What type of TV to get?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by michele, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. michele

    michele Auditioning

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    I'm in search of a new TV and I need your advice. I only watch cable. I will eventually buy a DVD player to watch DVD movies but I'm not in any hurry. I just want a larger TV (40-60") to show larger pictures (not black bars - i get distracted by them) and I want to see minimum black bars as possible. What type of TV do I need?
    Should I get a sdtv, edtv or hdtv? Should I get 4:3 or 16:9 tv sets?
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    To minimize black bars, you need a widescreen (16:9) set. To get the size you want, you need a projection TV. The widescreen RPTVs out there are high definition.

    So, it looks like you're going to spend $1500 or so to get a widescreen, high-def, rear projection TV.

    And you'll be delighted!

    Jan
     
  3. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    welcome to the home theater forum.

    unfortunately you are in a bit of a jam, black bars are in your future.

    1) with most movies you will get black bars even if you have a widescreen tv (the bars are just much smaller)
    2) since you watch almost exclusively cable if you get a widescreen you will need to use a stretch mode or have vertical grey bars

    as I have said many times before this is a very personal decision and people ahve many different reasons for buying the aspect ratios they do. I can only speak for myself, but i went with a 4:3 tv for my recent purchase. i feel it is the right decision for me now as movies are not the be all and end all for me, and black bars dont bother me (when my room is completly black for movie watching i can barely see anythign but the picture.

    that being said i knwo the next tv i buy will without a doubt be a widescreen (but unless i win the lottery that wont be for at least 5 more years)
     
  4. michele

    michele Auditioning

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    Now i'm confused. If my 27" TV hardly ever show black bars why would my new TV start to show black bars? That's what I want to avoid. That's why I post this question here so I would not go and buy a TV and get black bars. I just want a bigger version of my TV!!!
    Thanks for the responses.
     
  5. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    If you just want a bigger version of your current tv then buy a 4:3 tv.
    see the problem here is aspect ratios your traditional tv has a width to height ratio of
    1.33:1 a 16x9 tv has a ratio of
    1.78:1
    most tv programming is shot in 1.33:1 however almost all movies since the 40's or 50's have been shot at a ratio of 1.78:1 or greater. many movies now are using a ratio of 2.35:1 and some ahve gone as high as 2.60:1 i believe.
    what this means is that even if you buy a widescreen tv you will have black bars when watching any movies shot at a ratio greater than 1.78:1 its just that these bars will be alot smaller than on a 4:3 tv.
    that being said if you have a 16x9 tv yuo will either have to stretch any 1.33:1 material (just about everything on cable) or deal with vertical black oe grey bars.
    since you mostly watch cable, and dvd dosent seem to be a big deal i would definitely suggest you go for a 4:3 tv we are in the middle of a transition period right now so in my opinion either choice is a good one. but 5 years ago the only choice in my opinion would ahve been a 4:3 tv, and five eyars form now im sure the only reasonable choice will be a 16x9 tv.
    I hope this helps, if i didn't explain anyhting properly just let me knwo and iw ill try again [​IMG]
    cheers and good luck with your decision.
    P.S id go with a HDTV either way, the line doublers out there do wonders [​IMG]
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  7. michele

    michele Auditioning

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    So what you're saying is that I can buy a 4:3 HDTV and not worry about a thing.

    Thanks guys and take care
     
  8. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Michele,
    Where are you encountering black bars now if you only watch cable? As said above, most cable is 4:3 (squarish) so you shouldn't see any black bars on a 4:3 set.
    If what you want is just a larger version of your current TV (which is a 4:3 set), then getting a larger 4:3 won't give you any more black bars...unitl you get a DVD player.
    Now, the next question: How much of a movie fan are you? Do you want to watch a movie and see all of the picture, as it was shown in theaters, or would you rather fill your 4:3 screen even if it means losing 40% or so of the picture? [Click on the link below my signature for the AtomBrain Guide to Letterboxing...very quick overview of what I'm talking about.]
    If you want to see all of the movie, you'll be buying/renting widescreen DVDs, and you'll have black bars. The bars will either disappear or be very much smaller with a widescreen TV over a 4:3.
    John-Miles is exactly right. We're in a transitional period where most of what is broadcast today is 4:3, but where it'll be 16:9 tomorrow (well, by 2006 or so), with 16:9 material becoming more common along the way. Five years from now, the choice will be easy: 16:9. Five years ago, 4:3 would have been the obvious choice. Today...it can be a real puzzler.
    Don't forget to click on that link below and learn about letterboxing! It's painless, really. [​IMG]
    Jan
     

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