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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 03:16 PM   #1
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Site that reviews HDTVs?

I've decided to make the jump, but can't find any meaningful information that cuts through the marketing crap. I'd probably be looking for a CRT for under $1K.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 11:15 PM   #2
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Well there are two kinds of CRT units: "Direct View" (typical traditional style TV set) and "Rear Projection" (the big box TV sets that overtake your living room). The "Direct View" is actually quite nice, but has a maximum size of 34", by which point the tube unit is so big and heavy that the TV is practically immovable. The big box "Rear Projection" units are BIG and CHEAP, but leave a bit to be desired in image quality (IMHO, anyways).

I bought a Philips 34" direct view CRT a year or so ago and I'm quite pleased with it. Both 720p and 1080i look spectacular on it. I get my HD via Comcast Digital Cable with the HD package and connect from my box to the TV with an HDMI cable. The only 'complaint' that I have with the unit (besides the fact that it's HEAVY) is that it's overly conservative with the underscan area; it's almost right on top of the 'title safe' area, much more so than my previous NTSC set (or definately compared to my little editing monitor). But other than that, I love the unit. Just remember that they are really only suitable for small rooms; if you've got a BIG room, then you might consider some other sort of technology that offers a bigger screen.

But...if you really do want a cheap HDTV direct view CRT, I think a good purchase right now is the Toshiba TheaterWide 34" unit, available at Best Buy. I just sent my father-in-law off to buy one of these last week (his TV set blew up, and since he loves my TV so much, he wanted a similar one) and it had everything he was looking for PLUS it was in his price range: $999

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1110265591543


What I'd personally look for in a cheap HDTV direct view CRT is:

- 34" tube. It's the biggest you can get, and there's only a couple hundred dollars difference between the 30" units and these 34" models, so you might as well get the bigger one.

- HD Monitor. Also referred to as 'HD Ready'. All that means 'no built-in tuner' which is a good thing because you don't need one if you're going to get HD via satelite or cable. And if you DO need one, you can buy your own choice of external tuner.

- 16:9 widescreen. This is a no-brainer, since everything is moving that direction. Plus it makes watching movies more enjoyable, and with sports you get a much wider view of the field.

- HDMI input. This is the best choice in making a connection between your HD cable/satellite/tuner box and your HD monitor. It's an uncompressed pure digital connection. If the set you're looking at doesn't have an HDMI input, at LEAST get one with DVI (another, older digital connection).

Those are the only 'critical' things I'd worry about when looking for a new unit. Oh, and one more thing...remember that 99.9% of the time, the unit you look at in the store isn't being fed an HD signal, so it's nearly impossible to judge the resolution difference in the store.


Anyways, I hope that helps! :-)
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 12:29 AM   #3
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Wow, what a great post Duane!

Do y'all think we need a dedicated forum for monitors? I bet we could use one.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 07:47 AM   #4
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Thanks. Very helpful post Duane. I guess my biggest concern is that there doesn't seem to be a way to get meaningful data on the different models. A TV may accept a 1080i signal, but that doesn't tell me how many lines the screen actually resolves, or how true the colors are, what the contrast ratio is and so on. Too bad there isn't a site that measures performance the way camcorderinfo.com measures camcorders.

This model looks like a bargain:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

But as I mentioned, I have no real way to gauge the real performance of the unit.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 11:38 AM   #5
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Glad my post could be of help....or at least, SOME help. :-)

As for a site measuring 'performance', I just dunno. I'd suggest that visiting a store in-person might help, so that you can compare them side-by-side. And even if it's not an HD signal, you can compare color, brightness, sharpness, etc between different brand models.

As for that unit you linked to; it seems fine, albiet at 30" it's on the small side. Seen in-person, you'd be shocked at how much of a difference there is between a 30" and a 34" unit.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 11:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Wow, what a great post Duane!

Do y'all think we need a dedicated forum for monitors? I bet we could use one.
Well considering how popular HD cams are (forum popularity, that is) I'd assume that most of those people either own or are planning on purchasing an HDTV unit. Perhaps a dedicated forum would be useful.

It can't hurt to add one and see what happens, right? :-P
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 03:48 PM   #7
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I am in the process of moving to Florida and I ordered 3 HD boxes, two of which are DVRs. The lady on the phone tried to explain that I only needed an HD box for my HDTV. I explained I own three HDTVs. She was almost speechless. As was the tech who came out and installed everything.

I have a 60" for the den, a 17" in the editing suite, and I will be picking up the 36" LCD after Thanksgiving.

I got the 60" to watch my HDV videos. I got the 17" to help me edit them. I figured I owed my wife a reasonably sized LCD for the bedroom.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Smith
I just sent my father-in-law off to buy one of these last week
I hope you sent him in a van with someone to help him move it! ;-) Seriously, I'm sure the best value is in these tube sets but when I moved all my belongings by myself 3 years ago I swore I'd never buy another CRT. The 21" Trinitron computer monitor was bad enough, but the 27" WEGA TV was a killer.

Both of these died within the past year. The WEGA was replaced by a 37" Panasonic Viera plasma and the computer monitor is now a 23" Apple Cinema Display LCD. Just hauling the old CRT's out to the trash was bad enough! ;-)

Unfortunately the plasma and LCD screens are still a bit out of your price range (if you want 30+ inches), but I couldn't be happier with mine. And seriously, consider whether you're planning to move in the near future, or if you might want to re-arrange your house. Those big CRT sets are REALLY heavy and awkward to handle as well!
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 07:05 PM   #9
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Well, I do live in a third floor walkup. :)
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 07:23 PM   #10
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I think a forum or sticky thread dedicated to HD displays would be a great idea (especially one as they pertain to filmmaking/videography). There are also HD projectors too.

The best display of course would be one that supports 1920X1080P, which I understand is now being released/supported on plasmas (like the 65" Panasonic), and available now on some select LCDs (albeit for formidable prices).

Marco, you may want to consider a DLP from Samsung. Not sure about $1,000 though.

I am in the market for a 50" something/anything right now myself.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 07:32 PM   #11
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Boyd, you're correct....those 30" to 34" CRT tubes are BIG and HEAVY. Personally, I had mine delivered from the store, but I don't know what my father-in-law did. Probably made my brother-in-law help him move it.

They certainly aren't movable by one person!
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
I am in the process of moving to Florida and I ordered 3 HD boxes, two of which are DVRs. The lady on the phone tried to explain that I only needed an HD box for my HDTV. I explained I own three HDTVs. She was almost speechless. As was the tech who came out and installed everything.

I have a 60" for the den, a 17" in the editing suite, and I will be picking up the 36" LCD after Thanksgiving.

I got the 60" to watch my HDV videos. I got the 17" to help me edit them. I figured I owed my wife a reasonably sized LCD for the bedroom.
Hey Steven,

Can I come to your house for the Super Bowl? :)

I finally got a HDTV that I can use with my camera. My old one could accept only off-air HD. The new Sony 50" Wega or Vega is very good indeed. It has mulitple inputs including HDMI. Seven inputs actually.

I was watching some DVDs that I made, from XL1s footage, and was getting very frustrated with the quality and thought I must be screwing something up in post. I tried every possible format I could find, reading here and elsewhere. I finally gave up and thought I was messing it up somehow.

One other problem that I had was the inability of my DVD changer/home theater unit to play some of my DVDs, no matter how I made them. I finally found that I could play them in every other unit in the house, and even my cheap portable DVD player. So I got feed-up and thought I would up-grade my player.

I went to Circuit City last week, and got a brand new, just out, Sony DVP-NS70H DVD player. It has an HDMI output, and upresses everything to 720p or 1080i, depending on your TV. Not only did my burned DVDs play, but they look fantastic! Turned out to be my cheap DVD player all the time, but it was the only one I had hooked to my 50" Sony. Great little Sony unit for $149.00. I don't know if anyone else has tried one, but I would reccomend it.


Good Luck!

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Old November 24th, 2005, 08:43 PM   #13
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It is kind of a long drive for you, but it could be fun. We'll have to see who's playing this year.

Imaging how great your videos would look if shot with HDV and shown in their native resolution! (Using the AVeL Linkplayer2 of course.)
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Old November 30th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #14
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I spent 3 months last year, going through all the available CRT HDTVs. I finally chose a 30-inch JVC, as it not only had the best HD picture of this category, but it handled standard-definition very well. Many HDTVs don't do so well on SD, but this one made my DV footage look better than my dedicated editing monitor. Sony and Panasonic also make very good small to medium size HD CRTs.

I wouldn't recommend the Toshibas, as they have a larger, .84mm dot-pitch on the screen phosphors and don't resolve more than about 570 of the scanning lines. The better Sony, Panasonic and JVC CRTs have a finer, .64mm dot-pitch and can resolve about 670 scanning lines. This doesn't sound like much, when the signal is supposed to carry 1080 scanning lines, but it's all that any of the consumer CRTs can do. The more expensive plasma, LCD and other thin-screen types can only show from 720 to 768 lines, so there is no affordable HDTV monitor now, that can display the full potential of the system.

My JVC AV-30W585 cost me much less than $1,000. I can sit no more than 5 feet from it at my editing table and still see a sharp picture. Possibly, now that all models are supposed to have built-in HD tuners, you can't get one this cheap. I have a new Motorola DCT-6412 Phase III DVR, with a dual tuner and 120 Gb HDD. It gives me all the tuning capability I need, so an HD tuner in this TV would be redundant.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Smith
Boyd, you're correct....those 30" to 34" CRT tubes are BIG and HEAVY. Personally, I had mine delivered from the store, but I don't know what my father-in-law did. Probably made my brother-in-law help him move it.

They certainly aren't movable by one person!
Say what!? I hauled my 30-inch HD CRT 9 miles home last year with a bicycle.
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