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Which Type of TV?

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by firlandsfarm, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. firlandsfarm

    firlandsfarm
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    My budget seems to be in the middle of the crossover between CRT and Plasma while covering most of the rear projection price range i. e £1,500 to £2,000 (UK).

    For £1,500 or so I can get a top end 32" or 36" CRT or for £2,000 I can get a bottom end Plasma (Techwood 42") with most of the rear projection sets falling within this range.

    Simple question(!):

    is it better to buy top of the CRT's, rear projection or bottom of the Plasma's? I am put off rear projection in a domestic environment because they seem to have a more restricted viewing angle but other than that ... I'm open to advice.

    Does anyone know of the Techwood set?

    Also when I last studied audio the teaching was to budget money first on getting the right deck/arm/cartridge then buy your amp and finally your speakers in order of spending money. What do members think is the budgeting hierachy for a home cinema system?


    David Caple
     
  2. Bassbin

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    Rear projection is the obvious choice given your budget. I've got a Toshiba 43" which is excellent. Viewing angle is quite wide but you do need to be seated rather than standing to view the set. Check out the new Toshibas and buy the biggest one you can fit happily into your room. All will be happy fed by a sub £100 yamaha/toshiba dvd player ideally via component connection.

    How much you need to spend on the sound system depends more on your room size and how loud/deep you want the bass to be. There's plenty of used stuff comes up in the ads on here. I recently picked up a budget Pioneer receiver for £90 and a Mission 5.1 speaker set for £100 that should be your starting point but you could easily spend £2k on an amp and speakers without needing more than a budget dvd player (I'm assuming it's a movies rather than a music system).

    All that said if you've got a big room any projection/plasma tv will be blown away by a £1k projector and screen combination in terms of cineam experience.
     
  3. marah

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    Had the techwood in my home for 10 days now in the market for a 36" CRT, was put off plasma altogether.
     
  4. firlandsfarm

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    Thanks Bassbin

    So your vote is for rear projection. As I said my concern (when in a shop) is that you can easily walk outside the viewing angle and lose the picture. In a domestic setting I'm concerned that those seated to the side might experience picture loss/fade. Are you saying this is not the case? The difference in angle from standing to sitting is not that great but you indicate that this small change of angle affects the picture.

    I'm not sure my secondary question was fully understood. I was not asking for a sound system budget, I was asking where money should be budgeted? As I said the old audio hi-fi tendancy was to budget as much as possible on the turntable/arm/cartridge, then apply the money left over to the amp and finally the speakers (the thinking was that the best amp and speakers in the world could not compensate for a poor original signal). All I was asking is what is the current thinking for applying a budget to home cinema components. What are considered to be the most important components of a system that warrany an overweighting of budget: the tuner, dvd player, the amp, the picture output or the speakers?


    David Caple
     
  5. Bassbin

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    On my Toshiba the picture is very dull if you are standing in the room but fine when seated. We have the TV in a corner with 2 sofas in the opposite corner and have no problems viewing from the side but you'd need to try out your own viewing positions in a store.

    The budget thing really comes down to your room rather than what component is most important. If you have a cavernous lounge you need to put more budget on the sound related kit. But for an average set up I'd say the budget should go something like 40% on display 20% on amp 30% on speakers and 10% on DVD player.
     
  6. mavric60

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    Now that's an interesting point about how much you should spend on each individual component and could possibly take up a few pages on this thread.

    My view would be that no matter how good your display is, if you put rubbish into it, you will get rubbish out of it, so there would be an argument to say that the input should bear a larger proportion of the cost.

    Having been quite heavily into hi-fi an argument used to run that the most money should be spent on the speakers until it was realised the opposite is true. The input, eg turntable, cd player, tuner etc should have the most spent on it, followed by the amp and then the speakers. The point being that the source extracts every vital bit of information to pass onto the speakers via the amp, a percentage costing might run Turntable arm and stylus 50%, amp 30% and speakers 20%. Some might argue that the turntable etc should be 60%

    So is the same argument true of TV systems whether they be plasma or crt or rear projection?

    Any thoughts anyone?
     
  7. KarlosFandango

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    Go for RP, not because I have jusy got a Tosh RP though ;)

    Budgeting for a system is a tricky one. I would say it depends very much on your own circumstances. Personally I use a TV mainly for watching digital terrestrial. I bought a decent box (Sony) as I thought this would benefit the TV most. I watch some DVD's so have a moderate player (Wharfedale). The amp is a fairly decent Yamaha, so in theory can get the best from the DVD player and digi box. I didn't spend too much on speakers as they would be for everyday general use and as far as I can hear do the job. Rough budget worked out at....

    TV £750
    DVD £150
    Amp £200
    Speakers £100
    Cables £100
    Digi box £120
     
  8. Rojo Habe

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    I think yes, the same is true for Visual systems, but it gets more complicated. With audio, your front-end is obvious. In the case of turntables, it was your stylus and cartridge, followed by the tone-arm and then the turntable. For CD it was the CD player.

    With AV systems, you have the DVD player as an obvious front-end, but you also have the TV tuner, which (unless you have a LOT of money to spend) is usually built into the TV.

    Top-of-the-range DVD players start upwards of £1000. You'd then look for a good surround amp (possibly, if you can afford it, separate pre- and power amps) for the audio, and a good screen for the pictures. If you didn't spend a LOT of money on these things, you'd probably not know if you were watching on a £1000 DVD player or one you got for 60 quid from Tescos (There are some damn good budget players out there).

    So I think it's more of a compromise, unless you're prepared to spend megabucks. Four years ago I spent £1300 on 28" iDTV (Sony KV-28DS60) because it had most of what I wanted (digital tuner, Prologic) built in. A little while later I decided to get a DVD player, and spend £500 on an all-in-one system (Sony DAV-S300) because it was an improvement over the sound I had. I've recently upgraded to separate DVD, amp and speakers for £1200 (Pioneer DV565 DVD, Pioneer VSX-C501 amp, Mission M30 speakers + MS8 sub and m3c1 centre). All low- to midrange stuff; I've obviously compromised mostly on the speakers front, but they sound more than fine for what they are (and the room they're in) and they'll do for now while I save up for better ones. The important thing for me now is a better TV. That too can wait until someone actually releases one I'm 100% happy with.
     
  9. firlandsfarm

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    Thanks guys, this is now getting interesting!

    I thought one of the main advantages of digital is that unlike analogue they extracted all the information available from the source (cd/dvd disk) because it was just a matter of reading a bit here and a byte there. It does not need the interpretive qualities of analogue. You appear to be reading it differently.

    The consensus on TV seems to be coming down on the side of RP rather than CRT with little input on plasma (I wonder what the responses would be if I posed the question in the plasma forum?) so I will revisit RP.

    I may be starting to build my system the wrong way round but I intend to start with the TV because most of my viewing is terresteral or Sky broadcast and I believe that I will get a greater and more immediate benefit from the TV than anything else.


    David Caple
     
  10. topdog951

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    I would go for a high end CRT!

    I have just purchased a Panasonic TX36PD30 for about £1500, and it is fantastic looks good can be seen from any angle so no worries there.

    Looked at RP and plasma but I thought the Panny had such a crisp clear picture it blew the other 2 away!

    However it is down to personal choice at the end of the day which is why I bought a VERY GOOD CRT rather than a low end plasma!!!

    ____

    System now consists of

    Panasonic TX36PD30
    Denon 1603 AMP
    Mission FS2-AV with active Sub
    Panasonic DMRE50 DVD Recorder
    SKY+
     
  11. Rojo Habe

    Rojo Habe
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    The main advantage of digital is that the signal doesn't degrade en route. Theoretically, what we get out our end is what they put in their end. Unfortunately (at least until HDMI takes off) the first thing your set-top box does is convert it to analogue. Your TV then converts it back to digital, processes it and finally converts it back to analogue for displaying on the screen. This can result in strange artefacts, and makes the whole topic of which-TV-is-best a very subjective one.

    I think you're right to go for a TV first, for the reasons you stated, and because even a cheapo DVD player will be OK until you decide to upgrade. I also agree with topdog that CRT is the best choice, especially if you're concerned about the viewing angle on a rear-projection. Make sure you do a lot of footwork before coming to a decision. In nearly all cases the sets I've looked at in the shops have had very poor geometry (fixable, so no great issue), but some (Quintrix F tubes in particular) have had very unstable geometry, which changes depending on the overall brightness of the picture (may or may not be fixable, I'm not sure so it put me off).

    I'm also (almost) in agreement with topdog about his choice of TV. I've been very impressed with the PD30 (Quintrix SR tube, doesn't appear to suffer the same instablilities I've seen on other flat Quintrix tubes) in every shop I've seen it in bar one, and it's this one that put me off, because the digital artefacts on this particular set were horrendous. Possibly implies that if you're watching analogue terretrial you need to feed it a good signal.

    Another set worth a look is the Toshiba Picture Frame 2 TV, which also comes in either 32" or 36" flavours. This one has a softer picture than the Panasonic (some might say more natural. Like I said, it's subjective), but unlike the Panny I've never seen a bad one in the shops. The worst I've seen is slight bending at the edges of the picture, which I'm sure can be adjusted in the engineering screens.
     
  12. firlandsfarm

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    Thanks to the RP supporters but I've looked looked at them again and just do not like the restriction the viewing angle could give in a domestic situation. So I've gone back to where I started: CRT or Plasma.

    I also looked at some plasma screens and am confused by the apparent graininess of some when they all seem to claim the same resolution (I will ask a question on this in the Plasma forum).

    I'm suprised the CRT fans have not mentioned Philips. I know it's all personal assessment but their top-end sets seem to get rave reviews.


    David Caple
     
  13. Rojo Habe

    Rojo Habe
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    Funny you should say that...

    I started out looking at Philips because of the reviews they were getting, but couldn't get away from the impression that they were the most pixelated pictures I've seen anywhere; no matter how much I played with the settings, I couldn't get a satisfactory picture. I've personally ruled out Sonys mainly due to the trouble I had with the last one I bought, and out of what's left, I've found Panasonic and Tosh to be the most promising, and even then, only the top-of-the-range models.

    And I'm still wary about buying either....
     
  14. mavric60

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    Thanks for the replies on the subject of inputs and the display and where the money should be spent. My reason for asking - I have a Techwood 42 inch plasma - and the difference in the picture through the different inputs is amazing.

    Using the 2 £500 DVDs - 1 recorder the other surround sound - is amazing. The £350 VCR is quite good. Then we get terrestrial and satellite. Sometimes of it is out of this world othertimes not so good.

    If I read it right, and this might not be the right thread to discuss it, it all depends on the recorded format and the transmitted quality - you can tell I do not know the ins and outs of it.

    But I'll persist, like hi-fi I will get the optimum set up to get the best out of it.

    Best wishes.
     
  15. Rojo Habe

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    The bigger the screen (assuming viewing distance remains constant), the more you'll notice the difference between good and bad feeds. As you've already stated, DVD looks the best, as it has the most banwidth to play with. Quality will vary depending on how much they've tried to squeeze onto the disc, but DVD video is generally streaming at rates of up to 10 MB/s. Digital terrestrial, sattelite or cable don't usually have this luxury, as they have to squeeze several TV channels into this amount of space, so the signal is compressed more, resulting in more artefacts. Having said that, it is for the most part almost as good as DVD, although you will notice differences from programme to programme. Sports coverage is usually pretty poor because of the limited bandwith the Outside Broadcast units have available to them.

    Analogue terrestrial is on the next rung down. the signal degrades as you get further from the source, and pictures can look grainy. Even worse, modern TVs digitize the picture and try to clean it up, which can result in some quite horrible effects if you have a weak signal.

    VCR feeds are the result of recording a signal, storing it on analogue tape and then playing it back again, with all the loss of quality that entails. Taped recordings also degrade over time. Picture quality will depend very much on the quality of the original, and of course will never be as good.

    It also depends on which physical inputs you use. DVD players offer Composite, RGB, usually S-Video, and sometimes component outputs. RGB will always be better than composite, and in most cases will be better than S-Video. You should expect component to beat all of them.

    Most set-top boxes offer composite or RGB, so use RGB if it's available.

    You'd be hard pushed to find a VCR with RGB but they nearly all offer composite, and if it's S-VHS it will also have an S-video output.

    Also remember that all your video cables, regardless of the source, are analogue (unless you have HDMI), so the quality of the cables is important too.
     
  16. potshot

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    I have got a 36" toshiba picture frame 2 and it has got a brilliant picture. Converts all pictures into progressive scan and it has dolby digital if you haven't got your own surrond set up. Its a heavy beast at 150 pounds. The only step up I would make for movies is to a projector. Plasma tv's just don't come up to scratch with there picture.
     
  17. marah

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    I agree got the toshiba myself 2 days ago blows the techwood plasma away with component input and 2 full RGB Scarts as well as 1 composite/svideo I am well pleased.
     
  18. Demon

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    Choosing a TV/Display is a very personal thing, we are all motivated in different ways, and we all assess displays in different ways!!!

    On the RPTV front.. I can assure you that viewing angles are not a problem in a 'domestic' environement, and I am sure 99% of all RPTV owners will tell you the same... Its a travesty that they look so bad in the shops.. All manufacturers generally make the Horizontal viewing angles much wider then the vertical, so in practise, as long as you sit anywhere in the room, you will be fine. I have a 51" in a relatively small room (12 * 15), and no matter where I am sat, there is no issue with angles.. however if you stand up and walk around, you can see the viewing angle issue, although I doubt that you will ever watch a film walking around the room..

    Rather then looking at which technology people recommned, I would start with drawing up a list of 'necessities' and 'niceties' and even 'don't cares'
    here's a few questions you should ask yourself
    1. What size TV do I want? If you enjoy films more at the cinema then at home, I suspect you would benefit from a larger screen. Perhaps you can only fit a certain size of TV due to room layout?
    2. Am I picky about piicture performance - Do you instantly notice artefacts/jaggies/noise, do you instantly see a TV with poor black level?? or do all TV Sets look the same?
    3. Will I be playing console games on the display/ hooking up my PC to it?

    unfortunately all the types of display all have their own problems, there is no one perfect technology, and its all about what criteria are more important...

    Direct View CRT
    PROS - Good technically, don't overpower the room due to their smaller sizes. Excellent Contrast/brightness and blcak levels
    CONS - Lots of geometry problems can arise, detail can look compressed, screen sizes limited to 36", Reflected light can be an issue in the daytime

    CRT RPTV
    PROS - cheap large screen size, almost CRT levels of performance, excellent black levels/detail/geometry. Non-reflective screens (on some models, e.g. Toshiba) make then very viewable in daytime. Can be adjusted to suit most tastes.
    CONS - Look horrible in the Shops, Vertical viewing angles, can take some 'tweaking' (Although at least they are tweakable)

    LCD RPTV
    PROS - nice detail, looks good with consoles etc. More compact (almost Plasma dimensions)
    CONS - Usual LCD problems, poor black levels, digital artefacts and noise are more evident, viewing angles can also be a slight issue

    PLASMA
    PROS - Spend enough, and pictures are closeish to CRT, Excellent with consoles/PC's. Thin, able to hang on the wall. Viewing angles are good.
    CONS - Performance is very variable, some Plasma's are truly awful, not always related to price, but its a good indicator. Digital artefacts, some have poor black levels, and some are a nightmare to connect.

    Have some fun making your decision, you sound fairly against RPTV, so I would stay clear of them.. as for the Techwood plasma, well go and see one, if you like the picture, then get one.. after all, its only you that you have to please!!! If you decide against Plasma, then CRT is the only option left, and although a large screen is nice (Every single person that has bought a 42" + TV has said they would hate to go back to a 32/36" CRT), you won't miss what you haven't had, so you should be OK with a 32" or 36".

    I have gone the RPTV route (After a 32 then 36" CRT), and 90% of people that see it are impressed, and agree that viewing angles are not an issue in the home environment. They also like the screen size, and are amazed at the level of detail... the other 10% think its too big for a front room, and don't care if the pictures OK, they'd rather have their 21" 4:3 TV hidden in a TV Cabinet with doors!
    Saying that, I secretly yearn for a 50" plasma... but all the ones I have seen have terrible black levels/artefacts that I just couldn't live with!!!....

    Its all very well taking all our opinions on board, but trust your own eyes to make the final judgement!!!
     
  19. KarlosFandango

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    Demon, no wonder viewing angles aren't a problem, with a TV that size you've probably only got room for a stool in the corner ;)
    I thought a 42" in a 18*15 was big.

    Seriously though, echo the points about viewing angles.
     
  20. firlandsfarm

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    Potshot/Marah

    Did you compare the Tosh. with the Philips (36PW9618 etc.)?


    Demon

    Thanks for that very detailed input. I'd love to see a Techwood but cannot find one on display!

    As to the viewing angle of RP all I can say is that I was not on my knees in comet pleading with a salesman, I was trying to recreate a realistic viewing height and from my crawling around I satisfied myself that some of my seats could be outside the angle where the picture started to fade. Also I sometimes pop into the room to see something on the box that might have caught my attention while in another room in which case I don't want to have to sit down or fall onto my knees each time! (It amases me that shops should try to sell something to standing customers that only works for sitting customers!)

    RP is probably fine for model homes where every seat is as per "the diagram", all against the back wall opposite the TV, and the TV is only used when everybody is sitting comfortably before we begin.

    I think I will go for a 36" CRT for now and hope/expect that in 3 or 4 years time plasma or some new currently unknown technology will be at a more affordable price and HDTV will be more imminent and possibly available (non-terrestrial).

    Having decided to go CRT there are some more specific questions I would like to ask for which I will open a new thread.


    David Caple
     
  21. marah

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    Compared to the phillips I wasn't impressed. I have heard of problems with the toshiba which I personally haven't noticed. The phillips I didn't like. I couldn't find a shop with a Panasonic set up. Next to the Sony it was a close contest but it was the connects and built in Dolby Digital that swayed me.

    The techwood in my opinion was terrible however people have had good ones. My concern was the fact I was told by an engineer what I was seeing was normal for all plasmas hence put off getting one altogether.

    As demon has well put its an individual thing.

    You have to look for yourself and see what suits you. What is my complain is perhaps something you can live with.
     

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