Originally Posted by gwsat
The dirty little secret of HDTVs is that the better they are for their intended purpose, viewing HD material, the worse they are with SD. My old 32 inch 480i Sony Wega, circa 1999, produced the best SD PQ I have ever seen. In stark contrast, all SD looks pitiful, to my eyes at least, on my 60 inch 1080p Pioneer Kuro 6020.
Wow, if this isn't a wildly stereotypical generalization....and a completely untrue one at that. There's nothing I can't stand more than someone who bloviates their misinformed opinion as fact.
Just because you
haven't ever owned an HD set capable of producing a nice SD picture doesn't mean they don't exist. I just happen to be the owner of an almost 10-year old Pioneer Elite RPTV. I'll put the SD PQ of this set up against any other monitor in existence. This set simply produces probably the best SD picture of any mass-produced display ever made. Period. Don't believe me? Go read some of the reviews, there are plenty. I also own a Pioneer 4270 720p plasma and JVC DLA-RS1X DILA projector (104" screen) and the fact is that neither of these newer displays can compete with the Elite for SD picture quality. The best testament I can think of is that on more than one occasion my wife, who is admittedly a videophile illiterate, has commented numerous times at parties or other functions on how bad other people's TVs look because she's just so accustomed to the superior SD PQ of the Elite (not to mention the best non-linear 4:3 stretch mode ever created, "Natural Wide", which unfortunately never made it to the plasma line.) Even at 53" SD material is eminently watchable on this set.
And just because this set does so well with SD material doesn't mean it lacks great HD picture. Notwithstanding the typical CRT RPTV limitations (focus at edges, minor cabinet reflections, etc.) that all RPTVs suffer from, properly calibrated is puts out a fantastic HD picture that's sharp, colorful, has superior black levels and contrast, and still manages to appear more natural looking than any fixed pixel display in HD mode.
The main reason plasmas, LCDs, and other HD fixed pixel displays are underachievers when it comes to producing good SD picture is primarily due to manufacturers putting lousy (e.g. cheap) scalers in these price-driven commodities. But even with good scaling, fixed pixel displays still just don't produce as natural a picture as CRT sets can. CRTs don't draw "dots" or discrete PELs, but rather use lines and by their nature always use the native scanning frequency required by the input signal. Combine these qualities with top-notch electronics as in the Elite RPTVs and the result is simply stunning. I plan to keep my Elite as long as it keeps running and provides a bright enough picture. Properly calibrating the output has kept my tubes in great shape so I know I've got many more years to continue enjoying this set.
This discussion is better continued in the Displays forum but I felt compelled to respond to the inaccurate characterization above.