New to Big Screens and Widescreens...Need Advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin_Hu, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Kevin_Hu

    Kevin_Hu Auditioning

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    Hi all!

    I am just errr.....'getting the go' as you would call it from my wife...hahaha....to get a Big Screen (4:3) or Widescreen (16:9) TV. I am Completely new to this. I have no idea which would be better to get or why.

    Here are our viewing habits....
    Myself:
    -- I want Movies mostly in all formats...mostly action flicks. VHS and DVD but trying to go all DVD.
    -- Regular cable sometimes. Mostly movie channels such as TNT, TBS, etc...along with the History channel and so on.

    My Wife:
    -- mostly regular Network TV and some movies.

    My kids:
    -- LOTS of movies, mostly Disney and the Cartoon channel.


    We....or I should say 'I' am looking in the 1500 to 2500 price range. What does everyone recommend as far as Big Screen or Widescreen and why and also what brands are good and which should I avoid? Lastly where should I look to purchase?

    Thanks in advance!!!

    ---Kevin
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi kevin -
    some random thoughts:
    first, let me say my next big-screen is DEFINITELY gonna be a wide-screen. there's no way i'm gonna buy a 4x3. [​IMG]
    but...
    the primary thing you'll need to think about is which format do you watch most often. right now, the majority of tv is broadcast in 4x3 - i think that will stay the norm for some time. based upon your listing, that does sound like the majority of your viewing.
    however, since you are getting into dvd, a wide-screen may be a nice choice. widescreens definitely have the "wow factor", and with letterboxed dvd's, you'll enjoy more of the picture.
    also, when viewing regular 4x3 material on a 16x9 tv, you'll end up with bars on the sides. you can "stretch" the picture to elimate the grey bars, but some people think it looks funky. i've seen the stretch on a few different models and overall, i'd say it's pretty unnoticeable. most of the tv's now stretch the right & left side of the picture more than the middle, so the main focus of your viewing appears less distorted. also, that's a compromise that i think is worth it.
    ted
     
  3. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    The decision on 4X3 versus widescreen should be based on several factors, at the same time... That is why it is not easy to focus on the ingredients

    Factors:
    1.)Yes, what you watch NOW is one concern.
    2.)However, what you will watch in the future is also a concern. In some cases, a 16 X 9 large image has drastically altered viewer's habits, simply because of the knockout picture coming from a Progressive Scan DVD player to a finely-tuned set, or an HDTV picture (should you add that capability, which you probably will eventually). I have read many posts from users who would rather watch HDNET regardless of what is on, becase the image is so stunning. I did increase my DVD watching, on my set, because of this. I won't watch lousy films, but I now watch a lot.
    3.) Also... this one is tough to focus on. When I watch standard cable / or satellite / or analog over the air signals (news, sitcoms, etc.) I am not all that concerned about a pristine high quality image. I do not even mind watching a stretched image, if it is not badly stretched. I do NOT care all that much if things are cropped or stretched if I am only watching an old Cheers rerun. However, when I put in a DVD, for a film I love, I care about image quality, aspect ratio, sound, detail, and a total theater experience. For that, there was no other choice. A 16 X 9 set.
    4.) Finally, one must factor in that widescreen is apparently going to be the way of the future (there will be no going back), and this means that while relatively few satellite and cable cast and broadcast stations are utilizing this today, more will have to as each month passes. The point at which this begins to bother a user who bought a 4 X 3 set is anybody's guess, it might come before you are ready to buy again, it might come after (two years? three years? Five years?)

    Just my thoughts,

    -Bruce
     
  4. Kevin_Hu

    Kevin_Hu Auditioning

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    Thanks for your input Ted [​IMG]
    Any suggestions on where to buy or what brands to focus on?
    I was looking at the Sony 51'' Widescreen HDTV Monitor/Projection TV. I was comparing this to others in that size range (such as the Panasonic 53" Widescreen HDTV Monitor, Hitachi 51'' Widescreen Projection HDTV Monitor, and JVC 56'' Widescreen Rear Projection HDTV Monitor) at the Circuit city web site. The Sony WideScreen listed for around $2300 at their web site but is this a good "TV" and are there other place that I could get the same "TVs" for a better price?
    Thanks!
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    no problem kevin -
    make note of bruce's points...he has some good ones. especially the fact that when watching dvd, you want the best experience possible. [​IMG]
    i'm not really up on my tv's. i know the toshiba models are pretty highly regarded. do a search or post in the tv section - they'll give you some good advice. also, i personally really like mitsubishi's and sony's. i will definitely be putting those on my short-list.
    another good website for info on tv's is www.hometheaterspot.com - they've got tons of info out there.
     
  6. Kevin_Hu

    Kevin_Hu Auditioning

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    Thanks again both of you.
    I am really looking closely at the )Sony 51'' Widescreen HDTV Monitor/Projection TV)
    Brand/Model: SON KP51HW40
    Just called Circuit City and they have it for $2199 free finace for 12 months and free delivery.
    Wondering if this is a good deal or if I could get a better price some where else....also what do you guys think about Extended Warranties?
    One last thing [​IMG] What is a good DVD player for this? I have one in my PC that I was using but for some reason the Sound is not working right with my decorder card on out put to the TV...weird. I think I should get a stand alone DVD play...What should I look for?
    ---Kev
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i'm not familiar with your particular sony model..but i'm pretty darn sure any sony widescreen will foot the bill just nicely! [​IMG] again, post specific widescreen tv questions in the appropriate forum - you'll probably get more responses.
    regarding warranties: here's what some have posted:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...ended+warranty
    regarding dvd players: post your question in the audio/video forum. be sure to list specifics: especially budget, and features you're looking for.
    also, do a search. lookup "dvd", "recommend", etc...
    [​IMG]
     
  8. James Brown

    James Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    Ive actually been looking at the same exact model. Ive seen a few open box items aND good guys claims that if bought youll still be under the original manufacturers warranty. I seen a few around my areA running for under $1800. May be something to consider.

    I really didnt notice the difference when checking out the display models. At Best Buy they had one hooked up to standard cable.

    I prefer Sony TVs over others. I own a Wega now.
     
  9. Binh Vu

    Binh Vu Stunt Coordinator

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    James and kevin,
    I just bought my 51HW40 3 or 4 weeks ago at goodguys. Brand new for $2049 plus they gave me $170 worth of store credit (I got my component cable for $89.99 and toslink cable for $99.99 and I had to pay $20 different). So, I guess you can ask them for the same deal. No extended warranty for me
     
  10. MattWaldschmidt

    MattWaldschmidt Auditioning

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    One thing you might want to consider is a Front Projection TV setup.
    This gives real Home Theatre experience and is inside your budget. All you need is:
    1. Projector (probably LCD for ease of setup and cost)
    2. Screen (can simply paint wall for this or DIY screen for $20 found on this site)
    3. Some A/V equipment (if you already have a good Stereo system you can use it)
    I have been pricing the Projectors and nice LCD's are around $2500 and if you have some paint and a Stereo already, you are golden and can have a TV with portability and flexibility that can also run off your PC and have screens from 30" up to 100" diagonals. HUGE !!!!
    I suggest looking into Front Projection system if you have not bought already. Just my $0.02[​IMG]
     
  11. James Brown

    James Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    Binh,

    How is yours? I went and looked at them again tonight and I noticed that it looked really small. When you got it home, did look bigger than it did in the store? At the Goodguys store i went to, they had it squeezed between a 57 inch and some other bigger TV and it looked really tiny. The size of their showroom doesnt help it look any bigger.
     
  12. Binh Vu

    Binh Vu Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, mine fit perfectly in my entertainment center. I wanted 57" but too big for my EC. I've measured it before I bought it. I wish I have time to take a pic of my HT, they look very cool.
    Anyway, that SONY model is great, perfect picture. I'm very happy with it.
     
  13. BryanK

    BryanK Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin, check out this site http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sonyhs10/
    it sounds like most of your watching will be in 4:3 format so why get a 16:9 screen just to stretch most of your viewing. its been about a year since i last looked into Projection TV's but sony makes HDTV's that will give you both formats. hope the above link helps.
    also Matt's correct, if i had to do it all over, i would be looking at the projector's.
    Have fun !! Bryan
     
  14. ChristopherT

    ChristopherT Agent

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    I second MattWaldschmidt comments about at least considering FP.
    It is not for everone. I recently purchase the AE100. I have been watching DVD's on a white wall. IMO, the picture is better than any RPTV I have seen. Even an ISF'd one.
    I am currently considering buying a screen so I have been trying out various pictures sizes. Lately I have been projecting a 92" diagonal picture (45"x80") on my wall. When the picture is that big, you really get involved in the movie.
    The www.avsforum.com has many threads on this projector. I think the US cost for the AE100 is about $1900. I have attached one link Ritzav
    Good Luck [​IMG]
     

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