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Getting ready to jump in the HDTV pool

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Old 08-11-2005, 08:10 AM   #1  
njt
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Default Getting ready to jump in the HDTV pool

Hello, I am a new member and want to thank everyone for the incredible info on theis site. I am curently considering two sets (one CRT (Sony KV 960 XBR) and the other RP LCD (Sony KDFE42A10). Please note that I am not married to the idea of getting a Sony, but that is the brand that has performed well for me in the past. If anyone has any advice on these two technologies, I'd appreciate it.

My concerns are this:
  • I like the idea of the weight and narrow size of the RP LCD, but I am concerned about the complaints about contrast an black levels
  • I was particularly disturbed by the gray window boxing used in RP LCD, my understanding is that the Sony CRT uses black window boxing
  • I'm a little worried about the weig (196 lbs ) of the CRT, but I'm guessing moves (after initial delivery), will be rare if at all.

Viewing habits:
50% Sports: Yes HD, MSG HD, ESPN HD
30% DVD Movies
20% random SD programing

Again... any input is appreciated (pro/con on Sony as a brand, RP LCD being 'good enough' etc.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:41 AM   #2  
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njt - Sony is acknowledged by many as being the reference standard for CRTs - however this comes at a price; thare are other more reasonbaly priced brands out there which many say perform just as well (I'm very happy with mine) but not many, if any, other than Sony, with built-in HD tuners.

I'm not a RP expert but I have heard it said that Sony are not the best at rear projection but cannot really comment as I am not a fan of RP - they always look less sharp to me than direct view CRT but this may just be a perception due to the larger screen sizes.

If you are going to get a 16:9 TV which is susceptable to burn in (CRT is, LCD I believe isn't) and watch much 4:3 programming, you should probably get used to watching it in a stretch mode (Toshibas have good stretch modes, including in HD mode). Otherwise, the next best is to put up with the gray bars as these are designed to minimise burn in.

There are many factors to consider when choosing between say a 34" direct view CRT and a RP:-

Viewing distance and angles - CRT look just as bright at any angle but may be too small - only up to about 6 to 8 feet.

Many say that CRTs handle SD better than other types of HD set - but this may be perception due to the smaller screen sizes; if you can get to see how your set handles this before you buy it might sway you,

Most CRTs are 1080i, the Sony LCD RP you mentioned is 720p.

Light level - CRTs are probably a bit better in brightly lit rooms but cranking up the brightness and contrast is not good for either the picture quality or the life of the set.

Size and weight - as you are aware CRTs are HEAVY and bulky.

Finally, be aware that any TV looks much bigger when you get it home than it did in the showroom - make a cardboard cutout of the screen size and overall size and try it in your chosen viewing location! Also, whatever you get will (unless faulty) look a hell of a lot better when you get it home and properly adjusted than it ever did in the showroom!

Good luck!

Last edited by ja2935; 08-11-2005 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:35 PM   #3  
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I think that model, the xxxA10, has the new 'dynamic iris' that produces much better blacks & contrast.

You can use black bars with LCD RPTV, since LCDs can't burn in.

If you think this 200 pound monster is bad, the old 40" set weighed 300! The LCD is not only lighter, it also uses less power & gives off less heat & is MUCH thinner.

IMHO, the LCD RPTV is not only bigger (needed for HD) but also its progressive scan & 60 fps & burnproof... the better choice to the CRT.
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Old 08-12-2005, 03:46 PM   #4  
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I wonder if black bars are an option on the Sony RP LCD. I suppose the default in the store was gray... which i found incredibly distracting. I'll look into this and or call Crutchfield.

On the black levels front, they were displaying The Matrix on one of my store visits and the black outfits looked pretty black to me. In the end I suppose that this will come down to personal opinion but I do think quality is #1 on my list (as opposed to screen size).
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Old 08-12-2005, 05:13 PM   #5  
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Given that the majority of your HD viewing will be sports, a large screen is beneficial, 42 vs. 34. The SONY XBR will still give you the sharpest image, color saturation, and black-level by far, the SONY 3LCD RP does come close. The price is about the same. The 720p on the RP LCD will give you 60fps which would be beneficial for Football, hockey, and basketball. If you watch mostly baseball or golf, then there is no benefit. The baseball and golf green would look sharper on the XBR. If you're cost conscious, I would consider the Panasonic CT-34WX15 or the Toshiba 34HF85. These two TVs will give you a lot of bang for your buck.
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Old 08-12-2005, 06:13 PM   #6  
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if you watch 50% sport SONY RP is best option for you you can also check out JVC HDILA models they have new models in store and PQ is phenominal.

i would recommend any one looking for SONY RP should at least look at JVC DILA models, i bought SONy 55 inch six months ago, JVC had quality problems at that time otherwise i would have bought JVC.
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Old 08-12-2005, 10:33 PM   #7  
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Despite its weight and smaller picture size I would select the KD34XBR960 or the slightly cheaper but slightly heavier KD34XS955. Why? PQ. Both are equipped with a super-fine pitch 1080i CRT giving a more detailed picture when viewing many1080i broadcasts, such as some of the PBS HD programs. The KDFE42A10 has a 1280x720 screen. Like the KDFE42A10, both these CRT models have integrated ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuners and a Cablecard slot..
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Old 08-13-2005, 12:40 PM   #8  
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Panasonic and Sony are two of the top brands for HDTV of all formats.

Make sure you use a properly known setup dvd, like AVIA or SOUND & VISION tune up dvd's. You can order them on the internet, and i, a professional, recommend them.

Gray bars are CRT users friends, because it evens out the screen usage, so theres no burn in, or unevenness of the screen age.
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Old 08-13-2005, 04:41 PM   #9  
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Thanks again for all of the advice, everyone. Spent a bit of time in the Sony store in Paramus NJ today to do a bit of side by side comparrison.

The RP LCDs strike me as haveing a bit of 'graininess' (just using that term for lack of a better descriptor) to them. It's not fine pixelization... but more of a watercolorish pixalization. I wonder if that was simply the feed. They were playing an INHD broadcast and I believe using component video connections (whereas I will be going cable card and HDMI for the DVD). Also the clarity realy seemed to fade on rapid camera pans. On the plus side they are BIG, brilliant, pretty thin and light!

The XBR 960 was crisp and clean, though (very unfortunately imho) they choose to display a different source on the CRTs (a looping DVD of seasame street). The form factor is huge, as many have warned. But the display was as clean and it was only dvd. the horizontal "wire" that runs across the screen disapears at about 3 ft+, so I'm not too concerned about that.
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Old 08-13-2005, 04:42 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wolf
Make sure you use a properly known setup dvd, like AVIA or SOUND & VISION tune up dvd's. You can order them on the internet, and i, a professional, recommend them.
Will do. Thx.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:17 PM   #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianO
Despite its weight and smaller picture size I would select the KD34XBR960 or the slightly cheaper but slightly heavier KD34XS955. Why? PQ. Both are equipped with a super-fine pitch 1080i CRT giving a more detailed picture when viewing many1080i broadcasts, such as some of the PBS HD programs. The KDFE42A10 has a 1280x720 screen. Like the KDFE42A10, both these CRT models have integrated ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuners and a Cablecard slot..
The XBR models are also the only ones with a Firewire output for their tuners.

1080i is interlaced at 30 frames per second. 720p is progressive at 60 fps.
Progressive & fast frame rate do a much better job of showing motion, which is why ABC & ESPN use it. Watch a fast sports pan from ABC on a 720p set and you won't have the background turn into mush.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:14 PM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSawdey
The XBR models are also the only ones with a Firewire output for their tuners.

1080i is interlaced at 30 frames per second. 720p is progressive at 60 fps.
Progressive & fast frame rate do a much better job of showing motion, which is why ABC & ESPN use it. Watch a fast sports pan from ABC on a 720p set and you won't have the background turn into mush.
I'll take the extra detail possible with 1080i/30 (2.25 times as many pixels) over what I consider to be the marginal improvement offered for motion with 720p/60 any day of the week (including Sundays ). There is a lot more to life than sports. But feel free to disagree since there is no single right answer.
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Old 08-15-2005, 11:34 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianO
I'll take the extra detail possible with 1080i/30 (2.25 times as many pixels) over what I consider to be the marginal improvement offered for motion with 720p/60 any day of the week (including Sundays ). There is a lot more to life than sports. But feel free to disagree since there is no single right answer.
It all boils down to taste. Even watching sports, I like to set my RP LCD on 1080i for the extra detail of seeing the people in the stands clearer.
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Old 08-16-2005, 08:39 AM   #14  
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I would vote for the Sony CRT model for a lot of the reasons stated. However, bear in mind, that it's a monster. Size and weight.
If you are not in a hurry, most mfgs. will soon be coming out with slimmer & lighter CRTs, just as Samsung has with its 30" SlimFit" which is only 16" deep and weighs only 120 lbs.
I tried an LCD (flat panel) and did not like it because of the black level, side viewing and the fact that it did not have what I call a natural looking picture.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:07 PM   #15  
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Hey MyBuddy,

Do you notice a significant difference between a 140lb 30"CRT vs. the Samsung slimfit that is 120lbs? As far as the "slimfit" design, does the TV look "trimmer" and more anesthetically pleasing compared to other models? I was just curious.
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