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Small Panasonic or Toshiba HDTV for den?

02-26-2005, 01:03 PM
I am about to replace two aging Sony 27" XBR TVs with new HDTVs. I have just ordered VOOM service, and want to have the new TVs before the install dated next week.

I have already decided on and ordered a SONY KD-30XS955 TV for one room. But in my den I am limited to a built-in space that is only 27.5" wide by 22.5" high. (with lots of space behind) The Panasonic CT-27HL14 27" monitor will perfectly fit the space with less than 1/4" space around the sides. The Toshiba 26" 26HF84A may fit, but has exactly the same width as the space available and would leave a 3" gap above the set. Moving it in and out may be extremely tricky, if not torture.

I would very much appreciate it if someone could comment on these two possibilities, or perhaps recommend a third choice of sets! This is my first post on this forum. Thanks!

02-28-2005, 06:30 PM
If I may make some suggestions...

First, your 30" replacement set is too small... it will produce a narrowscreen image that is smaller than your 27", only a 24" narrowscreen diagonal. A quick calculation: multiply the diagonal of a widescreen by 0.82 to give the diagonal of the narrowscreen inset image it will produce... you will be happiest when the narrowscreen image produced on a widescreen is as large or larger than your current set produces. If you want to be looking at CRTs, you should be looking at the 34" widescreens, which produce an SDTV image the size of your old 27". Or bigger. Remember that HDTV images have 5 times the detail, which means you could sit 1/5 as close, or have a screen 2.5 times as big, and still not be so close the illusion breaks down into raster lines or screendoor. It's also said you can't even see the available detail, at zero distance, unless you have a 40" set.

Whatever you do, DON'T buy a 4:3 set semi-compatible with HDTV! The Panny is OUT! They are nothing but headaches, a design nightmare. HDTV means larger and wider, not smaller and shorter.

Your built-in alcove is obviously designed for a narrowscreen. Many people have width constraints with furniture. First thing to do is only look at displays that have speakers on the BOTTOM instead of the SIDE... you need all the image width you can get... Modify this space to make it wider if there is any way you can, or perhaps even just cover it over with a flat panel. Your comment about the gap above the widescreen set - this is a fact of geometry. Wider aspect ratio rectangle constrained to same width must be shorter. What you need to shoot for is a display with a HEIGHT the same as your old set... but this means an opening 1/3 wider (16:9 vs. 12:9). I know you don't want to hear this, but your alcove is just not suitable. Plan B time.

Have you considered the 42" Sony LCD RPTV?