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Newbie purchasing a New TV (1 Viewer)

Ricky Hartanto

Mar 27, 2002

I went around Madison in search for TV and could not decide on which TV I should purchase. I have seen Sony Wega, Pasonic, Toshiba, and Sharp. They are all in almost the same price range that I can afford (budget constraint).

I noticed that the sharp produces white color "more white" while the panasonic produces it "more creme". A best buy support person said that the Sony may be the best TV that they have to view DVDs. The reason is that the Sony has the 16:9 compression features that makes it not to loose resolution when viewing in "panoramic format".

Would you please help me decide on which TV that I should buy or which brand that I should avoid if there is any.
I will get the TV locally as delivery costs would just increase the purchase cost.

Thank you so much for your help.



Michael Lomker

Stunt Coordinator
May 17, 2002
Ricky, most TV's look bad out of the box. You're right in saying that different brands have a different "look" to them....problem is that all of them are WRONG. The fact of the matter is that there is only one NTSC standard.

I'd say to buy the set that you like the best for picture quality/budget reasons and not pay attention to the color accuracy. If your set is modestly priced then get a copy of Avia or Video Essentials and adjust the colors yourself. If you're buying a more spendy HDTV set then plan on spending $4-500 to have a professional ISF calibration done.

In theory, all sets should look the same when properly calibrated. I bought a $3k Panny 34WX50 and it suffers red push due to a defective color decoder. You have to spend a fortune to get perfect...commercial studio monitors are about $1k per inch.


Senior HTF Member
Dec 14, 2000
Iowa, USA
Real Name
What is your budget?
What size are you looking for?
Any preference for direct-view vs. rear projection?
16:9 widescreen or 4x3 standard?

It sounds like you are looking at 4:3 TVs. You should definitely look for one with an anamorphic squueze (16:9) mode for enhanced resolution for anamorphic DVDs and HDTV (iff applicable). I would recommend the 4:3 Sony XBR series if you still watch a decent amount of standard cable TV.

Michael Hurst

Stunt Coordinator
May 10, 2002
Ricky touches on a very good topic. How do you pick a TV? I know most stores have their TV set way wrong. What looks ok in one store may be horrible in another. The guy at Ultimate Electronics said that they set their tvs to factory default and lock up the remotes so people can't tweek them. Looked at a Sony 57" XBR2, it was the worst tv I had ever seen; green, no detail and grainy. Now Sony XBR may not be the best tv made? but it is certainly competitive. Talked to the sales person and he said, "ya it's ashame is't it, Sony just isn't what they used to be". I think the shameful part is the sales staff don't take the time to do even minor adjustments to their floor models. Is it to much to ask that someone stick Avia or something on and tweek the set for 15 min befor they put it on the floor. It seems going to stores and looking to see which set gives the best picture is not the way. Admittly, I am a HDTV newbie but I am lost as to which is the best for the money.

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