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I feel that while people might differ which RPTV is the "best," they tend to have a much easier time agreeing on which units are no good. So the question is, who's the Bose of RPTVs? Which units tend to be overrated? What do people get suckered into buying? Which buzzwords and gimmicks should I not fall for?


As for me, I haven't bought a TV for nearly a decade, but now it's time. I'm looking for a HD rear projection unit that is about 45" to 55". I've done some research, so we both know what's out there. I know you can't tell me which one to get, but can you tell me which ones not to get?
 

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From my experience....


ALL OF THEM.
 

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These type threads usually turn into flame wars:)


First thing is you probably have to decide which of the technologies you want to go with. Then pick the size TV you want. Then what you're willing to spend. That should narrow your choices down so that you can start researching individual models.
 

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I don't think anybody has been suckered into buying any of their sets. They may have made uninformed decisions but nothing like the Bose hype for a particular set. People on this forum are much nicer than some of the other forums about comparing one set to another. It really comes down to personal opinion and experience. You should have to go down to the local BB or CC and look at the sets for yourself and then decide. Most of sales people unfortunatly can't tell much more than what you could already see.
 

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I just returned my third Sony 46 inch CRT rear projection for faulty sound output, light streaks on top and around bright objects on dark scenes, distorted front speakers etc. etc. etc. If there was quality control this set would be a great choice


All of these sets with their defects put out a better picture (contrast) most noticable on scifi movies with dark backgrounds and with less noise than a 42 inch Sony LCD RPTV on DVDs. No big deal except the HDTV tuner could not pick up all of the local broadcast channels which is essential for me since I will not be getting HDTV cable due to limited content and high cost. If reflections are a problem in a bright room and you dont need the local HDTV tuner, or dont want to hook up a computer this set is the most reliable and complete out there (not the best picture but the best complete package). Screen door effect is visible on sets 50 inches and larger when a single color is displayed on screen and gets worse as the viewing distance is decreased. If you go with a larger set you need to sit back a bit further.


So I decided to give the new Samsung HLR DLPa shot and as soon as the TV was delivered I noticed the screen had terrible pincushion distortion which for PC use or standard 4:3 viewing is extremely distracting. Contrast is noticably better than the Sony and the HDTV tuner did pick up all stations while the standard tuner picked up all digital channels from my cable service (it costs extra for a decoder but this TV picked them up anyway). On regular cable though, the tuner did a poor job and each channel had to be fine tuned which takes a couple of minutes via the on screen menu. Rainbows are present only if you do rapid eye movents from side to side on bright objects against a dark background. For example if you move them to check the time on the DVD player. The effect will be worse for larger screens and close viewing positions. If you can get a good set out of the box consider yourself lucky and pray that you wont notice any rainbows which to me were no big deal.


As far as plasma is concerned - no comment as these sets only attribute is use in small spaces. The 1080X768 resolution is insufficient and creates a bad screen door effect.


LCDs show potential but cost is astronomical for same size as RPLCD and response times are still to high for a stutter free viewing experience and contrast still a bit of a problem. Disagree? take a look at the ticker on news channels.


So, as you can see it would seem that buying a TV is a PITA due to manufacturers rushing products and skimping on the reliability testing and cheap low cost labor manufacturing. In all ikelyhood I will be purchasing the Sony 42 LCD since its on clearance at best buy for $1600 (so is the 50 inch set but due to the wide design it does not fit my TV stand) and will wait a few years before I get that monster size set and will move this one to the bedroom. I am not picky I simply want the product to perform as advertised - 2K is not pocket change at least not for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by function12
Floor Model!


No, they were all new delivered by circuit city.
 

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It all depends. If you are a big time gamer and computer geek who seeks to use a RPTV as a giant computer monitor, stay away from CRT RPTV's of any brand.


If you are series DVD/Movie fanatic stay far away from microdisplays of any brand.


If you kind like movies, games, computers etc. take a look at DLP's, but stay away from the RCA or Optoma brands. Also be vary weary of DLP rainbows of any brand.
 

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apodaca , I think function12 meant to stay away from floor models. I don't think he was commenting on your particualr experience with the Sonys.


I think Auditor55's advice is likely the best.
 

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I bought a 46" Sony CRT for $1150 at Sears. Has been a great purchase. Amazing HD picture and fantastic SD picture using the internal line double or Iscan Plus.


Stay away from any tv by Apex, Akai, etc. I am even sketchy with RCA. Although some of the Sceniums look to have a nice picture. Any brand can put out some duds....
 

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Yes, some have mentioned their RCAs CRT RPTV caught on fire.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auditor55
If you are series DVD/Movie fanatic stay far away from microdisplays of any brand.


.
I'm pretty serious about movies. And I gotta say I'm pretty happy with my microdisplay. :rolleyes:
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by apodaca
From my experience....


ALL OF THEM.
Yea, I think everyone should go back to B&W sets with tubes. :confused:



To answer the question, Goldstar (LG) which includes Zenith.
 

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If you stick with big name brand companies you are usually sure to get at least a decent quality build. I've had my sony 61" crt rear projection for about 5 years now and aside from the slight misconvergence it still works just fine. I have a sharp 27" directview crt that's 10 years old and it still works just fine also. The off brand companies usually offer the same product with less quality and performance. Check 'em out at a local tv store.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DolfanJay
I'm pretty serious about movies. And I gotta say I'm pretty happy with my microdisplay. :rolleyes:


You might be pretty serious about movies, but you are not a fanatic or you would have bought what is easily the best RPTV technology for displaying film content, that is the tried and true CRT.
 

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The problem with the tried and true crt is that they don't make them bigger than 40". A true movie fanatic would definitely go for the biggest picture his pockets and living space can handle. That's why microdisplays are such an excellent option for movie fanatic looking to immerse themself in the experience. Something a 40" crt tube can't do no matter how great the picture quality.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auditor55
You might be pretty serious about movies, but you are not a fanatic or you would have bought what is easily the best RPTV technology for displaying film content, that is the tried and true CRT.
If I was a true movie fanatic I'd hijack the local theater and eat popcorn and watch movies all day...
 

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Now digimat is a true fanatic.... LOL


I've yet to see a rp crt that can compete with a microdisplay's pq. If that was the case I definitely would not have spent $3000 on a lcd rp when I could buy a cheaper crt rp for the same size but less money. RP crt just don't have the edge over dlp's or lcd rp's.
 

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Avoid models discontinued many months ago (e.g.- Philips single chip LCoS) and models with reflective screens. Yes, those screens might be removable, and some even have a replacement trim piece. But you are removing a "protective" cover, and how warm a feeling do you have about needing to perform such an operation on a product that costs thousands of dollars?


And although auditor55 feels the opposite, I recommend staying away from all CRT RPTVs. They are huge, hulking, hard to move, power consuming beasts with low WAF. They appear to be obsolete (reduced bragging rights) and their sales are plummeting. They are of limited use in daylight or well lit rooms and tend to have narrow viewing angles. The display tends to be less focused on the edges of the screen. They are susceptible to other geometric image distortion. They will normally require more maintenance (cleaning, converging/focusing etc) than microdisplays as their components age and "drift." The tubes are expensive and wear out if driven to bright levels, which is probably how it was shipped to you, plus there are burn in considerations. Yes, there are work arounds- if you want tweaking your TV to be your hobby. And how comfortable are you about repairs, parts and maintenance 5 or 10 years from now on this end of life cycle technology? Yes, I've read someone claiming to have had a CRT RPTV for 14 years with no maintenance or repairs and the PQ is as good as day one. Yeah, right- that claim said more about the author than anything else.


Their black levels are great. Otherwise, I give no quarter on PQ compared to microdisplays (which have improved so much over the last year or so). PQ is a matter of subjective opinion, as we all rate different aspects of PQ differently. "Experts" -not all of them- may prefer CRT RPTVs- then let them have them. The rest of us should pick what WE like and wish to live with.


Some folks believe TV should be watched only in dim rooms, for the proper "Theater" experience. Some of us view that as an attempt to make a virtue out of a major flaw. Replacing a lamp for about $200 every 6,000 hours or 3 - 4 years (at my usage rate) will yield a set as good as new. MAYBE a little cleaning inside, but nothing like the cleaning CRTs require, due to their high voltages attracting dust.


On the other hand, if you want to go cheap, shop carefully and you can buy a decent CRT RPTV for much less than a microdisplay. Then plan on throwing it in the garbage in 5 years and buying an improved microdisplay for much less money. You might come out dollars ahead.


You'll also have to consider if you like DLPs. Some folks get headaches or see rainbows with these. Most don't. If they look good to you and your family, and having a color wheel inside doesn't bother you, you might like them. There's also LCoS in various brands, and LCDs
 
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