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I hope this isn't just another "What should I buy?" question.


Here goes: An HDTV compatible rear projection CRT is in my future, but I don't know which one yet. Here is what I've been thinking:


I want a 4:3 picture ratio. (Yeah, I know, but hear me out.) Right now, most of what my wife and I watch is regular television: not many DVD's, and I don't see us setting up for HDTV soon. We're hooked on TiVo, and can't see going back to someone else's tv schedule. If I get a 4:3, I can watch what I want without worry of burn in. When everything goes widescreen, the tv will eventually get burn in, but it won't matter if what I watch in the future is widescreen. If I get widescreen now, and it gets burn-in from the side bars while watching 4:3 material, its ruined forever.


OK, now that you know (and hopefully understand) why I want 4:3, on to my next question. Most of the HDTV demos I see are spectacular, but when I get the salesman to put a regular 480i signal on display, the picture looks terrible: lots of digitization, or lots of softening of the picture. As I mentioned before, I'll be watching lots of 480i. My budget is around $3,000. Am I better off spending it all on the tv, or spend $2,000 on the tv, and $1,000 on a line doubler? From what I hear, the iscan is the only doubler in my price range. Are there any others? Will the iscan work with a 4:3 tv?


Thanks guys!
 

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philosofy: I don't think that you should completely eliminate 16:9 Rear Projections from your cosideration. The reason I mention this is that a while back I got a 16:9 TV after watching a 4:3 TV for nearly 30 years.


Regardless of what I watched, I filled the screen using stretch modes when needed. For the first two weeks, it seemed really weird, but after two weeks, I really couldn't tell the difference.


I would say that if you get a widescreen and use the zoom features for 4:3 material when neccessary, you will get used to the picture pretty damn quick.


You can always try a tv out for 30 days and then return it if you absolutely have to.


I would say that by the 25th day you will have gotten very used to the slight distortion and won't have a problem with it.


And of course whenever you see DVD movies or HDTV in it's full widescreen glory, then your jaw will drop to the floor!
 

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Generally agree with Anthony1 about ratios. Watched a 7 ft. 4:3 FP for 25 years and had no problems switching to stretched 16:9, although sometimes, for limited programming, I still switch to 4:3 on my Philips 64PH9905 16X9 screen. At times you come across posts in forums from folks who bought 4:3s and switched to 16:9s, or wished they could.


On the other query, I think it makes more sense to buy a set with a good deinterlace circuit to start with rather than bypassing one you just purchased. If the store is using a poor 480i source for demos, it'll look terrible greatly enlarged. Ditto for home 480i. If a 480i DVD signal source is used for demos, and it looks bad, too, it strongly implies the set has a poor deinterlace system.


Here, Time Warner Cable provides numerous digital premium channels that look exceptionally good converted from 480i to 480p by the Genesis circuit in my RPTV. These deinterlace chips are used in several RPTV brands and outboard deinterlacers. Pioneer sets also seem to get favorable reviews for their images and deinterlacing. Don't know any specific models, but don't think you could go wrong (deinterlacing wise) buying an RPTV that uses the relatively new Sage/Faroudja deinterlace chip. Yes, deinterlace units work with either screen ratio. -- John
 

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Don't buy 16X9. I say this because you will watch very little of that material, so stick to 4:3 (this coming from a 16X9 TV owner). In your price range, I would recommend the Sony 43" HD set. It's easily the best 4:3 RP set under 50 inches out there, has a good line doubler AND, will do the anamorphic squeeze for DVD's, something that many 4:3 sets lack. That extra 30% resolution gain is huge and you will notice and appreciate it.


You can buy the Sony for under 2K now at most retailers. You will need a stand, but you can usually work that in for cheap. If you currently have cable, you should get a decent picture. If it's crap, you have an excuse to call your cable company and demand they come out and fix it. It's amazing what a service call can do (I've seen this happen).


The iscan is not going to do any better than Sony's line doubler. It's a waste of money. Besides, with most of your viewing being in the NTSC arena, going over 43 inches is not too smart. NTSC is not meant for large screens.


By the way, if you spend two grand on the TV, you have another grand from your price range left over that could be used for two things:


#1. A Progressive Scan DVD player and...


#2 A High Definition DISH or DirecTV Receiver. You can get #1 and #2 for under 1K and they will blow your mind.


One last thing: Any RPTV can suffer burnin if you watch too many BUG stations. That is, MSNBC or CNN (etc) with their logos. Many people had burn-in from the logos after watching hours and hours of cable news in September of last year.
 

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Philosofy,


My family has been watching 4:3 material on a 16:9 screen in "Natural Wide" mode for almost 4 years now, and we are likewise hooked on TiVo. Your $3K range won't allow you to get into a Pioneer Elite, but the Pioneer line itself has a very good built-in line doubler that does a great job on our DirecTV signal.


Michael LTV on another thread stated that line doublers in most models do a decent job nowadays (I still see a difference in the Pioneers myself), and that in all cases you will be limited by the source signal (bad in, bad out). Get a decent signal in (DirecTV has gotten better I think) and you will do okay.


What I tend to see in a lot of stores are badly-configured sets showing a bad OTA NTSC signal in "Full Screen" mode with everything stretch beyond reason. I helped out a couple a couple of months back who was almost opting for a 4:3 model because of this (the husband really wanted the 16:9, but...). I just flipped a few settings and showed them a picture that was pleasing.


I would definitely go for the 16:9 for a number of reasons:


1) built-in line doublers in even non-Pioneers are greatly improved;

2) A large amount of HDTV content is now available, including some significant sporting events;

3) OAR DVDs on a 4:3 screen really suck, but are just beautific on a 16:9;

4) An HD-TiVo will eventually appear, probably in the next year or so I would think.


All in all, 16:9 is the way to go. Once you have one you won't look back.
 

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I just got the Sony 53HS30. Paid $1499 because BB had the wrong sticker on the TV and they agreed to honor their mistake. TV was really $2199. Lucky me. I went with 4:3 because I would rather letterbox an image than stretch it. Most of what I watch is 4:3. I have a Tivo too. I could not be happier. Cable for the most part looks fine. It's not DVD or Videogame quality, but fine for me. A better signal gives a better picture. I'm keeping my interlaced DVD also. Picture looks great with Cinemotion DRC and auto 16:9, which I loose if I go progressive (auto 16:9). Why, I don't know, but the TV is engineered that way. I love my purchase and support 4:3 wholely.
 

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4:3 is the devil.


OK, seriously. I have a 16:9 set that I love. We used it with TiVo for quite some time. I second what has already been said: The stretch modes are fine after some time. You get used to them.


Think about this: You are buying this set for TV. This is really a more movie-oriented forum, so you are going to get comments from people that love HDTV and DVD formats, not OTA low-rez channels. In your case, it seems that 4:3 might be a (UGH!) acceptable choice. There, I said it.


You can certainly get more for your buck with those obsolete boxes.


I watch five DVDs a week if I have the time. I love movies. So a widescreen set was really the only true way to go. With that format, movies come alive! You want your movie-watching to be the grand experience, not your TV-watching.


But again, 4:3 is evil, so I have to suggest that you muddle through it and get a 16:9 to help further reduce the cost of HDTVs to the masses.


out
 

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You've made a good choice for the coming years.

You will replace it with a 16x9 set for SURE, but nobody knows when. They may say they do know, but they don't.


Live your life watching everything in OAR, and not having to say it looks fine stretched.



Anyways the pioneer have a new line under $3000 that people say are good deals. Too late anyways.


-ElmO
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Philosofy
I hope this isn't just another "What should I buy?" question.


Here goes: An HDTV compatible rear projection CRT is in my future, but I don't know which one yet. Here is what I've been thinking:


Thanks guys!
Philosofy,

I also watch alot of 4:3 material. It's a shame 16:9 isnt getting moved along a little faster. I own a Sony Kp51hw40 .I love this set even with 4:3 material . It has a Tv mode called wide Zoom that has absoultly no strecthing . However it does clip some of the material off but not enough to bother me. After owning this set for a few months I cant even imagine watching TV on a 4:3 set . For me watching 4:3 now is like having tunnel vision. For some reason it just doesnt fill my periferial vision the same. Their are some decient widescreens in your price range .Keep doing your homework and good luck on your decision.:D
 

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To all the 16:9 owners out there, I have a question:

Why is it okay to Modify the Aspect Ratio (MAR) of academy standard movies and television shows, but complain when movies are not out in OAR?

Most of you are against Pan & Scan (I hope!), but think it is okay to either s-t-r-e-t-c-h the picture, or chop the image. Not trying to start a flame, but I just don't understand that.

I just think that OAR should mean OAR for everything, including 4:3.
 

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I watch 50% tv (4:3) and 50% dvd's (16:9).


Although 50/50, dvd's are a lot more important than tv for me. If I could trade some picture quality from my tv viewing to my dvd viewing, I would!


That's because watching a movie with good picture is a lot more enjoyable than watching the news, the weather channel and sit coms. I demand more quality from movies than from regular tv's.


So, in my case, I want to maximize what's more important to me: movies. I'm sure lots of people think like me.


I don't have a widescreen tv, but I'm looking for one right now.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Rodney
To all the 16:9 owners out there, I have a question:

Why is it okay to Modify the Aspect Ratio (MAR) of academy standard movies and television shows, but complain when movies are not out in OAR?

Most of you are against Pan & Scan (I hope!), but think it is okay to either s-t-r-e-t-c-h the picture, or chop the image. Not trying to start a flame, but I just don't understand that.

I just think that OAR should mean OAR for everything, including 4:3.
Just becasue we watch tv in a stretched or zoom mode to prevent burn in does not mean that we watch 4:3 DVD's (concerts/movies) material that way. At least I don't. When watching 4:3 material that I care about (I don't give a rat's ass about TV shows) I get nice black bars on the sides of my pitcure. Another thing to consider is that you can get burn in on a 4:3 set from letterboxing if you watch a bunch of letterboxed moives. Just a thought.


Laters,
 

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Hey Phil! It's Barry from "the other side". Nice to see a familiar face over here. :D

I'm in the same boat as you. One thing I know for sure is that I need to go somewhere and actually see how bad (or how chopped) this stretch thing really is. If it's not too bad then widescreen *might* be an alternative. It depends if the stretching makes it too grainy or distorted looking with DirecTiVo. I am leaning towards a 4:3 TV right now based solely on the fact that we wach 85% TV and only about 15% DVD. At the risk of hijacking your thread here are some pertinent questions I had on this same issue. Maybe will help us both...

Widescreen TV vs. Standard TV questions:


1. How much of the top and bottom of the picture gets cut off of normal broadcasts in "Wide Zoom" mode (the one that retains the original aspect ratio but simply blows up the whole image til it fills the screen) and is there ANY distortion using this mode? Does it still stretch the picture and therefore make it more grainy?


2. Is this "Wide Zoom" mode the one most people use for standard 4:3 broadcasts on widescreens or do most of you have the black bars on the sides and settle for a smaller picture?


3. Is there any improvement in "NON HDTV" broadcasts with an HDTV? I have heard about line doublers and such that supposedly make even "Standard" broadcasts look better than they would on a "Normal" TV. Is this accurate?
 

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Great thread! It's answering questions that I have about 16:9 and 4:3, as well as some that I didn't even know to ask.


In addition to the questions already listed, could someone explain the burn-in issue? I'm assuming it's that if you watch 4:3 a lot, you will eventually burn in lines where the black bars are on either side of the picture. But how suseptible are these TVs to burn-in? Also, when watching 4:3 in a non-stretched format, is it really that bad of a picture compared to a TV that displays only 4:3? I will be upgrading from a 8 year old 35" tube TV, and assumed that on a wide screen TV, I would just watch 4:3 with black bars on the sides. I'm taking that there is some compromise in doing this?


Ron
 

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This topic has been done to death on this website but Philosofy has a point I haven't seen mentioned before, the idea that burning in a 4x3 set by watching 16x9 won't matter when everything switches to 16x9. Of course the set, but hopefully not all of us, will likely be dead by then.


I'll add two issues not discussed in this thread. First, even 16x9 sets have burn-in issues when watching 1:1.85 or higher aspect ratios. Second, artifacts are sometimes present on the top or bottom of the image when watching widescreen formats on 4x3 sets because the broadcasters assume the set is 16x9 and the artifacts will be hidden by overscan. As to what these artifacts are, I'm not sure. They are not always there. Actually, the artifacts also show up with 4x3 material but they can be masked by moving the image up or down.


I have a 4x3 set and wouldn't trade for a 16x9 at this point because I use it with a computer for games and web browsing. Most software and website are designed for 4x3. The artifacts while watching widescreen occur primarily with certain OTA stations and HD-NET. E* Satelite HD doesn't have them.


Mark
 

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Quote:
This topic has been done to death on this website...
And yet... I spent the last half hour using the search engine... and still have questions that I haven't found the answer to. It would be WONDERFUL if someone could put together a "Widescreen vs. Standard screen" FAQ. dsluncefords' description of the pro's and cons' of widescreen picture size vs. standard screen picture size should be at the very top of it. I'm pretty sure most people in the market for a new RPTV are in the same quandry "do I go widescreen now or wait?" I think the average viewer still watches mostly regular non HDTV and occassionally watches some DVD's. If the stretch modes really look *that* good then I can see going that route. The other BIG question is what do the various "stretch modes" do, what TV's are they are on and which one looks the best with "normal" TV. I have seen at least 5 people get upset about newbies asking questions during my search and yet, the answers to the even most basic questions are just not that easy to find. At least not by me.
 

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The problem with a FAQ is that someone has to write it, and that someone is going to (even unconsciously) slant toward one side away from the other. I think that this thread covers things nicely. If you enjoy a lot of DVDs and HDTV, then get a 16:9. If you watch mostly broadcast/cable/satellite, then buy 4:3. If you watch mostly broadcast/cable/satellite but would trade 4:3 performance for a nice 16:9 picture for your DVDs and HDTV then go 16:9.


Oh yes, and if you are paranoid about burn-in then - forgive me - don't get a rear projection set since burn-in can occur with any set (4:3, 16:9, 16:10, whatever) if a great deal of viewing is done with black bars (especially continuously for long periods of time). Realistically, if care is taken (varying letterboxed material with full screen material and properly calibrating the set, turning down the brightness/contrast levels that factories send the sets out with), then burn-in shouldn't be a problem for quite a while.


I've had a 16:9 set for several years now (NTSC Toshiba, 40 inches) and I will be buying a 27-inch 4:3 HDTV in about a week. Why? Because that TV will be used for the specific purposes of watching [mostly] NTSC television and playing video games. I love 16:9, but as has already been stated, it is NOT yet the be-all, end-all of TV buying, at least not yet. So, unless you absolutely will not want to upgrade after five years or so, I would recommend to most broadcast TV watchers that they get 4:3. The worst thing that can happen is you have a nice (if a bit old) television to put in another room of the house when you are ready to make the 16:9 plunge. :D


-Aaron
 
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