Large RPTV Purchase Looming - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by dpippel, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    The upgrade bug has bitten once again. Sometime between now and the end of the year I plan on purchasing a large (55"-65") HDTV-ready RPTV to replace my 32" WEGA. I'm considering the following models:

    Sony KP-65WS500
    Toshiba 65H82
    Mitsubishi WS-A65
    Samsung HCM-5525W

    I'm looking for recommendations and opinions on the above units, or others in the same price range I may have missed. It's been a long time since I've evaluated projection televisions. This one will be used primarily for progressive-scan DVD viewing in a 15'x28' room at a 10'-12' distance. From what I understand several manufacturers have made it impossible for consumers to access the service menu on their TVs, for example Toshiba. I'm mainly concerned with picture quality (naturally) and tweakability. If you can offer any advice I'd appreciate it.
     
  2. FrankL

    FrankL Extra

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    I have looked at those models and several others. I chose the Mitsubishi. I did not get Best Buys version (Wa-65)though. I bought the WS65311. I haven't taken delivery yet so I can not comment on my particular experience. For me, it came down to choosing the one that I heard the least horror stories about. I came to the realization that you can not possibly evaluate and compare picture quality between the sets unless they were all side by side and all ISF calibrated. So to walk into a store and say that this one has a better picture than that one is a joke. I have heard that the Mitsubishis are very tweakable and that their picture quality is as good as or better than any ( including Pioneer) when ISF calibrated. I also think the Mits has a nicer cabinet than the others you named.
    Hope this helps
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Doug, have you ever considered front projection?
    with that viewing distance, you could probably have an 8' wide screen.
    the pj i would recommend (what i use) you can find B-stock now for under $2K
     
  4. MichaelFusick

    MichaelFusick Second Unit

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  5. WilliamB

    WilliamB Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had VERY good luck with my Toshiba TW56x81. Had it about two years now and still satisified. It's put together well and delivers a great picture, particularly so with the Panny RP56. But - picture quality is truly a subjective thing. I would compare the pictures between the units you mention and select the one that looks best to you. Just keep in mind that the picture will look quite different once in your home, burned in, and after an ISF calibration . The folks on this forum have been very helpful to me and I trust their advice.

    Also have had good luck with Toshiba tube sets too.
     
  6. Jim FC

    Jim FC Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd avoid the Samsung only for broadcast picture quality issues. It looks great on a DVD or HD source but pretty soft on cable or sat. Nice color though, and the price is right, so since you'll be watching a lot of DVDs it might be worth a serious look. I'd lean towards the Mitsu or the Toshiba as I'm personally not a big fan of Sony RPTVs. Colors on Sonys rend to look a little washed out to me compared to the rest, but there are plenty who find the Sony picture the most appealing.

    If you end up liking the Mitsubish, I'd recommend you find any Mitsu dealer other than Best Buy and purchase the WS65311. The Mitsus BB has lack the features that every other Mitsu dealer's sets have, and the price is usually exactly the same or maybe an extra $100 for the better models. The extra features are worth the extra $$$.

    Even though, as FrankL said, side-by-side comparison on a salesfloor isn't a particularly accurate way to compare picture quality of different TVs, every brand of TV is slightly different, and you can get a basic idea of how each brand of TV is going to look. Ask for the remotes to each TV and set up all the picture controls (brightness, color, tint, contrast/picture, etc.) to 50%, except sharpness which you should take to zero. Now, this doesn't make all the TVs pictures set up exactly the same, but if all the TVs are on the same source it should give you a fairly broad idea of which TV produces the picture you are the most confortable with. You can then go from there. Good luck!
     
  7. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    Get a Pioneer Elite PRO-620HD. Beats all the models mentioned above hands down IMHO. 57" RPTV.

    But it'll cost ya!
     
  8. Dan Ponze

    Dan Ponze Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree Michael yet again. Take a GOOD look at the Hitachi SWX line. Otherwise the Mitsu and the Toshiba both are decent. Stay away from the Sony, it's the worst picture quality out of those you mentioned.
     
  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    This is sure to be unpopular, but do check out the Philips 60PP9352 (60-inches). It's a great set.

    --AM
     
  10. MichaelFusick

    MichaelFusick Second Unit

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  11. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I love my Tosh. The color fidelity appeals to me more than other sets do, it does a good job with mediocre broadcast signals, and it's easy to get into the service menu for tweaking and serious convergence setting. It's also quite shallow, which helps tremendously in my small room but probably isn't that important to you.

    I agree that maybe you should look into a front projector!

    Jan
     
  12. MichaelFusick

    MichaelFusick Second Unit

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  13. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    Hitachi RPTV's have a history of repair complaints that far exceed the Pioneer Elite's. Hitachi is not even considered a strong contender in the RPTV arena by many professional reviewers. A fellow just posted that his 3 day old SWX has already died.
    You get what you pay for!!IMHO!![​IMG]
     
  14. MichaelFusick

    MichaelFusick Second Unit

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  15. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Thanks for the input everyone. Definitely some valuable info here. I'll be shopping soon and you've all given me food for thought. It's just too bad that I can't find a showroom with all of my considerations side-by-side, a DVD player, DSS and HDTV feed connected to each and about 4 hours to play! It's very, very difficult to compare televisions in places like Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. The video feeds are usually lousy and it's near impossible to find all of the brands you want to evaluate in one store.

    Paul Scott - Yes, I have considered FP but since this display device will be used for regular DSS TV viewing as well I thought that a RPTV would work better. It's also the "drop it in and forget" aspect of the TV that's appealing. If I go with a projector I have to install it, run cable, etc. The television is delivered, positioned and l=plugged in. No fuss, no muss. I've seen some great things done with an older model CRT FP coupled with a HTPC, a line doubler card and the right software though. It's tempting! Out of curiosity, what FP are you using that can be had for under $2K? What about the screen?
     
  16. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Doug,
    well, maybe the rp would be better for you in that case.
    i don't channel surf on mine, or watch any tv at all. if i want to do that i use a 32" or 13" upstairs.
    my pj is set up soley to show dvds (i have two dvd players (one plays PAL discs) and each one has its own breakout cable...i just connect whichever machine i want to use at the time and fire it up).

    the pj i was going to recommend was the NEC LT150.
    it *was* the superior budget value pj up until a little while ago (though i won't be parting with mine anytime soon).
    i just learned that NEC has since come out with several newer models, one of which is said to smoke the 150 now.
    they range in price from $3000-$5000.
    hopefully by the time my warranty is up in aug '04, the prices on these may have come down a bit.

    its just absolutely incredible to me the level of quality of these things now, and what you can get for the price of an RP. a good fp experience in in the realm of just anyone looking into buying a RP.
    And NEC seems to be able to consistently produce quality pjs- at a fraction of the price of the a/v store marked up brands.

    i sold my first rp (sony 53HS10) about 6 months after buying it, for 1/2 what i paid, because Dell computer was selling the LT150s at an insane price. so far its my first pj, and theres just no looking back.

    avsforum is selling b-stocks of the LT150.
    while still a good deal, i probably wouldn't recommend it now, since the LT240 ($3K) seems to be a more refined unit, and the HT1000 ($5K) sounds like a serious powerhouse deal.
    both of these, i have no doubt, would compete with pjs in the $10K on up range.

    the screen i use is a DIY job that cost about $40 to put together. works just fine for me. i've tested a few screen samples and don't see any need to upgrade to a pro screen.
     
  17. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    whoops.
    double post
     
  18. Chris Strasz

    Chris Strasz Stunt Coordinator

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    Just curious if the hitachi model mentioned has new stretch modes? I absolutely hate the hitachi stretch modes which was what made me stay away from it, and purchased a pioneer sd533hd5 instead (comes in next month).

    But, I figured I'd ask regarding the hitachi anyways. Also do they still do upconversion of the 480 signals? Thanks!
     
  19. MichaelFusick

    MichaelFusick Second Unit

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    Yes. Hitachi has new stretch modes.
    You can read about them at thier website: http://www.hitachi.com/tv/discover/t...d_proj01.shtml
    They are still not as good as others, but probably still better than Mits.
    Pioneer and Toshiba people think have the best stretches, but Hitachi has a better stretch than last year still.
     
  20. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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