Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Portland, Oregon
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There will continue to be 4x3 (digital) TVs until the manufacturing of 16x9 TVs ramps up to a place where the price difference is gone or negligible. So far, we seem to be at least two or three years out from that, if not five or more.
My first digital TV will be a 4:3 for two reasons: First, I already have a 16:9 NTSC RPTV (Toshiba TW40H80) which I bought six months before the release of the Toshiba digital model of the same size for the same price (ouch!); I use this one mainly for watching DVDs. Second, the TV I'm looking at purchasing is the Samsung 27-inch "DynaFlat" which will replace my 27-inch Philips NTSC on which I use my ReplayTV and my Playstation 2. I figure this size will allow me to enjoy digital programming as well as allowing me to watch upconverted 480i stuff without being as annoyed about the artifacts. With the bigger HDTVs, I just know that I'm going to want an outboard scaler for all the old material, and I'm just not ready to leave my Toshiba yet (it's been a great set, by the way).
I considered going with one of the 16:9 direct-view sets, but the price/size/quality issues, not to mention the connectivity issues, are still holding me back. With the Samsung, I will be paying less than $1,000 (I've seen it as cheap as $800 so far) and, again, it will still be a good size for standard viewing if the whole DVI mess hoses everyone with an old TV (though I'm actually optimistic about that).
Bah, I'm talking too much. What was my point again? Oh yeah. There will be plenty of digital 4:3 sets for quite a while. :D