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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, in the real world, are 9" CRT's in a RPTV a big deal, or not? The marketing propaganda of these manufacturers that make them say yes, that is only way to get true hi-resolution HD, but then there are limited choices as they make the vast majority of sets with 7" CRT's.


Is there that much of a difference? Should I really care about this feature when choosing a tv?
 

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schlitzie,

You better believe it's a big deal. When I was shopping for a HDTV, all other 7" sets paled by comparison to the ones with 9" guns. There was no contest whatsoever. I had narrowed my choices to the Phillips & Zenith (I eventually went with the Zenith). The bottom line is that this is no marketing hype, it's real.
 

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schlitzie,


9" CRTs make a huge difference in quality and price! If you can afford an RPTV with 9" CRTs, they look beautiful. You may be able to get a DLP or used CRT front projector for about the same price though. :(


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, that's what I thought, although being a bit of a newbie to the world of HDTV has me outguessing myself.


Jimbo, The set will get too much use, so I can't go with a DLP or I'll be changing a $600 bulb every year, and the room will not allow a projector as there is just too much ambient light. (12' X 8' of glass with a Southern exposure, plus far too many other windows. And no, drapes are not an option.)


While cost is of course a factor, I am placing performance with HD and NTSC at the premium - I can overlook cost if the quality of the picture warrants the added $$$.


I had almost convinced myself that the Elite 720 was the way to go, but I will revisit the Zenith 64" set if I can find a relatively local worthwhile retailer that can order one....
 

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I could be wrong ( newbie myself ) but 7" vs 9" in the same size set. Would the 9" be less likely to have burn-in issues at the same brightness because the light is more distributed?
 

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I'm no expert, but wouldn't you have the same ambient light issues with an rptv?
 

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Snowman,


Assuming the 9" can put out the same brightness as the 7", the electron beam still burns just as brightly on each phosphor. There are just more phosphors affected by the burn-in.
 

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Ambient light issues are far worse with a projector than an RPTV. In an RPTV, the image is held inside a black box and put on a screen. A projector has to "fight" all the ambient light before it's even displayed. Then -- like the RPTV -- that light is in the way on the way back.


Mark
 

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schlitzie,


After much research, I went with the 9"crt RPTV but still had problems with ambient light. I experimented with tin foil on most of the windows (north facing) and heavy draps on the east. Was ok for afternoon/evening viewing but early morning was the pits. After replacing the tin foil with blackout blinds I decided to add a large blackout blind behind the drapes on the east windows. Now it's like a movie theater. I had Craig Miller over 2 weeks ago to calibrate my 73907 and he was amazed at the light control with blackout blinds. They make a difference. Got them at Home Depot for under $1K - all custom sized. The biggest was 104" x 70".
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just a follow up that is bugging me --


IF 9" CRT's are clearly so much better, and there obviously is a discerning market out there that will pay for the upgrade from 7", why are all of the new tvs outfitted with the less capable lenses?


Have the new models' filters/electronics been so vastly improved over previous versions that they make up for the cheaper lenses?
 

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I have done a great deal of investigation including having two 9"inch gun sets and one 7" gun set in my home for evaluation in the past 6 months. Price was a consideration, but not an important factor in the end. DLP sets, while new and interesting, have very poor contrast levels and are not worthy of consideration for myself at this time.


I had the Mitsubishi with 9" guns (WS 73907) and was very disappointed. The overall detail, light output and most importantly color were all trade offs for the large screen size and did not compare with the other sets I tested. I eliminated the Pioneer Elite because of the 7" guns but feel that it is a very good set when properly calibrated.


Next I had the the 7" Philips 55PP9701. It looked poor at first until I began to read from other owners to use the Auxilliary inputs 4 and 5 which bypass the internal line doubler and much of the other NTSC circuitry. The colors and depth of the image were absolutely outstanding. The set does however, need some tweaking to the geometry out of the box.


In the end, I selected the Marantz 64" with 9" guns. This is by far the nicest of the sets among the ones I tried for several weeks. The Marantz is identical to the Philips 64" set. The sets are made by Philips, and MArantz will tell you that the only differences are the excellent programmable remote controls (MArantz 5000i vs Philips Pronto pro) and the calibrations to each set done at the factory by Marantz - they claim the sets are produced on a separate production line. The differences are not subtle in the end. the Marantz sets are very finely tuned at the factory and are set at 6500 degrees Kelvin. While not confirmed, I am certain that all the colors are set to ISF standards at the factory. I use this set with a Faroudja Native Rate scaler set at 600p for all non HD sources (the Philips/Marantz units are the only sets capable of accepting anything other than 480i/P natively).


The Zenith, while apparently excellent with 1080i material, will not accept and deliver a progressive signal without using the internal doubler to convert it to 1080i (see their web site and review attached there for details). Every signal is automatically upconverted to 1080i. This is a major limitation and removed it from my consideration since I wanted to rely on the FAroudja for non HD video processing.


As far as the light output goes, the Marantz/Philips 9" guns produced much more output than the Mitsubishi 9". I have been told that 9" guns should provide about 15-20% more light output on a similar sized screen and is why 9" guns are the choice of almost every set of 64" and greater.


In terms of Price, the Marantz has a ridiculous MSRP of 10k while the identical (except for calibration) Philips has an MSRP of $7500. Note that the difference involves more than just an ISF color calibration worth $350 or so. It involves very important geometry setting calibration adjustments and other items that I suspect very few technicians are familiar with. I have spent time in the service menu side and can attest to the complexity here. If you do your homework, you could probably source a Philips for $5800 or so and a Marantz for $6500 - 7500. Personally I would spend the difference.


Overall, I am very pleased with the set. It's not perfect, but to this perfectionist, is as good as it is going to get for this somewhat dated technology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Gkouri - thanks for an excellent reply -- I thought I was doing my homework, but you have put me to shame by having 3 big sets in the house for "evaluation". Either you have some good contacts in the electronics world or you write reviews for a living. Either way, my hat's off to you.


In any event, I too had ruled out the Zenith until I discovered that there is a fix (at no cost from Zenith) for the 1080i issue. Apparently they will swap out a board that will allow the set to accept 480p now. I still have no idea what the line doubler is like, however...


I also have never cared for Philips products - they have always left me with the perception that they were put together sloppily, with lots of thin plastics, etc. Perhaps I am wrong, but sometimes it is hard to get past these impressions, especially when you are looking at a 7,000 dollar purchase.


Marantz is not a manufacturer that I have explored, althought the Philips connection does taint the set a bit in my mind -- however it is certainly worth a look.


I am definitely heading down the 9" CRT road - I just don't know where to get off yet........
 

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Why no 9" Guns in the larger Pioneer Elite's?


Or the larger Toshiba and Sony's?
 

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Schlitzie:


I too am like you in that I never had any respect for Philips products until these HD sets. I am an audiophile and very particular about audio/video gear (the sound for my Home Theater is driven by Mark Levinson's Red Rose tube amplifiers and speakers) . My opinion about Philips with respect to these high end (read HDTV sets) has changed. They have extremely poor marketing and the sets are often sold through low margin retailers where the sales people know very little or sell off the marketing sheets. This is whay I had to have one to actually see in my environment. I had been told about a couple of ISF tech's who had purchased the 64" sets for themselves after CEDIA 2000 and also had the set privately recommended by a professional reviewer through a friend. It is impossible to find a dealer who stockts them on the floor. Believe me I tried! Same goes for the Marantz and probably the Zenith. The Mitsubishi's are well marketed but I would strongly recommend against purchasing one of these.
 

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schlitzie,

You are correct about the board swap taking care of the progressive display issue. This bypasses the line doubler and provided an outstanding picture from a progressive DVD player. The swap is free of charge and makes the Zenith a full featured HDTV. I had it done several months ago and am extremely happy with the results. That coupled with the fact that I found the overall picture quality, especially 1080i (which is the major reason I was buying an HDTV) together with the line doubler quality, to be superior to all the other sets I auditioned, it's a purchase I've never regretted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Ken -- thanks again for your input -- you have the unfair! advantage over me by being on the Island near Gary Merson, who apparently really knows what he is doing with this set. ( I used to live in Massapequa and was spoiled by the sheer number of competing retailers and service companies that I could rely on. My new home in the Philadelphia suburbs is sorely lacking in this regard)


Anyway - as I lean more and more towards an IQB64, there is a nagging question about the set --


Is the fact that there is only manual convergence with 9 points an issue? It's hard to tell if there is an easy way to adjust it, since Zenith's marketing pieces are about as amateurish as I have come across. If the convergence adjustment is a PITA or not acceptable, it will be a deal breaker.
 

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gkouri said, in part:


"The Zenith, while apparently excellent with 1080i material, will not accept and deliver a progressive signal without using the internal doubler to convert it to 1080i (see their web site and review attached there for details). Every signal is automatically upconverted to 1080i. This is a major limitation and removed it from my consideration since I wanted to rely on the FAroudja for non HD video processing."


I own a Zenith IQB64W10W and view DVDs with an HTPC that scales the DVD video to 960 X 540p, with horizontal and vertical sync timing that matches that of 1080i. If you feed video from an external scaler set to output 1080i H & V sync timing into the Zenith's component HD or RGB HD inputs, the Zenith's internal scaler is bypassed. And DVDs viewed this way look astoundingly good.
 

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Schlitzie,


64-point convergence is available on the Zenith via its service menu. It's pretty easy to get to. (It actually has two service menus: one for convergence and another for everything else.)
 

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hi guys , should it matter , or not ...i have the Zenith line of RPTV's and the Philips line available to me from 2 separate vendors , being a hme thtre / custom installer / satellite dealer in the greater boston area ...(Toshiba and Pioneer was , or is still available too) besides being a hobbyist and HDTV affectionado , i am a dealer as well..and yes you folks are correct , for whatever reason , their products are not available thru regular mass merchandisers .....sorta nice that the mass-merchandiser whores can't wreck havoc on a brand ....oooo well , please e mail me if i can be of any help to anyone on new product purchases ; i would presume that either mfg will ship prepaid orders anywhere in the country , provided that sales territory is not protected ...obviously , model numbers would have to be provided; and please do your research , because of the nature of typing on the puter , i couldnt spend hours on question related issue's...if i can be of further assistance on pricing , please e mail me your request based on model number , or the direct phone number to my business thanx billy c

comco sales grp

northeast satcomm div.

performance a/v div.
 
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