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Which Rear Projection TV to buy????

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Andrew-P, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. Andrew-P

    Andrew-P Auditioning

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    Help. I am looking to purchase a rear projection TV set and currently looking at the models below. I am however having a hard time trying to figure out which set has the best picture quality and features to offer.

    I will be using the set to watch HDTV programs as well as DVD movies so the picture quality is important to me. I am confused as to need for 720p vs. 1080i for HDTV programs. One article I read mentioned that ABC is now using 720p for its HDTV broadcast. I selected these models because they are in my price range based on a visit to BrandsmartUSA.

    All pro and cons responses are welcome.

    Thanks in-advance for your response.

    Philips- 51PW9363
    JVC- AV48WP74
    Sony- KP46WT510
    Toshiba- 51H83
    Panasonic- PT53WX53
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    The Philips seems very close to the same as my 60" Philips. Although it does look like there is some improvements over mine.

    For a review of the 60" model:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...ilips+60PP9202


    Electronicsalley, where I bought mine, has the set for $1296... I highly reccomend them. If you get lucky and they don't have one in stock, you may have to wait some, but you will get free shipping on it, or at least I did, and the set came directly from Philips.
     
  3. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Personally, I prefer the Toshiba. Three members of my famuly own Toshiba HD sets (including me) and they are great sets because:

    1) great bang for the buck
    2) good picture out of the box, great picture after a few tweaks (service menu convergence, etc)
    3) does not "lock in full" for progressive scan. This allows you to zoom in on non-anamorphic or 4:3 titles without having to change to interlaced output.
    4) good reliability and many good reviews on this site
    5) I do not see the 480i->540p conversion artifacts that some do - good for me, maybe not good for others that do see them
     
  5. Richard Driskill

    Richard Driskill Stunt Coordinator

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    Andrew,

    Choose a television based on -specifications-... NOT what you see on the showroom floor. If you are bent on choosing from the above, so be it, but...

    Buy a Mitsubishi WS RPTV. Mits TV's will gve you the biggest bang for your buck concerning QUALITY and VALUE. There are slightly 'better' displays out there, but you will not get the value ($$$$$). I own 15 TV's of various sorts, but out of the 4 large WS RPTV's in my home theater systems, 3 of them are 65 inch Mitsubishi's. All of those were purchased at -BrandsMart USA-. Additionally, no company makes more WS RPTV's than Mitsubishi, and they do it right.

    720p is a very nice 16X9 picture. there is NO resolution difference between 720i and 720p, just the manner in which the images are displayed (2 fields to make 1 frame , VS 1 complete frame [p]), with progressive being easier on the eyes and more natural for the brain to process.

    -Genuine- 1080i (not upconverted) transmissions and displays will make you drool like a baby! -Check- the spec's to make sure your TV will display the full 1080i resolution before buying it (1920 X 1080), DO NOT rely on the words "HDTV compatible" as the qualifier.

    I watch local OTA 720 and 1080 digital broadcasts, and on DirecTv. I am also a big DVD movie freak with 1,095 DVD's owned. One of my HTS can even support 2,060 watts (max) of audio (32 cones in total / 7 channels). This, and my background, should tell you I know what I am talking about.

    Don't forget to calibrate your set with Digital Video Essentials. (see below) About once a year should do the trick. Don't forget to buy a GOOD surge/spike/noise (a good UPS would be even better) protector for your investment; electricity is 'dirty' all over the country!

    And lastly, don't forget the price difference between a smaller set and a larger set is fairly minimal... take advantage of that! Go for the 65" if you can! (you'll need at least 9.5 feet between you and the set though)



    Jeff,

    1) Mits TV's are a even greater bang for the buck.

    2) -All- TV displays need to be calibrated after you purchase them (and again after the first 90 days of use, to let all the electronic components 'settle down'). The days of "it looks good to me" are long over. A neighbor of mine has a large Toshiba RPTV WS, and I just find it unacceptable.

    3) Anytime you zoom a picture from its -native- resolution you lose resolution.

    4) Haven't checked the count.

    5) A TV display that uses 540p is using 1080i processing, then donwconverting it (540p X 2 = 1080i). It is a -cheaper- way of producing the set. 720i, 720p and 1080i are designed for 16X9 display; whereas 480i and 480p are designed for 4X3 display. To be a fully certified ATSC compliant display, the set must be able to give you all 5 display modes (480i, 480p, 720i, 720p, and 1080i). Resolutions like 540p and 960i (line doubled 480p) are not among the list.
     
  6. DonTrib

    DonTrib Auditioning

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    Hello Richard, I noticed you mentioned HD "compatible" and I was wondering your thoughts are about HD "capable". The Hitachi I have is the 51SWX20B. Not knowing anything about HD,I purchased it and,only now am I learning about tuners,calibrations,HT,etc.

    I'm probably the "average buyer" that buys what he sees/likes at the store. I suppose most stores also fail to tell you all the things you need to make it truely HD.

    I apologize if I am thread jumping,but I think this can help others that also view this.

    Thank you,Don
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    The Mitsu's handle the 720p natively? I was unaware of this.
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Richard,

    That's why I said "personally" I prefer Toshibas. YMMV!
     
  9. Perry Jonkheer

    Perry Jonkheer Second Unit

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    What is your budget??

    I just bought a Pioneer Elite 530HDI for $2400. This is an unbeatable TV at this price...
     
  10. GeraldK

    GeraldK Agent

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    No, John, I don't think they do. Most Mitsubishi CRT-based RPTVs (WS series) accept only 480p and 1080i natively, while 480i is converted to 480p, and, if I'm not mistaken, 540 and 720 are not even accepted. At least, that's how I read the specs in their '04 catalog.

    Richard, did I miss something?
     
  11. Richard Driskill

    Richard Driskill Stunt Coordinator

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    DonTrib,

    TECHNICALLY, any TV that can receive and display the 720 matrix can be called "HD compatible". Sneaky, eh? Example: a friend of mine bought a Panasonic "HD" set, but low and behold, its max resolution was only 870 horizontal lines of resolution; ergo, when it receives the 1080i signal it must be downconverted to display the image (as the screen can not actually display 1,080 lines).

    ************************************************** **********

    The 5 visual ATSC (Advanced Television Standards Committee) digital matrix's are-

    SDTV (Standard Definition Television)
    480i : 480 horizontal lines X 640 vertical lines
    480p : 480 horizontal lines X 640 vertical lines

    HDTV (High Definition Television)
    720i : 720 horizontal lines X 1,280 vertical lines
    720p : 720 horizontal lines X 1,280 vertical lines
    1080i : 1,080 horizontal lines X 1,920 vertical lines

    ************************************************** **********

    When a set is labeled "HD compatible" that implies it has no ATSC tuner (it's a 'monitor' instead of a 'set'), you must buy a seperate STB (set top box) to receive digital stations.

    As far as the average salesperson hawking sets at the local stores, I would surmise a great many of them know little about specifications. Just try asking one of them "what size guns that particular set has" (7" or 9") and you'd likely get a dumb stare. If you'd like to get a little sneaky (free) education, try dropping in on a Sound Advice store (if you have one in your area) and express an interest in the big WS sets. Other than that, you just need to read a lot of publications and ask questions on boards like this.

    BTW, I couldn't locate the original manufacturer specs on the 51SWX20B, but one site I went to said the set could handle up to 1,280 -horizontal- lines. That sounds suspicious to me as the -vertical- line amount for the 720 matrix is 1,280 lines. It makes me think that the set will downconvert 1080i signals to 720 on the screen. This could be a error though... just look in your manual under 'specifications' to know for sure.

    As far as calibrating the set, I'd recommend you spending between $20-$25 to pick up DVE (Digital Video Essentials). Unlike the original VE, this version is anamorphic and was shot in HD (downconverted to 480). In roughly 2 hours you will be able to calibrate your set to about 90-95 percent of perfect. If you have the cash ($$$) and want 100% (they have very expensive calibration equipment), hire a ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) certified tech to calibrate it for you.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    John S and GeraldK,

    Reread my post.

    The only time I mentioned the word "native" was in reference to zoomed images and the loss of resolution.

    My central theme was meant to express that you want to purchase a set that can -actually- display at least 1,080 lines to view 1080i broadcasts if you are spending thousands on a HD set/display.

    Additonally, I said "I watch local OTA 720 and 1080 digital broadcasts, and on DirecTv.". This did not imply that there was no conversion taking place. The signals are indeed sent as as 720 and 1080 which the set sees, recognizes and decodes. It is in the displaying of the images on the screen that the 720 matrix would be upconverted to 1080i in this case. Upconversion is a 'OK thing', downconversion is a 'bad thing' -AT THE DISPLAY-. Upconversion -IN BROADCASTING- is a 'bad thing', as the original source resolution was of a lesser quality than is being touted and sent. As an example, look at 'regular' (NTSC) shot TV shows on DirecTV. They suck compared to digitally shot TV shows; but both appear at your set as 480 on your digital display. That's upconversion in broadcasting. The Mits will -decode- 480i, 480p, 720i, 720p and 1080i; it will actually -display- 480 (SD) and 1,080 (HD) lines on the screen, in addition to line doubling 480p to 960i if you select that preference. The 720 being upconverted to 1080 (at the set) will not reduce the 'clarity' of the image, but of course, you are not watching a 1080 native/genuine broadcast.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Jeff Gatie,

    You can personally like whatever you wish. No disrespect was intended. What does "YMMV!" mean?

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Perry Johkheer,

    The Elite series IS awesome. But then at 53 inches, it's not quite the -value- of a Mits (a few years back, one of the sets I bought was a 55" Mits for $1,800 [a deep discount price from BrandsMart USA]).
     
  12. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary

    In addition, the reason I do not like "Locks in full" displays is that I have an extensive catalog of academy ratio films and 4:3 tv shows on DVD, in addition to a few non-anamorphic DVD's. Sure, I lose resolution when zooming non-anamorphic DVD's, but any display will lose resolution if they are displayed (re. zoomed) correctly, so that point is a wash. What I do not lose is the benefits of progressive scan. I see this as a definite plus for the Toshiba when compared to non-anamorphic DVD's on a "locks in full" display. Even better, I do not lose any resolution on my 4:3 titles and keep the progressive scan. This allows me to view my beloved 4:3 titles in the same 480p that I view everything else. This is important to me, especially with older B&W films where my interlaced player caused color bleed.

    Note: I have purchased a Panny RP91 which does this scaling for me and makes the "locks in full" issue moot, but all of the above did apply before this purchase and is a valid point to make for anyone considering a purchase today, especially with the apparent scarcity of the RP91 these days.

    Again, YMMV!
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    I think I get it. The lines of resolution thing always gets me.

    Manufactures are evasive about it even in their manuals.
    The spec is "maximum number of horizontle lines of resolution"??

    I cannot even find that spec for most TV's... Just to illustrate what I mean about evasive.
     
  14. chris*b

    chris*b Stunt Coordinator

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    Can anyone show me a single RPTV that has 1080 lines or more for real? Almost all, if not all half way affordable ones don't have that many lines.
     
  15. John S

    John S Producer

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    Most have 960 huh?????
     
  16. chris*b

    chris*b Stunt Coordinator

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    Or less. I believe mine is 850 or 860. I can't remember.
     
  17. Perry Jonkheer

    Perry Jonkheer Second Unit

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    I agree the Mits are great sets, but you have to get a diamond series to compare to the Elites of Pioneer IMO...

    The Diamond series 55" cost around $3500 I think...and this is the smallest Diamond made.
     
  18. Mike Wilk

    Mike Wilk Stunt Coordinator

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    If you go to websites like TVAuthority, Crutchfield, OneCall, etc. you should be able find the full specs for the respective models they each sell.
    YMMV
     

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