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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been searching the various boards for a long time to decide on which TV to buy. I wanted to buy a HD RPTV but when I finally got a chance to view them the only ones in my opinion with a good picture were 8 to 10 grand Canadian. My viewing distance is only 7ft so very few RPTVs look good from this distance. I have decided to go with a direct view instead and later fork out the big bucks for a nice RPTV. I was leaning towards a 36 Tau or a 36 XBR with more preference towards the Tau. I have had a Gaoo (Super Flat in US) for awhile with no trouble and am very pleased with it. I have recently come to the conclusion that if i buy a cheaper TV I can also buy a 22 inch monitor for the new computer that I'm building. I would also like to be able to connect a computer to the TV because this would be nice with a laptop or one of my other computers as a MP3 player or a HTPC. The problem that I have is I live in the Arctic so I can't go see the TVs for myself to make a decision. I'm going on vacation in a few days for 2 months so I may be able to see some then but it is doubtful. The TVs I'm interested in are the RCA MM36110, Hitachi 36SDX01S, & Sony KV36FS16. The last one doesn't have a VGA connection which is a concern for the PC but it has a flat screen and I don't think the first 2 do. It does say it has monitor out put but I'm unsure what this is. I mostly watch DVDs and a little regular cable but I hate the cable picture. No chance of viewing HDTV programming for a long time so that isn't a concern. Anyone compare these models and have an opinion as to which is better for what I want? Any other ideas about other models are welcome but I don't think there are any in the same price range with a VGA connection.
 

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The Sony 36FS16 is an analog set, a totally different (and inferior) beast than the rest. Don't get it, unless you are sure you do not want to use a HTPC and will not get HDTV or a progressive DVD player.


What about getting HDTV from a Canadian satellite? Here are some footprints: http://www.dbstv.com/satfoot1.html

and http://www.telesat.ca/satellites/foo.html . I get the impression that at least Starchoice should cover your arctic area, but I'm a bit confused about exactly which satellite Starchoice is (and will be) using for HDTV. If your cable TV picture is bad, you are unlikely to enjoy it line-doubled on an HD-ready TV, so that's all the more reason to get satellite.


What about just using a 21- or 22-inch computer monitor for your TV? And of course use a PC with it, for dScaler and DVD's. The size is kind of disappointing, I know, but computer monitors have better resolution than most HDTV's, and if you limp along on one for just a couple of years, the prices on HDTV's should fall significantly. Plus, after some time this nightmare about copy protection should get resolved.


Although I've seen lots of Tau's, XBR's, and analog Wegas, I've never seen an RCA MM36110 or Hitachi 36SDX01S in the local stores, so don't feel too isolated up there. The Hitachi 36SDX01S seems like the best choice. It's basically the MM36110 plus selectable squeeze. Same tube, or so I've heard.


"Monitor" out is so that you can hook a second TV to your first - basically a signal splitter, but it may be done after some signal processing. Basically worthless, IMO.



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Abdul
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Abdul for replying. I'm leaving this place in 3 more years at which time I'm buying the biggest bad ass TV you can get. The wife told me I could spend another $4000.00 on top of the money I'm spending to build a killer computer to buy a new TV. That's when I figured I would get a 22inch monitor and a TV. If the wife says go ahead and spend the money you know what you're going to do. The computer monitor idea isn't bad as I've watched a few on my 19inch Trinitron monitor but I need a bigger picture. I also have a HT system consisting of the full Klipsch Reference Series, SVS 16-46PC subwoofer, Bass Shakers, Denon AVR3300, Sampo & Panasonic DVD players, 2 HiFi dual deck VCRs, etc. A 22inch monitor in the middle of this just won't look right. If the Govt. ever moves me out of the apt. I'm in now & into a unit with a private entrance then I will get a satellite dish. Right now the only place I can mount a dish is facing the wrong direction. You have to live in a place where you can mount it properly because we only get about a 60% signal at the best of times and that's when we don't get 100mph blizzards for a few days at a time. The dish also isn't pointed into the sky it looks more like it's pointed at the ground so where you live up here determines if you can use a dish or not. I would like to do the HTPC thing to get progressive scan on DVD for right now but I will be buying a progressive scan DVD player in less than a year. DVD is the main viewing source, I bought my first one 6 months ago and I will soon have over 200, so you might say I enjoy DVD. A VGA connection is a big plus and HDTV ready would be nice for down the road. A flat screen would be nice too but if I have to spend 2 grand more on a Tau or XBR to get a flat screen then bye bye 22inch monitor. I guess the Sony is out as the only thing it has over the other 2 is a flat screen. Any more TV's out there like the RCA MM36110 & Hitachi 36SDX01S in the same price range? How big is the curve in the screen of these two models? Some TV's have a slight curve and look almost flat where as some look like fish bowls. How do these TVs stack up to the Tau and the XBR? Is the line doubler in the Hitachi junk or is it comparable to all the other so so line doublers in most of the other TVs? To the people who bought the RCA model...Why did you not buy the Hitachi? It sounds like it has the same features plus a line doubler and selectable squeeze so why? Don't say I don't trust Hitachi or something lame like that because people don't exactly drool when you mention RCA or think reliability. Does it have a better picture or something else I don't know about? Seems like there's a lot of guys with the MM36110 and very few with the 36SDX01S so what gives? I’m not knocking anyone’s choices here but it just seems strange that so many people have the RCA when the Hitachi has more features. I hope someone can enlighten me.
 

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CO1,


A couple of reasons for going with the RCA MM32110 (upgraded tomorrow to the MM36110.)


The first reason is simply that the Hitachi SDX01s (or whatever the model number is not available in Canada).


The second reason is actually a compilation of reasons. There have been several reviews of the RCAs and these particular sets have been owned by Lawrence Ullman (editor of etown) who raved about it and this TV is also owned by Michael TLV (Michael Chen, the ISF calibrator). I have only seen one review of the the Hitachi (etown) and although quite a good review it was not as well reviewed as the RCAs (MM36100 and 32110, the latter reviewed by the ex-etown editor and ISF calibrator Kevin Miller).


Now, finally, whilst the Hitachi may have a reasonable doubler I have no doubt that it is not nearly the equal of the Iscan Pro. I never intended to buy the RCA without the Iscan and these two I have.


When it comes to the anamorphic squeeze on DVDs on the RCA it takes me all of 20 seconds to perform it. The geometry is just as excellent as without the squeeze.


I do not have HDTV here but I know from discussions with Michael Chen that to set it up for HDTV would take a mere few minutes *once* and thereafter it would do everything automatically.


So, whilst I might have spent a fair amount of money overall I feel happy that I have made the best choice for my purposes. But for this amount of money one may say that I could have bought a 16:9 RPTV. I agree with that but since 75% of my viewing is 4:3 I could *never* (and I have really tried) get my mind around stretched/cropped/zooomed 4:3 material. And a fair amount of what I watch in 4:3 is what I deem to be quality material (in terms of content) and in several cases superior to the 1.85:1/2.35:1 material.


But what is important to some people is not as important to others. A flat screen (I had a Tau) is nice but not very important. The comb filter in the Hitachi is a 3-D one as opposed to the 3-line digital of the RCA (the former will be definitely superior). However, since I do not use the comb filter of the RCA at all this is a non-issue.


Peter
 

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CO1:


After looking at SONY, Toshiba, RCA and Hitachi 36" HD-ready TVs (side by side in a video store that knew how to adjust them), I bought the 36" Hitachi and I feel I got the best value for my money. I think the reason you don't hear more about them is because they aren't carried by anywhere near as many stores as the RCA, Toshiba and SONY. Even stores that carry other Hitachi models often do not carry the 36SDX01S. There is also a 32" version that is even harder to find.


I did notice a week ago that two of our local Sears stores now have the 36" Hitachi 36SDX01S just like mine. They were selling there for $1799.


If you do consider a 36" set without line doubling, take a close look at the set from the distance you will being viewing from. IMHO, anything larger than a 32" set has scan lines that are so visible that they are actually distracting. However, it could be that I am super sensitive to this. Make your comparison viewing test on standard NTSC (480i) and on a DVD. If the TV has a WIDEBAND component input (capable of 480p or 1080i) then you can get very high quality DVD viewing if you use a progressive scan DVD player. If the component input is not wideband, it only accepts 480i (NTSC, not progressive 480p or 1080i). Then you would have to depend on the line doubler in the TV to fill in between the interlaced scan lines. Don't forget about the anamorphic squeeze for highest resolution letterbox viewing of 16:9 material on the 4:3 set.


Good luck in your pursuit of a 4:3 set.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I think I know why so many people have the RCA instead of the Hitachi. When I find out if what I think is true I will check back. Anybody know anything about the 36inch Proscan? I thought they had some kind of problem or were discontinued.
 

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I thought I read somewhere that the Hitachi is virtually the same as the RCA except for cosmetics and RCA's inclusion of the Super-VGA input connector. Someone correct me if this is incorrect. Whatever issues the Proscan has(had) would be applicable to the RCA, too.
 

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The *major* difference between the RCA and the Hitachi is the inclusion of a line doubler in the Hitachi and none in the RCA. Other differences are:


1) Automatic anamorphic squeeze. The RCA requires accessing the service menu (as I mentioned previously a very quick thing but a hassle for some understandably).


2) that the Hitachi has 1 SVGA input at the back and one in the front whereas the RCA has both at the rear.


3) RCA has 3 S-Video inputs and the Hitachi 2


4)Hitachi has a 3D Y/C comb filter as opposed to the 3-line digital of the RCA


5)The Hitachi weighs some 163 pounds and the RCA just over 180 pounds.


They share the same tube but the chassis including the power supplies are different. So because the tube is the same that does not mean that (ignoring the comb filter which is superior in the Hitachi and the built in doubler) the picture is of the same quality. So the picture quality may be quite different between the two.


One really has to compare the two sets side by side but I would say that unless one purchases a separate line doubler (either an Iscan V2 or Pro) or hooks up the RCA to a HTPC the better bet is the Hitachi. However, if one mates for example an Iscan to the RCA then I feel pretty confident that NTSC sources will look a fair bit better on the RCA + Iscan (especially the less than optimal sources).


Peter


[This message has been edited by PeterG (edited 06-23-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well guys I think the reason that most people have the RCA is that the Hitachi is very hard to find. I called a few dealers in Canada and they never even heard of it. I'm going to call Hitachi and see if anyone sells them in Canada. I wonder if any of the guys that have the RCA actually saw and compared the Hitachi. If it is as rare in the US as it is up here then I doubt that most people saw one. I really wanted to compare the 2 models but it looks like that may be impossible. Does anyone know if the 36inch Proscan was discontinued? A couple of the places that I called today tried to sell me one and I was wondering if they were trying to sell me old equipment. Any info about the 36inch Princeton? If I can't find what I want then I may buy this instead but I haven't heard too much about the TV. It sounds like it has everything I want but it is more expensive and would mean that I would have to forget the 22inch monitor. Anybody heard anything bad about the Princeton other than the price?
 

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According to one Canadian over at www.hometheaterforum.com , the Hitachi 36SDX01S goes by a different name in Canada, and it is much cheaper there compared to in the U.S. He said this mostly in email to me, and I cannot find the email now. Maybe he was talking about the 1999 model, the 36SDX88B, or perhaps the (1998?) 36SDX59B. The 36SDX88B seems to ring a bell. Hitachi's Canada website currently lists no direct view digital TV's! The next generation of this set is due out in September. Maybe Hitachi will deem Canadians worthy of digital direct view TV's by then.


As for the Princeton monitor, like the RCA, it doesn't have a user-selectable squeeze. This isn't a big deal for the RCA if you use it with a HTPC, but just make sure you can manually squeeze the 1080i mode on the Princeton (without squeezing the other modes) before you get it. If you pump in 600p (nonanamorphic) DVD playback from your HTPC, this is roughly equivalent to 480p anamorphic, so you can leave the 600p mode unsqueezed if need be.


All these sets supposedly do not have an effective resolution much better than 800x600.



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Abdul
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CO1:


Regarding the Proscan 36" HD-ready TV...


I saw the Proscan's last fall when I was looking for my set. Proscan is made by Thomson just like RCA is. The Proscan units are identical to the RCA units but carry different model numbers. There is no other difference. I did notice that the Proscan TVs were carried by dealers who did not carry RCA. So, perhaps Proscan is a way to extend RCA-equivalent TVs to non-RCA dealers.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was on a site that says that the Proscan PS36800HR has HD Component and an on board line doubler and the RCA MM36110HR doesn't. Here's the link. http://www.displaybank.com/korean/de...DTV_HD_Mon.htm

Does anyone know if the Proscan has a line doubler and HD component inputs? Was this TV discontinued because I can't find it on RCA's site? I'm looking for more info about this TV so if you have any links please post them.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CO1:
I was on a site that says that the Proscan PS36800HR has HD Component and an on board line doubler and the RCA MM36110HR doesn't. Here's the link. http://www.displaybank.com/korean/de...DTV_HD_Mon.htm

Does anyone know if the Proscan has a line doubler and HD component inputs? Was this TV discontinued because I can't find it on RCA's site? I'm looking for more info about this TV so if you have any links please post them.
That chart is wrong and hasn't been updated in a while. No line doubler, and the model listed -ps36800 - is last year's which didn't have HD component inputs. The current PROSCAN and RCA models, PSxx810 and mmxx110, (xx=tube size) are identical except the PROSCAN comes in 'Silver Shark' while the RCA is 'Venetian Suede.' The other possible difference is that the PROSCAN is listed as coming with a backlit remote, but that could have changed since the catalog was printed.


You won't find PROSCANs on the RCA website for the same reason you won't see a Buick at Chevy's website. PROSCAN had a placeholder website which has never been developed. (seems to be completely gone now?)


The PROSCAN line has not officially been discontinued but it could very well be left to wither away.


you can find both RCA and PROSCAN at http://www.copperbox.com . Note they have pictures of the upcoming flatscreen RCA SDTV's which we'll probably see sometime this year.


Steve




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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All I have to say is DAM!

I get my hopes up that I finally found a TV with the features that I want and it was all a lie.

On a positive note the new RCA Scenium D36TF20 sounds very interesting. Anyone have any info on this new model like when it will be released and if it has VGA inputs?

I would also like to take the time to thank all the guys that have responded to my questions. I greatly value your views and thoughts and I believe that your input is helping me to make a more educated decision. Thanks again.
 

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Hello,


2 questions


Hitachi 36SDX01S: I read somewhere its automatic sqeeze mode is "fake". That is it throws out lines to adjust back to 16:9. Is this true?


RCA MM36110: Will its manual sqeeze work on progressive inputs? (sounds like it will, but I'd like confermation)


BTW local Best Buy has the RCA and it's image on HD is stunning to say the least and IMO betters the Panasonic Tau and Sony Wegas by a *considerable* margin. Sony and others think that every pixel is so important that they frame each one with a thick black border. (yeah, this is a joke - but true! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif )


Anyway, anyone know the answer(s) to my questions? Budget_HT? PeterG?


TIA
 

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Addressing the RCA question I can confirm that the manual squeeze does work and easily on progressive sources. All my sources to the RCA are fed via the Iscan Pro. You have to answer the question whether doing the manual squeeze on 480i or p everytime is a real bother or not. It takes me all of 20 seconds now so it is not a concern but others may not share my feelings. With respect to 1080i material the squeeze is done automatically after being set up once (a few minutes work).


With respect to the Hitachi, I believe you are confusing the squeeze that the directview does (not a fake one) with the 4:3 HDTV ready RPTVs which do utilise a "fake" squeeze on 1080i material


Peter
 
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