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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a long look in stores today, I've decided that I want to go with projection because of the size. The room I'll be putting the TV in is quite large so I want a tv that can fill it.


I'm still a bit confused about what kind of projection TV I want to buy though. Obviously the two kinds are 4:3 and 16:9. Regardless of the aspect ratio, I want one that is HDTV capable (has atleast 2 component video 1080i/480p/480i inputs). My main problem is: Should I get a 4:3 and have bars on the top and bottom for DVD's and HDTV, or get a 16:9 and have bars on the sides for analog stuff. I wont be watching HDTV much, unless DirecTV/Dish makes a lot more channels available. OTA HDTV is a nice option, however, I'm moving up to the hills and I dont know the range/strength of OTA signals in Los Angeles.


I'll mainly be watching my DirecTivo box via S-Video. I couldn't guage how regular DirecTV looked on most of the HDTV sets because the connections they had were awful (coaxial split many times) or "they didn't have a regular DirecTV box for it" which is BS because HD boxes can display analog signals too....


On the 16:9 TV's that I did see an analog signal with, they had gross grey bars on the sides where there was no picture. Can this be changed to black? I know some sets have a feature to stretch the picture so the whole screen is used, but the picture gets distorted in that its much wider than it is tall (similar to how a 16:9 picture on a 4:3 set looks too tall unless shrunk).


Overall, on all of the HDTV projection sets, wide or not, had awful quality for non-HD DirecTV...What can I do to maximize quality or what set will work the best with it?


My price range is about $3k maximum. I'm open to any brands, but as I said, I want one that will have good sharp picture with my DirecTV/Tivo via S-Video. Any model numbers, reviews, or prices would be much appreciated.


I really need some answers, please help!


Thanks,

Black
 

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4:3 versus 16:9 is largely a matter of preference, typically dependent on the subject matter you view most. If you're a movie nut like most of us on this forum, consider a 16:9 set. These will display widescreen DVDs optimally, and because the set is shorter for the same width, it creates less of an imposing presence in your room. A good many of these sets give you the option of using stretch modes, or black bars instead of the gray for 4:3 viewing. Also, since most 4:3 material through DirecTV or cable is of pretty crappy image quality, it helps to display these images as a smaller size than widescreen images.


If you're a sports nut, then I'd suggest a 4:3 set. Since most sports is still analog 4:3 material and stretching a football field or golfcourse is much more distracting than stretching the nightly news, such a set will allow you the largest image for sports over the next two-three years. Of course, some of us (me!) purposely seek out 16:9 HDTV sports and watch it instead of analog 4:3 stuff regardless of the teams that are playing....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But down the road will I be kicking myself for getting a 4x3 set or is 16x9 as a standard a long time from now? What models support this "raster squeeze"? I was loking at the RCA P61310 and it looks like a pretty good deal for the money, but it is 16x9...
 

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Black - most people own TVs for a long time. The future is 16:9. I have a Pioneer Elite 510 (out of your price range) and we watch 4:3 stretched in its 'natural wide' mode a lot with no complaints. It stretches it width to fill the screen and vertically a bit to make it less noticably stretched horizontally, but not in an equal amount that would lose too much off the top and bottom. A compromise yes, but one my wife and I enjoy every day.


Recently I got an HD tuner and receive free broadcast HDTV and digital SDTV now... it's SPECTACULAR. CBS and ABC are doing a lot of sports and evening prime time in ** 16:9 ** 1080i HD, and it will take your breath away. If you don't like side bars on a 16:9 set, you'll dislike bars above and below on a 4:3 set squishing beautiful HD signals down even more probably.


16:9 is the future. 4:3 is the past. It's early days for HD, but it's getting better every day.


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, thats what I'm starting to lean towards. I have a 35" Mitsu tube from about 10 years ago that's served me quite well, dvd's show up full screen so they're a little off shape, but look pretty good. Upstairs I have a 27" wega. It has the 16:9 enhanced feature, so I use that for dvd's. I'm quite used to vertical bars, but like you said, 4:3 is slowly getting kicked out the door.


How much is your Elite 510? I'd be willing to stretch for a more expensive TV if:


A: The analog performance (any ol' directv receiver or vhs or tivo) doesn't look like an mpg on the computer thats only 200x200 and then got blown full screen. In other words, pixelated and artifact filled.


B: The analog performance doesn't look all squished.


C: If the monitor wont become obsolete in 2 years.


With these things in mind, I'm still open to most brands, but I'm probably ruling out Sony. My Wega has been a pleasure to own, but I have a receiver (STR-DE545) and a DVD player (something 560) that have either been unsatisfactory or failed on me. And now that I'm hearing people having problems with their XBR400, 450, 700's, Sony's credibility from my perspective, is on the rocks.


How would the Pioneer Elite 510 compare to something like a Mitsu WS-55908? Also, what kind of viewing radius does the Elite 510 have (or the Mitsu). Because I'll have a couch and a chair on either side of the couch for furnature. Many of the TV's I saw in the store had very narrow sweet spots (you had to be dead center to see the picture at full brightness and clarity). However, I saw some of the Mitsu Diamonds and they actually had quite wide viewing angles at about a 10' range... Perhaps because they took the protective shield off (is that recommended)?


Thanks,

Black
 

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Check out the new Pioneer non-elites 533 and 643 models. They use last year's Elite line doublers and look very good for the buck. They are a bit more expensive than Toshiba and Sony but also look better in my opinion. Toshiba has quality control issues but if you get one without any problems they produce great pictures. My opinion is Pioneer #1, Sony #2, Toshiba #3. Mitsu not considered because of doubler.


Brian
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How did regular (Non HD) DirecTV look on it? I looked at a Sony 4:3 that had ok hd performance, but had god awful regular performance. I asked the salesman if he could put a DVD in, so he did. What I saw the DVD on this TV, I knew these guys had awful connections. It was the Fifth Element DVD and I know that DVD is good quality, some use it for show off scenes (the blue diva scene for example *cough* AVS splash page *cough* :D It looked no different than regular DirecTV with stairstepping, and on certain colors such as reds, for instance on a womans shirt, the color looked...over exposed, I dont know how to put it.


Anyhoo, I've been reading up on "convergence". Is it possible they didn't calibrate the convergnence? Often, what I saw on their sets, were ghosted letters. If an M were on the screen, it looked like an M with 6 legs. It sounds like almost every set needs to be calibrated. What things can I do off the bat to give optimum HD and analog performance? Also, how much does a "calibrator" usually charge?


Does the pioneer have a removable protective screen? If so, does that reduce the glare from lamps and such?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by DTVisCool
Another factor is whether or not the system has a DVI input. If not, you will be missing a lot of premium and PPV HD programing within two years.
Do any current sets have this?!? I thought, from reading this forum, that this was coming (probably), but not yet available. Am I mistaken?
 

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When I was out shopping for my set I looked at all the brands and found the Pioneer Elite to look the best, for regular broadcast fallowed by the Toshibas, I am a big Sony fan as all my HT equipment is Sony but the Sony RPT did not look that good with regular broadcast and there HD picture was kind of soft. I did play around with all there settings and found that even the Hitachis looked better than the Sony's. I was dissapointed with Sony, specialy since I have a Sony RPT in my bedroom that is only a year old. Look and play with all the sets and decide for yourself because you are the one who is going to have to live with it. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Juan, thanks for the input. I've been going over the Pioneer Elites and the Mitsu Diamonds closely. The Elites have a LOT of praise. There's no doubt in my mind it will be great with HD. But for the time being, I need a TV that wont make NTSC directv look like something I hit with a hammer. To confirm, you said the elites displayed the best NTSC picture? Did you reach this conclusion while watching a floor model? If not, did you tweak it? What did you tweak? Also, some model numbers would help me...cause there are so many!
 

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Black,


If you are going to watch regular NTSC then dont go with the Mits, unless you want to spend extran on an external line doubler. The Pioneer has the best line doubler fallowed by the Toshibas.


When I was shopping for my set I played with the regular settings on the TV, I asked to look at regular NTSC on almost all the sets that Ken Cranes had. they have them all on display. I also asked them to play the same DVD on all the sets. I looked at what cables they were using, I also took a buddy with me to make sure I was not being biased.


The line doubler for the Mits have not improved, I am pretty sure they are using the same one as last years models. Just play with all the sets, if they really want to sell you a TV then they will let you, they let me. Good luck.
 

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Here's another recommendation for the Pioneer SD-533 or 643. I have had the 533 for a week now and NTSC cable is better than any other 50"+ 16:9 RPTV i have seen. DVDs are just awesome, as good as any other RPTV on the market, IMO.
 

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Rebies, are you certain that those sets support DVI/HDCP? If they're just "DVI", that doesn't matter one bit for the content protection stuff that the MPAA is pushing. HDCP is the copy protection portion of the connection.


The other option is to go with the Mitsubishi RPTV sets. They either have a slot for the "promise module" or the newest ones actually have the module built in. It contains a digital OTA tuner and a copy-protected 1394 port (the competing standard).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Juan, was the Ken Cranes you went to on Pico? If so...where were the Tv's you looked at? A lot of the ones I asked to look at NTSC content on, they said "oh, we dont have the overhead for a box on every tv". Unfortunately, they used coaxials from a multiplexer or something for satellite feed, atleast on the ones I could see the back on...who was the salesperson you worked with if you remember?
 

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Black, I agree on the Pioneer Elite. We replaced a Mit 35 with a 610 almost a year ago and we love it. The different modes of picture streching work well on most material. You owe it to yourself to go look at one...........................Bill
 
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