What to look for in a HD RPTV?

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

  1. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    Just wondered what an RPTV newbie should be looking for in terms of featues and performance when selecting an RPTV?
    I have seen a Hitatchi that looked good at my local Sears but it the brand doesn't seem to have any fans here? Anything I should know?
    TIA.
     
  2. Eric Scott

    Eric Scott Second Unit

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    The most important thing is to take your time and thoroughly check out all of the makes and models you might like. Narrow it down the size and aspect you want and you're almost there. Then you can decide what brand and where you are going to buy it.
    I have the Toshiba 56H80 and I am very happy.
    Remember to verify anything a store salesman tells you.
    quote: WARNING: *Prior to purchase of Home Theater Electronics you may suffer from acute indecision. Side effects can include confusion, anxiety, restlessness, tension, dry mouth, agitation, weight loss or gain, sexual dysfunction, sleeplessness, drowsiness, constipation, withdrawal from social activities, marriage and relationship difficulties, headaches, blurred vision, grandiosity, employment disturbances and bizarre thinking.
    You may want to consider professional help! [​IMG]
    *Continuous use of these products may cause addiction and require participation in financial counseling.
    ES[/quote]
     
  3. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    I'm finding it hard to decide on the aspect ratio I want. I think it's a case of my heart wanting 16x9 but my head knowing that my wife and I watch mostly 4x3 SDTV. I'd really be worried about burn in as I hate the stretch modes.
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    One of the things that really sucks is that the retail chains NEVER have their sets calibrated, they're right out of the box.
    As such, the images are too bright (10,000K vs 6500K) -- and usually the colors are way off as well.
    It's very difficult, if not impossible to compare the sets between multiple dealers.
    It's a lot of fun, but realize the limitations.
    Regards,
    ------------------
    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  5. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    John,
    Is there anything in particular I should be looking for feature wise? Or even some features that I should be avoiding?
    I know at the moment that if I go with 4x3 then I want the set to be able to do the anamorphic squeeze. I also know that a Hitacthi set I looked at apparently downconverts 1080i to 810(?) so that it can add some grey bars back in. I'm pretty sure I don't want this.
    The biggest problem I have at the moment is that there are so many sets out there. I will need the smallest one I can get, without sacrificing quality, so that helps me narrow things down. My net research has so far shown that Mitsubishi, Toshiba and Sony have pretty good reputations. What I don't know is if that means I dismiss Panasonic, Samsung, RCA, Hitatchi out of hand.
    Also going by audio review and other sites like this all Manufacturers have their problems. Which again makes choosing hard.
     
  6. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Andrew,
    Re Hitachi. If I'm not mistaken, some (all?) Toshibas use a Hitacha tube/crt. But I can't remember where I came across that tidbit.
    Anyone know if this is true? (not that it really matters).
    After studying on RPTVs for the last couple of months, I find my self leaning toward the new 50hx81 Toshiba. (Firewire be hanged!)
    I'm looking to read early reports on it. I'm also considering the new Panasonic 47.. but am not exactly excited about it from what I've read thus far.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/007285.html
    ------------------
    --RR
     
  7. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    1. Both component and RGB inputs (this rules out all Toshibas, I think.) If you could see what DVD's look like on my set using a HTPC at 1440x960i into the RGB input, you would know why RGB is a requirement. 720p or 600p is a plus.
    2. High effective HD resolution.
    3. Strong color (preferably with no red push.)
    4. Strong contrast.
    5. Good light output.
    6. Flexible tweaking of various modes.
    7. Easy control via universal remote: discrete input selection, discrete power on/off.
    8. Good customer service from whomever will be handling your warranty for the first year. I personally recommend no extended warranty, especially if you might want to tweak your set.
    9. The Mitsubishi promise is a bonus. I personally doubt the firewire copy protection scare will affect more than pay-per-view HD on DirecTV and Dish. Chicken Little would place this concern #1, though.
    For me at least, things like a good line doubler or tuner are unimportant, as you can get an external doubler and/or tuner. So, performance on 480i input is unimportant to me, except as a price issue.
    Similarly, I'm not really interested in 480p. My set is almost always at 600p, 960i, 1080i, or 1200i. But 480p could be important to you.
    Definitely visit your local Costco. There are some great deals there now.
    ------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Philips_HDTV/joinClick to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
     
  8. Eric Scott

    Eric Scott Second Unit

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    As I mentioned I own the 56H80. I only lose a small part of the top and bottom of a 4:3 program when I put it in "Theater Wide mode." Sometimes I will revert back to 4:3 but usually only when I want to read subtitles at the bottom. Which are partly cut off in this mode.) I became very comfortable with this view in a few days. It's great for sports.
    This TV has many ways (too many to mention) to set up the view on the screen, you really need to sit down in front of one with a manual to know what I'm talking about. Discussion and theorizing about these sets won't give you the facts.
    A picture tells a thousand words.
     
  9. Ryan Pream

    Ryan Pream Stunt Coordinator

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    Are there any under $3000 sets in the 40-50 inch range that have RGB inputs? I never thought that was a feature that was widely available.
    Ryan
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  10. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Andrew: I've been researching this upgrade for many, many months now and I have it down to two choices:
    16:9 - Toshiba 65H80 - $2800
    4:3 - Philips 60PP9601 - $2200
    If I had the money today, I'd probably opt for the Philips set due to our current and near term usage ratio which favors regular TV viewing. As it is, my current lack of available funding has me just waiting...
    Good luck with your purchase!
    ------------------
    Take Care,
    merc
     
  11. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    John,
    I'm going to see if my local Sears can still get the Toshiba 40h80. If they can my saleman will do internet price matching which will make it a very atractive buy.
    I think we have similar needs except that my viewing position is only 7 foot away. I also really have no room for anything to big.
     
  12. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Abdul:
    http://www.nbtelectronics.com/
    Go to video hw and HDTV monitors and look for Toshiba 50hx81.
    This link gave me: (for the 50hx81 and 50h81))
    *****************
    Connections
    3 S-Video Input (2 rear, 1 front panel)
    3 Composite Audio/Video Input (2 rear, 1 front panel)
    1 Audio/Video Output
    2 ColorStream HD Component Video Inputs
    Dual RF Terminals
    ****************
    Aren't composite inputs RGB? I'm not sure, but am thinking they are.
    In case the above link is screwed up, it came from this thread:http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/...ML/007504.html
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    --RR
     
  13. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Irritating problems:
    1. Won't let you select 4:3 mode if you are viewing an HD or progressive scan program, some 4:3 sets are that way too. I would pass up a set with this problem regardless of price or other features.
    2. Not enough input jacks. If it has but one S-video and one yellow video in jack and one doesn't work at all when both have cables plugged into them, I would pass up the set regardless of price or other features.
    3. Slow to change channels when you push the remote buttons.
    4. Not enough calibration memories, that is, if you set contrast, brightness for Video 1, it is lost for Video 2, etc.
    It is worthwhile to go through the motions of doing convergence right in the store especially if the floor model is not converged well. All RPTV's will need this periodically. Because this is very demanding on the store staff, you should have nearly completed your shopping and have narrowed your choice to two or three semifinalist sets before doing this.
    >>Aren't composite inputs RGB? I'm not sure, but am thinking they are.
    No. Component, composite, and RGB are three separate formats although component and RGB if both are accepted might use the same set of jacks with a manual selection involved.
    Other video hints:http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
    [Edited last by Allan Jayne on July 10, 2001 at 07:16 AM]
    [Edited last by Allan Jayne on July 10, 2001 at 07:22 AM]
     
  14. Andrew Grall

    Andrew Grall Supporting Actor

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  15. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Just get yourself a Toshiba TheaterWide model. I have the TW65X81 which was recently ISF calibrated. I couldn't be happier. I have an HD source and progressive scan DVD - the only thing better in my budget were the Pioneer Elites. Besides, 4 out of 5 HT members choose the Toshiba over anything else [​IMG]
     
  16. Abdul Jalib

    Abdul Jalib Stunt Coordinator

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    It is possible to connect the RGB output of a HTPC to the component inputs of a HDTV using a transcoder cable. However, this is at the cost of picture quality, and few seem satisfied with the result. It is better to go RGB output to RGB input.
    ------------------
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Philips_HDTV/joinClick to subscribe to Philips_HDTV discussion group
     
  17. Ryan Pream

    Ryan Pream Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm assuming a RGB input is the same as a VGA input on a computer monitor? I know from hooking my computer up to my TW40X81 via SVIDEO the desktop picture was very blurry. I guess that shows how far CRT TV's have to come to match computer monitors.
    Ryan
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  18. Steven Spargo

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    I am looking for an HD ready TV, and your post raised a question unfamiliar to me. I watch a great deal of TV from the cable, and as yet do not have any DVD's.(thi is about to chage)
    I have been reading about the 16 X 9 and thought that it IS the way to go. What is this 4 X3 SDTV, and what is "burn" and stretch mode"?
    Can you educate me?
     
  19. Andrew Grall

    Andrew Grall Supporting Actor

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    Steven,
    I have been where you are at...
    I had trouble deciding for a while whether to go with a 4:3 or 16:9 HDTV-capable set. I also watch a lot of cable TV in addition to my DVDs. In the end, however, I decided to go for a 16:9 set. The Toshibas have some nice stretch modes that I have been told are very easy to get used to when watching cable TV. The widescreen TV will be so much more fun for watching my movies, and you just can't beat the "coolness" factor of a widescreen TV. [​IMG]
    Now, all I need is for those darn Toshiba 50H81s to get in stock so I can have my new TV!
    ------------------
     
  20. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    After doing some research I now have some specific questions that I need help with:
    1. 64 point convergance vs anything else. Is this a must or is it something that is nice to have that shouldn't be a determining factor in set selection?
    2. Line doublers. Are these what can make or break the appearance of a standard cable signal.
    3. Being able to disable SVM. Does SVM make the biggest difference with HD signals? Or is it that annoying that it's good to have the option to remove it? If SVM is such a bad thing why does every new set seem to include it as a feature.
    TIA.
     

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