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I'm planning on buying a RPTV for my parents pretty soon, and at least half of everything they watch will be SD via digital cable. I've heard various things about SD on RPTVs, and much of it hasn't been very good. My parents are set on an RPTV because they want a screen size of about 60-65", and RPTVs are still the best deal for that size. I'm just hesitant to buy them something that could potentially look worse than what they already have for SD. So far I'm thinking about the JVC HD-61FN97 and the Mitsubishi WD-65732, but I'm open to anything, really. Any comments/advise/suggestions?
 

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Keep in mind with Rear Projection sets with regards to the total cost of ownership need to take into the account of the duration of the lamp's life. Industry standards rate the half rating of brightness on these bulbs to only 3000hrs. Depending on how long you will have this set, you will be facing additional costs for new lamps that will vary in cost from $400 to $500 plus the cost of the technician to make this upgrade. Rear projection off of the showroom floor will be at it's best and fade out much quicker than flat screen displays with Plasma or DLP.
 

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What in the world are you talking about?


1. Bulbs don't have a half life. They work full on until they don't work at all.

2. Lamps for LCD/DLP sets cost about $150 today, not $400+ and do NOT require a technician visit. It takes 30 seconds to change.

3. DLP is not a flat screen display. RPTV are NOT at their best right off the floor, they need to be calibrated. And they do not fade out (if anything you can argue that Plasma fades out and has a half life).


seriously, one of the most ass backwards post in avs history.
 

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


Bulbs don't have a half life. They work full on until they don't work at all.

I agree that Flat-Matt doesn't have a clue, but this may quote need a modest clarification. While lamps don't have a half-life they often do fade towards the end of their life. For a while you can compensate by cranking up the brightness. At the very end they can start to fade noticably beyond the brightness adjustment, but this is a warning that they are going to fail very soon and one should buy a replacement. At least that's what happened to the first lamp on my D-ILA and I've read similar accounts on this forum.


As to the original question to my eyes Sony LCD RPs seem to handle SD the best, but are obviously not top for HD, which is why I went to JVC LCoS. I haven't seen any LCD RPs bigger than 55 inches for sale in stores for a while now.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron-Rex /forum/post/0


I'm planning on buying a RPTV for my parents pretty soon, and at least half of everything they watch will be SD via digital cable. I've heard various things about SD on RPTVs, and much of it hasn't been very good. My parents are set on an RPTV because they want a screen size of about 60-65", and RPTVs are still the best deal for that size. I'm just hesitant to buy them something that could potentially look worse than what they already have for SD. So far I'm thinking about the JVC HD-61FN97 and the Mitsubishi WD-65732, but I'm open to anything, really. Any comments/advise/suggestions?

Just my two cents.


Your questions suggest that you might be helped by taking a step back from the problem. You mention that you have heard many stories about SD looking bad on RPTVs. You also are concerned that SD may look worse than what they already have. Perhaps you would benefit by ignoring the 60"-65" initial guess and go back to basics.


For any resolution, the perceived quality of a display for a particular source is dependent on only a few things. Viewing distance, angle, and ambient light are the most important of these. Most people who complain about image quality do so because they failed to account for their actual viewing habits when choosing a new TV. They almost invariably think that "bigger is always better" and try to optimize the best case for the best source material while ignoring the results for lower resolution or lower quality sources. Thus, it is no wonder that they gripe.


Choosing the right size and viewing distance is subject to many personal preferences. It is however, governed by general principles which are objectively useful. Let me tell you the specific criteria I used when purchasing an HDTV, then I will try to generalize.


Like you I wanted to ensure that my SD viewing was acceptable. I own several Series 2 Tivos and 1 Series 3 HD Tivo. Thus I wanted to optimize the balance between HD and SD sources. Previously I had a high quality 32" Sony CRT with 4:3 aspect ratio. I have a small room. My viewing distance is about 9.5 feet. This is no accident. When I chose this CRT I knew that at 9.4 feet I could just start to resolve the individual pixels of a 32" screen. Thus for me, 32" was about optimum for analog SD TV.


For my viewing distance anything larger than 32" diagonal 4:3 will necessarily allow me to resolve pixels in the source material and magnify any defects in the source. Since I wanted to start watching HD material I absolutely needed to go larger for a 16:9 display. How much larger? I started by choosing a lower bound. A 32" 4:3 screen is 19.2" high. A 40" 16:9 display is 19.6" high. Thus a 40" display was the lower bound for SD which maximized the perceived quality of an SD image. What is the upper bound for screen size? At 9.5' the upper bound is a 1080 display at the limit of my visual acuity: the size at which I can just barely resolve the pixels from that distance. For me that is just over 70".


Now we start looking at trade offs. 70" may make sense if all of my source material was pristine 1080p. However, I would have to set 20' away from an SD image of that size to get the equivalent of the SD quality I was used to. Time for compromise. At 60" from this distance I can resolve the pixels of 720p and not yet resolve 1080. However, the SD picture on that size set is the equivalent of 49" diagonal 4:3 display which is optimal for me (from a resolution standpoint) at around 15'. I suspected that SD at this size+distance might not be acceptable but tentatively accepted 60" as a useful upper bound. What I learned from back of the envelope calculation was that I should look between 40" and 60" and that 720 pixels from my viewing distance should look pretty good, thus allowing me to look at less expensive displays (i.e. not focus solely on 1080p).


I spoke with a salesperson and asked about their slow times of day, and also asked for permission to bring several Tivos with me to the showroom. I arrived with Tivos, a remote, some cables, and a tape measure, and watched several different grades of SD and HD material ranging from crappy noisy analog SD recorded at the lowest quality, to 729p and 1080i sources. I parked a chair 9.5' away and started watching.


I learned that the sweet spot for me was around 50". I looked at plasmas, direct view LCD, DLP, and LCOS displays between 40 and 60 inches. I rejected plasma because my typical viewing environment has high ambient light and would be subject to glare. I rejected the DLPs I looked at because the LED one was too expensive and had poor colors, and the rest of them set my teeth on edge, they were exhausting. I am apparently sensitive to the color wheel based rainbow effect. After looking at JVC D-ILA, Sony SXRD, and a few LCDs, I finally decided on the 50" Sony SXRD based SRD-50A2000.


Even given the same viewing preferences and distance, other people may have chosen something very different. I found the SXRD image rich and captivating, but the fact that others may have preferred DLP or a direct view displays is pretty much irrelevant. There are many subjective preferences that come into bear once you have dialed in the correct range of sizes for you viewing preferences. Despite this, I think that the general principles I used are applicable to most people.


Be honest about your viewing preferences. We all want our socks to be knocked off by great video sources on a great big display. However, if you are going to watch a lot of SD, be willing to compromise. Choose a middle ground. Realize that a 60" display is equivalent to a 49" 4:3 screen, and that 65" is equivalent to a 53" at 4:3. Yes these may be immersive at your viewing distance, but ask yourself "immersed in what?"


Another thing to realize is that once you choose a range of sizes, or have narrowed in on the precise size you want, you now need to think about the variations between individual sets and the quality of your sources. For me, I found that Sony looked far better than the similar JVC D-ILA systems after a tiny bit of tweaking and that JVC looked a bit better to me on factory settings. So it may make sense to devote a bit of effort after you have narrowed the field a bit. I also learned that I slightly preferred some of the picture quality of JVC over Sony for high quality images over HDMI, but vastly preferred 480 over composite and s-video on the Sony. I am still not sure if this was due to the DRC processing or just general front end electronics.


I know that I did not answer your direct questions, hut I hope you found this useful anyway. I just felt that it was important to address the fundamental issue that stories of poor SD performance on RPTV displays, has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are RPTVs. It has to do with the fact that most people err on the side of too big because the lowest quality SD they spend much time considering is DVD. As a result, it is no surprise that they complain. They failed to realize that the TV they purchased is simply too large for their actual day to day viewing habits.


Unless you never watch any low quality SD programming, choosing the right size display involves compromise. I chose a size that for SD sources put me at a viewing distance right between 480 and 720 (my eye can resolve 480 pixels at 11" and 720 pixels at about 8.5" on a 40" 4:3 screen). Thus for SD I trade off a bit of image quality for a more immersive experience. Likewise on HD sources, for 50" 16:9 I sit just close enough to resolve 720 and benefit slightly from native 1080 resolution. I would benefit from sitting several feet closer to this size screen for HD viewing, but don't because my compromise for SD is about right for my eyes.


Again, sorry for not answering a specific question. I hope you find a set that you enjoy.
 

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I would agree with alot that was said. I have a sony 50 xbr1 and one of the reasons I bought it was because of the sd picture. I thought that it blew away every plasma set I compared it to as well as other rptv. I just bought a pioneer elite 1540 60 inch plasma and my sony 50xbr has a much better sd picture! And the comments about panel size and distance have merrit as well. The larger the panel the bigger each pixel and the worse the picture looks with less than great source. Thanks. Ned.
 

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When I was shopping for my Oct '03 purchase, I was lucky enough to find a local store that actually had an OTA feed for the locals. At THAT time, an RP LCD looked better with that OTA analog stuff than did the competing RP DLP.


YMMV
 

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The best RPTV for SD that I've ever seen by far was my old Pioneer Elite PRO510-HD. It cost more than my last three LCoS and DLP RPTVs put together. Also weighed more than all three of them put together.
 
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