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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heres my situation. Im getting an HDTV on friday. Im either getting the Sony KV36HS510 4:3 HDTV. Or the Sony KV34HS510 16:9 HDTV.


Im not getting an HDTV tuner anytime soon. So thats not a concern. Im going to use this HDTV for 3 things. 1) DVDs 2) Videogames (Mostly Xbox and PS2) and 3) Dish Network (normal not HD).


So for MY NEEDS, im trying to decide which to get. But I have a few concerns. Ive noticed that while almost all Xbox, some PS2, and alot of Gamecube, games support progressive scan very few actually support 16:9. So on a widescreen HDTV I would either have a distorted image, or a substantially smaller image than the 36" 4:3. So if im playing Halo on Xbox on the 36" Sony 4:3 would it be FULL SCREEN progressive scan? Or would the image be letterboxed and then window boxed down? I know you have to change the settings in the videogame system to widescreen or 4:3, so my guess would say no. But considering this is a major selling factor for me I dont want to guess on a purchase this big.


I would think that for gaming the 36" would be ideal since thats still the format most games take. And even the ones that are widescreen still support 4:3. What are your opinions? Are there any performance issues I should be aware of?


How do most 4:3 videogames look when stretched to full screen on a 16:9?


The widescreen mode on the 36" HDTV is 33", only 1" smaller than the 34" 16:9. While the 4:3 mode is 8" larger on the 36" 4:3. So for these reasons I think the 36" would be the best for me. But I may not be aware of every performance issue. I would be especially interested to hear from avid gamers who have HDTVs in either 4:3 or 16:9 format.


BTW im picking up the TV this friday at Best Buy. I already bought the 36" one, but im considering paying the extra $180 and getting the 34" widescreen. Im just having a really hard time deciding. Thanks :)
 

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1-why not get a E* HD box, even if you do not get HD thru E* you could use it as an over the air tuner? They are offering some good deals on the 811 box right now.

2-Look here http://www.hdtvpub.com/games/index.cfm to find out which games are 16:9 & progressive scan

3-Keep in mind that next gen consoles will all be 16:9, & most games will probably be HD

4-For me video games that are stretched do not bother me like a stretched tv show with real people. If you put in a game that you have never played before & stretch it, you may not even notice it. With that said some games stretched will cause more jaggies or stair stepping.


You may get more opinions on this in the video game forum
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...?s=&forumid=94


If you are going to use the TV in the order listed in your post, DVD, games, then TV I would say go wide screen no questions. If you watch a lot of dish network you may want to stick with a 4:3 set.


Jordan
 

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I had the same issue, and chose the 36" 4:3 for the following reasons:


letterboxed 16:9 is only slightly smaller than the 34" 16:9 screen


most current games are progressive 4:3


most future games are still uncertain. I'm sure that the next generation of consoles will certainly support HD, but I think the vote is still out as to how many games will.


Keep in mind that 4:3 analog TVs are the majority out there, and are still outselling digital and HD TVs. I can't image that the console makers would neglect their largest installed user-base by coming out with HD-only games.

I think its likely that each game will support multiple formats.


Regarding the 16:9s, other users have indicate that the zoom modes are not too bad - most of the strecthing is done on the outer edges of the image, where it is not too noticble on most content. I'm sure it will work better on some games than others.


Keep in mind that the Sony 36" always letterboxes a 720p or 1080i signal. If the developers decide to provide a 4:3 HD TV game, you'll be playing it in 16:9 anyway. There is a way to disable this in the service menu, but its a pain to access and you won't want it disabled all the time.


The Toshiba 36" 4:3 may have a better zoom function, but I have not been able to confirm it. Since I got a great deal on my Sony 36 HS510, I went with it anyway and have been happy so far. Just IMHO
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Craig Pilecky
So on a widescreen HDTV I would either have a distorted image, or a substantially smaller image than the 36" 4:3. So if im playing Halo on Xbox on the 36" Sony 4:3 would it be FULL SCREEN progressive scan?
Halo does not have widescreen support, so on a widescreen TV, it will be stretched. However, on my 30" Toshiba, it does not look stretched at all. And, yes, on a 4:3 TV, Halo will take up the whole screen in progressive scan.


Quote:
I would think that for gaming the 36" would be ideal since thats still the format most games take. And even the ones that are widescreen still support 4:3. What are your opinions? Are there any performance issues I should be aware of?
For your needs, the 36" would probably be the way to go.

Quote:
How do most 4:3 videogames look when stretched to full screen on a 16:9?
I can't answer this one too well, being as Halo is the only 4:3 game I've played on my Toshiba so far. But, as I mentioned above, Halo does still look great stretched--not noticeable at all.

Quote:
The widescreen mode on the 36" HDTV is 33", only 1" smaller than the 34" 16:9. While the 4:3 mode is 8" larger on the 36" 4:3. So for these reasons I think the 36" would be the best for me. But I may not be aware of every performance issue. I would be especially interested to hear from avid gamers who have HDTVs in either 4:3 or 16:9 format.


BTW im picking up the TV this friday at Best Buy. I already bought the 36" one, but im considering paying the extra $180 and getting the 34" widescreen. Im just having a really hard time deciding. Thanks :)
Just go ahead and save the $180 and get the 36", unless you just absolutely "need" a widescreen TV, like I did. ;)


And, with the extra $180, you could buy three extra games.
 

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I have had the KV-36XBR800 for about 5 months now and I am very happy with it.


From what I read on this forum, the 36XBR800 is basically the same tv as the 36HS510. I use mine for all the same things, mostly PS2 games, DVDs, and Dish Network. For me I would say about 80-90% of all the stuff I do on the set is still in 4:3. Also, some games I have that are capable of 16:9, I will actually prefer to play them in 4:3 for various reasons. Some games actually do their 16:9 mode differently and it doesn't work as it should. I think SSX3 is one of those, where the game itself does the vertical compression, making the image just squashed down with no real detail enhancement. If the game was doing 16:9 mode properly, the image would still fill the screen, but look stretched until I turn 16:9 mode on from the TV. The only way you will get the 33% more detail from the 16:9 mode is if the TV is the one doing the compression. In the rare case of games like SSX3, since the game does the squashing, the image is obviously no more detailed and there is little advantage to using 16:9.


Not very many games are like that though, most games I have actually do it correctly and you will get all the true 16:9 advantages. Then there is the fact that even widescreen stuff on the 36" set will be almost as big as the 34" one. If the top/bottom black bars don't bother you, then it should be a no brainer. The funny thing is though, even most of the games that do 16:9 properly, I still prefer them in fullscreen most of the time simply because it looks so much bigger and has more of an arcade feel to it. Certain games do make it hard to decide though, like Soul Calibur 2 looks so good in 16:9 it makes it worth it. Most progressive games look great in either format, so most of them I play in fullscreen just to have the bigger image. Don't worry about 480p games that are 4:3, they indeed fill the entire screen and look great. Most of the 480p games offer a 16:9 mode as well as 4:3. The only time I have seen an image with bars on top, bottom and the sides is when my friend hooked his xbox up and we played soul calibur 2 in 720p, in which case the TV will take the 720p signal and place the image inside of a 1080i screen. Sure the game looked incredible, but the fact that it was a box inside a black box made it fairly moot. So unless you are gonna be putting alot of 720p signals into the set, stick with the 4:3.

Not to mention, if you aren't actually watching any High Definition content with it anytime soon, most TV watching will be in 4:3. I know that I will eventually upgrade to a dish network HD STB, but even then I will not mind watching it on the 4:3 set. When I buy dvds I get the widescreen versions only, since the detail enhancement is so awesome and the black bars just on top and bottom don't bother me one bit. You have to make sure you are getting the 33% more detail out of it, since it is easy to have your DVD player setup wrong. What I mean is, you will have to tell your dvd player that you have a 16:9 TV, then your TV will be the one doing the compressing, not the dvd player. For the first week or so I had my TV, I had it setup with the dvd player doing the compression instead of the TV. As soon as I changed it, I immediately noticed the 33% more detail from the anamorphic dvds.

If you were gonna be watching nothing but dvds and hdtv, then I would say go for the widescreen set of course. But since you will be using the set for the same stuff I use mine for, I would say definately stick with the 4:3, 36". Even 5 months after getting it, I would still get the same exact tv, especially today since the price has probably gone way down. Be sure to get an AVIA or VE dvd too, to make sure your settings are proper. I couldn't believe the improvement it made on mine from the factory settings, was like night and day.


I think the other posters here are making alot of the same points, so your choice should be pretty clear now, good luck!


Hope this helps. Let me know if you want any advice on how to best view the Dish Network stuff. The DRC settings can make a huge difference with all of the dish content.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info. Ive decided to stick with 36" 4:3. It'll give me the biggest screen for most applications im going to use.


Couple more questions though. Whats the difference between the Sony KV-36XBR800 and the Sony KV-36HS510? Is the pitch better or something?


Also ive looked at it a bit more closely and the Toshiba 36HS73 looks great. Has DVI input and all that. Plus its $190 cheaper this week at Best Buy. So im considering taking this instead of the Sony KV-36HS510. One odball thing about the Toshiba though is that it displays 540p. Is that good, bad or doesn't really matter? Or should I just stick with the Sony?
 

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The CRTs are the same between the HS and the XBR model. The XBR model has more electronic de-interlacing/scaling modes and longer warranty.
 

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You should not worry about the 540p on the Tosh - it is also an excellent set. I was torn between the 2, but ended up with a better deal on the Sony.


If you look around, there are various posts regarding the 540p upconversion. Most people seem to be happy with it. But, trust your eyes most of all.


As an aside, several people here seem to believe the Tosh is actually better on SD signals. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cool. Right now im leaning twords the Toshiba then. It seems to have everything the Sony has, and I can save nearly $200.


Anyway ive got to decide by tomorrow for certain. Either im picking up the Sony I bought, changing the order to the Toshiba, or canceling the order to wait. Ive im not at least 80% certain come tomorrow then ill cancel and wait a bit longer. In the past 3 weeks ive changed my mind on this more times than I can count. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Xanj
For the first week or so I had my TV, I had it setup with the dvd player doing the compression instead of the TV. As soon as I changed it, I immediately noticed the 33% more detail from the anamorphic dvds.

If you were gonna be watching nothing but dvds and hdtv, then I would say go for the widescreen set of course. But since you will be using the set for the same stuff I use mine for, I would say definately stick with the 4:3, 36". Even 5 months after getting it, I would still get the same exact tv, especially today since the price has probably gone way down. Be sure to get an AVIA or VE dvd too, to make sure your settings are proper. I couldn't believe the improvement it made on mine from the factory settings, was like night and day.


I think the other posters here are making alot of the same points, so your choice should be pretty clear now, good luck!


Hope this helps. Let me know if you want any advice on how to best view the Dish Network stuff. The DRC settings can make a huge difference with all of the dish content.
Hi Xanj. I got the Sony KV-36HS510. Right now im using an old DVD player that isn't progressive scan. How should I set up the TV to do the compression and get the most out of this DVD player? (Im going to be getting a progressive scan player, but not for a few weeks)


And how would you recomend setting up the DRC settings for Dish Network?


Thanks. :)
 

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i have the 34XBR800 and a PS2.


I have many games that have 480p. And the picture look crisper than 480i.


Honestly with sony's widezoom mode you can't even tell that the picture is stretched. I also use it for TV and it looks great. You won't be diappointed if you buy the 34HS510.
 

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To have your TV do the compression for 16:9 dvds, you just have to make sure your DVD player is set to think that your tv is a 16:9. Then with 16:9 set to auto on the tv, it should automatically put it in widescreen. You can test that it is doing it properly by changing the 16:9 mode on the tv from auto to on, and if there is no change at all, you will know it is auto detecting it properly and the tv is the one doing the compression, not the player. Since your dvd player is not progressive, you can experiment with the tv's DRC settings to see what looks best. I would think that with an interlaced dvd signal, it would do best putting the tv in progressive mode with the DRC set on 1,1. Make sure the dvd player has any image enhancing options off, like black level correction or edge enhancement. Make sure the dvd player is in the most unaltered standard video mode, if it has customizable video settings, like picture, color, etc. If it has some preset video modes, choose one like movie or cinema. Upping the DRC reality to around 20-30 will make the picture sharper, and for dvds this might look a bit better than 1,1. You might want to experiment with some different dvds and see what settings look best overall, not just on one dvd.


If you have used a dvd like AVIA to tweak your settings, you will probably find the "movie" or "pro" picture mode on the TV to be the best for dvds and PS2 games, if you are using the component cables. The tv color temp settings should be neutral or warm, depending on what kind of calibration results you have. It is crucial that you use an audio/video setup dvd so that you can get a good picture without having the tv in "torch" mode, which can shorten the life and make it more prone to burn in. You can usually find them online for pretty cheap, and these hdtv forums have lots of links if you look hard enough.


For Dish Network viewing, I connect a dish 500 receiver to my TV with a good s-video cable since thats the best the box puts out. The signal is good, but since it is a digital signal, there is obvious mpeg compression artifacts. Since the signal from the dish receiver is different than what comes from the dvd player(component vs s-video & different hardware), I found some of the tv settings needed to be tweaked for the best picture. I use the "standard" picture mode on the tv for satellite viewing. The "standard" mode settings were setup with the AVIA disc just like my other video modes, but for satellite, I needed the picture to be a little brigher or more contrast, since the black levels from the satellite are different from the dvd.


For me, I found the DRC settings best for most dish content to be low on the reality and high on the clarity. Somewhere around 70-80 clarity and 1-20 reality,will make the picture details more blended together. This should make the picture appear a little more blurry, just enough to make the signal imperfections less noticable, but still acceptably sharp. Results may vary since each tv has its own specific properties. I have gotten used to watching most dish stuff with the DRC in progressive mode and 1,70 palette. With it on Interlaced, I just notice the flicker of it too much with most everything. If the flicker doesn't bother you, experiement with interlaced mode and see if you like it more. Alot of people can't even tell the difference at all. It took me a good 5 minutes just to get my friend to actually see how chaning it affected how the lines were drawn, and that you could actually visibly see the change if you got real close.


Remember though, the DRC are fine tune settings, and I have used multiple calibration dvds to get my settings just right. Without the right standard settings, no amount of DRC tweaking will make much difference. The results will not be the same if you have something like VM on or your sharpness is set too high. Also, it might take you a week or two to get used to viewing a "softer" picture after calibrating the tv with a setup dvd, so be patient.


I know its alot to absorb at first, but it sounds like you are willing to learn. I have been learning alot since I got my tv, it is amazing how much your perspective can change over time. I still run into people all the time that don't even know what progressive scan is at all, and they often have the opinion that it doesn't make any difference, yet they admit to not knowing what it is. Have fun with the new set! Let me know how it turns out.
 
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