High Def Forum
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Help choosing btw tv's

11-12-2005, 10:03 PM
Hi. I'm new to the forum and hoping some of you can help me. I'm deciding btw a 26" widescreen (insignia) and a 27" 3:4 insignia (with a 16:9 mode). Which would be better? I'd go with the 27" because it can do 3:4 and is fully HD ready. I've heard that going into 16:9 mode reduces pixels (wastes pixels on black bars). Please give me some advice. Thank-you.

11-13-2005, 12:52 AM
Avoid those narrowscreen 4:3 sets that are semi-compatible with HDTV, which specs a widescreen display. They do a poor job & are a PITA to use.

When a signal doesn't have enough pixels to fill the whole screen, some is left unused. Means you've got a crumby old narrowscreen low def signal, not a bad TV! You will have various bars with any shaped display, because we view content of several shapes. Read the "Bars, bars, and more bars" topic in the Lounge.

11-13-2005, 09:54 AM
Thaank-you. So, you're sayin I should go with the widescreen tv (even tho itz onli HD-ready, not fully capable (like the other tv). Also, do you know if the Insignia 26" widescreen (the tv we've been discussing) has a 'panorama widescreen' option, so 4:3 programming isn't distorted when viewing them in full widescreen. Thanks a lot.

11-13-2005, 01:13 PM
A widescreen HDTV image has two million pixels while narrowscreen SDTV has 330,000... the one with more detail should be shown larger. Filling the screen with 330,000 pixels while trying to cram 2 million into the middle 3/4 of the screen is completely illogical... making the larger image always look fuzzy, and the HD way too small.

Displaying 4:3 stretched to 16:9 is a distortion. It's only necessary with CRT based sets and Plasmas. With burn proof technologies the image can be left undistorted as 4:3 with pillarboxing, which gives much better quality.

Widescreen LCDs of 26" start at $800, but most displays smaller than 36" are still without digital tuners. An external digital STB starts at $100 and go up... more are priced in the 200-300 range. LCD is progressive 720p native, and burn proof.

Whatever you decide, make it wide!

11-14-2005, 12:45 PM
CNET has an excellent website just for HDTV buyers:

As for widescreen or 4:3, there is a conversion calculator on the site which will tell you how much you lose or gain. For me, a 4:3 TV is like a 33" widescreen. But if I had gone with a 34" widescreen, it would be equivalent to a 28" TV.

11-15-2005, 04:25 AM
To calc the diagonal of the inset 4:3 image, multiply the diagonal of the widescreen by 0.82.

Kirk munsell
11-15-2005, 02:53 PM
Here is a good site to compare actual picture sizes on various size screens:/www.cavecreations.com/tv2.cgi