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Well, I could resist no longer, and last week did the Sears internet price match for the RCA 38310 for my study. Jumped the old feed line to my NTSC DirecTV receiver over to a spare output on the DTC-100's dish, and voila - HD in my office.

The really big revelation for me, having lived with the Sony 53HS10 for nearly 18 months, is how little I've seen of HD! Yes, I've seen a few direct-view sets in B&Ms, but never one that was really set up correctly. And this set has only been on for an hour; I haven't even popped in VE yet, but I set the color to warm, and eyeballed contrast, black level, and turned the sharpness down some. But already, I'm trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. It's the contrast. For example, on the HDNET hockey shots, I've never realized the ice had texture before. It just looks like a white sheet on my (ISF'ed btw) 53HS10. I am rapidly concluding there is just no way an RPTV can keep up with a direct-view set; something I knew before, but never experienced in this way.

The HDNET lady now is a real presence in my office (!) and the redwood forest is not an abstraction, but something I can relate to. The shipboard scenes look real, and the purple ocean is just unreal! (I may find that's literally true, as I said I haven't adjusted the color yet:D )

Well, enough, but I just wanted to say how revelatory this afternoon has been. I'm not going to get rid of my Sony 53HS10, at least not yet (I still need a larger screen than 38 inches) but I can tell you this: my next HD set will reproduce the full contrast range - not the compressed and blocked range I've gotten used to!

Comments welcome.


John
 

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I can relate to that, sure. Reminds me of when like 8 or 9 years ago I had a 40something inch RPTV that bit the bullet but since we had just moved anyway and were now sitting far closer to the TV position I knew I wanted to go back to a direct view for the same reasons you mentioned. So I bought a 35" direct view. Was a great set and looked far far better.


Once HD came along and I had to have one of those I bought the 55" Mitsu WS that I have now because it was about the same vertical height. I'm still sitting just as close or actually even closer now because it's HD where theres almost no such thing as "too close".


But by the same token, I'd never now drop down to a set as small as you're refering to (for my main viewing and I only need 1 set) simply because I dont want to move my couch up to only about 3 or 4 feet away, which is what I'd feel the need to do if I had that size! :) Sit too far away from those and it kind of defeats the purpose in my mind.


Too bad theres no 55-60" direct view sets. So what if they weighed 1000 lbs! ;)
 

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Yep, about a 55 inch Direct View would be the ticket for the den upstairs!!

I usually view the 49 inch 16:9 image of the Sony RPTV at about 8 feet for HDNET, around 9 or so for HBO-HD, and around 10-12 feet for SD.

I'm finding the 38310 is very pleasing at about 8 feet, but the WOW factor really comes in at about 5-6 feet. Closer than 5 feet and I start to notice the vertical striping. In the 5-6 foot zone, this is simply as good as any HD picture I've seen anywhere, including a Sony 34HD I saw once, which was by far the best I'd seen up to now. I can't remember whether that one would actually best the 38310, but this is certainly a close second.

Can't wait to hook up the progressive DVD and run VE.

I wonder what wonderful new technology they will come out with that will give us this fantastic range of contrast and realistic, liquid pictures in a Home Theater-sized screen?
 
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