Round and Round w/ HDTV

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Tim Streagle, Oct 6, 2003.

  1. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife and I haven't had a TV in the house for over ten years. We do have a laptop and have found we love to watch DVD's on it. So we decided to jump into the HT thing and have completed the 5.1 audio set-up. We spent more on the audio than most probably, but we listen and read instead of TV. So here's the questions!

    1) Our HT room is 20x20 and very bright. Big french doors, big windows, big openings, lots of light. We don't like drapes or shades much. Front Proj. is out, right?

    2) We need to keep the cost down at or below 2k. LCoS and LCD are out I guess.

    3) What is the screen resolution to shoot for if all we want to do is watch DVD's? 480p, 720p, or 1080i?

    4) Are there specific brands that would be optimum for our situation (Strictly DVD's)?

    5) Are there features (such as DVI input) that are critical to maintain upgrade paths?

    6) We have noticed that at our watching distance of ten feet, we prefer displays of 48-55 inches, although it's hard to do this at Best Buy and Circuit City.

    I keep trying to get my mind around all of this jargon but it is taking a lot of time, esp. since I have nothing at home to experiment with. I can't wait to get a display so I can use the on-screen menus for my new receiver! I guess I will continue to read the forums until light bulbs begin to appear over my head. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Can you dim the lighting in your room at all?

    At any rate, DVDs possess 480 lines of vertical resolution and you therefore want to be able to watch them in 480p. You might be tempted, though, to buy a tuner to enjoy 1080i broadcasts. A DVI input is preferable but not essential at this point. And the "big-box" chain stores from which you intend to buy offer a number of excellent choices (i.e., Sony, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, JVC, Philips, etc., etc.).
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    What Jack wrote, plus I would add there is no real price advantage these days in not getting a RPTV of 1080i. The more so if you don’t plan on another TV for another 10 years, HD DVD will no doubt be well and truly available by then, so you might as well be ready.

    IMO, front projection is not a good choice in your room, unless you like the look of blackout curtains (not a bad choice for watching WWII movies [​IMG]).

    Plasma displays might work well for your purposes, but I think that most would be outside your budget (especially the ones with decent blacks)
     
  4. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    I have great ambient lighting designed into the room, all on dimmers. It is a vaulted/cathedral ceiling. SWMBO won't stand for any curtains or shades and we like to watch movies during the day on weekends.

    I have noticed some good prices on particular brands, ie. JVC and Panasonic. Does this suggest a particular weakness or just a marketing strategy?
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Tim,

    May I strongly suggest you purchase a cheap analog set for those daytime veiwings in your virtual solarium?

    If not, buy the absolute cheapest rptv you can find, because cranking up the brightness and contrast to compete with all that daylight is going to burn out the crts in short order so it's not worth spending a lot on a set you're going to have to abuse.

    This is not meant to be nasty or anything--lots of folks with rooms like yours who watch a lot of daytime tv use a separate inexpensive analog set for the daytime veiwing in order to save wear and tear on the serious HT set, reserving that for night time movies when ambient light can more easily be controlled.

    Most rptvs let you store different sets of picture adjustments for different sources or lighting conditions. Sony and Mitsubishi as well as Hitachi are the most user freindly in this regard. You could store a torch mode for daytime and a more reasonable settings array for night time, but if you do this I'd strongly suggest you limit the daytime use as much as possible to preserve the life of the set.
     
  6. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    We watch only one, maybe two movies a week. We wouldn't have the set on more than sixteen hours a month. Would this still be harmful, considering that only four or five hours a month would be during daylight? Are these units that prone to burning out if juiced up for a short time span, so as to combat the indirect, ambient sunlight? Again, I have nothing to compare this with. Remember, watching any other content other than movies on DVD is definitely out of the picture (pun intended).[​IMG]

    When I tell people I don't have a TV in the house I usually get a blank stare, followed by "I don't believe you!" At least now, after we purchase a rptv I won't have to feel like a societal reject!
     
  7. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    Just wick the light up in the daytime and adjust it back down at night. At that usage rate, you should be fine for at least a few years if not more.
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Tim,

    With only 4 or 5 hours a month of "torch mode" you should be ok. Just use a much lower contrast setting for nighttime viewing. I was picturing a lot more daytime use than that, prompting my little tirade.

    Even at 4 or 5 hours a month, do avoid leaving stationary images on the screen like dvd menus or video games on pause (though I do get the impression you're not really into video games that much.

    If you aren't already aware of them, I'd strongly recommend one of your first purchases be a copy of the Avia Guide to Home Theater or Video Essentials calibration dvds. These can guide you to adjusting the set for the best picture and longest life.[​IMG] [​IMG]

    I think once you get your system up and running, especially if you add an HD tuner box, you'll probably find yourself using the set more than you are now contemplating.

    Welcome, good luck, and have fun!!!
     

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