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Upgrading 4:3 to 16:9

Discussion in 'Displays' started by JasonMA, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. JasonMA

    JasonMA Stunt Coordinator

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    I tried to do a search on this but couldn't find a solid answer.

    I currently own a 36" Toshiba TV (4:3) that I love. I don't have any problems with the picture right now and I wouldn't even think of upgrading for a few years if it weren't for a good deal I can get from a friend on a Phillip's 34" Widescreen HDTV.

    My question about the upgrade is this: Will widescreen movies be about the same size on the Phillip's as they are on my current Toshiba? I realize that it's going to be a better picture, but as I said, I'm very happy with my current picture. Also, I watch alot of TV, and I know that the widescreen TV is going to give me a much smaller 4:3 picture than I'm currently getting.

    I'm not sure if I calculated this correctly, but here's the numbers I come up with.

    A 4:3 image on a 34" widescreen TV will be equivalent to about a 28" standard TV image.

    Also, a 1.78:1 image on 36" standard TV will be equivalent to a 33" widescreen TV image.

    Are both of these assumptions correct? If so, I'll be losing 8" on my 4:3 images and only gaining 1" on the widescreen stuff.

    I'm not sure if my numbers are correct, so if someone with more knowledge on the aspect ratios and dimesnions could chime in with some real numbers, I'd appreciate it. If the above stands true, I'll probably just wait a few years and get a much larger widescreen TV.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    You have the overall concept right, though I can't give you the exact figures vis. actual screen real estate. You are thinking in the correct way. (As for this used Philips, have you inspected it carefully? Has the owner run the thing conservatively?)
     
  3. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

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    So a 4:3 image on a 30" widescreen TV will be equivalent to about a 24" standard TV image?

    I'm interested because I'm currently in the market for a new tv and I've been looking at a few 30" widescreen sets. I currently have a 27" Sony Wega. Looks like I might need to go bigger(?)!
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    I just upgraded to an HDTV from a 48" 4:3 non HD set.

    Your numbers seem close enough.


    I ended up going with a 60" 4:3 HDTV that had a native full res widescreen mode as well. This gives me a very near 57" native widescreen.


    It is something to think about.
     
  5. JasonMA

    JasonMA Stunt Coordinator

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    I know the guy very well and the TV is only 2 months old. He barely used it. Regardless, I don't think I'm going to go for it if the numbers above are correct. I just put them together quickly using some geometry formulas I remembered (My teacher always said I'd use them someday [​IMG]) I am going to grab a tape measure and do some actual measurements to make sure, just won't have an opportunity to do that til next week and I wanted to let him know now. Anyway, I'll keep you guys posted. Seems I'm not the only person that would need this type of info.

    Maybe someone can create a spreadsheet for comparisons and what-ifs. I think that would be interesting.

    John S, your numbers seem to be in line with my calculations, though I calculated 55.1" instead of 57", but close enough. Show that my calculation is just a bit off.
     
  6. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

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    Your 36" Toshiba: screen = 28.8w x 21.6h
    The new 34" Phillips: screen = 29.6w x 16.7h

    considering a 2.35:1 widescreen letterbox DVD:
    image on your Tosh: 28.8w x 12.25h
    image on the Phillips: 29.6w x 12.6h

    Considering a 1.85:1 widescreen letterbox DVD:
    image on your Tosh: 28.8w x 15.57h
    image on the Phillips: 29.6w x 16.0h

    So .. letterbox DVD are slightly bigger in the Phillips widescreen,
    but 4:3 TV on the Phillips is only 16.7h x 22.27w
    ... this is the equivalent of a 28" conventional 4:3 TV.

    Scott
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    I think your figures are probably right....

    You know you can go into the service mode on these sets and make the native widescreen mode any size you want it to be in the veritical.

    It is hard to exactly measure, I know it was at least over 56", but I can't stretch that far with the tape, so I never really obtained the "hard" number on my 16:9 size. Maybe 56.5" would be a closer aproximation. But nearly 57" sounds better.. :)
     
  8. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Very useful link for this kind of stuff, I always provide it when people ask this type of question:

    http://www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi

    It came to be that a 32" Standard was basically almost the same widescreen size as a 30" widescreen - and a LOT bigger for 4:3.

    I'm getting a projector now, though.
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    Wow.. that site is a keeper.. thanks for that post DaveGTP...
     
  10. MikeMcGrew

    MikeMcGrew Stunt Coordinator

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    cool site
     
  11. JasonMA

    JasonMA Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott, thanks for those figures. Ironically, those were the exact numbers I came up with using basic triangle geometry formulas.

    And dave, thanks for the link, awesome site, very useful.

    I now have enough info to make my decision. What will it be you ask? I'm going to hold off on getting an HDTV until I can afford something more in the 40" to 50" range.

    Thansk for the help guys.
     
  12. Stephen_Dar

    Stephen_Dar Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to chime in uselessly here, I did exactly the same calculations as you for my 36" 4:3 Toshiba vs my buddy's 34" Sony XBR 16:9 CRT since they are now very affordable (under $2k). I concluded that I would get a widescreen picture (my main concern) that was in the neighborhood of an inch or less larger than what my 36" gives, while of course regular TV is a lot smaller on the DTV.

    I reconsidered this recently since the CRTs are considered to be about the best HDTV you can get bar none far as I know - better than plasma, better than LCD, certainly better than RPTVs. But, in conversations with various sources, it seems clear that 34" is the end of the line for tube TV development (in 16:9). It seems manufacturers have thrown in the hat and nothing bigger will come. I was waiting for something in the 40" CRT 16:9 range and would have snapped it up, but the only thing that came was that 38" curved screen 16:9 RCA. I thought seriously about that but heard terrible things about it online (reliability mainly), so I passed. It would have been big enough for me.

    Alas, my sources told me this a year ago, and they have proved entirely correct. CRT direct view development seems to have hit its absolute limit and all manufacturers are now counting on flat panel technology for the long term. I think this is a no brainer, but sorely wish they would move it along! So, I have abandoned any hope in the area of CRTs and am now thinking in terms of the other options (particularly LCD projectors). Like you, I immediately concluded from my basic research that something about 50" is what makes sense at this pont, if not larger.
     
  13. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Many on this site will tell you this is just not so. Tube televisions (non-DLP/LCD RPTV's use CRT's also, just not in a tube) have a mask which limits resolution and enhances scanlines. It also cannot display close to full HDTV resolution because of the limits inherent to a tube. You can get a superior picture from a CRT based RPTV - more resolution, bigger picture, better colors and more filmlike - than a tube TV. The RPTV is inferior to a tube only in light output (requires more light control), the need for maintenance (convergence) and a lesser viewing angle. The ISF calibrators on this site can (and have in the past) explain this in more detail.
     
  14. Torgny Nilsson

    Torgny Nilsson Second Unit

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    I just upgraded to a a 4x3 FP with a 60x80" screen for the same reasons. By going 4x3 instead of 16x9, I get a MUCH larger 4x3 image when viewing old movies, TV, etc., and not that much smaller of a 16x9 image than if I had gone with a 16x9 FP and screen. I still end up with a huge 16x9 image.

    Too many people seem to think that 16x9 is the end-all, not realizing what they are giving up. I refuse to watch a movie in anything other than its OAR, but that doesn't mean that I want a 16x9 TV or FP.
     
  15. Stephen_Dar

    Stephen_Dar Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I'm no engineer, but since CRT stands for cathode ray tube, I imagine that a rear projector using a CRT is in fact using a tube. And, this makes me wonder how a direct view CRT could be inferior to a rear projected CRT. The mask you mention might be a factor that makes sense to me. But again, if you're saying a scanning tube technology can't display true HD, then why would it work when rear-projected rather than direct viewed?

    But, I certainly have wondered myself about how a tube could be good for HD since by definition a tube is a non-digital analog technology. I'm interested in learning how exactly the digital data stream is converted into the electron beam in a TV? In an LCD this seems clear - LCD is a pure digital, pixel-based display tech so your digital data stream in and tell each pixel what to do one at a time, no loss of data, no conversion to analog necessary. But how does this work with a CRT?
     
  16. John S

    John S Producer

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    That is why CRT's are listed in Lines Of Resolution and not Pixels....


    If you want absolute pixel count, you are correct a purely digital display is what you want. I mean with a DVI connection, it never ever goes analog.

    But in reality, CRT's and especially 3 crt equiped RPTV's, do a pretty good job on it.

    Getting the actual max lines of resolution number out of a fair amount of manufactures is darn near impossible too.

    The difference is in the light output, becasue your only getting the light reflected off of the screen. And screens, unlike mirrors don't reflect most of the light that hits them.

    The resolution possibilities start to come into play, because one crt tube, try'n to hit all colors / all lines of resolution in one pass, just has limitations.

    In the three CRT RPTV each CRT only has to draw one color in one pass. (or as a person with an old old communications electronics degree, this is sort of how I understand it to be at least)
     
  17. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Technically yes, but I was trying to keep it simple. I should have said "direct-view" versus RPTV. Do a seach for MichaelTLV's posts on this subject. It explains the weakenesses of direct views vs. RPTV's in fairly layman's terms. The way I understand it, the limitations are due to the CRT trying to resolve an increasingly smaller distance between scanlines as the picture area gets smaller and smaller. Given a large vs. small viewing area with the same lines of resolution, the smaller picture area has to cram those lines into a much smaller space. There are limits to how much a CRT can resolve in a given screen area, so it has to use things like a mask to make up for this limitation. The larger viewing area of the RPTV's allow you to display more resolution (more lines) because the lines do not have to be squeezed together as tightly.
     

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