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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I heard back from a PG sales rep that they shipped their first batch of FTX-series monitors, last week. He said it was fairly small (due to supply limitations), and that they currently expect to ship more, within the next 3 weeks.


I will follow-up, as I get more info, and definitely when I receive mine.



I believe this may be the ultimate display, for those of us who still watch mostly 4:3 TV, but also like to enjoy widescreen TV and progressive/progressive+anamorphic DVDs, from time to time.


I also just may get a gamecube, since it has a progressive output.
 

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Poster I do hope you get your item, if it was shipped.:)




Off/Topic I read a post in which the The Final Countdown has shipped. I called and was told a substitute was giving out the info blah blah blah
 

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Hey Animephile ....


Did you ever manage to get an answer to the question of whether they are including the Visionbox which has the Component inputs or the one that doesn't? Also, have you gotten any more information and specs than are available on the Princeton web site? I'm just starting to do research and hope to purchase a new TV around the end of the summer, so I'm hopefull that this will live up to past Princeton quality and fit my needs.


(PS, I'd be looking at the 27" model, not the 32" due to space limitations)


Thanks,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by rhofmann
Did you ever manage to get an answer to the question of whether they are including the Visionbox which has the Component inputs or the one that doesn't?
I wasn't aware there was any doubt. It is specified to have component inputs. When I get it, I'll let you know if mine doesn't, since I'll be pissed.


Quote:
Also, have you gotten any more information and specs than are available on the Princeton web site?
No, just that Monivision says the AR3.2FTX really does have a dot pitch of 0.9mm, which means that the AR2.7FTX has more dots.


Quote:
(PS, I'd be looking at the 27" model, not the 32" due to space limitations)
That's good, since it has more dots. I just hope you're not planning on watching lots of 720p 16:9 on it - the dot pitch isn't good enough, for that. At 1024x768 (4:3), it should make gamers happy, but won't be very good at displaying text.
 

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Quote:
That's good, since it has more dots. I just hope you're not planning on watching lots of 720p 16:9 on it - the dot pitch isn't good enough, for that. At 1024x768 (4:3), it should make gamers happy, but won't be very good at displaying text.
Well, this is my maiden voyage into High-Def land and I am starting with the display (Thought about just getting a standard def flat screen to replace my 5 yr old tv, but figured what the heck, might as well spend another $500 or so and get a better display). I'm not even sure when I'll be getting a High-Def receiver (and whether I'll go set-top or PC based) so 720P isn't high on my list. What I'm primarily looking at is something that will line-double VHS/non-progressive DVD/Dish Network output and make it look nice as well as give me the option to start getting into the HTPC stuff as well as fitting into the current entertainment unit that my wife is not yet ready to part with.


Do you know when your unit is expected to arrive? When it does, of course, I think we'd all appreciate your review, especially concerning the quality of the line-doubler, the available inputs, display quality at 1024x768, and any endearing/annoying features.


Thanks,

Bob
 

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Just wondering if you had gotten your display yet. I'm guessing no, since you probably would have posted initial impressions by now, but maybe you're just mesmerized by the picture.


Thanks,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by rhofmann
Just wondering if you had gotten your display yet.
No, due to a debacle with shipping (PG was not involved - this is just the place I bought it from, who shall remain nameless, as it's not entirely their fault).


I'm actually supposed to get it, tomorrow. I was going to post as soon as it showed up on my doorstep, and then as soon as I had a chance to put it through it's paces (probably not until the weekend).



Thanks for asking, though.
 

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Last week I ordered the CTX MS3400VF (about $2050 shipped from www.pcnation.com ), which is the exact same monitor as the Princeton Graphics AR3.2FTX, but it includes the Vision Box with the component and other inputs, and has a two year on-site, instead of PG's one year warranty. I don't think the AR3.2FTX includes the Vision Box based on its spec sheet and because it appears to be running about $250-$300 cheaper than the MS3400VF, but I could be wrong. Even if your AR3.2FTX does not come with a Vision Box, it can easily be added (I think) for about $250. My unit is supposed to be here on Thursday. I'll keep you posted.


-Kilroy
 

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Thanks, I'm particularly interested in the performance of the VisionBox's built-in line doubler on various inputs like satellite (DISH network is what I've got now) and the ease of use.


Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Kilroy
I don't think the AR3.2FTX includes the Vision Box based on its spec sheet
The tuner is in the vision box. The PG units have a tuner, so they must also have a vision box. I'll let you know, for sure, in about 24 hours.


Quote:
it appears to be running about $250-$300 cheaper than the MS3400VF, but I could be wrong.
Really? I got the AR2.7FTX for about $100 cheaper than I could find the corresponding CTX model. That's one reason I didn't just break down and get the CTX, by now.


BTW, my Visa platinum card will double a manufacturer's warrantee by up to 1 year, so I still get 2 years. Beyond that, I'm willing to take my chances.


I'm also really curious why Princeton took so long to start shipping. If all they had to do was slap their name on it, how come they were so far behind CTX in getting these on the street? The specs are the same, but maybe they waited for a newer rev of the unit? Perhaps they did some addional calibration that they weren't initially setup for?


Quote:
Even if your AR3.2FTX does not come with a Vision Box, it can easily be added (I think) for about $250.
Yeah, and so we hope our new TVs will be upgradeable to DVI, however someone said the vision box is connected to the TV by a VGA connector (at least for the video signal). Therefore, Monivision may not be allowed to build a vision box, compatible with the current models, that supports DVI with HDCP.


I'm not counting on it, since the dot-pitch is too low to resolve much of the additional detail in a 720p image. I got mine for watching VHS/SVHS, DVDs (both 4:3 and 16:9), and maybe a little videogaming (perhaps I'll pickup a game cube, since it supports progressive output).
 

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Like you AnimePhile, I'm really looking at something for VHS/DVD/TV viewing and eventually putting together an HTPC for progressive DVD, allowing my 3 year old to play his computer games at 800x600, and maybe getting a HiPix card or similar to experiment with OTA HDTV. The PG is an attractive option because the specs show it will fit in my current entertainment center (the wife doesn't want to spring for a new one) and it gives me the option of moving a computer downstairs and plugging it directly in.


I'm really hoping that component input is on the AR2.7FTX vision box because I already have a tuner that will do component switching for my DVD and DISH receiver outputs, although I suppose I could live with s-video (I'll be upgrading from a 6 year old Magnavox 27" curved screen with composite in only).


Since most of my initial viewing will be upconverted 480i material (some MPEG decompressed from the DISH), I'm primarily concerned at this point with how well the line-doubler will perform on such material. I haven't had a lot of experience with such, obviously, but I've heard some horror stories about line-doublers absolutely destroying PQ.


Later,

Bob
 

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Animephile,


Here's something interesting. As you know, both the CTX MS3400VF and the PG AR3.2FTX are rebadged Monivision monitors - specifically, the DM6952SF. Monivision makes two Vision Boxes for these monitors. Model CT1871 has the tuner and following connections: antenna, svideo, audio in, video in, audio out, video out, vga out to monitor, vga in from pc, and signal connector. Vision Box Model CT1890 has all of those connections plus three RCA component (Y, Pb, Pr) connections. Based upon the specs PG lists on their website for the AR3.2FTX, as compared to the ones listed by CTX for the MS3400VF, it appears that PG is attaching Vision Box Model CT1871 and CTX is using Model CT1890. Check out the info at www.monivision.com www.princetongraphics.com and www.ctxintl.com


On prices, I got my numbers from shopper.cnet.com searching ar3.2ftx and ms3400vf. One thing I learned is that online distributers don't know squat about specs. Many times they transposed the height and depth measurements! And I saw many different dot pitches. By the way, CTX and Monivision appear to say that the model we bought has a .8 not a .9 dot pitch. I have my fingers crossed. Also, I'm grooving on Cowboy Bebop right now. I just finished the second disk. Are you a fan? (I'm guessing you are by your handle)


-Kilroy
 

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Quick follow up - I just checked PG's website again and they have updated their HDTV section. They now say the 3.2FTX has a .8 dot pitch. They also have info on some reference series TVs 3.2HD and 3.6HD that definitely have component inputs. They look great. The specs for the 3.2FTX do not list component inputs.


-Kilroy
 

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Actually, I think that Animephile and I are both looking at the 27" model, not the 32" that you got. One thing that has bothered me is that while the CTX and Princeton specs are the same for the 32" model (except for the component inputs) the Princeton specs for the AR2.7FTX show 28" W X 23.5" H X 20" D while CTX shows 29.5" W X 23.2" H X 19.8" D. Now this might not seem like a big deal, but that 1.5" in width is the difference between fitting my current entertainment center and not fitting it.


Anyway, Animephile I'd be interesting in knowing exactly what the width measurement is on the set in addition to your other thoughts.


Bob
 

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::putting on my Roseanne Roseanna Danna wig:: "Oh . . . Nevermind."


Bob,


I think PG's dimensions for the AR2.7FTX are correct since they match Monivision's dimensions. I would guess that CTX listed the dimensions incorrectly on the MS2900VF, unless the two different Vision Boxes have slightly different dimensions and they inlcuded those in their measurements. The MS2900VF specs say it has component inputs, but the AR2.7FTX specs do not list them, which indicates they use different Vision Boxes. I guess Animephile will clear the fog for us tomorrow.


-Kilroy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Kilroy
Quick follow up - I just checked PG's website again and they have updated their HDTV section. They now say the 3.2FTX has a .8 dot pitch.
When I called Monivision, the marketing guy went to check with an engineer, who confirmed that it was 0.9. I asked if they'd update their datasheet, and he assured me they would (a couple weeks later, it still wasn't fixed).


However, when I called CTX, they said it must be 0.8, since it uses the same CRT as the MS3400V, but that only the cabinet and front glass had changed. I find that dubious, so it does little to undermine Monivision's claim that the dot pitch is 0.9mm, IMO.


Quote:
They also have info on some reference series TVs 3.2HD and 3.6HD that definitely have component inputs.
Yeah, those are also rebranded Monivision models. Don't expect the same level of performance as the AF3.0HD, but they're also not selling at the same price it did, when it was new.


Quote:
The specs for the 3.2FTX do not list component inputs.
Odd, but those datasheets are unbelievably sloppy on the facts - I found several other factual errors that I reported, when I called PG to verify that the dot pitch of the AR3.2FTX really was 0.9 (which they confirmed), a couple months ago. Very unprofessional, IMO.


Try the Digital Connection web site - they may have some real info about these. Anyhow, I called them, once. They seem nice, and you can probably expect pretty good support. Their prices are pretty good, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Chikusho!! Masaka!


For some reason, I seem to have assumed that PG would, in fact, use the vision box including component inputs. Upon rechecking the datasheet, I see that it really doesn't say anything about component (am I imagining things, or did the specs change?). Perhaps that might explain why mine has no component inputs!

Shou ga nai.



So, I did a very amateurish thing, and broke the flip-down control panel cover (on the bottom of the front), as I was removing this 114 pound monstrosity from its box. I fished the tiny, broken piece of the clip out of the plastic bag, and will try gluing it back on. At least I had the sense not to be wearing anything with exposed metal or abrasive protrusions (such as belt loops), since I was unable to carry it so that the screen didn't rub against me, a bit. I didn't have too much trouble carrying the actual monitor, and I don't consider myself to be particularly strong (i.e. I don't work out).


If you have to carry it, while its in the box, figure out which side the screen is on, and hold that to your chest. This will get the center of gravity as close as possible, which is easier on your back. I definitely recommend getting two people to carry the box, since it's fairly bulky.



So, I didn't have much time to play with it. I was surprised that I really didn't much notice any issues with the line-doubler. The sound is pretty good, for a TV.


I won't comment on performance, until I get a chance to run through my Video Essentials DVD. I can't do any critical performance tests, until I get a decent DVD player (I currently have only a cheap, Chinese brand player, since it lets me watch R2 DVDs) - and I'm holding out for the Panasonic RP-82 or XP-50. At that point, I may even spring for calibration by an ISF-certified technician.



Look for more, this weekend.
 

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No component inputs, man what a bummer. Now to make the decision on whether the extra $100 at buy.com is worth it for the CTX with component inputs. When you get a chance, could you measure the width of the set? CTXintl.com lists it at 29.5" but Princeton lists it at 28" and the CTX set on buy.com is listed as 28", so I'm hoping that CTX's spec sheet is just wrong.


Thanks, and still looking forward to your PQ and performance review.


Bob
 

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I just received my CTX MS3400VF. It is one heavy mofo. It does have component inputs, since it uses the CT-1890 Vision Box. It also included the CT-1890 Owner's Manual, which was nice. Please know that it only has one set of A/V component inputs. Fortunately, I only need one set. Right now, it's sitting on my den floor, because I have to go back to work. Grrrrr. Also, this is funny, the HDTV gods are shining on me because during lunch today I stopped by my local Coconuts to check out their used DVDs, and lo and behold - there sat a 1/2 price copy of Joe Kane's DVD Video Essentials, which I did not have. I snapped it up, of course. I could not wait until Sept. for his Digital Video Essentials to be released. I'll follow up later this weekend after I get everything set up and tweaked.


Animephile - bummer about the components. It should be easy to swap the box you got with the CT-1890 Vision Box. Dump the old one on E-Bay or keep it as a backup, if you have to have components. Maybe PG will let you trade it in? Personally, I think it's lame for PG to use the cheaper Vision Box without component inputs on a HDTV monitor.


Also, Bob - if you are interested in the CTX MS2900VF, I would get it from www.pcnation.com instead of www.buy.com. That unit is $1326 shipped at pcnation and $1443 shipped at buy.com. Buy.com's free shipping offer only applies if you are ordering two monitors. I bought my monitor from pcnation, and was pleased with their customer service and delivery time (8 calendar days). They also had the best price. Good luck.


-Kilroy
 
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