What TV to Get?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Andrew Beckmen, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Andrew Beckmen

    Andrew Beckmen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sometime in the future I might be coming into money through a settlement. I want to figure out what TV to get, I have been dreaming of a nice WS HDTV for years now, and it looks like I might be getting one. But I am having trouble finding one that meets my high standards. My price range is 2,000-4,000, I am looking for something in a screen size 45"-50". Of course it needs to be 16X9. Here's what I am looking for:

    1: Black bars for displaying 4:3 content. Grey bars are just too distracting.

    2: DVI Input, as I plan on getting one of those snazzy DVD players that upgrades regualr DVDs to HD.

    3: Picture modes so I can zoom in on old non-anamorphic discs like The Abyss and Widescreen TV shows like Stargate SG-1 instead of watching the movies in a tiny box with letter and window boxes. And of course anamorphic video support, which I think is defualt anyway.

    4: Good picture for analog cable, as that's all I have (and probably won't upgrade due to glitchy digital cable in my area and the fact that the TV will be payed for in one shot, and then I will go back to being broke and can't afford digital cable/sattilite or HD). Analog cable makes up probably half of what I watch

    5: For future-proofing, true support of 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, ect. I have heard of certain models that downgrade 720p to 480p and stuff like that. Don't want none of that.

    6: Built-In Screen shield, to protect my investment. (Preferable, not required)

    If you could post links of models that meet these standards, I'd appreciate it. Also, I am unsure of what dvd player to get. I am looking at a Zenith, the DVB318 that has a DVI port and I think upgrades to 1080i, but I am not sure if that's the best model out there for my needs or whatever. I'd like to find one that does that but can also zoom out (AKA Shrink) so I don't blow up my TV trying to get rid of the damned overscan!
     
  2. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 16, 2002
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    415
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Jason Charlton
    Andrew,

    A few clarifications, first:



    In my humble opinion, you can do more to protect your investment by properly calibrating the picture using AVIA or DVE and using common sense than by adding a screen protector (the exception being an environment that includes small children and their sticky fingers...) Often, protective screens hamper brightness, contrast, and picture clarity.

    All of that being said, I have a Sony 57" set and am very pleased with it, and think the latest 51" model might be worth your checking out here.

    From my experience, the Sony had arguably the best picture with standard, non-digital cable of all the sets I looked at, also it has DVI input, as well as excellent stretch and zoom modes. On the minus side, it does downconvert 720p to 480p, and has the grey bars, but I really think these two requirements will be very difficult to meet.

    Sorry I can't help too much with other manufacturers and sets - I've had my Sony for nearly a year and love it.

    Good luck with your search.

    -Jason
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,486
    Likes Received:
    334
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    I refuse to buy any TV that forces me to have gray on the sides of a 4x3 picture instead of black. My friend has one that does that and it is pretty annoying. I don't think I'd buy a projection TV anyways though, I've never been satisfied with how they look. Let the people who watch stuff with the contrast cranked get burn-in though!
     
  4. Andrew Beckmen

    Andrew Beckmen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the info, Jason. I can live without a screen sheild (makes sense that it would screw with the picture), and if 720p/1080i dual support or whatever isn't available, that's OK too.

    When I said 1080i upgrading I meant upconversion. I know it won't really turn 480i NTSC into true HD, but whatever those chips can manage should be good enough for me. As for the grey bars...I am still skeptical. It took me a long time to get used to black bars (But in my defense, I converted to WS Letterbox when I was like 12, back in the days of VHS before DVD was even concieved), but grey bars I am not sure. It's like a glowing thing out of your eyeline. Like the sun or something. Blackness can be easily tuned out, it's like the area or the screen that's black doesn't exist. I dunno how long it would take me to adjust to grey bars. Maybe I can look into some kind of mattes or something...

    I would like other options, though. Any other users have any pearls of wisdom?
     
  5. Andrew Beckmen

    Andrew Beckmen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Are Plasma, DLP, LCD Flat Panel and LCD TVs still bad? Last I knew RPTVs or whatever were better when it comes to longevity and all that. I love the image of these new-fangled sets in the store displays, but that's because they calibrate them better and all that, right? Trying to trick you into buying the more expensive TV to up their commision...
     
  6. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

    Joined:
    May 16, 2002
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    415
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Jason Charlton
    Plasma, LCD, DLP are improving rapidly and will soon give CRT a run for its money in overall picture quality. To me, the biggest drawback to plasma is the cost - they're still just too expensive for their size. The convenience of a slim set, though, is enough for many people. LCD has pretty poor black levels and many people have complained about the "streaking" effect of fast moving images. To me, LCD has the farthest to go yet. DLP is a very viable alternative to CRT RPTV - the latest generation chip (HD2+, I believe) will have excellent black levels and an outstanding picture.

    In short, a properly set up CRT RPTV will still give you the best picture out there. Also, when properly set up, CRTs will last many many years - certainly long enough to still be running strong when you get the upgrade bug the next time around.

    Very few stores actually "calibrate" their sets, in fact they are often left in "torch mode" so that the pictures are easy to see in a brightly lit showroom. Many stores also feed dozens of sets with the same source signal, split many times and degrading it's quality significantly. If one or two sets look remarkably good compared to the others, they may have a separate feed, perhaps HD, whereas the others are all sharing a single SD feed.

    As far as the grey bars go, you may be surprised at how quickly you will adjust to watching 4:3 material stretched. The Sony "Wide Zoom" mode in particular is outstanding at producing a very natural-looking image that fills the screen. I watch virtually everything in WZ and it looks great to me.

    -Jason
     
  7. Andrew Beckmen

    Andrew Beckmen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, I guess your right. The only shows I really watch are ER, Stargate SG-1, Touching Evil, Monk and 24, most (possibly all next season) of which are in 1.78:1. I watch other stuff, but more passivly, like right now I am 1/3 watching an old 4:3 episode of ER while reading the forums and playing SW Bounty Hunter.

    Right now I am looking at the Sony KDP51WS550. It's a 51" with a Built-in HDTV Tuner. I don't really care about the built-in tuner, but it seems to have more features than the same size, but cheaper model, KP-51WS510. However, the screen is a little big. The way my living room is set up, I am sitting like 4 feet away from the screen (No, I cannot and will not move stuff around, this is the best way I can fit the cmputer desk, HT, couch and recliner in this small room) So I am considering the KP-46WT510, which would entail dropping an extra 200 on the stand to get it up to a proper viewing height. Other than those dillemas these models are good, right? I hate the way the cabinet is on the 51"s as well, and I'm not ga-ga over the 46" either, but a nice black mesh speaker-cover type look would probably backfire as my cat rips it to shreds during the night.

    Also, I will be in the market for a good 4:3 13" TV, for use with the PS2. I have my PS2 and a 13" TV set up next to my comp monitor on the computer desk. I can't really go higher than 13" on the "gaming monitor" because it would obscruct my view of the main TV in the living room. I will probably get a 99-dollar Apex flatscreen, but I can't find any online for some reason. All I really want is a flatscreen with composite jacks, maybe S-Video. Like I said, it's just for the PS2.
     
  8. Andrew Beckmen

    Andrew Beckmen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bump...
     

Share This Page