Why I am choosing direct view...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenP, Jul 16, 2001.

  1. StephenP

    StephenP Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been pulling my hair out for a couple months trying to choose between the 36xbr and a 16:9 toshiba projector. With the release of the new 47 Panasonic, I added that to my short list. Once again I headed out this weekend to try and make my decision, when I saw something that totally turned me off of rptv -- burn in on a new Panasonic 47. I know these sets are in torch mode in stores, but anything that can burn in in less than 2 weeks is something I cannot spend $2000 on. This new tv has already burned in the gray bars that come on when using 4:3 mode. The screen is clearly a different color on the edges when using the full modes. I don't know why CC was showing this tv in 4:3 mode for much of the time, or how long it was in that view, but that seems unacceptable to me. Any rptv owners want to convince me that a dim (compared to direct view), fragile, slightly less sharp (on ntsc sources) picture is better just because it's bigger? I wont be able to afford an hd receiver for a while after I buy a new tv, but ota is available in my area. Someone out there think I'm judging these things too harshly? My choice right now is the 36 xbr, but with a stand it will be at least $500 more than the 50H81 I had been waiting for...
    By the way, best buy said they would have the h81 on display by this week, the computer was showing them in the warehouse.
     
  2. Brian Mello

    Brian Mello Stunt Coordinator

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    I am in the exact same boat as you. Last week I checked out the 36XBR450, 36HS20 and the 47" Panny. I'm still on the fence and could go either way but I think I'm leaning toward saving the $500 or so difference and buying a HDTV receiver and antenna to receive OTA broadcasts. I know right now I would be very happy with the Wega but I thing down the rode I would rather have the larger widescreen. The only place I've been to so far that has the Panny on display is Circuit City. However you can't judge what any TV looks like in that place. I had them play Vertical Limit on the Panny and that did look great. We'll see what happens! Good Luck with your decision.
     
  3. Andrew Beacom

    Andrew Beacom Supporting Actor

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    I don't own a RPTV but I am looking to buy one. I have had 3 Panasonic 32" Tau's since the begining of the year and every one of them has had geometry problems.
    Whats even worse is that now I know what to look for (is the picture straight when the squeeze is on) I have seen it on every set in the store. That includes Sony, Toshiba etc.
    Burn in can be a problem. Opinions are divided. People I know with RPTV's tell me that torch mode in the store makes evaluation difficult. What you should ask yourself is what aspect ration will you watching most? If the answer is 4x3 but you still want a WS TV then you need to check the different viewing modes these TV's have for 4x3 sources. That's what I plan to do. If I find that I can deal with the modes and I will be watching mostly 4x3 then I will get a 4x3 aspect ratio TV that has the anamorphic squeeze.
     
  4. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Andrew, I think you're right...almost all flat tube direct views have some kind of geometry distortion from what I've seen...it's really just a question of whether one can live with it (once one has seen it - if you don't see it then that's even better [​IMG] ). The 20 inch flat tube Toshiba I bought suffers from it (1/8 here, there, etc.) but I don't want to go through the trouble of going through 'x' of them on the off chance I'll get one that is a lot better. Actually since using Avia and figuring out what is off geometry wise, etc, I'm now seeing more and more geometry distortions with my eye on the bigger curved tubes as well. Given the price point, it's really just a limitation of the technology I think.
    cheers,
    --tom
     
  5. Timmy

    Timmy Stunt Coordinator

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    Choosing a direct view is not a bad thing. Many are happy with them.
    Also consider the RCA 38" 16:9 dierct view... stunnung picture.
    If there is a benefit of a RPTV over a direct view, it's that the directview will have fixed - limited resolution due to its shadow mask; whereas a RPTV and front projector do not have a shadow mask.
    My neighbor bought the Sony XBR-400 36". Beautiful picture right out of the box. No distortion or gemoetry problems noticeable while watching movies and broadcast TV. But throw in a test pattern disk, and its not perfect... but who spends evenings watching test patterns instaed of enjoying a movie? [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Timmy on July 16, 2001 at 08:06 PM]
     
  6. Ryan Pream

    Ryan Pream Stunt Coordinator

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    I saw a 34" Panasonic 16x9 HDTV flat direct view running HDTV material at Circuit City. Awesome! It was $3500 though. The clarity was amazing. Just not big enough for me though.
    Ryan
    ------------------
     
  7. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Holy crap Ryan...$3500 is expensive! I saw one here at the local Soundsarround (ripoff artists! Watch out! [​IMG] ) and they were selling for $4,000 Canadian...that's about $100 American bucks! (just kidding...more like $2700 US).
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Anyhow Stephen, you might consider the 4x3 RPTVs instead, if you're worried about burn-in and watch a lot of 4x3 material.
    Burn-in isn't a problem if you take the set off of torch mode (contrast below 50 instead of at 100 from the factory!). If you get a 16x9 set, vary the aspect mode frequently (use the stretch modes for television, 4x3 mode for 4x3 DVDs, etc.).
     
  9. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I replaced a Sony KV35XBR-48 with an Hitachi 53SBX59B (their best non-hd 4/3 rptv) in October of 99.
    The rptv's picture is at least as good as the XBR's was except on a few fairly weak cable channels. I am truly seeing a more detailed, sharper, clearer picture on high-quality sources like dvd and good direcTV channels. One of the newer HD-ready sets should be even better, though line doublers make hash out of poor cable pictures.
    I do have some room light control, but at 30% contrast, a safe level as far as I know, it is bright enough to watch during the day, and is as bright as the direct view was under the same conditions.
    I have a bit of trouble figuring out how the gray bars on the sides of a 16/9 set are any worse as far as burn-in than the black bars above and below a widescreen image on a 4/3 set. In any case, there are various stretch modes that make gray bar burn-in a non-issue.
    I have watched many hours of widescreen movies on my 4/3 set, with no burn in whatsoever. I even used it for webtv for 3 months, which involved stationary images on the screen for hours at a time. With contrast set at 25-30%, again no burn-in. I now use the set regularly for video games, with no ill effects.
    If you bring up the video adjustment menu on any rptv in any store, you will most likely find the contrast (white level, which is the thing ya gotta watch out for as far as burn-in) set at 100%.
    With any kind of light control at all in your viewing room, you can have a nice bright image at a 30% or so contrast level.
    That being said, there is nothing wrong with preferring direct-view, just don't reject rptv on the basis of a problem seen on an abused set in CC. If your tv has to be watchable in a very brightly lit room, such as one with many windows that you can't cover with mini-blinds or curtains, then direct-view would probably be the way to go.
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
    [Edited last by Steve Schaffer on July 16, 2001 at 09:55 PM]
     
  10. Ryan Pream

    Ryan Pream Stunt Coordinator

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    It occurs to me that a set may be more susceptible to burn in when it is new. I suspect that the new CRT's are very bright at max contrast, but will very quickly start to dim. The CRT's brightness drop will soon plateau and then drop slowly over the life of the CRT.
    If this is true, then even a very new set could develop a burn in pattern. I would expect this pattern to fade with normal viewing. Burn in should be cumulative, what matters is the sum of the brightness delivered to an area of the screen over the life of the CRT compared to the sum of the brightness of another area over the life of the CRT. The ratio between these two should give an approximation of burn in. Burn in on an old set is likely to be nearly permanent. Burn in on a new set may be very temporary. This is because it will take much more even viewing on an old set to rebalance the ratio than on a new set.
    Did this make any sense?
    Ryan
    [Edited last by Ryan Pream on July 16, 2001 at 10:26 PM]
     
  11. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I've been a direct view fan my whole life. But I'm going to go with the 47 Panny because you just can't substitute for the impact a larger screen has when watching movies. RPTVs have come a long way since the old days when you had to be sitting directly in front of the darned thing and or you couldn't see squat. And with proper calibration, burn-in should be a thing of the past (station logos and static videogame screens notwithstanding). Since I do more than 50% of my viewing through DVDs, I don't worry about 4:3 burn in. I mostly watch sports so I'll either stretch it or zoom it.
    I own a 32" direct view and definitely gave a long, hard look at the 34" 16x9 direct view HD sets. They looked fabulous, of course, but my dealer had that and the 47" near each other and there was no mistaking the size difference.
    Sure, if I could afford it I would go with a 56" or 65" but that's just not in the cards right now. This set is, and that's why I'm springing for it.
    [Edited last by Carlo Medina on July 16, 2001 at 10:25 PM]
     
  12. StephenP

    StephenP Stunt Coordinator

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    But what would be the logic of going with a 16:9 for me? I will not be able to receive hd for at least a year after I buy a tv, and that's only if the local stations raise their output from the pitiful 100,000 watts they put out in digital now. I do enjoy watching anamorphic dvds on my 27", and am planning on getting a gamecube which also outputs 480p, but the accuracy of the 4:3 image is important to me since I play a lot of videogames. Do RPTV phosphors age quickly for the first few hours as Ryan suggested? I think he and I are thinking along the same lines about which tv's to look at, at least until I've gotten scared of projection!
     

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