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For those of you who have direct view 16x9 HDTV sets, ie. RCA, Sony, Panny Tau, Toshiba, Sampo, etc.


I'd like to get your impressions of your set while watching regular DSS 4x3 material.


How is the quality ?


How are the stretch modes, do they look distorted ?


I used to have the Proscan 34" WideScreen and the stretch modes were very good. I'm looking for a 16x9 direct view HDTV set now.


Thanks !
 

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Agree with Savageone... With the RCA F38310 at least, the stretch mode is simply unacceptable. It may be ok if there's only one person in the picture, but say you've got three people standing side by side - the two on the sides look about three feet wide!

The "fill" mode preserves geometry, but loses information above and below the image, which is death to much material.

Just window box it with grey panels. The 38 inch 16:9 set produces almost as large a window boxed 4:3 area as the 32 inch Sony 4:3 set it replaced here in the office.


John
 

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I have the Sony 34xbr2. I don't like the FULL mode. It distorts the 4:3 aspect ratio too much (fat people)


I like the zome mode. It keeps the aspect ratio but depending on the source, it may clip the top/bottom too much. However this is the mode I use most.


Sometime I use the wide-zoom mode. It distorts the aspect ratio a little and clips the top/bottom a little.


Sometime I use the normal mode. It all depends on the source.
 

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On my 34XBR2, I use the wide zoom mode for non-letterbox 4x3 sources (like most NTSC broadcasts). This presents a perfectly non-distorted picture, with slight cropping at the top and bottom of the screen. This cropping only becomes an issue when you watch something with a scrolling ticker at the very bottom of the screen (like MSNBC or HLN). FYI, the latest issue of Widescreen Review (Shrek cover) features an interview with the legendary Mr. Runco. In the interview, it is mentioned that most television shows now are being shot so as to not have the heads and any other important areas of the picture cropped when viewed in a "zoomed mode" on 16x9 sets. Now, as far as letterbox 4x3, or non-anamorphic DVDs, the 34XBR2 does a tremendous job of scaling these sources to fill the 16x9 screen when in zoom mode without any artifacts or distortion. To me, this wonderful built-in scaling ability is one of the highlights of this set.
 

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ny888,

I've got the 34" Panny Tau and find for non-critical viewing the stretch mode is fairly well executed. I find the more you watch in this mode, the more "forgiving" your eye becomes to the distortion. I admit liking the look of the full screen image. Part of the issue is that 34" is still a small screen size and a true 4:3 picture on a screen of this size is pretty small. Purists will disagree, but again for non-critical viewing I find it fine.
 

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I have a Toshiba 42H81. Like all of the other Toshiba RPTVs, this has the "Theatrewide 1" mode which stretches the edges more than the middle, resulting in a really natural-looking view.


Before I bought the set I viewed it in the store with the same channel playing on one set in "normal" mode (4:3 with vertical bars on the side) and on another set in "Theatrewide 1" mode. You could see that the two pictures were different - one was wider than the other - but it was actually quite challenging to tell just exactly where the difference was. Individual features (ie faces, doors, etc.) looked the same on both sets. Weird.


If you watch a channel with a ticker at the bottom (horizontally scrolling text) you can see the text shrink down as it first comes on the screen and then stretch out again just as it leaves the screen. An you can sometimes see this effect on horizontal pans. But interestingly, I was watching one of my classic Trek episodes yesterday and couldn't see the effect in the well-known "orbiting Enterprise" shot (where the Enterprise sails horizontally across the screen from left to right), even though I knew what I was looking for.


So I'm very, very pleased with this Theatrewide 1 mode. There are times when you can see the stretch (for example, if people are situated in the extreme edges of the frame) but it's the best stretch mode I've ever seen.
 

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I watch nearly all 4:3 material in a stretch mode on my RCA F38310. My wife and I got used to the wide people quickly (one or two days). We don't even notice it anymore, and have no problem switching between 16:9 and 4:3 material. I prefer the wide people to grey bars. Black bars are OK (like HBO-HD provides for 4:3 programming), but I really don't like the grey.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by davegust
I watch nearly all 4:3 material in a stretch mode on my RCA F38310. My wife and I got used to the wide people quickly (one or two days). We don't even notice it anymore, and have no problem switching between 16:9 and 4:3 material.
I guess this is one of those tomaytoe, tomahtoe kind of deals- but I must say that the mind can be educated to perceive reality in lots of weird ways. Why would anyone want to deliberately train their mind to perceive reality in such a distorted fashion?


Sorry, but if you're training your mind to adjust for this gross a distortion, you"re damaging your cognitive apparatus. I don't think this is such a good thing....


John
 

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Be aware. Forewarned is forearmed.


Once the mind has been trained and has fully adjusted to this sort of gross distortion of TV images, it cannot simply be untrained and adjusted back to normal without serious risk to the unconscious. The return to a an acceptable degree of mental normality requires extensive de-programming by a certified ISF-PSY Tech.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gnosys



Sorry, but if you're training your mind to adjust for this gross a distortion, you"re damaging your cognitive apparatus.


John
I really don't think anything we see on TV is very close to reality. Every thing we see on TV is very approximate, whether it's color, sharpness, brightness, depth (2D), motion (frames vs. continuous).


The brain is very good at taking approximations and "reading between the lines" to associate the result with what we know as reality. I would very much disagree that TV, radio, magazines, movies, or any other media is "damaging your cognitive apparatus".


Of course, the whole point behind advancement in television is to better approximate reality. As a TV purist I would never suggest one modify the image to fill the screen. For every day viewing though... it's just the SD stuff, and those grey bars bug me. :)
 

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Sean,


What is your general impression of the 42H81? I saw it hooked up to a DVD and it looked great. I played around with the stretch modes and thought it looked better than others I had seen.Are you running satellite or cable through it? I am trying to plan a budget to see if I will have to get a dish/receiver at the same time as the set.


Other less important questions....


What are you using for a stand?


Does it hold your center channel speaker?


Thanks for your help. I am leaning heavily toward this unit.


Dan
 

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Just so everyone knows there is no need to stretch the material. The only reason this is done to begin with is to prevent burn on. Burn in is only a problem on projection screen tv's so just watch it in 4:3 mode.
 

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Quote:
What is your general impression of the 42H81?...
I've had my 42H81 less than a week, but so far I'm very happy with it. DVDs look terrific and the better analogue cable stations look almost as good. The cable in our area (Shaw Cable in Vancouver) seems to be quite good. I haven't got the cable system's digital STB hooked up yet (need to get a receiver so I can get it and all the VCRs hooked up together). Aside from adjusting the basic brightness/contrast/sharpness levels I haven't touched the set yet. In a few weeks when it has some hours on and the electronics have settled in a bit it I'll spend some time fine-tuning the geometry and convergence.


I don't have a stand (yet). We watch from a reclining loveseat that seems to be about the right height. But I'm thinking of maybe building my own stand with a sliding drawer underneath in order to get some storage space for my wife's videotapes.


I also don't have a center channel speaker yet. The top of the set is very narrow, and I'm planning on building a shelf that will rest partly on the TV and partly on struts behind the TV to hold the speaker.
 

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The 42H81 is an RPTV. The reason I brought it up was because of it's good "Theatrewide 1" stretch mode. I'm not sure if Toshiba's widescreen direct-view has this stretch mode, but if it does then I think it would be a real winner...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by gnosys



I guess this is one of those tomaytoe, tomahtoe kind of deals- but I must say that the mind can be educated to perceive reality in lots of weird ways. Why would anyone want to deliberately train their mind to perceive reality in such a distorted fashion?


Sorry, but if you're training your mind to adjust for this gross a distortion, you"re damaging your cognitive apparatus. I don't think this is such a good thing....


John
Gross distortion? What could be more distorted than watching the world inside a box and with all the special effects used in TV programs?


Give me a break! (If you weren't serious, why didn't you put in a "smiley" emoticon?)
 

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Rick,


You can change the gray side bars on the RCA to black through the menu. Call up the menu and go to the bottom item. This will call up a second menu - go to the bottom again to call up a third menu. The gray/black bar switch is the first item in this third menu.


Sorry - I don't remember the menu item names, just that they are the bottom. Hope I'm remembering correctly, but you get the idea.


Frank
 
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