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HDTV? Widescreen? MANY QUESTIONS! It's so damn confusing!!!

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by karmavore, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
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    Luke Colorado
    I'm trying to decide if I should go HDTV or not, but it seems like things are changing SO fast that now is not a good time. What do you all think? If I do go, what features do I NEED?

    Also:

    1080i/720p = widescreen?

    True HDTV = widescreen?

    Analog = bye bye in 2006?

    720p not available on most HDTVs, but will it soon be the standard?

    Is the distortion of regular 4:3 TV/XBOX on a widescreen avoidable?

    Will DVDs ever be HD?

    If DVDs are 480i/p then how do they fill a widescreen TV (1080i) when in widescreen mode with out distortion??

    How far back do you need to be able to sit back from a rear projection TV? (I have a small room)

    More to come.. :)

    Thanks for any help fellas!

    Luke.

    PS, MY TV budget is $1500 tops!
     
  2. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    Sep 30, 2003
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    there is a website called " what is" www.whatis.com i think. it will explain things in both tech and laymans terms to make more sense. i think i am going to get a toshiba or samsung 55 something inch in the next few weeks. PS2 games rock on the bigger screens!!!!!! i would answer your questions but its been a few years since i was "up" on all that stuff. the tv's i am looking at i think are HDTV capable but dont have it. thats why they are so cheap. i only have basic cable to use the broadband internet. i have little time to watch anything on a regular basis so my purchase will be for dvd's and games. i think MR NIBBLESWORTH is up to date on this stuff , perhaps he can help you.good luck.
     
  3. mr. green

    mr. green Formula Junior
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  4. Dave

    Dave F1 Rookie

    Apr 15, 2001
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    I would ask myself, do I view more 4:3 or 16:9 footage?
    And Is HD originated footage available in my area?

    US TV stations have to have a digital signal up by date x for their location, but they don't have to originate in High Definition.
    For example, I have spoken to the engineers at the local TV stations in my market, and yes they will all have a digital signal by date x, but only one is tooling up to originate in HD.
    All of the other stations will just up-convert their current signal to the new digital format for broadcast, because of the tremendous cost to re-equip a TV station for HD.
    The Fed was also pretty broad allowing many formats of "Digital" TV, no single standard.

    As for me, I'll wait.
     
  5. branko

    branko F1 Rookie
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    Mar 17, 2003
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    It is confusing with all the choices out there right now. If you can afford to wait, I would hold off buying right now and see who the dominate player is next year.
     
  6. Bad Chariot

    Bad Chariot Karting

    Dec 6, 2003
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    Karma,

    I will try my hand at your questions.

    1. 1080i/720p is considered the resolution for a HD broadcast. This is the maximum resolution "most" CRT based rear projection TVs can achieve due to limited tube size (most use 7inch CRT's). In some higher end home theaters, people are using 9inch CRT based front projection systems that can achieve a 1080P resolution (Greater then HD) I have watched the Masters golf tournement in 960P and I was 2 feet away from an 8 ft wide screen and could not see the pixels. Was AMAZING!

    2. The viewing format for HDTV is widescreen so fomr what I am told you will NOT see a 4:3 HD program.

    3. The 2006 date was the goal, It's still 2 years away so hard to tell if will happen.

    4: Distortion issue: I was told it this way "Feed it sh*t and you will get sh*t". The larger the TV you get the more you will see imperfections.

    5. A TV that can not produce a 1080i/720P resolution is NOT a HDTV. This is a SDTV that can produce a 480P resoution like a lot of the Gateway Plasmas they are selling for cheap money.

    6. High Definition DVD's are being discussed but nothing in concrete yet.

    7. Viewing distance. The standard is 1.5 times the picture height. How small of a room are we talking?

    I was recently at the home of my girlfriend's friend and they had a 57inch Hitachi widescreen. We were sitting about 13-14 feet from the screen and the picture size seemed perfect from where we were sitting.

    Of the technologies I would consider if I were buying a widescreen set. I would ONLY buy a DLP based TV. The picture is much crisper then a CRT/LCD system and MOST important. The viewing angle is twice/three times that of a CRT system. Ever looked at a rear projection TV from the side and the picture gets dim? CRT systems have a 30 degree viewing angle. DLP's are 60+ degrees. Look at the Samsumg DLP HDTV's. GORGEOUS picture!

    I hope this helps!

    Mike
     
  7. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
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    Luke Colorado
    Thanks Mike it did! Some follow-ups:

    My room is TINY. At most I can probably sit 6' from the TV. But in reality it ends up being in the 2' (x box) to 5' range. For this reason I'm looking at a 34" widescreen Toshiba.

    You seem to use CRT and Rear Projection interchangeably, but to me they are totally different. Is my nomenclature messed up?

    Is a Samsung DLP going to give a better picture than even a conventional CRT?

    How important is a DVI port? I could save hundreds if I bought a Philips 34" over the Toshiba if I decided I could live with out one?

    Thanks man!

    Luke.
     
  8. jeff

    jeff Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
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    Karmavore
    DO NOT buy any wide screen tv without viewing regular (4:3) broadcasts. The stretch modes in some tvs cause extreme distortion. If you've noticed, dealers usually have a dvd movie playing in all the tvs.

    DVI is important. I would not buy a tv without.

    I owned a Samsung DLP. Great picture. Terrible stretch modes. And a VERY loud fan noise. If you are sitting close or in a small room, the fan noise could be a problem.
     
  9. Mojo

    Mojo Formula 3

    Sep 24, 2002
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    What is DVI?
     
  10. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
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    Luke Colorado

    Of course, I would never buy a widescreen if it didn't to windowboxing (4:3 mode) as 90% of my viewing is 4:3. To me a TV is an "investment" that lasts a while and while most of my viewing is 4:3 I want to plan for the future.


    Luke.
     
  11. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

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    Oh, damn, I just read about BURN-IN!! Sounds like wathing a widescreen set in 4:3 mode is not a good idea long term, or am I misunderstanding??

    Luke
     
  12. jeff

    jeff Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
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    According to the manufactures, DLP and LCD are not prone to " burn in". So you can watch 4:3 tv programs and connect your XBox or PS2 without the worry of "burn in". But in the owners' manual it still warns about "burn in". I have owned palsma, lcd, and dlp. Only the plasma had trouble with "burn in"
     
  13. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

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    Luke Colorado

    but DLP is only available on rear projection TVs, right? I can't go that big.

    Luke.
     
  14. jeff

    jeff Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
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    yes, DLP is rear projection. If you prefer the 34" tv, check out the Sony XBR model. It's kind of expensive but has a gorgeous picture and has a nice anti glare finish on the screen.
     
  15. Bad Chariot

    Bad Chariot Karting

    Dec 6, 2003
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    I would say that if you are going to be watching mostly 4:3 TV then I would not bother getting a widescreen TV. Like the other posters, the stretch mode will distort the pictures and this may become bothersome after a while. I would prefer you get a 32inch HDTV for normal TV and this will still allow you to use a pprogressive dvd player and get a really good picture while watching dvd's.

    Since you are limited to such a small TV I would avoid a widescreen TV. Then again, Sony does make a sweet 37inch widescreen plasma (or LCD) that you can hang on the wall and increase your viewing distance.

    My parents have a 17in Phillips LCD HDTV in their kitchen and it's a pretty good picture with normal cable (non hd)
     
  16. tigermilk

    tigermilk Formula Junior

    Jul 12, 2001
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    James P. Smith
    You can get some real bargains going with 4:3 HD sets. Going widescreen ups the price a bit. FWIW, I've got a 36" Sony Vega XBR. Nice picture. It's mated to a Samsung HD OTA/DirecTV box (don't forget to budget $400-$700 for a decoder unless you rent from the cable company). The box supports any resolution in and out, but the TV only takes in 480p/1080i. Everyone but ABC uses 480p/1080i. ABC likes 720p. In 480p, the image from HD programming uses a smaller box in the screen. Imagine taking the 4:3 picture, going widescreen, and putting the 4:3 image in the widescreen - it's bordered on all 4 sides. You can zoom and the picture is pretty much free of distortion. DVDs look fine in 4:3, 16:9, or 2.35:1 modes. No burn in issues after a year, and this includes plenty of letterbox viewing, gaming (Xbox, PS2, etc).

    One thing is make sure your components, etc match up with the TV. My folks have a 50" plasma and only have a few HD channels. They look spectacular, but they get their locals through DirecTV. They totally suck! My $40 Radio Shack exterior antenna hooked up to my $600 box and $1400 TV looks better than their $10k+ system.

    For Xbox, if you want HD support you'll have to get the component cables. I run through A/V and it's good enough for me.
     
  17. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
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    Luke Colorado



    So you can not view ABC HD? This is why I did not go HD yet (more on that in a bit) -- there's just too much flux. When the 720p TVs come out that can upvert 1080i for a decent price (< $2K) I'll buy.

    Also, why is 480p window boxed on your 4:3 HD TV, shouldn't it be full screen????

    Ok, so here's what I ordered last night...

    Toshiba-32" FST PURE Flat-Tube Stereo TV with ColorStream Component Video Inputs-32AF43 and v-compression (16:9 mode)

    This will be hooked up to my XBOX through a HD AV Pack into the component inputs (DVD). The XBOX will work fine as a DVD since the TV is not Progressive scan. I also think that with the XBOX in widescreen mode anamorphic DVDs and widescreen games should trigger the v-compression on the TV.

    For the TV, cables, XBOX DVD kit and HD Pack, shipping and taxes I paid $760 from Best Buy. It's coming Saturday.

    Remember, I've been watching a Sanyo 19" since college!

    Luke.

    THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP FELLAS!
     
  18. tigermilk

    tigermilk Formula Junior

    Jul 12, 2001
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    James P. Smith
    No, I can still watch ABC. The box upconverts the 720p to 1080i or downconverts to 480p. The only complaint I have is that the toggle for the resolution is on the back of the box rather than a remote control button.

    Regarding the 4:3 in a smaller window, don't know. I imagine because HD is widescreen, and so the programming wants to stick that 4:3 program in the 16:9 window, making it smaller. DirecTV automatically fills the entire screen unless I toggle the output on the box to 1080i.

    Even though the set isn't HD, enjoy it. There's not much HD programming on now anyway. Football and hockey look spectacular in HD though!
     
  19. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
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    Luke Colorado

    I'm no expert, but that doens't sound right does it guys?

    I'd be pissed if I bought a 4:3 HD TV and 4:3 HD content (I'm using the term 'HD' loosely) was put in such a small box.

    Come to think of it... there is no such thing as 4:3 HD, so what the hell...?

    Confused again,

    Luke.
     
  20. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
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    Luke Colorado
    one more question for the experts:

    Since I bought a fancy analog set:

    will digital cable look better than analog?

    Right now I have coax coming from the wall into my set, if i get a converter box will I get a better picture?

    Luke.
     

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