Which 16x9 tv is the best for standard def material?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dion O, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. Dion O

    Dion O Auditioning

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    I have about 3000 to spend and am considering either the mits ws55819 or the sony kp57hw40. Is the 57xbr2 worth the extra money? The only tvs I have eliminated are the toshibas, way to many reliability problems. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Sony.

    Because of it's superior 'line doubler' [scaler]. Check out the review in issue 41 of Perfect Vision.

    I am not a Sony 'fan' at all. High prices, low reliablity [contrast setting so high it can burn a tube out in three years. Or just after warranty], & expensive too fix.

    But their upsampler is the best built-in unit, right now.
     
  3. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Actually, Consumer Reports said the top rated 16:9 set with standard definition material is the Pioneer 533. Lists for $3,500.

    Artie
     
  4. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    ... and according to CR, the best speakers are Bose. Not saying they're wrong on the TV, but i'd certainly compare for myself first!
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Bill
    You have a good point. Sometimes the engineers at CR have their heads up their butts.
    In this particular case, however, I have to agree with them that for people whose watching habits will include a significant amount of standard definition material (most material), basing the ratings on picture quality with standard definition makes sense. All the HD capable sets looked great on HD and DV.
    PS I have written letters to CR on tech subjects because they are so far behind trends like big screen TV. It has only been in the last year that they stopped saying 25 inch was as big as most people need!
    Artie
     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I too would be concerned about those issues. I have an interlaced DVD player and I would surely upgrade to progressive but that still leaves me with cable and laserdisc at lower def and I don't want that looking like crap just so that the dvd and hd looks good. Here are some sets I have my eye on (won't be able to afford for quite some time, but dreaming for now......):

    Pioneer SD-533HD5 53"

    Mitsubishi Platinum WS-55809 55" HDTV HD upgradable

    Sony KP57HW40 & KP51HW40

    Panasonic PT-47WX5 or PT-56WX5

    What are the Mitsubishi's like with lower def ie cable interlaced signals?
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Pioneers are reputed to have the best line doublers and good stretch modes, at relatively higher prices than Sony, Mits, Tosh.

    The Mits have excellent HD and dvd performance but mediocre line doubling and stretch modes.

    I have a Sony KP57HW40 and love it. The line doubling (DRC in Sony speak) is quite good, to the point that many see no need for a progressive scan player, and it's variable stretch mode is quite good. My set doesn't need to run high contrast levels to produce decent brightness, 45% is plenty for daytime viewing with some light control, 30% for dim lighting when watching dvds at night. My crts are far from overdriven.

    I've had 4 rptvs in my home over the last 4 years (2 of which were returned during the 30 day exchange period). The Sony is the easiest to calibrate with AVIA, had the best out of the box picture, and has been trouble free since last October. It's ntsc picture quality is at least as good as that of my high-end Hitachi Ultravision analog set with my fair to good cable and with analog DirecTV.

    If your cable picture is poor, no set is going to look good but an HD-ready set is gonna look horrible.
     
  8. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Steve,
    Let me get this straight. When its dark, you can and do turn DOWN the image contrast? Thats cool. Saves wear and tear and probably saves a bit of electricity too [​IMG]
    So do you watch NTSC cable, VHS and do watch them with bars or do you stretch them?
    Dion, I wouldn't go for the XBR unless you see a drastic difference.....but I'm no expert on that.
    So far Sony and Pioneer are the best bets for HDTV for the near future for me. 51" 53" or 57" hmmmm......
     
  9. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Dion, I just purchased the Sony KP57hw40 (for $2599) and couldn't be happier with it's picture. I was amazed how good it made my (crummy) cable signal look, and was even more pleased with DirecTV reception, especially HighDef.

    I had considered the Sony 57XBR2 (for $4999), however it's internal HD tuner only works with terrestial/OTA HD signals so I'd have had to spend another $600-800 for an external HD decoder for the satellite signal - which was NOT worth it.

    The HighDef picture on the KP57hw40 I have at home looks every bit as good as it did on the 57XBR2 I saw in the store (when they broadcast the Olympics in HD).

    I had considered the Mits WS55819, yet was told they were backordered with no actual promised delivery date. Plus the Mits picture quality was nowhere near the Sony's.
     
  10. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Chris,

    As a rule, the darker the room the lower you can set contrast (better described as white level) and still have an acceptably bright picture. You don't want to turn contrast down so far that whites start to look gray, of course.

    I watch cable and satellite directv ntsc in the variable stretch mode mainly, called WideZoom on a Sony, unless the show is letterboxed like ER or Enterprise, in which case I use straight Zoom. VHS generally looks pretty terrible on any rptv, HD or not. I have a JVC 9600 S-VHS unit which can make quite watchable tapes in S-VHS from a good DirecTV channel, but regular vhs just doesn't look good, and didn't look good on my older analog rptv either.
     
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    So you're saying a rental VHS tape will look crappy on my JVC 7800 on the KP51 or 57HW40? Is it worse than a 32" interlaced TV say?

    Thats what really sucks. You're not ALWAYS going to be watching DVD's and I can't see myself with anything other than NTSC cable for at least a year or two. I'd like to be watching DVD way more often than vhs and cable movies of course. I bought an SVHS JVC 7800 last summer thinking it was a good idea, and I have a feeling I'm not going to use it all that much. I might time shift some TV shows, but not much more than that. At least the SVHS vcr was only $418.00 CAD and not a higher end one. Spending lots on a VCR now really seems a waste cause its un-necessary to have the BEST SVHS when dvd is out there. Also, you can't use an SVHS vcr to tape HDTV signals either, right? At least, not 16:9? Or not at all?

    What the heck do people record HDTV programs with? Tivo or something similar?

    Did either of you consider the KP51HW40 in your shopping? The 57 is HUGE and I like it, but the 51 might be an option for me cause its less $$$$.
     
  12. JimmyD

    JimmyD Auditioning

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    They don't get much press but the SharpVision 55RWP5H has a great image with regular cable and even regular VHS (better than my 12 year old Pioneer RPTV).

    Back in December when I was shopping around for an HDTV I actually took along my own camcorder with a low res recorded signal to play back into the HDTVs at the stores. I found that the Pioneer and Sharps were the only sets that did a good job of upscaling such a low res signal.

    Sometimes you'll get jaggedness with some solid lines but you have to be looking for it and it's nothing that's going to bother me as I sit 12' away from the set. You do have to have good cable strength though.

    James
     
  13. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    Chris, you can't record HD with that SVHS VCR, but at least the extra resolution will make any recorded programs look quite a bit better than regular VHS. So it's probably money well spent.

    In fact, I don't know why I haven't bought one yet. Even for non-HD stuff the regular broadcast 480i has more lines than standard VHS can handle, and I almost never watch a TV show without having taped it because I hate wasting time on commercials and plotlines and characters I don't like.

    Ok, you twisted my arm. I think I'll go look at VCRs tomorrow. Good thinking.
     

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