New display buying quandary...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Stiefel, May 21, 2002.

  1. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok,
    Being an aivid home theater dreamer, I have done what I can in the space that I have. (apartment)
    I have the surround system all finished and it kicks to no end. But my video is behind...
    Currently I have a "Top of the Line" 27" TV with a standard Toshiba DVD player. I want to upgrade...
    The quandary is this. I have not been a big fan of the RPTV because I just seem to see the hotspotting and the other common differences between RPTV and Direct View. So naturaly I was more considering a DV unit.
    I started at the 34 wides that are out but soon saw the Sony 40XBR unit. So wanting to see it in action, I started store hopping and looked at the unit through various settings. Being a person who doesn't (didn't) care for Sony at all, this unit impressed me.
    Being almost sold to get one, I went to just one more store... The gentleman there noticed what I was looking for. The clear, bright picture. Perfect in every way. (never happens) But he showed me a few budget model RPTVs. They looked nice but nothing liek the XBR, when I brought that up, he took me to a different RPTV; the Toshiba 50HX81 Conema Series HD and a Pioneer model as well (Pioneer was just to big for my place).
    He set the Toshiba up on Progressive DVD and HDTV. (I'll use Progressive DVD but not HDTV yet). Both settings looked excelent.
    My quandary now is which one to buy? I like the 40 XBR and I do watch a lot of standard cable TV which the Toshiba would have to stretch out to avoid potential burn in. I have no issue with bars when watching widescreen style movies. (99% of mine are.)
    The Toshiba looks like it would be just awesome for movies but I worry about standard broadcasts and cable. Though it's stretched mode seemed much better than other models I looked at.
    We also plays some PS2 which concerns me having a RPTV.
    Being that it is going to be about 50/40/10 (cable/movies/PS2) I am thinking that it would benefit me more to have the 4:3 system over the 16:9 Toshiba. Also, with the Toshiba, it has those 3 theater modes, do those stretch the image out of OAR or is it more of a zoom? I want OAR more than anything else!
    The Toshiba is 10 inches bigger and a 16:9 system for $500 less than the Sony. But then the Sony being a 4:3 system wouldn't stretch on normal cable. Both really would have some bars even though the Toshiba's would be much smaller when watching OAR movies.
    The Toshiba would have a much larger viewing screen when watching OAR but the Sony has better viewing from the sides for extra people in my small apartment (not an issue for us most of the time since we have appropriate seating for 3 with a 50 inch system).
    Now you see my boggle! So many questions, So little time! (Ok, I have over a month till I plan to purchase but still)
    Also, I like the Toshiba because of the ability to tweak convergence strait from the system and other specialty settings. (I also have the service code for it)
    A lot of the 40 Sonys I have seen have had minor issues with the bars being arced and needing adjustments and minor convergence type issues (very minor, but I'm picky).
    I like em both and I'm stuck. Would you please fill me in on your opinion and explain why your opinion is the way it is? All information is appreciated.
    Sorry about the length of the post but I wanted to make sure you had the entire scope of my concern.
    Thank you ahead of time!
    Christopher Stiefel [​IMG]
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ultimately, it's the one which pleases you most. Prefer the apparent sharpness and the brighter image of the XBR? Get it! Its 16:9 mode still results in a 36-inch (diagonal) picture, which is plenty large for a small apartment. The one caveat regarding this set? Its enormous weight.

    But the Tosh has much to recommend it as well.

    If it were me, however, I'd be leaning toward the XBR.
     
  3. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the reply Jack! [​IMG] The XBR is what my wife is leading twards also. But yes, it's near 350 lbs does pose some issues... (DELIVERY?!? hehe)
    One question though, on the Toshiba, those 3 theater modes, do they take the picture out of OAR? or just some sort of minor zoom effect?
     
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The theaterwide modes do and don't take the 4/3 picture out of OAR, sorta.

    Typically on a 16/9 set you'll have 4 choices for displaying 4/3 stuff. I don't know Toshiba's nomenclature for these modes, but I'll just use generic descriptions.

    1-Normal--this presents a normally proportioned 4/3 picture in the center of the screen with gray bars on the sides.

    2-Full--this is the native mode for 16/9 sources. What it does for 4/3 is stretch it uniformly from side to side--everything looks short and fat, and it's the same proportion everywhere on the screen.

    3-Zoom--this is a uniform horizontal and vertical stretch. The 4/3 picture fills the screen side to side, proportions are normal, but some picture is lost at the top and bottom. It's sorta like pan/scan, but instead of chopping off the sides of a 16/9 image to fit a 4/3 screen, you cut off the top and bottom of a 4/3 picture to fit a 16/9 screen.

    The set will have a scrolling feature to relocate the picture vertically so "crawls" at the top and bottom can be made visible.

    3-Widezoom, smoothwide, Theaterwide-? on a Tosh--This is a variable horizontal stretch, stretches more at the sides that in the center, often coupled with a little vertical zoom in the center and vertical compression at the top and bottom. The idea behind this is to fill the 16/9 screen and keep the main part of the picture (the middle) pretty much normally proportioned. This mode is the most popular, and works pretty well for typical dramas, sitcoms, news shows. It does cause a bit of funhouse mirror effect at the edges of the screen, so it may be distracting for fast moving images like sports or heavy action movies. This mode is done better by some mfgs than others. Mits and Hitachi don't do it very well. Toshiba, Pioneer, and Sony do it about as well as it can be done.

    I have a KP57HW40 Sony widescreen set.

    I use the variable stretch mode for watching the news in the morning, and most other "talking head" stuff. Most dramas and comedys actually look pretty good in the straight zoom mode--they seem to have been shot so that cutting off the top and bottom doesn't obscure much. For really critical stuff like classic 4/3 movies and such, I use the gray bar mode.

    Many PS-2 and X-box games have a 16/9 mode so you can use Full on a widescreen set. Gran Turismo 3 is awesome on a widescreen rptv, ya just gotta remember to turn down contrast and not pause the game for long in order to minimize the possibility of burn in.

    Another option you might consider is a 4/3 HD-ready model--most have an anamorphic squeeze mode for dvd, all have one for HD, and there will be no compromise for 4/3 stuff. One drawback is that the 16/9 image will be smaller than the 4/3, so in order to get that 51" widescreen image of the 51HX81, you'd have to get a 61 inch 4/3 set. Your average only fair quality cable picture is truly ugly blown up to 61".
     
  5. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,
    Thanks for that information! Great stuff... The Toshiba's Theater modes are:
    Normal, Full, Theater mode 1, Theater mode 2 and Theater mode 3.
    I assume the 3 modes are for different aspect ratios from letterbox to anamorphic. (sp)
    I truly fell in love with the 50" Toshiba RPTV. But am still leaning toward the Sony 40". It sucks that I'd go from up to 50" in wide screen formats to 36" though. And am still debating how much do we really care about the slight stretch mode when watching standard TV. (Usually Discovery or TLC or Food Network, Cartoon Network, etc..) The Toshiba also stretches a little different than some I noticed, it only stretches the edges which let it fill the screen without making most of the picture noticeably "fat" and without making the edges look pulled. As far as the stretching went, I think Toshiba did the best job from the models I looked at.
    We really care about clean, crisp, bright, jaw-dropping pictures when watching DVDs. And when we play some PS2 on occasion. The PS2 can be set up for a 16:9 screen I noticed and a lot of the games there support it also.
    Ohhhhh... Decisions, Decisions..
    I guess my quandary comes down to those last 14 inches and seating positions. For the two of us, we are directly in front on the couch with a 3rd possible seat there but the Love Seat is off to the side and would be poor if not unviewable with the 50... The 40 would be fine of course being Direct View.
    But it's 14"... They'd have to sit on the floor or in other positional seating...
    But I rarely have visitors viewing aside from the occasional big release DVD which I rearrange the seating for anyhow...
    GAH!!
    I figure though that since we have been using a 27" thus far that the 40" with (I'm thinking Toshiba 4700 or 5700) progressive scan DVD player will be overwhelming anyhow.
    But that's the expansive one too! $500 worth! Plus a Stand of sorts which if I got the "matched" one is ANOTHER $400!
     
  6. AllenD

    AllenD Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2000
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'd say go for the Toshiba. I was considering the SONY as well since I watch plenty of cable, but went w/a Mits WS set instead after much salesfloor demos. The stretch mode takes a little to get used to, but I don't even notice it anymore. Todays HD sets have less hot spots than they used to. I can lay down on the couch on the right side of the tv and still have a bright enough picture wheather it be HD, DVD, or cable.

    If you already have a non-progressive dvd player, I suggest you invest on an HD STB instead. The jump to a PDVDP doesn't compare to the picture quality of HD.

    I wouldn't recommend playing video games on either set. Both are susceptible to burn-in, but kept to a minimum (15 mins.) gaming on an RPTV shouldn't cause damage.
     
  7. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    HD STB? PDVDP? You lost me there...
    I do already have a non-progressive DVD player, a couple in fact, but I plan on getting a progressive one. I never heard of a HD DVD player as far as more resolution, better frames vs progressive scan. You lost me with that paragraph... Please explain. [​IMG]
    Also, You state that the 40 Sony Direct View is also susceptible to burn in? That surprises me! I mean, I know ALL televisions are susceptible, but why is the 40 more susceptible than any other Direct View TV?
    Granted we don't play a lot of PS2, but on the occasion that we do, it's usually for an evening, not just 15 minutes or so. I don't know any casual player that plays for that little a time. Just a thought.
    Anyhow, please reiterate on the above so I can be sure I understand you. And thanks! [​IMG]
     
  8. Todd smith

    Todd smith Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Messages:
    643
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would also like to know why the 40" Sony is more prone to burn in than other direct view sets.
     
  9. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Todd and I are still waiting for a responce to some questions.
    Why did AllenD state the 40 is more susceptible to burn in. (if it's true) and what are those acronyms and the HD players?
    Also, I'd like this paragraph translated into english please:
     
  10. AllenD

    AllenD Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2000
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Better late than never...

    What I meant by both sets is both Tosh and Mits RPTV are prone to burn in. Not the XBR. I've never heard of burn-in issues w/direct view sets.

    HD STB= High Definition Set Top Box. AKA: HD receiver.

    PDVDP= Progressive DVD Player. I apologize for the acronyms but I get lazy and don't want to type the whole thing out.

    Hope this helps...
     
  11. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    AllenD,

    Ahhh! That clears up some thoughts. However...

    I have a new quandary over another of your statements, actually, I would just like further clarification:

    In the same quote I used before, you stated if I already had a non-progressive DVD unit, go HD, etc... My question here is, how is the HDTV Receiver (which is what I take it your Set Top Box refers to) going to help with DVD from a standard DVD player? Do they take input signals and convert them in some way? If not, then why not get a progressive DVD unit as the progressive does look better than the old format standard?

    I understand that the HD is a better signal than progressive DVD however I an not going to get an HD signal. I do not run satellite and do not want the 2 crappy channels that cable here gives in HD format. So, taking that into consideration, unless the receiver does some awesome converting of input external signals, why spend the money on an HD receiver instead of a progressive DVD?

    And... (more) assuming that the HD receiver does not (which I didn't think they did) convert input signals from an external source (Now I'm not talking about the HDTV transmission itself here, just DVD player output or the like), AND assuming I could get (wanted the 2 crappy channels) HDTV here, (Can't run satellite; 2 crappy cable channels), why would I still not want to get a progressive DVD unit even after getting the HDTV receiver?

    I am trying to understand the logic behind that statement or what you actually meant to project. As, I would tend to think that even if I could get the good HDTV here, and had a receiver, I'd still want a progressive DVD unit.

    Also, your clarification on the burn in is much appreciated! It scared me thinking the XBRs had a big problem. Nice to know that aren't known to be any worse than other DVTVs.

    Thanks again. Sorry to be a bother.
     
  12. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well? Anyone?
     
  13. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Anything?
     
  14. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chris,

    You are correct in the assumption that an HD cable box or OTA or Satellite STB will not accept an external input, and thus has nothing to do with improving your dvd picture. I can't speak for Allen, but I think he was possibly trying to say that strictly on the basis of wow factor for picture quality, you'd get more buying an HD stb than you would by upgrading your dvd player from interlaced to progressive. If you had satellite access and had a full complement of local OTA HD broadcasts to choose from and were a great fan of the programming available on the HD channels, I would tend to agree, even though at minimum a Sat/OTA reciever and oval dish and antenna would be about a $600 investment.

    You said you weren't interested in the programming on the 2 stations you would be able to get on cable in HD, so this obviously doesn't apply to you.

    Depending on the set you choose, you may not even need to spend the $200 a good progressive scan player costs. Some set's line doublers are better than others--Sonys are very good for dvd, and there isn't much discernible difference between the interlaced and progressive output from my player.

    There is a huge difference, however between the picture from an analog rptv and an HD-capable one, whether your using an interlaced or progressive player.

    I did upgrade to an HD-capable DirecTV box and oval dish last October at a cost of $800 (prices have dropped on the boxes since then). I can honestly say that some of the HD stuff, mainly the video based content from HDNet is far superior to dvd, but HDNet isn't on cable yet. PBS' HD content is also said to be stunning if you can get it. Movies on HBO and Showtime HD vary--overall they are better than dvd, but not by a huge margin. I can also honestly say that the main day to day benefit I've derived from the widescreen HD capable set is for dvd, not the limited amount of HD stuff I can get.

    In short, the main improvement will be from the set itself if you choose one with good line doubling (Sony, Pioneer, Toshiba), even if you don't get a progressive scan dvd player, and that improvement over an analog set is very significant. Mitsubishi sets aren't known for having the best line doublers, so for one of those you would be well advised to get a progressive scan player.

    Sorry to be so long winded.
     
  15. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve,
    Thank you! That definatly clears up some of my questions! [​IMG]
    I am picky too! I saw the arced bars on the Sony and tweakability of the Toshiba. (and I have the Toshiba service codes as well [​IMG] ) Though I saw a well setup Sony 40 as well and it was extremely nice!
    I was leaning tward the 40 again due to PS2 and some channels we often watch on cable (morning news). But I keep finding more and more people with issues with the higher Sony DVTVs.
    Ugg.. decisions... If all goes well, I still have to wait till the end of the month to get one so I have time to think it over and change my mind 10 more times.... [​IMG]
    Thanks again...
     
  16. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chris,

    I can understand your quandry. I was there myself 6 months ago. I had always had my mind set on a Sony 40 XBR-450 direct view HD set. I didn't give RPTV's a second thought.

    Then I saw the Pioneer Elite RPTV's in action...

    I had to figure out my actual viewing patterns. I honestly don't use my PS2 much. I watch some cable TV but not every night. Most of my time was spent watching movies so for me it was "natural" to make that switch to shopping RPTV's.

    Just like you, I have a "spare" 27 inch TV (a Trintron) that I use now as my official Video game TV. I just didn't seem worth it to me to purchase an XBR an be unsatisfied because ultimately the screen size was too small for movies yet was only marginally bigger for cable and video games.

    Michael.
     
  17. Chris Stiefel

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Michael,

    I understand. LOL Ohhh do I understand.... However, lately, we have been playing a lot more PS2 and think we have only watched 2 DVDs this week.

    Ugg. It still seems that I either need to get the 40, or keep my 27 around for gaming/some cable channels that never take off their darn logo...

    Actually, now that I have though of getting a Projection TV and keeping the 27" around for "other stuff" I actually am looking at some FPTV systems and screens. I can easily black out my living room for movies. (though hanging the unit from the ceiling might be a pain and setup since it's an apartment, though I asked and they had no problem with me doing it)

    I can actually bare one wall for the projector and move the TV to a corner setup next to it for normal TV viewing with sunlight and the like in the room.

    See what happens.... You start thinking hard enough and more "STUFF" comes in to screw with your near perfect plan! ROFL!

    Anyhow, since I still have about a month or so till I can buy, I am still jsut "lookin" at the DVTV, RPTV, and FPTV setups.

    (he sais as he smacks his head against that very hard rock over, and over, and over....)

    Thanks again! =D
     

Share This Page