Noob question...not sure if I want widescreen or not

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan_R_M, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. Dan_R_M

    Dan_R_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I know I want CRT TV. Looking at sony 36" HS TV or the 34" XBR widescreen TV. I am so confused as to if i should by a widescreen TV or not. I watch more regular TV than dvds...however does that warrant a 4:3 TV or should I look to the future and get the 16:9?
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Looking toward the future is always best. The 34-inch Sony widescreen will serve you well when viewing standard 4:3 material.
     
  3. Dan_J_H.

    Dan_J_H. Stunt Coordinator

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    Dan,
    I have the Sony KV-34XBR800 16:9 set. 4:3 tv's are ancient history for me. My Sony set was the most satisfying electronics purchase I've ever made. I always use the stretch mode when viewing 4:3 tv shows, the picture still looks great. And for DVD's [​IMG] WOW!! With a progressive scan dvd player, you will be VERY impressed!
    Happy Holidays!
    Dan
     
  4. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    TV is going widescreen, so the question is: Do you want to find less material that "fits your screen" in years to come, or more? If you want the screen that keeps on giving, go wide.

    Look at your most critical viewing. If it's recent movies, most of which are widescreen, then widescreen is important to you.

    If, on the other hand, your most critical viewing comes in the form of old cartoons, Star Trek episodes or old movies, you'll be happier with a 4:3 set.

    Figure out where you want to make the compromise, since no single aspect ratio is better for everyone.

    Jan
     
  5. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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  6. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

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    >>> 99% of TV's shows on the air today are 4:3. That includes NEW cartoons, NEW Star Trek series, sports, news, weather, TV sitcoms, TV dramas, and on and on....
     
  7. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Damn Bruce. I wish I lived in chicago.[​IMG] I would recommend getting a widescreen tv. 4x3 tv's are cool 36 and under, but when you pass that, everybody on the screen look so skinny to me, even before I bought my 65"widescreen( [​IMG] ) they looked funny to me at the store. Strech mode doesnt look bad at all to me. Looks just fine, I cant even notice a difference when I watch somethin thats 4x3 on my widesrceen set versus watchin the same thing on my 36" 4x3 set.
    Like the ponitac commercials say, wider is better [​IMG]
     
  8. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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  9. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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  10. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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  11. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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  12. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    One more vote for the "critical viewing" camp. I own a Tosh 56H80 widescreen. I use it for DVD and cable only until HD cable comes into my area. I watch alot of cable news and sports. I stretch these because I could care less what the presention is, I just want to see the action and know the score and I don't care if Bill O'Reilly's head is a little fatter than normal. My DVD's are another story. OAR always, lighting adjusted to optimum, no dishwasher running, phone ringer off etc. I want the best presentation for my DVD's (even if I only watch 1 a week) ergo I purchased a display that optimizes DVD's. IMHO, I find it strange that one would forgo the benefits of an optimized widescreen DVD presentaion so that low quality 4:3 cable broadcasts are larger, thus showing more defects than usual. Especially when the future is widescreen. A year or two ago, I could understand the price difference argument, but the widescreen premium is not that much now. YMMV!
     
  13. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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  14. Michael St. Clair

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    I'm a happy 4:3 HD set owner (53" in 4:3 mode, 48.6" in true 16:9 HD mode). I'll take my ISF-tweaked set over anything smaller, no matter what the screen ratio. [​IMG]
    I watch non-HD sports (Cincinnati Reds, and auto racing, none of which are broadcast in 16:9).
    I watch tons of letterboxed laserdiscs. Tons of old Warner Bros cartoons. Anime TV shows. I play video games, very few of which are in widescreen.
    I watch a lot of classic TV shows on DVD. Star Trek, The Prisoner, Twilight Zone, and so on.
    IMAX movies.
    All of these look better on 4:3 sets, to me.
    I also buy TVs with the expectation that I will upgrade in around 4 years. If I bought my TV for 10+ years of use I might have bought differently.
    I suspect about 80% of HTF members are better off with a 16:9 set, and about 20% are better off with a 4:3 set if the set has a true 16:9 squeeze mode.
    Don't trust anybody who says there is only one ratio of set that is right for everybody. Even some film fans are better off with 4:3 sets, depending on their own tastes and desires.
    ps Count me among those whose current TV habits rarely intersect with widescreen broadcasts. Primetime network television is where 99% of widescreen material is broadcast, and I find most of primetime network television to be the worst television on the dial.
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I did just recently bought a 4:3 56" HDTV, and it was due to my viewing habits and the amount of time I watch both formats (4:3 vs film aspect ratios). I get the equivalent viewing area of a 51" 16x9 RPTV, so I'm not too hurting when I do watch DVDs (or later on, HDTV material).

    So, to add on to what Michael stated above, buy the TV form factor/size that will benefit your viewing habits and make you happy.
     
  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yes, don't jump on the widescreen bandwagon just because most HT folks do. There are many factors involved although viewing habit is probably the primary. Critical viewing, as Jan pointed out, does matter, but depending on how you look at it, you should probably do a weighted analysis.

    Widescreen proponents often say the crappy-quality regular TV don't matter even if it makes the large majority of their viewing. It's garbage in, garbage out. BUT it seems to me that IF you're gonna waste a lot of time watching garbage, then why make the garbage look worse than it already does??? IF I'm gonna spend $40-50/month (or much more!) AND waste most of my TV-viewing time on crappy-quality cable/sat, I for one want it to look as good as it can.

    Also, not all DVDs look better on a widescreen TV--not by a long shot. There are plenty of non-16x9 DVDs that probably look better on a 4x3 TV because they won't need the extra video processing to fill the width of the TV. Yeah, the widescreen form factor does give a better subjective feel since larger scope content like 2.35:1 action films will really be bigger/wider than 4x3 content, but objectively, existing non-16x9 DVDs like Titanic, True Lies and Hunt for Red October will look better on a 4x3 set. And LDs should, of course, also look better on a 4x3 set, if that matters to you. Basically, only 16x9 source content will look better, if at all, on a widescreen TV.

    Also, something nobody seems to consider in this debate is the burn in issue. IF you cannot stand watching your 4x3 content stretched to fill the screen and still watch lots of 4x3 content, burn in is gonna be a big factor. The wave of the future is widescreen, yes, but ironically, a widescreen TV will likely exhibit the problem in the worst places when you combine that future w/ such current viewing habits. If you went 4x3, at least the burn in you might get won't likely affect the widescreen viewing area.

    FYI, I went through the whole debate myself recently when I bought a new TV. For a long time, I thought I would get a 4x3 set for various reasons, including those mentioned already, but I finally ended up w/ a widescreen. Why? We really don't watch much 4x3 content anymore, and I decided most of our limited 4x3 viewing could just stay w/ the old 32" 4x3 TV. Also, the whole reason for the new TV was really widescreen DVD (and eventually HDTV). For non-16x9 DVDs (and I have many), I decided I could live w/ the lower objective quality, especially if I can get the right DVD player to minimize the quality loss. FWIW, I think I do need to replace some of them (plus some LDs) w/ 16x9 versions, if at all possible. Finally, price was no longer a factor since I was able to buy the Panny 53" at the same price point as the most 50" 4x3 sets.

    So for me, a widescreen TV made good sense. Now, if we still were watching a lot of 4x3 content AND no longer had the old 32", then I would've stuck w/ a Toshiba 50" 4x3 instead.

    _Man_
     
  17. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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  18. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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  19. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    When I had a SD WS set, it was a problem because the scanlines were so big it could be distracting.

    Most HD sets today have line doublers that correct that problem. Like I said, Titanic, in zoom mode, has a picture quality comparable to anamorphically enhanced DVD's on my set. Also, many sets have 3:2 pulldown not to mention progressive players coming in at under $200 to correct the aliasing.

    If anything, downconverting 4:3 to 16:9 makes enhanced DVD's (which are now in the clear majority) look worse unless you have a squeeze function.
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    It is probably worth mentioning that in addition to the current amount of primetime HD telecasts, ABC/ESPN has announced a substantial amount of upcoming sports telecasts in HD, including the Stanley Cup. CBS just announced that their NFL playoffs will be in HD and last year’s U.S. Open (tennis) was in HD.

    But this is only of importance, if sports telecasts meet your definition of ‘critical’ viewing.
     

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