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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Plainning on picking up a larger TV to replace my current Sony Wega 42". We now have a larger living room with primary seating at around 9' from the Television and off center seating to the right, at about a 75degree angle, and 5' from the Television. The room has two windows, one beside/behind the television, and one on the far side of the room. The lighting levels in the room are controlled fairly well, but daytime can be bright (nighttime is VERY dark).


I will be using a Yamahaa HTR5660 reciever at least until May. I currently run with Boston speakers (front/center/rear) and a powered Yamahaa sub. I have a Toshiba SD5700 DVD player that I may replace with a better unit right away.


This television will be playing digital cable with a few HDTV options. I am also upgrading to the HDTV Tivo! this weekend. As for uses, the television will find daily use with my wife watching music and all things HGTV, and myself watching HBO, sports and of course DVD movies. There will also be a good amount of X box gaming going on, especially on weekends :)


Now a bit about me, Im not a videophile per say. I enjoy my movies and sports but I am not the type of person who will be learning much more than the basics on screen settings and calibration. I want a TV that will be impressive in quality without a great deal of tweaking. Whatever I purchase will have an extended warranty on it, as I know these technologies to be fickle.


I've read a lot over the past few days on this forum. It is, to say the least, overwhelming and I find myself reeling from the massive amount of negativity and mixed feelings on current technology. I have read many of the awsomely compiled 'popular' threads compiled here, but many of them are debates which started well over a year ago and as such, do not necessarily take into account current technology.


As an average user, or perhaps just a bit more, what would you purchase with 3 or 4 thousand dollars? I've seen a lot of GWIII rear projection LCD talks, and I've read discussion on the Samsung HLN567. It would appear that there are some great CRT models available as well. I guess Im just overwhelmed and would like opinions from some of you, not the opinions of the salesmen in this area (which have each been catered to THEIR premier brand and each has contradicted the other quite well, that is IF I could get a salesmen that seemed to know anything besides...Dude, this LCD is the bomb..)


Thanks for any and all input
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm assuming people are just sick of these types of threads but honestly, I have not recieved a single good piece of advice from the local stores.


anyway, /bump
 

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jferrill:

Welcome to AVS Forum!


Your question is one that is frequently posted here and virtually impossible to answer. You will find fans of all technologies here. Since this is a place where people come for help, you will find a lot of what ails them on display here. However, like a hospital, it would seem unrealistic to assume that the rest of the society has as many sick people...:D


What you really need to do is to read and think about what is important to you that will help you decide among the competing technologies. We all want great picture quality, however, is your room bright? Do you need a display that can handle lots of amgbient light? Etc. No one can figure out what YOU need but you. Then you should come back here and read some more.


I was in your position about a year and a half ago and I went with DLP. My media room was on the second floor, so I wanted something light and movable (my 50" DLP weighs 78 pounds). I watch mostly DVDs and (not coincidentally) the DLP displays (as well as the other fixed pixel displays) benefit greatly from the upscaling, DVI-output DVD players, so I have a Bravo D1 (I may upgrade to the D2 when it comes out in February but my D1 works fine). I was worried about burn-in and DLP isn't affected by burn-in. I wanted a set that didn't use a lot of power - DLP is basically a fan, color wheel and a 100 watt light bulb. I wanted the best black levels available in fixed pixel (even though they all need improvement)... I could go on, but I hope you get the idea...


The reason people aren't answering your question is because it is too "BIG" right now and, as phrased, ANY display would work. We are absolutley certain that ANY display is not what you want to hear, so we skip over your question. It isn't that we're mean or stuck up. It isn't that your question is stupid. Come up with some performance parameters that reflect a better understanding of your own needs and then they will be able to help.


Good luck!
 

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OK, I'll bite:


For MY money, the Sony KF-60-WE610 (GWIII) was the choice. It has a combination of many strengths, plus few weaknesses. My viewing distance is more like 12-feet, so the larger size makes sense for me, though for your area, the 50" might be better. Sony's own literature states an 8-10 foot viewing distance for the 50" model.


I looked at all the options and my one-sentence reaction to each was:


DLP - Didn't like the pixelization or rainbows I saw in the picture.


Plasma - Nice, but too pricey and potentially troublesome.


CRT rear-projection: Really nice picture from straight ahead, but old, dying technology (IMO), and crappy viewing angle.


LCD - Great, smooth picture quality, nice viewing angles, nice form factor, minimal maintenance. Downside is the black level, but the positives outweigh the one negative, IMO.


HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to both of you! Those answer were actually very helpfull. I think my issue is Im not sure what I want, or need, and since I've found no good help at the local stores it never pushed me in any direction.


Store 1 - Amercian: Salesperson says never buy Sony, and pimps the Samsung DLP (it had another name too, dont remember it). Salesperson tells me CRT is terrible, and not to even look at them


Store 2 - Best Buy: Salesperson pushes a Hitatchi LCD, says he likes it more than the GWIII but says thier both nice. He has the Hitatchi in stock and pushes it pretty hard. Says DLP is nasty, makes people sick. Also says the CRT's are garbage.


Store 3 - High End electronics store: Salesperson says ONLY go CRT, everything else is garbage and he wont carry it. This guy was....unpleasant.


Store 4 - Circuit City: Again they are pushing the Rear projection LCD's both the Sony and the Hitatchi. Says he likes the DLP models but the color wheel can be troublesome. Tells me that CRT's can be good, especially for the money, but they need maintenance to stay superior. This guy says for me, the best bet would be a rear projection LCD.


As you can see, each of these stores was pushing a specific product, making it tough to call. It was nice to see some breakdowns from actual owners though.
 

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I have to agree with zcd2.7t.


I'm in the same shopping mode with a similar situation. I have about 10 ft. viewing distance and I have to balance function, quality, picture quality, lighting, etc. I've done a lot of viewing and reading and the LCD seems to be my best choice - scpecifically the Sony WE610 series. I do agree that the black level is not perfect, but it appears better than any of the DLP's. It's not as bright as the DLP's, but there's one trade-off. CRT's are beatiful, but they are not as bright and the viewing angle does tend to be a point of dissatisfaction. I know I'll get burn in because my wife won't wan't to watch everything stretched. For my situation, the Sony LCD seems to be the best compromise and there is a lot of subjectivity in anyone's decision. Cosider all your variables and make the choicec that's best for your situation.


Good Luck!
 

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Get a Pioneer Elite RPTV. You can't beat the picture and if you get the 530hdi, you'll still have money left over. It's a better picture than any DLP, LCD, or plasma.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
JMMHouston do you feel the Elite would work well even with my off center viewing and the light levels in the room? Also will I need to do calibrations and tweaking in order to get the picture great and keep it great?
 

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Quote:
I do agree that the black level is not perfect, but it appears better than any of the DLP's.
Although there are many advantages/ disadvantages that LCD may have over DLP, THIS is definitely not one of them.


jferrill, I was in your situation 15 months ago. DLP worked for me. It may or may not work for you. Look at as many TVs as you can in your price range and buy what looks best to you. This is a good place to learn about the different technologies and what their respective benefits are. Only you can determine where your hard earned money should go.


PS. All 4 salesmen you describe are FOS!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for the link, I was not aware they are *just* around the corner.


Generally I dislike waiting for the next best thing as Ive found it to be an unending cycle. If there are great improvements however, perhaps its worthwhile. Which leads me to one of my biggest issues:


I think the current DLP's look pretty good, Ive seen the LCDs that seemed to look better, better in fact than the CRT's. This is the thing that screws me up. I'm worried that its store settings/lighting and perhaps special programming etc. that Im comparing, which makes it hard to know whats what. The American store had 56 and larger DLP's standing in an aisle!?! So I was around 3' from it to watch it. I could see distortion and grainy images, but this is expected with such poor viewing conditions.


I'm just frustrated with the local market I suppose. It makes it VERY hard to accurately identify which television I would enjoy most.
 

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.This is a quote from another thread on this forum. Perhaps it will help you. (This is from the February issue of "Home Theater" magazine)


I'm not sure if someone has posted the results from the most recent issue of "HOMETHEATER MAGAZINE" shootout (PQ being the main, but not the only criteria), but the Reader's Digest version goes like this (only comment on the top 2 "winners"):


1. Toshiba 65HX93 (CRT)...best calibrated picture, but (BIG BUT, IMHO) the picture quality was very dependent upon where you sit while watching the TV....very narrow "sweet spot". Best if only viewed in a dark room and professionally calibrated.


2. Sony KF-60WE610 (LCD)...virtual tie with the Tosh. They did mention the black levels. Many judges still said this was their favorite, both calibrated and un-calibrated. Great light output, accurate, detailed, no picture noise, good to great picture regardless of source material or where your seating position is.


3. Hitachi 57X500 (CRT)


4. Sony KDP-65WS550 (CRT)


5. Samsung HLN467W (DLP)


6. Gateway GTW-R56M (DLP)


7. Mitsubishi WS-65613 (CRT)


8. Pioneer Elite PRO-530HD (CRT)


9. Zenith D60WLCD (LCD)...note, they said this would have placed better if it's sister TV, the LG RU-60SZ30, with a glare reduction screen and a color temp control (biggest beef they had with this TV) was tested.


10. RCA HDLP61W151 (DLP)


Long and short of it, this article exploded the belief that a CRT, or LCD, or DLP is better or worse than each other. A good TV is a good TV regardless of the technology it uses. It is also very dependent on whether you only use the TV in a darkened room sitting in the sweet spot, or if you use the TV to watch all sorts of sources (SD, DVD, HD, etc) in all different lighting conditions from different seating areas.


I was surprised that the Pioneer and Mitsubishi CRTs didn't fare better given their status of "best of the best" not so long ago.


The article is a very good read if you're in the market (as I am). I wished they had also tested the Hitachi LCDs to see how they stack-up. My "eyeballs" tell me the Sony is more detailed than the Hitachis from looking at them at CC. I'm trying to get my hands on the difficult to find Sony KF-60WE610. They seem to be backordered from every known source I've come across.

In the end, I was happy to see my personal decision validated. As I stated earlier, the CRT sets were off my radar anyway, so I see the GWIII's second place finish as validation...
 

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One more thing, although this is probably obvious: Make sure that when you're going store to store, checking out picture quality, that you know what the source signal is for the various TVs. I'm often amazed at the crappy signal that some stores use to show off their big sets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
zcd2.7t thank you SO much for posting that article breakdown. I drove my wife nuts last night going from store to store looking for the Home Theatre magazine as I knew that article was in there. Of course, noone carried the mag, so we mostly just enjoyed the terrible weather :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Should I be sticking with the 50"? My central seating area could sit around 10 -12' away with one of these ultra thing DLP or LCD units.


Whats optimal, I certainly dont want something thats too much for the room.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jferrill
zcd2.7t thank you SO much for posting that article breakdown. I drove my wife nuts last night going from store to store looking for the Home Theatre magazine as I knew that article was in there. Of course, noone carried the mag, so we mostly just enjoyed the terrible weather :(
I just copy/pasted what someone else quoted - no thanks necessary.


I, too ran around looking for the magazine before finding it in (of all places) a W.H. Smith newsstand in the Denver airport (I was on my way back to Chicago from L.A.)


Don't despair, though; just go to any Barnes & Noble or Borders bookstore, and they're sure to have this issue (February 2004). It's worth reading.


Of course, the article would have been even better if they had included the Hitachi "V-series" LCDs, since that was the other TV I was debating at the end....


Lastly - the relative PQ seems to be better on the smaller screens, particularly with SD material, but the bigger screens are better for the "Theater" experience, so you'll have to decide which is more important to you.


For me, knowing that All- (or mostly) HD TV isn't really that far away (meaning PQ on SD would dwindle in importance) was enough to push me to pay the $$$$ for the bigger screen. YMMV.
 

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I am trying to make the same decision you are and got the Home Theater Mag article at Barnes and Noble. I was leaning toward the 50WE610, especially given the Home Theater Mag review and because my friend has one and it looks great. However, after reading criticisms of the article and other reviews (very few reviews of this set), I decided that I needed to look at the sets myself in as controlled a retail environment as possible to see if the various criticisms and points bothered me. I went to my local Tweeter where I was able to look at the same feeds from high quality sources on non-tweaked sets (at least that is what they told me) and was suprised at the pq difference in the Samsung DLP at Tweeter compared to the average BB and Circuit City. The Tweeter guy told me that the Samsung required better source inputs or signal quality because of the sharpness of its picture (whether true or not, I don't know but the picture in store was stunning).


In any case, I saw HD and some of the dvds I brought and liked the Samsung better. I think pq on Sammy DLP and Sony GW610 are both great but a little different. The Sammy has a noticably sharper image (albeit with HD and DVD), the Sony was softer. Some people prefer a softer image as it may be more filmlike and you will see less pixelation in the background images (images off center screen/ Tweeter guy tried to show me but it didn't bother me). Also, I did not see rainbows even with rapid head movement on bright against dark source, so this aspect of the DLP was not a problem for ME (if I did, I would have no problem buying the Sony).


I have pretty much decided on the Sammy DLP because I really want the sharpness as I think it makes HD images more 3 dimensional. My friend, who went with me, still prefers his Sony. Bottom line, its all a matter of personal preference so I would definately view the sets you are interested in at a high end store where they will let you spend some time with the sets you are interested in (and let you watch your own dvds and see content you are already familiar with).


One thing I did not check out is the Samsung's pq with SD sources. Helpful people on this forum have informed me that it is acceptable to good through directv for most channels and only spotty with some (better signal, better picture). I will go back to Tweeter to see what their hook up is and check out SD content. My friend's Sony's SD picture is actually pretty good. My guess is the Home Theater Mag article is probably correct that Sony does a good job with all inputs and content but is not great in anything, a good overall set for today. I think that the DLP is great with HD and DVDs and since there is already a lot of HD content with more coming every day, will buy the set with the future in mind, unless SD viewing is so bad as to make short term unacceptable. One other point, several reviews have noted that the Samsung needs calibration. The stuff I saw didn't bother me but in addition to the service plan (which is essential for both sets I am looking at, especially after reading horror stories on this forum), I am budgeting a cerain amount for a professional calibration. From what I could tell from my friend's set, who I know did nothing to standard settings, color and picture settings were fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jferrill
I'm assuming people are just sick of these types of threads but honestly, I have not recieved a single good piece of advice from the local stores.


anyway, /bump
JFerrill,


Just remember to only take in peoples opinions into consideration to draw your own conclusions in the end. There are no cut and dry facts that one technology is better in all conditions and with all people. That's why we don't all like the same cars, women, colors, and tastes. LOL. I like the DLP and LCD but in my 14X24 tv room I didn't want to pay a high priority to the sleeekness of the tv cabinet. I also didn't like the overall cost of ownership when compared to a CRT RPTV. You will have to buy several bulbs over the tv's life and they are not like buying regular light bulbs. They generally run around $300. a piece. I know it's the new thing but with anything new I didn't want to buy one so soon and then go through that technoligies growing pains. CRT based RPTV's are the most proven as they are the best they have ever been and they have evolved over the past 25 years. I do get a kick out of people so concerned because they can't see as bright of a picture from the most ridiculous angles when they do not normally view tv from these same angles. I think it's mostly ignornance because they have never actually owned one of these tv's before or the tv was perhaps too large for a particular room. I feel that the best values per square inch are in RPTV's. and I don't see any huge advantages with DLP, or LCD for me but this is yet just another opinion.
 

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any of the 3 main technologies (dlp, crt or lcd) are good, so one thing you could do is focus on the negatives for each, and consider whether they will really bother you over the next 5 or 10 years.


dlp... if you see rainbows, I think you can forget this, some people see them, I never have, but I hvaen't spent much time in front of a DLP set. Also, you'll see the term "clay faces".. with dlp sets, sometimes flesh tones come out looking funny, and that's probably the best way to describe them.. they almost look like claymation.


lcd... black levels are bad, when you check out these sets, focus on the shadows and dark scenes, a lot of times you lose detail in the shadows.


crt... bad viewing angles, huge-ass tv, I've heard you have to constantly calibrate them, but I don't know if that's true.



in reality, the good outweighs the bad on a good tv with any of the technologies (with the possible exception of dlp, if you're one of the people who can't deal with the rainbows).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by zcd2.7t
.This is a quote from another thread on this forum. Perhaps it will help you. (This is from the February issue of "Home Theater" magazine)



......


7. Mitsubishi WS-65613 (CRT)


8. Pioneer Elite PRO-530HD (CRT)


[/b]
Why would they test the Mits 613 and not the 813?:confused:
 
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