I only watch DVDs - SD or HD tube?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jim Peavy, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    I have no cable or satelitte, and I have no plans to get one anytime soon. I only watch DVDs (and the occasional VHS); I'm pretty much a movie fan only.

    I'm looking to upgrade my dislay (Toshiba 32A42 [analog 32"]), and because DVDs are native 480i, would I benefit much going HD? I'm still looking to get a CRT tube, either 32" HD or 36" analog. How much difference would would prog. scan or upscaling to 540p/1080i make on a HD 32" tube?

    Thanks for any and all opinions. [​IMG]
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Quite a lot. You'll always prefer the look of 480p to 480i, so go for it.
     
  3. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    ^ ^ ^
    Thanks Jack. How well does your average progressive scan DVD player do on upscaling DVDs, seeing as how they are a 480i format? I have a Philips DVP642 that I recently got for the ease of converting it to a multi-region player, but it's a $70 machine from Target, not anything special.
     
  4. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    480p is an improvement over 480i, the difference isn't necessarily mind blowing, but it's definately there. The difference between 480p and 720p/1080i upscaling is more subtle, since the upscaling isn't an integer multiple you get some fuzziness. I personally recommend getting a display which supports at least 480p natively and a good progressive scan DVD player, unless money is tight.

    I assume that since you'll be watching only movies that most of your viewing is natively widescreen material. Given that, I'd suggest a widescreen TV. A 34" 16:9 tube would probably be a reasonable upgrade. For reference, a 30" 16:9 tube has roughly the same 16:9 area as a 32" 4:3 tube. I'm not sure you can even find a widescreen tube which doesn't support 1080i, let alone 480p, so if you go that route the original question is moot.

    To expand past just tube, might want to consider a rear projection TV. I'm not sure you can even find a 4:3 RPTV anymore, and they should also almost always be HD ready.

    Now for a real big screen, you might consider one of the less expensive front projectors. Something like an Infocus SP4805 (16:9 480p) might be good choice for DVD viewing.
    Doesn't hurt that it's cheaper than alot of RPTV's these days as well. I've seen deals in the neighborhood of $1500 with a screen. FP is definately the route I would take in your position.

    As always, it's a good idea to go and view some TV's in a shop (perferably one that sets them up reasonably). A great SDTV can look better than a poor HDTV, of course it's hard to find a great SDTV these days...

    Hope this helps,
    -- Dave
     
  5. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Dave. I have heard from folks on this and other forums that RP CRTs can look superb, but whenever I've ever seen one I say to myself, "Ack! that doesn't look so good". Now, granted, I'm sure I've never seen one properly calibrated and tweaked, but it's an impression that I've gotten over the years.

    I've given some thought to a widescreen tube, but I also watch alot of older, 4:3 movies as well. If I'm not mistaken, with films in Academy ratio, I'd actually get a larger picture with a 32" 4:3 tube as opposed to a 30" 16:9 tube.

    Now FP is definitely something I have (and am) considering. But where can I go see an Infocus SP4805 or some of the other less expensive proj.s in action? I've heard all about rainbows, dithering, even DLP pictures making some physically sick (!), and frankly, it has made me shy away from them. Plus, I still hear CRTs are the benchmark and I wonder if I would miss the "liquid-y" gradation and black levels.

    So, it's between a 32" HD tube or decent entry level DLP FP for me. Opinions?
     
  6. Kirk Patrick

    Kirk Patrick Stunt Coordinator

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    like you i am mainly concerned about how dvd's look on my set

    (though i do watch some sd tv)

    i was really focussing on a sony 34" 16x9 hd set (i have a sony wega 27")

    but the more i have thought about it the more i think with movies especially you really want as large an image as you can get

    my problem is lighting, i live in a small condo and my living room is my home theater so i am focusssing on the hitachi 51f510 which is an rp-crt i have seen it in the showroom enough times to think that properly tuned it can deliver a great picture under less than perfect darkness conditions

    however....

    if i had any kind of perfectly dark room i would definitely go for a fp-dlp like infocus 4805 which can put out a terrific image but needs a really dark room to shine

    if you have a 32" now you have to go to either a fp or rp projector otherwise you will spend your money and not get much of an improved (or larger) image

    my 2 cents...good luck!
     
  7. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    CRT RPTVs and FPs certainly have better blacks than DLP or LCD ones, but that comes at a price. First, they tend to be alot more expensive, unless you can find a good one used. Second they require alot more tweaking to make sure the convergence is good, and remains good. Lastly their light output as not as good, so you need better light control.

    I have seen some pretty poorly set up CRT RPTV's. In people's homes even. One in particular I recall having misconvergence so bad that I could easily spot it from a 10 foot seating distance. Must have been about 1/2" misconvergence. For some reason the owner didn't seem to mind, but I nearly went crosseyed. I'm sure RPTV's can look pretty good when set up properly. Of course, for really big screen on the cheap, nothing beats FPs [​IMG]

    With DLP you do have to worry about rainbows, but not everyone is affected by them. Check out a local showroom and see if you notice such effects, it may just not be a problem for you. Of course it might still be a problem for anyone else that joins you in your theater, so take that into account as well. Faster color-wheels lessen rainbow effects, but are found in more expensive models.
    If rainbows do bother you, then consider an LCD model. LCD doesn't have as good of blacks as comparable DLPs, but they are getting there. With alot of tweaking you can still do really well. Something like a Panasonic AE500 FP (last years model) might fit the bill, or if you've got the funds an AE700 is getting alot of praise these days for various reasons.

    Somewhere there's a convenient web calculator for relative image size between 4:3 and 16:9 screens. I'm sure a quick search would find it. IIRC a 30" 16:9 will give you approximately a 27" 4:3 image. A 34" 16:9 should give you roughly the same size 4:3 image you have today. Of course a 36" 4:3 is roughtly the same price as a 34" 16:9, and would give you a larger 4:3 image.
    One thing to keep in mind, is that the bigger you make lower-quality sources, the worse it's going to subjectively look. So if your 4:3 films don't have as good of transfers as the newer widescreen films, you may very well want a larger widescreen image. Just food for thought.

    No idea where you'd go for a viewing of the various options in your area. Perhaps a high-end HT retailer will have a good demo room. Or maybe there's an HTF member in the area that would give you a demo of their setup. BestBuy would probably not be my first stop, unless there was no other option [​IMG]

    -- Dave
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I think you mean only CRT FP here, not CRT RPTV. CRT RPTV's do give better blacks than DLP/LCD, but it does not "come at a price". CRT RPTV's are currently the best "bang for the buck" in picture size and quality, beating direct-view, DLP/LCD and plasma. Some even say that CRT RPTV's are the best picture for any price, never mind bang for the buck.
     
  9. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Don't let this impression sway you. The people who tell you they look superb are correct. Don't expect salesmen to know how to calibrate a RPTV. They all just crank them to torch mode and barely converge them, if at all. When I bought my RPTV, I spent a few minutes with Avia right in the store to get the floor model looking OK. The salesman freaked out because he did not know how to get the picture "back to normal" after I "screwed it up". I got into the picture menu, set it to "Sports" (contrast, brightness and sharpness all at 100%) and said "there you go". Needless to say, he was thrilled with the picture after that.[​IMG]
     
  10. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, one and all. [​IMG]


    Yeah Kirk, that's what a friend of mine was saying this past weekend: "Jim, if you're gonna' upgrade, upgrade, don't just get something a little better." And it's a good point. [​IMG]

    You all have convinced me to look into RP CRTs more seriously. I might miss the CRT quality with a DLP FP, but it would be nice to go bigger than a tube can give me. Plus, I have a smallish apt. and a 90" FP image might be something of overkill. A 46" widescreen RP would be pretty much the size for me. Plus, the fact that they're in the neighborhood of a grand these days is nice.

    Hmmmmm, the more I think about it, the more this sounds like what I want...

    Thanks again, all.
     
  11. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

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    Let me clear up one thing - there is no such thing as overkill. [​IMG]

    If you keep artificially constraining yourself to small sets because that's all you have experience with, you'll have a substandard viewing experience. Nothing beats lighting up a 8ft wide screen with a projector. Everything else is just a TV.
     
  12. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    A 34" 16:9 TV will produce a 27.8" 4:3 image, smaller than his 32" TV. To produce a 32" 4:3 image, you would need a 39.2" 16:9 TV.

    Michael
     

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