What size HDTV should I be looking for?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by elMalloc, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    Here's my situation. I'm in college and going to graduate soon, I've saved up about $2000 the past few months. I'm willing to spend around $3000 if I have to. I've been living in my parents house the past few years and I bought one of their cars for a price much below value (honda civic for $2000, they could have sold it to someone else for $7000). In this light, I'm going to upgrade their TV set before I go. They use a 10 year old Zenith 25" TV and sit about 12.5 feet away from it. I gave them a DVD player once but they only have composite hookups. Widescreen looks terribly small (can't even read subtitles if you had to...can't navigate DVD menus because text is blurry from that distance).
    The couch is 12.5 feet away. I don't want to get something so big, that if people move to 6-7 feet away (if they don't want to sit on the couch) that it looks blurry.
    We have standard digital cable. It's not HD though. This is the big point, if the TV set can stretch the image "well", I know they won't mind it. I've seen some stretches that look iffy though (Panasonic and Hitachi in the store). I know Toshiba stretches well from what I've read, but I have to see it in the store first. I'm afraid about losing any detail with DVDs with Toshiba's upconversion. What happens when Hidef arrives, will the Toshiba leave it 1080i?
    Finally, people will end up gaming on this TV too. Possibly 4-5 hours a week on average. Most games are still 4x3 so the stretching plays some role here as well.
    I have Video Essentials, so I do need a set that is pretty good out-of-the-box, because I won't be shelling out for an ISF for a year or two (if I feel it's needed).
    I talked to my local cable company, and they said their HDTV cable box will come out next year with component outputs. Later on in the year they will have another cable box that has DVI output. I don't exactly know what that means, but there it is.
    So basically it comes down to, in this order:
    (1)+DVD Picture Quality
    (2)+Stretch Modes
    (2)+Good cable signal, how will it display on the set
    (3)+DVI upgradeability
    My parents did say once that they wouldn't mind keeping the 25" in the same room as a new TV set. This could lead to actually dropping the good cable signal rule, because they would probably end up watching cable on that thing, and only DVDs/HD on the other set. I think the stretch mode still plays a factor though, because game consoles will be connected to it.
    Any comments are appreciated thanks for reading the post,
    ELmO
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Adam Brandner

    Adam Brandner Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I don't have the expertise that some have around here, but the TV I've been saving up for is the Sony Wega KV-36HS500. It's $2000, but Best Buy had it on sale a few weeks back for around $1800. At 36", it may be a little smaller than you're looking for, though. But if your parents are like me and hate rear projections, then it may be the way to go.

    1) DVD signals will look great.
    2) No need for Stretch modes, as it is 3:4.
    It does have auto anamorphic squeeze, though.
    3) Not sure how this thing will treat your cable signal.
    4) It has a DVI input.

    I won't have much first hand experience with it for another month or two, but it seems like a pretty solid TV, as long you're not married to the idea of a rear projection model. Oh, and it's listed on Best Buy's website, but Crutchfield's website has much better descriptions of its features. Good luck picking out a TV. There is certainly a lot of great stuff to choose from.
     
  3. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    elmo,
    Since this is for your parents and they were happy with cable and a 25" before ... I wouldn't even mess around with an RPTV. You have to calibrate the darn things so much and fiddle with the different settings/stuff that it would drive your parents mad after you left home. Stick with a tube TV and get it 4:3 ratio. 16:9 looks so sexy I know, but again this is your parents and even 16:9 has black bars on most new DVDs (they use 2.35:1 ratio not 1.7:1.) Plus the 16:9 TVs and any RPTV needs a new entertainment center to hold it, etc. which gets into $$$. 4:3 is typically cheaper than 16:9, so you can buy more TV for less $.
    I would suggest you go down to Sears, BestBuy, Soundtrack, or Circuit City and see what tubes are available for $2000. You could probably score a nice 32" HDTV for that price (or negotiate them down to it.) Sony makes a nice tube HDTV. That would be the easiest route to go.
    or you can look here and check some models out:
    www.epinions.com
     
  4. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    I could get a 36" tube HDTV for the price...but I think it's only useful for movies, cable is going to look bad on that anyways. Does it always have to be tinkered with? I mean once I set the settings with video essentials don't you think it will last a year before having to tweak more, after breaking in?

    For now it would only be used for DVDs, and they'd keep their other set for cable since it looks bad..next year we are supposed to get an hdtv cable box with component break outs from our cable company...maybe they can use it for cable tv at that time.

    Maybe I could get the cheap panasonic 53" widescreen...who knows.

    -ELmO
     

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