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Wanting updated replacement to 23" trad. TV

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by joyous, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. joyous

    joyous
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    Very ignorant on all matters so have lots of questions.
    What size widescreen (guess I'm condemned to this) equates to a traditional 23 " screen? So would I get a similar viewing picture from say a 26" widescreen?
    Have looked at Ferguson FL26WX1 and LG RZ26LZ50. Any comments on these or just general advice on what I should be looking for in the spec. Budget about £700.
    Does the picture on an LCD screen degrade if viewed at an angle as it does on my flatscreen computer monitor?
    What happens to the picture conformation when a. receiving the analogue signal and b. when receiving digital signal thru set top box? Any advice on set top boxes to link with either of these TV's.
    Finally would the Sharp DVRW25OH combination deck DVD and Video be compatible with these TVs. I want to be able to record and play on both media at the moment.
    In Wales the analogue signal gets switched off in 2008 so I might as well get to grips with this now. Your help is invaluable. Thanks folks.
     
  2. Gregory

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    Yes, 26" widescreen is roughly the same visually as a 23" 4:3. Just got the Acer AL2671W which is a 26". It's a stand-in until we re-buy a rear project DLP, and though the picture isn't as good as the DLP was, it's still pretty impressive. It is HD ready as well, including HDCP. It cost us £550 from DABS, and looked a better picture than the other sets we looked at (didn't look too hard or tune the pictures though) - good on both analogue and digital (especially DVD - freeview is a little less great, probably due to bit rate issues and not using progessive scan)

    re. your other questions :-

    No, the picture doesn't degrade from the side at nearly the same rate as many computer monitors do - on any proper LCD telly we looked at (some cheap ones appeared to be PC screens 'rebadged').

    Not quite sure what you mean on picture conformation. The Acer is dead easy to switch between sources though (I don't like systems that do it automatically as they can get 'over enthusiatic')

    I can't speak authoritively on set-top boxes, though ones with a better grade output would probably be better (e.g. component rather than composite - don't know of any though). The bigger issue we see is that the bit rate on some digital channels is a little low and the LCD screen is good enough to make these show up, even if box and connection was perfect. I would also absolutely go for one with a dual tuner and hard-disk recorder - makes a hell of a difference to how we now watch television.

    As for the Video/DVD combination - I'd be surprised if it didn't work - the television is basically just acting as a screen (and maybe speakers) in this case.

    Cheers

    Greg
     
  3. joyous

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    Greg I can't thank you enough for replying to this. You've sorted out quite a lot of things in my mind. I will take a look at the Acer. What you've said raises futher questions - can you bear with me on this?
    I think I've made a few assumptions which may not be correct. something you said made me query my "needs".
    I don't particularly want more channels or to go interactive though I do want an LCD screen. I just assumed I would need a set top box to "digitise" my system making it possible to record and play DVD's and copy my old videos to DVD via the Sharp combination deck. Can I successfully record and play DVD's while just receiving TV programs via the analogue signal. I'm sorry that these questions must sound pretty basic.
    I'll try to explain my question on the conformation of the picture. I'm used to seeing a square screen and everything fits on it with no missing bits. I keep seeing screens in the shops with some of the screen unused by the picture or bits chopped off the image. I don't want this to happen when going to widescreen(and I haven't seen a square LCD screen) Could you explain this and how it is avoided.
    I am really grateful for this help.
     
  4. Gregory

    Gregory
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    You don't need a set top box - the televisions will do fine on an analogue signal as they all have internal tuners (often two, so you can have a tiny version of one channel in the corner of the screen whilst you watch another channel on the rest of the screen - helps when wanting to watch another prgramme when it starts). However, I would again note that a digital box with a hard disk in that stores the video (like a video-recorder) is a fantastic device and has changed the way we use the television - puts us in control (breaks happen when we want, film starts when we want, shows shown on the day we want, no ads, no video tape confusion etc).

    DVD etc. will work just fine in parallel - you just set the TV to display an external picture rather than one from the tuner.

    As for the picture, you won't lose bits unless you want to - more explanation is probably helpful. Tv's used to run at an aspect ration of 4:3 (or 12:9 since everything else will use x:9 ratios). Then, along came widescreen, making use of cinema aspect ratios by having a display at 16:9 - although not completely, since a cinema can be (I think) 2.15:1 (or about 19:9). Some broadcasters (e.g. BBC) then started broadcasting in 14:9. On an old 4:3 set this got slightly squeezed, but looks basically OK. On a widescreen set this is then displayed at 14:9 (perfect) or 16:9 (slightly expanded, but again basically OK). DVD's are typically recorded at 16:9 (with the rest of the edges used in the wider cinema format handled by choices in the process - generally by picking the right section of the film and using that, dropping the edges - but if it's a wide panorama by using a slightly smaller picture with the full width of the film, but black bars top and bottom - know as letterbox). If displayed on an old 4:3 set then the DVD player is set to display just 4:3 and crops the picture further along similar guidlines using hints that are stored on the DVD disk to make the right choices - so you already are missing some of the picture when you watch on 4:3 - but hopefully very little of the 'action'.

    On most LCD sets (indeed all widescreen sets) you can choose what format to display, including 4:3 (leaves black bars at the side - but gives you the picture you are used to. Several of the formats zoom in even further, with quite a lot of information at the edges lost - I have never worked out why you'd want these modes - maybe they were done 'because they could be'. I suspect that where you have lost picture in viewings in shops it's because they were left in one of the 'silly' modes. You may get black bars at the top and bottom if watching certain films, but you get used to it to the point where you barely notice, and it's typically done because you need the edges of the picture in any case, so it's usually a better experience that way (and happens on 4:3 just the same).

    Cheers

    Greg
     
  5. LV426

    LV426
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    Just to point out, there are advantages to having a Freeview set top box (assuming you are in a good Freeview coverage area):

    1: As you say, you are prepared then for analog switch off
    2: Whether you want them or not - there are a number of additional channels. It does mean, for example, that if you miss Dr Who on Saturday, you can watch it on BBC3 on Sunday.
    3: Importantly in the context - a substantial proportion of what is broadcast, is broadcast in the widescreen ratio - 16x9 - but only on digital platforms (eg Freeview). So to get the full image, at the right shape, on your new widescreen TV - a digital box is required. Not just films - most newly-made TV is now 16x9. Soaps, US SciFi, Dr Who, etc etc.
    4: As mentioned, the more advanced boxes come with Hard Disk based video recorders inside - when they work right, these are a huge convenience.

    Finally, if you have a decent-sized Sainsbury's nearby, you might want to take a look at their SONIX 26 inch LCD television. At GBP499 it's a steal. There is a separate, long thread on here about it - and the news is pretty well all good (from what I gather).
     
  6. joyous

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    Thanks everyone. Purchased a Ferguson LCD, the Sharps combination video/DVD deck and a digibox twin tuner with hard disk based on your excellent advice. I'm so grateful.
    Joy
     

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