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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently own a Sony 30xs955 CRT which most of you know has the coveted SFP tube. It has been ISF calibrated and has an outstanding picture. The problem is that the sofa is 8.5 feet from the TV so i really miss out on much of the resolution. I do sometimes pull a chair closer and sit ~4 feet from it when it's just me watching despite my wife making fun of me. I watch a mix of SD, HD, DVD's and sometimes hook up my laptop for downloaded content (SD and HD). If I had a fixed pixel display I might do some occasional web browsing as well (too much flicker on a CRT). The room is not too bright. I would like to upgrade to a larger set but I'm currently limited by vertical space constraints and budget. I can go up to 42" and my budget is around $1500.


My thoughts have wavered between 42" plasma's (most notably the Panasonic 42px60u/600u) and some of the less expensive 40-42" 1080p LCD's (such as the Westinghouse 42w2 or maybe even the Sharp 42d62u). I like different aspects of each display type - the color/contrast/blacks on the plasmas and the sharpness/brightness on the LCD's and keep wavering. My main concern with plasma is the significant decrease in resolution. The SFT tube has an approximate equivalent resolution of 1400x1080i whereas the 42" plasmas are 1024x768 (not even true HD). My concern with LCD is the contrast/blacks especially coming from a CRT. One may also argue that even a 42" set is still too small for my seating distance but I'm limited.


So, has anyone had any similar upgrade paths and thoughts? Will I be disappointed with my current constraints coming from a Sony SFP CRT? I will have a very significant income increase in about 1 1/2 years and will probably be moving soon after. Should I wait and just sit close to my CRT when I can for now? Thanks in advance.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you, and I'm not in a hurry to replace my CRT. I have found it impossible to give up the colour and black performance of the CRT. I have more space; I can fit a 50" display easily, so I'm holding out for a 50" 1080p Pioneer plasma. If space were not an issue you could get a 50" plasma today that would have close to the resolution of your SFP. Since you plan to move, perhaps you shouldn't let space dictate what you can buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bump
 

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Well, if you've got 20/20 vison, your eyes can't resolve the full detail of a 42" 1080p further away than about 5.5 feet. But you will still likely notice a difference vs 720p until you get to about 8'4" (harder to see a difference the closer to 8'4" you get). After 8'4" a person with 20/20 can visually see the difference between 720p and 768p.


You're actually going to be using a 768p display, so the difference is actully a bit better. I haven't worked the math, say it works out to around 7'. If you sit further than that, you won't notice the difference.


But you say that you like to pull the chair up & become immersed... then you'll want the 1080.


On the other hand, I really think that the black levels will disappoint you. I'd vote for wait. Pioneer has just announced a (supposedly) CRT like black level in thier next gen displays. Along with a whole new viewing room/distance, you'll have a lot of different considerations in two years time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your thoughts guys.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by confinoj /forum/post/0


I currently own a Sony 30xs955 CRT which most of you know has the coveted SFP tube. It has been ISF calibrated and has an outstanding picture. The problem is that the sofa is 8.5 feet from the TV so i really miss out on much of the resolution. I do sometimes pull a chair closer and sit ~4 feet from it when it's just me watching despite my wife making fun of me. I watch a mix of SD, HD, DVD's and sometimes hook up my laptop for downloaded content (SD and HD). If I had a fixed pixel display I might do some occasional web browsing as well (too much flicker on a CRT). The room is not too bright. I would like to upgrade to a larger set but I'm currently limited by vertical space constraints and budget. I can go up to 42" and my budget is around $1500.


My thoughts have wavered between 42" plasma's (most notably the Panasonic 42px60u/600u) and some of the less expensive 40-42" 1080p LCD's (such as the Westinghouse 42w2 or maybe even the Sharp 42d62u). I like different aspects of each display type - the color/contrast/blacks on the plasmas and the sharpness/brightness on the LCD's and keep wavering. My main concern with plasma is the significant decrease in resolution. The SFT tube has an approximate equivalent resolution of 1400x1080i whereas the 42" plasmas are 1024x768 (not even true HD). My concern with LCD is the contrast/blacks especially coming from a CRT. One may also argue that even a 42" set is still too small for my seating distance but I'm limited.


So, has anyone had any similar upgrade paths and thoughts? Will I be disappointed with my current constraints coming from a Sony SFP CRT? I will have a very significant income increase in about 1 1/2 years and will probably be moving soon after. Should I wait and just sit close to my CRT when I can for now? Thanks in advance.

I believe, depending on your eyes, a 50" 768p plasma would be great at your viewing distance. They are currently outside your budget but with luck might fall into it this year. I do not believe you will be satisfied with LCD once in your home.


Remember .... "frieinds don't let friends buy LCD"



Cheers,



Gary
 

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I, too, have a 30XS955 and was looking to upgrade. I think I'm to the point of pulling the trigger... on a gun pointed at my head.



Seriously, I've researched and looked around, visited stores, the whole she-bang (?) and I'm honestly no closer to a decision now than when I first started looking. This forum is great and all, but if I'd never found it, I'd still have my 24" Sanyo using RF cables and be happy with just that. Ignorance is bliss.


Knowing all of the "flaws" of any particular set or technology makes me hesitant to buy anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by itigap /forum/post/0


I believe, depending on your eyes, a 50" 768p plasma would be great at your viewing distance. They are currently outside your budget but with luck might fall into it this year. I do not believe you will be satisfied with LCD once in your home.


Remember .... "frieinds don't let friends buy LCD"



Cheers,



Gary

I would tend to agree with you - if it fit and was a little cheaper, I'd mostly likely get a 50" panny plasma. Unfortunately 50" will be too big for the space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMR /forum/post/0


I, too, have a 30XS955 and was looking to upgrade. I think I'm to the point of pulling the trigger... on a gun pointed at my head.



Seriously, I've researched and looked around, visited stores, the whole she-bang (?) and I'm honestly no closer to a decision now than when I first started looking. This forum is great and all, but if I'd never found it, I'd still have my 24" Sanyo using RF cables and be happy with just that. Ignorance is bliss.


Knowing all of the "flaws" of any particular set or technology makes me hesitant to buy anything.

Tell me about it. Two years ago I was very content with my 27" JVC, SA Tivo, surround receiver, and plain old 480i DVD player. Next thing you know I'm paying some stranger $300 to spend 8 hours in my house to ISF calibrate my new HDTV. My wife thinks I'm crazy and I don't really disagree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I were to upgrade from my ISF calibrated Sony 30xs955 as noted in my original post I think I have narrowed it down to either the Sharp 42d62u or the Panasonic 42px600u. Do you guys think I'll be disappointed with the blacks on the Sharp as it's supposed to amongst the best of the LCD's. It's so hard to tell in the stores with the bright lights. It would be nice to have that extra resolution for times when I sit close or if I ever wind up feeding it a 1080p source in the future.
 

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I find that I am a tad disappointed with the blacks even on my plasma. My LCDs are more disappointing yet. I wish that there was a flat panel with CRT black levels availble today. The only thing that seems it may be close is the new pioneer to be released this summer....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've also been eyeing the Hitachi 42hds69 as a compromise between the benefits of plasma plus the added vertical resolution (1024x1080i). This set and the Panasonic get very good reviews with most saying the Panasonic blacks are better. I'm wondering however at this size if there is any real world benefit of the added vertical resolution, plus you are losing the benefit of a true fixed pixel, progressive display. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yippee. My wife just gave the go ahead on the upgrade - assuming I take some extra calls at the hospital to pay for it. The more I read about the Hitachi, the more impressed I am. The one issue - the flicker issue - seems to have been solved on the latest firmware and it also is a much nicer looking set cosmetically (which is a plus with my wife). CC has a great price on it right now. Any one have any objection to this purchase?


Anyone interested in buying a like new ISF calibrated Sony 30xs955 in the Pittsburgh area?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just wanted to pass on my experience. I have now purchased and set up the Hitachi 42hds69 plasma. It was a steal at CC (sale now over) AND I sold my Sony 30xs955 for $600. I am very pleased. The added vertical resolution of this display (1080) made me feel better about missing out on a 1080p LCD with the added benefits of better contrast/color/black levels. Even though the Sony CRT technically had higher resolution and better contrast/blacks the difference in size more than compensates - 30" was not nearly enough to see all the detail as now I am seeing much more detail with good HD sources. Overall the picture is fantastic and aesthetically it looks great in our living room. I'm glad I didn't wait and get to enjoy it now.
 
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