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Old June 9th, 2004, 08:51 AM   #1
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HDTV recommendations

Okay, a little caveat before I move on...I don't want any debates over projection vs. CRT when it comes to HDTV. It's what I can afford that matters.

I'm moving into my condo this weekend and I'm having Voom! installed soon after, and I'm gonna get an HDTV. I need some recommendations based on what I want:

1. Between 36 and 56 inches.

2. Both 720p and 1080i HD signal.

3. 16 x 9 preferred but not totally necessary.

4. CRT or projection is fine (LCD and Plasma may be out of my budget).

5. Costs less than $2000 U.S.

6. I will accept an HD projector and screen, but a good one I saw in Mac Addict cost over $5000 total.

Thanks,

heath
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Old June 9th, 2004, 10:16 AM   #2
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Heath,

16x9 is the future. 4x3 is the past. I prefer a 16x9 set so my HD picture will be bigger than my SD pic. 4x3 material will be around for a long time though, so we will be showing both for a long time. Since I HATE distorted images, I show 4x3 "pillarbox", and even the 2.35:1 stuff needs to be letterboxed. To me, this presents just too high a likelyhood of burn-in, so my choices were limited to LCD and DLP.

I ended up with the Samsung HLN5065W 50" RP, and would make the same choice today (although prices continue to drop, and options improve). It seems ironic though that the biggest problems seem to be with light bulbs and electric motors!
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Old June 9th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #3
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Heath, I own a 46" Sony HDTV projection...it's nice, but to big.

If you can do smaller that would be better. Also, projection has the burn-in problem and I've suffered from it. I left a widescreen movie on for to long and the top and bottom are burned a little....forever, ain't no getting rid of it and they won't fix it.

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Old June 9th, 2004, 11:27 AM   #4
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I don't mind big, this is for my family room! I'll remember the projection thing. I'll also talk to Sears and Best Buy.

heath
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Old June 9th, 2004, 12:11 PM   #5
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Heath,

I'd recommend the Sony 57" KP-57WS510

It has all your requirements with a MSRP of $1999. Which means you can probably find it cheaper than that.

Now if you want to raise the bar a little, I'd highly recommend Sony's next step up the KDP-57WS550 . It's MSRP is $2499, but with the increase in price you get an ATSC (over-the-air High Definition) receiver built in and firewire inputs! The latter option is very, very hand for the HD10U because it allows you to plug the camera straight into the set via firewire.

I've seen that model online for right around $2000.

I think the extra $500 would be worth it because you can start viewing HD out of the box and you have a digital connection to your camera.

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Old June 9th, 2004, 12:22 PM   #6
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We were able to get a 65" Mitsubishi Platinum series 16x9 HDTV at my house. I think it ran around $4000, of course there are smaller models available. In my opinion, for the price and size, the picture is stunning. We compared it with pretty much every other set on the market, and we decided it had the best picture. However, that was a year ago, and I'm sure there have probably been a bunch of changes. The most common criticism is that the picture tends towards red, but you can fix that through adjusting the color. The model we have however, does not do 720p.

Burn-in was a major concern for us, but we've never had a problem with it. If you buy a projection set, make sure the contrast isn't turned all the way up, I've heard that can contribute to burn-in.
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Old June 9th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #7
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Oh, I thought you wanted it for your edit system! By all means get a big one, but remember that the distance from where you sit to the screen makes a difference. Bigger doesn't mean better if you are 6 feet away...it won't be good. If you are far away from the television then a bigger one is good.

There is a chart somewhere online that says the size for the distance from where you sit. I didn't head the warning and bought a 46" HDTV...now I understand what it meant. It's to big because we sit 6-8 feet away....a 32" would have actually looked better.

Murph
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Old June 9th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #8
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I'll need 720p because I'll run some HDV footage through there, too.

hwm
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Old June 9th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #9
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We bought a Sony KP-46WT510 46" projection TV a couple of months ago for $1450 at the local Best Buy, including delivery.

Very pleased with it, but buy the matching stand or else sit it on a 12" box of some sort to get it at the right level for viewing.

I have a cheapo non-progressive DVD player and the TV's built-in linedoubler works great on 480i. The 720p from my HD1 looks most excellent, and it does 1080i though have not tried that. The TV has a sharpness adjustment so I can dial that down a bit to compensate for sharpening being cranked a bit too high on the HD1.

Can't comment on burn-in - my DVD has a screensaver that flicks on...
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Old June 10th, 2004, 03:11 PM   #10
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Hi Heath,
Definitely consider going for an HD projector, I did quite a bit of research into this and they're much better value as far as far as HDTV's go right now.
I have the Sanyo PLV-Z2, it's around $1900 online and a screen will only cost you $150. This setup blows away everything else if you have room for a 8-12' screen on your wall. It's better quality than going to the cinema.

Cheers

Paul
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Old June 10th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #11
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Graham and Heath,

I got that 46" Sony too...you definately need the stand, yeah. It's a big television...

Murph
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Old June 10th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #12
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For slightly more than $2000, go for the Sony WEGA 40" XBR.
This unit is 300 lbs of pure CRT display pleasure. I've seen it in stores for $2095. It doesn't have ANY of the RP problems such
as calibration, viewing angle, convergence, motion blur and low contrast ratio. Blacks are truly black. My friends with high end Plasma TVs are envious of the picture quality. I own it because it beat out anything else I saw for under $10000. Sure, it's not as big as some RP or Plasma models, but at least you don't have to sit 8-13 feet away from it to deal with convergence issues. At that distance, you may as well have a smaller screen.

Sony FD Trinitron WEGA XBRKV-40XBR800

You will need some sort of stand, though. The Sony stand is
flimsy and butt ugly. For slightly less money, the 36" XBR is also fantastic.

Obviously, you can tell I'm pleased with my purchase. Every other TV I watch is now a distraction due to lower image quality.
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Old June 10th, 2004, 10:07 PM   #13
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Paul,

I may do just that. The one in the latest Mac Addict, the Epson PowerLite 500 is $4999.

I bought an HDTV Etc. magazine which has a ton of HDTVs (CRT and projection) with prices. But damn, some of the stuff they talk about costs over $20 large.

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Old June 11th, 2004, 02:26 PM   #14
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Projection monitors can be nice, but you have to be extra careful about those business presentation types, made for computer graphics, that can sometimes omit some fairly important features like 3:2 pulldown, or don't do so well with live motion as with static images. Obviously, the ones intended for home theater are preferred.

The other thing I would caution about, speaking as someone who owns or has owned front projection, rear projection, DLP, LCD, CRT....is USE YOUR OWN EYES.

Because today's reality, is that there aren't many bad choices to steer clear of. Many sets that look like cr@p on the showroom can look better.

With that in mind, my advice is if you have a plan, and it sounds like you do, keep to your budget, keep to your size. There are good choices out there in every price range and size.
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Old June 13th, 2004, 04:42 PM   #15
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Final decision

I went with a Samsung LCD 30 inch 16 x 9 1080i/720p HDTV. I almost went with a similar Sony (with HDMI, or whatever, input) for an extra $100, but it didn't do 720p. I need 720p for the HD10, obviously.

I wanted a 50 inch Samsung DLP, but my girlfriend and I dropped a lot of cash buying furniture, so 30 inch for now. Then, we'll move it into our room when we can get the 50 inch.

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