TV selections

I am currently looking for a new TV, probably 36" or above for my living room.

My living room is like this:

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The vieing distance is about 9-11'.
Should I get a 16:9 RPTV (47" or 42")(panny, Toshiba, Samsung) or a Direct View 36" TV (Sony HS500, XBR800 or Panny)? I am going to watch DVD 35%, Direct TV 40% and tape 25%.

I know this may not be the optimal location to place the TV but that's the only option for me (WAF). Also, RPTV is mostly for watching DVD althought samsung 42" RPTV is acceptable for watching SDTV, tape, etc when I tried it in Best Buy. For direct view, it is more for my wife to watch TV and tape. I am going to keep this for a while so I am more incline to get a HD-ready TV.

Or, should I just save it up now and get a 36" analog TV for 600-800 bucks and wait a couple more years? What's your experience with Direct view TV with 9-11' watching distance, will that make a differece between a HD TV and an analog one?

Thanks so much for your helps.
I`d get a Hitachi or mitsubishi instead--better quality. Also, I couldn`t afford buying 2 big tv`s in a 2 yr time span. That is why I`m saving up for a big one now. I know it is not an easy decision. I sold these before. We dropped the Samsung and the Toshiba lines because of reliability problems. Just a word to the wise. Dan R
I decided to just save it up for another couple years. In January 2003 I bought a 36" Panasonic. After perusing the AVS forum for awhile, there where to many questions/complaints about the reliability of new formats (Plasma, DLP, LCD) to justify the cost. There were also complaints of the non-HDTV signal looking better on an analog set than a HDTV set. Since TV is lagging behind as far as HDTV programming, I decided to wait a couple more years. Hopefully the prices will come down on plasma, and the reliability will improve.

the viewing angle in your setup may not work very well with a rear projection TV go to the store stand directly in front of the TV at your viewing distance and start walking straight to your left while watching the TV picture get progressively worse until its totally unacceptable.BTW Panasonic sucks had to sell it because it was terrible.
I also was waiting out the HD standard, but just dropped my 32" Proscan on it's face while getting the house painted, so I had to buy a new TV. I had been ‘in the market’ so to speak for over five years, and there’s not a TV I’ve not seen nor read about….. that said…..I think you are looking at too small a TV, go to some local shops and measure out the viewing distance you have and see what you think.

I personally sit ~11’ from my TV and went with a 61” as the 50” looked small next to it. My wife doesn’t say much about my stereo choices…THANK YOU GOD!!!!!! So I got to get what I wanted, you’re mileage may vary! I did take Judith with me and showed her the TV’s I was looking at and had her sit at the distance we would at home and surprisingly she also agreed with the larger set…you might have the same luck!

My advice to you:

1) DO buy an HD capable TV...there's enough HD broadcasts out there now, and DVD's are progressive, so the 480p alone is worth the added money, plus, like dlrepp said, do you really want to buy two TV's?? Especially knowing the 'cheaper' one now will be outdated very soon, and by many peoples standards, already is. With 75% of your TV viewing is from a digital source (Direct TV and DVD) you really should get an HD compatible monitor/TV. As for 16:9 vs 4:3….I’ll address that at the end.

2) Prices are likely about as low as plasma's will go for a while, and plasma's only have a finite life span, go to any AV store and see the older ones, they fade out and aren't fixable! Cool technology, but likely not the answer. Plasma TV’s are very sensitive to burn in!!!! LCD's are cool, but don't do fast motion as well, and are smaller and more expensive, but do last longer, if you’re going for the super thin TV, large LCD’s are coming out this year, in the order of 42-50” sets, I don’t have word on prices yet, but I expect HIGH!!!

3) RPTV......pretty broad classification these days.
A) CRT's are the old standard, huge, heavy, need to have the convergence reset regularly and don't tolerate ambient light or off angle viewing, do have burn in!!
B) LCD’s aren't that expensive (more than CRT's) but don't do fast motion well, and with DVD's being a good portion of your viewing, this can be annoying I find, but if you go with a smaller (43") set it might not bother you too much. Essentially no burn in!
C) DLP’s right now, IMHO have the hands down advantage, DLP RPTV’s offer great off angle viewing, are brighter than CRT/LCD’s, and at least as bright as plasma’s (but are far cheaper than these) and can handle much faster motion (pixel refresh rates). Yes, they too have a down side, they are dependent on a very bright light bulb to reflect off the DLP chip…that bulb last’s several years depending on amount of viewing, and costs ~$300-400 to replace. No burn in!!
D) Newer technologies like LCOS (only Toshiba has one and it’s $9000 for a 51” I believe…not reviewed to well recently either!) will be contenders in the future, but not for another two years or more. Reportedly no burn in.

DLP’s, LCD’s, Plasma’s all have some difficulty producing true blacks, plasma’s are getting better, and the new Sony and Panny 4P (plasma’s) are pretty good, but more than three times the price of an equivalent DLP RPT, as the DLP RPTV are less than 15” deep, I wonder how much that 10” is worth to you????

I personally bought the new Samsung 61” RP DLP TV, for $4600, I get a native rate of 1280x720, Faroujda DCDi, every signal it takes it upconverts to 720p….and it’s cheap relative to the rest. It also has DVI w/HDCP input already, but unfortunately no firewire.

Yes, many like the Mitsubishi’s, and they are the only company to promise to ‘keep their TV’s up to date’, but ask anyone who owns one how if they are going to spend the $595 for the FIRST upgrade!!!! I like the picture of the Mitsubishi CRT’s, and when calibrated, they are better than the Pioneer Elite TVs, if you really want a CRT RPTV, that’s likely the route I’d go.

Now should you get 16:9 or 4:3??? Well, I think that depends. Personally, if you are buying a technology with risk of burn in (plasma, CRT), you must consider this more seriously. Running your new plasma for as little as 30 minutes of static display can leave an imprint for ever! If I where going that route, I’d seriously consider what I watch and what is important to me. If you elect to go with any other format, ABSOLUTELY go with 16:9! It will be the standard soon enough…getting back to the do you want to buy two TV’s thing again!

Sorry, kind of wordy, but it gets most of the big points across!

Happy shopping and I hope this helps some!


Going by the picture of your room above, I may I have to concur with "Mejames" up to a point. I don't think that an RPTV is going to work either. Not if you go with the placement of the TV versus the seating position from which you will be viewing the TV. With what you are faced with, then I think that a 36" Direct-View set might be the best thing for you.

But, let me ask you this one question before I go on. Is this arrangement going to be permanent??? Or are you and your wife planning to move in the next two or three years or so???

If you guys are going to stay put for a while, then it might be best for you to invest a few more dollars and get a Sony 40" Direct-View set (either their standard model or their XBR model...... either way, both sets are HDTV ready).

On the other hand, if you guys are going to be moving sometime in the near future, then I would go ahead and go with an RPTV then.

I really think that before you go out and spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a TV, I think that it is imperative that you decide what your future living arrangment is going to be. That in itself will go a long way toward which type of set you will want to buy and stay with over the long haul.

By the way, that's what I have done and so forth. Right now, I have a 27" analog set (a TOL Panasonic from 2000). My set has a great picture (it ain't high definition, but it remarkably close for what is an analog set. Hook up a decent DVD player to it, you'll know what I'm talking about then). For the three years I had my Panasonic, I ain't had no complaints about mine. And like I said, the picture is magnificent. I'll be holding onto mine until a good affordable plasma comes along. I'll just hope that by the time I get mine, the technology and reliability issues that John has pointed out will be addressed then. And hopefully, the price will be came down a little further by then as well.

And they had better be addressed too. I'm going to be pretty pissed off if I end up having a $2,000.00-to-$2,500.00 TV sitting in my house and I cannot even get the damn thing repaired when it breaks.

TV selections
Thank you all for the advises.
I have not decided which way to go yet, there are a few options:

1. just go for the min - get a 36" flat screen regular TV and save up for the really matured product in 2 years.

2. get a 36" HD ready tube for now and in a year or two, get a nicer projector and hang a sliding screen (ideal case) on the top of the empty space (that's the opening to my dinning room with a high ceiling on my living room).

For RPTV, it will be very nice to have one for watching movie but I am concerned with the viewing angle as well as the light (plenty) from the left side since that is going out to the back yard. The main reason for RPTV is to get a cinemas feel for watching DVD, I have be dreaming about this for a long time... 36" will probably help a bit but...

I saw a Sony HS500 selling in Frys for 1299, pretty good deal but consider buying a stand and tax and may be extended warranty, it will be a lot more than 1500, close to 1700. In this economy, this may not be the wise thing to do.

I really appreciated all the helps provided.
One more thing:

Yes, I just moved in so this will be the living room / HT room for at least a few years. Ideally, I should use either the back wall or the right side of the room to place my TV but my wife is very reluctant in letting me to do that. I am very thankful already since she let me buy whatever is good (of course with a reasonable price). I have consider the 40xbr800 (since I know someone who works for Sony and can get me some discount) but still 2 grands is probably a bit too much for a TV. You see, I am the one who is reluctant to spend, not my wife... :P Also, spending 2 grands and find out in 2 years that the TV is obsolete is very disturbing too. Man, this is much harder than finding Mrs. Right.
I would look at the Focus X1 thats been being promoted this past week...mose places are $999. with a $100. a 5 Year son bought one and he brought it by to show me...I have a $15000. CRT with a Faroudja line doubler...and the little box (6lbs) gave it a run for the much so I just ordered one for the did 16.9 at the touch of a button and then back to 4.3 I was impressed...just a thought...if you have the wall was film like with no pixels showing.
Final decision:

I will give me a decent pq and screen area for now and I can still watch HD broadcast in the future.

My friend's friend works for Sony so I can get a good price for it (21 grand total with stand and tax)

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Thank you all for your inputs.

Have a good day.
I have that Sony and I love mine. Good a few years I will move to a 16:9 50+ inch plasma.

has anyone bought or looked at the panasonic 34wx52,it either that or the sony kv34xbr800 that i am going to buy
any imputs

I have......

In fact, I have checked out both of these sets. And I find both of them to be excellent TVs. So, if either one of these sets tickle your fancy, then go ahead..... make your move. You won't get any objections from me. I'm sure you won't get any objections from any of the fellas here either.

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!!!!

I have been looking at sets at BB,Cirguit City ,SEARS and a few other places.What I am looking for is a small size set around 27"-30" that is HDTV capable.ANything like a regular TV is senseless because of everyone going to that format.

The thing that really upsets me is that there are very few sets that are HDTV capable in small sizes.I cannot affford LCD,but if I could I would get one tomarrow.

The best I have seen is a SAMSUNG model for $700 that is a 30" set.I probably will get it in a few weeks or months.

If you are $$ conscience I think Samsung should really be looked at.Sony and Mitsubishi are pretty expensive.Phillips have issues attached to them of what I have read.Toshiba and Hitachi make some good stuff,but I really cannot comment on them at the moment.

Zenith has an alright unit at around $1000 that is a 27".

Samsung is the unit to get in the size I am looking for.If anyone has info let me know!