why rptv?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan M., May 28, 2002.

  1. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    i currently have a tube tv (flat screen) like it a lot. i would like to upgrade to something bigger and "better" in the future(year or so). the obvious choice is to go with an hdtv,rptv widescreen. i am more of an audio enthusiast so forgive my ignorince on the vidio part of ht. is an rptv really worth it? all i seem to read about is all of this tweaking stuff you have to do with the picture and the many problems that seem to come up with rptv's. i read a lot about calibration, focusing guns, hazing in corners and edges, color saturation etc.. when i look at them at the store they seem to be be kind of cheaply made. i am used to big heavy amps, or speakers that you can throw out of a window and still work (exageration of course [​IMG] ) would it be worth it to me to invest 2700$ into an rptv? will it last or do i need to spent thousands more? after going through life on only a few tube tv sets that lasted forever this jump makes me nervous. i am sure many felt the same as me before taking the plunge. any advise on why it would be a good move (or bad) and what to expect from an rptv would be great or any othe experience or tidbit of info would be great. thanks
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Evan,
    Yes, it's worth it. Your 2700 will buy you a very nice 55-57 inch hd ready widescreen rptv.

    When you read all the scary stuff keep in mind that we are a pretty fussy bunch and also that people tend to post more about bad experiences than good ones.

    You may not have noticed, but tube sets aren't what they used to be as far as build quality. I've still got an 85 model Sony KV25XBR in my bedroom that's survived 17 years of heavy use with only one $90 repair. I doubt if any of the current tube sets will hold up as well.

    Also keep in mind that the cheaper appearing all-plastic construction of some of the newer sets actually allows for more precise and consistent alignment of the tubes/mirror/screen than the wood or fibreboard construction of the heavier sets.

    Do some research here and over at Home Theater Spot and get an idea of which makes need the most tweaking and which seem best out of the box. Also take note of which ones are most easily tweaked.

    Most newer sets have a self-convergence feature. I've had 2 with this feature, an Hitachi and my current Sony. It's worked well on both and I've never felt a need to do a manual convergence.

    As far as calibration, if you choose a set that has a rep for being good out of the box, you should be able to get a very good picture using one of the calibration dvds, like AVIA or Video Essentials. This can be done in just the user adjustment menu, and the discs have instructional narration right along with the test patterns so the whole procedure is fairly easy and actually fun. Most makes let you go a bit further in what's called a service menu, to get rid of "red push" or disable SVM. Again, lots of this information is available here or at The Spot, and you may never feel the need to delve into this in the first place.

    ISF calibration, where you pay someone to go into the service menu and adjust grayscale to perfection and otherwise tweak the set is probably a good idea if you can afford it, but not absolutely necessary in order to get a satisfactory picture from most of the better sets.



    The only aspect of all this that applies to rptvs exclusively and not also to regular direct view sets is convergence, and if by chance this is a problem on your new set, it can be corrected in the service menu. Let me repeat that both of my sets have not needed any convergence other than the one-button Flash Focus on the Sony or Magic Focus on the Hitachi.

    It should be remembered that any picture flaws you see on your present direct view set (get right up close and look carefully) are going to be magnified on a big screen rptv, so if your cable looks marginal on a 27" set it's gonna look really bad on a 57 incher.

    Good sources like dvd and HD are going to look at least as good or stunningly better than on your present direct view set.

    Room lighting is also a factor to consider. While absolute darkness is not necessary, some control over ambient light is helpful. A very brightly lit room, such as a sun porch, is not the place to put an rptv, but they can handle moderate to dim lighting very well.

    Viewing angle is also important, much more so in the vertical plane than sideways, but you still don't want to be too far off to the side when watching.

    I'll never go back to a direct view for Home Theater, but your results may vary.

    If you do decide to take the plunge, and I don't see much reason not to, do make sure to buy locally from a dealer with a good return policy just in case you decide rptv isn't for you. As in the earlier days of color sets, rptvs almost always look much better in your home than in the stores. Store feeds are too variable and the sets are generally poorly adjusted, so the only way to truly judge is to have it in your own home with your own sources.
     
  3. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    WOW, thanks a million steve, a ton of great info. you helped build my confidence in this area. when do new models start to come out with rptv's? i wont be looking at purchasing one until this time next year because we still are in an apartment but looking at houses. i don't want to buy one until i have a home and know the room it will be going in to properly pick a set out. are there big upgrades comming in the future in rptv's or in the world of hdtv? it seems so expensive, i wonder if prices will continue to slowly dip? thanks again
     
  4. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you're new to RPTVs, then the search button will be your best friend. Since you don't plan on buying one until you have a big place to put it, you have plenty of time to hang around and read the RPTV threads.
    I don't intend on owning a tube set for a main TV ever again. It used to be RPTVs were expensive and might need a good bit of fiddling with here and there, but today's technology makes them cheaper and less troublesome. You'll have to do a little convergence setting once in awhile and take a little extra care with it, but it's not a big deal.
    Even dirt-cheap RPTVs are pretty good nowadays. For non-HD sets, the cost is in line with the inches of the TV. As the size of the set goes up from 32" to 36" (tubes) to 48" to 60" (projection), the prices are to be expected for such a big TV. For HD sets, a tube TV's price is ridiculous for what you can get an HD RPTV for, IMO.
    And if you want something bigger than 40" max, then you have no choice but to get an RPTV. And I highly recommend you do. How did I ever live with watching Jerry Springer on a little 32" set? [​IMG]
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    I would suggest spending your money on an NTSC-only RPTV, however.

    Also, the transition from a bright direct-view set to a much dimmer RPTV might seem a bit jarring at first. There is no question they are more finicky. But the results are greater resolution detail and a larger picture.

    If, in the end, you still find that direct-view sets are more appealing, vote for what pleases you most.

    As you have been advised, hang out here and at other home theater-related sites and soak up the info.
     
  6. SteveA

    SteveA Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2000
    Messages:
    700
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  7. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    I could be wrong, but I think Jack may have mistyped. With HD-ready rptvs available for $1500 (4/3 43" models from Sony and Toshiba) and widescreen 47 inchers running 1700-1900, I don't see any reason to go analog unless one's primary interest is watching 4/3 ntsc sources from poor quality cable. The line doublers in HD ready sets do make poor cable signals look worse than they would on an analog set.

    New models typically come out in September/October, with price drops just around Christmas or a few weeks later.

    This time next year would be an excellent time to shop. The new models coming out this sept/oct will be likely be discounted to make room for 04 models. Also, any glitches that show up in the early production sets will probably have been addressed by then. Hitachi's 02 models introduced last fall had a number of problems that have now been addressed in current production. Sony, Tosh, and Mits sets don't seem to have required any running changes.

    My Sony KP57HW40 (current model) was purchased last October, a fairly early production model, and has had no problems. I think Mits and Tosh owners of early production sets have also had good luck.



    Next models will most likely include DVI ports for handling the copy protection schemes that are being proposed for pay per view and premium HD channels. The latest JVCs already have this and Sony and Tosh will add it to their next models.
     
  8. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Messages:
    910
    Likes Received:
    0
    thank you very much everyone for the very usefull advice. i will now be certainly getting an rptv, hdtv widescreen in about a year. i will research this forum to educate myself on all the difference models before i do that "which one is better " thread. thanks again[​IMG]
     
  9. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Whooops! Guys, I just reviewed this thread after a day's absence. That was a typo, folks--big time! I meant to type ATSC-based RPTV. I am so dreadfully sorry!

    I would not purchase an NTSC-only RPTV at all. No way. It's inferior to the new technology, and it's an endangered species.
     

Share This Page