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RPTV Purchase Decision - Your feedback will be appreciated

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ken_Falk, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. Ken_Falk

    Ken_Falk Auditioning

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    Well, I hit enter a little too early on my first post. So...we'll try this again.

    I need some advise regarding the purchase of a large screen RPTV for our home theater system. The home theater is located in a finished basement. The current set-up features a 27" Sony Trinitron that will soon be re-located to the family room. As we have center beam dividing the room, the rough dimensions of area that we use for the Home Theater set-up is roughly 20' x 10'. Current viewing distance is about 8' from the Sony. We have flexibility to push the seating back to the full 20 feet if needed.

    Moving from a 27 inch set almost anything we buy will look huge. My wife really likes the look of the 64 - 65 inch sets that we have seen. I am not sure whether this would whether we would be better off with a 57 inch. Is there a general rule of thumb in terms of screen size and viewing distance?

    Out of the models that we have seen(65 inch), the Toshiba 65HDX82 and Hitachi 65TWX20B are under strong consideration. I can get what appears to be a great price for the Toshiba ($2853). The Hitachi is running considerably more ($3500). Am I comparing apples to apples in terms of models from each manufacturer or is there a more direct comparisson?

    It has been difficult for me to distinguish in terms of quality as the only sets I have seen are running HDTV signals, DVD or Digital signal via Satellite. My only observation is that the Toshiba stretch modes appeare to be a bit better (less abnormal looking) that the Hitachi.

    Again, feedback, advise and opinions from forum members with much more knowledge and experience than I will be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  2. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I think you'd be very happy with the Toshiba. Yes, their stretch modes are excellent, and they do a better-than-average job with mediocre signals...though, with a 65" set, you'll notice every flaw.
    With that much room at your disposal, in a finished basement, I'd sure be looking at front projectors. You'd want to reserve a front projector's use to movies and supplement it with a "normal" TV for cable/satellite, but you'd get that immersive movie experience that is the Holy Grail of HTF. [​IMG]
    Jan
     
  3. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    I think the Pioneer 64" 643HD5 at $2599 at Costco is the best deal out there. Check it out! It uses many of the same components as the Elite TV's, which I'm sure you have seen and/or heard about.

    BTW, this set has an MSRP of $5499.

    Aaron
     
  4. Chet Hayes

    Chet Hayes Agent

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    "It has been difficult for me to distinguish in terms of quality as the only sets I have seen are running HDTV signals, DVD or Digital signal via Satellite."

    That part of your statement puzzles me. What do you expect to use for a signal source? What do you watch? How much programming can you get in HD?

    That's where I'd start. If you can get HD and/or you watch enough DVDs, then a larger screen RPTV makes more sense.

    If what you receive/watch is concentrated on std cable for example, then you may not want to blow that signal up very large.
     
  5. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Pioneer. The pioneers have the best line doublers and stretch modes. As Aaron stated above, The SD series Pioneers share the same line doubler as the x10 series Elites, the Pure Cinema I, and the same stretch modes. Also the Pioneer does not upconvert native 480p, whereas the toshiba does, and I believe the Hitachi's do also. As Aaron stated, Costco offers a great deal of the 643 Pioneer. If you are only going to be watching DVD or HD,all three sets will do a great job. If you are going to use any VHS, LD, or regular TV watching, go with the Pioneers due to their better stretch modes and line doublers.
     
  6. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    I don't know that I'd say that the Pioneer line doublers and stretch modes are better than Toshiba. Chances are, whichever brand you went with, you'd be delighted.

    Jan
     
  7. Ken_Falk

    Ken_Falk Auditioning

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    Chet, in response to your comment, our viewing habits are ~40% TV, 40% DVD, 20% Gaming. I am up in the air at the moment regarding TW Digital Cable or Satellite. If I decide to go with TW, I believe most of their channels (in Rochester) are analog with channels above 100 being digital. TW offers only 2 HDTV channels at the moment and I am uneducated with respect to HDTV availabilty and broadcasting via sat. systems. My point was that the showrooms are set-up to show the very best picture versus what I might have to deal with at home. No store in my local area shows a standard analog broadcast that I can assess for view-ability.

    Aaron and Greg, I would love to view the Pioneer SD or HD series but I cannot find them in the Rochester, NY area (no Costco). I have seen the Elite's at a high end home theater store but they are outside of my price range.

    Jan, I inquired about front projector from another high-end shop where I purchased HT gear previously and they steered me away from giving front projection serious consideration. Are most Front Projectors ceiling mounted? If so, this might be a problem as we have an 11 course basement with a drop ceiling. To complicate matters further, the heating duct work run the lenghth of the drop ceiling in the portion of the basement that we use for our home theater. So the ceiling in this area is actually 6 inches lower than the rest of the basement.

    I do appreaciate your continued feedback.

    Thanks,

    Ken
     
  8. Chet Hayes

    Chet Hayes Agent

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    Sounds like you watch enough DVDs, plus if you already have a couple channels on cable, it makes widescreen HDTV worthwhile.

    The problem you are left with, is that like the rest of us, you still watch a lot of regular channels. And how good that looks on any given large screen depends a lot on how good the signal is to begin with. I would think you would want to stay in the 47-55" range as the best tradeoff.
     
  9. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Well, I've had a Toshiba and a Pioneer, and the Pioneer has much better stretch modes. With the Toshiba, I watched 4:3 broadcast 95% TW2 (cropped, no distortion), 5% TW3 cropped with slight distortion), and never used TW1 (slightly cropped with uneven distortion). TW1 gave me a headache. With the Pioneer, I use the stretch modes much more regularly. I've never seen the Hitachi stretch mode, but from the way it's described, it must be really bad.
    That Pioneer is a seriously sweet deal. I have the 53 inch model, and it's been one of the best HT purchases I've ever made. I've ordered 90% of my HT equipment through the net without incident, so I had no qualms about buying it through Onecall (the 53" model is still available). The quality and value of the Pioneer was definitely worth the "risk".
     
  10. Ken_Falk

    Ken_Falk Auditioning

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    Thanks to all for your comments and feedback. My wife and I decided on the Toshiba 65HDX82 ($2853). It will be delivered late Saturday. I'll keep you all posted on our satisfaction level.

    Thanks,

    Ken
     

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