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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What direct view TV do you guys think is the best for connecting to a HTPC? I'm not interested in Princeton because they don't have any dealers in Canada. That also excludes the Hitachi because the model with the 15pin connection is not sold in Canada. I wish to use it to watch DVD's, surf the net and play a few games. Thanks.
 

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I won't be able to connect via the vga 15 pin mini-din. I will be able to connect using a transcoder to component video as the set is fully integrated with a line doubler already built in. I have a RCA 38 inch diagonal direct HDTV demensions are 19 inches of vertical height and 34 inches of width these are 'in screen' measurements, not outer cabinet. The RCA F38310 was recently featured in Home Theatre Magazine November issue page 117, as a 97 in 'value' out of 100. This is the highest rating I have ever seen Home Theatre Magazine give out to a HDTV! I have been a subscriber since 1994.



The MSRP on this is $3499 but I got it off a local dealer for $2999. Since it was out of state and it was delivered to my place, the sales tax was waived. The set has a 1280 x 1080i, with 1,382,400 pixels, the 1280 times the 1080 gives you the amount of pixels of the direct view HDTV has. There is a built in Direct TV Sattelite receiver with phone plug and card slot for programming or to order video on demand.

I would suggest you get more details at http://www.rca.com if you would want this wide screen for your direct HTPC plus.



I have used it for putting a webtv screen on stretch or full mode, and watching digital high Def movies on some movies that are being telecast in digital form. I am delighted with this set as I did my homework on looking up crutial technical questions then post these to some very brght AVS members and asking these people to answer what I needed to know to make the best choice as I am a home bound disabled man who had to make the right choice the first time!



I have watched over 400 movies plus about 6 hours a day 7 days a week with webtv. I love to surf and buy things spent on webtv while onlne in stretch. I never watch anything in the 4:3 ratio anymore. I love the no scanning lines in the digital movies and most DVDs that I watch. When I contacted webtv I was told I was the first to tell them a HDTV was being used, and how their image looked in stretch or full mode including the HTML used on webtv.



The day I actually seen this set in my wheelchair was the day I bought what I had configured with AVS members willing to help me. I feel gratitude, I feel I am in their debt for the kindness shown to me, there are too many to be shown. I hope this helps you in finding what you want in your direct view. The AVS forum is worth its weight in gold IMHO.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Hob. I have considered RCA and I was waiting for the 36-inch Scenium to come out this fall but they pulled it of their site and I hear the earliest it may be out is in the 2nd quarter of 2002. When I was on vacation I saw a couple RCA 36MM110's and everyone says they are good but they all looked bad next to the XBR's and the TAU's on the same DVD and DVD player. I realize that they will look better with an ISCAN but so would the other TV's. I have never seen the model you have but I have heard good things about it. One thing I was wondering is what resolution TV's are capable of when connected to a HTPC using a component connection. I assume it would be 480P but I'm unsure. I would prefer to connect with a 15pin connection to get a higher resolution for games and text. I know TV’s that have this connection can do 600p and some can do 720p but I also hear that the refresh rate at 720p is too low so I guess it's basically 800x600 for the works. Some other people have said that all the TV's that use a 15pin connection look like crap even at the higher resolution but I can't understand this if you have a good video card. So now I'm wondering if a XBR or TAU would look better on DVD's, games and text connected with a component connection than a Princeton, Zenith or RCA connected with a 15pin connection on the same material. I would actually go and find out for myself but I live in an isolated area and only get out of here a couple times a year. Next trip out is 10 months from now. That's too long for me to wait. If anyone can shed some light on this please let me know and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about anything I have stated here. Thanks.
 

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When you say Direct view I am guessing you are being truly specific and are not interested in RPTV ??? If not consider hunting down a KL9000 made by sony (good forum on it at the big picture) which is a LCD RP that is very good at taking PC signals (one of the reasons it became very popular) and you sometimes see them cheap.... There was one in the classifieds for 1500 IIRC recently and I think they give good picture for the money...


I think mkanet (another mod) has one of these and once tweaked they seem to have their followers...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies guys.


hmcgrath, yes I know about this TV and I know it is a nice set. The problem is that a 4:3 signal on a 34-inch widescreen is the same size as a 27-inch 4:3 TV. This is a problem because my satellite signal is almost all 4:3 and believe it or not most of my 250+ DVD's are full screen or both. Don't get me wrong I like widescreen but for me it needs to be 42-inches and up. On a 4:3 set 36-inches and up are good. I think the Sampo would be a great set for the bedroom. I was on their site the other day because I hadn't been there in awhile but I was hoping they had come out with a bigger widescreen or a 36-inch 4:3.


Phat Phreddy, yes I have considered a RPTV for quite awhile. I've been jumping back and forth between the two but I've finally decided on direct view because most of the RPTV's I like cost a fortune and needing to get an ISF calibration where I live is impossible. In addition to that I've preordered a XBox and from what I hear consoles can cause major burn in on RPTV's. To make matters worse I have a 100lbs Chesapeake that I swear is on speed or something because he is always running and jumping around the house which would spell disaster for a RPTV's screen.


This sucks. I've been looking for a TV since April and I feel like I'm no closer to making a purchase than I was when I started. I still would like to know if a XBR or Tau connected to a HTPC using a transcoder can display 800x600 and what the text, graphics and DVD quality is like compared to a TV with a VGA connection. I thought the new Zenith D36D53 was going to be the answer because it has all the features I'm looking for. To date I've yet to see one or come across someone that has and the lack of reviews and user opinions (none) on this TV leads me to believe that it can't be very good. I guess that I'll just have to keep searching. Thanks guys.
 

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I think (like always) the question becomes "How much do you want to spend?"


-Steve
 

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I think for 42" widescreen and up, your choices for direct view are very limited aren't they? I have seen some. I'm hoping to see more and more pop up.


The Princeton elimination takes out a good selection.


I am looking into the same size direct view as you. Maybe I'll have to wait until high quality plasma displays come down in price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Money wise I didn't want to spend more than $2500 to $3000 US because in a couple of years I will have built a new house with a dedicated HT room and that's when I will spend the big bucks on a display. I was also considering FP which would be fine down the road in my new house. For right now the amount of hours a projector would get would cost me a fortune in bulbs because it would be used for more than just movies. With the exception of size direct views are the best thing for my current living arrangement it's just that very few have the features I'm looking for; flat screen , line doubler, VGA connection and good text & graphics quality. I know it sounds like I want it all but for the price of a 36-inch direct view today I don't think I'm asking too much. If Sony or Panasonic were to add a 15pin connection my problems would be solved.
 

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Let me reiterate what others are saying. A Princeton Graphics Arcadia will give you what you want. I have the AR3.2T and think it's great. Get in touch with Princeton and see if they can work something out. It is a quality monitor, and chances are very good you will like it. I was nervous about the purchase, and agree that I wish it was alot bigger. However, since the resolution is so good, I can sit pretty close to the monitor and it feels like a big screen :)


Slobbie
 

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2 things to point out... The Sony I mentioned is a LCD RP TV so no burn problems with a computer or ISF calibration (for convergence) needed... 50 inch 16x9 and plenty bright if out of direct light....


If FP is not out of the question you may want to look for a cheap Davis clone (I have seen a few at $1300 recently) which are A) very good with HTPC and B) has a 6000 hour bulb at $400 so a PJ can be on for 10 hours a day for nearly 2 years for a couple hundred bucks...


Just to add to the confusion of choice :p !!!
 

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Quote:
...I still would like to know if a XBR or Tau connected to a HTPC using a transcoder can display 800x600 and what the text, graphics and DVD quality is like compared to a TV with a VGA connection...
CO1:


I can tell you that interlaced resolutions on an XBR do not look very good at all. Images are shifty, and text is almost unreadable. (I did find that text legibility was screen-location dependant, which was interesting.)


If you want any resolution higher than xxx-by-540 (or really, xxx-by-504 to avoid overscan problems), you should avoid the XBR. I love my TV, but if my budget went up to $3000 (and I knew about this forum) I would find something more capable.
 

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Too bad the original poster has eliminated Princeton from his option list. I own an ISF calibrated (by John Gannon of SGHT) Princeton Ai3.6HD. It is a 36" 4:3 (modestly curved Toshiba tube) with built-in DVDO Sil503 3-2 deinterlacer/scaler, full control over color temp, aspect ratio and geometry tweaking (with multiple memories), and plenty of high-scan and NTSC inputs. Direct input access too. Displays true 720p and also 800x600 SVGA (can even be pushed to 1024x768, but it is not so sharp there).


As for the picture? Truely amazing after calibration! I had shopped for over a year, looking at every high-end 34" 16:9 and 36" 4:3 set, both flat and curved. I wanted at least a 29" picture width to sit just 30" away from (with headphones on late at night after the kids are asleep).

The only others that came close for me were the Sampo, Loewe, and Panasonic. The built in doublers on most every set other than the Princeton drove me nuts--especially on broadcast, VHS, and satellite. The DVDO (iScan Pro chip) in the Princeton appears flawless on a set of this size, so much so that I'm not even that curious about running a prog scan player into the high-rate input--unless I can try someone's 720p player! (Cinematrix anyone? I'm more a Mac guy, so while I could build up an HTPC to try, I'm just not motivated.)


So why did I choose the Princeton (aside from the above)? True the dot pitch is just 0.9mm versus the .82 of the Sampo. And it does not have the flat Toshiba micro-filter tube that the Sampo has. But I have a family and the Sampo is an ergonomic mess, has no doubler, dificult aspect control, and received many mixed reports that seem to make it sample dependent as to whether you get a good one. Believe me, I watched a Sampo for a while (non-ISF calibrated, but I tweaked it in my small local store in the dark).

The Panasonic was certainly better than the Philips (IMHO), and the Loewes always look good out of the box (and their remote is so sweet). But limitations of inputs and scan rates, and the fantastic performance of the Sil503 doubler in the Princeton threw me over.

Plus the Princeton stays very sharp (no blooming) even calibrated to about 24fL. Some of the others really need to be set dimmer to stay sharp. Great family viewing on the weekend days.


As for the gentleman recommending the Princeton Arcadia series: I am glad you enjoy your set. It is a fine and flexible unit. But it really is not in the same league as the AS3.2HD (their only flat tube model), AS3.6HD, or new AS3.0HDW (30" 16:9 micro-filter tube, .63mm dot, Sil503 version of the Joe Kane AF3.0HD--now retailing for just $2,299!). The colorimetry on Princeton's HD sets is what really sets them apart.

So even though my set may have a slightly coarser dot pitch than some others, it is the colors and blacks, the geometry, and artifact-free scaler that make watching it (up very close) even with lesser sources a pure joy.

And Princeton's new agressive prices (keeping pace with the bigger firms) are a plus.

BTW, the Ai3.6HD which I own and which is detailed on their website, is identical in construction and video performance to the AS3.6HD. Same set without the CH1 module.

I have had a number of recent conversations with the chief engineer at Princeton, so I have a pretty good idea of what is up with them. Now if they would just market their new sets more agressively.

Cheers,

ALEX.

:cool:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CO1
Money wise I didn't want to spend more than $2500 to $3000 US because in a couple of years I will have built a new house with a dedicated HT room and that's when I will spend the big bucks on a display. I was also considering FP which would be fine down the road in my new house. For right now the amount of hours a projector would get would cost me a fortune in bulbs because it would be used for more than just movies. With the exception of size direct views are the best thing for my current living arrangement it's just that very few have the features I'm looking for; flat screen , line doubler, VGA connection and good text & graphics quality. I know it sounds like I want it all but for the price of a 36-inch direct view today I don't think I'm asking too much. If Sony or Panasonic were to add a 15pin connection my problems would be solved.
I also live in canada,(winnipeg) and ended up getting the 34" 4x3 sampo, love it, beautiful picture, hooks directly to my htpc running at 1024x768, play games , surf the web, watch dvd's. I only thing i don't like is the screen is a little curved, im told the new model will be flat. Oh ya great price too. i paid 1095+330 shipping from california by air canada cargo, got it in 2 days) then 14%pst,gst, and 6% duty, total cost around 2500-2600 Canadian
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Phat Phreddy, in regards to the Sony LCD RPTV I'm having trouble finding one on the net but I will check it out.


Superdad, the Princeton was taken off my list because they don't have any dealers in Canada. If I could find a good price here I would consider it because that's what I originally wanted even though I want a flat screen. If anyone knows of any stores or sites in Canada please let me know. The Ai3.6HD is the model I was interested in but if I understand you correctly the AS3.6HD is the same TV minus the CH1 module. I don't see this model listed on their site could you please point me in the right direction. If you are correct that would be better for me because I wouldn't be able to use the CH1 module so I don't like paying for something I can't use.


theprophe, sounds like you got a good deal on the Sampo. The main reason I wish to buy in Canada is to save on the shipping costs. To give you an example I ordered a piece of weight equipment from the US and it was 200lbs and cost me $1300 CAN. The shipping on this piece of equipment was $1000 CAN. Good thing I declined the free 300lbs of olympic weights that were offered with it. Another time I ordered a $400 CAN computer desk and the shipping was $600 CAN. I live in the Arctic so I really have to consider where it's coming from to cut down on costs and minimize the chance of damage.


artur, I was also considering the Proton 3601VT but it lacks component connections. There also a few other things that detract from this model that other wise would have put it at the top of my list. If I'm not mistaken this TV came out in 1999 and really needs to be updated with the latest features in order to be competitive with other models. This is very disappointing because it is reported to have one of the best pictures around. I'm going to call Proton anyway to see if there are plans to release a new model anytime soon. One can always hope.


I really don't get it! Why doesn't a manufacture take a quality tube give you all the different connections and lots of them combined with all the latest features and own the market. Princeton comes the closest but lacks a flat screen and a few minor features. The only TV to offer everything is the Zenith D36D53 but this is Zenith's first shot at this consumer group and usually the first model year of anything is a mistake to buy. Besides this I've yet to find out if the picture quality is on par with the other sets in this group. When it comes down to it if the picture sucks it doesn't matter if it has all the features and connections in the world. One last little gripe before I go. Why doesn't anyone make a high end TV without speakers or the option to get the same model with or without speakers. I haven't used speakers on a TV for a long time and I suspect that a lot of people who buy a good display also have a HT system for the audio. I hate having to pay for a feature that I don't use. Wouldn't it be nice if you could go online and configure a TV the same way you can configure a PC so you only buy the components and features you want. I must be getting tired because now I'm dreaming. Once again guys I appreciate your response. Thanks.
 

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Have you tried the HDTV forum or some other forums on this site. There always seems to be a reputable dealer luriking around in there.


Don't want to keep repeating but, a good quality projector would weigh less, and give you a much larger screen. There are some models that have longer bulb life than a NEC LT150. Davis Clones are on of them.


Perhaps you should consider moving. In the summer it is a nice 115+ F down here, and we have lots of HDTV dealers around.:)


as an edit: we've got 5.1 earthquakes too. Not just DD/DTS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not familiar with the Davis Clones. I will check those out as well. The first time I viewed a projector was about a month ago and I was impressed. It was one of the Infocus models, I think the LP350, can't remember. Anyway TFC online was sweet and DVD's were also pretty good. At that point I changed my mind again and started dreaming about a 100-inch screen. You know where I'm coming from. When my wife found out thatt it requiring dim lighting she wasn't too thrilled as we only have one room we could set it up in and for some reason she needs to be able to see what she's doing. Go figure. I didn't bother to mention that I would have to block out all the windows because when the sun is shinning it would be too bright. She appeased me by saying that when we move out of Arctic Hell in a couple of years I can buy a projector or a plasma TV for my HT room. Sounds good to me so I'll bite the bullet for now.


Speaking of temps, the first year we were up here they recorded a temperature of -103 C. Quite the contrast to the one you mentioned hey. Don't worry, when I have enough money to build a house with my own sound proofed HT room and not have to fool with a mortgage I'm out of here. Can't wait to return to the land of trees and technology.
 

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Yeah a FP TV is one for someone who is prepared to compromise and light control is one of the things you need to get a handle on... I can live with it but it is a drawback... I think my next PJ will be 3k lumens or so and then it gets a lot easier....


For the Sony check out the big picture forums or place a wanted.. There was a 1500 one in the classifieds within the month and I have no idea if it sold....
 

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Being in a room with alot of windows is surely not a good thing with a FP. Let alone an RPTV. I'll take a look around for some of those Sony 9000 as well. That would pretty much work for me.


OT: cold is good when the lake freezes and you can play hockey all day, but when it gets too cold to play hockey, its not fun at all! Last time I lived in the Rockies it was -20F and snowing two feet. So if you like that weather theres plenty here in the lower 48 as well. Good luck up there, sounds like a nice place to watch movies.
 
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