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LCoS, DLP or good ol' CRT RPTV? (1 Viewer)

triodelover

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Phil
Contemplating the move to a large RPTV (60" or greater) to be placed in a large (18' x 29') room with the main audio system (2-channel). Seating is ~15' from where the screen would be located. Primary use will be movie watching, and not the blockbusters loaded with CGI effects, either.

Our DVD collection is moving toward the 1000 mark and consists of silent films, Hollywood classics from the 30 and 40s, noir classics, and foreign cinema (Neorealismo, Nouvelle Vague, Japan's post war golden age, etc.) Given our tastes in film, I doubt much of what we care about will ever be issued in any HD format, although certainly a few will (witness Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood and the forthcoming Wizard of Oz). Therefore, I would estimate that 80% to 90% of the time the set will be seeing a SD signal upscaled to 1080i from a Momitsu V880 DVD player (although I plan to upgrade to the Oppo DV-981HD after the dust settles from the TV purchase).

The remaining time will be spent watching sports (baseball and cycling using the TV speakers instead of the big audio system) and offerings from PBS in HD. The current 32" Sony CRT will remain upstairs to handle the remaining drivel provide by Comcast. No gaming at all, and no likelihood of that changing since I turn 60 next year.

My "short" list includes LCoS offerings from JVC and Sony and DLPs from Samsung. But after reading here and elsewhere, I'm beginning to think that a CRT unit like the 65" Hitachi might better serve my intended uses. I know burn-in is a consideration on CRT RPTVs. Around 60% - maybe more - of the collection is 4:3. Stretching isn't an option. But lowered contrast and 4:3 output on the DVD player to give gray, instead of black, vertical bars is. So is proper ISF calibration. Opinions?

TIA,

Phil
 

Arthur S

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Hi Phil

The current crop of CRT HDTVs are not nearly as good as the 1080P DLPs...get the biggest rear projection DLP that you can afford and that fits into your viewing room...I particularly like the 73 inch Mitsubishi...please keep in touch with me.
 

triodelover

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Arthur,

I'm curious...why DLP over LCoS (SXRD or HD-ILA)? We watch a lot of B&W - far more than color - and I'm concerned over rainbow effects.
 

Arthur S

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Hi Phil

Most people don't see the rainbow effect...in the most recent test of HD TVs DLP had the highest ratings across the board...Please keep in touch with me.
 

Bryan X

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I'm in a similar situation and will be replacing my 53" CRT RP with either a DLP or LCoS (60-62" probably). I think the DLPs look beautiful, but all those moving mirrors scares the hell out of me. Has there been any issue with them failing? The LCoS just seems like a 'safer' bet since there are no moving parts. Am I just nuts?
 

SeanA

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No... I have a DLP but prefer the Sony SXRD sets I have watched recently. The SXRDs, and probably LCOS in general, are much better with standard def programming (including DVDs) and dark scenes. I did a side-by-side comparison recently with some Samsung and Mitsubishi DLPs versus a Sony SXRD, and the DLPs could not show the same level of detail as the Sony during dark scenes from my "Goblet of Fire" DVD. Even though my professionally calibrated Samsung DLP can look great with some HD content, it's poor DVD performance has me wishing for LCOS.

Read the reviews, but go out there and see for yourself.
 

Arthur S

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Hi Brian

Consumer Reports has a 16 page section of the March 2007 issue devoted to HD TV...they have audio and video engineers and test under controlled conditions with trained viewers (I could go into more detail on their degree of expertise)...they say that they just don't have sufficient data to say whether any of the technologies is any more or less reliable than the other. I am not aware of any issues with failure of "moving mirrors"...the mirrors are microscopic in nature and it is not really an issue...you are not nuts.

If you really want to get the full story please either purchase the March issue of Consumer Reports, or you can sign up for their on-line service for $6 for 30 days and cancel at any time. Please keep in touch with me.
 

Dave H

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I think this might be a gamma issue on the DLP - something that can be fixed in the service menu by a good calibrator.
 

Arthur S

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Hi Sean

In the above mentioned article in Consumers Reports the top 3 Rear Projection sets were all DLP...they scored excellent in Picture Quality, DVD, and Standard Def (TV viewing)...however, they did a preliminary test on the $3,800 Sony KDS-R60XBR2 and they said..."our first look showed excellent picture quality"...on the other had...I saw a $1,600 Phillips 60 inch DLP next to a Sony SXRD in a warehouse type store and the picture on the Phillips DLP was every bit as good as the Sony DLP...neither was calibrated or ISFd but to me they looked exactly comparable...in addition, John Kotches has done extensive testing and he said that DLP is sharper and has more contrast than LCoS or SXRD technology...and he has an excellent reputation and has conducted tests of subwoofers, TVs, DVD players and many other things and he has some of the best equipment you can get for a reasonable price...last I heard he was using a pair of Velodyne DD-15s for his subwoofers...of course your mileage may vary. PS He has tested SVS subwoofers and given them a big thumbs up. Thank you for contributing to this thread.
 

Joseph Bolus

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Have you considered a DLP based front projector system? With that size room and your seating distance, combined with the fact you're not going to be using the system for "regular" cable broadcasts, I would think that this could be a viable option.

You could end up with a 96" 16:9 screen, and your 4:3 aspect ratio movies would be about 80" in size (centered within the 16:9 screen.) And I have found that older 4:3 aspect ratio black-and-white DVD movies can look spectacular on a properly calibrated DLP projector. I'm using a component-connected Tosh HD-A1 as my SD-DVD player; and the black levels are very nice as displayed by my Infocus SP-4805. The newer Infocus projectors, such as the IN72 and IN76, provide even better black levels and contrast ratio specs; and their color wheels do an even better job of masking the "Rainbow Effect".

You really might want to consider this option.
 

triodelover

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OK, I think we get it. You're a big fan of DLP (or of Consumer Reports, not sure which). :) But if I may, allow me to drag the thread back to my original intent. Most of these tests aren't conducted on anything resembling the program material I'll be viewing. The only thing that really matters is how a given RPTV will perform with the decidedly not HD signal fed to it from my DVD player. If it weren't for the movies we own, I'd be hard pressed to justify owning any TV at all.

How a TV looks with the latest whiz-bang hi-def CGI blockbuster from Hollywood is irrelevant. Or with test patterns or a xBox feed. How Louise Brooks looks in Pandora's Box is what counts. How it handles Jack Cardiff's luscious color cinematography for Black Narcissus is critical. How will it handle the use of /htf/images/misc/wikipedia.gif chiaroscuro?

I've read from multiple sources that DLP's rendering of blacks and contrast is inferior to LCoS and that both don't do SD movie images as well as CRT, although more seem to favor LCoS of the microchip choices. I'm trying to find out from those more experienced with these systems if their experience bears this out. It's impossible to figure this out on the showroom floor at Circuit City, Best Buy or Tweeter.

FWIW, I design and build all my audio electronics myself. I'm generally unimpressed with a lot of the test bench mumbo jumbo in most publications. My tests for an amplifier design consist of taking into my listening room and feeding it music. If the fingers snap and the toes tap, it's good, regardless of what it looks like on the 'scope. I'm pretty sure I'll evaluate a RPTV the same way.
 

Father John A

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Phil,

My .02.

I watch a lot of what you list, classics of all sorts, noir, Japanese. Basically I'm a B&W fan.

My thoughts:

- I prefer Plasma for film. To me (and many others) Plasma has mimics many of films qualities. Size & price will be a problem here.

- In that vein, consider 720p sets (obviously plasma). They will do SD better.

- On the other hand I think it's a bit short sighted to assume most of these will not be ported to HD. I disagree, I assume they most likely will. After all, the source material for most of these films is just as good as what is being shot today (well most of the materials from the mid-30's on is anyway).

- Finally, upcoverting and future HD DVD players will most likely display standard DVDs with aplomb, more than what is possible now.

That said, I will personally be going the 50" SXRD route. It's impossible to go any other route for the money. I simply cannot and would not spend more than $1500 or so on a display. It won't do lots of SD perfectly, but it should be quite nice for most DVDs and above.
 

triodelover

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John,

Thanks for a valuable 2¢. Flat panels are out in this room. The front wall is 25' from the seating. Even if I were to locate a plasma panel in the same place as i intend to place the RPTV, i.e. between the massive horns of the audio system, I'm still at 13-15'. A big enough panel would be way too expensive.

I think, DLP fans aside, it likely gets down to a 60" SXRD vs the Hitachi 65" CRT. If I can stretch the budget, the 70" SXRD will come into play.

As far as HD and classic films, I don't want to start the thread in a new direction or ignite a flame war, but I think the jury is still very muxch out on whether HD-DVD will be a commercial success, at least in the next few years. IIRC, 2004 was the first year that DVD sales and rentals exceeded VHS tapes. The public made their choice based on convenience, just like the old Beta vs VHS war, and not on technology. I can't see the average consumer ready to pay up to 3 times more for a HD/BluRay particularly when most households lack the ancillary equipment to take advantage of the higher resolution and likely will for some time.

Given that the market now for HD is a niche market and that most of that market wantsd the CGI effects, etc to show off their HD set-up, a HD version of Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc isn't going to fly off the shelves. A lot of silent era films are just plain gone and others in very poor shape. Restoration effortsd have improved many of these to "watchable". but plenty of damage is still visible. How will HD help this? Who will pay premium prices to see dirt and damage in greater resolution?

I also can't agree that the original nitrates are mostly in good enough condition for a HD restoration. Even in the US, the archives of studios like Universal were in dismal shape when they were sold off. Outside the US, there was a little dust-up that started back about 1939. The war and the subsequent recovery placed film preservation at a very low priority. Sadao Yamanaka made 22 films in an all-too-short career that ended at age 29 in 1938. Three survive. Much of the work of Mizoguchi and Ozu, among others from the pre-war period, has been lost to neglect and Allied firebombing. Things were somewhat better in Europe, but only in comparison.

That said, I believe The Criterion Collection has been doing HD restorations for most of this century, starting when their spine numbers were in the low 100s. So much of that catalogue could be eventually issued in HD. But Criterions are already at a premium price point and Criterion will have to make a business decision that depends on many of their current customers being willing to upgrade, assuming that customer base has converted to HD.

It's true some classics have already been issue in HD. Of these, the only B&W of which I'm aware is Casablanca. That's not a film, it's a legend. The others consist of family fare in color- The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Wizard of Oz, an American icon - The Searchers, and an epic - Spartacus. At least one review found the HD version of the last film inferior to Criterion's edition of a few years back. Somehow I can't see Carne's Les Enfants du Paradismaking the list anytime soon. No doubt we'll get GWTW sooner or later, but what about Jezebel?

I'm hard pressed to think of another B&W film that would make the list because I can't think of another that has the legendary status of Casablanca to the American consumer. If HD really finds a wide market, then this could change by the middle of the next decade. But I shan't hold my breath.

Finally, will it be that great of a deal anyway? "The Look and Sound of Perfect" is just a marketing slogan. Remember "Perfect Sound Forever" from the rollout of Redbook CDs? I still prefer the sound of analogue LPs on a good turntable set-up, warts and all, to the head-splitting abomination that is digital, and that includes all the various attempts at high res formats. (How's that working out, anyway?)

I remain unconvinced that HD will offer a film fan like me much if any improvement over what is available now. I'm pretty sure that whatever improvement it does offer will not justify the cost. But, as always, I'm an opinionated SoB who's prepared to be wrong again.;)
 

Alon Goldberg

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triodelover

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The room is 29' x 18'. The speakers - large, VoT-style horns weighing 300 lbs each, are placed 9.5' into the room. My plan is to situate the TV between the speakers and slightly forward on the plane of the front baffles. This will make the distance to a viewer's head around 13 to 15 feet.

The original plan - from back in 2003 - was to do a front projector and screen. That project got sidetracked by a plumbing disaster and the subsequent damage. A project/screen combo is certainly possible (and probably preferred since it eliminates having a relatively large object between the speakers), though probably at quite a bit more expense than a RPTV. I remember from the exercise a few years ago that a good screen with proper masking was rather expensive. It's true that projector costs have come down so perhaps I should investigate that option. Suggestions?
 

Arthur S

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Hi triode lover...I completely agree with Alon Goldberg...thanks for contributing to this post.
 

triodelover

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Well, it's not all B&W. And it's not all 4:3 either. In fact, since going region-free a couple of years back, it's increasingly various widescreen OARs as more choices and better transfers have filled out the international film library from the '50s and '60s. (I even have to confess to owning the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the books are still better.;)) So maybe 720p, 16:9 with a 92" to 100" screen is a good compromise?
 

GregC

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Nice to see some maturity on this board .... forget the numbers, it's all about the EXPERIENCE! Flame suit on .............

Regarding the subject at hand: At 25', I would consider a projector . Once you get into the 60" or 70" size, it might be more cost effective. And you buy the option to go even bigger. Also, as you mentioned, the sound would be better without the huge box in the front of the room.
 

CoolCatbro

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Reginald Perrin
yeah, the projector sounds like a great idea.

and really how many people have lights on and windows uncovered when they sit down to "really" watch a movie?

personally, I hope to never get another big frkn black mammoth sized box.

a friend just tried to sell me 46" RPTV, a big black box...for $100.
I said yes! then nah.....he sold it for $200 finally and someone came got it from his 2 story apartment. he told me he was close to paying someone to get rid of it.

just a big huge black box story, to help you decide on a cool projector.:D
 

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