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Old 11-25-04, 11:34 PM   #1
DoogieHowser
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need help picking tv... toshiba 46" or 51"?

hello all. i need help picking based on the quality of the picture for their size. i could not find that many reviews on these tv's on the web. the 51" is the 51H84, and the 46" is the 46H84, both are toshiba's. any help is GREATLY appreciated. i am really torn between the two.

does the 51" picture on this toshiba compare well to other 51" tv's. and is it acceptable for watching standard cable tv? i will mostly use it for dvd's, but i would like to watch the occasional football game on it. i know that on some projection sets, regular cable looks bad.

please help, i am going shopping tomorrow and have to pick by then.
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Old 11-26-04, 02:04 AM   #2
Ginwen
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I don't have one yet, but here's some stuff you might find helpful, at least I did.

Official Toshiba H83/H84 CRT Thread at AVS forum. There is a white line issue with some of the Toshiba 83/84s--it seems to be fixable, but I figure you want to make an educated decision.

I read all that and still bought one. I looked at them in the store Wednesday, and really liked the picture. Also, the people I know who have them all like theirs, as do the people in the thread above (in spite of the white line issue), and the people at DVD Spot Toshiba Forum who have them seem to mostly like them too.

I was set on the 46 but ended up buying the 51 for a few reasons.

1. Bigger (duh).
2. Price: It was 300 more for the 51" BUT the 46" really needed a stand (it's a "tabletop" model, without some kind of stand it's not really high enough up); the official stand (which I probably would have purchased) was 198 (so difference was only 102).

For an added bonus, though, I was able to buy the 51" online last night (avoiding Black Friday at Sears and/or Best Buy) and for some reason, they didn't charge tax, shipping was free, I got a free (crappy) home theater system, and I got to use my Reward Zone card. So I think I ultimately paid less for the 51" than I would've for the 46". Even if you do have to pay tax, though, if you'd get the stand too the difference is $100.
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Old 11-27-04, 05:48 PM   #3
DoogieHowser
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thanks for the info.

i want a projection tv with the same quality of a tube tv. right now i have a 32" sony, and a projection tv will be a big step up for watching movies.

i don't have that much to spend, around $1500. so the 51" toshiba fits into the price range and gives me a nice sized screen. i like the picture on the 46" better, but it is so much smaller. the one thing i don't like about projection sets is those without the screen cover look like dots on the screen, and the ones with the screen have a ton of glare.

i don't know what tv to get. i know i will have to live with this decision for many years, as i don't forsee changing tv's for the next couple of years.
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Old 11-28-04, 07:50 AM   #4
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How far back are you sitting? If you have a small room then the 46" set might be the answer. I have an "average" sized room (16'-17') with the 50" Tv on one wall and the couch pushed against the other, for about 11' between the set and the couch. That's about the correct distance for a 50".
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Old 11-28-04, 09:40 PM   #5
DoogieHowser
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Quote:
Originally posted by gcbrowni
How far back are you sitting? If you have a small room then the 46" set might be the answer. I have an "average" sized room (16'-17') with the 50" Tv on one wall and the couch pushed against the other, for about 11' between the set and the couch. That's about the correct distance for a 50".
how far back i sit will change soon. i am going to be moving again, so i don't know how far back i will be.

what i want out of this projection television is the best picture. from looking at projection sets, it appears the smaller the set the more sharp the picture. what i don't want is anything blury. it would also be a big plus to have a wide viewing angle. i don't want to have to be right in front of it to see the picture clearly. of course, the larger the better, but not if it means the picture quality will be worse.

there is one other projection set on my radar. i noticed circuit city has a sale on 47" panasonics. does panasonic make quality sets?

this is a big purchase for me. i don't want to make a mistake i will regret.
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Old 11-28-04, 11:35 PM   #6
digitalfreaknyc
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actually...i'm looking into the 51" Toshiba as well. Thinking of picking it up this week. What's this i'm reading about turning the contrast and brightness down?
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Old 11-28-04, 11:43 PM   #7
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Almost all TVs come from the manufacturer with their settings turned all the way up. This is referred to as torch mode. On a CRT based RPTV this can lead to uneven phosphor wear or burn in over a period of time. On some of the new flat panel technologies burn in not an issue but having the contrast and brightness set too high doesn't give you a proper picture in normal room lighting. The TVs are set this way so that when they unbox one for store display the TV will put out a bright enough picture to overcome the bright in store lighting and hopefully make their TV look better than a competitor's brand. This is also why some brands build in too much red into their color decoders. This is call red push and makes everyone's skin look sunburned even when the color and tint are set properly.
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Old 11-29-04, 12:28 AM   #8
DoogieHowser
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Quote:
Originally posted by chipmac
Almost all TVs come from the manufacturer with their settings turned all the way up. This is referred to as torch mode. On a CRT based RPTV this can lead to uneven phosphor wear or burn in over a period of time. On some of the new flat panel technologies burn in not an issue but having the contrast and brightness set too high doesn't give you a proper picture in normal room lighting. The TVs are set this way so that when they unbox one for store display the TV will put out a bright enough picture to overcome the bright in store lighting and hopefully make their TV look better than a competitor's brand. This is also why some brands build in too much red into their color decoders. This is call red push and makes everyone's skin look sunburned even when the color and tint are set properly.
What is the highest that you can have contrast set at? I like a bright picture, not a dark gloomy one. I have a friend who keeps his contrast at 29 on his projection tv, and the picture is very dark and it is difficult to see good detail and color. One day, while he went to the bathroom, I cranked contrast up to 65. When he got back he sat down, watched tv for about 10 minutes, then realized the contrast was up. He nearly exploded. lol. I told him it was time to put on the tinfoil hat, and that he was nuts. lol. Are these tv's really that sensitive?

I watch my 32" with the contrast at 80 and for the past 3 years there have been no problems.
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Old 11-29-04, 01:06 AM   #9
chipmac
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Contrast, or picture as it's called on some brands, controls the level of white in the image. Brightness controls the blacks. Having the contrast set too high will result in loss of detail; kind of like an overexposed photo. Having it really too high can also cause the white to bloom or bleed over to adjacent shades and colors. Having the brightness too high will cause the blacks to appear washed out and not truly black.

To be honest there are two ways to look at the picture. One way is to use a calibration disc like Avia to help you set the adjustments to their proper levels for your room with the amount of lighting you normally watch TV at. This allows you to see the picture the way it was meant to be seen. You'll get the proper whites, blacks, colors and sharpness level. Some TVs allow you to save different settings for daytime viewing when you have sunlight coming in through the windows and nighttime viewing with just a typical lamp turned on.

The second way is to set your settings by eye the way you want to see the picture but most people are so used to not seeing a proper picture that they're not even close. So if you do it by eye the picture might not be the way it's supposed to look with colors like blue being purple, yellows being orange, whites blown out and blacks washed out. You can also cause burn in on certain types of displays and overdriving the electronics for long periods of time will shorten their lifespan. In the end it's your money, TV and eyes so do what you like but at least be aware of the issues. I usually tell people to calibrate with Avia and set it to the proper levels. Leave it that way for a few weeks to see how you like it. Most people in the end will leave it the calibrated way because when a display is set up right compared to how most are accustomed to seeing it they realise that they're now seeing more vibrant colors, more detail, a sharper picture and better contrast.
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Old 11-29-04, 12:36 PM   #10
DoogieHowser
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hey chipmac, thanks for the post. what i normally do with a tv is turn the brightness down a bit to have a true black, then i turn the contrast up so the picture is bright and vibrant. i might turn the color up 2 or 3 just to have the colors pop out a bit more, but normally turning up the contrast does the trick.

i try and tune the contrast and colors while a human face is on the screen. i don't like it when people look too red or rose. i like a natural color. but the one thing i can't seem to get is grass to look green enough. if i turn the color up, the faces look red. if i get the faces to look normal, the grass looks dull.
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Old 12-01-04, 09:56 AM   #11
bboisvert
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Quote:
Originally posted by DoogieHowser
What is the highest that you can have contrast set at? I like a bright picture, not a dark gloomy one. I have a friend who keeps his contrast at 29 on his projection tv, and the picture is very dark and it is difficult to see good detail and color. One day, while he went to the bathroom, I cranked contrast up to 65. When he got back he sat down, watched tv for about 10 minutes, then realized the contrast was up. He nearly exploded. lol. I told him it was time to put on the tinfoil hat, and that he was nuts. lol. Are these tv's really that sensitive?

I watch my 32" with the contrast at 80 and for the past 3 years there have been no problems.
Rule #1: Don't screw with other people's settings. I would have exploded too.

Rule #2: Get Digitial Video Essentials or Avia. These DVDs will help you set your TV properly. You'll be amazed at the picture difference between this and 'random/factory' settings and I think you'll also find that when everything else is set properly (color, tint, sharpness, brightness, etc.) that you can go way lower on contrast than you previously thought.
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Old 12-01-04, 10:06 AM   #12
taa455
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Quote:
Originally posted by DoogieHowser
What is the highest that you can have contrast set at? I like a bright picture, not a dark gloomy one. I have a friend who keeps his contrast at 29 on his projection tv, and the picture is very dark and it is difficult to see good detail and color. One day, while he went to the bathroom, I cranked contrast up to 65. When he got back he sat down, watched tv for about 10 minutes, then realized the contrast was up. He nearly exploded. lol. I told him it was time to put on the tinfoil hat, and that he was nuts. lol. Are these tv's really that sensitive?

I watch my 32" with the contrast at 80 and for the past 3 years there have been no problems.
Do you have a 32" projection TV? The only danger with high contrast is burn-in, which only applies to projection TVs. I have mine set at around 50. It is plenty "bright." But projection TVs are really not as sensitive as some people's paranoia leads them to believe, imo.
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Old 12-01-04, 10:08 AM   #13
taa455
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Quote:
Originally posted by bboisvert
Rule #2: Get Digitial Video Essentials or Avia. These DVDs will help you set your TV properly. You'll be amazed at the picture difference between this and 'random/factory' settings and I think you'll also find that when everything else is set properly (color, tint, sharpness, brightness, etc.) that you can go way lower on contrast than you previously thought.
I have never used a setup disc, but I'm interested in getting one. I have a question: how does it tell you what video settings to use?
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Old 12-01-04, 10:14 AM   #14
Deftones
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When I was setting up my new Mitsubishi set I just got w/ DVE, the contrast and brightness settings were almost fully maxed out. Now that I've taken the time to adjust the settings, the set looks fantastic.
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Old 12-01-04, 10:23 AM   #15
eiker_ir
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Quote:
Originally posted by taa455
I have never used a setup disc, but I'm interested in getting one. I have a question: how does it tell you what video settings to use?
i have not used one either but i'm guessing it's a series of test kind of like the THX Optimizers found in alot of DVD but more advanced and with the best results
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Old 12-01-04, 10:29 AM   #16
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I've used Avia on my TV a few times and keep coming up with wildly different numbers (OK, maybe not "wildy", but they are different everytime). I just don't think I have a good enough set of eyes to properly align the set.

On a more related note: I have the Toshiba 51" and love it.
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Old 12-01-04, 01:19 PM   #17
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BTW, you may want to check Costco if there is one close by. They had the 57" Toshiba for $1499 and a 65" inch Toshiba for $1649.
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Old 12-01-04, 03:52 PM   #18
digitalfreaknyc
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Just got the 51" Toshiba. $1300 delivered. we'll see on friday how much i like it!
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Old 12-03-04, 11:40 PM   #19
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I have the 47" Panny and absolutely love it...Have used the DVE twice, but because Ive moved a couple time here lately, I think its kind of knocked the settings around a bit. Also, there are many settings posted on the internet for various tvs that give you a quick fix and are pretty good for most people.
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