Question about RPTVs Vs. Direct View TVs(long)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin L K, Nov 3, 2001.

  1. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    I know this has been discussed before but I'm just looking for some help--in say 50 words or less--can someone please educate me on the advantages Vs. disadvantages of RPTVs to direct view TVs??
    In my VERY LIMITED experience it would seem to me that the only advantage RPTVs have to traditional TVs is the larger screen size--and I do realize that to a lot of people that IS the point--that a larger screen is EVERYTHING.
    Direct views seem to have a brighter,more vivid,more detailed picture with better contrast,better off-axis viewing and it doesn't have to be in a dark room to see a good picture.
    I'm not looking to be flamed here--I'm serious--can someone please tell me the advantages of an RPTV and for those of you who own them what is it about them that you like so much? Is it that it brings the Movie Theater experience to your own home,and just makes everything appear larger than life?
    I'm seriously considering purchasing one in the very near future but BB & CC are horrible places to check them out--they use a cable signal split like 50 ways and the picture always looks soft and unfocused,plus they are always in a dark part of the store to make the picture look brighter.How do they look in your average room with an average amount of daylight?
    If someone lives in the Jacksonville,FL.area and would be kind enough to let me experience their RPTV I would really appreciate it [​IMG]
    I hope I haven't offended any RPTV owners out there--I'm just looking for some good objective advice.Thanks everyone [​IMG]
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Kevin,
    As far as picture sharpness, black level, vivid color and contrast a good rptv can actually do at least as well as any direct-view set. It's extremely difficult to see this in the typical store display, with lousy split feeds, poor viewing angles, and maladjusted sets. In the early days of color tv, back in the early 60's, conventional wisdom was that color tv looked lousy in the store, but much better at home. This is no longer necessarily true for direct-view sets in stores set to mfg default torch modes, but still very much applies to rptvs.
    For Home Theater use, there's nothing like a large, anamorphic, progressive scan, 16/9 dvd image.
    The issues of off-axis brightness, and lack of suitability for bright sunlight filled rooms is inescapable, however. If one wall of your viewing room is glass with no drapes or curtains, and your seating forces some people to watch movies from an angle of more than about 45 degrees from straight on, a direct view would be a better choice. I can comfortably watch my rptv in a room that is by no means dimly lit, but all-out southern exposure glass-walled sunroom watching ain't gonna happen. As I type this I'm watching my rptv in a room lit brightly enough to comfortably read a newspaper, and the picture is not washed out in the least. What light is entering the room coming from the same direction as the tv wall, however, not a side or back wall, so the light is not shining on the screen.
    Please do not interpret this as criticism, or flaming, but the focus of most on this forum is tv performance in the Home Theater context, not watching afternoon or morning tv shows in a brightly lit room, in situations where one must get up and walk around a lot and thus be affected by an rptv's off-axis brightness. For this kind of viewing a good direct-view set is definitely superior. The people around here tend to evaluate tvs as movie display devices in as close to a movie theater environment as they can simulate in their homes, so they tend to downplay the disadvantages of an rptv for daytime veiwing of regular tv in brightly lit rooms. The 2 types of use for a television set are divergent enough that no one type of display can truly excell at both.
    If I could not control daytime light in my room, I'd get a cheap 20" direct view to watch the morning news, reserving the rptv for movies and such in the evening when the sun goes down.
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
    [Edited last by Steve Schaffer on November 03, 2001 at 05:27 PM]
     
  3. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Steve--thank you very much for your insight! You make some excellent points and actually gave me a whole new perspective-that of using it primarily for home theater use as opposed to just watching the morning news or run-of-the-mill TV shows-I guess I should have recognized that since this is a home theater site [​IMG]Your points are vey well taken and do clear things up quite a bit for me. I was wondering how a satellite feed would look on an RPTV because I use the Dish Network and even though I will be using it for DVDs I must admit we do watch quite a bit of regular TV on satellite-can anybody tell me how their Dish reception looks on their RPTV? Also Steve what you stated regarding not being to accurately evaluate picture quality in the showroom is exactly what I suspected which is why I would love to check out someone's RPTV in person where I can watch some DVDs on a properly claibrated set.Thanks again!
    [Edited last by Kevin L K on November 03, 2001 at 08:35 PM]
     
  4. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    I still contend that the primary reason for choosing direct view or RPTV or FPTV is picture size.
    Granted, you must make sacrifices or tradeoffs for a bigger picture. RPTV and FPTV require more and more frequent adjustments for convergence, etc. except for the more expensive LCD or DLP sets. RPTV and FPTV because of the greater screen size, magnify the technical limitations of the program material. RPTV and FPTV can, although some manufacturers don't, give better red color.
    For all types you need to be aware of possible incorrigible problems, I have seen both direct view and RPTV sets whose convergence could not be made precise enough for NTSC let alone HDTV.
    Other video hints: http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Kevin,
    Great post!
    There are limitations with any monitor and not just RPTV.
    We can look at the pro's and con's of all the diffrent
    types of monitor.
    RPTV
    Strength:Affordable large screen formats,many choices for
    screen size, screen type, tuner options, convinience.
    Weakness: large size, Large weight, daylight viewing
    FP
    Strength: The largest screen formats you can get, The only
    true theater experiance in the world, super image quality
    with high end gear.
    Weakness: Far too expensive, Daylight? Forget about it, very
    short lived bulb life so using them for "tv" is a no no, Bulbs
    cost a small fortune to replace.
    Plasma
    Stength: As bright as direct view, totaly flat, super thin,
    wall mountable, viewable from all angles, displays HDTV better
    than practicly anything else.
    Weakness: Want 60" ? That'll be $28,000.00
    Direct View TV
    Strength: Common, Affordable, Wide Andle viewing, Choice of
    sizes and tube styles,Tubes last decades in most cases.
    Weakness: No matter how big you go, they are still not big
    enough.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    That being said I choose RPTV because it best suited my goals
    both monitarily and feature wise. I went with an RCA 4:3 61"
    that has one of the widest viewing angles that I have ever
    seen. Infact unlike most RPTV's I can watch this set from
    any angle side to side. It is more sensitive top to bottom,
    side to side wash out or hot spotting does not exist on this
    set.
    If you want to watch TV in a all glass room like a sun porch
    then RPTV is not the choice. If you are goint to use RPTV you
    have to be prepared to set up an apropriate room. For example
    I do use my TV to watch TV all the time, and it brings me much
    pleasure from doing so. But I also know that I must have proper
    room lighting. This is why if I want to read a paper I can
    always turn on a lamp.
    I couldn't live with a Direct View set after living with a
    monster 61" a 40" or 43" would be far too small. So I can
    live with the concessions I have to make to use an RPTV.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
    Brett DiMichele
    My Home Theater Site!
    [email protected]
     
  6. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Kevin,
    I have had DirecTV connected to both an analog 53" 4:3 set and an HD ready 16:9 set with good results. As Allan pointed out, any defects in the picture are magnified by the larger screen size. The line doublers in HD ready sets can make a mediocre signal look worse than it would on an analog set, aggravating the problem. Using the stretch modes on most 16:9 sets adds yet another layer of processing which can make a poor signal look worse.
    So as one progresses from 4/3 analog direct-view to 16/9 HD-ready rptv, the picture quality for mediocre cable and the more compressed satellite channels gets worse, while the quality of dvd and
    of course HD pictures gets better.
    If the analog signal is very good, the HD-ready sets can look better than the analog ones.
    HD-ready sets also vary widely in their ability to produce a good picture from ntsc sources. Toshibas are generally thought to be good in this respect, and in my experience the new H series sonys (mine is an HW40 widescreen model) are also quite good. The Hitachi 53UWX10B I had for a couple of weeks was not as good as the Sony with ntsc, and although I have not had a mitsubishi in my home, they are not known for having the best line doublers/stretch modes.
    A lot depends on what kind of programming you give highest priority to. For sports, most programming is still analog 4/3, so best picture quality is gonna be from a 4/3 analog, or if the signal is good, 4/3 HD-ready set.
    Of the 4 rptvs I've had, poor convergence was an issue with only one, a 98 model Sony Vseries analog that I returned after 2 weeks.
    With the Hitachi analog, Hitachi HD, and my present Sony, convergence was fine right out of the box--maybe I've just been lucky.
    I agree with Brett--once you've experienced dvd on a good rptv under the right viewing conditions, a direct-view is never gonna be big enough. Having said that, I'm still quite happy watching regular network tv like ER and The Practice on the 15 year old Trinitron in the bedroom.
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
     

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