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TV Advice Appreciated

Old 07-19-05, 07:06 PM
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TV Advice Appreciated

I'm looking for a new television around 30"-34" (entertainment center available width is 36 3/4" give or take a bit). My price range is around $1000-$1400. I want maximum screen in minimum area.

Here are some I'm considering:

Toshiba 34HF85 34" TheaterWide HD-Ready Flat-Screen Direct View TV

Samsung TXR3079WH 30" Widescreen Flat Panel HH-Ready TV


Sony KV-30HS420 30" FD Trinitron WEGA Hi-Scan 1080i HD-Ready Widescreen TV


Toshiba 34" Widescreen HD-Ready Flat-Tube TV with HDMI Input - Silver/Gray 34HF84

Toshiba TheaterWide 34" HD-Ready Flat-Tube TV w/HDMI Input - Silver 34HF85

Any of these great or terrible? I apologize for my television n00bness. I'm finally upgrading from a 24".

Thanks very much for your help.

Rich

Last edited by Rico Diablo; 07-19-05 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 07-19-05, 09:29 PM
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I would stay away from a "tube" set - DLP is the way to go, but that may be out of your price and size range...just my opinion too.

Check this out...it may help.

http://www.sdinfo.com/volume_12_1/fe...uy-3-2005.html
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Old 07-20-05, 02:47 PM
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Rico - There are dedicated threads for most of the televisions you listed above on the AVS Forum's Direct View (single tube based) Displays sub-forum. There is a wealth of information at your disposal. If you are stepping up from a 24 incher, I am certain you will be happy w/ any of the TVs you listed. After a proper break-in period, get the TV calibrated by an ISF-certified calibrator - it's worth the money and your picture will look better, IMO, than any picture you will get from CRT-based RPTV, LCD, DLP, Plasma, etc.

Last edited by B.A.; 07-20-05 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 08-15-05, 09:33 PM
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OKay, after wading through some avsforum and home theater spot forums, I'm going a completely different direction.

I'm now thinking about the Toshiba 51HC85. Considering how much screen I get for not much more money than the TVs listed above, I'm deciding to lose the relatively inexpensive entertainment center and bring in a 51".

Toshibas seem to have at least as good of a reputation as any other brand, so any reason I *shouldn't* get this set? Also, I see it's on sale at Best Buy this week for $1299.

I'm also second guessing getting it at Best Buy. I normally have no problem shutting BBers down when they push the extended warranty, but it's not usually when I'm buying $1300 worth of television. Any place better to make this purchase? better price, better reputation, anything?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-15-05, 10:00 PM
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I think BB had the Mitsu 51" or about that price this week too in the ad. Check it out. Mitsu makes a fantastic set.
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Old 08-16-05, 05:25 AM
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Make that Mitsubishi a 55". So it's larger than the Tosh. I think the Mits is a better TV especially once it's calibrated but for Xbox gaming the Mit's won't accept a 720p Xbox signal and the Tosh does I believe. So on the Mits you're stuck with 480p if that matters to you. For me 480p on gaming is fine on my Mits.
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Old 08-16-05, 03:49 PM
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I looked at the Toshiba and the Mitsubishi 55315 (55", only $100 more than the Toshiba) in Best Buy this afternoon. Both seemed fine, but not mind-blowingly good.

Also, it's difficult to tell when the Mitsu was up on the third shelf 20' in the air. The angle was terrible.

Are the TVs in BB calibrated at all? Is there any way to get an accurate idea of the picture quality in a BB, CC, etc?
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Old 08-16-05, 04:01 PM
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No. No. The viewing angle range of these TVs is horrible vertically, so that is completely useless that high up. Maybe if you were 100' away across the store you could get a decent angle to see the colors and whatnot, but I doubt you'd be able to see from that distance.

For a CRT RPTV especially, you should figure in a real ISF calibration after at least 100 hours of viewing. These run around $300-400 typically. With a good calibrator you might achieve "mind-blowingly good". At the very least, you should invest in Avia or Video Essentials and calibrate it as much as possible the very first thing. Esp turn down the contrast which is always set ridiculously high because of the poor display opportunities at such stores.
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Old 08-17-05, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Spiky
For a CRT RPTV especially, you should figure in a real ISF calibration after at least 100 hours of viewing. These run around $300-400 typically. With a good calibrator you might achieve "mind-blowingly good". At the very least, you should invest in Avia or Video Essentials and calibrate it as much as possible the very first thing. Esp turn down the contrast which is always set ridiculously high because of the poor display opportunities at such stores.
Right, I understand all this. My question is, is it safe to assume all display models in a Best Buy or Circuit City have *not* been calibrated for the best picture? If it is safe to assume this, is there any way to know which set will have a better picture among all models on display? I would guess there isn't. So how, other than online opinions, of which there are many and they are varied, can I tell which television to spend my $1500 on? OR should I even be buying something like this in a Best Buy?
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Old 08-17-05, 05:24 AM
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Yes it's safe to assume that none of the chain retail stores have calibrated their displays. If fact they're most likely using the factory default out of box settings. Even many high end stores only use Avia or DVE to set the user settings. It's very rare to find a properly calibrated display anywhere.

Something you should know about calibrations. Every brand and every model within a brand will calibrate differently. So even if you were to see a calibrated display in a store that would be no guarantee that it would look exactly the same in your room.

The best advice I can give you is to buy based on reliability, features and price. Then have a pro who is familiar with your make and model do the cal. You don't want to hire somebody that is more familiar with Hitachi than Mitsubishi to cal your Mits. The basics of a cal are the same for everything but to really make your display stand out you need someone who can tweak it beyond the normal ISF training and knows the inner workings of your model to do so.

As for which will look better, I'm sure if you follow the above advice that you'll be very happy with which ever brand you buy as far as PQ goes. That's why you should look at features and reliability and weigh that against what you can afford.
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Old 08-17-05, 11:32 AM
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Thanks, chipmac. That answers my question perfectly.

Cool. So most likely I'll be fine with either the Toshiba or Mitsubishi as they both seem to be among the most reliable brands. Price and features.

Follow up: I never buy the extended warranties that BB pushes on everyone, but is it wise to do so for this purchase? Or is it still a waste of money like usual?
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Old 08-17-05, 01:27 PM
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On these mass produced, often flakey, expensive purchases I believe it's a good idea for an extended warranty. Now what a lot of people don't realize is that you can hedge your bets and get one well after you purchase the TV and you don't need to get it from the place you bought the TV from. There a third party companies that sell extended warranties that you can shop around for the best deal just as you can on the TV itself.

I don't know about other brands but Mits gives you a 1 year warranty and near the end of that first year you have the option of extending it through them. This gives you close to a full year to determine if you think your TV might be problem free. With a RPTV you definitely want in home service and the cost of a single service call and the hourly rate of fixing even something minor can make a $500 EW worth it.

Also don't let the store fool you into thinking that a calibration and cleaning is worth it to buy their warranty. Most of their service techs no only how to fix things and know nothing about cleaning and cals. Learn to clean the CRT lenses yourself and hire a pro to do the cal.

When you shop based on features look at things like how many and what types of inputs you need. Look at the stretch modes that each brand offers. They are different from brand to brand. Is native support of 480p important to you? If so then Mits is the only HDTV to still offer it. Unless you'll be buying a universal remote then compare the stock remotes to see if you're comfortable using it. Can the protective shield be easily removed by you? If you're keeping it on how well does the anit-glare work. Do you want a built in HD tuner? Do you want cablecard and memory card support? These are the things that separate the brands and models. Like I said when they're all calibrated they all look great but how they function for your needs is what matters.
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