtitles like on Star Wars EP2, they put the subtitles in the black bars. I hate that. Do most subtitled films use the black bars for subtitles? Curious. I use the JUST mode for watching regular TV where it stretches the sides and not the whole picture which FULL mode will do on regular TV. I never use 4:3 mode because I hate those grey bars on the side. Can the RP82 be set to 16:9 so I can operate it like I'm doing my non-Progressive DVD player now?
     
  16. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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  17. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Aaron,

    Ep II is anamorphic and should be watched in Full, not Zoom. This does result in black bars since it's aspect ratio is 2:35, but in Zoom you are losing resolution and chopping off the sides of the picture.
     

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