Should I get HDTV for what I use it for?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Marvin Richardson, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    So here's what I use my TV for. I watch DVDs about 75% of the time, and play Xbox/PS2/Dreamcast 10% of the time and watch TV the rest of the time. Mostly watch shows like Dr. Phil, things that probably aren'td HD. I have HBO and would watch HBO in hi-def, but don't know that it would be that big of a deal once the wow factor of the picture blew over.
    So here's my question: Would I notice any difference in picture quality if I went with a nice HDTV (regular tube, like the Sony KD-36XS955) versus a nice standard def tube like the Sony KV-36FS120 when using DVDs or playing the Xbox/PS2?
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Marvin, I don't think you'll see any improvement at all when watching DVD's or playing video games. Where you'll see the improvement in picture quality is when you watch HDTV. Are you looking to buy a 36", 4:3 set? You also should be thinking of the future when choosing your TV.
    Consumer Reports just reviewed all kinds of TV's in the DEC. issue, you should read it. They also explain the pros and cons of each type of TV, it's interesting reading.
    In a couple years just about everything will be in HD, and HD-DVD players will be out in 2005(reportedly), but probably will be too expensive for a while.
     
  3. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Well, were money no object, obviously I'd get something like the Mitsubishi 62" DLP, but I can only spend about $1500 give or take. I've seen talk about the Sanyos that are available at Wal-Mart, but quite frankly they don't look all that impressive. This TV is more of a stopgap measure. I only have a 27" Sony non-Wega that is good, but not great. I'm mostly looking for a larger screen size but don't want to just go out and get the cheapest 36" I can find.
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I would think if he went with a progressive scan DVD player with the HD set, he would see a notable DVD improvement over the analog set.
     
  5. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    For the price of the 36XS955 you could easily get a 34" widescreen direct view or 42-51" widescreen crt based rptv, both of which would blow the 4/3 model away for dvd or HD.

    HD ready sets do a much better job with dvd than 480i only models due to their ability to virtually eliminate scanlines.

    When I read the original post my first thought was that you were a perfect candidate for an HD-ready widescreen set, which is the absolute best possible display (other than front projection) for dvd. If you're using the set 75% of the time for dvd, widescreen HD ready is truly the only way to go. With video gaming only 10%, you'd have a negligible chance of burn in on a crt based rptv especially if you take it out of factory torch mode, so don't restrict yourself to the small sizes of direct view sets.

    The wow factor of true HD doesn't go away, by the way. It's as big an improvement over 480i as color is over black and white, imho, and SD just won't be good enough anymore.
     
  6. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, talked to my wife about it some more, and have decided to take the big CRT RPTV plunge! I'd rather get DLP because I'm still worried about burn-in. With two kids I don't often get to hook up the Xbox, but when I do I usually play DoA Ultimate or Mortal Kombat: Deception for hours on end. I just can't afford or even justify the price difference between CRT RPTV and DLP RPTV, especially since to my eyes the CRT RPTVs look better.
    Now, the confusing part; picking the set to purchase. I've been stuck on Sony stuff, TVs especially, for so long that its hard to give up on them, but I'm keeping my options open. Right now, I've narrowed it down to three options:
    The Sony KP-57WS520 (around $2000)
    The Mitsubishi WS-55315 (around $1800)
    The Toshiba 57H84 (about $1900)
    Which of these is the better set? Are there other models I should be looking at? I'd like to stay in the 55-57" range. Well, actually, I'd rather get the Mitsubishi WS-65315, but I don't have the physical space in my apartment to put the darn thing![​IMG]
     
  7. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Marvin,

    I too am looking at the EXACT three CRT models you just listed!

    I am really leaning toward the Mits --- as I keep hearing they are the best in this class. However, Toshiba and Sony aren't too far behind at all.
     
  8. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    That's funny! I'm leaning towards the Mits as well, but for some reason I just can't lick that "Sony is better" mentality I've had for years. Everything I have in my system is Sony, except for the speakers. Those are JBL, because even in my rabid Sony fanboyism I realize that Sony just makes craptacular speakers! I love love love my Sony receiver (except for the fact that the year after I bought they added Dolby ProLogic II to it! My Gamecube was very sad!) even though I read nothing but bad reviews about it. I probably will get the Mits, I just wish I could figure out which of the EIGHT freakin' 55" CRT RPTV models were best! For crying out loud they range in price from $1800 to $3900! What the heck could make a $2100 difference?
     
  9. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    My only concern about the Sony is whether or not it will have the infamous "flicker" problem. I don't know if this has been resolved yet. This would have me VERY nervous.

    I just downloaded a review from AVguide.com. They compared the Mitsubishi WS-55515 against the Toshiba Toshiba 57H84. Overall, they seemed to favor the Toshiba.
    They said using DVI for DVDs, they were even. Mits was better with components. However, for HDTV, they said Toshiba was definitely better.

    They also thought the screen of the Mits stood too low --- and the Toshiba height was better.

    Now, last year they reviewed the Sony KP-57WS510 and gave it very good remarks ---- it out performed competitors with higher models, in fact. (This Sony model is now the 520.)

    I went to Best Buy, Sears, Circuit City, and ABC Warehouse tonight. While I know these aren't calibrated properly -- and some are worse than others -- but the Toshiba was looking very good in every case. I talked to one guy who seemed half-way knowledgable and he said the Toshiba is a bit brighter than the Sony.

    I want to make a decision soon. But, I think it definitely boils down to these three for me. I'll keep you updated. All of this comparing can drive you nuts!
     
  10. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    I'm just losing my marbles here. I've been reading all day long, and have narrowed it down to the Sony or the Mits, but it seems like for every article I read praising the Sony or the Mits, I read another saying it isn't all that great. I've seen both side by side at Best Buy of course, but I don't know how much stock to put in that. I thought the Sony looked better, but I know there's no guarrantee that they were both calibrated properly, or at least poorly calibrated to the same degree. I may just buy the Sony out of loyalty.
     
  11. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Marvin,

    I've gone with the Sony KP-57WS520. The guy at ABC Warehouse (not sure if they are around you) gave it to me for $1599.00 plus tax and free delivery. However, if I thought the Mits was honestly better, I would have gone with it instead.

    Here's why I went went the Sony. Based on the reviews I have read --- my experience with my current Sony TV -- and the opinion of my ISF technician, this is the TV for me.

    Also, the screen display is higher than the Mits. If you notice, the Mits screen is kind of low to the ground. Ideally, of course, you want you eyes to be able to look directly at the screen.

    In addition, while two inches aren't much, I want something slightly bigger at 57" --- 65" I think would be too much for me.

    Finally, I went around to probably 8 different stores. Like you, the Sony always looked better. Grant you these aren't calibrated, but in every case the Sony had a brighter, better contrasted picture. The mits look like they have a tint or grey veil over them.
     
  12. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    So has the flicker problem you were worried about been fixed then?
    The only problem with buying the KP-57WS520 is that Best Buy and Ultimate Electronics don't seem to carry them. I've seen the 51 at Best Buy I guess, because the 57 isn't on their website. The only place that seems to carry it around here is Circuit City, and I detest them. But I'm not buying a $2000 television of the internet, so I guess my options are limited, unless perhaps Fry's Electronics has them.
    I still may get a Mits, but maybe one of the higher-end models. I'm going to Ultimate Electronics to see them again.
     
  13. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    From what I am told, the flicker is no issue on this particular model. I would ask Best Buy if maybe they can special order it. Also, Sears may carry it.

    They actually delivered the TV to me this morning. Earlier I mentioned the screen height from the floor. Not sure if this bugs you or not, but the Mits screen height is quite low and I would have to look down at the screen. With the Sony and Toshiba, the screen is actually eye level (more ideal).
     
  14. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Well, considering my 27" Sony is about 2 feet off the floor, I don't it would bother me too much. [​IMG]
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The Sony flicker problem was on HW-40 models produced after about November of 01 and continued until almost the end of the WS-500 model run, 510s should be ok and 520s are definitely ok.

    I have one of the pre-flicker HW-40s, a KP57HW40 purchased in September of 01. The current models are still very similar with the addition of digital inputs (DVI or HDMI, don't remember which) and the fact that they convert incoming 720p to 1080i instead of to 480p as on my set. This was not an issue for me as my HD box does 720p to 1080i beautifully and I don't have an X-box.

    I calibrated mine with AVIA at the outset, have no burn in after about 7000 hours of use. I could not be happier with this set.

    Sonys will still display incoming 480p natively, Mits, Toshiba, and Hitachi all convert it to 540p.

    I am not necessarily a Sony fan, most of my stuff is not Sony and I don't buy into the Sony mystique at all but based on my experience with this set and what I see in the stores I do believe Sony is the best choice among crt based rptvs.
     
  16. Ryan Wishton

    Ryan Wishton Screenwriter

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    Well, whatever you choose, you need a Widescreen for sure for your viewing habits.

    75% DVD's and X-Box? This is a no brainer.

    The popular X-Box games all support 720 P Hi-Def feeds now. The next gen systems will be based off the HDTV 16:9 format.

    For the future use with DVD, HD-DVD, Next gen gaming systems, and even the popular GC/XBOX games now, 16:9 HDTV is the only way to go.

    If you were watching mostly standard tv, I might say go with 4:3, but your viewing habits need 16:9 and will need it even more in the future. Like in the next year or two.
     
  17. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Well, I bit the bullet and bought the KP-57WS520 tonight. Its being delivered tomorrow. Now I just have to sort out my DVD problem and get me a HD DVR from Cox and I'll be set.
     
  18. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Marvin,

    Mine was delivered this morning.

    Tonight, I used Avia and the convergence ability for red and blue and connected it to my old DVD player - interlaced - Panasonic RV80 (about four years old now). All I have to say is WOW!!! The detail and filmlike image is awesome. I can't wait until I get it ISF'd and a good progressive scan player! Keep me in the loop with the player you are looking at or hearing about.

    You made a great decision!


    Steve,

    Can you help me out a bit with mine? I have a few quesions.

    1. Right now I am using an interlaced player, and am making the TV do the 3/2 pulldown -- this is correct, right? I have set the TV at "CineMotion" for this.

    2. Now, when I get my progressive scan, obivously I set it at "progressive," correct?

    3. Any specific player recommendations? Is it worthwhile for me to try an upscaling player --- Best Buy carries the Zenith model. I know you mentioned Sony and JVC before. Are these free of the chroma bug I always hear about? And, do I need a DVI connection --- is this better than component?

    4. The convergence option in the user menu only allows for red/blue to be tweaked. I guess I need to go into the service menu for a "full" convergence, right? Also, there is some excessive overscan I believe. But, I think I will let me ISF guy take care of this.

    Thanks!

    Thanks,
     
  19. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Well, I bought the DVD-F87S at Circuit City with the TV, but then I read some possibly bad things about in my other thread in the Audio/Video source forum. I really really a 5 disc (at least) player that does progressive scan really well. The one I bought doesn't have DVI, but I didn't think it would make that big of a difference right now. With HD-DVD it would I guess. I still haven't decided on which player to stay with. I haven't opened the one I got tonight...not sure what to do.
     
  20. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Well, I decided to go the Upscaler route.

    I purchased the Toshiba SD-V592 from Best Buy (it's cheaper to buy elsewhere online but I can return it easily this way for now).


    This site gave it VERY high marks:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...h&articles=121

    I compared the 480P to the upscale mode using the HDMI connection. NO COMPARISON. MUCH better with HDMI compared to component 480P. The picture was much sharper with better detail in HDMI.

    But --- I had calibrated my set with Avia using the HDMI mode. Quite possibly, I needed to re-calibrate my settings in 480P.

    One thing for sure --- the player in HDMI mode blows away my interlaced player (to be expected).

    But, the audio doesn't seem to have nearly the same punch. But, I need to get an optical cord to make an apples to apples comparison (I was using the Pansonic RV80 before with optical --- now it's just RCA cords).
     

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