New here. Need help selecting a RP widescreen CRT TV around 51" or so:

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jason Kelly, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. Jason Kelly

    Jason Kelly Auditioning

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    Hi guys. Please bear with me, I just joined this forum today. I just got married and finally have tentative approval from the boss to get a new widescreen TV, but I'm trying to keep the purchase under ~$2500 CDN. (are there lots of fellow Canadians here?).

    It seems like I have bad timing looking for a CRT RP screen as companies are going away from the technology now and are putting more focus on projectors, and LCD and DLP RPs. Anyway, to keep within my price range and preferred brands, I've been looking at the following models. But each manufacturer uses different terms for their technology.

    Toshiba
    51H84C
    51HX84

    -> I'm told the HX (cinema series) designation used to indicate better CRTs (the "advanced" pegasus CRTs), but now with this year's models that's no longer the case. Is there any benefit now of the HX84 over the H84 (and worth the $100-200 CDN premium?)? (even if the 51HX83 is still available, it looks to be out of my price range).

    Sony
    KP51WS520
    KP51WS510
    (also still available)
    -> how do these sets compare to the Toshiba equivalent? (I have a buddy that just bought a KP51WS510 over Christmas last year and he's happy).

    Panasonic
    PT-53X54
    PT-53TW54
    (might be out of my budget)
    PS-53WX54 (still available)
    -> the TW model might be a tad too pricey but does it have superior CRTs over the other models? Is the WX still worth looking at? (It may be a couple hundred $ cheaper than the X).

    Hitachi
    51F510
    -> CR reports last year indicated the Hitachi brand had the lowest frequency of repairs for CRTs. (not sure if that's still the case). But anyway, does this Hitachi have any strengths over the other sets?

    For a couple years I've also kept my eyes on the Toshiba widescreen CRT sets. They always seemed to be the ones to draw my attention the most and seemed, in the store at least, to have the nicer picture compared to like-priced competing models. *shrug*

    Are there considerable differences in warranties, or display resolutions, or CRT qualities among the models and manufacturers I've listed? How the heck do I choose?

    Thank you so much (in advance) for any assistance you may have on this purchase.

    Jason
     
  2. Jason Kelly

    Jason Kelly Auditioning

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    How long should I wait for a reply?
     
  3. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Not long, I did the same type of thread and it's good to list all models to see what choices you have to choose from. Now I've seen the pictures on all the Brand names you mentioned. Not sure the exact model numbers since it was about a month or so ago, but the decision I made was for the Sony. What helped me decide was that the Sony was a warmer set. The colors were close to real, well at least when comparing it with a HD broadcast. The Hitachi, Toshiba was in Sears and they used a Mitsubishi to broadcast HD and the colore on the Sony was the closest to the Mitsubishi HD T.V. in SD. The 510 is last year's model and the 520 has HDMI as oppose to DVI input. I'll get into the picture of the 520 in more detail in a thread here reviewing my opinions of the Sony 520 with an upscaling DVD player.
     
  4. Kirk Patrick

    Kirk Patrick Stunt Coordinator

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    i have heard that the 51HX84 has improved crt guns over the previous model

    i heard this from a future shop salesman who had just bought this set himself

    i would like to hear from fans of rp-crt-tv's about how you can get them to look with some adjusting/tweaking

    i like the value they offer but have never liked the picture which seems markedly less sharp than direct view crt's

    unfortunately for me the direct view crts are starting to look a little small so i am looking seriously at the rp-crt's

    any comment from you rp-crt experts and afficianados would be great to hear
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    I actually find the opposite, except for off axis veiwing, which is still an issue with CRT RPTV's, I actually find they provide a better picture than direct views, especially when screen size is considered in that mix.

    The CRT direct views max out pretty small on the picture size, so any comparisons just can't be validated, so preference certainly must take over.

    All you can really do is find a display that gives you the PQ you can live with for say 10 years (Expected life of these products these days).....

    I chose a Philips which are definelty not in favor on these forums. But, for my needs, I am way convinced I chose the best, but I have some unique requirements too.

    Things to think about here????
    What percentage of 4:3 material will you be using?
    I only mention this, because on widescreen sets, unless you unaturally distort the picture, your 4:3 material will seem very small, especially if your comming from a 32" or even worse a 36" 4:3 direct view set. So size accordingly.

    The more display techology, and different new displays I see, the more I keep comming back to old CRT RPTV as the best overall technology for all the different sources available these days.


    I hope this helped some....
     
  6. Kirk Patrick

    Kirk Patrick Stunt Coordinator

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    interesting reply john s.

    i am glad to hear your positive regard for these sets as i now believe they offer the best value for me

    my interest is primarily in dvd watching and secondarily tv shows, most of which are in hd or will be soon (csi, survivor, er)

    you are correct pq to you personally is the best and final judge

    i do disagree with your 10 year timeline though

    if i believed in a 10 year timeline, i would go the extra dollars and buy an lcd-rptv, which do give a demonstrably better picture imo...

    however, i personally believe that lcd flat and plasma displays will come down dramatically fairly quickly

    if i bought a 51" crt-rptv tommorow, i would do so because i planned to replace it with a high quality 51" or better lcd or plasma within 3-4 years for the same money (call it 2000 cdn in round numbers)

    your thoughts?
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well the 10 years, would be an absolute maximum expectency... lol


    There are trade offs, there are some things the CRT RPTV does better than any LCD RPTV still.. It is called black levels, and it is very important for visual impact.

    Now out of the box, LCD-RPTV sure needs less calibration, but once calibrated / adjusted by you in your home, I think you will more clearly see why I post what I post about the CRT-RPTV's.

    They just do what they do, very well is all.


    I am hope'n for 10 years out of my current set, longer if at all possible. And I don't even have DVI or 720p support.... lol

    I just still watch to many Laserdiscs, I would asume, my DVD collection will eventually eclipse my LD collection, but it is still quite a ways away for me. I still haven't really felt the need to replace any LD titles with the DVD equivelent anyways. LD's for the most part look really great on my current setup.

    I watch a ton of old black and white 4:3 material still as I am just an old movie buff at heart, I suppose. So you have to sort of take what I say, in the context of what is important to me.

    The newest Sony LCD-RPTV's are pretty extraordinary, I also agree. Way improved viewing angles, and much better blacks than previous offerings. So I know what you mean about that technology. Still not as good of blacks as CRT-RPTV though....

    When I was buy'n, my high side of my budget was only around $1800, I ended up only spending $1250, so that was a good thing. The more years I get out of the thing, the cheaper it was I figure.

    I can only hope in like 10 years, LCD-RPTV will be much better and much more affordable, and of course that goes for all the newer display technologies.

    I am told recently, that some mega way great large LCD direct view panels are on the horizon, and the cost should be comming down on those rapidly once in producton. From what I know about Plasma technology, it is not going to drop very much more, they are expensive to manufacture.
     
  8. Kirk Patrick

    Kirk Patrick Stunt Coordinator

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    black levels are definitely an issue

    i look forward to trying a crt-rptv at home under optimum conditions

    regarding the lcd/plasma issues...i simply have faith that technology will continue and even accelerate faster than it has in the past and due to rising incomes around the world i an guessing we will see a huge demand for large tv screens and thus a large price drop to the economies of scale

    remember how much computer memory used to cost and/or hard drives

    a final question...can you do a good job of calibrating your crt-rptv by yourself using avia or other dvd calibrations?

    thanks for your thoughts
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    You can do an excellent job calibrating your set well with a simple test disc and the proper know-how. To be able to get grayscale spot on, though, you will need to get ahold of a colorimiter, however.

    In any event, I am staunchly with john that CRT-based displays are still the preference for all but those with the most unlimited budgets, in which case subjective preference comes much more heavily into play. LCD, for me is an unacceptable display due to terrible SDE. DLP, LCOS, and CRT projection are my areas of interest.

    The newer technologies will continue to improve, in certain aspects they are beyond CRT, but in some very important areas they do have a ways to go. In the $30K budget range, things are beginning to get very interesting though.
     
  10. Kirk Patrick

    Kirk Patrick Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks chris

    you are a reliable and consistent defender of crt's

    you convinced me to look into a crt fp vs lcd fp

    i receive curt palme's sales list but frankly am simply unwilling to deal with the hassles of setting up a crt-fp not to mention that in my small condo, lighting is a real isue for about 5 months of the year

    i am looking seroiusly at crt-rptv, any suggestions at the lower end, here in canada i am looking at something like the toshiba 51H84 which is 2399 Cdn and the absolute tops i will spend
     
  11. Doug Z

    Doug Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I would look at the panasonic 53X54 and the 53TW54, both are 53" and are around $1600 & $1800 respectively. I was in circuit city and saw the Hitachi 57F710 (57") and was blown away by the picture. It also does a "virtual" 1080p which gives it a smoother picture, also around 1800 US$.
     
  12. matt-f

    matt-f Second Unit

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    Unforunately Hitachi 7XX series for 2004 line are not available in Canada. However the 5XX series will be suitable for Jason's purchase.

    However if Jason wants to go all out, and wants to import this top of the line Hitachi, then the 57X500 will be the one to get.
     
  13. Don Leslie

    Don Leslie Auditioning

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    Hmmm 10 year timeline. Well, hanging on too long can give you problems. I have a 46 inch Sony that I bought in 1989 (KPR-46DX10). My problem is what to do with the Sony. It is not light - 400 lbs. It has a gorgeous wooden cabinet of the type one doesn't see anymore - with folding doors out front. I really hate to part with it but we sure don't need two large screen sets - we have 4 other Panasonic TVs around the house.

    So, I'm looking for something that will last as long - 15 years. [​IMG]

    I almost bought a Panasonic 50LC13, the 50LC14 and now I've decided (well for the moment anyway) on a a PT-53TW54.

    I'm likely going to donate the Sony to a museum/hall of fame that would like to have videos running during open hours. The problem is how does one place a value on the Sony. Anyone have any sense of the value now? Original list in 1989 was $6,000.

    Don
     
  14. Heinz W

    Heinz W Second Unit

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    I would check out the Hitachi 51S715. I just bought one myself today! [​IMG] They have outstanding picture quality IMO. At Sears where I purchased the set it sat next a Sony and the colors were much better on the Hitachi than the Sony, particularly flesh-tones. That's coming from a Sony fan.

    It has a really cool feature called "Magic Focus", a button on the front that does auto convergence. You can also do a more elaborate convergence yourself through the menu.

    The 715 series (51" and 57" mid-level Ultravision) also feature an HDMI input, a built-in ATSC tuner for OTA HD reception, and has a slim cabinet. Most important to me is the picture, and it bested several more expensive sets by a good bit in that department. It also has better lenses and optics than the entry level stuff. The stretch modes were pretty good too, important for 4:3 material of course.

    Will pick it up on Tuesday after I install some new carpet in the living room. This will be my first HDTV and my first 16:9 set. Can't wait!

    To Jason I'd recommend looking at this set if it's available in Canada. It can be had here for around $2k US. Good luck.
     
  15. Ken_F

    Ken_F Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think you want the PT-53TW54. The PT-53TW54 is just like the 2003 model, but with HDMI instead of DVI.

    The PT-53X54 is Panasonic's newest set; it is a redesigned model with improved optics and a new cabinet.

    The Panasonic PT-53X54, Hitachi 51S715, and Sony KP51WS520 are all very nice sets. I've seen setups where each looked better than the others.
     
  16. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    First, I want to repond to Ken F's message. The 53TW54 is not last year's model (Ken is thinking of the 53WX54). It is a step up from the 53X54. The TW includes an HD tuner, a glare resisent shield, and has an A/V storage cabinet under the screen.

    As far as I know the PQ on both TVs is supposed to be very close to, if not, identical.

    I own the 53X54 and consider it to be the best bargain in CRT RPTVs. It has picture quality which ranks with the best CRT RPTVs available.

    All of that said, the Panasonic has some competition in Canada from other major manufacturers like Sony and Hitachi. For some reason the Panny isn't as cheap in Canada as it is in the US (when compared to the comparable Sony and Hitachi models). In the US, you can get the 53X54 for ~$1,300. The competiting models are at least $250 more.

    My advice is to go with the one you can get the cheapest, as they are all great tvs offering excellent PQ. Also, if you can, use a credit card which will double the manufacturer's warranty when you make the purchase (most Visa and Master Cards offer this program.

    FYI: The one thing that the Panny offers that its competitors do not is a Center Channel Shelf (can also be used for other A/V gear) above the screen. This may or may not be of interest to you, but I find it indispensable.

    John
     
  17. Ken_F

    Ken_F Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    Thanks for that correction. Yes, I was thinking of the 53WX54.
     
  18. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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    Jason, I would highly recommend the Toshiba 51HX84. I used to sell the brand and have nothing but praise for the product, the support they gave me as a dealer, and the service they provided the customer when needed.
     
  19. Jason Kelly

    Jason Kelly Auditioning

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    Hi Guys, its about time I jump back into my thread with an update. Thank you everyone so far! I'm still very much interested in a CRT RPTV, but I think I've shifted my size requirement down a bit to the 46/47" models instead of 51" (based mainly on my room size, but hey it may also bring the price down a bit too - cost matters for the moment at least).

    Its now a fierce FOUR-WAY comparison between these four models:
    Hitachi 46F510
    Panasonic PT-47X54
    Sony KP46WT520
    Toshiba 46H84C


    I've seen roughly equivalent pricing between the Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba models, with the Hitachi sticking out as always seeming to cost a bit more (~ $200 CDN more typically).

    I've also noticed the pricing of 51 and 46 sets is so close nowadays that it seems like the 51" are the better deal and sometimes even overlap and sale prices on 51" sets become cheaper than regular prices of some 46" models. Another peculiarity: I was at a store tonight and saw the Toshiba 51HX84 for ~$50 LESS than the 51H84C model right beside it. ?? Weird

    Here's where I stand right now:
    - I can get the Sony through a friend's employer for a nice discount: ~$1760 CDN, incl. the stand - which is supposed to be worth another $200. (The stand which is comprised of glass shelving underneath is quite nice). However I have yet to try to *bargain* the best price possible on the other three brands from other places for final price comparison sake.
    - I think hands down the Panasonic is the nicest looking set aesthetically (I'm referring to the enclosure, not the picture quality) of this group. Another advantage of the Panasonic is it has a nice flat platform on top to rest a large centre-channel speaker, something the rest are kind of lacking.
    - while I really like the look of the Toshiba 51+ and larger sets, the 46" Toshiba set looks a bit ugly on the bottom with the matching stand - looks kinda bad, like merely a cheap extention.

    So I don't know..
    * I've really been happy with my Toshiba 32A40 (I think that was the model) regular CRT tube set, and my SD-2200 DVD player. So I kinda feel a bit of brand loyalty to Toshiba, and I've had my eyes on their sets for a while.
    * However my friend has the 51" Sony RPTV and everytime I see it I'm impressed with it, and I can get the "deal" through his company on Sony.
    * I like Panasonic as a brand too, however I seem to recall some older Panasonic RPTV sets didn't score so well in Consumer Reports tests a few years back (doing poorly in things like standard TV reception, relative to its peers). Don't know how relevant that is.
    * And the Hitachi I don't know much about except salesmen everywhere keep touting about "the best quality guns, etc.", although the Hitachi 46/51 sets I've looked at never look noticeably better than the other ones, to my eyes anyway.

    Shrug... I dunno. Help me pick, please!

    PS - Does anyone have any good links to reviews on any of the above specific sets?

    Thank you.
     
  20. Heinz W

    Heinz W Second Unit

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    Go to www.avsforum.com, and check out the rear projection CRT section in the display devices section. Search each model and I'm sure you'll find some valuable info. There are a lot more threads on TVs over there.

    BTW, I think you'll do fine with any of those sets. The Hitachi is probably the most touted for reliability from what I can gather at the AVSforum.
     

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