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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 12 year old Toshiba 32" TV is starting to go, so I'm in the market for a new set. I'm disappointed in the timing of this need, considering the current HDTV encryption issues that should be resolved in 1-2 years. I was hoping to hold off. So anyway, here are my requirements:


1. 95% of the time my source is a DirecTV Receiver with TiVo. The other 5% is DVD (Sony DVP-S7700). This means not a widescreen for this set ... maybe next time.


2. I don't care about HDTV at this time. TiVo functionality is more important to me, so I won't be going HD until an HD TiVo is released, which is at least 3 years away.


3. Features that are important include: Excellent picture quality, Component input for DVD, Auto-widescreen detect (what TVs have this?), Discrete on/off remote codes (eliminates Toshiba only I think), tabletop design (means a CRT tube set in my price range).


The TV will be in the corner of a brightly lit family room with seating position 11 feet away. My current 32" is a bit too small. A 36" CRT tube set will work fine for this purchase. I'll go with a larger widescreen HDTV for my next set in a few years.


Budget: under $2500, but the lower the better that meets my requirements.


I'm considering:

Sony 36XBR450

Panasonic 36HX41

Hitachi 36SDX01S


Right now I'm leaning towards the Panasonic, as it's cheaper than the Sony and seems to be just as good. And besides, I preferred the picture in a side by side comparison (with Brightness and Contrast adjusted by eye). So far, I can't find the Hitachi for sale anywhere near me.


BUT ... Even these sets may be overkill for my needs. Are there lesser models that meet my requirements that I'm not considering? I may be able to save $500-$1000 perhaps. I tend to buy the best (or one model under), so this shopping task is a change for me, as I'm just looking for something really good to satisfy me about 5 years.
 

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I have the 36xbr and recommend the Sony. The Sony

KV-36HS20 can be cheaper than the 36xbr450 and has all the features you need. Sony CRTs are top quality and will easily last a decade.

 

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If you want a digital TV, or an "almost HDTV", the Hitachi 36SDX01S is a good buy. I don't like the Sony XBR picture at all. I can't understand why people do. However, if you don't plan to watch any HDTV, or any progressive inputs at all, you could probably get by with a TV in the $1200 range.


What's nice about the Hitachi is it does progressive 480p full time and is easy to upgrade. When you get tired of that, go to a DVDO iScan Pro for better line-doubling. Next, you can graduate to a progressive DVD player and enjoy those benefits. And after that, for the more adventurous, it can be connected to an HTPC. Quite versatile set.



Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea, I wish I could find the Hitachi for sale near me. A family member bought 1999's 88B model and raves about it. It also has RGB inputs, so it can be easily hooked up to a computer. That's not a requirement, but could be cool down the road.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by hdniklas:
I have the 36xbr and recommend the Sony. The Sony

KV-36HS20 can be cheaper than the 36xbr450 and has all the features you need. Sony CRTs are top quality and will easily last a decade.
I have the 36XBR450. The one feature that your extra $250-$300 buys with it (compared to the 36HS20) is the "cinemotion" 3:2 reverse pulldown on the DRC (line doubler).


I didn't know if I would see the difference, but it is there. The jaggies on diagonal objects (artifacts from non-3:2 reverse pulldown) are visible without the cinemotion. For me, the extra $250 was worth it for this, since I watch a lot of DVD's and movies. I'm very happy with this set (though I like the darker gray finish of the HS20 better!). If the cinemotion isn't important to you, then I agree with hdniklas to go with the 36HS20.


I don't believe that you'd regret the 36XBR450 or the 36HS20.





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-Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the opinions so far.


What about the auto widescreen detection, where it automatically recognizes an anamorphic input. It also used to be rare for a 4:3 set to do the vertical compression to realize the full resolution. Do all these sets [with component inputs] these days do both of these things?
 

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If HD picture quality is a priority please go see your family member's Hitachi!

You will see that the XBR's heavy shadow mask make it physically impossible to match either of the Hitachi 36"ers or the RCA 36MM110 in HD eye popping experience.

If you can wait until Sept. there will be a new version of the 36SDX01S with an improved line doubler with 3:2 pulldown.

Use your eyes http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
 

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David -


Please consider the RCA D36TF20 http://www.rcascenium.com .


It does anamorphic. RGB input, progressive Up-conversion.


I just bought an older model 32" (MM32110) and am very happy with it. I consider the very recent RCA line to be great values and much improved over our "father's RCA.


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Pentium III 800/256 MB Ram/GeForce 2 MX 32Mb/WinTV PVR/Creative 6x DVD/M-Audio AP 2496/Airboard Wireless Keyboard
 

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David -


The set I mentioned above is not yet available, and RCA does not post a price deferring to their dealers.


These guys-(Use IE browser ! The designer did NOT optimize for Netscape!)
http://www.copperbox.com/lite/popinf...neek=584743040


...show it for $1634 "pre-sale". If you can't wait, the RCA MM36110 (the bigger brother to the one I own) may suit your needs, although it does not do auto anamorphic



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Pentium III 800/256 MB Ram/GeForce 2 MX 32Mb/WinTV PVR/Creative 6x DVD/M-Audio AP 2496/Airboard Wireless Keyboard
 

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What is the best 16:9 Direct Views with firewire around that size?
 

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Hitachi 36sdx01s can be bought at sears. I purchased this set in orlando fl. I paid $1399.00. Sears told me it was a close out. Awesome tv,with a awesome price
 

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Kenland is right. The Hitachi tube is fantastic compared to the Sony XBR's. They (Sony) just don't have the pixel count to match. You have to realize by posting in a A/V video forum you will seldom get the recommendation for a normal analog TV, so take all our comments with a grain of salt.


I bought the Hitachi 36SDX01S as my "hold-me-over-until-HDTV-is-ready-for-primetime" set and I'm glad I did. The newer model with 3:2 will be even better, but this can be alleviated with the older model by getting an iScan Pro, which intend to do.


The RCA MM36110 is a great set too, but you will want to get the iScan doubler right away, as it has no internal doubler. In any case, by moving above a 32" TV, the scanlines become much more noticeable and a distraction to a good movie/TV show. I would not consider a regular analog 36" TV set any more, regardless of what you are watching.


I for one have no HDTV sources, nor plan to for awhile. I have basic NTSC Cable TV, a VCR and interlaced DVD player. All these analog sources benefit from a better progressive tube at 480p.


Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I just found the Hitachi locally for $1399. Wow, that's hard to pass up. Still, I am interested in...

Quote:
Originally posted by KenLand:
If you can wait until Sept. there will be a new version of the 36SDX01S with an improved line doubler with 3:2 pulldown.
OK, I might be able to wait. My tube on my current set is slowly deteriorating with its vertical scan. The defect is minor at this point.


What can you tell me about this new model? Is the only difference the line doubler with 3:2 pulldown? (I saw a note at an online retailer saying they were out of stock and a new model will not have RGB inputs). What's the new model number? Do you have any links you can point me to? Do you know the price?


Thanks everyone!
 

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The old model (and new model) is really $1999. It was discounted to $1699 a few months ago because it was at the end of the line, and now is $1399 to get rid of them before the new model. I bought mine for $1258 at Sears because it was at $1399 and I took the floor model. I couldn't pass it up at that price. The next version will most likely go back up to the 1699-1999 range.


3:2 pulldown is quite important in my opinion, but you could get the cheaper 36SDX01S now and get an external line doubler if you wish. In either case, a 3rd party line doubler, like the iScan, will be better than whatever Hitachi is cooking for their next TV. Having the VGA input is great, since it works with that and a PC equally.


Here is a link to the old and new version. Compare for yourself.
http://www.hitachi.com/products/cons...Z5BAPIIAC.html
http://www.hitachi.com/products/cons...Z2KY8MSPC.html


-Robert
 

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Under no circumstances should be get the Sony set for watching Tivo. With the Tivo digital artifacts getting processed by the Sony DRC, the end result is all but unwatchable. A regular NTSC set looks much, much better.


I think you should get the Hitachi or the RCAMM36110. I've never seen the Hitachi (but it gets raves areound here). The RCA is cheap and has no scan doubler. It won't screw up your Tivo picture any more than Tivo already does (with MPEG artifacts).


With the money you save, you could try a DVDO Iscan Pro and you could see if the Tivo picture can be scan doubled to your satisfaction.


My opinion is that the Panasonic also is bad for watching Tivo (no defeatable doubler), but not nearly as bad as the Sony, which is exclusively for watching DVD and HD to me (making me wonder why they make the damn set in 4:3 at all).


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thnaks, rogo, those comments are interesting. But I'm confused about something. Since my TiVo records the straight digital bitstream from DirecTV and does no encoding of its own (only decoding at playback time), it is no different than a regular DirecTV receiver with respect to its output signal. Are you saying that these line-doubling issues apply to all DirecTV customers? If your concerns about a TiVo signal through a line-doubler are warranted, then those concerns must also apply to all DirecTV customers. I'm not doubting you -- I'm just pointing out the affected group is larger than your post implies. Have others noticed this problem with DirecTV as a source?


p.s. I'm leaning towards getting the current Hitachi model for $1399 at Sears, but am undecided about waiting for the newer 2001 model instead.
 

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Robert,


" The Hitachi tube is fantastic compared to the Sony XBR's. They (Sony) just don't have the pixel count to match."


This may relevant when lots of pixels are required as when playing HDTV.


"I for one have no HDTV sources, nor plan to for awhile. I have basic NTSC Cable TV, a VCR and interlaced DVD player. All these analog sources benefit from a better progressive tube at 480p."


My experience with Sony XBRs, Panasonic TAUsand Toshiba 34XC2/X92 (at the stores) is that they do a very poor job at reproducing the lower end of the NTSC signals: VCR and analog cable signal: lots of distortion and a general feeling of an smeared picture/colors.

I would like to read your comments on your own experience playing low level NTSC signal on a digital/HDTV set. This is a wider issue than what some forum members may think since a lot of us are looking for a bridge solution to future HDTV which is not available to us today.

The best results I have seen so far on a commercial grade VHS film are from a Proscan PS36810 tv with Iscan(older version). I have heard that Hitachi uses the same/similar tube.

Hob, another contributor to this forum, has recently posted an account of his good experience playing VHS tapes with a 38" direct tv model (RCA or Proscan I think). If he reads this thread he may wish to expand on his experience.

I know this is an HDTV forum and VCR-VHS may not be a topic of interest to some; however, a growing number of people look for an HDTV set but are not willing to sacrifice the already low picture quality that we obtain with regular cable and VHS sources on analog tv sets. For this,I beg indulgence and understanding and I encourage you to share your experience with us.

Thank you.
 

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Quote:
2. I don't care about HDTV at this time. TiVo functionality is more important to me, so I won't
David,


It sounds to me like a good quality analog television would meet most of your requirements. JVC has a couple of nice 36" tube sets with excellent PQ, component inputs, 2 tuner PIP, etc, for less than $1000. These sets do have curved screens and don't do progressive scanning, but since they are analog you won't see any digital artifacts, either. I don't think they auto-detect widescreen sources, but since 95%+ of the widscreen material you will be watching is going to be from your DVD player, it doesn't really matter, the DVD player will output the proper video for the TV. I don't know about the remote codes.



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Dan Driscoll
 

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FGM,


Perhaps my experience will be of assistance.


I was looking to purchase an HD-Ready direct view from early last year (with the announcement in March 2000 of the Sony XBR400). When it came out in August 2000 I *really* wanted to like it but its performance on cable TV (in my area the quality of cable is better than many other cities) was really bad in that, apart from artifacting it softened the picture excessively. I spent an hour comparing so-so cable sources with the XBR400 and the Toshiba 34WXC2 (Canadian model identical to the 92) many months ago and the Toshiba's doubler was markedly superior (although it is not a great doubler). This softening I believe is also why combing is not as apparent on this set as other internal line doublers (perhaps intentional with Sony's DRC).


When the 32HX40 Panasonic came out I bought one (I knew I could return it within 30 days). My set, unlike many other Taus did not have egregious geometry errors and *generally* on cable (both analog and digital) it performed pretty well. However, on poor sources (primarily over-compressed digital cable sources) it had what has been termed "lag distortion" when you would notice for example the features on someone's face shifting for a split second.


I have a 27" analog set in the bedroom also hooked up with digital cable and I was able to compare the two sets very easily. Sometimes the source material was such that the same "lag distortion" would show up on both sets but often it was only on the Tau that this would show up. Perhaps this is related to the fact that the Tau probably only buffers 1 field.


I finally decided that this was not the best solution for me and after reading reviews from Kevin Miller and Lawrence Ullman on etown (re the RCA 36100 and the 32110) and Michael TLV's (the ISF calibrator) experience with his Proscan 32800 I decided to go with the RCA MM32110 and the Iscan Pro (I later went with the MM36110 for size reasons).


I am very happy with the RCA 36110 and Iscan Pro. It is not perfect (the anamorphic squeeze on DVDs has to be done manually but takes all of 20 seconds to do) but geometry is very good out of the box (the 32" was the same). The power supply is the best I have seen (holds black outstandingly well). There is no red push at all when mated with the Iscan Pro. Out of the box and mated with the Iscan the RCA comes *reasonably* close to tracking a 6500 Kelvin greyscale - but definitely not flat - but this set (like the previous 32" RCA) will be ISF calibrated by Michael TLV in about 10 days time. SVM on the RCA cannot be disabled except via a physical disconnect (or alternatively setting sharpness to zero which does soften the picture a bit too much). It is not excessive but it definitely detracts a bit.


The Iscan Pro does not make even the poorest (my cable system as I said is still quite good) analog or digital cable sources look worse than when fed directly bypassing the Iscan and it has a great enhancing effect on medium to good quality cable sources. DVDs look superb (fed with a Panasonic RV80).


My end result is not perfect but most definitely the best solution for my purposes. Since I do not have any RF or composite sources the limitations of the 3 line digital comb filter are not apposite (the Hitachi has a 3D comb filter which will be much better). The Hitachi "as is" should perform very similarly although from reports its line doubler falls a lot short of the Iscan Pro and probably the Tau. The 2001 Hitachi will apparently have an improved doubler (but the basic chassis should be the same)

but at the prices I am seeing if one can get the 2000 model that would be the better buy and then purchasing an Iscan.


Some may think that the Iscan Pro is somewhat overkill and an Iscan Plus or V2 would be fine. They (Plus or V2) will be markedly better than any of the internal doublers mentioned above but one noteable feature of the Pro is its markedly improved video section. Criticisms of somewhat softening of the image (which has been noted by reliable sources) by the Plus and V2 is not an issue with the Pro. The 6.75 Mhz pattern on AVIA (analogous to 540 lines on a 4:3 set) is very clear with good contrast.


To read a detailed review of the Iscan Pro have a look at this one:
http://www.dvdo.com/dvdo/widescreenreview.pdf


I have the hard copy of the Widescreen Review article and it is identical (in case one feels the review is too fulsome).


I know new 4:3 flatscreens are coming out from Toshiba and RCA but my experience is that it takes at least one generation of a set to iron out the problems. The earlier Wegas (both XBR and non-XBR) had serious problems with geometry, uneven brightness and non-linearity and these have been largely ameliorated with later generations but problems still exist. Panasonic, at least with early reports of the 2nd generation Tau, still have not solved the geometry problems.


So I would be very sceptical if Toshiba and RCA get it right from the beginning (at least with the first production runs).


Peter



[This message has been edited by PeterG (edited 08-08-2001).]
 
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