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Rear-Projection TVs CRT, DLP, LCD, LCOS

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Old 06-09-2005, 02:56 PM   #1  
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Default Going HD- Need a sounding board

Whenever I make a purchase over a few hundred dollars, I spend some time learning all I can on the topic. I've had an easier time making a decision on laptops, digital cameras, or even building new PC's than I have with this HDTV decision. From misleading terminology and acronyms to those little 'gotchas' that could cause complications down the road, there seems to be more of it in the field of HDTV than anything else I've researched.

Please take a look at my decision making process and let me know of anything I have wrong:

My wife and I (and friends) play allot of video games. I'm one of those people who have their Nintendo SNES, N64, Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox, as well as DirecTV with Tivo hooked up in my living room. My Atari 2600 and Intellivision sit neglected in the closet until I get another TV to put them on. Although neither of us care for sports, we do watch many nature and science shows, HBO, and some local channel prime time shows. Now that my wife is out of college with her master's degree and got a job, we are a 2 income household. That means my Atari can have the tiny little TV we've been using for well over a decade, and we can treat ourselves to HDTV goodness.

Obviously I'd like to future-proof any expensive purchase I make as much as possible and I'm very much looking forward to the Xbox360 and PS3 down the road. Keeping all this in mind and from what information I've gathered, I've concluded the following:

CRT Direct-view : While it usually has great black levels and last a long time without much maintenance, it also only maxes out around 34" or so and can't display in progressive scan (it will accept progressive scan signal and convert it, but not display true progressive scan). Although I'll only be sitting about 7 feet away, I still have plenty of room (and disposable income) to go larger than 34". Plus I want something that will display true 720p. So these factors rule out CRT direct-view HDTV's for me. (I'm aware of the Monovision being a multisync monitor and can do 720p, but there is still the 34" thing).

Flat Panel Direct-view : Plasma and LCD variety of direct view flat panel displays have a potential for dead/stuck pixels. (yes?) However low this probability may be, I don't want to take the chance. My PSP has a stuck pixel and it is frustrating (Luckily it is way in a corner, but still urks me knowing it even exists). I also will play games for several hours on end, maybe not enough to worry about burn-in, but it is enough to look to other HDTV technology that might not have this issue at all.

Front Projection : Ummm...no. Just no, okay. Nothing against it, I'd just rather not do that.

Rear Projection : So this seems like a more viable option for me. I can get a screen larger than 34" that does 720p & 1080i (I'm not too concerned about 1080p to be honest, maybe in 5 or more years?). Don't have to worry about burn-in like in Plasmas. But all is not wine and roses. Some of these have expensive replacement bulbs to contend with, the potential for the rainbow or screen door effect. I also need to find something with a good pixel response time. I often have friends over so a screen that doesn't fade to black at obtuse viewing angles would certainly be nice.

Unless someone can tell me I should really look into Flat Panel direct view TV's for my purposes, than I'm leaning toward rear-projection. Now I know where to focus my energy when I go to the show rooms and get some eyes-on time. There is still LCD, LCOS, DLP, etc that I have to decide upon, but I imagine I can widdle those down after looking at them.

Is there anything else I should be considering? And where can I find a good list or recent HDTV's and their specs (magazine, online, or otherwise)? A list with native resolutions and pixel response times would be awesome.

Thanks for you help, and sorry for the long post. I babble, I know.
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:57 AM   #2  
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Sounds like you've read up and know the basics. Now you need to put in the time at the stores. Check everywhere, good audio stores as well as the big guys. Pick peoples brains at the stores, some of them will know their stuff and some not. Use your eyes & make sure the menus are set so you are comparing standard or normal settings. This is the fun part. Good luck.

Sound and Vision publishes guides and runs comparisions in their magazine. You might be able to access it on-line.

I favor DLP but that's just my opinion. I'm not a gamer.
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:48 AM   #3  
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i recently purchased a 50" sammy dlp and i play a lot of pS2 on it. I suggest that you get the higher end monster cables for a great picture.
the only game that looks spectacular on it (that i own) is GT4, because it's the only one that is a hi-def game (I think, could be wrong....).
by the way, i love the sammy, the picture is the best i've seen and i've been researching for over a year (a little nuts, i know.....)
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Old 06-10-2005, 11:03 AM   #4  
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We just did a Micro Display shootout on our show and I was shocked and awed by the performance to price ratio of the JVC D-ILA. Mitsubishi makes the best DLPs, their clarity and detail are amazing, but they're also very expensive. Bang for the buck, don't count out the JVC D-ILA.

Make sure you go somewhere and watch the TVs in a typical analog mode. Almost every one I've seen, be it LCD, DLP or LCoS, do a horrible job with SD (NTSC) content. That's just one thing to keep in mind. ED plasmas are better, but not advisable for serious gamers like yourself.

Keep in mind that you can get stuck pixels on any of these micro display tvs (dlp, lcd and lcos). You didn't mention it in your cons for RPTV.
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Old 06-11-2005, 05:52 AM   #5  
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There are NO displays that show both 720p/60 and 1080i/30 natively. Displays have ONE native res, and all others are format converted. You don't really want an interlaced display with a 30 Hz framerate for gaming... progressive & 60 Hz are the way to go, be it 720p/60 or 1080p/60.

Monster cables are overhyped, overspec'd, and overpriced.
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:32 PM   #6  
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Thanks, all, for the replies. When I have more time I will edit my initial post to incorporate the new info.

I did find some really good comparison articles at soundandvisionmag.com Thanks for the heads-up on that site, JoeyG.

RSawdey: About native resolutions, that makes complete sense now that I think about it. If a TV has 720 lines of actual pixels, it would have to convert an image that is 1080 lines in order to display it properly. The same would go for a TV with 1080 lines trying to display an image with only 720 lines.

But this adds a little confusion for me. What would the difference be between playing a game on a TV that is native 720p/60 and playing it on a TV that has native 1080i/30 but is being converted to 720p/60? Even though the image is going through some conversion to display 720 lines on a 1080 line TV, it can still display it at 60hz correct?
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:56 PM   #7  
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I believe you can eliminate the rainbow effect you mentioned by going away from color wheel to a 3 microdisplay technology. I'm sure someone here will be happy to correct me if I'm wrong....

Another point to ponder is with 1080p sets. This quote is interesting:

"But Samsung senior television marketing manager John Lavoie doesn't agree that lack of Hollywood entertainment in 1080p means customers won't see a benefit from the technology. It should reduce flicker. The goal is to take 1080i [content] and de-interlace it. Also, the microdisplays on the 1080p DLP sets are larger than the ones used for 720p DLPs, so the sets can reflect more light. The result is that the newer sets can achieve contrast ratios of 5000:1 compared to the 2000:1 for previous DLP rear-projection TVs."

(http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index....fpid;594925983)

The higher contrast ratio is interesting. I look forward to reading reviews and seeing how these sets perform on the floor. I know you can't insert content, but this should make larger displays a bit better.
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:48 PM   #8  
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Your 1080i/30 TV doesn't convert TO 720p, but only FROM it... ALL formats other than the native format are converted. Gaming on a 1080i TV can only produce 30 frames per second.

DeepDoc... compare the sizes of the HD3 and HD2+ chips... the HD3 is 0.55" and the HD2+ is 0.80".
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Old 06-13-2005, 07:34 AM   #9  
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I see. So if the set is 1080i native it can't do progressive scan. I found a PDF file on Sound and Vision for HDTVs under $3000 that listed the resolution and display types and it looks like most of the interlaced displays are CRT based technology and the 720p resolutions correspond to the other technology types. The puzzle peices are starting to fit together in my head now.

deepdoc1: I see your point now. 1080p seemed like it wouldn't be worth it since there isn't much that is going to provide a 1080p signal at the moment. Maybe some Xbox360 and PS3 games will support it in the next year or so, but I figured 1080p sets would be more expesive than they are worth right now. But I'd be wise to keep my eye out for them since progressive scan is the way to go for me. Plus the added benefit of higher contrast ratio is a plus.

This forum rules.
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Old 06-13-2005, 02:44 PM   #10  
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Interlaced sets frequently hype "we do progressive scan", but that's only 480p/30 for EDTV DVDs... 720p/60 are the REAL progressive HDTV.
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Old 06-14-2005, 09:39 PM   #11  
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Default Something funny happened on my way to the rear-projection HDTV's.

Went down to Brandsmart, kind of a Best Buy/Circuit City type place that usually has some pretty good deals. Checked out all the HDTV's they had and wrote some models down that caught my (and my wife's) eye. On the DLP side there was the Samsung HLR4667. I wasn't completely wowed by it, it just seemed to be the best looking rear-projection HDTV in my size range of 40"-50" that didn't have some sort of stand attached to the unit. It also had this strange kind of graininess to the screen. The screen itself, not the images being displayed. Almost like a crystalization. I don't know how to describe it. I still noticed it from 8 feet away. Strangely the 46" version didn't have this problem nearly as much as the same version of the TV that was slightly smaller.

Just for the hell of it we checked through the flat panel section. There were a handful of sets there that really stood out, that had that pop of color, that wow factor I was looking for. Like the Panasonic TH42PX50UP plasma. But...it's plasma. Crap, I didn't want to go with plasma.

We left there and went to Best Buy since it was right next door. Everything looked better at Best Buy. Was it the lighting, better feed to the TV's, unknown airborne substance that makes you want to buy stuff when you breath it? Whatever, all I know is that everything looked better there (Although I'm thinking it was simply a better feed to the TV's).

Something funny happened on my way to the rear-projection HDTV's. My wife and I stopped in front of this Sharp Aquos LC45GD4U for a while. We tried to pull away and look at other sets for a while but my wife gravitated back to that set. I could hear a faint whispering of "my... precious...". I manage to take my eyes of the screen to look at the tag. 1080p...sweet! Wait, what is this thing? LCD? $6k ?!?!?!

A tug on my sleeve. "I want it", my wife says.

Part of me wanted to say 'No. What? Are you crazy?' But some other part of me kicked the nay-saying part of me in the groin. I still had my wits about me enough to leave without buying anything.

But now I suspect I might be moving my discussion to the flat panel forum.
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Old 06-15-2005, 12:05 PM   #12  
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Default Best Buy = Satellite Feed

Hi,
BB has a satellite feed an HD loop to a hard drive overnight which then repeats itself all day. This isn't a feed from a cable operator, Dish, antenna, or other feed you are likely to have at home. Not sure if it is but I would imagine it's pretty high quality, possibly the equal or better than you might have seen at the other store.

I had a guy at BB hook up an antenna to the unit I was watching and watched local OTA HD and standard, non-HD feeds. I think that's probably more accurate.

Or, bring a DVD you are familiar with and watch that at both stores.

Wait a minute..... your wife wants you to spend $$$$ ona set and that's a problem? Wanna trade?
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Old 06-15-2005, 03:52 PM   #13  
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I know, right? How could I have a problem with that?

I don't really. At least not with her. She bought me the Xbox on the day it came out. She bought me a PSP too. And she is just as much a Star Wars and video game geek as I am.

No trade. This girl is for keeps.
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