RPTV vs. Monitor? HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Fred Galpern, Oct 17, 2001.

  1. Fred Galpern

    Fred Galpern Agent

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    Okay, I've posted a bunch of questions before and got little or no response. This one is simple so somebody please give me their opinion.
    I currently own a Hitachi 50UX58B and have been happy with it. I have many friends that enjoy watching it. Only one of these guys knows technical stuff about Home Theater stuff. He claims that my TV isn't very crisp and that when you sit to the side the picture gets darker. I understand the concept of viewing angle but my 50" Hitachi has an excellent range and I sat in the spot he mentioned and it looked fine to me. He recently got a 36" Sony Wega. It is awesome. My issue with this TV is size. Too small for my 20' x 40' living room. I am ready for my first widescreen HDTV but am torn between a large RPTV and a medium sized ( I haven't seen any above 36") flat screen monitor.
    I would love opinions and just general discussion to help guide through this mess. I can spend up to $4000 but would really like to be closer to the $3000 area. Thanks in advance for any help.
    -Fred
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    Fred Galpern
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  2. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    Good RPTVs today are bright and have acceptable (to me, anyway) viewing angles to the side, although not perhaps to the top or bottom. (So locate the screen at sitting eye level.)
    A direct-view TV will be much too small for your room. For high-quality images (480p or better, which is what you can get from a DVD), ideal distance from the screen is 2 times the diagonal or less. This is closer than from a poorer-quality image (say, 480i from cable), where 3 times the diagonal is more reasonable.
    It's hard to imagine how a 36" TV could ever work in your room. For the 36" - 65" TV-size range, RPTV is the only practical choice.
     
  3. Eliab

    Eliab Agent

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    Fred,
    The major benefit of a large RPTV is that its sheer size adds significantly to the theater-like effect. The only drawback with an RPTV is that it requires more maintenance (primarily convergence and focus) than a DVTV.
    Considering your price range, you may want to consider the new Sony KV-40XBR700. One of the great things with this 4x3 DVTV is that it will properly render anamorphic material. Thus, you get the additional 33% in vertical resolution that a 16x9 TV would afford.
    I had a chance to tinker around a bit with the 40XBR700 last night at the local PC Richards. The first thing that I did was take it out of “torch-mode” by putting everything right down the middle and placing the TV in “Neutral mode” (“Warm” seemed too off balance). I then turned SVM and DNR off and proceeded to further tweak the TV. Considering the atrocious lighting conditions of the showroom, I was nonetheless impressed with the outcome (DVD). My only complaint was that even with SVM turned off and with sharpness turned all the way down, there was still a noticeable amount of edge enhancement. Unfortunately, the salesman was on my back, so I couldn’t access the service menu to remedy this. On a good note, I think I ended up helping to sell the TV to a couple that was standing near by!
    Eliab [​IMG]
    BTW,
    I went to Rhode Island for the first time this past weekend (Providence and Newport). It quickly made my list of favorite places!
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    Avical
    ISF Certified Calibrations
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  4. Fred Galpern

    Fred Galpern Agent

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    Thanks for the informative responses.
    Eliab,
    It's funny that you liked Rhode Island so much. I moved here from New Jersey three years ago. At first the people were endearing but after three years I want to injure many of them. Most of my problem is the driving. People slam on their brakes in the middle of a road to let someone pull out. Give me expected NJ aggression any day, at least I know it's coming. Here you get all kinds of idiocy, none of consistent!!! AAAARRRGGGHHHH!! Sorry for the rant. I couldn't resist.
    Back to TV's ... That Sony sounds interesting but the size may be too small for me. Going from 50" to 40", even with an increase in clarity, would be tough. I'll check it out anyway. My ideal would be at least a 50" direct view hdtv.
    Another question, are widescreen tv's measured diagonally like standard tv's? if so this means a 50" widescreen and would be smaller than a 50" standard. yuk.
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    Fred Galpern
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  5. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Fred:
    I can't recommend an RPTV enough. While direct-view sets can look absolutely smashing, once you get to the larger screen sizes (and especially 16:9), they get expensive. Also, as funny as it may sound, direct-view sets are in some ways larger than RPTVs. Certainly depth is an issue - many RPTVs are slimmer than 36" direct views. Also, if you get into flat screen tubes, they become extremely bulky and heavy - which can be awkward to work with.
    The biggest advantage to an RPTV, however, is image size. There is nothing like a big image to draw you into the movie. Current models excel at image brightness and issues such as hotspotting and side-to-side angles are improving every year and probably much better than your current model. Plus, you can tweak the heck out of an RPTV, bringing its performance to new levels.
    As mentioned by someone else, there are other issues, such as convergence and keeping your optics clean for best performance. But there is more than enough knowledge here on the forum to help you with all this.
    Definitely go for the RPTV! [​IMG]
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    Jeff
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    "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
     
  6. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    Regarding the comment that a 50" 4:3 is larger than a 50" 16:9:
    This is true only for 4:3 images; for 16:9 images the reverse is true. To calculate the diagonal for a 16:9 image on a 4:3 TV, multiply the 4:3 diagonal by .92. Thus, when showing a widescreen image, the 50" 4:3 acts like a 46" 16:9, which is smaller than a 50" 16:9.
    If you do get a 50" 16:9, on the other hand, of course, the 4:3 image it shows is smaller than 50". But... this is usually exactly what you want. The 16:9 image is more likely to be of higher resolution than the 4:3 image, so you want to be closer to the TV when it's showing a 16:9 image. Since the 4:3 image is smaller, you are effectively farther away, which is good.
    Of course, the 4:3 image could be of high resolution (showing, say, Eyes Wide Shut on DVD, which is 4:3) and the 16:9 TV of low resolution (showing, say, ER on analog cable), but it is more common for the reverse to be true. Since you generally want the sofa and TV to stay in fixed positions, you have to pick something, and for the most part 16:9 diagonal > 4:3 diagonal is what you want, and 4:3 diagonal > 16:9 diagonal is backwards.
    Another point... you may find the 4:3 and 16:9 TVs have similar horizontal resolutions. Say both are 900 lines. Then, the 16:9 image on the 4:3 has 1200 lines horizontally, and the 16:9 image on the 16:9 TV has 1600.
    Thus, I am strongly agreeing with the others who have commented that RPTV is the way to go for home theatre sizes. Additionally, I'm an advocate for 16:9 TVs if you watch a lot of widescreen images.
     
  7. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Fred:
    What Mark says is right on the money: **it depends on your usage**.
    I just got a 70" 4:3 analog RPTV. We watch cable (4:3) all week long and a DVD or 2 on the weekend. With my set, I get a 65" 16:9 picture, but not the same resolution that a true 16:9 set would give. But that's OK w/ me, because that's my usage.
    In absolute terms, the 4:3 screen yields more square inches than the same diagonal 16:9 counterpart. But that is pretty meaningless if you don't consider usage.
    A good friend of mine bought a 56" 16:9 HD set same time that I got my 70" 4:3 analog set. He watches mostly DVD's on his, I watch mostly analog (hopefully digital soon) cable on mine.
    As for RPTV vs. Monitor, I played that game as well. My dealer was going to get the new 40" Sony and I knew it would be nice & bright, but I personally wanted lots of WOW factor (ala real theater), so I went with the biggest set that would fit into my HT. The 40" Sony would give a brighter & punchier picture, but much smaller than my 70" RPTV. Matter of taste & priorities.
    Usage, usage, usage.
    Hope this helps.
    Rich B.
     
  8. Fred Galpern

    Fred Galpern Agent

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    Thanks for all of the great responses. Very helpful. I may hold off awhile (after xmas). I am pretty sure now that I will go with a RPTV. I was there before this thread but my friends comments swayed me a bit. Thinking about usage is really where it's at. 90% of my viewing is my wife and myself. 70% (sadly) is full-frame broadcast tv. If I had more time I'd flip it around but I'm never home. My wife likes her Lifetime crap tv movies. Oh well. Thanks again for all of the advice.
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  9. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Fred,
    As others have said useage is key. Yes I do watch a ton of
    DVD's (over 200 so far) but I also watch as much analog TV
    so for me the choice was simple 4:3 was the only way to go.
    I am also picky on styling and I don't like the way a 16:9
    Theater-Wide RPTV looks.. Infact I was VERY picky about the
    way my 4:3 looked. I wanted one where the pedastool was the
    same exact size as the screen with no indentations or any
    thing of that nature.
    I also think RPTV is the way to go. Advances in RPTV sets
    has advanced so much over the past decade and a half. The
    viewing angle of most RPTV's is very wide and you don't get
    much "hot spotting" these days (well, on some sets you do)
    I went with a 61" 4:3 which displays even 16:9 larger than
    most Theater-Wide's on the market and at 900 Lines horiz res
    I am very happy with the results.
    Idealy I would have NEC's new 60" Plasma Screen if someone
    handed me $28,000.00 to buy it [​IMG]
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    Brett DiMichele
    Certified Audio Nut
    My Home Theater Site!
    [email protected]
     
  10. BradZ

    BradZ Stunt Coordinator

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    4:3 is definitely a viable option depending upon usage-
    just make sure you get one that performs the anamorphic squeeze so you get the best possible resolution for the DVDs you do watch.
    good luck
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    zaphod
    end of transmission...
     

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