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Tide-me-over 36" SDTV Reccomendations?

Old 01-06-03, 01:57 PM
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Tide-me-over 36" SDTV Reccomendations?

My current DVD system is merely: a 27" set, the Tosh 3109 player/reciever combo, and pair of Bose (?!) bookcase speakers for L&R, with the center channel pumped back into the TV speakers for three channel front.

Nothing a real audio- or videophile could tolerate for long... But still a lot better than anyone else in my family, and not bad for today. My only immediate complaint is the image-size on widescreen films.

Given my needs and price-range--and given the still-evolving market--an HDTV anything is still maybe 5 years off for me. But I'm very very tired of watching 2.35 films on a 27" set. So I'm thinking my next entertainment hardware is a standard-def, commodity-priced 36-inch set.

Before I just run off to BB or CC and get whatever based on price and first impression, I'm wondering if anyone has any general opinions on either brands or models... (Or a place to do the research--the discussion on the HT or AV forums are way too high-end for me...)

What brands or models are generally well-regarded for 36" Standard Def on the cheap end?

What would you buy your grandma?
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Old 01-06-03, 02:08 PM
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I've seen some nice 36" Sony Wega TVs at Sears for $1299. Component input, 3:2 pulldown, the works.

I'm sort of leaning towards one of these myself. I have no place to put a large projection TV, and am too worried about the picture quality for everyday cable viewing, as well as burn in. I have a 27" Sony, and for 2.35:1 movies it is indeed too small. I have a lot of anime DVDs as well, and most of them are 4:3 aspect ration television series. Plus, there are 13 seasons of the Simpsons DVDs (eventually) coming.

I had been looking at the various 34" widescreen sets, but they're simply overpriced at $2000+. A 36" 4:3 will show a 16:9 picture the equivelent size of a 33" widescreen set, so with a quality model designed with HD in mind, I won't be losing much and will still have a huge picture for my legacy programming.
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Old 01-06-03, 02:26 PM
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I've got some of the same issues: I'll always have *tons* of legacy programming from academy-ratio movies and TV boxsets--maybe even more than widescreen. I've also got a fairly high light-level room to deal with, and I want to avoid the stretch-mode-or-burn-in issue entirely.

When I eventually can afford a good HDTV it'll probably have to be a DLP, although the tech there is still rather young and pricey. (I also think that since Congress or whomever has mandated in-the-box HDTV tuners now, I'm going to wait until a year or two after their general inclusion...)

I agree that the Sony Wegas are a great set, although anything over $1k is probably too rich for my immediate needs.

Does anyone know much about entry-level 36-inchers anymore?

Last edited by adamblast; 01-06-03 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 01-06-03, 02:40 PM
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I like the Toshiba 36A42. At around $700 it is a great entry level 36" set complete with component, S-Video, and 2 composite inputs. At around $1000, you can start looking at flat screen models.
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Old 01-06-03, 04:12 PM
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True dat... Toshiba makes a good "plain ole" set in the $700 range and would get my recommendation.

Now, for my opinions on this topic... I was once like you and upgraded to a 36" tube for DVD... One year later I was on to the 47" Panny 16X9 and wish I had just saved the money for a 16X9 to begin with. Now instead of a smaller tube set for my den, I have a 36" tube... Great for 4X3 DVDs (I watch nothing on the Panny except for anamorphic DVDs) but in retrospect a smaller set would have been better for my space requirements.

Also... If you're getting into the $1200 range why not just go to $1700 and get a nice HDTV ready 16X9? Hell, with the financing options available these days and the prices dropping, you can get a great deal on a nice Panny or Toshiba 16X9 with no interest and low payments, etc... Just look around.

Anyhoo, check out the Toshiba...
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Old 01-06-03, 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by Johnny Zhivago
Also... If you're getting into the $1200 range why not just go to $1700 and get a nice HDTV ready 16X9? Hell, with the financing options available these days and the prices dropping, you can get a great deal on a nice Panny or Toshiba 16X9 with no interest and low payments, etc... Just look around.

Anyhoo, check out the Toshiba...
Thanks for the Tosh recommendations, guys...

I'd love a 16x9, but even $1200 is getting impractical for right now... $1700 is more like my price range for a car...

It's cool there's a range of decent entry-level RP HDTVs out there for $1700 to 2000... And I'm tempted, although it would mean saving up for most of 2003...

I guess I'm still very *UN*convinced, in spite of reading a million posts here and elsewhere, that "proper" RPTV brightness levels would be good enough for my room. And I shudder at the thought of stretching or re-framing all my 4x3 material just to compromise for burn-in fears. People say they get used to it. Somehow that doesn't inspire me.

A system that would let me display both--in full brightness with no worries--would cost more like $3-5k... Like the Sammy DLPs... Or am I missing something?

Last edited by adamblast; 01-06-03 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 01-06-03, 05:57 PM
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I have a 36"tosh.It's 3 years old,and has a very good picture on it.It's hooked up to dvd w/component video,directv w/ s-video.The picture is crisp and full of color, I look at a 32" or 36" tvs.Non-flat tvs are cheaper and look great unless your room has alot of glare.Good luck
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