Wega/Tau vs Projection screen TVs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Anish, Aug 24, 2002.

  1. Anish

    Anish Stunt Coordinator

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    Boy this has been a long ride. I was in the market for a new TV for my new apartment and I had a Panasonic plasma screen on order, but that is taking a very long time to come through. Meanwhile, I had been doing some research and I think I want to go another route. I think I'd rather take all that money and buy a top notch tube screen (Wega/Tau) or projection screen TV and use the remaining money to buy great speakers and receivers.

    I was in the store browsing the Sonys and Panasonics and I cannot really decide between whether I want a Wega/Tau or a projection screen TV. The Wega/Tau give very sharp, crisp images. But the biggest you can get is 34". The projection TVs however are much bigger at 47" or 53" but the picture quality isn't as great. All those TVs are HDTV capable I think.

    Now most of my viewing will be Direct TV satellite or movies through a progressive scan DVD player. Obviously for movies and sports, bigger is better... but then I don't know if I will be sacrificing too much image quality by getting a projection TV over a Wega/Tau.

    Can someone please help me out here by giving me your personal and professional opinions? The model numbers are as follows:

    Tube:
    - Sony KV34XBR800
    - Panasonic CT34WX52

    Projection:
    - Panasonic PT53WX52
    (I don't think the Sony made a good projection TV... or I don't know of one)

    I could really use some help to narrow down my choices here.
     
  2. Chris AD

    Chris AD Auditioning

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    Actually, you can get a 40" direct view, the Sony 40XBR700 (or the 800 in a couple of weeks.)
     
  3. Chris AD

    Chris AD Auditioning

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    Personally, I went with direct view for multiple reasons, but mostly because of the limited vertical viewing angle of RPTVs. From what I've been able to find out, the Sony direct views have DVI, while many others do not, and appear to have the best set of viewing modes and less compatability issues than other sets (Panasonic, Toshiba).
     
  4. Thomas_P

    Thomas_P Agent

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    How far away do you sit? The size of projection is awesome, but so is the picture on direct views. I don't think you can go wrong either way. Typically RPTVs look worse in showrooms than direct view. It all comes down to which you like more, but don't trust showroom perormance too much. Definitely throw the Sony RPTVs into the mix.
     
  5. VinT

    VinT Agent

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    WEGAs go up to 40" and Taus go up to 36".

    I personally would buy a good projection TV, especially if you are serious about watching DVDs. After watching movies on a wide screen TV they just don't look good anymore on a 4:3 TV. Yes direct view TVs are brighter and punchier than projections but the gap is narrowing.

    Try auditioning as many as you can at good dealers with dedicated listening/viewing rooms. And bring a DVD you are familiar with for comparison. Don't just go to a general electionic store(Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.) and just look at the TVs on display. They are usually not calibrated correctly and the source material is terrible. Also they might purposly make certain sets look worse in order to make other high commision brands look better.
     
  6. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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    From what I've seen, a properly set up projection screen TV can easily outperform a direct view.
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    For watching regular tv in a brightly lit room, get a direct view.

    For movies where you can exercise any kind of control over room lighting, a widescreen rptv is much more film-like.

    They don't look as good in stores primarily because they magnify the typically mediocre store feed signal and they do have restricted viewing angles, much more so vertically than side to side. From a normal seated position within a 45 degree angle of horizontally centered they look fine but it's hard to get that standing in front of 'em in stores.

    They also do need a little bit more adjustment to achieve the best picture, but most models will look quite good with just a simple user-menu calibration with the AVIA dvd.

    I'd also strongly recommend you add the Sony rptvs to your list of models to consider. The early versions of their DRC line doubling were kind of blurry looking, but this has been radically improved on more recent models. They were relatively late to the widescreen rptv scene compared to Toshiba and Mits, but the HW models introduced last fall are quite good (I own one) and the new models now coming out have DVI and adjustable line doubling.

    After experiencing a good anamorphic dvd on a decently set up widescreen 50+ inch rptv, you'll never be satisfied with the smaller image on a direct view.
     
  8. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    This all comes down to personal preference. If you are most interested in a big picture (and most cost-effective in terms of viewing area per dollar) RPTVs are a clear winner.

    But, RPTVs have a very narrow viewing angle. You really need to design your room for TV viewing. For many this is not an issue, as they have rooms dedicated to this purpose. RPTVs also have a reasonably high number of problems in terms of alignment, etc. Moving RPTVs can be a problem, not only in terms of their bulk, but in the alignment getting out of whack and needing readjusting. RPTVs (as others have already commented) don’t work so well in brightly lit rooms (or even in moderately lit ones). In some homes the WAF also comes into play.

    Many (and I am one) feel that direct view sets deliver a superior, albeit smaller picture. In rooms where you (or some) are not sitting directly in front of the TV, the picture is quite a bit superior.

    If you have a dedicated space, you might want to go with a RPTV. In a general use room (such as a family room) a CRT set might prove better.

    For me, the picture quality of the direct view sets was an overriding factor. Also I am pretty sure that RPTVs would not have passed the WAF and as I’ve moved a reasonable amount over the years, I came down on the side of direct view.

    Spent a long time comparing the Panasonic and Sony sets you mentioned and really think that the picture quality of both is outstanding. You could not go wrong with either. I think that a similar Toshiba model is a very close second to them. I can’t comment on the 36” or 40” models as I did not compare them.

    For me, the clear RPTV leader right now is the Pioneer “Elite” series, followed by the Mitsubishi “Diamond” series.

    I find 34” quite satisfactory for my purposes. Including sports.
     
  9. Darrell_L

    Darrell_L Auditioning

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    Anish, i think Lew had a lot of good thoughts to share. I myself prefer the look of a directview set. I have a 36 SonyXBR directview and the pictures are sharper and crisper ( to me ) than a projection television. However, you do sacrifice screen size.
    I think you should give a good look at the Sony 40XBR800. This unit is 4:3, but the 16x9 squeeze is roughly 34".
    This will cover you viewing material bases, Direct TV and DVD.
    What will your viewing distance be ?
    Tough decisions ahead [​IMG] ...goodluck
     
  10. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Its a tough decision either way, but I would definitely add Toshiba to your short list. IMHO the toshiba cinema series outperforms the Tau, and the price difference in the XBR is not justified by the quality difference.... After auditioning the Toshiba, XBR and Tau I would personally take the toshiba. and just think thats another 500-700 dollars you have to spend on a receiver and speakers.

    Plus if you watch any cable the Toshiba is far superior on these less than spectactular signals.

    I am also a big fan of direct view, I would only buy an RPTV if i had a dedicated home theater room.
     
  11. Anish

    Anish Stunt Coordinator

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    Darrell my living room is 16' x 18' and my viewing distance would be about 12' I assume... at least that is what I am going to try and achieve.
    I wish the XBR came in a bigger size... or that there was a projection TV that I could get with a sharper image.
    I don't know if I should just go get a plasma screen and be done with this whole direct-view vs projection TV debate. I do want HDTV capability though and I am not sure if the plasmas provide that. I am looking at the Panasonic PT-50PHD4-P/PT-50PD3-P and TH-50PWD3U
    What is the difference in picture quality between a direct view like the Wega XBR800 and a plasma screen? Pros/cons?
     
  12. Darrell_L

    Darrell_L Auditioning

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    Anish, your living room is comparable to mine, however your viewing distance is farther away. i am at 8'-9' away. If i were at 12' the 36in would be to small. i think a 40in would be to small for that matter.
    As far as plasma is concerned, i've seen some nice displays but they are to expensive for my taste. I think the cost to performance ratio just is not there yet. Granted all my viewing was in-store only on plasma's which is not always a good indicator. Anyway my knock on plasma tv is black level and shadow-detail. To me they are not as rich and deep as a direct-view.
    pros / cons on display types
    direct view :
    pros- solid all around picture. brightness without loss of detail, good blacks, crisp and sharp.
    cons- screen size. max out at 40in. and on top of that 2.35 aspect dvd's use little more than 1/2 of screen real estate.
    projection :
    pros- screen size. also, can have more of a film-like appearance to some people. ( textured like a movie screen ).
    cons- due to screen size, source material flaws more apparent. not as sharp. potential burn-in issues. more tweaking for optimal picture than direct-view.
    plasma :
    pros- more placement options. cosmetically looks great. high end units can achieve great image quality.
    cons- $$$$ , jury still out on shelf life of units. can have problems with black levels
    DLP projection: haven't seen any yet.
    Liquid Crystal displays: the only ones i have seen were at bestbuy and circuit city. They looked bad, actually awful, but what you see at those stores you can take with a grain of salt. Can't make an informed opinion as of yet.
    All stated above is of course my opinion only. Ultimately you will need to make your own decision on what looks good to you. At 12' away you may want to go projection. I think you would like a directview picture better, but would not be happy with the overall size of image.
    take your time and goodluck to ya [​IMG]
    p.s. think its tough now, wait till you get to the audio side...lol..
     
  13. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    My turn this time Darrell. [​IMG]
     

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