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36" 4:3 HDTV or 34" 16:9 HDTV???

Old 08-03-02, 11:37 PM
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36" 4:3 HDTV or 34" 16:9 HDTV???

I've just started to do some research to replace my 12 year old 27" JVC box. I was thinking I wanted a WS TV but because of the price can't consider anything larger the 32-34" range. But then I found this page.....

http://homepage.mac.com/hdtv_guide/

Which makes a really good argument that a 36" 4:3 might actually be a better buy then a 34" 16:9.

I would really like to hear some comments on this as well as some suggestions or reccommendations.

BTW...I'm not really interested in a projection TV so I'm talking tube here.
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Old 08-04-02, 09:29 AM
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It depends on a few factors....

price: I bought a Toshiba 34" 16:9 HDTV flatscreen tube for $1800 online. It was only about $200 more than a 4:3 HDTV.

viewing material: If you watch a lot of broadcast TV, a 4:3 set will serve you better because you may not like the various stretch/zoom modes. I find the modes on the Toshiba to be quite acceptable.

If you watch a lot of widescreen films, the 16:9 set looks better.

I looked at that comparison page, and it is interesting but there's something wrong in the analysis... I can't figure out exactly what it is though.

I think a big factor is how you watch TV. If you watch it in total darkness, then you won't notice any difference, but with any amount of light, you'll "feel" the difference.

A 34" WS TV "feels" much larger than a 36" 4:3 set. It's a perception thing and how your brain is trained for things. Your brain has had a lifetime of the 4:3 ratio that 16:9 gets interpreted as much larger.

This is a definite "try before you buy" scenario.
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Old 08-05-02, 12:59 AM
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With the 36" set you'll get a 32" set for 16 x 9 material. I went with a 36" set because I watch alot of Academy ratio LD's and the majority of my viewing will be 4 X 3 for a few more years. I will be adding a hi-def tuner this fall since 3 of the local channels have started broadcasting digitally. My next TV will be wider and proably plasma unless the hi-def thang fizzles. I thnk a 36" or 40" set with a squeez mode is a good transitional set. I also thnk the switch to 16 x 9 will go painfully slow. Until 480i 16 x 9 sets come for people who don't care about 1080i and are modestly priced, I think the transistion will stay stuck in second gear. That's just my guesstimate.....
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Old 08-07-02, 09:25 AM
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I'd go with the 16:9 set. I don't watch much broadcast (or cable) TV so it doesn't make sense to buy a set for 20% of my viewing style. Besides, you pay a lot more for your DVD's than you do for broadcast TV, wouldn't you like to watch them in the best possible aspect ratio?
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Old 08-07-02, 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by Daveg27
I'd go with the 16:9 set. I don't watch much broadcast (or cable) TV so it doesn't make sense to buy a set for 20% of my viewing style. Besides, you pay a lot more for your DVD's than you do for broadcast TV, wouldn't you like to watch them in the best possible aspect ratio?
But that's what people seem to be missing. You still are getting your WS stuff in the best possible aspect ratio (very close to it). It's almost seems like a marketing trick. How do you get rid of the "black bars" so many people find annoying? Simple....just remove that area of the tube where the black bars are, charge them more and tell them it is something better. Even if only %20 of the stuff you watch is 4:3 why wouldn't you want to use that extra space for a larger picture instead of having to shrink that picture down to fit into you "cropped" picture tube?
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Old 08-07-02, 11:12 AM
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I got the 34" 16:9 Toshiba HDTV and I love it. I don't watch TV broadcasts at all, and the amount of DVDs that I have that are 1.33:1 are a small percentage. Also, most of my video games have widescreen capabilities. So, I'm having fun.

If I went with a 4:3 set I would've needed the 40" Sony and it costs quite a bit more than the Toshiba. Plus I'd feel like I was wasting part of the screen most of the time.
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