Well, My time to decide between 4:3 and Widescreen Tv's

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott_E, Apr 21, 2002.

  1. Scott_E

    Scott_E Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I am having a frustrating time deciding whether I want to get a 4:3 TV or a Widescreen one. I watch ALOT of cable and also watch movies maybe once a week. I play a ton of video games. I'm afraid if I get a widescreen TV then when I watch cable or play videogames it will look strange, by either stretching the image to fill the screen or making it small by putting up bars on the sides of it. However movies would look very nice. On the 4:3 TV movies would then have the bars but video games and cable would look good. Is there something I'm missing here that would give me the best of both worlds? For the 4:3 TV's I was looking at any of the XBR models and Sony 43" projection. For the Widescreen I was looking at the Hitachi 53" UWX wide or the sony 53" widescreen. I'll have to get the models for some of them to put up here. Any help from you guys?
     
  2. Ken Custodio

    Ken Custodio Second Unit

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    Some TV's have very good stretch modes and you will hardly notice it. Like the Toshiba widescreens.

    Ken
     
  3. Scott_E

    Scott_E Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the Sony's or Hitachi's?
     
  4. Ken Lopata

    Ken Lopata Agent

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    Buy a 4:3 HDTV ready T.V. I just bought a 61" 4:3 Sony KP61HS20 and love it. HDTV programming is a joke. For the next 5-7 years we will all be watching more 4:3 programming then 16:9. The Sony does the anamorphic squeeze for DVD's and HDTV programming. My 16:9 picture for DVD's or HDTV is the same size as the Sony 57HW40 widescreen. I have the best of both worlds. A 61" 4:3 T.V. for 85% of the programming I watch, and a 57HW40 widescreen T.V. for DVD's and for HDTV programming if and when there is any worthwhile programming to watch. I don't have any burn-in problems and can always watch any programming in the proper and original aspect ratio.

    I find it funny when someone suggests a 16:9 over a 4:3 display because 16:9 is better. In a sense it's telling that person to watch 75-80 of programming in either a funky stretch mode or risk burning your guns.

    I believe Sony has a 43, 53 and 61" 4:3 t.v.'s that all do the anamorphic squeeze. You need this in your 4:3 T.V.

    Good luck
     
  5. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Scott, I just purchased my first widescreen Sony 57" and LOVE it! The stretch mode works very well when watching regular 4:3 television/cable - it doesn't bother me a bit.

    I watch a LOT of DVDs so the widescreen was the right choice for me. If you watch MORE regular cable/programming, you may be better off with the 4:3.

    As for video games, some of the newer PS2 games are widescreen (Jak & Dexter).
     
  6. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    Scott, this decision doesn't sound too hard based on what you said you watch. A comparable 4:3 set will have a similar-sized picture for wide material as a widescreen, but for 4:3 material the difference is HUGE. There is nothing a 16:9 set can do that a comparable 4:3 set can't.

    If you absolutely hate black bars and don't mind stretch modes, then get a widescreen. Otherwise, there are very few serious reasons not to get a 4:3 over a 16:9 since a 4:3 can do everything.
     
  7. Dwight E

    Dwight E Auditioning

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    Just thought I would chime in.

    If you plan on taking advantage of your local digital broadcasting, then you will want a 16x9 setup.

    If you enjoy DVDs in widescreen mode, you will want a 16x9 set.

    But...

    VERY few programming solutions are available today that are 16x9.

    But, again, if letterboxing is more annoying than stretched imaging, go with the 16x9.

    I have heard from alot of folks with 4x3 RPTV sets who now have burn-in because of all the letterboxed video they watch.

    Most people look 10 pounds heavier on TV anyways, so, adding another 30 with stretched mode won't hurt their feelings one bit more.

    Regards,

    Dwight
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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    Scott,

    My viewing habits are similar to yours...I watch about 80% 4:3 material.

    I find the stretch modes nasty (some worse than others). Why bother tweaking geometry to get it perfect on a set if you are then going to distort it?

    4:3 HD projection sets are typically just taller versions of 16:9 sets. You still get a true 16:9 mode for HD and widescreen DVD. Letterbox burns should not be a concern if you watch lots of 4:3 and your set is set up correctly.
     
  9. Matthew_Judd

    Matthew_Judd Extra

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    Personally, I very much prefer the 16:9 sets. I understand the argument in favor of 4:3, I just disagree with the conclusion.

    To me, it isn't how much of one format that I watch over the other but the...intensity of my viewing. When I watch broadcast television I am just as likely to be doing something else as well. I might be cooking, eating, talking, even reading! When I watch a movie however, I turn off the phone, turn off all the lights, and sit in front of the television...totally focused on what I am watching.

    So, to me a 16:9 set makes much more sense. I might watch native 16:9 material less than it's more common counterpart of 4:3, but the quality of the display is much more important.
     
  10. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    Here's why a 16:9 is a better choice than a 4:3 if you use the TV for a mix of both formats:

    Most 4:3 sources are of lower resolution than most 16:9 sources. (Note I said "most.")

    On a 16:9 TV, the 4:3 image has a smaller diagonal than the 16:9 image, so a given seating distance is effectively farther from the 4:3 image, which is as it should be.

    But on a 4:3 TV, the 4:3 image has a greater diagonal than the 16:9 image, so a given seating distance is either too far for the 16:9 image (assuming high-quality source and vertical compression mode) or too close to the 4:3 image. In other words, backwards.

    To say it another way, on my 16:9 TV, a single seating distance works well for both formats, but on my 4:3 digital TV with vertical compression, I have to keep moving my chair back and forth.
     
  11. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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  12. Bruce White

    Bruce White Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe in stretch mode one could actually see Calista Flockhart. [​IMG]
     
  13. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Bear in mind that 4:3 material presented on a 16:9 set goes through one more stage of digital processing than the normal 4:3 shaped TVs. This makes the image slightly inferior to the 4:3 shaped TV's.

    Of course, since the image from cable et al is inferior to begin with ... it may not matter as much.

    Regards
     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Scott, given your viewing habits, I can't think of a single reason why you'd want a 16x9 screen. Essentially, you'll be paying more to maximize the programming that you watch least while greatly reducing the quality of the vast majority of your viewing.

    And, btw, you'll have to pay more for this inconvenience.

    If you do get the 4x3 Sony XBR (or one of the HD-ready Sony rear projections), you'll have a hi-def ready set that does the 16x9 squeeze - just like you'd have with any native 16x9 screen - and you'll get a much larger screen for 4x3 material capable of displaying a progressively-scanned image and without having to distort it by utilizing a "stretch mode" just to avoid screwing up your TV with burn-in.

    You simply get greater flexibility with a 4x3 HD-ready set, and without giving up anything. The only downside? Larger "black bars" when viewing widescreen material.
     
  15. Michael St. Clair

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    The constant argument that everybody should have a 16:9 screen is tiresome and presumptuous.
    Like Michael said, 16:9 sets do bad things to 4:3 images when scaling them down to fit. If you have 4:3 material that is important to you, you will not want it degraded further.
    This argument also ignores the fact that some people hate stretched/zoomed images, and if some of those people watch LOTS of 4:3, they are far more likely to get burn-in on a 16:9 set.
    And it ignores people like me...with huge letterboxed laserdisc collections...which look fantastic on 4:3 HD sets with a decent doubler, but look like absolute hell zoomed in on almost every 16:9 set.
    Why is it so hard for so many 16:9 owners to admit that different ratio sets are the best choice for different people?
     
  16. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I think the overall trend on this forum is quite interesting. Although I can't say that I've always paid close attention, a few months ago it seemed that 16x9 sets were recommended MUCH more frequently than 4:3 sets. Now, it seems that 4:3 sets are recommended more frequently. Perhaps it's because of the availability of 4:3 sets with a true (and easily accessed) 16x9 mode, which I think is the perfect solution. Or perhaps it's because of the significantly higher price tag for a 16x9 set. Whatever the reason, it seems that 4:3 sets are now recommended as much as or more than 16x9 sets. I know that I'm quite happy with my Sony 32" Wega, which is 4:3 but has the 16x9 mode on the menu. For now, this seems to be the best solution, at least for my viewing habits. I wouldn't get a 4:3 set unless it had the 16x9 mode, but with the squeeze available, it seems to be a no-lose situation.

    Steve K.
     
  17. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Actually, there is a "lose" situation.

    If you get a 4:3 set and decide to watch DVDs in 16:9 mode primarily, within 6 to 8 months, you will have effectively burned in the 16:9 pattern onto the CRT ...

    Keep in mind what you got the TV for ... and stay to that as much as possible.

    Sometimes, you just can't win at all.

    Regards
     
  18. Michael St. Clair

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  19. Harley

    Harley Stunt Coordinator

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    I might have missed the answer to this question but.....

    Do you still risk burn in on a 4.3 direct view TV when you watch DVD movies in 16.9?

    How many movies in 16.9 ratio could a person safely watch a week on 4.3 direct view before running the risk of burn in?

    On the flip side what about direct view 16.9 TV watching 4.3 material before you have a problem?

    Harley
     
  20. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

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    OK... but what about my point about a single seating distance that works for both formats? With a 16:9 set you have it, and with a 4:3 set you don't.
     

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