Helping the average JOE appreciate HDTV/Prog.Scan

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Donnie Seals, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Donnie Seals

    Donnie Seals Agent

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    FRIEND: Hey Donnie, our new TV's arriving Thursday.
    ME: Really? What did you get?

    Let me try to set this up. My friend and her entire family know how passionate I am about home theater equipment and so forth. So when they decided to make the plunge for a new TV, they wanted something really nice and asked for my opinion. Knowing this family, I suggested they get a Sony HDTV tube set. The largest HD tube set that sony makes I believe is 43", but it's aspect ratio is 4:3 (but even at that ratio, movies in the letterbox format are still very large. PLUS it's a great set). I suggested the 4:3 set because I didn't think they would appreciate the 16:9 aspect ratio (TRUST ME, I've tried explaining it the 'black bars'). This is a family that watches a LOT of TV, mainly sports. They have a basic cable service, but it doesn't have any HDTV channels.

    So when they heard 43", they frowned. They wanted something large and impressive.

    FRIEND: We got a Sony TV. 53". It's rectangle like you've been telling us about, and it's HDTV.
    ME: Sony makes a 53" HDTV? For real? It can't be a tube set.
    FRIEND: No. It's one of those projection TV's.
    ME: So did you buy an HDTV decoder too?
    FRIEND: No, the man said it was built in.

    That's when my heart sank, and that's when I knew I had messed up in my advice. Earlier, I had stated to them that Sony makes some of the BEST TV's. Their previous set was a 35" Sony tube, and they loved it. What I didn't say was that Sony's isn't known for their RPTV.

    But they had already bought it, and in my opinion it's impolite to tell someone "You shoulda bought this instead" after they've spent a lot of money.

    Let me just cut to my questions:

    (?) They're planning on buying a DVD player with progressive scan, how can I rationalize to them to buy $80 component cables for their new DVD player? $80 PEOPLE!! You and I may be able to rationalize paying that, but this family? I doubt it. These are people who don't judge video quality like we do. I could hook up their set with composite cables, and they probably woulndn't be able to tell a difference. I don't think me saying "These cables are providing the best video quality possible" is going to cut it.

    (?)With the decoder built in the set, is there any promise of them experiencing other cable HD channels without buying another decoder? I'm assuming no unless their cable provider begins offering HD channels.

    (?)With a RPTV, what things should I warn them about so that they don't ruin this set (burn-in)?

    (?)Since college football is almost over, are there any other HD sports games coming on any non-cable channels? Any non-sports shows/events I should suggest they watch?

    ANY HELP you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Donnie Seals

    Donnie Seals Agent

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    Let me also add that one of the MAIN reasons they bought this set was because it was silver. PLUS, they're looking for a matching silver DVD player as well. All I could do is laugh.
     
  3. Randy_T

    Randy_T Stunt Coordinator

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  4. David_Jr

    David_Jr Supporting Actor

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    I similarly have two non home theater type friends that both purchased widescreen HD sets within a week of each other because it's the new technology. One bought a 46" Sony and the other a 42" Samsung. The Sony guy bought a progressive scan dvd player to go with his, the Samsung guy already had a dvd/vcr that is not progressive scan. The Sony guy had me come over and set his TV up for him. i did not have my Avia with me as he called me at work, advised me of his purchase and asked me to stop by on my way home from work to help him set it up. Mind you he has no receiver or speakers and is relying on the TV for sound. (Couldn't convince his wife to let him have speakers in the living room). Samsung guy hasn't taken delivery yet. I set up the Sony guy with his digital cable on S-video and his progressive DVD on component cables. I think I set the dvd to progressive output (switch on back said 520p I think) and widescreen tv. The cable input was set so it filled the entire widescreen and cropped the top & bottom. I have to admit, even on his 46" tv I thought the cable looked horrible and the dvd playing The Sum of All Fears looked a little fuzzy. Mind you I don't have HD or progressive so I don't really know what it's supposed to look like. I could bring my Avia over and try to tweak a bit, but I don't have any experience using it on a WS HD tv. Is there anything I should know before I try and help these guys? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    Plenty of NHL in HD on HDnet. There's been some college BB in place of football on CBS on Saturday afternoon.

    Sony makes pretty good RPTVs.

    If they get cable, they'll likely rent their decoder box anyway, just like most people do for SD (beyond basic service, anyway.) Also, they should be able to receive plenty of HD OTA in Chicago with an indoor antenna.

    Calibrate it for them with Avia or VE and suggest they have it professionaly calibrated. As for as the cables, provided they're not seeing any interference, I wouldn't worry about it. It really doesn't make that much of a difference (I own 4 sets of BC Silver Serpents, for the record.)

    Honestly... it sounds like your friend did just fine. I wouldn't be worried.
     
  6. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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  7. Donnie Seals

    Donnie Seals Agent

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    Everyone, thanks for all the help. Since they've asked me to come set up the TV, I plan on bringing my AVIA disc to calibrate and a couple of DVD's to show off them the potential of what they just bought.
     
  8. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I paid about $25 for my component cables, AR at Fry's. I don't see any need to spend $80 for them.
    I have the silver Toshiba SD3800 DVD player and like it just fine.
    I agree with Bill...I think your friend did well. [​IMG]
    Jan
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    On the component cable: tell them about the 10% rule: budget 10% of the electronics cost for the cable.

    That HDTV should give you a $200 budget to work with, so hit them with this first before you show them the web sites to spend only $80.

    And in a crunch, the $40 AR brand of component cable from places like Best Buy will still do a great job.

    The Sony HDTV are actually a great choice for people who watch a lot of ordinary CATV/Sat programming. While most HDTV's look great with a good source (DVD, HD Decoder), many of them show artifacts when given a so-so quality feed. Sony seems to have taken this into account. Their TV's seem to have been designed to handle this better than most.
     

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