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First off, I'd just like to introduce myself as a long-time lurker, first time poster. Keep in mind while reading the following thread that I'm just a college student with a part-time job (read: no money), and can't even come CLOSE to some of the incredible setups that many here have constructed. My questions may be stupid, but I'd appreciate any and all help that may be given. I'm also sorry if I ramble or type a LOT, but I'm just trying to get some help, not cause some eyestrain looking at page after page of text. With that said, on with the post. :)


I'm looking to get a new TV, and am stuck on the many ways to go. First off, funds are a bit limited (~$2000 or so is about as high as I'd like to go at the moment), so that alone stops me from many choices I'd be otherwise looking at. The primary reason is because, quite simply, my current TV's are less than adequate for what they are used for. The two main ones I use are both Zenith 27" sets, however, I am unsure on model numbers or years (both are at least 8 years old). One is limited to RF connections only, the other one at least has a composite connector. Considering 95% of the use on these TVs are for DVDs and video games, you can see how this is a less-than-adequate situation. Frankly, anything would be an improvement, even the cheapest RCA that can be found at Wal-Mart. But, I wouldn't be here if I'm just looking for an improvement, I'm obviously looking for a bit better.


My first decision is if I want to go with a 4x3 set, or a 16x9. A 4x3 set would have its advantages due to the fact that I can get a decent non-HDTV set pretty cheap (even your typical Sony WEGA), and at this point, far more than 99% of the games are designed for a 4x3 frame, with only a few being the exception. Also, a decent number of my DVD's (say, 30 or so out of ~100) are non-anamorphic, and would look better on a 4x3 set than if I stretched it on a 16x9 one.


On the other hand, a 16x9 set has a billion other advantages, none of which need explaining. The problem comes in not from the DVD viewing, but the video game aspect. I know projection systems have advanced plenty over the years, but one of the big reasons that stops me from going this route for gaming is burn-ins. Now, I may be covering my @$$ just a bit too much here, but I would hate to save up for a new HDTV set, only to ruin it with burn-ins (which are obviously not covered under any warranty). While most games don't have the constant displays of the old days of Atari and the NES, you still have various items that are constantly displayed on the screen, such as "Health" and "Life" meters. I'd hate to finish a 3-hour game of Halo with some friends only to find those images burned in on the screen. This leads me to ask, does anyone here use their 16x9 sets for gaming? Whether you do or not, is it that easy for something to be-burned in if used for a few hours if it remains semi-constant on the screen? I even heard somewhere that the black/gray bars on the sides of the screen when viewing 4x3 signals can cause burn-in itself. Is there any truth to that? I also have, give or take a bit, virtually no knowledge on all the other equipment such as line-doublers, other than their basic functions, and would prefer to have a sort of all-in one-solution. Is there something like a good 16x9 HDTV TUBE set in that price range that will let me ignore problems like that?


Would it be a better option to get something like a 27 or 32 inch 4x3 WEGA for the time being (definitely spending under $1k) and upgrade to a 16x9 HDTV set in the future when prices drop and the technology improves? Or would it be better to just go that extra mile at this point, regardless of the fact that I don't use it for viewing regular TV? Even a simple 27" WEGA would at least let me use Component and S-Video connections on my DVD player, XBOX, PS2, and GameCube. Then again, with more and more games having widescreen capabilities, and a growing DVD collection, a 16x9 set is obviously something that should be desired by me.


I'm sorry if I'm not asking the right questions or anything, but there's many I can only ask after I have answers to others, which puts me in a hard spot when asking for help. It’s also almost 6:30 in the morning, and I'm probably not thinking as clearly as I should be with no sleep. ;)


Once again though, any help would be appreciated, even if it’s steering me in the right direction. :)
 
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