New widescreen tv which one?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott_M, Nov 11, 2001.

  1. Scott_M

    Scott_M Auditioning

    Mar 17, 2000
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    I am going to be buy a new TV and am going to buy a 16x9 rear projection and around 50 inch screen. Do not want to spend more than $3000 any suggestions.
  2. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

    Sep 14, 1998
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    Real Name:
    Steven Simon
    Moved to Tv and Projectors Area....
    Steven R. Simon
    HTF Administrator
    Theater Pics Updated 9-11-2001
    Send Email: [email protected]
  3. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

    Mar 3, 2001
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    You know you are going to get about four or five different brand responses right? The only way to do this is go see for yourself which ones you like and then come to this site and Home Theater Spot especially, to check if your set has any serious issues.
    FYI, I have a Pioneer and a Toshiba. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Mitusibishi and new Sony's are well respected. The Mitsu is more of a tweakers set and you need a prog DVD player and HD Receiver due to its inferior doubler. But it is very good with prog DVD and Hi def signals. The Pioneers are generally thought to have the best doubler. They are also a bit expensive. The Toshiba is the best value of the bunch.
    Zed's Dead Baby...
  4. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Apr 15, 1999
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    Brian had some very good advice.
    I went through this decision in the last couple of months and did a lot of research here and at Home Theater Spot, as well as spending a lot of time at various stores playing with the different models on display, trying to adjust them to simulate conditions in my house.
    The following is just my opinion based on my own experience and research.
    I really can't comment on Pioneer sets from my own experience. I only saw one, a 533HD-5 at Best Buy. It was running a nasty store demo 480i feed-so bad that any impression of the set could not have been valid. By reputation, Pioneers have among the best doubling and stretch modes, are quite good out of the box with just AVIA calibration, are not easily tweakable. BB has had the 533D-5 on sale recently for $2999, an excellent deal for these usually pricey sets.
    Toshiba is a favorite around here-usually among the lowest in price, very good potential performance with some tweaking. Not necessarily the best build quality for rptvs, but not nearly as many doa sets as previous generations. Good doubling and stretch modes, so good if ntsc performance is a priority. Accurate color. Some reported issues with ghost lines.
    If you don't mind doing a bit of tweaking these are great bang for the buck.
    Mitsubishi-- solid build quality, great picture with HD and progressive scan dvd. These sets have a lot of faithful supporters.
    Weaknesses are the line doublers and stretch modes, as well as excessive red push. Many owners have added external line doublers like the I-Scan Pro, and red push attenuators can be put in line between the dvd player and the set, but don't help non-component video sources or the set's tuner signal.
    Some claim to be able to tame the red push in the set but this seems to involve rewriting software in the set and is not for the faint of heart as you could end up with a $3000 paperweight. Lots of tweaking information available, moderately priced if you stick with the lower end models.
    Hitachi--I bought one of these in mid-September, a 53UWX10B. HD and progressive scan dvd were gorgeous.
    Regular less than perfect cable signal looked pretty bad, variable stretch mode for 4/3 had pretty bad funhouse mirror effect and added another layer of digital artifacting on top of that produced by the line duobler. Had a swampy green tint in low brightness areas of the screen-widely reported by others. Very little tweaking information available, and in light of it's relatively poor out of the box performance with ntsc, more tweaking info would have been welcome. Channel and input changing was very slow. Color balance shifted as the set warmed up, changed noticeably over the first half hour or so. Black level was very inconsistent when changing channels, a problem not seen on any of my other sets. Remote was very good, though. I was overall disappointed, as I'd had very good experience with a non-HD Hitachi rptv. Returned the set after 2 weeks of frustration. The UWX series widescreens are price competitive with lower end (809 series) Mitsubishis, the more feature laden SWX series are a bit pricey.
    Sony--The new HW-40 series widescreen sets have gotten pretty good reviews over at Home Theater Spot. I swapped the Hitachi for the 57" model and could not be happier. Very good out of the box, with just minor AVIA calibration.
    Sony's DRC does a nice job with cable and DirecTV 480i--actually looks better than on a high-end analog set, and the variable stretch is minimally distracting.
    HD and DVD look great, and the DRC is so good that purchase of a progressive scan dvd player is not a must with this set.
    Very stable black level between channels and sources, color doesn't change as set warms up. Channel changing is fast and the user adjustment menu is fast and easy to use. There's a large HS-10 tweaking forum on Yahoo, but I haven't felt the need to do any tweaking on mine. These Sonys have msrps of $2799 for the 51", $3199 for the 57" but can be had for less. Even so they aren't the cheapest sets out there, but seem to give great out of the box performance for most buyers, with minimal problems and good ntsc performance.
    I know my Sony review is a bit glowing, perhaps because my experience with it was so much better than that I had with the Hitachi.
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
  5. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

    Feb 7, 2000
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    San Antonio
    Real Name:
    Henry Carmona
    Hi Scott and welcome!
    I just purchased the Toshiba 50H81 widescreen... AWESOME!!
    50 inch screen, HD 1080 capability, and its widescreen!
    I think it retails for about $2300 at Best Buy.
    [​IMG] "Charlie don't surf."
    [Edited last by Henry Carmona on November 12, 2001 at 02:13 AM]
  6. davepr

    davepr Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 29, 1999
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    Having been playing with my new 43UWX10B over the weekend my experiences with the Hitachi are not nearly as bad as Steve's and so far actually pretty good. That could certainly change over time. I have yet to see the green problem. My experience with bad cable channels is that they do not improve with a bigger set. When doing comparisons in store I thought the Hitachi was better at that than the Mits, and almost at par if not quite equal with the Sony. I thought the Tosh had the best ability to make the most of the worst channels. I find the 'smooth wide' of the Hitachi to be fine execept for sporting events or real wide shots. For those cases, I us the 'full' where all distortions are equal or 'fill' where you lose some top and bottom, but their is no distortion. I am not seeing the red push which I did not like on the Mits. I did some short evaluations with the Avia disk and the blacks look real good on the set I have. The DVD I viewed this weekend was outstanding. I am not a real tweeker, but have down loaded the Hitachi service manual, and it seems one can tweek if they want to. However they do not have the number of tweekers out there that the Tosh and Mits do.
    My biggest complaint so far seems to be the viewing angles, especially vertical. My viewing room is small and there is a difference if I stand up. I did not check this out on other sets and do not know how they compare.
    However, I do agree with Steve about the Sony. If I had been in the hunt for a larger set, the Sony probably would have gotten the nod. I had some concerns about the Tosh build quality.
    A brand is not a religion and most all advice is not objective including mine. It is worth at least what you paid for it. [​IMG] My best advice is to read all this advice, do your own comparisons and chose according to your own conclusions and priorties.

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