Projection vs CRT

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John CW, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. John CW

    John CW Supporting Actor

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    I am looking to buy a new TV in the sub-$2000 price range, and while I want a large HDTV widescreen set I'm not sure I want a Projection TV as they only seem to have an excellent picture from a very small viewing angle.

    Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of Projection versus the more "traditional" CRT, especially in terms of price/quality. Thanks!

    I think I'd much rather get a CRT TV, but I think I may be missing something!

    Thanks for any information (or links!)!

    ~ Johnny
     
  2. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Johnny,

    Some of the standard arguments/points:

    Direct View CRT:
    + bright image (don't need ambient light control)
    + viewable from most any angle
    - heavy
    - max size is 40"

    RPTV: (rear projection tv)
    + larger size (40"-60+")
    + can be lighter weight than CRT
    + some models not nearly as deep as CRT (new DLP models)
    - more narrow viewing angle
    - having controlled lighting helps (image not as bright)

    FPTV: (front project tv)
    + enormous image size (80"-110+")
    + typically the unit is lightweight (unless a CRT FPTV)
    - need controlled lighting
    - bulbs burn out and are expensive to replace
    - not as practical for casual cable/sat 4x3 viewing

    Remember, though, that it takes a good-sized image to really put the "theater" in "Home Theater".
     
  3. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    You may want to check out the latest Consumer Reports. There is a comparison of Direct View and Projection Sets. In summary, they say if image size is of primary importance than go with Projection sets. If image quality is primary than go with Direct View.

    I was swaying with my decision and this article pushed me over the edge to buy a Direct View 34" widescreen. The biggest problem I found with Projection sets was reflections off of the screen protectors.
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    You can always remove the screen protector, if you don't really need it.

    Anyway, PQ difference is debatable apart from the apparent issues of brightness and viewing angle. It depends a lot on what exactly you're looking for in PQ. Does the RPTV really look inferior to the direct-view from proportionally greater distance?

    For example, does the 34" direct-view from 6ft away really look superior to the 50" RPTV from 9ft away? If you're comparing both from the same distance, then you're making the wrong comparison for general argument's sake.

    And don't forget the cost factor since the larger direct-views give you less bang-for-the-buck for image size.

    For actual decision-making, one should try to weigh between one's own criteria for image size and apparent PQ. That will be true even if a 50" direct-view is available and you're choosing between that and a 34".

    Oh, one other thing. Seems that none of the affordable direct-views will give you nearly as much resolution as RPTVs for HD content. So that's something to consider in your PQ comparison.

    _Man_
     
  5. John CW

    John CW Supporting Actor

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    I didn't know that (about better PQ with a projection TV and HD content) - wow! What about 'burn-in' with a RP TV? Is that a concern for owners?

    Also, where can I read the consumer reports? Thanks!

    ~ Johnny
     
  6. Dan_R_M

    Dan_R_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I am in the same situation...if I could sway my girlfriend away from CRT's....more input is appreciated.
     
  7. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    "Oh, one other thing. Seems that none of the affordable direct-views will give you nearly as much resolution as RPTVs for HD content. So that's something to consider in your PQ comparison"

    I was just wondering if someone (or Man himself) could elaborate on the above statement regarding "resolution". This term seems to be used to mean many different things... total # of lines, total # of points/dots, # of lines per inch, or # of points/dots per inch, etc. depending on what is being discussed. Seems to me the only way to properly compare is when using a "per unit length" or "per unit area" measurement, otherwise the much bigger screen is almost always going to have more "total" lines or points of resolution.

    I'm a newbie, so I am just trying to get educated.
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Well, most of the current CRT-based RPTVs will give you ~1200 lines of absolute resolution for 1080i content--the Pioneer's might even be ~1400. From what I'm hearing, direct-views don't do more than maybe 800 lines tops, except maybe the very best ones like Loewe. That's 50% more absolute horizontal resolution in most cases. Michael_TLV recently suggested 750 for a relatively recent Sony XBR model--try a search for "750 Sony 1080 resolution". That actually only exceeds full DVD horizontal resolution by a small amount.

    How exactly you want to factor that into the apparent PQ is up to you, but it definitely deserves consideration. And of course, this only matters for HD content.

    I brought it up largely because people tend to think the PQ on direct-view is better than RPTV at a given viewing distance. Well, for content that doesn't use the extra resolution of the RPTV, sure, the direct-view will look sharper or more "clear" at a given distance--nevermind that the RPTV picture will be proportionally bigger. But this apparent PQ difference won't translate to HD viewing.

    If PQ is your god and size doesn't matter, then one should go get the largest computer monitor possible and just sit closer. [​IMG]

    _Man_
     
  9. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    Man,

    I understand fully what you are saying about viewing distance needing to be an important consideration, and I wish the Consumer Reports article I read would have addressed this as well. But I am glad you brought it up here. However, I am still confused about this resolution issue. What is the defining factor for a TV to be considered HD ready ? I think I had read that to truly be capable of 1080i, a TV had to have 1080 lines of vertical resolution. If this is true, how can all these direct view TV's be advertised as 1080i capable ???

    I still have a hard time with resolution being defined as total lines rather than something like lines per inch. If you were sitting close to a full size movie theater screen with only 1080 lines of vertical resolution, I don't think this would be good resolution and the lines would be very obvious. So essentially a screen (of similar format, say 16:9) that is twice as wide should have twice as many vertical lines to have a similar picture quality from the same viewing distance. Am I way off base here or on the right track ?
     
  10. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    I hope my experience can help.

    On my 65" mitsubishi rear projection TV the resolution and detail is stunning. Almost 3d like.

    On my 36" sony XBR direct view HDTV there is an obvious loss of detail (very apparent on HD).

    I've calibrated and tweaked each set to the best of my ability and I cannot say the following strong enough...

    "the 2000 bucks I spent on the 36" tube was the biggest mistake of my life. I could have bought a 51" RPTV with a superior picture."
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Sean,

    Yes, you're right about 2x the lines needed for 2x as wide for the same PQ in a given area of focus, if all else are equal. But when the picture is 2x as wide, you won't be focusing on the same size area, so the overall experience is probably much better.

    Yes, the HD direct-views are 1080i vertically like the RPTVs. I was refering to the horizontal resolution being different. So we're talking something like 1200x1080 vs 800x1080 in a 16x9 image.

    I suspect that means you can get an RPTV that's roughly 50% wider than the direct-view for the same viewing distance for HD content. The 1080 vertical probably doesn't matter unless you're sitting incredibly close to begin w/. That's not the resolution bottleneck. Of course, there will still be the subjective quality differences as well as other already mentioned differences.

    I guess it's difficult at best to compare on paper w/ theater projection, especially w/ film. But it's interesting to note that the current digital projection technology used in theaters only has 1280x1080 pixel resolution. Might be worthwhile comparing w/ DLP-based RPTVs (or front projectors) although color fidelity is probably clearly better w/ the 3-DLP theater projection.

    _Man_
     
  12. John CW

    John CW Supporting Actor

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    Could someone give me a link to the consumer reports article? Thanks. (This is all very interesting! [​IMG])

    ~ Johnny
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I haven't touched Consumer Reports for this kind of stuff in ages, but from all reports, CR is pretty useless for anything beyond the durability and reliability of products.

    Also, last I checked, you have to be a subscriber to get any info from their website.

    Go here and follow the links of interest, if you're a subsciber:

    http://www.consumerreports.org/main/...older_id=29647

    _Man_
     
  14. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    John,

    I believe that to pull up the CR report at the website you may need to cough up some money, just FYI.

    Also, read their electronics reviews with a grain of salt. They aren't looking at sets from the perspective of most of the folks on these forums--but rather Joe-Schmoe consumer who's probably going to leave the set unadjusted, cares more for convenience than quality, etc. There's been some discussion here on HTF (and some of the other sites) about an article they recently did on a DVD players--and the most well regarded players on these boards wound up towards the bottom of CR's list. [​IMG]

    ----------------

    Man, you must have replied while I was typing. Guess I wound up basically duplicating your post.
     
  15. John CW

    John CW Supporting Actor

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    Hmmmm... Thanks! Can I just ask one last question: Is "burn-in" a SERIOUS issue with RPTV's? (Like with other projection units?) I've heard that you can't watch MTV etc unless you increase the overscan so the logo isn't visible anymore. This true for any of you RPTV owners?

    Thanks for all the information!

    Now my wife is talking about a plasma screen. So we'll have to weigh up the pros and cons of that too! [​IMG]

    ~ Johnny
     

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