View Full Version : Hi-Def

12-30-2003, 12:33 AM
What is your budget for this new tv?

I've had a hd ready tv for over two years now. It is a 42" toshiba rear-projection tv (rptv). I love the hd picture, but imo all crt based rptvs are too much work. Out of the box, all crt rptv will require lots of tweaking to look good. My biggest complaint is the convergence which needs to be touched up periodically. It does have an auto converge feature, but it doesn't work very well (none of them do). Toshiba's of my vintage also have lots of interesting video problems (mostly ghosts).

If I had to buy a crt rptv it would probably be a hitachi. Both the tosh's and hitachi have really good strech modes, which is important because all sd material is 4x3. Just realize that all tvs have issues, you need to find the one with issues that bother you the least. [:)]

If I were to buy another hd tv today, it would probably be either a sony gw3 or a sammy dlp set.

Read as much as you can for each set at the spot. I think they have the best source of rptv info on the web (but you need to pay for it).

I also bought mine online and would do it again in a heartbeat. Don't feel you have to buy it in a store because of the size.


whatever you buy, make sure it has a dvi input!

12-30-2003, 01:23 AM
I'm using a 30" Samsung 3098WHF HDTV, with a complete satellite/OTA HDTV hookup. HDTV image quality is breathtaking and now is the time to get into it if you ask me. If you live near a large city, you should be able to get most if not all of the major networks in HDTV, in addition to non-OTA HDTV stations via cable or satellite.

The Best diret-tube sets are probably the Sonys (the 34inch for $1899 is probably the best deal, IMHO). I went Samsung cause i couldnt get the Sonys to fit in the slot I have designated for my TV. The samsung's picture from the Tanus model with DNIe technology is probably just as good as the Sony, but it really needed some tweaking in the service menu before i got it looking good.

12-30-2003, 02:29 AM
I have been looking at the Sony Grand Wega lcd rear projection units. I know this may be a little nit picky, but the top is so narrow, you can not put a speaker on it. Can't even use one of the special shelves because the rear is sloped pretty steeply.

Other than that....it is a nice TV. One of the 50 inchers would look nice on my new rack!!


12-30-2003, 02:45 AM
I just got my Sanus TV shelf in yesterday, and set it up last night on my aformentioned Samsung. (Without the shelf, has only about 2 inch top, but only about 30 degrees slope beyond). I was prepared to hear the crash of a cmb-340 to occur while i was sleeping (table rated at 15lbs, speaker weights 20lbs :0), but it never happened.

12-30-2003, 02:56 AM

I know what you mean. The tops of these new tvs are way too small to support a speaker. I ended up building a shelf that mounts to the wall behind the tv for the center. I specifically didn't get the sanus shelf because you don't want to apply any pressure to the top or back of rptvs because this can flex the mirror and/or screen and cause picture distortions. Also I'm cheap... [:)]


12-30-2003, 06:29 AM
Just like azanon, have a Samsung TXM3098WHF 30" widescreen HDTV (complete with Sanus TV shelf). One would think that living in Richmond, right outside of San Francisco, that Comcast would provide a slew of HDTV channels! Alas, that it isn't so, but OTA signals look pretty impressive and, with as many movies as I watch, being able to maximize the picture quality of DVDs with a progressive scan signal alone is worth it.

Settled on my HDTV because it was considerably cheaper than alternatives from Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic etc. while, after tweaking, providing a comparable picture IMO. Also had to go direct-view because the shape of my living room -- wider than it is deep -- makes RPTVs unusable at some of the more off-axis viewing positions.

When I was looking at RPTVs, Toshibas and Hitachis did seem to provide some of the highest picture quality out there. The higher end RCA Sceniums (the one's w/o the built in DVD players) actually seemed to provide an even better picture, but RCA's history of set failures galore should be an indication to look elsewhere.


12-30-2003, 06:46 AM
Samsung 43in DLP. soon, sooooon, mwahahahahaha...

[he_who_dares_wins] - sas

12-30-2003, 12:51 PM
OK they picked up my TV. Apparently, I have a transformer problem.

I talked to the techs(they send two these days due to the weight of modern sets) this evening and they were as down on HDTV as the call center guy. They said any display made after 2000 by any of the manufacturers are crap especially flat screens and HDTVs. They truly felt that the TV companies are trying to get people use to replacing $2-5K displays on a three year cycle. They said that you would not believe the volume of displays that fail within thirty days of the warantee expiring.

No place in this conversation with the techs did I say I was considering replacement instead of repair. I just asked which are the more reliable brands. This company only does repairs no sales. One of them did say go ahead and buy an HDTV so we can come back regularly.

I'd hoped for better news from the service guys.

12-30-2003, 12:54 PM
I'm certainly not an expert, but I have been looking and researching quite a bit lately. My first thought is you should defintitly spend some time researching current display offerings, and their individual pluses/minuses. There are so many options with competing technologies right now (plasma, LCD, DLP, rear projection LCD, LCos, tube, front projection, etc.).

My own eyes keep getting stuck on the Samsung DLPs and the Sony Grand Wega Rear Projection LCDs. If I had to choose today... I really think I would opt for the Sony Wega LCD (maybe the XBR), but it would be a tough decision against the Samsung. I personally think the Sony picture is smoother and maybe a little richer looking. I have read some very good reviews on the Hitachis and Toshibas as well, but my eyes keep getting pulled to the Sony and Samsung. Check out some of the other online forums like www.hometheaterforum.com and www.avsforum.com (under "displays")for more specific opinions in this regard. Lots of choices and issues to consider that (like music) come down to some individual likes and dislikes. The great news is quality is getting much better faster with most all of these technologies, and every year leaps are being made by one or more of these technologies and manufacturers. You might pick up a copy of a NEW magazine, called HDTV ETC. It gives a good explanation of all HD technologies, and the issues associated. This is the same publisher as DVD ETC Magazine, and they released their premier issue of HDTV ETC. this year with overwhelming success and response. The response has been so good with the first issue they are going to come out with more frequent issues for 2004. DVD ETC. Magazine has their own thread on www.hometheaterforum.com. Great read and education for anybody wondering about High Def TV!

Just a little thought... keep a keen eye for reproduction of the "blacks".... The tube still has some of the best blacks available today, and the other technologies are improving in this area quickly, but many are still weak (or gray)and lack contrast/detail... IF you are a plasma guy... check out Fujitsu (expensive but SWEET), or for cheaper $$ the Panasonics' are pretty awesome with nice blacks....


12-31-2003, 12:19 AM
Dave- I'm fairly well up on my options. I'm just concerned about reliability after talking to the guys that fix our babies on a daily basis. They said Sony reliability has dropped tremendously in the past two years. He said "two years ago I've told you Sony w/o a doubt is the best and can't say that anymore."

He also said for Toshiba repairs they no longer use Toshiba parts because they have had as much as a 50% fail rate on replacement parts from Toshiba during the one year warantee period the repair service gives on all their work.

They said these companies are trying really hard to keep it their dirty little secret as to how many problems the HDTVs are having. They feel that wanting to keep it quiet is why they do not allow service centers to work on them. They have to be shipped back to the manufacturer for repairs!!

I guess I'm really looking for reliability experiences. I have a subscribtion to The Perfect Vision.

12-31-2003, 12:55 AM

Sorry for getting off topic some.. I didn't read your original post close enough. Also, thanks for the extra info on reliability (very interesting). I'll keep my eyes and ears peeled open for this side of my own decision making moving forward. Good luck on your selection. Let us know what you end up choosing when you do! In the meantime I hope other forum members continue to chime in on your original question.

Thanks again!


12-31-2003, 01:16 AM
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">are trying to get people use to replacing $2-5K displays on a three year cycle<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

That's great news! [:D]

This means my tv should be on its way out soon. I can't wait until it dies so I can get a nice new dlp set... [:D]

12-31-2003, 02:11 AM
Derek- Man you're an AV-oholic!!!

12-31-2003, 02:19 AM
Quinn...with what you have learned, would you go HDTV, and if so, what would you get?


12-31-2003, 04:14 AM
I think I'm going wait but, I haven't gotten the estimate to repair my baby yet. :( I was really thinking a CRT RPTV because that technology has been around for quite a while and cost to size ratio. The Hitachi SWX20B line is what I have in mind. But that still has the HDTV factor.

The DLP, LCoS, and so forth are very cool and tempting but the technology is so new for the use. I have heard enough stories about leaking plasmas to scare me off that too.

When the kids are older I will convert thier playroom to a home theater and that will be a front projector without a doubt. BTW- Have you seen the home theater propaganda-"people with home theaters know were their kids are" and they show the teenage kids in the HT room eating popcorn and drinking soda with their friends?

12-31-2003, 07:34 AM
Like Dave, I've spent a fair amount of time researching at the AVS forum and have concluded that plasma is the way to go, at least for me. Burn-in, black levels, 5 year life, and other commonly associated flaws with this technology have been improved or are drastically overstated to begin with. I expect to take the plunge within a year, likely a 37" or 42" EDTV if not HDTV. Fujitsu, Panasonic, NEC, Pioneer seem to be the most favored.

Of the rear LCDs, that Sony model Curtis referred to is about the best I've seen, particularly when it comes to off center viewability. I was seriously considering that one, but there was a long thread devoted to problems with that unit. It may have been corrected within the last month or so of production, as the speculation seemed to suggest the last time I checked that thread (couple weeks ago). Once I read that thread though, I started doing more exploration, and that lead me to the plasmas. If you get the monitors, without tuner and speakers, the prices get closer to the other technologies, especially if you consider the EDTVs.

I'm targeting about $2200 to spend. Some good Panasonic models, for example, are going for $2800-$3000 right now, so hopefully $2K isn't too far off.

Anybody willing to let me spend their money??!! I'm a worthy person. Surely either your God or my God will reward you for your charitable ways. ;-)

Happy New Year folks!

12-31-2003, 08:16 AM
I've been doing a lot of research lately, and I like the
Panasonic plasmas, especially their 42" EDTV. For home
viewing, I'm much more about DVD's and laserdiscs than I
am about Monday Night Football in HD, so this seems like
a good compromise, especially since there is a 1500-2000
dollar price difference!


(Celebrating New Years on the S.S. Poseidon!)

01-01-2004, 01:30 AM
With living two days with my set out of the house I'm really starting to think plasma. I've aways read that putting a TV between your speakers isn't going to give the best audio performance but, man is the improvement shocking. The lower ranges is where the difference is super noticeable. Things like drums and stand-up bass have so much more clarity. But over all imaging, imaging, imaging.


01-01-2004, 12:12 PM
Rick -

another point in favor of the EDTV Plasmas is that the difference in picture quality is only slight between ED & HD, particularly at "normal" viewing distances, i.e., 10 ft. or more. Closer than that, the HDTV is more obviously better than the EDTV.

At least, that seems to be the majority opinion.

01-02-2004, 05:23 AM

The EDTV is very interesting to me. Am I right in thinking that 480 progressive is just minorly less than 1080 interlaced? What I'm getting from reading about it all is that 1080i equals about 520 progressive(512p is what I keep reading. Why isn't is 540p?) since only half the lines are refreshed at a time. Whereas on 480p all the line are refreshed at once. Am I understanding this correctly? Also upscaling on STD is supposed to look a lot better on EDTV since it is just changing it to progressive from interlaced and not adding lines.

I won't be buying anything for a while my repair is just over $200.

01-03-2004, 09:31 AM
yes, that's what I keep reading, that the upscaling is better as the amount of conversion is less than what is necessary with the HDTVs (when seeking to improv the standard signal). Same goes for DVDs.

Not sure what the explanation for the 512 vs. 540 discrepancy is.

01-04-2004, 12:02 AM
I have never heard of plasmas only displaying on 512 lines. Do you have a link for this?

While it is true that 1080i displays only 540 lines at a time, those lines are half the size of a display showing 540p. Also, plasmas don't run at 1080i, they run at 720p.

All I know is that with 1080i, you can almost read the play cards in the coaches hands during a football game. You don't get that type of resolution with an edtv.


01-04-2004, 03:25 AM
All I know is that the clear majority of people find the EDTV plasmas no worse, or only slighly worse in picture quality as compared to the HDTV plasmas, even when watching HD signals. (Important caveat: This is from "standard" viewing distances of 8-10ft. or more. Closer than that, the HDTV improvements become more noticable.) For those who admit to seeing the difference, virtually all seem to agree whatever improvement of HDTV capable plasmas, they aren't worth the price difference at this point in time.

Couple that with the fact that EDTV plasmas handle SD & DVD better, then for most, the EDTVs are the better value.

When HD-DVD and HD become more prevalent, and the price differences start to shrink, then HDTV plasmas will rule the roost.

Again, these assessments are based on my impressions from reading dozens of threads over at the AVS forum.

01-05-2004, 03:42 AM
I was just at my local Best Buy this afternoon and they had a 52" wide screen HDTV by RCA for $1232.
I'm sure it wasn't top of the line (forgot to get mobel # for reviews) but for &gt;$1300 it looked good.

01-05-2004, 12:29 PM
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by Derek

Also, plasmas don't run at 1080i, they run at 720p.

<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Actually, HDTV plasmas do display 1080i. DVD res is 480p.
720p is used for computer displays.


01-05-2004, 10:30 PM
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Actually, HDTV plasmas do display 1080i. DVD res is 480p.
720p is used for computer displays.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Plasma displays are fixed pixel displays with means they scale every input resolution to the native resolution of the display. Most hd plasma displays have a resolution of around 1280x768. Some displays have a few more pixels, some a few less.

While you can (and lots of people do) watch 1080i material on a plasma, the display is scaling the picture down (to 720p) to fit the screen.

What I was really trying to convey was that plasma displays are progressive displays as opposed to my crt based set which is interlaced for 1080i signals (and progressive for everything else).


05-21-2004, 07:49 AM
Have had a Sony WEGA 60" LCD RPTV (replaced an Hitachi CRT RPTV). Use it for HD (and standard). Love it, wouldn't trade it, recommend it. I compared it to the Samsung and RCA DLPs as well as the Hitachi LCDs. Sony won.

I watch broadcast 1080i HD material all the time and it's quite a sight. I use the DVI connection for watching DVDs and upconvert the DVDs from 480p to 1080i. The results are remarkable and extremely close to HD for picture quality.

I certainly understand the allure of Plasma, though. Problem is, the one I really want (60") still costs close to $20K.

Regarding the person who had their sevice tech tell them to stay away from HD TVs because of their unreliability, stay away from that service tech. The reason many service techs say that HD sets are unreliable is they don't know enough about them to work on them to begin with. Most every service tech I've talked to either had little or no training on HD sets, or have to confer with the factory to understand what to do. I actually watched one of them take out his soldering gun while holding on the phone to the Hitachi factory, who was telling him, step-by-step, what to do. It didn't instill much confidence in the tech.

I had one very competent tech. He's the one that says the TV repair field is filled with guys that refuse to upgrade their training. He said they've worked on tube sets for decades and refuse to learn anything else.

Sony WE610 60" LCD RPTV
Pioneer Elite 59TXi AVR
Pioneer Elite 59AVi Universal DVD player
CBM 170 Front L/R
CBM 340c Center
HTM 200s Rear L/R and rear surround (6.1)
Monster THX certified interconnects
DIY speaker cable (that's better than anyhing I can purchase elsewhere)

06-02-2004, 11:44 PM
Bought a 42 inch Sony Plasma recently. Thought I wanted a DLP or LCD because of the price difference but every time I went to check them out, it was the plasmas that caught my eye. I'm glad I went the extra money to get what I really wanted. By the way, me viewing distance of seven feet is adequate for the screen size. Whatever you buy, go the biggest you can afford for an appropriate viewing distance.


09-05-2004, 12:02 PM
While I don't really know anything about JVC's display technologies... Today I just viewed the new JVC HD-ILA rear projection TV. I "believe" it is based on LCoS technology...?? I viewed the 52" model @ Good Guys. I have to tell you I was really VERY impressed. The off center viewing was superior to any rear projection LCD or DLP I've seen yet, and the screen had absolutely no glare to speak of. I viewed it side by side one of the new Samsungs and Mitsubishi DLPs, and I REALLY liked the JVC. I was surprised by it, but pulled in by it regardless. I am going to do a little research/reading up on this display to find out more.. but needless to say it caught my eye. If you get the opportunity to look at one of these in your nearby GG or other store... let me know what you too think..?

I continue to be amazed at the advances in each of the numerous display options and competing technologies. I am going to continue to wait for now. However, it sure would be easy to succumb to the big screen hi-def TV craze. I just keep reminding myself that these are all being fed an HD signal, and there is still lots of analog stuff still out there to watch, that still doesn't view so great on many of these displays...


09-05-2004, 05:31 PM
My Panasonic EDTV plasma (42") arrives on Tuesday, and I can't
wait! This is strictly for HT use, pre-recorded material only.
I got the professional model, so I could get it stripped down
(no speakers needed, thank you Ascend!) to just the features and
input options I was after.
After reading a very interesting thread at AVS, I'm going to try
feeding it a 1080i upsampled signal from my Integra DVD player.
A great many people are reporting a big increase in PQ over 480p,
even tho this is the displays native resolution. I'm anxious to see
for myself.
Also I'll be running lesser quality sources (LD and possibly VHS)
thru the integra and upsampling those as well. Should be interesting!

09-06-2004, 02:23 PM
I have heard other great things about the JVC HD-ILA TVs. My understanding it is JVC's implentation of LCoS.

I really want to wait on getting a TV.....so I am going to "try" and not go into GoodGuys. Thanks for the warning Dave.


09-08-2004, 01:56 PM
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote">Originally posted by curtis

I really want to wait on getting a TV.....so I am going to "try" and not go into GoodGuys. Thanks for the warning Dave.


<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

Curtis, I completely understand the feeling, and I also find myself trying to avoid looking again. However... a guy like you needs to remember your role in the bigger cause in life to make sure the "I need to know" guys like myself have the most up to date info/opinions about everything spectacular out there in audio/videoland. So, I think you need to go look at that JVC anyway and don't forget.. the needs of the many are greater than the needs of the few..!! [:D]


09-26-2004, 11:19 AM
Any piece of advice on Hitachi Projection TV - Model C47 - WD5000.

09-26-2004, 02:59 PM
^ not familiar with that one.

my friend purchased a hitachi 46F500 at a steal. it's not too shabby. my only gripe is the 'quality' of cable broadcasts. it's just not worth it yet - IMHO. the HD channels and broadcasts are nice, but they're few and far between. :( i'd still watch Letterman over Leno even though Leno is in HD.

i have yet to see a hdtv setup with a DVI / HDMI DVD player. (ps - this is on purpose) ;)

09-26-2004, 05:03 PM
Tks,I think the quality of branded projection TVs are alomost the same, 47" is costing around $2900, I suppose it is value for money as this is 4th or 5th generation of projection TVs.