Time to buy an HDTV. Advice?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Berggren, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    I'm currently looking at the options available for HDTV. I'd like to buy one within the next four weeks.

    I've looked at the Toshiba RPTVs. I have a hesitation regarding RPTVs insomuch as the viewing angles. I've always been under the impression that these sets was out or darken if you aren't looking at them dead on.

    Any advice on an HDTV purchase would be great, but I do have these questions:

    1) Does every HDTV do progressive scan?
    2) What is the importance of DVI?
    3) What additional features should I look for?
    4) What are the benefits/drawbacks comparing RPTV with Direct view?
    5) Which brands has anyone here had luck with?
    6) Viewing distance (my big issue with my partner) I'm looking at a 50" but I've been told the room isn't big enough for a 50". The room is 18x8-10'.

    Any further advice, especially with regards to pricing, is welcome.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    It will help to know the viewing distance (i.e - distance between your seated "sweet spot" to the surface of the TV screen.
     
  3. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Let's say 7-8 feet.

    The room is 12ft x 18ft.
     
  4. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Here's a link to check out:
    http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html
    But it also depends on what source and the quality of the display. HD will look awesome at a closer distance than standard cable will... You'll quickly learn there are few discrete answers in this industry, it's mostly user interpretation.
    Good Luck
     
  5. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    John,

    Check out the viewing angles in stores. I'm amazed at my mits 65819 in that I get a great picture almost until I'm parallel with the set. The RPTV screens have gotten a lot better, viewing angle should be great. check it out, I think you'll be very surprised.
     
  6. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    John,
    I have a 57 inch RPTV and sit about 9 feet from the TV and the image is fine. I do not think you will have a problem with a 50 inch.
    I guess you need an HDTV for that JVC D-VHS. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Lucky dog.
     
  7. Byron Miller

    Byron Miller Auditioning

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    I sit about 7 feet from my Mitsubishi WS-55859 and it's just about the perfect viewing distance.

    1) Does every HDTV do progressive scan?

    As far as I know.

    2) What is the importance of DVI?

    It may become a copy protection standard in the future. The problem is that it doesn't allow recording.

    3) What additional features should I look for?

    The biggest features to look for IMHO are 3:2 pull down and upgradability to future standards.

    4) What are the benefits/drawbacks comparing RPTV with Direct view?

    Bigger TV. A good direct view TV will likely look better than an RPTV, but they get very expensive (and heavy) as they get bigger.

    5) Which brands has anyone here had luck with?

    Just got a Mitsubishi and I love it. One positive is Mitsu promises to upgrade their TVs to near future standards for a reasonable price.

    6) Viewing distance (my big issue with my partner) I'm looking at a 50" but I've been told the room isn't big enough for a 50". The room is 18x8-10'.

    See above.
     
  8. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    What do people think of the following brands, or rate from best to worst:

    JVC
    Toshiba
    Sony
    Samsung
    Panasonic
    Philips

    I'm trying to figure if I'll get a better picture with a tube than an RPTV. Most of the RPTVs have more lines of resolution, but I have a perception that Tube TVs have more clarity.

    I'll need to do some test driving at NOW or Audio Advice.

    Thanks for the continued help.
     
  9. James Stierman

    James Stierman Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are getting an HD tv i would suggest getting one with a HD tuner built in(unless you have satelite). An HD tuner built in will allow you to recieve off-air digital signal which will give you a better picuter than standard cable, and also will be able to decoded HD off cable lines because they also have built in digital cable tuners. Other options like IEEE and DVI inputs would be nice. If you get a set with a tuner built in it will also have IEEE and some sets have DVI which can pass uncommpressed HD video. I have herd that toshiba is promising DVI upgradable if you would like to add it later, similar to Mitz upgrade promise. I would recommen any of the new mitz platinum series (48, 55, or 65). Or the hitachi XWX series (51, 57, 65). I also recommed getting as large of a tv as possible. When you are watching HD, the larger the TV the more detail you will be able to see. For example 1080 line of resolution looks alot better on a 55 widescreen, then a 36 inch 4x3.

    James
     
  10. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    TWC claims their box will pass the signal. Am I going to lose something in not having a tuner in that instance?

    The only problem with the tuner integrated sets is their cost. As an HDTV is an unexpected expense (somewhat anyway, with regards to timing) I was looking in the $2000 territory.

    Also, if anyone knows good places to find good prices on HDTVs, I'm all ears.
     
  11. James Stierman

    James Stierman Stunt Coordinator

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    TWC will pass threw the HD signals by the end of this year. If you have a set with a built in tuner you can recieve them. If not you can buy a box or probly rent one to recieve the signal. I think the 48 mitz with built in tuner is going to be 2800-3000. My advice is still to get one with it in, your going to have to get a tuner sometime and you will keep this tv for the next 12 years ,most likely.
     
  12. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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  13. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    One question to throw in.
    AS technology "booms" won't the built in receivers become obsolete thus wasting alot of money or can you bypass. Would it also be much cheaper to buy a digital converter as an exterior device.
    John,
    Go to Best Buy and look at the JVC i Art RPTV. I saw one last week in DC and was blown away with the picture. It was far superior to the other models they sell. It's price was $2,000. I purchase from a small audio store in Danville and they told me they could get it for around $1,700. I'm still thinking[​IMG]
    Phil
     
  14. James Stierman

    James Stierman Stunt Coordinator

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    The XWX are new models from hitachi's and are supposed to hit store in september. Hitachi is slow to udate there website. You can find a little info here:
    http://www.hometheatermag.com/shownews.cgi?212
    I would not say that built in recievers will become obsolete. There are no plans to change the way HD is formated and the fcc is putting pressure on the manufactures to have them all make tv with built in tuners. It is not really that expensive. The average is probly 700 dollars, but that also give you IEEE and some other features.
     
  15. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Is this the JVC you mean?
    http://www.bestbuy.com/detail.asp?e=...t=24&scat=1470
    There are very few HDTVs on the market now with inbuilt tuner/receivers. Those that are on the market come at a significant premium. Should I wait until September to get one? And will it even be at a reasonable price? The new Hitachi's are indicated with an SRP of $3999 on the low end.
     
  16. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  17. Phil Mays

    Phil Mays Second Unit

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    That's the one. I thought the picture was outstanding. From what I saw and for $2,000 I feel like it is a "giant killer". The place where I get my audio stuff said they think it has an incredible picture compared with other brands. I guess it does not have a digital receiver and I think James makes a good point about the technology.
     
  18. Thomas_P

    Thomas_P Agent

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    If you have Time Warner, forget the tuner. I live in Durham and I get 8 HD channels from the free box.
     
  19. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    Excellent news Thomas [​IMG] [​IMG]
    That's what TWC told me, but I didn't really trust them. They also told me they passed the 5.1 signal.
    Does the HD box change that status?
     
  20. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    From Thomas_P...

    If you have Time Warner, forget the tuner. I live in Durham and I get 8 HD channels from the free box.

    I'm not familiar with cable TV offerings, as I have Dish network. Are you saying that Time Warner Cable will supply you a cable TV box that has HD component outputs? Is this what they advertise as "Digital Cable"?

    I've always had the impression that "Digital Cable" meant you used something a lot like a Dish or DirecTV receiver except the RF signal comes in on a coax instead of arriving via microwaves impinging on an 18" dish. Is that the "free box" you refer to?
     

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