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Widescreen HDTV questions

Old 10-22-02, 10:17 AM
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Widescreen HDTV questions

Forgive me if this has been asked many times before: A friend of mine is buying a Widescreen HDTV and asked my advice. Im not that knowledgeable about the subject but told her i'd research the info.

From what i've been reading on this forum:
A widescreen TV is not a HDTV without the HD decoder. The decoder can be separate from the TV or A part of it.
Is this correct? Is it better to buy one seperately or have it included.

she has been looking at these models and has 3,000 to spend. She most likely will buy from a best buy/circuit city type store. She did not get the model #s thought i hope this is enough info .

Mitsubishi
65" HDTV ready (needs to get that - not included)
Widescreen
2699.99

Mitsubishi
55"HDTV included
Widescreen
2879.99

Philips
60" Widescreen
HDTV (not included)
Widescreen
1979.99

Mitsubishi
55" HDTV (not inlcuded)
Widescreen
1979.99


out of these she is mainly interested in the
Mistsubishi 65 . Does anyone have it and are they happy with it.

are there any known problems with it?

she is also considering the Warranty from best buy. I know people have very strong views on warrantys but does anyone have any experiece with the best buy warranty specifically with regard to widescreen TV's

What else should i be aware of when looking with her for TV's of this kind. Primarily the tv will be used for DVD's (we have a prog scan player), cable tv, and once in a while video games, (when i come over) I have heard of ISF calibration , is this done by a technician, or is it covered in the warranty usually, also i keep reading about having to "clean the tubes", is there yearly maintenence to be performed on these TV's? (is that usually covered inthe warranty?)

im sorry for the barrage of questions. Any and all advice is welcome and needed.




thanks.

Last edited by killershark; 10-22-02 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 10-22-02, 11:41 AM
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make sure it has a DVI input. it may become the standard connection for encrypted programming.

and regarding the hd decoder, i believe it is always better to go the external route. the technology is changing so quickly it's easier to swap out one box for another. plus, i can get a HD cable box from my cable company (Time Warner) at no extra charge so i would be wasting money paying for a built in decoder. plus, if you watch Directv you need the HD receiver so there's no need for a built in one too.

Last edited by broadwayblue; 10-22-02 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 10-22-02, 02:22 PM
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Thank you for the reply.

The Mitts do not have a DVI input , if it becomes the standard will the TV be obsolete?

Is dvi just a (macrovision/type) copy protection device?
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Old 10-22-02, 03:13 PM
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basically, if DVI does become the accepted standard for tranmitting encrypted/protected programs it may prevent sets that don't have this connection from receiving the highest quality images. for example, future HD cable or satellite boxes may downrez the s-video and component outputs (all outputs other than DVI) to 480P (standard definition.) thus, your 1080i compatible set wouldn't be able to receive HD even though it is capable of resolving it. once again, no one is certain that DVI will prevail, but my point is that since the majority of 2003 models will have it it's a good idea to protect yourself. i think Mits is just about the only manufacturer to not yet offer a DVI model.

basically the HDCP software will read flags in the programming that determines whether the program is Copy Never, Copy Once, or Copy Always, and the result will determine whether digital recording devices will be able to make a copy.

Last edited by broadwayblue; 10-22-02 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 10-22-02, 06:48 PM
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One thing that I see brought up by many new 16x9 owners: YOU WILL STILL GET BLACK BARS ON 2.35 MOVIES! Not yelling at you, mind you, just speaking up. I know a lot of people get WS tvs for the better resolution, but I see a lot of posts from people getting them to get rid of the black bars, and then pop in their Phantom Menace DVD and they're still there.

And of course bars on the left and right for 1.33 material.

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 10-22-02, 08:46 PM
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The Mits HD RPTVs are some of the best out there after a little tweaking or an ISF calibration. As was stated earlier your friend should do as much reading up on the future copy protection standards that the studios want to force on us so they can make an informed decision. Mits is fighting to use Firewire connections as the standard instead of DVI and other manufacturers are offering both types of connections to play it safe. I believe this issue won't be fully enforced for a few years yet so if DVI does win as the standard Mits will hopefully change their stance on the Promise module they're offering and upgrade thier sets to DVI. If you do decide on a Mits do not buy from Best Buy since to cut costs the ones they sell do not have all of the features that the normal Mits models have. These are special models sold only thru them hence the different model numbers when comparing to other stores. Check out the home theater spot for more info on both of these issues since they are very heavily supported by Mits owners.
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Old 10-23-02, 09:02 AM
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First off thanks to everyone for posting, I came into this thread knowing quite little and feel much more confident about the subject. Of course there is still some questions that I have and here goes:

When you say a little tweaking do you mean buying an Avia or video essentials disk and adjusting the picture with various internal menu options, or do you mean going to radio shack and buying attenuators and such.

I've heard about Mitts and its problem with red push , but honestly am a little confused by it.

Can red push be resolved (or made unnoticeable to a non-videophile) by Avia or do you need to get an ISF calibration, which i understand is around 500$. Keep in mind she will most likely not notice if the settings are not perfect.


also what makes the Best buy brand worse then the ones you would buy elsewhere. What features do the best buy versions lack, and how much is the difference in price between the two?

OK promise last question for now, What is your opinion on the best out of box 55"-65" widescreen HDTVready (no internal HDTV decoder) set , one that wouldn't have such issues as red push or require tons of tweaking. (although i understand that most models have the contrast and the brightness turned way up to dazzle consumers, and this must be turned down for fear of screen burn in. if im wrong please correct me)


Once again thanks to all.
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Old 10-23-02, 11:43 AM
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straight out of the box they will all be off. but 4 of the highest rated sets in that size are the Toshiba 57HDX82, Hitachi 57SWX20B, Sony KP57WV700, and Mitsubishi WS-55511.
all of these sets at the very least should be given a calibration when they are initially set up using the avia disc. if you want the best possible picture than you should go with an isf calibration but it is recommended that you wait a couple of months to settle before you do so.

as far as why buying from best buy is a bad idea, they have mitsubishi build them special (read lower cost) models that only they will sell. this prevents them from having to price match...but more importantly the sets don't always have all the bells and whistles. they may use lesser quality lenses or go with a cheaper more glare prone screen. i believe current model mit's have less red push than previous models.

which one is the best is really very subjective. only your eyes can tell for sure. plus, they all excel in different areas. some are better at upconverting analog signals, others have better looking stretch modes, etc. only you know what your primary use for the set will be (cable (analog or digital), satellite, dvd, HDTV, video games, vhs (eww).)

i really suggest you measure your current viewing distance and go to the store with a tape measure. seat yourself that same distance away from the various models you are considering and spend as much time watching as you can. bring your own dvds, or your replay or tivo and plug it in. if you have directv make sure you watch a satellite feed. if you love your ps2 bring it too and try it out! nobody has the same exact needs and everyone's eyes are different. don't go with the hype. go with what looks best to you!

Last edited by broadwayblue; 10-23-02 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 10-23-02, 01:13 PM
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Is it only Best Buy, or do they do the same with circuit city, and the other major retailers.

on a similar note does anyone know any good places to get one in the Long Island area?
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Old 10-23-02, 01:31 PM
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Red push is where the amount of red versus the amount of blue and green is too high in the color decoder. This can be seen using Avia 's color decoder check test. Many people mistakenly turn done the color level overall to correct this but that just washes out all of the colors. By turning down the amount of red it allows you to keep the rgreen and blues and the proper levels. The red push on the Mits can be removed fairly easily on the models with the built in HDTV tuner. On these models you have access to the color decoder adjustments that are locked out on the other models. On the ones with the adjustment locked out it can still be done for component inputs using attentuators or on all inputs using an interface to your PC that is more tricky. A qualified calibrator should also be able to fix it on all inputs as well.

As for tweaking any RPTV; they all can be made better with an ISF calibration but if that's too costly than many of the tweaks that can be done will bring you pretty close to that level. The only thing I can't do on my Mits is adjust the grayscale since I don't have the required specialized electronic tools to do it.

You say if the settings aren't perfect she won't notice but why spend $2000 to $3000 on a set to have it's performance hampered by poor color and overscan settings among other things. All of these issues they ship with are all pretty easy to fix and will really make you hapy in your investment.
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Old 10-23-02, 02:13 PM
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If you're in the NY metro area I always recommend P.C. Richard and Son.
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Old 10-24-02, 08:59 AM
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Im a little confused: You said that the models with the HDTV tuner have a feature that allows the red signal to be turned down independently of the other color channels. If i buy one without the tuner (i was calling it the decoder before , is it the same?) i cannot do this. Is this just on best buys stripped down model mitts model or is it on any mits model without the tuner. Also is this on other brand sets as well (no tuner no individual color managment)

Does PC richards have "normal" mitts models or stripped down versions akin To best buy?
Thanks again to all
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Old 10-24-02, 12:53 PM
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Nope the Mits at PC Richard are the real deal. Best Buy is the only store to get these "special" models from Mits. Yes HDTV tuner and decoder are the same thing but the adjustments for red push or grenn pull as other manufacturers set have is called a color decoder. No HDTV tuner = no built in push adjustment. HDTV tuner built in = access to color decoder. This is true on all the lastest Mits models but given the odd way they're built for Best Buy I can't be sure about those that are sold there. You can also get the lower end models at Sears which they allow 30 day returns on I hear but you'll be able to haggle a better price at PC Richards so you'll most likely get a better set from them at the same price as Sears.
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Old 10-24-02, 01:49 PM
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Ok so the Mitts without the HDTV tuner does not allow for individual color adjustment to correct for red push.

So is there any way to correct it just by menu options? (on the one without the tuner)
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Old 10-24-02, 02:23 PM
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To correct it on models without the tuner you can use an attenuator built from parts bought from Radio Shack or you can buy one from others who don't need it anymore. This option only works for sources connected with componant cables. To correct it on all inputs you need to take more drastic measures by using an I2C interface hooked up to your PC. Using software on your PC you can adjust the color registors and save them back to the Eproms inside the Mits. This interface can also be built from RS parts or purchased from others. The I2C method is what most ISF calibrators will do for you.
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Old 10-24-02, 02:58 PM
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I would not worry about the red push on the Mitts. The only way a lott of people can tell that there is any is by using Avia 's color decoder check test. I have the WS-55807 that I had bought last summer and the picture looks great to me and I have several several and several friends and family that have seen the picture quality and they are amazed at how good this set looks(I have never had anybody look at my set and say that there was too much red color in the picture). The only things that I have done to it is turned down the contrast and brightness controls and played around with the color and tint settings.
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Old 10-24-02, 03:18 PM
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Well I can tell you that the reason you aren't seeing the red push then is because you most likely turned your color down and the tint up to compensate. Doing this you've cut down the red by turning down the color and making the tint towards green instead of red. So the result is no red push but you're not getting the accuracy of the other colors. So blues and greens are not balanced and created a new problem to make up for one old problem. Now you've got washed out blues and green push. But if you're happy with it cool but it's not correct in any sence of the word. Now if you didn't do these things then it's still there but it doesn't bother you so again you're happy with it so it's still cool but still wrong.
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Old 10-24-02, 03:23 PM
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Ok so on one hand if i buy a tv WITH a decoder, its useless as a decoder for everything except over the air signals.-and i would have to buy another decoder if i wanted cable to be HD ... However i can fix the red push problem quick and simple.


If i dont buy a TV with decoder, then i have to make a part from radio shack components ?! to correct a manufactures defect? or pay a technician 500$ to fix.

is this the same on all brands or just mitts?

does mits know that this a problem, do they offer any solution/explanation as to why this happens.

is a minor problem that will go unnoticed by most people (non-videophiles)


Honestly after hearing this I'm a little hesitant to reccomend the mitts to my friend.

she wants HD cable and so that would pretty much render the inside decoder useless right? However without it the red's off , and there's no way to universally fix it without a techician ( which i know she will not do), or make the attenuator for each red output. That said i assume the red would still be off for everything that isn't connected to the component with the attenuator.

what has everyone else done to correct this problem?

I never thought buying one of these things would be so complicated.

thank you for all the advice so far , its been very helpful. Hopefully i can provide her with an answer so we have it for christmas.
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Old 10-24-02, 04:13 PM
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I see no washed out colors at all or any other color with more of a push, I am very picky on how my picture looks and how my audio equipment sound. Like I said before if there was a color problem several of my friends and family would have pointred that out. I believe if was not for the internet with several message forums nobody would have ever noticed that there was any type of red push on the Mitts sets. Don't take that as a flame chipmac.

killershark.......... I would not for one second hesitate reccomending a mitts to your friend, all brands have a little bit of a red push just some a little more than others. I have had several friends go out and buy mitts sets and they are as happy as can be......
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Old 10-24-02, 06:25 PM
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Killershark: I know we've been going on about Mits and their red push but this is something that might not bother you. All manufacturers sets have some pluses and minuses this just happens to one of the things people tend to notice on Mits sets. Hitachi RPTVs tend to push toward green but it's not so easily fixed. Toshibas have ghosting problems. Pioneer has issues with S-video connections. You see they all have issues but bang for the buck most say that Mits is the best.

Unless you intend to receive only OTA HD stay away from any set with a built in HD tuner. If you're going to get HD from cable or sat you'll be fine with a HDTV ready set since the cable company will most likely supply their own decoder box and for sat you'll be better off getting a STB that does both OTA and sat. Also let me say that most people are more than happy to have their set delivered and plug it in and never do a thing to it. All I'm saying is with any of these RPTVs you'll be much happier with the results with a little tweaking on your part or a full ISF calibration. The calibration does a whole lot more that just fix red push for $500. What do others do? Well they either live with it or they can have it fixed by somebody else or on their own. After spending a chunk of change on a set like this wouldn't you want it to be it's best.
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Old 10-24-02, 06:38 PM
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rthm: I'm not taking it as a flame. Like I said if you're happy with your set that's great but it is there and the adjustments you've made are only masking it. It might not bother you just like some people never notice the chroma bug until it's pointed out to them but it is there. Now if you really want to be blown away by the picture your set can provide I suggest you try to eliminate it and adjust other things that you can do very easily that others pay calibrators to do. When I bought my 55819 last year I didn't think I would ever see a better picture but after reading up on things to improve it I've adjusted overscan to equal 4.5% all around so no excess picture is missing. I performed a manual and electrostatic focus and lined the inside of the cabinate with a material call Duvetyne that improves color fidelity by reducing internal reflections. I also removed the lenses over the CRTs and cleaned them out since the set was shipped with bugs and sawdust in between the lenses and CRTs like most other sets that are mass produced. All of these simple things added up to an almost fully calibrated set for a fraction of the cost and a picture that is ten times better than what I started with so to me it was worth the effort. The only thing I'm unable to do is adjust the grayscale since this takes specialized equipment. Happy viewing.
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Old 10-29-02, 10:38 AM
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Thanks to everyone for helping me with my research.

This past weekend my friend went and bought a 65" mitsu gold series (i think its the 65411)

anyway some final questions:

right off the bat i know that we have to turn down the brightness and contrast, is this on every input or is there a main contol that does it across the board.

What is IRIS? and will this counter any settings I make (like turning down the brightness contrast?) Should it be turned on or off?

Upon getting the TV (there is still a few weeks before we get it) is there anything else we should do to.

i have been reading about screen burn in and am wondering if i should wait a month or two before i hook up my gamecube, i heard that tv's are brighter initially and its best to break them in first before you hook them up to a game system. Also do black bars from letterboxed movies burn in or is there a way around this? (same with 4/3 images on a 16/9 screen?)

Finally Do they sell Avia at any B/M store or must you order it online. (if so anyone have any good deals on it?)

Once again sorry for the barrage of questions, but thanks in advance.
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Old 10-29-02, 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by killershark

What is IRIS? and will this counter any settings I make (like turning down the brightness contrast?) Should it be turned on or off?
This feature is a light sensor. If the room is dark, the brightness of the picture will be turned down. I have mine off. Once I was watching a movie at dusk, and the brightness of the picture starting to flutter. I thought the TV was on the fritz and started to panic. Fortunately it didn't take too long to figure out the Iris feature was on so I turned that sucked off for good.
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