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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking about getting the WEGA KDF-55WF655 from Audiotronic/Dumoulin for about $3500 with stand.

My dilemma is with the size and the viewing distance. When sitting on the sofa, we are about at 8.5 feet and, when sitting on the other chair, at 10.5 feet . Is the 55WF655 too big?

Keep in mind, I currently have regular cable only and will probably be that way for a while. Will we be happy watching regular cable on that set or will we be disappointed?

I am sure watching DVDs will be great but I am concerned about watching TV shows, news, whatever on regular cable.

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I had the same question when I was considering this set. I took a gamble and it paid off. I am sitting only 8 .5 feet away from my TV set. It looks great when watching HD and DVD stuffs.

Before I bought this set, I sweard to my wife that I'll not get a HD STB for at least 6 months. After I got the TV for a week, I went to FS to get a HD STB. I just could not watch anything from that distance. (May be I am too old....)
 

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I went through the same dilemma before deciding to buy that same package at Audiotronic. Our sitting distance is roughly the same as yours, and the set looks great with HD and DVD material, and regular SD is okay. That is partly due though, to the picture quality of digital satellite (*C).

What it all comes down to is that the acceptability of the picture is going to depend on a number of factors. Your best bet is to see if Audiotronic or any other store can show you the set with a regular cable feed and judge for yourself.

On the other hand, it may also be a good justification for moving to HD.

Just my $0.02 worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hkb & kes68, thanks for comments.

I'm hearing that 55 inches is OK but would you say that 60 would be even better then or is it that 55 is actually the maximum you'd recommend for that distance?

As far as watching SD is concerned, it seems one of you could not stay on it for very long, despite promises made ;-) and the other is on (better looking) satellite. That aspect of the matter is not very reassuring for me...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
57 & filper, thanks for the feedback. I am getting the feeling that if I really want a 55 inch screen, I'll have to switch to HD cable...

57 said:
A good rule of thumb is that for SD programming, the minimum viewing distance is 2.0 times screen size.
filper said:
My brother-in-law has a 60" Sony LCD connected to LOOK SD.
He sits about 8.5' away. It LOOKs horrible.
 

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If you're buying a 55WF655, then it's definitely worth getting HD cable. Any shows in HD are far better than in SD. Far better. Picture and sound. I won't watch anything now that isn't HD, if I can avoid it. And I watch shows that I didn't watch before now that are in HD, because they are in HD. For us old guys, it's like when colour TVs first came out. I have a 60" Sony, and sit 15 ft away - and the picture is stunning, HD and SD (given SD limitations), and others will sit 10 feet away, and still find the picture stunning. Initially, you will find the size overwhelming, but very quickly get used to it, to the point that you'll wish that you had bought a larger screen. Especially when you watch programs that come in 4:3 format - on a 60" TV, it's like watching on 50" TV, so on a 55" TV, it will be like watching the program on 46" TV, which isn't really that large (assuming you are like me, and don't like everyone to look like trout-mouth).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks HD Watcher. My problem is that the wife follows a few TV shows in French and I don't expect those to be in HD anytime soon. That's why I was trying to find out if we can still watch SD (on standard analog cable) on such a big screen. See, my question is not as much finding out if HD is worth it or not but finding out if one can live without HD on such a large TV set.

BTW, I was thinking about getting a 60 inch screen to make sure we would not regret the 55 a few months after getting it but it seems that going to anything larger than our current 36 without HD may not be a good move after all...
 

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My wife watches a number of non-HD shows, and while they are not HD quality, the picture and sound are very acceptable, and in some cases, almost HD quality. Future Shop, Costco etc. have policies that if you aren't satisfied, for any reason, you can return the set within the first x days. It might be worth trying a set out, to see how it looks to you. Then the wonderful quality of HD, DVDs etc. will be an added bonus.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again HD Watcher. To tell you the truth, I was hoping that non-HD shows would be OK while getting the "added bonus" with DVDs (as you said) until HD becomes more common.

However, "filper" above and a local sales guy got me a bit worried about watching SD on those sets. The sales guy even told me that 36-inch was the recommended size at 8.5 feet but we find our 36-inch set pretty small (the wall where we have the TV is like 20 feet wide though).

By the way, I assume that when you (or your wife) watch SD programs on your satellite or digital cable HD service, it is probably better than SD on regular cable.

The x-days money back warranty is definitely something to keep in mind...
 

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I couldn't tell you what SD cable looks like on our TV - we put in HD cable as soon as we got our HD TV. But I will tell you that the SD stations are very acceptable - but we have a strong cable signal. The only way you'll be able to tell with your eyes, and your cable if the reception is something you like, is to put in a set to try it. By the way, my wife is starting to watch only HD shows as well - they say it changes what you watch - and it does.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again HD Watcher. I wish you had stayed on SD cable for a while to be able to talk (or write) about it...

While I have you reading this, do you think that downsizing to 50 inches (let's say) but going for a direct LCD or Plasma would make a difference with regards to watching regular cable? Or would it be the same problem?
 

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I sit 8.5' away from a 46" display.

Well authored DVD's look great.

I briefly connect my BEV SD STB from the living room (I don't watch TV) and I was disappointed with the picture quality. I assume a digital source such as BEV creates compression artifacts which diminish the quality even more than analogue cable would.

May I suggest that you check out some friend's or family's displays to compare or perhaps even a store display, preferably a higher end shop. They tend to have a more controlled set up.

Personally I would not want my display any larger than the 46" it is with the seating arrangement I have. I had originally thought of a 42" set, but there were few choices with a RP CRT.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi filper, I have been to a few stores and watched SD analog cable on screens as large as 60 inches. Wasn't great but it was actually OK. Your previous post got me concerned a bit though.

I currently have a 36 inch HD TV Set with line doubling technology. It looks fine on SD cable which is all I have now. I find that 42, 43 or 46 inch is not worth the change from 36.

I am currently checking out digital cable prices (with or without HD) to be ready to make the switch if I buy the new set and find SD cable not good enough. Maybe that's the best way to go...
 

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I run a 53" 4:3 Sony RPTV and only have standard cable. I sit about 8ft back from the screen and find it pretty good. I went into the service menu about two months ago and adjusted alot of stuff that made a very large difference as to how close I could sit. DVDs are just amazing as I use my LG upconverting player via component and its better then the movie theater IMOP. In 16:9 mode I get a 48" diaginal picture and think thats just fine. :D
I find the biggest problem with picture quality is that some networks use way to much compression to record and store there masters and when they air them the picture is just aweful. some people say it looks like a "jellow" effect. or the picture is very dark and fuzzy. this is not the display it is the brodcaster that gives us this crappy signal. Global here in Edmonton just upgraded there system and you can tell the picture quality has improoved dramaticly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Audio, that's a very interesting experience. Even with the screen ratio difference, I don't think the 53 and 55 are very different in total area. Heck, maybe I should go for the 60inch then...

I guess I need to go back to the store and look at them again, maybe get the biggest I can afford and be ready to switch to HD cable.

I tend to believe your story about broadcasters as even or SD analog cable, I find a large variance between some of the channels. Must be the same on HD.
 

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I split my cable so it goes to the TV and the cable box. The none digital channels I watch using the TV's tuner and you would not believe how much better the picture is. I just can't get over it!
 

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Daz,
Are you saying that you get better PQ by bypassing the cable box?
I usually just watch SD cable via the components input...but that would be interesting to check out...if bypassing the cable box has better quality
 

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Yes, I split the cable coming out of the way and use the digital cable box to watch the digital channels. I watch the others using the tv's built in tuner and it is amazing the difference it makes.
 
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