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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend that is interested in getting a new TV. He is interested in purchasing a TV that will not soon be absolete. Unfortunately we are very limited by a built in cabinet in his living room. It will just barely hold a 36" 4:3 TV. Since he mostly watches 4:3 programming, this is the way he wants to go. However, I did convince him that he needs a TV that will take a 480p and 1080i signal.


I have looked around and the Toshiba CN36X81 seems the way to go. It has two sets of HD component inputs (one for DVD and one for HD STB ). It also does 880 lines of resolution.


Does anyone have any experience with this set and dimensions of the cabinet? Does anyone have any other recommendations in this ballpark?

I understand that the Sony XBR400, RCA MM36110, and Panasonic 36HX40 are other options. I have seen personally none of these tv's.


Thanks for any help.


Scott Burns
 

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Scott, I own a RCA MM36110 and I'm simply very please dwith it. Both HD and DVD (progressive) look great.


One question though. Does your friend intend on watching DVD's and HD, in the near future. I personally see no reason for someone to spend the extra change if they do not intend on converting to DTV at this time. If however on the other hand, then this is a good time to buy one. Also, his analog TV will not become absolete anytime soon. The change is suppose to take effect by 2006. But keep these three things in mind:


First:If he only watches cable then he is likely not to be affected anytime soon. For cable is not obligated at his time, to carry your local

TV station's digital tranmission. This is an ongoing matter however.


Second: Congress stated that 85% of viewers must be able to view DTV OTA, in their local market before TV stations can give back their analog frequencies.


Third: There are not enough digital STB's on the market yet for stations to even think of shutting down their analog transmission.


This is not to discourage you or your friend from buying a DTV, but to simply weigh the options.

 

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I tend to agree with "wanthdtv"'s assessment of the current viability of an NTSC set. I have a 36" NTSC set (just over 1 year old) hooked up to an RCA DTC100. This means I'm limited to a 480i downconversion of HD material. However, many folks forget that 480i can look quite acceptable if fed from a good 480p or greater resolution source and viewed from the minimum suggested distance of 10x the vertical picture height. On a 36" set this translates to about 9'. Anything that originates at 480p or higher from 35mm or HDCam has remarkable color range and demonstrates standard DVD PQ on my set. At 9' scan lines are really not a concern on this size screen. I figure at this point to just continue burning my 36" set for the next 2 to 5 years and see how the whole HDTV intro pans out. I'll leave it to the better heeled to spend two grand or more wearing out an HD ready TV and watching predominently 480 upconverted programming. I'd suggest your friend at least wait until the Fall 2001 schedule is released to see whether more HD programming is intro'd or more of what's currently available is withdrawn. Of course if my current set takes a dump within my self-imposed time frame, then, "MM36110, come to papa!" And, if your friend is in a situation where his present set tanked, then he may wish to consider HD at this time.
 

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I have a Hitachi 36SDX01S 36 inch direct view HD monitor and it works great for me!


You can see it on the web at:

http://hitachi.com/products/consumer...Z5BAPIIAC.html


It is similar to the RCA 36 inch models, with the following differences:


1. Built in line doubler for all non-HD signals (S-video, OTA tuner, ...)

2. The Component input can be set for progressive scan.

3. Component input has switchable Anamorphic squeeze (16:9 mode, separate from VGA).

4. RCA has USB, Hitachi has PS2. (Does anybody use either on their TV?)

5. Hitachi has only one audio input to share between the two VGA video inputs (the RCA has two).


The most noticable viewing difference is the line doubling on non-VGA/RGB program sources (the RCA looks like a regular TV with standard interlaced scan lines, while the Hitachi looks like a digital TV with progressive scan).


I use an RCA DTC-100 HD Tuner STB connected via VGA/RGB and a Toshiba SD-5109 progressive scan DVD player connected via Component/Progressive input. No adapters were needed to connect or operate either one with the TV.


I looked at the Toshiba HD-ready 36 inch set, but it lacked VGA inputs and I wanted to use my DTC-100 without spending another $125 for a VGA to Component adapter.


I found this Hitachi set for $1600 in the Seattle area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I very much appreciate your thought out and informative replies. I agree that most of the function of a digital TV for my friend would be lost at this time. We currently have no OTA DTV. I don't expect to see that until midnight april 30, 2002. But, on the other hand, a progressive picture tube makes standard NTSC look real nice and he could be enjoying progressive DVD. He makes so much money that I don't think its a factor. He just wanted to keep it below $2000.


Also, how many component inputs does the RCA and Hitachi have? If the RCA only has one, then can you use the progressive DVD on it and hook up a DTC 100 through the VGA input? If I read the above correctly, I infer that the RCA will not do progressive scan DVD. Also, I infer that the RCA does not line double NTSC. I think the ability to upconvert NTSC from 480i to 480p is real important in this purchase to justify the digital TV at this time.


Thanks again,

Scott


[This message has been edited by Scott Burns (edited 03-25-2001).]


[This message has been edited by Scott Burns (edited 03-25-2001).]
 

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Scott:


The RCAs and Hitachi have one component input and two VGA inputs. The RCAs were expected to be mated with an RCA DTC-100 that has VGA output.


I have a DTC-100 connected to the rear VGA input of my Hitachi. This input is comparable to the RCA VGA input.


I have a Toshiba SD-5109 progressive scan DVD player connected to the HD Component video input of my Hitachi. I use the progressive scan and and 16:9 anamorphic squeeze options on the Hitachi component input. From what I've read, the older RCA does not support progressive scan but the newer RCA does. The older RCA does not support anamorphic squeeze (improved vertical resolution for viewing 16:9 DVDs on component input). I haven't checked that on the newer RCA.


Based on my looks at the RCAs (old and new) in video stores, neither appears to support line doubling from the RF, composite or S-video inputs. I've also read RCA spec's on the web and find no mention of line doubling. The Hitachi and Toshiba (from my observations) provide line doubling on these inputs so that all displayed video is progressive scan. Obviously the line doubled version is a compromise, but my family and I believe the line doubled is a more pleasant picture, especially for viewing closer than 10 feet.


I purchased my Hitachi last October, so I have not seriously researched any sets since then.


One candidate I looked at before was the Hitachi 43 inch rear projection HD ready set (native 4:3 display). While it does not have VGA inputs, it does have 2 component video inputs. The sets I saw on display had poor convergence at the edges of the picture, but I recently read a review (I can't remember where) that said that condition is easily corrected by having a technician adjust the set after it is in place at the customer site. The technician who wrote the review was surprised at the difference. I've seen this set priced as low as $1850 at Circuit City.


Toshiba has also introduced a 43 inch rear projection HD ready set very similar to the Hitachi. I don't know any more about the Toshiba set.


When I compared the Hitachi rear projection 43" to the Hitachi and Toshiba 36" direct views, the HD picture was much more sharp on the direct view sets, but the trade off was a smaller picture. Smaller is okay for my size viewing room, where seating varies from 9 to 11 feet from the screen.



[This message has been edited by Budget_HT (edited 03-25-2001).]


[This message has been edited by Budget_HT (edited 03-25-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Scott Burns:
He just wanted to keep it below $2000.



That should be possible with the RCA MM36110. I've seen 'em at Best Buy for about $1700.00 during sales. Watch those ads!

Quote:
Also, how many component inputs does the RCA ... have?
One - dunno about the Hitachi.

Quote:
If the RCA only has one, then can you use the progressive DVD on it and hook up a DTC 100 through the VGA input?



Yep.

Quote:
If I read the above correctly, I infer that the RCA will not do progressive scan DVD.



The RCA MM36110 added multiscan capability, so, it does indeed properly play back a progressively outputted DVD according to the January '01 issue of Sound & Vision, and it will further squeeze the scan lines when letterboxing an anamorphic DVD. (Damn! My willpower is waning - Thanks a lot, Scott!)

Quote:
Also, I infer that the RCA does not line double NTSC
Quote:
That's true, though if your friend pops for a DTC100, it'll handle the line doubling of 480i through the RCA MM36110's VGA input. (I forget if it's outputted as 480p or 1080i.) One final note: the previous model, the MM36100 seemed to have some quality/design issues on some samples with picture blackouts, "popping", and power supply failures. I haven't come across similar occurences of these problems with the MM36110, so maybe Thomson got it right with the new model. Nevertheless, if your friend goes ahead with the RCA, I'd urge him to consider the 3-yr warranty extension just in case.


[This message has been edited by Ray H (edited 03-25-2001).]
 

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See the April Issue of the magazine "Sound and Vision" for a fairly complete listing of direct view HD receivers and monitors. I'm not sure why, but the Toshiba CN36X81 is not listed there. The article says that the listings were provided by the manufacturers. As usual, most every set listed can be purchased for considerably less than the manufacturer's suggested price shown in the article.
 
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