Widescreen Premium a Rip-Off??

OK, I think I have decided on a conventional tube TV, but is the widescreen format worth the premium? I think I would prefer watching DVDs on 16:9, but is it worth the money? And don't conventional broadcasts look squashed?
Hi Willaim, Depending on the size of your TV tube, widescreen DVD movies can begin to look quite small "letterboxed" across a conventional 4:3 aspect screen. Some companies, like Loewe's Aconda 16:9 TV, allow you to adjust the aspect ratio so that conventional 4:3 broadcasts don't looked squashed. Some do it better than other's, so audition the sets you are considering and judge for yourself. I personally like a 16:9 aspect ratio screen better. The problem with Loewe TV's is that they are not truly compatible with progressive scan DVD players (see earlier posts). I've seen people use a p.scan DVD player with a S-video hookup to the Aconda Loewe, S-video "outputs" 480i, so the Aconda's internal p.scan converts the signal to 480p. The same process would take place if you were using a conventional DVD player. Loewe's component video inputs don't accept a progressive scan signal from a p.scan DVD player. Though Loewe's sets will accept a P.scan DVD player's output through it's RGB input, P.scan DVD players don't use RGB outputs. I believe you could use a $350 transcoder to make this connection work, but it's a "work- around" that could futher degrade the picture quality. Panasonic makes a widescreen direct view TV(Tau CT-34WX50) that seems to be more compatible with what might come our way, but I think the Loewe Aconda has a slightly better picture and much better sound! Good Luck.
I have never looked back after switching to my Toshiba 40" widescreen. I find my movie viewing to be more important than my tv viewing, by far. Don't talk yourself out of it, 16X9 is wonderful. You will forget all about 4X3 watching in about an hour after getting a widescreen tv. Good luck either way.
I much prefer watching movies in widescreen format. Just use a dvd with both formats on it and see which one you prefer. One other thing to keep in mind even if buying a 16x9 setup is that a lot of movies are done in 2.35 to 1 aspect ratio which means you will still have small black bars top and bottom. Easy to adjust to and well worth it not to have to use 4x3.
Go for the widescreen if you can afford it. DVD movies are awsome on them and 16:9 is the future standard.
The better wide screens allow you to adjust the picture format. I had the same concerns & didn"t buy a widescreen last year but I have one now & it is great especially for movies & sports.A widescreen looks nicer in a room which may be important if you are married.Also you have to remeber in the not too distant future the 4:3 sets will have the "funny" picture. Good luck
I was really wanting a 16:9 set but found the $$$ premium too steep to justify a 34" 16:9 set at $3,500 vs the Sony 4:3 XBR400 at $2,200. The Sony is not a true HD picture but the screen IS almost a wide as the 16:9 34" and a bonus is that I get the next 10 years worth of regular TV in a big size. (The pace of HDTV is so slow it's almost a certainty that the HDTV broadcasters time deadline will be pushed back at least 5 years...) so then in the ten years from now I can get that 16:9 TV and I will be happy to junk the Sony that, by then, will have served me well for 10 years. And the damn cable broadcasters and digital senders generally don't pass a signal worthy of the true HDTV screen anyway!!! But I do have to say the 16:9 is a GREAT looking design.
I, too, hesitated to buy a 16:9 TV until I saw some good DVD's on a 65" Mitsubishi set. Wow! That changed my mind. Since I watch little TV and mostly movies, I have been quite happy for the last month, let me tell you. I probably would have been very happy with the conventional 61" Sony set I was going to buy, but for only $500 more, I got the widescreen set. To me it was worth it. To others, it may not be. Make your own decision.
Problem with signal quality a real one with analog cable and some satellite channels. My Loewe 16:9 is awesome with a good signal (and esp. good DVD), but less than outstanding with poor signal. Its not a true HDTV (1080i), it is a progressive scan DTV. Totally revealing of any deficiencies in the source material, but incredible. So if your use is primarily DVD and/or HD, then I would go widescreen; if its TV then I would carefully check out the real world performance.
Swampwalker -- Do you have the 30" Loewe? Are you familiar with the new Aconda 38" that the dealers are raving about? I am trying to decide if these are worth the price and the wait or if I should maybe buy the Panasonic 34 " 16:9 which seems to have an amazing picture. There is also a ProScan 38" which Lyric HiFi in New York claims is the same tube as the new Loewe. (?) I watch only movies, mostly DVD, but my girlfriend is a compulsive TV surfer with Time Warner "D TV" Cable. If you or anyone could recommend one of these TVs I would greatly appreciate it.
William- I have the 30" Loewe Planus. It has what is supposed to be a very high quality internal doubler and thus is a progressive scan digital, not HD TV. As I said, brutally revealing of the source. I would find a way to demo it on your cable, if your significant other is compulsive surfer (as is mine). Have not checked it out with digital cable, but note significant differences in picture quality across various cable and DSS channels. Last night watched a movie on Encore and it was awesome. Some DVDs great, others fair. Sample scenes at beginning of Video Essentials disk incredible. With respect to the 38" Aconda, it seems unlikely that there are two sources for 38" direct view tubes, so the comment from Lyric sounds reasonable. Note that the tube for that sucker probably weighs 2-300 lbs, so you better have a good stand. Keep us posted. Also check out AVScience HDTV forum (www.avsforum.com). If you think hi end audio is confusing...