is an HDTV overkill for me?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Keith_R, May 9, 2005.

  1. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    Hey all, I'm interested in purchasing a new television for myself and am wrestling with the HD or analog choice.

    The situation is that I'm currently a college student still living back home, therefore this television will be going in my bedroom. At the present time I have all my gear out in our main family room hooked up to our smallish analog screen, and have no intentions of moving my gear into my room because I already have a 2 channel set up in there and don't really need the surround. What I would like to do is get a television in my bedroom that is bigger than the living room screen ( I have eyesight problems) and that I can use to view shows or DVD's that only I want to see. I was thinking I will probably buy a TiVo (or similar DVR) and a DVD player to accompany this television, I may also take out my X-Box again and hook it up to this screen. The Tv will be a CRT one in the range of 26-30. I will probably be keeping this television for the longterm as well.

    For the forseeable future I don't see my family upgrading our cable to digital because we are just standard cable kind of people[​IMG], nor do I see myself getting HD cable in my room because the lineup is really not all that great. My new television will primarily be used for 4:3 SD cable (though I do have a couple shows which are widescreen) with some DVD watching and the occasional X-Box game. I'd break down my viewing habits as: 20% X-Box,40% DVD, and 40% Tv.

    I had been really sold on the idea of getting a 16:9 HDTV because I can see the benefits of wide and progressive scan for DVD and gaming + I realize that HD and widescreen viewing are *slowly* become a main stay. OTOH, I've also thought a lot about my intended usage for this set and how much of it appears to based on 4:3 SD cable viewing. I've looked at both analog and digital televisions and while the analog definently lacks they are also much cheaper and are being created with better and better pictures everyday, I can't help but wonder to myself if maybe I should just go with a trusty old analog set and save some money. I also feel though that HD may be the right choice since it is destined to become the norm and is mandated to eventually replace analog, it kinda makes me feel like I'll be shooting myself in the foot buying analog at a cheaper price, especially if I plan on keeping this television for awhile.

    I don't know what to do. Should I spend the extra money and go with an HDTV or should I save my cash and go with an analog set?

    My apologies for such a long post but I wanted to give an accurate depiction of what I want to do.[​IMG]
     
  2. Rocky F

    Rocky F Second Unit

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    I don't think HDTV would be overkill, I think you'd love it! While I'm not familiar enough with the TV to absolutely recommend it, have you considered one of the Sanyo HDTV's from Walmart? Right now they come in 27" 4x3, 32" 4x3, and 30" 16x9, and cost around $600 or so. I think that they may be about to or just recently changed the models, so the sizes may be different soon. They come with a builty in HD tuner, so you could hook up an antenna and get HDTV over the air. Go to www.antennaweb.org and enter your address to find out what's available in your area.

    Good luck,
     
  3. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    Normally, I'd tell someone to go look at an HD picture and let that be the deciding factor. But it sounds like you won't watch much HD. Do you live close enough to the network antennas to pick up Hd with an antenna? Plug your address into www.antennaweb.org. HD programming, especially sports, is fantastic. But, since you don't watch much broadcast/cable tv, go to a store and ask them to run a dvd on an analog set and an HD set in 480p (make sure they enable progressive scan on the dvd player and hook it up with component cables). Take a good dvd with you. Probably not a pixar film as they look deceivingly good. Maybe ROTK? If you see it in 480p, you may decide you need the HD set.
     
  4. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'd say go HD. You can get a refurbished Philips 30" flat 16:9 crt from www.outlet.philips.com for $360 w/ free shipping. This is an amazing deal on a set that sells for $800 in the retail stores. It's a great price, it's HD, and it fits your size criteria. It'll be great for prog-scan dvd and xbox and fine for SD too. Once you feel there's enough HD programming to justify getting it then it'll be great for that too.
     
  5. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    HD is NEVER overkill! [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    As you're seeing here, there is hardly any reason to purchase an NTSC-only set. Go for ATSC.
     
  7. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    that sounds like a good deal but I've heard bad things about Philips. I'm in a toss up right now between a Toshiba and a Sony and so far in comparing both I like the Toshiba more.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The reviews i've found on that particular set are pretty good. Do a search for 30PW850H at epinions. Not exactly professional reviews, but gives you an idea of how happy everyone seems to be with it. I'm very happy w/ my 32PT740H which is a 32" 4:3 non-flat HD set. I'd take 95% of the performance from the Philips at less than half the price of the Tosh or Sony.
     
  9. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Philips, scary stuff. Breaks down more than Paris Hilton during Spring Break. Been in electronics 16 years. Sad to see how much Philips has fallen. Seems like the "Magnavox mentality" has taken over their TV division.

    "Sound & Vision" did a test of the Sony HS series VS the Samsung and Toshiba. The Sony TROUNCED the others, and the Toshiba was a distant third. It could resolve more than DOUBLE the resolution of the Toshiba. The XS series has 65% more resolution than the HS!
     
  10. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    I just got an open box deal on a 32" philips hdtv and the picture is amazing, really breathtaking. Of course, not all stations broadcast in HD but man does Discovery HD theater have some awesome shows [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I will NEVER go back to analog tv.
     
  11. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    I was able to compare the Sony 30HS420 and the Toshiba 30HF85 head to head in Bestbuy and surprisingly I had to give the nod to the Toshiba.

    The Sony was all out of whack with a severe geometry error and to me the coloring just wasn't as good, even after a quick calibration to get rid of the the overdone brightness/contrast. The results of my comparison really surprised me because I've always liked Sony and have considered them a superior picture for years now but the difference in these two sets was pretty dramatic especially with the severe geometry problem that I saw on the Sony.I suppose what I saw could have just been a bad display unit but it was pretty bad. I may check out CC 30HS420 and see how it looks compared to the BB model.
     
  12. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    It's probably hooked up improperly.

    I've gone to BB and the salespeople are pretty clueless on proper setup...stuff like running 16:9 TVs with their source set to 4:3 stretch, XBOX set to 4:3 interlace on an HDTV, colors wildly out of whack, etc.

    As far as current CRT TVs, the best 30" TVs in my experience have been the 30" Sony XS955, XBR 910s, and the HS420. Color reproducion, sharpness, etc.

    Quick calibration note: when proper materials aren't nearby set everything to mid and color to neutral. Gives you a quick idea how "off" a TVs settings are from normal.
     
  13. Keith_R

    Keith_R Screenwriter

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    You're right, it could be that it was improperly hooked up. However, for the purpose of my tests, I was watching the analog antenna feed. Regardless of color callibration; the display 30HS420 that I saw was really crooked on the top as though it had a severe geometry error, it was really disconcerting and would be really annoying to view at home.

    I'm still going to take a good look at the Sony 30 inches but I have a bad feeling that most of them (including the 30HS420) will be wider than my space can handle. The nice thing about the Toshiba models I've seen is how they place their speakers on the bottom reducing the width.

    In the end it all comes down to preformance though and if I can find a Tv that both preforms well and fits nice I'm jumping on it.[​IMG]
     

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