High Def Forum
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Big-screen TV for DVD viewing

03-15-2005, 02:34 AM
Hi folks,

I'm looking into buying a big TV. I mostly want to watch DVDs widescreen, and because of the way our living room is set up, we sit fairly far from the TV (about 11 feet), so I figure we want a pretty big screen.

I actually *don't* care much about HD yet, because most of the stuff I watch (on DirecTV) isn't HD programming anyway (I don't care about sports, and I usually rent or buy DVDs for movies; on TV, I mostly watch things like reruns and cartoons that wouldn't be HD anyway). Plus, I can't live without my TiVo, and don't want to shell out the big bucks DirecTV is charging for their HD TiVo right now (in addition to the HD service). Feel free to convince me otherwise :), but I'm mostly interested in DVDs for now.

I'm currently looking at the Samsung DLPs, probably the 6163 or the 5674 (which it looks like I can get for about $2500 and $3000 online, respectively). Here are my questions:

-- How will DVDs look on these big screens upsampled to HD resolution? Will they look good? Okay? Awful?

-- I probably need to buy a new progressive-scan DVD player (I have an old Pioneer combi DVD/LD player which I don't think does progressive). Should I bother getting one that upsamples to HD resolution, with an HDMI output? Or should I just get an ordinary inexpensive progressive-scan player? Any model recommendations?

-- Any thoughts on the 5674 vs. the 6163? I've read the horror stories about the 63 series--any reason to believe the 74 would be less likely to have problems? Is the difference between 56" and 61" even noticeable? (In fact, might I be happier with a smaller screen given that I'm mostly watching upsampled DVDs?)

-- For those of you living in California, how do you make your big-screen DLP TV earthquake-secure?

-- I would probably buy the TV from http://www.plasmahouse.com/ (recommended by a friend, and seems to have the lowest or near-lowest prices). Any experience with buying from this site? Am I likely to have more hassle going through an online site if I need my TV serviced during the initial warranty period than through a brick-and-mortar retailer like BB, CC, etc., or am I just going to be dealing with the manufacturer either way? (I know the extended warranties are handled by other companies.)

-- I've noticed some posts referencing lag when playing video games (I have a PS2). Is this something that's guaranteed to happen all the time with every game, or is it just something that happens occasionally?

The other TV I've been looking at is the Panasonic EDTV 42" plasma (TH42PWD7UY), which is cheap (around $1600 online) and seemed good enough for DVD viewing (since it's exactly DVD resolution anyway). But because of the long distance between our couch and the TV, I figured it would be better to go large.

Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.


03-15-2005, 07:49 AM
I have a 50" panasonic DLP along with the panasonic s97 which is an upconverting DVD player. I watch a lot of DVD's and they look fantastic on my screen. Watched the superbit of Lawerence of Arabia on the weekend and I have never seen it looking better. I would guess the larger screen that you go the more the defects of DVD's (compared to HDTV) will become apparent - correct me if i am wrong anyone who has a larger TV.

I bought the s97 at the same time as the TV for the HDMI connection and upconverting and it looks great. I have hooked it up on component and played it at 480p and you can see the difference on upconverting and HDMI. Personally, for the extra money (when you looked at the total cost of the DVD player and TV) it wasn't a big deal but with HD-DVD coming out you might want to wait. But who knows when they will be a reasonable price.

If you are not going to watch any HDTV I don't know if it is really worth it. But HDTV is the future. I watch almost only HDTV now except for the news and the odd show not on there. So for me it made sense to get the TV. It you are going to spend the money then you might as well invest for the future. Unless you are the type to upgrade your stuff every two years.

03-15-2005, 03:50 PM
I'd say forget EDTV & get a real HDTV... don't straddle the two distinct standards. More than 90% of all broadcast TV is now digital & analog will be turned off in 22 months. If you get a set with a built in tuner, all you need is an antenna to see what REAL HDTV is all about... you'll be blown away to see how much better it is than DVD.

DVD will look great, but they're only digitally perfect SDTV. REAL HDTV optical discs will be out end of the year. SDTV only has 330,000 pixels, so it begins to look increasingly 'fuzzy' as it's expanded to larger screens. SDTV was designed when TV screens were 10".

Optimal distace for viewing HDTV is about twice the diagonal... so for 11' you could have a 65" TV and still not see any rasters or screendoor. There's a nice 65" plasma if you've got a spare $15,000 lying around (gulp!).

My DLP came with a strap to fasten it to the wall so it won't fall over, but it's nicely bottom heavy anyway & not very tippy...