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Novice questions - PLEASE help me understand

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Old 07-18-2005, 07:19 PM   #1
What is HD?
 

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Smile Novice questions - PLEASE help me understand

Hi there, first let me say I have been reading this forum for weeks and have found it very helpful (although somewhat confusing). It's nice that all of you take the time to help us novices. Hopefully, you'll come to my rescue.

Here's my dilemna. I currently have a panasonic 27" analog TV. Works great but would like to find something larger and preferably HDTV. I have been looking at the Toshiba 30HF85 mainly because it FITS the entertainment center that I do not want to part with at this time (or actually anytime in the foreseeable future). I've read as much as I could find on this forum about that particular TV and even with some of the negative responses, I'm very much limited as to what will "fit" my space. I KNOW many of you say don't buy a TV just to accomodate an entertainment center but that's my preference. We mostly watch the regular networks and some HBO - some DVD's but not alot. Hubby like Nascar races and Discovery channel too.

We currently have digital cable (no HD)which includes the local channels. The cable company here only has about a half dozen channels in HD so it would not be worth the extra $15 a month to me. IF we get this Toshiba (or any HD for that matter) and do NOT subscribe to HD will the picture be better, worse, same as on my analog tv? I've read that CBS, NBC and ABC currently have a good portion of their broadcast in HD....would I not even get their broadcasts in HD if I don't subscribe to it thru the cable co? What if I downgraded to basic cable and not the digital? Would I see a difference in the picture?
Another thing I'm confused about is would the 30" widescreen SEEM like a larger picture? I know the image can be "stretched" to fit the screen but what I'm asking is would it look magnified any larger than I'm seeing on my analog? I've read about it only being equivalent to something like a 24" diag - did I understand that correctly?

ANY info would be appreciated! Thanks much. Sandy
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Old 07-18-2005, 08:02 PM   #2
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That's a lot of questions - hopefully you will get some good answers.

I had an analog 27" and got a 34" widescreen. The 4:3 picture is approx the same size but when you stretch it it looks bigger - on a Toshiba (as probably on most widescreens) the 4:3 picture is stretched at the edges to fill the screen width and clipped slightly at the top and bottom. You might find that a 30" widescreen will look a bit small in 4:3 mode but ok in stretched mode. I also bought it to fit my existing entertainment center.

If you want HD (there is more and more all the time) then obviously you need an HD set. But if it is of lesser importance then don't get one as you may be disapointed with the picture - I am satisfied with mine but different people have different experiences and views on this. I got mine without the HD cable with the intention of watching DVDs but quickly tired of the lack of HD. If you want free HD then you will either have to get an Integrated TV, ie with built-in tuner (the Toshiba CRTs don't have this in the current models) or buy a separate tuner; but at around $250 quite an expense.

Digital cable stations generally look better on an HDTV than the analog ones in basic cable - but neither look as good as on a good regular analog tv.

Perhaps an LCD EDTV widescreen with built-in tuner would work for you (if such a thing exists), good for DVDs and probably good for regular TV. I have no knowledge so would have to bow to other's on this.

Last edited by ja2935; 07-18-2005 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:03 PM   #3
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ja, thanks for your quick reply. your response "digital cable stations generally look better on an HDTV than the anolog ones in basic cable-but neither look as good as on a good regular analog tv" makes me think that I really need to think longer and hard about even getting a new tv. The analog I have now has a great pic -just not as big as these aging eyes would like.

I think you addressed every question I had and I thank you for that. Anyone else care to comment?
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja2935
Perhaps an LCD EDTV widescreen with built-in tuner would work for you (if such a thing exists), good for DVDs and probably good for regular TV. I have no knowledge so would have to bow to other's on this.
There are no EDTV (480p) LCD's. In fact, LCD's are going in the other direction (from 720p up to 1080p on many of the newer sets). You'll only find native EDTV in plasmas; I believe that's because they have individual fixed pixel "cells" that would be extremely small on a 37" if it was 1280x720. You won't find any 50" EDTV plasmas either. So basically your assunption is correct.

p.s. I'll defer to others also for Sandy3's other issues.
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:07 PM   #5
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If the entertainment center is important to keep, then I think there's nothing wrong going with a 30" widescreen CRT HDTV. You should check the measurements on the Sony 30" models and see if that's a viable route. There's very little risk with CRT HDTVs in terms of SD images. For that screen size, they are the best at displaying SD channels at very good quality (can be as good as your current TV) and the HD images are of course fantastic.

But maybe more important is how much better your DVD viewing experience will become with a good progressive-scan DVD player. The widescreen will enhance your DVD experience. The Sony has a built-in ATSC tuner so you can get HD local channels via OTA if you're close enough. Good luck!
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:00 AM   #6
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Default Check Widths before you Buy

Beware of Widths quoted on websites. BB is currently showing the Toshiba 34HF84 (I thought all supplies had dried up of this in favour of the ..85) as being 36 3/8", but I just measured mine and it is a shade under 34" - which was why I was able to fit it into my cabinet. BB list the 30" Sony as 35 1/2" wide and the Sony 34" as 39 1/8". The 30" Toshiba is shown as 31 1/4".

My advice - go and measure sets before you buy!
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Old 07-19-2005, 09:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja2935
Beware of Widths quoted on websites. BB is currently showing the Toshiba 34HF84 (I thought all supplies had dried up of this in favour of the ..85) as being 36 3/8", but I just measured mine and it is a shade under 34" - which was why I was able to fit it into my cabinet. BB list the 30" Sony as 35 1/2" wide and the Sony 34" as 39 1/8". The 30" Toshiba is shown as 31 1/4".

My advice - go and measure sets before you buy!
You are correct. I checked the BB site first, thinking that maybe you were reading the shipping dimensions of the box. Sometimes sites will give box dimensions, and then they give the product dimensions separately. But I saw no indication of that on the BB site, so like you and most everyone else, I would assume that the dimensions are for the product itself.
BB Site (scroll down to Product Details)
Next I checked the Toshiba site, and they listed it as 33 45/64" (that's 33 and forty-five sixty fourths) or roughly 33 3/4.
Toshiba Site (see page 55 for specs)
So I trust your measurements and those on the Toshiba site, but it proves the point that you were trying to make (confirm everything, especially if it's critical). Good job pointing this out!

btw: The Height, Depth, and Weight are virtually the same on both sites
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