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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,


For many months now, I've been browsing the RPTV board thinking I would get a digital RPTV (dlp, lcd, lcos, etc.) of some sort. However, I've noticed that SD signals don't generally display very well on a rear project HDTV set and given that most of the programs we watch are currently SD, I thought I'd investigate getting a "cheaper" 36" CRT direct view HDTV (I noticed costco sells one for about $1000) until HDTV is more prevalent. Anyways, my question is whether there is anything about CRT direct view HDTV sets which allow them to display a SD signal better than the digital RPTVs seem to do, or is it just a matter of the smaller size of CRT direct view sets which make them "appear" like they have better PQ for SD signals?


Thanks for the help!
 

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Yes ... a smaller size can hide more flaws.


Another factor is that most CRTs have a 480p scan rate. 480i -> 480p conversion can sometimes introduce alot less artifacts than 480i -> 720p required for the digital panels.


A good CLEAN SD signal can (and should) provide very good results on any set. Hook a DVD player up via composite (or SVideo or 480i component) ... take a look.


OTOH, a dirty SD signal ... after A -> D -> upconversion -> etc ... and then shown on a 60" set ... will usually produce less than stellar results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks dt_dc for the reply. so if i'm looking at a 36" crt hdtv direct view, it sounds like the only real difference in picture quality for a SD signal versus let's say a 50" samsung dlp rptv is that the 36" will look better simply due to the fact that the flaws are not being magnified as much? it sounds like the crt tube itself doesn't necessarily provide a better SD image, but rather it's simply the smaller screen size?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aircasper
thanks dt_dc for the reply. so if i'm looking at a 36" crt hdtv direct view, it sounds like the only real difference in picture quality for a SD signal versus let's say a 50" samsung dlp rptv is that the 36" will look better simply due to the fact that the flaws are not being magnified as much? it sounds like the crt tube itself doesn't necessarily provide a better SD image, but rather it's simply the smaller screen size?
I think that pretty much sums it up - NTSC is 50-year old technology and was never intended to be displayed on such large screens (like a 50" RPTV for instance). My friend has a new 56" Samsung DLP with DirecTV and NTSC looks a little blurry and soft from 13 feet away but still acceptable. It's still not as clean or clear as on a tube TV but that's the way it is on an RPTV.


Digital cable channels viewed through my digital cable box on my 32" HD-ready Panny tube TV looks almost DVD quality, and analog channels look fair to good depending on the channel. ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX local newscasters look great and clear. For some reason the analog channels viewed through the TV's internal tuner look a little grainy by comparison so the cable box is doing a better job with the analog NTSC than the TV itself.


I've also seen digital cable through a friend's 36HF73 and it looked about the same as on my Panny, and another friend has DirecTV with a 32HF73 and it looks very good as well.


So as long as you're getting a good NTSC signal through cable or satellite it should look fine on a 4.3 HD-ready set. If it doesn't then it's probably the source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks randy. now i just have to decide whether to plunk down the money for the 36hf73 at costco or maybe just wait it out a bit longer with my 27" trinitron.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by aircasper
it sounds like the crt tube itself doesn't necessarily provide a better SD image, but rather it's simply the smaller screen size?
No ... there is an inherent technical difference in that CRT is capable of multiple scan-rates ... which can possibly lead to better SD picture quality (even on ... say ... a 50" CRT RPTV when compared to a DLP).


However, in practice, that technical difference is relatively minor and SD picture quality is usually influenced more by the actual source and signal processing in the set than anything else.
 

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I've never been satisfied with analog channels on my digital tv (36" Sony XBR800). They have always been "soft," blurry, the colors are dull, and the motion is "slurred," as if there is a slight ghost-trail on any motion.

Case-in-point: when watching sports on analog channels, the score bug (or even the ticker) text is blurry, the O's and D's basically are solid blobs.


I don't think the issue is just a matter of larger screen size, because I think the analog channels look good on a comparably-sized analog tv. Sure, you can see the horizontal scan lines, but at least the picture is "clear." If it were a matter of just size, how do you explain the relatively clear picture you get with front-projection analog displays (like the large ones you see at sports bars, dim-ness notwithstanding)?


Needless to say, I rarely watch analog channels anymore, prefering 4:3 content on network shows over the digital channels, even if they're "windowboxed."
 

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I read every posting I can find on this issue because it is obvious that we are going to be watching a lot of analog SD and digital SD for a long time to come on digital HD displays. I haven't bought an HD set, yet, so I am very interested.


I have reached the conclusion from the postings that analog SD on an HD set can only be rated as being from fair to poor. OK. That's the way it is. Keep an analog set for that type of viewing for the next several years.


Now, my question is about digital SD. Why should digital SD (480P) on an HD set be anything but very, very good? Broadcast, cable and satellite provided digital SD should be excellent on an HD set, although not of actual HD quality. Is it? If it isn't, do you have any idea why not?
 

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A good example of digital SD (480P) would be Fox Enhanced Definition of last year's programming (NFL, some prime time shows). I'd say that those were "pretty good" in terms of clarity and picture quality (such a nebulous term!). Anyway, I thought 480p NFL was pretty good. Also, shows such as "The O.C." et.al. were not bad.


However, I thought that the recent MLB ALDS (Yankees v. Twins) broadcast using 480p was pretty poor, lots of artifacting (Yankee uniform pinstripes were a mess of rainbows).
 
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