New TV Purchase?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Borgman, Dec 22, 2002.

  1. Dave Borgman

    Dave Borgman Agent

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    Hi All, I am new here and would like some opinions. I hope you don't laugh at me cause you all sound like you have alot more money than me. Here is my situation.

    I have a 35" Toshiba that is 11 years old and I'm afraid its on its way out. The brightness will change on me without doing anything and sometimes it will turn really bright and have this green line zigzagging horizontally on the whole screen.

    I live in an apartment. I have standard cable (can't get satellite unfortunately). I watch movies 3 times a week or so on DVD. Most of my TV watching is just normal cable. I am thinking that I don't really need a wide-screen or high def. My viewing area is about 9 feet away from the TV.

    I have been looking at a 53" Sony analog rear projection that looks really good in the store. best buy has it right now for $1199. I have also been knocking around the idea of a 36" flat screen. Sony has 3 non high def models for 1199, 1299, and a new one that people have been raving about on the circuit city reviews for 1499. I am looking to keep the cost of the TV from 1200-1500. I would need to buy a stand for a 36" since the Toshiba I have came with an integrated stand.

    What do you all think I should buy? Or should I just wait until I can't stand the problems with the Toshiba anymore?

    Dave
     
  2. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    The Panny PT47WX42 is just a wee bit more than your current budget, and my guess is that it'll be on sale sometime in the next month or so... And if widescreen is not an issue, the Hitachi 43FDX15B is just $1399.

    I _personally_ wouldn't be buying an SDTV if I watched movies 3 times a week...

    However, the reason I posted is that I can't find any analog Sony RPTVs on the circuitcity.com web site-- where are the reviews you refer to?

    Me
     
  3. Dave Borgman

    Dave Borgman Agent

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    Tim,

    Circuit City doesn't have any Sony analog RPTV. The sony I was talking about is the 36" Flat Screen KV36FV300. Best buy has the 53" sony analog RPTV. But they don't have reviews.

    So your saying being that I watch 3 movies a week the hi def is worth the money even though I don't have access to any other hi def broadcasts? Would I then need to get a progressive scan DVD player if I got a hi def set?

    I'll check out the models you mentioned.

    Dave
     
  4. TimTurtino

    TimTurtino Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, you would need a progressive scan DVD to truly get the most out of an HDTV. But, as you can find many places, that doesn't have to break the bank either (Panny CP-72S is < $220 right now). And even a normal DVD will look better on an HDTV than an analog.

    I guess you're referring to the KV36FV300, which is a truly fine analog TV. Interesting... It's the same prices at the KV32HS500, which is HD.

    Here's my standard spiel about what a widescreen movie, from a prog scan player, onto an HDTV monitor adds:

    "I don't _like_ Jurassic Park 3. I think it's a bad movie. However, when I sit down and watch it on the right TV, I'll be trapped for half an hour just because it's so darn pretty (enthrallingly gruesome)."


    Me
     
  5. Ian C

    Ian C Stunt Coordinator

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    Considering you kept your last TV (the Toshiba) for 11 years, I would go with an HDTV. You'll be ready in the next year or two when HDTV becomes more available in your area. Also, since you aren't necessarily ready for widescreen, I think the 43" Hitachi Tim Turtino suggested would be just right for you, if your sure you want to go the RPTV route. Seeing as how you are upgrading from a 35", a 36" direct-view may just not seem like much of an upgrade.

    Ian
     
  6. Tom Kindel

    Tom Kindel Auditioning

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    I just went through your situation myself. I had a 12 year old 27" Sony that I wanted to replace. I was looking at the Toshiba 36HFX72 for some of the reasons you mentioned...not much HDTV in my area yet...I only have standard cable...etc. Also like you, I tend to keep major appliances a long time, so I knew I wanted HD compatibility. HDTV will become more common in the next few years and in the meantime the capability will make DVD's look great!

    My biggest concern was what would regular broadcast TV look like. As part of my decision process I looked at some wide screen RPTV's. After a couple of weeks of store hopping, studying and auditioning I settled on Toshiba. Their stretch modes for 4:3 material impressed me the most, so yesterday my spanking new 50HDX82 was delivered and I am extremely happy with the set. Most of the cable channels look pretty good...some are outstanding...some are barely watchable, but I was forewarned of the variability of quality on cable. DVD's are stunning. The pod race in Star Wars I was as good or better than the theater (my sound system and the S&V tune up DVD helped!)

    So in short...I would suggest going for something HDTV compatible, wide screen with stretch modes you can handle. My study included Toshiba, Panasonic, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sony and some others that I happened across. Each has it's own quirks, but all looked acceptable and will perform very well after break-in and calibration.
    --
    Tom

    Toshiba 50HDX82 TV
    Marantz SR9200 Rcvr
    Samsung DVD-V2000 (next in line for upgrade)
    Polk Monitor 7C Mains
    Polk CSi30 Center
    Polk RTi28 Surrounds
    Polk SW303 Sub
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Dave: It maketh not the best of sense to purchase an NTSC-only ("analog") RPTV in this era of technological transition. Prices are falling, and performance is rising. The suggestion that your check out Panasonic's 47-inch widescreen RPTV is a good one. Also, my philosophy is picture quality is more important than picture quantity. In other words, don't let large screen sizes sway you at the expense of the better, newer technology. With an NTSC-only RPTV, you get to see all those annoying NTSC artifacts blown up nice and large. Line doublers are good things. JB
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yes, w/ a $1200-1500 budget, definitely shop for an HDTV, whether it's 4x3 or widescreen.
    The Panny 47wx42 or Toshiba 42H82 are good choices, if you're ready for widescreen. If not and you still want a big 4x3 image, then maybe you can find a Toshiba 50H72 for just a tad above your budget. That's the set I almost settled for until I decided to go widescreen w/ a Panny 53wx42 just 3 weeks ago. I went wide since I decided I'll use the TV primarily for DVD and HD viewing, not normal analog viewing--yes, I must be a rare case around here. [​IMG]
    A progressive scan player is not a must just like Tim said. In fact, I'm currently still using my old non-progressive player w/ the Panny 53", and it looks great for 16x9-formatted DVDs. Non-16x9 DVDs don't look so good though on a widescreen unless you keep it in 4x3 mode (w/ side bars) or get a player that can do good scaling. So that's something to consider between 4x3 and widescreen.
    If you intend to keep the set for a very long time (like 10+ years), you might favor the Toshiba 42H82 for DVI-upgradeability in case that becomes an issue for what you want to see in the future. Other brands also offer DVI or upgradeability, but the Panny does not. However, it seems the general consensus is that only premium cable/sat content and probably HD-DVD, whenever that becomes a reality, will require DVI for full HD resolution.
    Oh and remember, w/ a floorstanding RPTV, no need to buy a new TV stand.
    _Man_
     
  9. Dave Borgman

    Dave Borgman Agent

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    Thank you all for your opinions. Sounds like I should definately go HD TV. And most of you seem to think widescreen too. Can anyone tell me about the stretch modes? What I gather is the widescreen will take a normal analog signal and stretch it to the size of the of the screen? Dang there is so much to consider here.
     
  10. Tom Kindel

    Tom Kindel Auditioning

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    Stretch modes are kind of like speakers...it's a very subjective assesment. What your eye/brain combination likes may not appeal to other people. The best thing to do is read the forums and do searches on a few target brands and models and then go to a local store and check them out for yourself. During my search I almost was on a first name basis with a couple of sales guys in my chosen stores.

    In general, Toshiba is regarded as one of the best when it comes to stretch modes. Most of my viewing is standard 4:3 broadcast, so I was very concerned with how well the wide screen sets would handle that format. I finally did go with Toshiba and I am very happy with my 50HDX82. I just received it last Sunday and so far I'm very happy with it.

    Go out on an auditioning spree after Christmas. Maybe you'll luck into a good after Christmas sale!
     
  11. Chet Hayes

    Chet Hayes Agent

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    I went through a similar process 6 months ago. The main difference is I watch even less DVD's, maybe 2 a month. I started out all psyched to get a RPTV for HD. Then I figured out that here in central NJ, I have zippo HD available on cable and none of the major networks OTA either.

    I came to the conclusion that the best solution was another 36" analog TV which I bought for $750. The way I look at it, it's almost like getting it for free. Why? Because by the time HDTV is available to me, the cost of the 55" HDTV I would have bought six months ago will have dropped by a significant amount and the features, technology etc will have improved. And in the meantime, I won't be stretching all the 4:3 programming or suffering the effects of trying to watch blown up std def signals on a big screen, which from some of the posts, can be pretty bad.

    Don't buy into the idea that you should spend a lot of money today to be ready for something that may take years for you to be able to view. Figure out what you can watch now and in the very near future.
     
  12. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    When my 36" Mits direct view died, I had to get a new TV. I settled on the 42H81 (last year's Toshiba RPTV) because it fit my space (Toshibas are generally 6" or so shallower than other RPTVs and my space is tiny, and the 42" RPTV was as shallow as my 20" direct view Mits), the color fidelity is excellent out of the box, and the upconversion doesn't matter (IMHO).
    But there are other excellent RPTVs out there, too. [​IMG]
    My satellite picture has never been better, thanks to the line doubler that eliminates scan lines, but some channels are definitely better than others. Nothing is "unwatchable" at 42".
    The Tosh stretch modes are great. There's a mode for every need and I often watch 4:3 material stretched.
    I'd definitely think about the future, even if you don't have HDTV yet (I don't, either). The result with DVDs is magnificent. If you go with a 4:3 set, you'll find less and less material in that format as years go by; with 16:9, you'll find more and more, so your investment will continue to pay off. IMHO, of course.
    Jan
     

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