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Tube or Projection...That is the question?

Old 01-06-03, 11:30 AM
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Tube or Projection...That is the question?

It looks like my old Mitsubishi is about to die and I don't know if I should get a 40" projection tv or spend more money on a 34" Sony WEGA. I just saw the specs on the Sony KV-34XBR800 and it looks SWEEEET! It's been so long since I've purchased a TV. I feel like a kid in a toy store, looking at all the different models. My question is, are the Sony WEGA's that great or should I look at some projection models. Thanks.
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Old 01-06-03, 12:47 PM
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First off, I'm glad you are going widescreen.

How large is your current Mits?

Given those two choices I would recommend the 34XBR800. But strongly consider a RP HDTV in the 47"+ range. There are many models available in your price range that deliver an excellent, large, theater-like picture.
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Old 01-07-03, 01:29 PM
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I have a 25" Mitsu right now, purchased back in 88. I like the 34XBR800 but the idea of getting a widescreen projection TV is enticing. Any suggestions on what features I should look for. Thanks.
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Old 01-07-03, 01:56 PM
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I like tube better. Either a 36 or 40" 4:3 or the 34" 16:9 sets. And if I was buying a 34" set, it would be the 34XBR800.

However, I am not and the reason is that there is still too much 4:3 stuff and though you can stretch it, it's too small for me on a 34" WS set. That is the equivalent of a 28" 4:3 set. It's a judgement call for sure, but I wanted a little bit more.

I understand that WS stuff like HD and DVDs is much more important to be larger than Oprah for example, so I can be swayed that the majority of 4:3 material is not that big of a deal and the future is 16:9.

But my solution was to either get a 38" 16:9 set (which is now the Loews Aconda ($$!!) or the RCA F38310 which can be found in a few dusty places for about $1000-1200. That has a built in HDTV receiver and DirectTV receiver. At that price, the RCA may seem like a no brainer. Larger set for 4:3.

So why am I not getting the RCA? Quality issues. If you go to avsforum and search for 38310 on the direct tube forum, you will see what I mean. People love them.... when they work. It's a gamble.

I made computer drawings of various size sets. I made pictures of the sets and put them on the wall to see if I would like it. I went over to a friend's house that owns a 34XBR800 and stared at it for a long time (from my normal sitting distance of 11-12 feet). I did a lot of research about this. Hours and hours.

My final decision was to get a 42" 16:9 Panasonic Plasma set. Sucks to pay more for a flat set that will be sitting in a 30" deep built in cavity, but the size is what I want, and I don't care for any RPTVs I have seen.
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Old 01-07-03, 02:26 PM
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Randy, for the price you'd be spending on the plasma, have you considered front projection? You could plop a pull-down screen in front of that cavity and never know it was there.

Plasmas are very nice in a lot of ways, but the technology is still not-quite-there, IMO, at least not for the price they cost. By purchasing a plasma you are basically agreeing that black level is not an important criteria, and if that's the case you might as well get a nice DLP projector and shine yourself an 80"+ picture.

Last edited by Josh Z; 01-07-03 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 01-07-03, 04:23 PM
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If you can control the room lighting, give front projection a serious look. There are two very good projectors at the $1,500 or below price point.

One is the Sanyo PLV-Z1 (LCD) info here:

http://projectorcentral.com/sanyo_plv_z1.htm

The other is the InFocus X1 (DLP), info here:

http://projectorcentral.com/infocus_x1.htm

If you do not see rainbows on DLP projectors, the X1 is great deal at $1500 with a five year warranty (when registered through the Infocus site), a 3,000 hour lamp life and Faroudja DCDi video processing.
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Old 01-08-03, 02:03 AM
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I went today and looked at the 34" Panasonic HD ready, 34" Sony XBR Widescreen tv's, Sony 36" 4:3 XBR, and various widescreen RPTV's. I managed to get a salesguy to connect a progressive player to the 34" Panasonic and play a DVD for me. While the picture looked more detailed and lifelike the picture just didn't "blow me away" compared to my standard 32" picture. Yes, its better but not exponentially compared to the transition I made from VHS to DVD to justify the cost. So for me, size is going to be my next focus and I'll be happy with the progressive 480p picture of an RPTV.

While tube pictures are generally "better" than RPTV's I'm finding out I personally prefer the impact (to match digital surround sound) and more film-like presentation of large screen RPTV's.
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Old 01-08-03, 02:09 AM
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nekobus,

Getting a front projection "tv" was not even in my radar before I clicked on that link you provided. Can it be viewed in a small room (about 7'-8' viewing distance)? How about reliability, durability? And how does it perform with normal television broadcasts? Does the room always have to be dark?
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Old 01-08-03, 02:56 AM
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Take a look at the 42311 and 48311 by Mitsubishi. They use the same size guns that are used in their larger tv's (up to 65inches) so the unit is bright!. Plus you have more connections (3DTV, 2 analog in back, 1 in front -svideo, rca )that you know what to do with.

Good Luck!.
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Old 01-08-03, 02:35 PM
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The 42311 Mitsubishi looks interesting, I'm going to have to check into that one. I noticed at the Mitsubishi web site that it's "HDTV upgradeable"? I'm a total newbie, please bear with me. 1) how much does it usually cost to upgrade a TV to HDTV capabilities and 2)would this give me the same quality picture as dedicated HDTV set. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-08-03, 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by Ian11
Getting a front projection "tv" was not even in my radar before I clicked on that link you provided. Can it be viewed in a small room (about 7'-8' viewing distance)? How about reliability, durability? And how does it perform with normal television broadcasts? Does the room always have to be dark?
I sit about 10 feet from a 75" diagonal 4:3 screen (equivalent to about 65" with 16:9 material) using an NEC LT-240 and the projector provides an incredible, movie theater-like experience. 6 months ago I never would have even considered a projector until a friend of mine turned me onto them. Now I will never turn back.

Yes, your room needs to be dark. That's the only downside, but I do most of my movie watching at night anyway so it's a non-issue. The more lights you have on in the room the more the picture will be washed out. It's still visible, but you definitely don't want to try watching something during the daytime with your curtains open.

Normal cable TV looks OK. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised by it (I watched 24 last night to good results), but as you would expect you are magnifying all of the signal's flaws when you blow the image up to that size. The same problem applies to large RPTVs. The quality of the scaler in the projector is the primary determining factor in how well non-DVD sources look on the big screen.

Projectors have bulbs that will eventually need replacing, and that will cost between $200-$500 depending on model. Average lifespan for a digital projector bulb is about 2,000 hours, which is a good chunk of time. That averages out to a movie a night for 2 1/2 years. But basically you want to save the projector for the 'good stuff', and not waste the bulb's life watching Wheel of Fortune and the nightly news.

Reliability is fine so long as you don't buy the Sharp M20X (long story). The unit is portable so you can bring it over to a friend's house and wow them with it.

In summary: Big big picture, tiny little box. It's a miracle.
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Old 01-08-03, 05:17 PM
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Roozilla,

There are two types of HDTV sets. The most common are called HDTV ready or HDTV upgradeable sets. The second are called Integrated HDTV sets.

To receive a HDTV signal, a special hdtv decoder is required. The HDTV ready sets need to have this decoder to receive hd signals. The integrated HDTV have this decoder included and are good to receive hd signals

There are three types of hdtv feeds to get. One is called OTA (off the air) and the other is Satellite (dish, directv.) The third one is cable... Some cable companies have it, so you might want to call your cable company to see if they have it.

To get the major networks (NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, WB, PBS), you need to have a OTA receiver. To get additional channels (such as Discovery HD, HBO HD, Showtime HD, HD net), you need to purchase a special hd satellite receiver.

For some reason, satellite companies cannot carry HD channels for the major networks. But many of the Satellite receivers have an option built in for you to attach an antenna so you can receive the major network channels. This way you don't have to have both a satellite hd receiver and a ota receiver.

Cable companies usually carry some of the networks... but the number of channels is still spotty. The upside is that you don't have to buy the decoder box, as they provide on for a low monthly fee (i think).

The ota receivers start at about 200 dollars. for the Satellite HD receivers, i've seen them start at around 400 up to a 1000.

Hope this helps.

Some other interesting home theater forums are. I encourage you to read more about it.

www.hometheaterspot.com
www.hometheaterforum.com
www.avforums.com

Good luck!

Last edited by Darthkim; 01-08-03 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 01-08-03, 06:50 PM
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I would enthusiastically endores Josh Z's suggestion.
once you get into FP there is just no going back- bulb costs, light control issues and all the rest- it doesn't matter.
once you see a favorite childhood film splashed across the wall you'll be hooked.

the only reason i would deter anybody from getting into fp, is depending on their choice of viewing material. if its mostly sports and channel surfing, go with a tube or rp, but if your like me, and love movies, an fp can change your whole attitude about television and leisure time. i no longer plop myself down in front of the tv to kill a few hours in the evening- if i have a few hours free, i fire up the pj and sound system, and its a night in at the movies.

hey Josh, how do you like your 240?
i'm very high on NEC after having had the 150 for almost a year and 1/2 now.
i'm thinking my next pj, if i'm lucky, will be the ht1000.
unless they make some major quality control screw-ups, and change their warranties, i think they'll have my future business for quite a while
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Old 01-08-03, 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
Randy, for the price you'd be spending on the plasma, have you considered front projection? You could plop a pull-down screen in front of that cavity and never know it was there.

Plasmas are very nice in a lot of ways, but the technology is still not-quite-there, IMO, at least not for the price they cost. By purchasing a plasma you are basically agreeing that black level is not an important criteria, and if that's the case you might as well get a nice DLP projector and shine yourself an 80"+ picture.
A couple reasons.

The room has a lot of glass with no curtains, so there is little control over the light.

The new set has to function as a primary set for many uses, including cable fed non-HD channels. And this will often be for someone that does not want to deal with technical complexity.

I don't want anything larger than 50" diagonal for this room. Maybe even 42" is my max. Regular cable looks too bad at my distance to me on anything bigger.

I want to be able to easily move the set, including using it occasionally at a trade show for my business.

I do think that the black level is very good in the Panasonics, which are 3000:1 (comapred to 500:1 or less in most other plasmas). If you have not seen a properly set up recent Panasonic, you should if yuo get the chance.

As of today, Panasonic announced what looks to me to be a perfect solution. http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_el...12&cont_id=360

Unfortunately, I will have to wait until July for it.
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Old 01-08-03, 10:32 PM
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Josh Z,

Although FP sounds awfully tempting (picture quality/size/weight)there are certain negatives and uncertainties that are keeping away from it.

1. Longevity. I do watch a lot of cable/network broadcasts. Sure I can keep my standard 32" Sony but once I get HD or when it becomes more widely available the FP will have to do duty as my only set. Not only bulb replacement but I heard the FP unit itself deteriorates after about 3-4 bulb changes.

2. The FP unit will have to connect to the DVD player (No?) The cost of getting the wires gives me the heebie geebies.

3. I've personally never seen a demonstration of one. Although, I believe everyone when they say the picture is unparalled it feels a little funny to buy something "blind". Why don't they sell them at Best Buy, Good Guys, and other electronics stores if its so good?

Although not ideal I think I'm still leaning towards a widescreen Mitsubishi RPTV (WT42311).
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Old 01-09-03, 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by ckolchak
hey Josh, how do you like your 240?
i'm very high on NEC after having had the 150 for almost a year and 1/2 now.
I love the 240, I really do. It's the best purchase I've ever made.

A friend of mine has a 150 so we've done a side-by-side comparison. The 240 has the same great picture quality but with higher lumens and contrast. It has been significantly refined in the areas of user convenience (no halo, whisper-quiet fan, better menus, a real remote control, etc.).

The 150 is a great little unit, but the 240 is the next logical advancement. It's like NEC took note of every little complaint owners had about the 150 and fixed them.

If you're looking for an upgrade, the HT1000 is probably the way to go. The 240 is more like the next gen of the 150. I love it.
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Old 01-09-03, 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by RandyC
The room has a lot of glass with no curtains, so there is little control over the light.

The new set has to function as a primary set for many uses, including cable fed non-HD channels. And this will often be for someone that does not want to deal with technical complexity.
Those are definitely the two biggest obstacles to front projection. If those are your requirments, a projector wouldn't work for your needs.

I want to be able to easily move the set, including using it occasionally at a trade show for my business.
Ah, but this is where a projector excels!

As of today, Panasonic announced what looks to me to be a perfect solution. http://www.panasonic.com/consumer_el...12&cont_id=360

Unfortunately, I will have to wait until July for it.
Nice. How much will one of those sucker run ya'?
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Old 01-09-03, 01:32 PM
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I know the projector would be even a better choice (for transportability) for the trade shows. I considered it. I might even get one in the future for this use.

The cost is the big question now. A standard Panasonic 42" can be had for $3500. You can get a good Akai at Costco for $3000. What will the new Panasonic be in July? I don't know. I am crossing my fingers they won't raise it up too much. More features but some price drops to keep it below $4k.
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Old 01-09-03, 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by Ian11
1. Longevity. I do watch a lot of cable/network broadcasts. Sure I can keep my standard 32" Sony but once I get HD or when it becomes more widely available the FP will have to do duty as my only set.
In that case a projector is not practical. I keep a smaller set in the room for TV watching.

Not only bulb replacement but I heard the FP unit itself deteriorates after about 3-4 bulb changes.
I don't think that's a valid concern. These things are not disposable. Many of them, such as the one I own, are built for business presentation purposes and need to be able to last under rough conditions.

You need to clean out the fan filters every once in a while, but other than that...

2. The FP unit will have to connect to the DVD player (No?) The cost of getting the wires gives me the heebie geebies.
You need to connect a DVD player to the RPTV too. It's just a different set of cables (component-to-VGA adaptor). The cost is not much more expensive.

3. I've personally never seen a demonstration of one. Although, I believe everyone when they say the picture is unparalled it feels a little funny to buy something "blind". Why don't they sell them at Best Buy, Good Guys, and other electronics stores if its so good?
Projectors are not a mass market item. They are more complicated to use than a turn-it-on-and-you're-ready TV. You also need to do a lot of research to know what projector is right for you (DLP and LCD have very different strengths and weaknesses from one another, and within those categories is a huge disparity from one projector model to the next). There is no one solution that fits everyone. Therefore, they aren't marketed to the average Joe Sixpack.

They don't sell them at Best Buy because they would be difficult to demo in-store under those conditions (lots of lighting and gizmos flashing everywhere). Under those circumstances, the benefits of a really big RPTV are easily seen ("Wow, that's a big-ass TV! I gotta get me one o' them for the Super Bowl party!") and they are easier to sell to the average consumer.

Projectors are not a solution for everyone, but for those who want a dedicated HT display for movie watching and are willing to work towards that goal, they are highly rewarding.
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Old 01-09-03, 06:58 PM
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As someone who has seen a projector in action, let me tell you that the picture is excellent.
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Old 01-12-03, 03:37 AM
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Originally posted by nekobus

One is the Sanyo PLV-Z1 (LCD) info here:

http://projectorcentral.com/sanyo_plv_z1.htm

I just bought one of these a few weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. Great for DVDs and Xbox gaming.
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