Looking for 16:9 HD-ready CTR big screen that displays 4:3 the best

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Dylan, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    This is a major dilemma for me. I want to get a big screen CTR that has HDCP DVI for anticipation of HD-DVD's, but I only get the chance to watch DVD's on the weekends due to my work schedule. The other days of the week are spent watching normal cable TV (no HD programing at all). After doing much research on the internet, I find that a normal 4:3 big screen, HD-ready CRT with a DVI is almost non existent. The only one I could find is the RCA D52120, but I don't know if it is HDCP compliant. Thus I am being forced to reconsider getting a 16:9 set in order to get the HDCP compliant DVI input. My question, then is, what brand has the best display option for a 4:3 image (since it would be unhealthy for the TV to constantly watch 4:3 programing with the black borders along either side). I've seen a 16:9 TV with standard cable tv and the picture was too distorted for my liking.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    I went the other way because of this...
    4:3 set with a native widescreen HD mode.


    Best of luck.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Dylan,
    I bought a Mitsubishi because of its stellar stretch modes. I can't say I notice the stretching anymore. Part of this could be the fact I've gotten used to it. However I will say it depends on which mode I put my TV in. IF I leave it in "Normal" mode, I don't really notice. If I use "stretch Plus" or Zoom or Expand I will notice it and not like it.

    I would say it all depends on the stretch modes and the main one on the Mits I bought did the trick. I bought a 55413. Since the Silver Plus was canceled, the replacement is now the 55615.
     
  4. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    What about using a small front projection screen for my DVD's? Do they make screen sizes in the 50 inch range?
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    fp? 50"? I'm not sure the throw distance numbers work out for that all to well.

    I'm still gonna bank, there will be a way to get to analog component hi def even with HDCP. It may be an external device, but I am sure somebody will build it if there is a dollar to be made.


    I did have to fore go the DVI/HDCP thing, deciding a 4:3 set was still best for my uses over at least the next 5 years.

    In the mean time, I'm quite enjoying the set and HD, even scale'n DVD's to 1080i on it to use the native widescreen mode for widescreen DVD's.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    Yea, I doubt they make front projection screens small enough for the limited space I have, so I guess I will be forced to get a 16:9 TV if I want HDCP-compatable digital video outputs. It's really a hedge bet against the future format of HD-DVD's. Some people feel that Hollywood will make HD video available through the component video outputs/inputs due to economic pressures by the consumer. If they don't, like it was said in the last post, some company in Hong Kong will probably make a device to get around the HDCP restrictions. I'm not sure if I want to wait however many years it takes to get a final HD-DVD standard.
    I really don't see the appeal for a 16:9 TV over a 4:3 (excluding the differences in technology available in 16:9 sets). Does letterboxing really bother that many people? I rather enjoy seeing a movie, or a TV show for that matter, letterboxed as it enhances its' cinematic quality. Even on a 16:9 you still get some movies letterboxed anyway so what difference is there from watching it on a big 4:3? The TV's aspect ratio wasn't even designed for movies, but rather for HD TV programming. Ironic that a product designed for TV viewing is the only one to potentially support HD-DVD. What happens in 10 years when there are no 4:3 sets left above 10 inches in viewing size? What about the 50+ years of 4:3 reruns. Are consumers going to be forced to watch those show through a funhouse mirror effect of stretch and zoom? That would seem to be the way things are headed. Plus don't you have to double the size of the 16:9 TV (and thus increasing the cost even more) to get an equivalent image size as an image on a 4:3? Maybe not double, but you get my meaning.
    Okay, that's my 2 cents.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Nope. I watch all 4:3 movies and/or TV DVD's in 4:3 mode with bars on the side. Broadcast TV is different - I watch HD when possible and stretch the others. The HD is superb and the analog is so crappy that I do not even bother to view it 4:3, I just stretch it. I just don't see the logic in optimizing my display for a technology that is a) the bottom of the barrel quality wise and b) going away in a few years anyway. I'd rather have my display optimized for my superior resolution formats.
     
  8. Derek N

    Derek N Agent

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    Dylan,

    You are not alone in your dilemma, I to have been stymied in my desire to get a HD tv. It just seems that a buyer has to make too many compromises at this time, something i am not willing to do for a $2500 set (or for a $1000 set for that matter).

    I like the idea of a 16:9 screen because I buy all of my dvds in widescreen format and of course for HD content. BUT, after experiencing the zoom and stretch feature of these sets have been put off by them. My brother has a beautiful new plasma and watching HD or movies was spectacular. But switching to regular 4:3 to watch regular espn was just horrible. I don't mind the bars on the left and right, just as I don't mind the bars on top and bottom now but they damage (?) the screen. So we used the stretch and zoom features, and just like every other set could not find one I could take for more than 20-30 minutes. I always ended up feeling like my 36 inch analog Toshiba looked better.

    I have looked at the 40inch 4:3 sony, because it basically works out to a bigger wide screen than the 34 inch 19:9 crt models. I never liked any projection tvs but will have to revisit this since it seems the HD models and DLP don't have the shadow and angle problems of the analog ones.

    Basically, unless my tv dies I will be waiting on the sidelines, along with almost every one of my friends, no doubt (along with the masses) delaying the full integration even longer.

    My solution; a widescreen that is not damaged when watching 4:3 with bars on the side! Does that even exist?

    I will also have to learn more about this subject because I thought that after the switchover, everything would be digital but not neccessarily HD. And doesn't this mean that we will continue to have 4:3 standard digital content since it is only HD that is in 16:9?

    Sorry for the rant, just a confused AV guy (or I should say audio guy since the "V" knowledge is completely lacking at the moment).

    -Derek
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    I actually do not think Hollywood will allow the analog HD DVD thing. I just think there will be a dollar to be made, and somebody will make some sort of device to do it is all.


    For me, my extensive Laserdisc library is what gravitated me towards a 4:3 set. The fact it has a native 16:9 mode, really meant no current trade offs for HD and DVD widescreen sources.

    Just some additional FYI on it is all.
     
  10. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    you can build a screen in about 4 hours to any size you want. It is the easiest thing in the world.

    If you have good light control, you should consider FP.
     
  11. Derek N

    Derek N Agent

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    John S,

    When you say native 16:9 mode what do you mean exactly? If I watch a widescreen dvd on my analog 36, I see it with black bars. What is a so-called native 16:9 mode? Would this be any different? Or is this mainly for watching HD with bars on top and bottom but with the correct resolution?

    Thanks

    -Derek
     
  12. John S

    John S Producer

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    Native widescreen on a 4:3 still has black bars, but there is no video there, the raster is squeezed down so 16:9 material uses all the resolution of the set. You must set devices such as your DVD player and HD Tuner / HD Sat Box / HD Cable box as such that you have a real 16:9 display.

    Keep in mind even if you have a 16:9 display, many many widescreen movies still have black bars. Anything wider than 16:9 widescreen will still have them which is a ton of movies.
     
  13. Derek N

    Derek N Agent

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    Thanks John,

    Now I understand! And this is something I will have to look for while shopping for my new set.

    -Derek
     
  14. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    Asides from the technological differences, a new 4:3 HD-ready TV has the same display resolution abilities as a new 16:9 does it not? Can not both display anamorphic widescreen movies at the same resolution? Isn't it true that a manufacturer could make a large screen 4:3 DLP, LCD or plasma and thus it would be equivalent in every technological detail to its sister 16:9 TV? The only thing that would change is the shape of the screen and we all know LCD and Plasma can be in a 4:3 because they still make computer monitors that shape. So I ask you, what would be the difference in viewing quality between the 4:3 and the 16:9? I say none. If that is true, then the only reason 16:9 TV's are made is because they have the ability to display a HD signal and certain DVD's without letterboxing. Is there some other reason I'm not touching on as to why 16:9 TV's are all the rage? Is it because of the burn in factor if one does A LOT of widescreen viewing on a 4:3 screen? It's not that I'm against having the choice of buying a 16:9 TV, but rather that one doesn't have the same selection of new technological features in a 4:3 TV as one does in a 16:9 set. Does this magical HD programming mean all new shows are eventually going to be in widescreen? It all comes down to choice and the consumer is not being given the choice to be able to watch TV and movies on the same screen and have access to the same image display technology. If I had the room and money I would get both kinds of TV's and not have to settle for the scraps TV manufacturers throw into their 4:3 big screens.
     
  15. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    4:3 TV's are going away, there's no way around it. Already 16:9 RPTV's outnumber 4:3 RPTV's 10 to 1 at the electronic stores with 4:3 technology unavailable in DLP, plasma or all but the smallest LCD's. Direct views are catching up with projection and plasma as more and more companies offer less direct-view 4:3 and more direct-view 16:9. Soon the 4:3 set will go the way of the black and white sets of the seventies - relegated to the kid's room or the vacation cabin. It's a fact we just have to deal with.
     
  16. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    I know, I know. [​IMG]

    Call it a last gasp of a dying display ratio. Don't get me wrong, I love my widescreen! It's just there is so many TV shows that are in 4:3 (50 + years and counting). I just hope the technology for watching 4:3 in a 16:9 ratio gets better. Perhaps a conversion chip will be built in the near future similar to an upscaler chip already in some TV's and DVD player's. That would solve the funhouse mirror effect problem common now.
     
  17. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    There is a conversion "chip". It's called the 4:3 mode and every 16:9 TV has it. It allows you to watch 4:3 material in all its OAR glory. Granted it has bars on the sides, but this is no different than watching widescreen material with bars on the top and bottom and much preferable to any "conversion" that converts the OAR to something it is not.
     
  18. John S

    John S Producer

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    Yep, they are going away.. That is why I jumped on the 60" 4:3 I now own.

    The caveat on all this is the fact that 4:3 material on a 16:9 display, view'd in OAR, loses much more screen size than a 4:3 Display viewing 16:9 in it's OAR. So yep, it is somewhat different in that respect. With the native widescreen 16:9 mode, I'm not so sure there are really any trade offs, except on my 60" 4:3, I get a 57" 16:9 native mode. But if you get a 60" 16:9 set, I think that only equates to a 50" 4:3 screen if that.
     
  19. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    But I don't care about a 57" 4:3 screen to watch sub-standard cable TV, I want a bigger screen to watch HD and DVD. Can you see why I would buy a 16:9 instead of 4:3?
     
  20. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    To be a little more exacting on John's calculations:

    A 60" 4:3 TV has a height of 36" and a width of 48"
    When viewing 16:9 material on this set, the width remains 48", but the height is 27", a 55" diagonal.

    A 60" 16:9 TV has a height of 29.4" and a width of 52.3"
    When viewing 4:3 material on this set, the height remains 29.4", but the width is 39.2", a 49" diagonal
     

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