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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I need opinions as to which HDTV I should buy. I've narrowed it down to three choices, but I'm having a difficult time choosing between the three. They should have their pluses and minuses. The three choices are:

RCA 38310: PROS: Largest 16:9 picture tube. Generally good reviews. Inexpensive. Built in HDTV Receiver and Tuner.

CONS: Seems to have many little problems: 24/7 fan. Also, if you watch a DVD from a 4:3 source:like X-Files or Star Trek, will the grey bars eventually burn itself?


Sony 36 XBR450: PROS: Some of the best reviews of any 4:3 TV. Many A/V inputs.

CONS:Unkind to medicore video sources. Expensive.


Toshiba 36 HF71: PROS:Genrally good reviews. Inexpensive.

CONS: Many minor problems,geometry issue, mentioned by owners.


Does anyone one any of these TV's and have any opinions on them.


Thanks in advance,

Dave
 

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Gray/Black bars will eventually burn into anything. If you buy 4:3 or 16X9, you have risk either way. Proper Contrast settings drop the risk factor to almost nothing, of course. Unless you are watching stuff with bars the majority of the time.
 

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I have the rca and I love it. I know it is not the best out there, but for the money it can't be beat and in a few years when something better comes out you can sell it and buy the new tv and not have to take a big loss.
 

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Buy only 16x9. And buy the biggest.


16x9 is the future, 4x3 is the past. You spend over $2000 for a TV, then buy one that looks like $2000. Not some $500 cheapie 4x3 ugly look-alike.


Stop worrying about burn-in by grey or black bars. Normal home usage will not result in burn-in. By the way, grey is supposed to be closer to the average image brightness, and is the safety device against burn-in, as opposed to black. Grey is good!
 

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Dont buy only 16x9. It all depends on your viewing habits. A 36 " 4:3 that does the squeeze will look just as good as a 16/9 34" and it will be only a FRACTION smaller, plus your 4:3 material will be full size without bars (you could stretch it, but IMO it looks bad). As far as bars on the 16/9 material, make some mattes and you will not be able to tell the diference in the dark.


If the majority of your viewing is dvd then a 16/9 would be a good choice. It all depends on your viewing habits, and 16/9 is not the best choice if you watch a considerable amount of 4:3.


As far as the 16/9 is the future argument, you will still be future proof with a 4:3 that does a true squeeze and like I said it will be only a fraction bigger in 16/9 mode than a 34" 16/9 set. Your 4:3 material on a similar sized 16/9 set will be tiny, or deformed if you stretch it.


Just my opinion. Decide for yourself, but dont listen to the 16/9 future argument because it is brainwashing and like I said it all depends on your viewing habits as to which one will be better for you.


Good Luck!


By the way, the new Sony xbr800 due out this summer some time will have a defeatable line doubler which will make analog cable MUCH better looking. If you can wait a few months I would go for this set If you choose 4:3.
 

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And better rob a bank in the mean time as the price tag will be way up there!! Not worth the wait in my opinion. Lots of hdtv now if you have satellite, dtv and/or dishnet.

Always something better down the road. Why wait?
 

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I have the 36hfx71 & I am very happy with it! Great picture, good geometry & holds black level well-look for one made from Dec 2001 on & you should end up with a trouble free model.
 

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If we're talking 16x9 lets not forget the Philips HDTVs, especially the new 34" comming out late this summer (hopefully around the time the xbr800s do) that will up convert everything to 1050i! I returned my 36xbr450 and am waiting to see how to 36xbr800 ($2400) compares to the new Philips 34" ($2999) to the 32xbr800 ($1800) to the current Philips 34" (probably less then $2400 when the new one comes out). You're right, you shouldn't wait forever, but when the new crop is right around the corner, you'll kick yourself if you don't wait a measily 2 months.
 

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You guys are talking what if, I am an owner of a RCA F-38310 that within 2 weeks will be 1 year old. As a cripple I had it on longer than ANY of you would have in that years time! Watching all programs in full mode *never* watching any in 4:3.

There is absolutely NO screen burn in period! If it was a wide screen movie or a full screen in stretch, I never put my HDTV into jeopardy of a burn-in ever.



I would say that I had it on 3 times as much as any of you or more becuase you eat in the kitchen. I eat in front of the TV a perpetual TV inner eater and crippled couch potato, would describe me to a T. Last year I paid $2999 for the set

not your $2000 that you can buy it for.



I have had 1 beautiful year watching a Home Theatre Web Browser, and a Home Theatre DVD and Vhs disc/tape movie and concert watcher. I have watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in wide screen, for I had a pre-record full 240 lines that were doubled(480i). I also had OAR movies turning the lights off, or pulling the shades in the day time, never had any black bar problem.



Go ahead squabble about this and that and the price oh my. I will continue to watch and enjoy what your still debating about.

Yester day I was *out* for the afternoon and picked up another 12 including 2 disc Red Rose. Enjoy on my fully paid for and still under warranty of 4 more years HDTV. Fan noise is not noticed at all and I have condition called Hyper Acusis look it up. What your going to read is a person with acute hearing, from all the rock concerts I went to. Audiolgist said you went the opposite of many, instead of going deaf you went acute. Questions or are you all going to 'walk' out and buy yourself what you really want to buy, but had questions that were answered by me!! :)
 

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I have the Sony 32XBR450, and I love it and could not be happier. Though some things that might bother other people.


When using the Y/Pb/Pr Input for HD, on the XBR, the TV will not display a 4:3 image. It locks all DTV in to a 16:9 format. So, if your local station broadcasts something in 4:3 SDTV, and you are watching a 36" XBR , you now get a 25" image. A liitle square in the middle of the screen. Sony has the motto all 16:9, all the time. I think that is great, bring on the 16:9, but you local station my not think the same way.


Just a heads up!


The Toshiba 36HX81 Cinema Series or the 36HF71 are both great TVs, the Toshibas alow you to lower the resolution and fill the whole screen with 4:3 DTV content.... Though, I do not think they have as nice of a picture.



I sold both of these TVs until I quit two months ago....

And know many happy customers with both!


- Steve
 

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Hello all,


I purchased a RCA 38 inch 16x9 HDTV with the built in tuner. We only had it for 1 day when my wife said that the unit had to go. Fortunately, we owned it during the Winter Olympics and they were marvelous in HDTV. Anyone else see them?

Here are the pros and cons to the RCA 38 inch set. Pros: marvelous picture (every bit as good as anything else), by far and away the best deal for the money out there.

Cons: There are many. Noisy fan, curved screen, annoying tuner, lack of display options.

The worst is the reason we returned it. It has a very, VERY loud fan that runs all the time, even when the TV is turned off. It is so loud you can hear it over dialog in quiet passages. When the TV was turned off in the living room, and we were listening to classical music in the kitchen on Sunday morning we could hear the fan. That is when my wife said that the set had to go. We called up Circuit City and said that we had to return the RCA 38inch HDTV we bought yesterday, the reply was "oh, is the fan too loud?". We said yes and they said we were the 3rd people to return one because of a loud fan.

Another annoying thing about the RCA set is the built in tuner, it does not let you select pillar box or full which is important at this time because 50% of programming in HDTV is SDTV broadcast in HDTV which looks bad stretched. It also is VERY slow changing channels and then displays an annoying information box that covers half the screen, this amounts to 3-4 seconds to change channel another 4-5 seconds before the picture is un-obstructed. Finally the set does not line-double SDTV or other inputs.

We ended up buying a Toshiba 34HF81 and a Samsung SIR-T150. The Toshiba is a 34inch 16x9 1080i set that upconverts and line doubles everything to 1080i all the time. PROS: flat screen (less glare), marvelous picture, 5 picture sizing/stretching options, built in speaker can be a center channel. Samsung unit lets you select pillar or full size for HDTV broadcasts. We are very happy with the setup and receive 5 channels OTA in HDTV in Madison, WI using a tiny rabbit ears.


CONS: more expensive (got a good deal for $2100 + $550 for Samsung), no satellite tuner.


Sorry this got long winded,

Rick
 

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I don't know what all the fuss is over the fan noise in the RCA. Mine is no louder than the one in my computer. You certainly can't hear it when you are watching tv. If it bothers you when it is off you have two options.

Unplug the set or if you have it connected to a good voltage protection plug like the panamax, just turn it off. The other option is to buy a replacement fan from a place like Mouser Electronics and either do it your self or have a technician do it.

As to the tuner, yes it is slow, but so are most digital tuners.

As to the banner staying on I don't know why they do that, but I just push the clear button on the remote and it goes off right away.

As to the curved screen, you should have your room set up where there is no glare from lamps or windows anyway.

We just close the shades and if we need a light, turn on a night light or a small lamp in another room. That will solve your glare.

With the tv you replaced the rca with you gave up a lot of viewing space.

38" vs. 34". For me, that is way too small. I wish they made a 40" 16:9 tube.

Also, with the built in dtv tuner you don't have another box sitting on your shelf.

I guess we each have to decide what is most important to us.

For me, the RCA at this time is the best option, if you balance price and value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
From a prior poat:

>>>Another annoying thing about the RCA set is the built in tuner, it does not let you select pillar box or full which is important at this time because 50% of programming in HDTV is SDTV broadcast in HDTV which looks bad stretched. It also is VERY slow changing channels and then displays an annoying information box that covers half the screen, this amounts to 3-4 seconds to change channel another 4-5 seconds before the picture is un-obstructed. Finally the set does not line-double SDTV or other inputs. >>>



Does this mean that if I have the RCA 38310 set, and I have Direct TV, and I'm watching a program on FX, like Buffy, for example, that the picture will automatically be stretched out to fit the 16:9 screen? I would have no option to make it a 4:3 picture?


Thanks,

Dave
 

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No, you can watch the picture in 4:3, with the bars to the sides. Trust me, you get used to the stretching quickly, and hardly notice it. Less noticable than those huge grey bars on the sides. Can't really see watching 4:3 on a 34" widescreen, what does that leave you with, a 27" picture? Fan, not really an issue, computer fans are generally louder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd like to thank everyone for their help. As good as magazine reviews are, reviews or comments from people who have owned these sets for months, if not years, are more helpful.

One more question about the RCA F38310:

If I'm watching a 4:3 DVD like X-Files or Star Trek throught the component video inputs will the picture be stretched out to fill the screen. It's my understanding that you can't change the screen format on this input. If so, would that mean that I would also have to have an S-video run from my DVD a different video input on my TV screen?


Once again,

Thanks,

Dave
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveMiller
I have the Sony 32XBR450, and I love it and could not be happier. Though some things that might bother other people.


When using the Y/Pb/Pr Input for HD, on the XBR, the TV will not display a 4:3 image. It locks all DTV in to a 16:9 format. So, if your local station broadcasts something in 4:3 SDTV, and you are watching a 36" XBR , you now get a 25" image. A liitle square in the middle of the screen. Sony has the motto all 16:9, all the time. I think that is great, bring on the 16:9, but you local station my not think the same way.



- Steve
Cant you use svideo from your HD receiver along with component and switch to that svideo input on the xbr to get 4:3 in fullscreen ? Somebody mentioned it would be as easy as that. I hope it is because ill be with directv tomorrow with that same problem.
 

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Yes you can, I forgot to metion that.

Thanks Shaun


My whole point was that if I have to use the S-Video to watch the SD in full 4:3, I might as well watch normal DirecTV on my S-Video Input, so, for me anyways, the point is moot.


- Sorry I forgot that, but good point to remeber Shaun



- Steve
 
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