HELP! - total confusion on digital TV, and purchase

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Doug_E_P, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. Doug_E_P

    Doug_E_P Extra

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    Decided to get a new TV for the first time in about 5 years. I have a nice panasonic 32 superflat (not really flat...) non-digital HDTV.

    I'm considering everything right now, but it seems there are many different technolgies to look at.

    I'm confused on everything past about 16:9 vs 4:3. Seriously. Everything from DVI to 1080, 480, what inputs are musts, what will work with DLP and progressive scan etc.


    I'm willing to spend some money on the new TV. Here is what I want.

    1. With DVD's, I have always assumed progressive scan was the way to go, recently I've been considering a Samsung dlp and read that progressive scan won't work - doesn't that give a lesser picture.

    2. DVI - what the hell is it? do I need it.

    3. My plans are to get HDTV at some point, my cable service offers limited HDTV, and I'll get that from day 1, they give you a new set-top box.

    4. 1080,480 etc,.... I'm totally confused.

    5. My assumptions have been this regarding technolgies.

    CRT (tube tv's as I called them) still offer the best picture regardless, but they are heavy, and deep and the biggest is a 40 by sony I could never afford.

    moving on...

    I figured plasma gave the best picture, followed by DLP, LCD, and rear projection in that order. I also figured at those prices they would all have the same features (ability to use any other nice new technology like progressive scan) but apparently I"m wrong. I figured in a given technology, that going up in price would buy size and a better picture (through better electronics?)

    obviously I'm confused.

    Right now I'm mainly torn on a 34 widescreen by panasonic or sony, or a 43 dlp by samsung, or waiting on a 42 lcd by sony, though I've seen a 44 phillips that I think is lcd. I've kicked around stepping up to a less expensive plasma, but now I'm worried I'll miss a bunch of features by doing that...

    42/44 is the biggest i can do now, but if things really are this messy now I may just wait a couple years until I'm in a bigger house and get a bigger tv...


    any help, or pointing me to primers/faq's out there would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Doug.

    Are you confused about 4:3 and 16:9? you said 'past' this so I am not sure.

     
  3. Doug_E_P

    Doug_E_P Extra

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    That starts to help. No, always been good on 4:3 vs 16:9, that's a no brainer.

    Part of my confusion was the 720/1080 thing. That starts to help.

    I guess I meant rear projection, and "tube" tv. With a tradtional tube tv having a limitation thus far of 40 (sony) and weight.

    So DVI actually "competes" with component (3 cord connections, I understand it's separating colors) the guy at the local store told me DVI has more to do with copywright protection than anything so don't worry about it (but he wanted me to buy what was in stock today...)?

    how about the LCD's like the sony 42 that is coming vs DLP - advantages/disadvantages?

    720p - I assume that is 720 lines progressive scan

    1080i - 1080 interlaced (wouldn't this be better?)

    differences between interlaced and progressive?

    thanks - I've been an audio guy up until now. I just bought nice TV's that looked good, but I get concerned on compatability, and it seems some of these technolgies will end up obsolete (sooner rather than later, everything eventually is obsolete)
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    1080i vs. 720p? So far you have to choose one and rely on the TV set's conversion circuits to handle the other, Almost all CRT HDTV sets are 1080i only at the screen, many DLP and LCD sets are 720p only at the screen.

    Psychologically it has been found that 1080i and 720p seem to have the same resolution, with 1080i looking better for still objects and 720p looking better for moving objects.

    Currently the big disadvantage of LCD is that blacks are not completely dark. The big disadvantage of DLP is that one display element (it's much more expensive than LCD) is timeshared for all three colors red, green, and blue and many viewers see red, green, or blue fringes in the picture.

    There is talk of greatly reducing or eliminating true HDTV program content except when delivered via DVI. The component video feed will still be there but the resolution could be watered down. For this reason you may want to not buy an HDTV this year. Except that practically no non-HDTV accepts progressive scan for example from a DVD player.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  5. Doug_E_P

    Doug_E_P Extra

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    Thanks.

    I'm starting to get it. The DVI thing makes more sense now. sounds a bit like a copyright thing.

    so, here are a few other questions.

    I understand blacks are important (I assume mainly for other colors?) And in most stores they all have the TV's cranked up anyways with tons of colors so I would think it's hard to tell). What are other reasons blacks are important, and how would I "test" it in a store.

    It sounds like for pure picture quality that a high end "tube" tv is still the way to go with limitations being size and weight.

    With the new technologies I've only seen Samsung do DLP - are they the only ones with the technology or is there other reasons?

    With the LCD big screens as I'll call them I've seen the Sony 50 and 60 and they look great, and I understand there is a 42 coming.

    The sony 42 and samsung 42dlp would likely be in the same price range - would there be a strong reason to go with one or the other.

    I also watch tons of sports, does this mean 720p would be a better option (everything seems to support both, but how would I tell if a TV is "stock" in that mode?)

    sorry for all the questions (I'm sure some are dumb) but this is a lot of coin and I don't want to get left short.
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  7. Doug_E_P

    Doug_E_P Extra

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    That's a great link. Thank you.

    Phillips has a Lcos 44 coming soon, sounds like that also might be worth the wait.

    Any real thoughts out there on the samsung 42 dlp, vs the upcoming sony 42 LCD rear projection? I know the TV isn't out yet, so that is tough, but just wondering.
     

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