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Discussion Starter #1
I have put the front projector idea to bed for a little while and am thinking about an RPTV for my family room to replace my 32" Sony WEGA.

My problem right now is that I cannot decide which one is best for me. I have viewed them all (Panasonic, Sony, JVC, Toshiba and Hitachi) and they all seem good. I am looking for a widescreen in the 47" to 53" size range (give or take).

If anything, last night, the Hitachi (not sure which model) stood out for me compared to the rest.

I have no brand preference, so picture quality and features are the deciding factors in that order. Anything I should look for at this stage?

I will be viewing DVD mostly with Star Choice/4DTV/DirecTV HDTV (and maybe OTA if it'll reach where I am)
 

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Well screen size is your decision although the majority is opting for widescreen.

In reviewing the various forums, I'd summarize by saying the following.

Toshiba has good pricing but for picture quality go with the HDX series.

Panasonic has equally good or superior picture quality but no DVI.

Hitachi picture quality is perhaps superior to Toshiba and Panasonic with people buying the SWX series but you're generally paying a higher price.

Sony has a quality product at a premium price.

Look at Samsung, Toshiba HX series, JVC, RCA etc if you're trying to hit a lower price point but you'll probably sacrifice on PQ and features.

Personally if I was deciding today I'd be concentrating on the Toshiba HDX or the Hitachi SWX sets.
 

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Mike, the only recomendation I can make (from my single 56 panny experience) is to take a good look at SDTV on a Big Wide TV compared to a little wide tv, I haven't seen analog on mine yet, but DTH Starchoice SDTV (daily viewing, not HD or DVD) c/w it's compression artifacts can be a little disapointing. (note some channels are more than acceptable, but some are like watching throough 6 mil vapour barrier poly)
I'm sure the smaller unit (42", 47") will be better than the 53", or larger in regards to compression snags.
you have a lot more video sources available to you than I do, so YMMV

If I could go back, I'd still do a FP for movies, entertaining with decent sources, and DVD/Gaming, and a 32" for SDTV.

So I'm once again saving for a FP, (but my 56" 51 series was such a good deal, I had to NOT pass it up)
 

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I like Human's answer. Personally I settled on the Toshiba 57HDX82 because of $ and picture quality. I escpecially struggled over my most important value - picture quality above all- at the "best" price not "premium".

There are no complaints from anybody (family, friends) that have viewed it and that includes a few RPTV sceptics. I was sweating it for a while . if there had been alot of negative feedback this HT/TV decision would have done me in. :)

My friend said he had just viewed a 57" Sony from another friend and didn't like the picture experience and was surprised at the picture quality on mine which changed his opinion and now has him and his family planning on one-smaller size though.

I may have gone over on size 57" vs 50". Family sits 9-13' for cable viewing and closer for any DVD-because of HD clarity. I noticed that kids cartoons are always much clearer than normal cable viewing but then I do not have HD cable or Sat. (The size question has only to do with cable viewing distance not DVD)

This is not an easy decision. It is as much subjective as objective ($ and science). I found it hard to translate the experience from the showroom floor to my family room dynamics.

I must say that I was absolutely right in one thing. About 6-9 months ago I stopped watching DVD's because I was unsatisfied with my HT experience on a 36" 4:3 tube. The impact of a 16:9 visual is unbelievable on the HT experience. I would zealously encourage anyone serious about their DVD viewing to get into any size of a - good quality picture - 16:9 RPTV. Toshiba has a 42" inthe HDX series.

Well off my soapbox and back to work. Holidays are over.

northport
 

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Discussion Starter #6
human said:
Personally if I was deciding today I'd be concentrating on the Toshiba HDX or the Hitachi SWX sets.
Price isn't really an issue (although I have ruled out Pioneer's Elite :)), but these are the two sets that I am leaning toward right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bent said:
Mike, the only recomendation I can make (from my single 56 panny experience) is to take a good look at SDTV on a Big Wide TV compared to a little wide tv, I haven't seen analog on mine yet, but DTH Starchoice SDTV (daily viewing, not HD or DVD) c/w it's compression artifacts can be a little disapointing.
I have yet to see any of the prospective TVs with Star Choice or regular cable, but I suspect it will be disappointing. Perhaps I will have to start watching more analog C-Band :) A perfect excuse to use my unused 4DTV more!

If I could go back, I'd still do a FP for movies, entertaining with decent sources, and DVD/Gaming, and a 32" for SDTV.
My problem is that to accomodate a FP, I would need to do multiple thousands in renovations of my unfinished basement. That adds significantly to the price of the projector!

My plan right now is to get a decent RPTV and use it while I save my pennies for the basement reno.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
northport said:
I must say that I was absolutely right in one thing. About 6-9 months ago I stopped watching DVD's because I was unsatisfied with my HT experience on a 36" 4:3 tube. The impact of a 16:9 visual is unbelievable on the HT experience. I would zealously encourage anyone serious about their DVD viewing to get into any size of a - good quality picture - 16:9 RPTV. Toshiba has a 42" inthe HDX series.
I am currently watching DVDs on a 32" Sony WEGA... Since I have lost interest in HT, I thought buying a new display might help a lot.
 

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Mike you are right in that the FP dictates a lot as far as the room goes, however if you haven't developed it yet, the cards are in your court while the iron is hot, and you can count all your chickens till the cows come home...

I mean your options are more than open.

I did some thinking about having a diect view as well as a FP in the same room, and was thinking about a tv lift (but the lift would have cost twice as much as my direct view!). So since it is possible to get a flat roll-up screen if you look hard enough, why not consider a wide "stage" that a direct view can sit on, with a compartment on the front top surface that a screen can be retracted from? You could keep your av gear in this structure as well as a custom enclosure for a center channel below the direct view (to the right dimensions to not affect sound quality)

Just a bit of food for thought if you want to do a "'ground up" project in your basement.

my biggest recomendation is make sure you like the way the "worstcase - but most often watched source" presents itself before putting down the 3k to 5k on a RPTV.

Also note, Curt Palme is expecting to have a couple of Electrohome 9500 CRT Marquees availble soon.
 

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Excellent summary sentence, Bent!

"worstcase-but most often watched source"
unfortunately I couldn't establish that fact (ie cable viewing) on the TV I chose. I could have kept the 36" 4:3 I had -but it seemed extravagent to me at the time. Not now!

But no one seems to be complaining about the worstcase/often watched source on the HDX. But then kids are young and adults don't really watch alot of TV. (tanslated - my situation is not the norm to judge by).

"Ground up" - I had done a cardboard mock up of my 57HDX82 to see how it would fit into my HT nook. But once I got into my home it compelled me to start renovating- redoing certain walls, removing ceiling to reroute electrical, A/V cables, building in wall cupboard space and shelving for periphials.

What happened I think is that in my RPTV decision making I didn't relize how far out I was in the process until I fell in. usually I am more conservative in these matters but now I am in and making the best of it!

northport

PS Statistics have shown that very few men have been shot while doing the dishes! Just a thought when you drag the thing home after a long hunt! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bent said:
So since it is possible to get a flat roll-up screen if you look hard enough, why not consider a wide "stage" that a direct view can sit on, with a compartment on the front top surface that a screen can be retracted from? You could keep your av gear in this structure as well as a custom enclosure for a center channel below the direct view (to the right dimensions to not affect sound quality)
Sounds interesting, but I honestly don't want to do my "regular" TV viewing in the basement/HT. Also, I think seating would be an issue. You'd want the seats far enough back for the FP, but close enough for the direct-view to actually see the screen.

my biggest recomendation is make sure you like the way the "worstcase - but most often watched source" presents itself before putting down the 3k to 5k on a RPTV.
Yes, this is definitely something I have to take into consideration.

Also note, Curt Palme is expecting to have a couple of Electrohome 9500 CRT Marquees availble soon.
:)
 

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northport said:
PS Statistics have shown that very few men have been shot while doing the dishes! Just a thought when you drag the thing home after a long hunt! :lol:
ROTFL! :lol:

Brilliant.
 
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