TV purchase in a technologically changing market.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EvanYeager, Jan 11, 2003.

  1. EvanYeager

    EvanYeager Agent

    Jan 8, 2003
    Likes Received:

    I have done quite a bit of reading on the forum before I posted this, there is likely a thread that answers this question but I haven’t found it in a reasonable time.

    Personal background: doctorate (likely guessed that from all this verbiage) in computer science and an audiophile from way-back (20+ years), – so I have a fair technical understanding.

    Viewing room: small living room in a restored 1920 Victorian. Viewing distance is 6 to 11 feet. Maximum viewing angle is 45 degrees to the side of directly in front of screen (hope that made sense). We only have an 8 foot width at the front of the room for main speakers, monitor, sub, amps, DVD player, etc. Full 6:1 surround in place.

    Current TV: 20 inch TV-VCR combo

    Viewing habits: we are OAR purists and have no interests in stretch or fill modes. We have little time to watch movies but when we do this is our most critical viewing. WE watch a lot of classic (4:3) movies. We only have broadcast TV (no cable, no sat). We home school using in part a DVD video curriculum. We watch morning TV news. Bottom line 80% 4:3 and 20% “widescreen”.

    The dilemma: The only thing that is more shocking to me than spending $2,000+ on a TV is spending $2,000+ on a TV that may need to be replaced in 5 years. The technology is so volatile right now.

    The question (at last). Should I concentrate on buying for the future and purchase in such a way that longevity will be maximized while burn-in and maintenance would be at a minimum? Or should I just get a small, inexpensive, CRT based RPTV in a 4:3 format that can do a correct job of showing anamorphic widescreen DVDs.

    Models (these can also be thought of as representing a type of TV) being considered:

    Direct view models:

    Sony KV-34XBR800
    Sony KV-40XBR800
    Panasonic CT-34WX52

    RPTV models:

    Panasonic PT-40LC12
    Mitsubishi WT-42311
    Samsung DLPs
    Any on-sale-for-less-than-$1500 42” to 50” 4:3 aspect ratio CRT based RPTV.
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Apr 15, 1999
    Likes Received:
    If you watch 80% 4/3 and understandably don't want to stretch/zoom classic movies and need to use the set in a fairly brightly lit room--circumstances that would contribute to burn in on an rptv, the best choice imho would be the largest 4/3 direct view model with a 16/9 mode for anamorphic widescreen dvds.

    That would be the 40" Sony which unfortunately is among the most expensive options.

    If some light control is possible, a 4/3 HD ready model in the 43" range would be a good choice. Most of these can be viewed from 45 degrees off center in the horizontal plane with no appreciable loss of brightness. Much more brightness loss is experienced when watching from an off-center position in the vertical plane. If you stand up 10 feet away from an rptv, brightness drops drastically. If this brightness drop is going to be a problem then the direct view is again a much better though more expensive choice.
  3. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

    Jan 1, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for being so precise in describing your viewing habits and preferences!
    I'm going to hop down from my widescreen advocacy box in your case and suggest a 4:3 TV to give you the largest, screen-fillingest picture on 4:3 movies.
    Downside, come 1-1-06, if the FCC's deadline is met, your broadcast TV will come letterboxed or you'll have to zoom and lose the sides of the picture. That doesn't mean it will "need" to be replaced. It's just the trade-off for seeing your 4:3 movies fullscreen and unstretched.
    The best way to avoid burn-in is to turn down your contrast. A direct-view set will be less prone to burn-in, but I'd personally be hesitant to spend a lot of money on a 40" direct view in today's market.
    Let's say you spend $3000 for a Sony KV-40XBR800. You need to get twice the life from it to get the value you'd get from a $1500 40" RPTV, assuming that you'd be as happy with one as the other. So let's say that five years from now, when the transitional phase is over and who-knows-what is available on the market, you could dump your $1500 RPTV and have $1500 to spend on a new set, whereas you'd have to stay with your $3000 direct view for another five years.
    Five years from now, you may want to re-evaluate your 4:3 vs. 16:9 priorities.
    Therefore, I'd personally go with a "cheap" ($1500 ain't cheap to me!) RPTV, if, as I said, you'd be as happy with one as the other.
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    May 19, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I also hop down from my widescreen advocacy soapbox—with a caveat: if you are at all interested in HD telecasts, you should consider widescreen. Since you are already an OTA viewer and most HD telecasts are OTA from local stations, this might be a way to go. Right now most network, primetime TV is in HD and widescreen, so it is possible that this could be the best choice.

    Should that be the case, I’d get the 34XBR800, given your other criteria. Otherwise get a 4:3 set (understanding that the burn-in issue will be reversed in a short while).
  5. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

    Aug 18, 2001
    Likes Received:
    The BK
    Real Name:
    Since you only have a 20" TV now and don't watch much widescreen movies, maybe even a 32" 4x3 HDTV would do for the next 5 years (or a lot longer!).

    That's probably what I would do in your situation. To me, 4x3 content looks big enough on a 32" at
  6. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

    Nov 29, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Personally I suggest you look at a 36" direct view from Sony Toshiba or Panasonic. from your viewing habits I can stay on my 4:3 soapbox (for my uses it is the right choice) and for your uses it seems to be the right choice. The 40" sony is rather silly in its cost, and you did mention cost was a big concern. since it is a bright room a direct view set may also be preferable plus you arwe moving forma 20" so the wow factor will still be there with a 36" as well as with a bigger RPTV.

    Finally you should really look at the Toshiba's I Personally find they are better than the Sony's and Panasonics, especially when you consider the cost factor. just so you knwo why i say this I have found that on cable vcr and other lower quality signals the Toshiba's and Panasonics perform noticably better than the sony. that beign said the sony is marginally better on dvd signals. i cant compare HD cause i havent seen it on anythign but a Toshiba.

    hope this helps.

Share This Page