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What are some good 4:3 plasmas?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by MarcoBiscotti, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti
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    I'm looking for a flat-panel television for my masterbedroom that will serve primarily as a medium for watching TV shows/series on DVD.


    I just moved into a new condo and already have an HT setup with DLP projection in the livingroom which I use to screen all theatrical films on DVD, so now I'm looking for a monitor for my bedroom for which I'll mainly be watching TV show DVD's and the odd television program (The Daily Show) I schedule into the Tivo.


    I might on occassion watch a movie when I'm too tired or lazy to climb out of bed and watch in the livingroom but mainly it will be for viewing my collection of TV show DVD's and the occassional satelite program.


    Based on this, I am not looking for the "truest cinematic experience".

    I just want a high-res, high quality set with defined colors and progressive scan capabilities.


    It NEEDS to be a wall-mounted display and I would like something that is HDTV compliant with a built-in tuner.


    I know the majority of folks on these forums are from the UK so I'd just like to remind anyone who might be reading this, that I am situated in Canada and therefore am looking for hardware that is available and compatible with our NTSC system and accepted voltage, etc.



    Since I've previously been focussing on DLP projection for my livingroom HT, I haven't had much of a chance to look into Plasma sets so I'm not too sure what's available and what's been getting positive feedback...


    I've briefly looked into various NEC and Panasonic models because from quick online searches, they seemed to be highly regarded in the plasma field, but I'm having MUCH difficulty finding anything available in a 4:3 Fullscreen aspect ratio.


    Again, I also need something HDTV compliant and that offers pro scan conversion as well.

    The reason I want a 4:3 monitor, is that it will mainly be used for watching television shows on DVD which are framed for 4:3.



    Basically, the livingroom DLP setup will be for my movie watching and the bedroom setup will be for Saturday morning cartoons and various TV series. Everything from Rocky & Bullwinkle to ALF, Twin Peaks, Garfield & Friends, etc.

    I might on rare occasion screen a widescreen DVD when I'm too lazy to get out of bed but in these few times, the black bars wouldn't bother me.

    I'd rather a TV that would fit the aspect ratio of my viewing the majority of the time than a widescreen TV that would stretch and distort every single show that I watch so 4:3 is completely necessary for me.

    The problem is... I can't find any!!!



    What are some high quality (hi-res, good contrast ratio, true colors) 4:3 HDTV's (w/ built-in tuner) on the market right now?


    I'm realistically looking to spend anywhere from 3.5 - 6k but I'd prefer to keep it closer 4 thousand if possible. I wouldn't mind shelling out a little extra for higher quality however.


    ALSO - It NEEDS to have built-in stereo speakers!

    I will NOT be going surround sound in my bedroom because it's unnecessary for what I'll be using the TV for.


    Can anyone please help me out??
     
  2. MarcoBiscotti

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    Oh and screen size depends on availability and price at this point.

    I'm looking approx. 36".

    I think that'd be ideal for a bedroom set based on the size of the room.
     
  3. MarcoBiscotti

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    aaarggh!!

    I've searched the entire internet!!!


    Are there NO plasma monitors available in a full frame a.r.???


    Does anyone know about this??
     
  4. mickbarlow

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    i have never seen a 4:3 plasma...
     
  5. MarcoBiscotti

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    What do you suggest I should do than Mick?
     
  6. TeresaTT

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    Go into any shop now and you'll only find a handfull of 4:3 CRTs tucked away in a corner. The in thing to have now is 16:9 and that's what manufacturer's are concentrating on.
     
  7. MarcoBiscotti

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    I'm a huge widescreen enthusiast myself and I understand why they've surged the market but isn't that a little crazy...

    What about convenience?

    There must be a niche market for people like myself with specific needs?

    What if somebody wants to buy a HDTV NOT for movie-watching?

    Why sacrifice quality... isn't there any manufacturers out there that have a 4:3 monitor available?



    I NEED a flat paneled monitor for my bedroom wall.

    I would very much like it to be HDTV compatible. I mean, why not if the technology is available and I'm spending the money anyways. I have the option.

    So what could I do now given my circumstance?


    I don't want to sacrifice quality by going with a sh*tty 4 year-old model that hasn't been refined or whatever.

    I just want a 4:3 flat wall-mountable screen that offers high resolution, contrast and color with optional HDTV compatibility.

    What do you guys suggest for me?

    Are there LCD screens in 4:3 ratios?

    Do you suggest I go with a 16:9 regardless fo the fact that nearly every broadcast or DVD I'll be viewing will be in a different framing?


    Widescreen is terrific, but maintaining OAR is the key. Regardless of Wide vs. Fullscreen. I want to be able to watch my DVD's in their native aspect ratio.

    :confused:


    WHAT SHOULD I DO?!
     
  8. Rambles

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    You could get a TFT PC monitor, plenty of them in 4:3, maybe not as big as you want though, just re-read your initial post!
     
  9. w3dal

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    We have some at work which i bought for the company 4 years ago. Its a Pioneer screen 40".

    Although its only 4:3 still outputs a pretty good picture for its age, its on 12 hours a day streaming either Sky News or hooked upto a laptop for Demos.

    We are in the process of upgrading them to 16:9 plasmas and i think there gonna go for Pioneers again.

    Dal
     
  10. MarcoBiscotti

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    Are there any LCD screens in 4:3 a.r.?


    w3dal, do you know what model the Pioneers used at work are or have any specs concerning resolution and contrast, etc?

    I assume I wouldn't be able to receive hi-def broadcast with them...


    This is so frustrating.

    :(
     
  11. MarcoBiscotti

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    The only 4:3 LCD monitors I can find are 15 or 20" screen size...

    I find this so ridiculous!!!

    How can there not be an HDTV compliant 4:3 flat panel screen available on the market??
     
  12. w3dal

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    i cant check the codes tomorrow when im back in the office.

    the resolution wont be that hi as there 4 years old.

    but looks good streaming a DVD.

    Dal
     
  13. mike7

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    It looks like your best option is going to be an LCD model..there are loads on the market, but in the UK I do not know of any capable of handling HD, at least to the latest European spec which includes HDCP circuitry. I am surprised that most of your favorite programs are 4:3. In the UK nearly 100% of our tv is transmitted in digital widescreen, only a few USA imports are not. Why not buy a 16:9 unit and put up with the 'black bars' if you are watching 4:3 tv. Alternatively you could move to the UK....
     
  14. MarcoBiscotti

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    Heh, I rarely watch current television programs at all Mike.

    The few that I do watch (The Daily Show w/ John Stewart, CBC News, etc.) are all 4:3 ratio.

    The only other channels I watch apart from the occasional movie on TCM (which are almost always academy standard) or whatever, are generally fullscreen 4:3 a.r. and the ones that are presented in widescreen formats, I don't mind putting up with the black bars for the few times.

    Again, I have a super high-end theatre set up a couple feet away in the livingroom. This is where all my movie watching gets done. :D

    I have a DVD collection nearing the one thousand mark. I don't see the need to watch movies on TV with network logos and watermarks, commercial interruptions, etc. when I have such a sizeable DVD collection. If there's a movie I want to see, I'll buy it on DVD and watch it in my livingroom theatre. On rare occassion, I'll catch something unexpected on TV or be lazy and lie in bed and watch a movie, but otherwise there's just no need for going 16:9 in my bedroom.

    Among my movie collection, I have a sizeable ammount of TV shows on DVD.

    From animated series to 80's & early 90's sitcoms, original Law & Order seasons, etc. Everything I'd ever care to watch on TV, I own on DVD. These are ALL 4:3 presentations.

    The few television channels I watch, such as Cartoon Network on occassion (now that they're offering the Popeye & Bob Clampett Show for a limited time) and Boomerang, etc. are all syndicated packaged programs which were broadcast years ago prior to widescreen formats. Therefore, owning a widescreen TV in my bedroom is not only pointless but counterproductive as almost every single show that I care to watch will be distorted and stretched. It's not ideal for me.

    I guess I'll look into LCD monitors but I still find it absurd that there are ZERO plasma screens offering a standard aspect ratio when the majority of standard-def television programs currently being broadcast are presented in 4:3 ratios. The majority of cable/satelite networks are NOT hi-def! It just seems so silly to cut off a large percentage of your market by only offering a single set aspect ratio television.

    I wish I could have the quality and resolution of an HDTV ready plasma with the convenience of an aspect ratio that would fit the majority of shows on television!
     
  15. Enquirer

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    I'm after a 4:3 mono black and white plasma because i only watch old episodes of Steptoe and son.
     
  16. MarcoBiscotti

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    :laugh:

    Look, I just want a high end display to watch older TV series and cartoons which I've collected on DVD. I don't think a 4:3 aspect ratio for a television set is too much to ask...

    I need a flat paneled TV because it needs to be wall mounted. Based on the size and layout of the room, I have no other choice.

    I just spent 4.5k on a beautiful oak floating shelf unit for my backwall which leaves a space on the back panel open specifically for a wall-mounted television set. It would look ridiculous otherwise, unless I hang a giant picture frame there.

    I want to find a high-res, quality flat paneled set that I could watch standard ratio shows on. I personally hate most TV apart from the odd show on Comedy Central or Discovery/Life Channel special or A&E biography or VH1 special or whatever. Most TV nowadays is utter brainless crap. I refuse to watch reality programming. MTV is for mindless soulless dunderheads. Most current sitcoms are horrible. I just want to watch the shows that I grew up without being inconvenienced by MAR presentation. Is it too much to ask that I want to lie in bed on a Saturday morning and watch Garfield & Friends or ALF without having the image stretched and distorted on my TV?

    :suicide:
     
  17. MAW

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    Marco, you are only the 2nd person to ask for a 4:3 plasma in my 5 years of flogging them. That's what I call a niche market. There is no such thing as HDTV in 4:3 ratio in Japan or UK/europe, do they actually transmit this in Canada?
     
  18. mike7

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    Marco, I get your point about 'brainless crap' we get huge amounts of that in the UK as well. I do not understand why you are concerned about pictures being 4:3 pictures stretched and distorted on a widescreen. When I watch 4:3 tv then I just watch it as intended in 4:3 mode..no stretching or distortion. That is a bit of a minority thing because most viewers seem to want to 'fill the screen' by stretching or zooming. But you don't have to do it. I always watch programmes in the format they were made. As MAW says I have never heard of HDTV 4:3, so that is why there is not a market for tv's of this type. Incidentally 4:3 is very rare in the UK. Whilst our old analog transmissions remain on the air (not for much longer) the picture format is broadcast 14:9, just a midway point between 4:3 and 16:9 (digital).
    On second thoughts don't move to UK, I've been to Canada and it's a much nicer Country... Happy hunting!
     
  19. MarcoBiscotti

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    hah thanks Mike.

    In any other circumstance I'd consider shelling out for a 16:9 and dealing with the black bars and framed image on certain broadcasts, dvd's, etc. but since I will predominantly, better, always be watching dvd's of older fullframe television episodes, I just can't justify spending thousands of dollars and having the image sacrificed. It'd be like buying a convertible in Alaska. Sure it'd run fine and you could use it just as well, but I reckon it wouldn't be all that gratifying for some reason. Just not convenient.

    Aggravating enough, I've looked into flat-panel LCD's and they're only available in 4:3 ratios up to 20". I just don't understand this...
     
  20. Joe Fernand

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    MarcoBiscotti

    Mad as it seems lots of folk seem to 'prefer' to watch 4:3 material stretched to fit a 16:9 Display :)

    Pioneer started with the PDP-V401E (here in the UK) which is a 640x480 40" Plasma Display back in 1997 and evolved that model into the PDP-V402E around 1999.

    Its been a while since either were 'in stock' though lots of them are still earning a crust in many commercial applications.

    Very few companies have actually produced Plasma products in a 4:3 format - Hitachi were possibly the last Plasma manufacturer to support 4:3.

    LCD is probably your best bet and look at the Integration, Display or Control system market rather than the TV market if you want high pixel count and less unwanted TV features.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  21. MAW

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    Or a monitor for the design sector? I think one of my clients, a designer, has a 24" LCD? I'll look at the maker's name, I'll be round there friday or monday I think.
     
  22. MarcoBiscotti

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    Thanks so much for the help guys... I've searched thoroughly for LCD screens as well and cannot seem to find any display larger than 20 inches!


    Do you think we'll see anything new hit the market by the end of the summer. I'd prefer to not have to, but I'd be willing to put off purchasing a monitor for a couple of months if we'll see better technology surface...

    *sigh.
     
  23. MAW

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    Anything new will be widescreen, 4:3 is dead.
     
  24. MarcoBiscotti

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    Well, I'm at a loss than...


    How are people going to watch TV in 2010?
     
  25. rickyroma

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    everything will be broadcast in 16:9 by then , Coronation Street & Eastenders are widescreen now ! Never thought id see that happen

    I have lots of tv shows on dvd in 4:3 , the look fine on a 16:9 tv , you just get used to it , I thought I never would but you just forget about it.
    Companies arent really gonna make 4:3 plasmas for people who want to watch tv shows in bed.Just doesnt make sense buisness wise.

    Hell even if I was gonna put a t.v in the bathroom it'd be 16:9 !
    4:3 is dead and im glad to see the back of it !
     
  26. Rambles

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    Probabaly exactly the same way as we do now (widescreen) although I'd like to think we have holograms like in Minority Report.... :)
     
  27. MarcoBiscotti

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  28. MarcoBiscotti

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    And what about the past 6 decades of television programming?

    Studios are just beginning to invest the time and effort into digitally preserving these classics but there won't even be any suitable displays available to fit their format...

    Again, widescreen is great - but NOT if it isn't how the presentation was originally offered!!
     
  29. MAW

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    Good luck buying it, it hasn't been made for 5 years.
     
  30. MarcoBiscotti

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    you just crushed me.


    5 years?!?

    are you serious?


    From what I've read online, it was the only 4:3 plasma screen available with true 1024 x 768 resolution...


    If I were to somehow come acrross this screen (I have no idea where), how do you think the price would be effected by it's current unavilable status - would that work in my favor or the oppsite?

    Being a somewhat older display, do you know of any inherrant flaws or shortcomings of this model that I would want to be aware of or would it be able to stand up to most high end displays currently available?

    What do you think, and where do you suggest I look?
     

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