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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning all,


I'm new to the forum, and I've spent most of the morning searching to find some answers on my own. I didn't really find what I was looking for, so I thought I would go ahead and post!


I'm in the market for a new TV, and I'm looking specifically at Sony units (I have a friend that works for a local Electonics Company, and he can get a discount on Sony products).


I'm looking at a maximize TV size of 46 - 48 inches because of the room size. The room is pretty bright during the day, as there is a bank of windows, but no direct sunlight.


I was pretty content in purchasing the Sony P46WT510 46" RPTV. My wife and I have gone to our local Tweeter store several times, and this last time the salesman recommended the Sony KF42WE610 42" Grand Wega LCD RPTV. I must say, that I was completely blown away by the LCD unit.


However, after reading this site and several buying guides, I seem to be reading that a CRT unit can have just as good of a picture if properly calibrated (I picked up a calibration DVD already!).


I've also been reading about the problems that the Sony LCD unit has been having with the lamp, but from what I've read this morning this appears to be fixed.


I guess what I'm looking for is knowledgable comparisons from unbiased people.


Is the CRT RPTV just old news, and not worth getting?

Will the picture quality of the LCD unit blow away the CRT, even with proper calibration?


I hope these are not too many questions for a first time poster, but I really need some guidance on what will be the best long term purchase.


Just FYI - I don't have room for a rear projector, and plasma is out of my budget range. I'm currently using a 32" Panasonic Tube tv.


Thanks all!!
 

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if space is not an issue, then the CRT RPTVs are a great value. they're cheap compared to the LCD/DLP ones and the technology is very mature so most of the issues have been worked out.


I have my tv in a very bright room, patio door, 2 windows, one huge window as well as light coming in from a first floor foyer window. glare is an issue if don't close the curtains during the day. If you can control the light then don't worry about that too much.


I know you're looking at the sonys, but i'd suggest the Hitachi and Mitsubishi as well. I think the stretch modes on those two are better then on the Sonys. If you're still watching a lot of 4:3 TV this will be a huge benefit.


I have a mitsubishi 42" and high quality sources like progressive DVD and progressive gamecube look very good. I need to get an HD Tuner, so I can't comment on 1080i yet.
 

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Welcome newbie, you came to the right spot. This is a great forum for getting advice and information...


I went through the same process a year ago and I went with the Sony 50" LCD.


1. LCD picture sitting side by side to any CRT TV at the time look quite a bit

better. PQ, brightness, and color just looked better to me.

2. CRT looked the best when you are sitting directly in front, when you start

going to the side or even standing up, brightness drops quite a bit. I

believe they are getting better in this area, but still it's not even a worry

with LCD.

3. I went with 50" and I'm not in a real big area. I'm around 10 feet away

and It doesn't overwhelm me. 42" might be a little small, but I don't know

the area you are working with.

4. I have had the GWII for over a year and hadn't had any problems. Still

as happy with it as the day I bought it. Just watched my second HD

Superbowl with it.

5. CRT will have burn-in issues where LCD will not.

6. LCD's weakness compared to all others is it can't display a pure Black

color. But for me, it is black enough where I don't notice a problem.

But when sitting next to a DLP unit for example, you can tell the

difference.


Good luck in your purchase..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies everyone! The information that I left out:


The TV will be in the corner of the 13' x 13' foot room (really the only place that will support a TV with the furniture). This I've found helps a great deal, because no matter where you sit you are never more than 45 degreess off center. The TV is in one corner of the room, and the couches follow the 90 degree corner of the opposing wall.


Viewing distance is anywhere from 8 feet to 11 feet, depending on where you are on the couch. If we are eating at the coffee table, we are about 8 feet away.


I should have also asked - how important is the "service plan" that companies offer? Have any of you found that you needed it beyond the 1 year manufacturer's warranty?


Thanks all so much!
 

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Serbonze....I just went through almost an identical exercise as you.


In general, CRT RPTVs have a very narrow "sweet spot" to see the best picture. If you have people sitting off center, the PQ of the CRTs fall off, most times dramatically. Plus, CRTs need to have convergence done from time to time to keep the picture optimal. If you have much light streaming into the room, then the Sony LCD will look better than a Sony CRT.


That said, a properly calibrated CRT can attain a better picture than an LCD (or DLP) mainly because of the black levels.


In all honesty, I don't have a problem with the black levels of my LCD (and I came from a calibrated Sony CRT PRTV).


The only DLPs I've seen are from RCA and Samsung. Black levels in both of those sets were "bluish", which did bother me.


You'll find many different opinions about extended service plans. I'm not a big proponent of them. However, I had one on an older Hitachi (non-HD) CRT RPTV. After two years of ownership, the TV developed "Scan Line" issues. I can say that I'm glad I had the service plan, because after two plus years, I got my entire purchase price back.


With LCD and DLP bulbs running about $250 ea., you'd only have to have two blown bulbs to get your money back over 5 years. That doesn't include anything else that could go wrong with the set (like dropped pixels, which my plant covers).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One of my main concerns is that "sweet spot" that you were referring to. I took a trip to Tweeter again today, and I did notice the bluish tinge that you were referring to on the Samsung DLP unit.


What made you decide to get the newer LCD over your RPTV?
 

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Serbonze....while I was very pleased with my Sony CRT, it was actually a replacement for the previously mentioned Hitachi CRT which was bought back as a lemon by CC. I had it set up in my den. I have quite a few "get togethers" with friends for football, March madness, etc. and I've got a DVD collection that numbers in the 100s. Having one of the biggest TVs among my friends, it seems people are coming over at least a couple of times per month for sports or movie watching.


So, I built a rec room complete with bar, pool table, poker area and home theater area to accomodate these get togethers. More and more, I became unsatisfied with the amount of time and effort it took to keep my CRT looking its best. Plus, not having everyone able to sit in the "sweet spot" became more irritating. The biggest irritant was always having to have the lights turned way down in order for the TV to look good.


I looked into front projection systems and they have their own set of problems (mainly that the room had to be totally darkened to get a good picture). It was OK if I was the only one watching, but if there were some people watching TV and some playing pool, some sitting around the bar, etc, then the lights couldn't be turned down. Then there were windows with light coming through which totally ruined the picture. So, aside from big size, front projection systems offered me nothing.


I had seen LCD and DLP RPTVs when I replaced my Hitachi, but they were extremely expensive at the time (rivaled the price of Plasma). When they started coming down in price, I started looking again more seriously.


Finally, I had narrowed my choices to the Hitachi and Sony LCD RPTVs. I ruled out the Sammy for the "bluish picture" issue and the RCA DLP because they did a very poor job with their screen being so reflective.


After about 3 months of going back and forth, I came to the conclusion that the Sony had more detail than the Hitachi LCD and was stunned by how good the picture looked.


While it's true, a CRT set will have better blacks, the rest of the picture quality on my Sony LCD is so much better than any other CRT I've seen, plus the light output is so much better, that the blacks became a "non-issue".


After tweaking, I've gotten my LCD pretty close to the black level of my CRT. Colors are much better. There are no convergence nor burn-in issues. I got a great price on my Sony LCD (still not as cheap as a good CRT, but within several hundred....figuring a good CRT of about the same size will cost about $2,500 plus and my 60" LCD was about $3,200).


I couldn't be happier.


And before you ask, YES, I did get an extended service plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think doing research on this forum raises more questions than it answers! :confused:


I'm reading about the problems associated with the LCD set (dead pixels, red dots, bad bulbs) and the downfall of the CRT TV, I'm just completely confused.


I, just as everyone else, want to get the best picture quality for the money. I also want to make an informed decision!


Per the rules of the forum I don't think that I can post the specifc prices that my friend can get for me, but I would certainly love to take advantage of them, and therefore that is why I have limited my search to Sony products.


The more I read about the problems that people are having with the LCD units, the more I want to shy away. But the picture quality!! :)


What's a guy to do??
 

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Gotta look and make your own choice. :) If you go with a Sony CRT RPTV, viewing is greatly enhanced by removing the glare screen. Best mod I ever did to my Sony 50". However, if you have small children or anyone who's gonna put their hands on the exposed lenticular screen, you might not want to do this.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You can remove that screen? The glare is one of the major issues I was having! There are no children in the house.
 

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Yea, I think you can. If it's built like mine, you have to take the top of the set off. The glare screen and underlying lenticular screen are taped together and held down to the inside of the bezel with clips. Sony doesn't make it that simple to remove unfortunately. I had my ISF guy do it when he calibrated my set. I don't know that I would want to do it myself.
 

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If scenes that fade to black in movies are important to you and you have a light controlled home theater room, then only the CRT RPTV will satisfy you. It is very dramatic and impressive when you experience these scenes since the whole room shuts down and you can't see a thing and maybe only hear voices or sounds from your surround system. If you aren't going to use your T.V. in this manner then you may be better off with a DLP or LCD - they are much more maintainance free (should be anyway), take up less space and produce a very crisp image, although it is much harder to get good shadow detail out of them in darker scenes.


Determine how you are going to use the set - this should make your decision easier.


Cheers,


Grant
 

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Bottom line:


CRT - dedicated HT setup

LCD - everyday viewing/HT viewing


The GWIII is the best set on the market for the money IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks again for the information folks. I do want to say, that I'm not asking for anyone to make a decision for me, rather I'm looking to make an informed decision after gathering as much information as I can.


That being said...


I made a post on the LCD thread - I'm starting to shy away from the LCD because of the dead pixel issues. It seems that you are playing russian rulette with these sets (andy LCD, not just Sony) and that there is no way of telling when the pixels will go bad.


Is the pixel problem really as bad as the other threads are indicating? After reading that thread last night, I just about made up my mind to go with the CRT because I wouldn't have to worry about having a blue, green, or red dot on my screen two weeks after delivery.


My viewing habits:

Standard television watching and DVD movies on weekends. The room is not a dedicated HT room (it's my living room :) ) I'm certainly no videophile, and when I was looking at the LCD set at my local Tweeter, the blacks seemed fine to me.
 

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Are stuck pixels still an issue? I haven't read of anyone complaining about it in months. As long as they aren't clustered together it shouldn't be a problem (exchange it if they are). From beyond 12" you really have a hard time seeing them. I think this is mainly a mental thing - "I have stuck pixel....my set is not perfect". Relax and enjoy the TV. I still love my GW3 42" even with the buzz and no-start thing. I've had it since Nov. 10 and I still only have 2 stuck pixels, which I shouldn't have even looked for to begin with. Super bowl in HD was awesome.
 

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I'll give you a sraight answer that will make all the LCD owners mad but it really is the truth and God bless them I don't mean to bash any of their displays--if you give a hoot about picture quality buy the CRT because rear projection LCD is currently THE WORST display technology. Get the thing calibrated and be careful about ambient and direct lighting--you'll love the set and I GURANTEE you that every other rear projection LCD set you see from then own will look like what it is: INFERIOR!
 

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i think you should go about this differently, what exactly is your criteria decide that first, then decide what to look at.


For example, if you're set on a 42 inch TV then stop looking at 60" LCD projection tvs.

Instead look at at 42inch CRT RPTV which will run you ~$1400-$1500. then look at the 42" LCD RPTV which will run you from ~$2500-$2700. Now compare those two! things like cost, size, glare, light control etc!


I think you're trying to take in too many variables, narrow your focus to the TVS that you really like based on a fixed set of criteria, be that price, form factor, brand etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Quote:
i think you should go about this differently, what exactly is your criteria decide that first, then decide what to look at.


For example, if you're set on a 42 inch TV then stop looking at 60" LCD projection tvs.

Instead look at at 42inch CRT RPTV which will run you ~$1400-$1500. then look at the 42" LCD RPTV which will run you from ~$2500-$2700. Now compare those two! things like cost, size, glare, light control etc!


I think you're trying to take in too many variables, narrow your focus to the TVS that you really like based on a fixed set of criteria, be that price, form factor, brand etc.
Hrmm...I'm not really sure how to respond.

Quote:
I'm looking at a maximize TV size of 46 - 48 inches because of the room size. The room is pretty bright during the day, as there is a bank of windows, but no direct sunlight.
That was from my initial post. I'm certainly not looking at anything over a 48" display, and I've only been comparing the Sony 42"LCD and the Sony 46" CRT RPTV throughout this thread. Maybe this was a response to a different post?
 
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