RPTV Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vic_P, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. Vic_P

    Vic_P Agent

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    Oh man! Where do I start!?
    Ok, here goes...
    I am trying to build a budget media room and I have some questions. The room is 12X17 and I'm estimating my eyeball to screen distance to be just around 8 ft. We have standard cable. We could opt for digital, but until this point have had no need to. I have a Toshiba SD-3750 DVD player (we can cover the audio stuff another time [​IMG] ).
    I have been reading this forum for a few days getting ideas, but still need some advice. I would like to get a 16:9 RPTV that is HDTV ready. I have been looking at the 42-43 inch range. My price range is under $2K.
    We watch primarily TV, but I would also like to get an X-box. My guess of our viewing habits is that we are 75% TV, 10% game system, 15% DVD. We have never had a HT system, so our movie watching may increase.
    Based on this info, what is your advice. I know there is no silver bullet and that at the end of the day it's personal preference, but what do you guys think?
    Should we go 4:3 or 16:9?
    What is the optimum screen size?
    What are some "key features" I should look for?
    DirectView vs. RPTV
    Thanks in advance!
    Vic
     
  2. Vic_P

    Vic_P Agent

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    Bump-Bump-Bump...Now everybody dance!
     
  3. Vic_P

    Vic_P Agent

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    Do I have cooties or something? I have posted TWO threads on this website in the past month and no one has replied to either one of them. What gives?
     
  4. Rick J

    Rick J Stunt Coordinator

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    vic
    just thought i'd give you one suggestion to begin with. i'm short on time right now but check out this link. you'll have to register (free), but i think it'll give you a starting point to alot of your questions. once you get there you can do a topic search. i would also suggest looking under the "files" and "links" for other helpful info. good luck for now and come back with more questions. take care, rick
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sonyhs10/
     
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Vic,
    I guess everyone's busy during this holiday shopping season [​IMG] and sometimes posts get overlooked...
    Anyhoo, do you know for sure you want a circa 42" set and not something bigger? How did you decide this? Same thing w/ 16x9 instead of 4x3. You said you would like a 16x9 at circa 42" for
     
  6. Vic_P

    Vic_P Agent

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    ALLRIGHT! Now this is why I love this site!
    RickJ: I'll be sure to check out that site.
    _Man_: We currently have a 32" Sony Trinitron. It's a great TV. We are very happy with it. It's 5 years old and has never (knock on wood) given us any trouble. The reason for the new TV is because we are adding a TV to a new space in the house. We want the new location to be a more casual place to hangout and spend our time. We will leave the 32" in it's current location, but want to make that room a bit more formal and only used in an 'overflow' situation when we have parties etc.
    The new room will be were we all hang out, the old room will be the room we try to keep clean for company etc. [​IMG]
    We have never had a widescreen TV and I am intruiged to get one and experience it. I have spent hours in the major stores checking them out and have narrowed it down to the Toshiba, Mits or Hitachi, although I think the Toshiba is my favorite. I like it's stretch modes. The Mits is a close 2nd.
    We watch mostly TV (primetime shows and sports - GO BUCKEYES!) but that may change when we have a more dedicated movie room. My plans for the new room are to get new audio and video components and create a true home theater. The TV is the starting point and is the technology I know least about. I'm more of a stereo geek.
    My fear about the RPTV is really just burn-in. Some folks say it's no biggie, others say it's bad. I don't think I can afford a widescreen directview, so I will either get a HD ready directview or a widescreen RPTV.
    _Man_: What are your experiences with burn-in? Have you had any trouble with viewing angles? Does the 53 seem too big, just right or too small at 8"? I'm not set on 43", but my wife doesn't want a HUGE set. We want the best view at 8".
    What are your thoughts????
     
  7. Rick J

    Rick J Stunt Coordinator

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    vic, back with a few more thoughts...
    i agree with man on most of what he's saying. it really boils down to a few things.
    1) what are viewing habits going to be?
    2) can you live with the grey bars on your screen?
    3) what's your budget?
    4) what's your personal preferences?
    i did a ton of thinking, reading, researching, asking questions/thoughts, and looking before i made my decision. i finally opted for the sony 53hs30(4x3). i decided that since i'm going to be connecting standard cable to it, playing some ps2 on it, and watching movies that would be the best fit for me. imo it's going to be awhile before hdtv is widely enough available to warrant a 16x9 tv.
    yes, widescreen is the future, but because ota hd viewing is still fairly limited (at least in my area)and most of my viewing habits will still be 4x3, that's what i went with. your viewing habits will change. trust me, once you start watching movies on a big screen in the comfort of your own home, 4x3 or 16x9, they'll change. for me, i enjoy watching movies in the fullscreen setting - just a personal preference. so based on my habits that's what i chose because i hate watching tv with the grey bars on the screen.
    also based on your viewing habits, you have a very valid point about screen burn in. basically, regardless of which aspect you get, you'll probably be watching a mix of regular and widescreen shows. a couple keys to reducing the likelihood of that occuring.
    1) they main concept on rptv's is to fill up the entire screen with moving material. the problems occur when someone does alot of viewing with the grey bars. other things are constant static images like those wonderful tv logos that every channel seems to putting in the bottom corner of the screen or news channels that run the constant news ticker at the bottom of the screen.
    2) it's also important to go into the user settings of the tv and reduce all picture settings to ~50% and sharpness to ~25%. then when you have the time and money go purchase the avia or video essentials dvd and calibrate the video settings.
    3) if you're interested more about burnin or reducing it, there's a great link below!
    good luck and hope i helped...rick
    http://www.keohi.com/keohihdtv/learnabout/burnin.html
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yes, I thought almost exactly the same as Rick for a long time before I rethunk [​IMG] our viewing habits AND factored in that we still have our 5-year-old 32" standard Toshiba (and a trusty old 20" Panny [​IMG]) for casual regular TV viewing.
    Like Rick mentioned, your viewing habits will change once you catch the home theater bug. For us, even w/ the old 32", we've gradually shifted to >50% DVD viewing(!) over the 4 years since we got into DVD--a little extreme maybe. [​IMG] We don't do cable or sat, so OTA broacasts and our kids' videos are all we watch for regular stuff, and the OTA viewing has shrunk to almost zero this past year due to problems receiving a watchable signal since the 9/11 disaster. I do plan to get an OTA-only HD receiver in the near future when all the OTA HD signals are finally restored in the NYC area.
    FWIW, I've been following the HD RPTV scene on and off for maybe 2 years now and finally got pushed over the edge by the new Lord of the Rings DVD. IMHO, that movie screams big widescreen more than any other DVD I've seen--and it sounds like The Two Towers will do the same. And ever since I decided to buy now, I have found LotR unwatchable on the 32".
    Given what you're saying, if you really want to stick to
     
  9. Vic_P

    Vic_P Agent

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    OK, I have a question...

    As I read more and more on this forum, I see that folks still have to 'adjust' their screens for varying types of movie formats. It sounds to me that the widescreen guys have to adjust to fit most movies. So, why buy a widescreen if most of the content doesn't fit that screen INCLUDING DVD's?

    I thought (maybe I'm too new to this stuff) that any widescreen movie would fill up a widescreen TV screen, but after much reading I see that there are a lot of different formats.

    If I'm gonna have to adjust my screen for DVD's AND TV with a widescreen, why not just get a 4:3 and just adjust for DVD's if needed?

    Any thoughts?
     
  10. ChuckDeLa

    ChuckDeLa Cinematographer

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  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    The Toshiba 50H72 (a 4:3 HDTV) is on sale at Best Buy for $1499. Do what _Man_ did, and get the free recliner/ottoman with the purchase of a big screen TV at Best Buy - this week only. That's another option for people who do watch 4:3 material at a 4 to 1 ratio over DVDs. [​IMG] If you're not sure of a 16x9 with your current 4:3 material consumption, the 4:3 HDTV will tie you over until the TV programming landscape is basically totally 16x9, and those sets will be less expensive than today's 16x9.
     
  12. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Ha ha!
    Yes. There are plenty of widescreen movies that are too wide (or too short depending on your perspective) to fill the screen of a 16x9 set although the trend is to go wide, not 4x3. That's partly why I think people shouldn't buy into the widescreen thing too quickly.
    Basically, no matter what TV you choose, you will inevitably be faced w/ this issue although if you must you can just zoom any image to fill the screen, but that will cost you some image quality besides cropping parts of the picture.
    For the most part, you'll probably only be concerned about movies that have an aspect ratio (width-to-height) of 2.35:1, which will show modest black bars above and below, on a 16x9 set. On a 4x3 set, they would show big black bars take can eat up 40-45% of the screen. The kicker is that nearly all epic and/or action movies w/ great visuals use this ratio (or something close). Don't watch Ben-Hur, if you can't stand that. [​IMG]
    You're also gonna run into roughly 4x3 shaped movies, if they were made before the mid-50's when widescreen replaced the 4x3 shape. Nope, Gone w/ the Wind and Wizard of Oz are not supposed to be widescreen. [​IMG]
    My advice is to simply watch your movies in low lighting and forget about whether your TV is 4x3 or 16x9 shaped.
    When you're shopping, weigh your expected viewing habits to see if that affects your choice, etc. etc. And there are other factors that will limit your choices.
    _Man_
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Oh, one thing going for 16x9 sets in all this OAR--original aspect ratio--thing is that you'll probably find switching between the various ratios to be less disconcerting than on a 4x3 set. You probably won't feel as much like you're losing out on image size on a 16x9 set once you get used to it. With a 4x3 set, I'm always painfully aware that 2.35:1 movies are very small looking unless I sit closer for them.
    And I have not found the "courage" to watch Ben-Hur on my 32". [​IMG]
    _Man_
     
  14. ChuckDeLa

    ChuckDeLa Cinematographer

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    Man-Fai: I understand all that... but it sounds like people are constantly adjusting the settings on their TVs depending on what type of movie they're watching (anamorphic, letterboxed, academy ratio, etc). What is going on with that? How much re-calibration needs to be done every time I pop in a new disc?
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I didn't realize people did so much fiddling with their TVs depending on what they watch. If ISF-calibrated, they should really do too much fiddling. Getting at least calibrated with Avia/Video Essentials should be all you need for fiddling until you decide to get ISF-calibrated in the future.

    If you fiddle, you need to make a note of the baseline (calibrated) settings so you can return to them later.
     
  16. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    About WS vs. 4:3:
    As I've said many times before (I should create a macro for it!) I don't feel it's how much you watch of a particular type of program or signal source (cable/satellite, DVD, old movies, new movies, etc.) so much as it is what is most important to you. We have a member on this board who cares most about classic Star Trek episodes, which are 4:3, so he prefers a 4:3 set. I care most about more recent movies, so I prefer a 16:9 set, even though most of my viewing is standard satellite (4:3).
    If you go with a 4:3 set, widescreen movies will be smaller in comparison to 4:3 material, such as most broadcast (non-high-def) programming. In order to fill out the width of a widescreen movie, you sacrifice height; hence, black bars at top and bottom.
    If you go with a 16:9 set, standard broadcast and VHS tapes and so-called "fullscreen" DVDs will be smaller than a widescreen DVD, with black bars on the sides. Or, you can stretch casual viewing to fill the 16:9 set, with some sacrifice in picture quality, especially OAR.
    There is no way around this conundrum. Different sources have different shapes, and some will fit 4:3 better, some will fit 16:9 better.
    About fiddling: You don't have to recalibrate the set for each DVD. The same settings are used for all of the various sizes and shapes with one exception, noted below (the squeeze trick).
    People who are on the leading edge of home theater live to tweak! Just because you can do it doesn't mean you have to do it. [​IMG]
    Adjusting a 16:9 set for movies goes like this:
    If it's a 1.85:1 movie (standard widescreen), you don't adjust anything and the movie fills your screen.
    If it's a 2.35:1 movie (wider), you'll have very small black bars top and bottom. You can, if you want, zoom in, lose picture on the sides, and lose some resolution. Or you can just leave it and live with the black bars.
    If it's a non-widescreen movie, you'll either have bars on the sides or you'll have to sacrifice OAR and some resolution and stretch the picture.
    Adjusting a 4:3 set for movies goes like this:
    If it's a 1.85:1 movie (standard widescreen), you don't adjust anything and you'll have black bars top and bottom.
    If it's a 2.35:1 movie, you'll have very large black bars top and bottom.
    If it's a non-widescreen movie, it will fit your screen.
    I don't know what zoom options are available on 4:3 RPTVs.
    Many 4:3 sets do the "squeeze" trick, which puts all of the lines of resolution into the center of the screen for the sharpest widescreen picture. Some do it easily, for some it's more difficult. The main problem is, your brightness/contrast settings will be different for squeezed vs. unsqueezed pictures, so you'll either need to have two "modes" available or compromise between the settings or just go with the one that's more important to you.
    Overall, you're stuck with fiddling whichever aspect ratio you choose. [​IMG]
    Jan
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Moral of the story: Watch the movie, not the black bars. Until there's magical TV screen that can automatically change its shape, you will have to live with black bars.
     
  18. ChuckDeLa

    ChuckDeLa Cinematographer

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    No, no, no, you're not getting my point. I just meant... oh, never mind. I'm obviously not articulating myself well. I'll figure it out myself when I go TV shopping.

    Just one question, maybe this will clear things up for me: if my TV is set up to do anamorphic stretch, what happens when I put in a non-anamorphic letterboxed movie? Will it have black bars ALL AROUND the picture? What adjustments have to be made to view a non-anamorphic disc?
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    No, it'll have thicker/taller black bars on the top and bottom, and the people will look fat and squatty (this for a TV in the vertical squeeze mode, with a non-16x9 letterboxed film sent to the TV).

    To watch a non-16x9 enhanced letterboxed film (this means the black bars are already encoded into the video information for each frame of video sent to the TV), you must unsqueeze the TV in the vertical direction (i.e. put it back to normal "vertically" speaking). Also, the DVD player should be set to output to a 4:3 TV.
     
  20. ChuckDeLa

    ChuckDeLa Cinematographer

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