TV Recommendations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Marc_Green, Jul 7, 2001.

  1. Marc_Green

    Marc_Green Auditioning

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    [​IMG] I am in market for a new TV and would like to get one that is HDTV ready. I currently do not have access to HDTV channels, but I may be moving soon to an area that does. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    What is your budget? Do you have a technical background (i.e., not afraid of computers, programmable remotes, etc.)? How far is your seating area from where you want your screen? Any varmints (kids) around? Does the final solution need to be wife-friendly? What will you be watching on it and how much of each?
    Here is my suggestion, but it may or may not fit you.
    1. Build or buy a home theater PC (HTPC) with an ATI Radeon card, Lite-on Airboard wireless keyboard, and a slow (read: quiet) DVD drive. You do not need big horsepower. My $30 Duron 750 MHz can play a DVD upscaled to 1440x960i with Dolby Digital sound while simultaneously recording HDTV and displaying it on another screen also with Dolby Digital sound. That's not useful, but the point is, you don't need to spend big bucks. ($500-$1000)
    2. Get a quality 21" computer monitor. (~$800)
    3. Enjoy DVD's upscaled to 1440x960i with the ATI Radeon card and ATI Player. This looks close to HDTV, and is roughly equal to the 16x9 "upconverts" that you see on Showtime-HD and HBO-HD. You can also line double and upscale 480i NTSC. At this point, you've spent as little as $1300, and your video blows away systems costing thousands more, except of course for your screen size. Your system has a better DVD player than almost any other. ($priceless)
    4. If don't already have a 5.1 speaker system and receiver, get it. Don't skimp. Research and buy once, rather than continuously upgrading. ($1400+)
    5. Enjoy Dolby Digital sound on your DVD's. Sorry, no DTS yet with ATI Player. ($priceless)
    6. Get IRMan and a HTM MX-500 universal remote to control this beast and keep the wife and kids happy. ($200)
    7. Get a DirecTV package deal with $200 or so off of a DirecTV TiVo. ($200?)
    8. Welcome yourself to the TiVolution. ($priceless)
    9. Now you understand a lot more about what you want in a HD monitor, and you're ready to upgrade from 21 inches. Seriously consider a (used) front projector. Months have passed, and now maybe you'll know whether you must have firewire in your new set or projector. Make sure you get RGB input, so you can connect your HTPC. ($2000-$10,000)
    10. Are you ready for some HDTV? Since you are now a member of the TiVolution, you now know you must have recordable HD. OTA HD can be recorded and decoded/displayed with a PCI card in your HTPC. You have a choice of 3 cards for this. http://www.accessDTV.comClick to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
     
  3. Bill_M

    Bill_M Agent

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    How much are you looking to spend? I recommend an HD TV set for more than one person viewing. The distance away will dictate the size. A 21" monitor won't cut it. Besides my HD TV has a better picture than my 21" monitor for TV viewing. I have compared the two with HD.
     
  4. Marc_Green

    Marc_Green Auditioning

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    I can spend up to $2000, but would be willing to spend a little more if I was getting my money worth. The TV would be for everyday viewing along with DVDs and such. The couch is about 10ft from video cabinet. There are no wife and kids, so that isn't an issue.
     
  5. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    It's hard to sit 10 feet away for $2000 or less. You need at least a 55" 16:9 image for 10 feet, IMO. If you can control the lighting (drapes), then I would suggest a HTPC plus cheap front projector (one capable of 720p or 1080i if you want HD eventually.) If you're willing to sit closer, then you could consider a relatively inexpensive HD-ready RPTV, like the Mitsubishi WS-46807.
    Regarding 21" monitors, I have an ancient expensive one with fine dot pitch, and HD looks great on it, albeit small.
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    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Philips_HDTV/joinClick to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
     
  6. Brian Schucher

    Brian Schucher Supporting Actor

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    I was able to find a Toshiba 65H80 for 2398.00 brick and mortor store locally...
     
  7. Tony Pic

    Tony Pic Auditioning

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    I suggest you look at the 4x3 Sony 53hs10... they've come down to about $2000 since they are getting replaced by the hs20 and hs30 models. They are one of the better sets for dvd/dss/cable signals. Offers the vertical squeeze for anamorphic dvds too.
    One thing to consider: if you are setting up a "home theater," then save your money until you can afford a 16x9 set for your theater. If, on the other hand, you are like the vast majority that is looking for an hdtv-ready TV that will be used for mostly 4x3 viewing, then a 4x3 set is the way to go. Actually, in your price range, I think a 16x9 is out of the question.
    I mention the 4x3 vs. 16x9 because many folks lose sight of what they want: a theater, or just a plain TV. You'll hear that 16x9 is the future, and it is... it's just not the present. Most 16x9 sets have horrible zoom/crop modes. If you don't believe me, go to a showroom and just try watching a 4x3 signal cropped on a 16x9 set (heads are cut off at the forehead). Then try the zoom... if you like short/fat images, then you'll like this mode.
    My $.02...
    Tony
     
  8. Andrew Grall

    Andrew Grall Supporting Actor

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    I agree those Sony's are nice sets...
    If you want to go widescreen, however, I may recommend the Toshiba 40H80 (40" could definitely be found under $2000), 56H80 (56" if you shop around enough you might be able to find it around $2000 plus or minus a couple hundred), or you could wait for the new models.
    Toshiba 50H81 (50" due out any day now, should be around $2000)
    Toshiba 57H81 (57" due out in a month or two)
    Just a little more food for thought. These TVs have great features, 2 HD component input sets, and several people on this forum own a variation of these sets and love them.
    I, personally, am waiting for the 50H81 to show up in stock, and then it is mine! [​IMG]
    P.S. The Toshiba widescreens have Theaterwide modes to stretch regular TV to fit the screen, and take very little getting used to. Some of them gave little to no distortion of the picture at all.
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    [Edited last by Andrew Grall on July 14, 2001 at 10:27 AM]
     
  9. Sujeet Patel

    Sujeet Patel Stunt Coordinator

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    And if 16:9 isn't a must-have, you can do what I did, and pick up a Toshiba 55H70 for $1825 delivered.. Even if you're viewing widescreen movies, you're still getting about 50" out of the TV. I watch more TV than DVD (though this TV is changing that), so I wanted the 4:3 because I can't stand the stretched images. Good luck.
     
  10. Jim Christian

    Jim Christian Stunt Coordinator

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