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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have a Plasma Screen TV? We're getting dangerously close to making a decision on one, but I'd love some knowledgeable insight. We'll be hooking it up to our DirecTV, Tivo and DVD player. Prices seem to be coming down as more competing models hit the market.
 

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We're looking at them, as well. Gateway just entered the market with a very well priced 42 inch screen. If you're interested in that size, take a look at Gateway's web site.
 

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Wow prices are way down from when I was looking. Just bought my 50" HDTV so will think about plasma for next tv but not for awhile.
 

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Leader(in L.A.) said:
Anyone have a Plasma Screen TV? We're getting dangerously close to making a decision on one, but I'd love some knowledgeable insight. We'll be hooking it up to our DirecTV, Tivo and DVD player. Prices seem to be coming down as more competing models hit the market.
Yeah...I currently own a Panasonic 50 inch wall mount plasma Digital television. If you use DVD and have a surround system...investing in a plasma is the best thing on earth for movie entertainment!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What about broadcast TV?

How is the quality of "broadcast TV" on a large Plasma Screen TV? I've heard that the aspect ratio of the plasma screen makes regular TV look kinda squished.
The in-store demonstrations I've viewed on a plasma set were either HDTV (just amazing quality!) or a DVD (also a killer picture!). When I asked to see good old DirecTV or even an antenna signal, I was told "We not hooked up to show that."
 

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Plasma screens (and most high definition televisions) are built using a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is close to that of movie screens. Traditional televisions use a 4:3 aspect ratio, and most network television is still broadcast in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

If one views these broadcasts (or other 4:3 programming, such as nearly all video tapes) on a 16:9 wide screen, one must either (a) "stretch" the picture (resulting in the distortions you described), (b) "zoom" in to fill the screen (thereby "clipping" some of the picture), or (c) "letter-box" the picture (resulting black stripes along either side). Most high definition sets allow the user to select among these options.

Have I put you to sleep yet? :23: There's more.

Using the third option (letterboxing) too often can result in "burn-in" damage to the screen. Some manufacturers say not to use letterboxing more than 15% of the time. :eek:

Yet another issue is the quality of the programming source. Most broadcast television in the United States consists of a 525 line signal (this is the NTSC standard; Europe and other areas that use PAL have 625 lines). High definition television in the U.S. can have up to 1050 lines (other countries are using or looking at even higher standards). When one puts 525 line NTSC programming on a really big screen, the results are not always pretty. That is why most retailers won't show broadcast television in their stores. :rolleyes: To address this, many HDTV sets "upres" or interpolate the low-res signal to make it look better. Some manufacturers do a better job at this than others.

So, with the current state of broadcast television, what is one to do? :confused: In a word, compromise. For now, one must choose between the best format for DVDs and the best format for most broadcast television and legacy programming (like video tapes). :8:

There are a number of great sources of information about HDTV on the web. Do a search for HDTV in google or your favorite search engine.
 

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Most likely I will get a plasma when my wife and I get our new home. In about 3 years. We currently have a HDTV RPTV. I really like it. We use a progressive DVD player and we are totally blown away. Cable isnt much of a concern since we just get basic and we plan to get sat soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you, kflint

Many thanks, kflint, for the very useful info. And, no, you didn't put me to sleep.
I have been using the internet to research the whole plasma/HDTV thing and I've found a number of interesting sites, but you can't beat firsthand info, which is why I posted here in the first place.
How did we ever get along without the internet?
 

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I got the same as Warzau. 50 " HDTV RVPTV with a progressive scan dvd player with MONSTER CABLES. These cables are the best on the market that I have found. The salesman even let me take home two other sets of generic cables to compare. Not even close. Just finished watching Monsters Inc on my TV and stereo set up (htb-501 Kenwood home theater system) Wow is all I can say.
 

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voltage stabilizer/generator?

I live in an old brownstone in Brooklyn, and my electricity is very easy to blow out/ If i run the micro and a toaster at the same time, kaput! i gotta run to the basement and flip the breaker. unfortunately I only have one breaker line in the whole apartment, so i have to be very aware of what electric units i use together. I was hoping someone could help me out. i am looking to upgrade my entertainment center from a 27 inch tv to a 50 inch toshiba rear projection tv( the 50HDX82), but I am very nervous my elecricity cant handle it. How much more does the 50 inch draw than the 27 inch tv? Additionally, is their a product out there that is sort of a surge protector/voltage regulator/generator? something that plugs into the outlet and charges itself ala a battery to assist in the electrical output to a tv or any other electrical output source? anything to reduce the possibility of blowing out my breaker when i have my 50 inch tv on and decide to turn a few lights on or toast a bagel? if so, how much are they?

thanks- larry
 

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Is this thing HDTV? Or do you have to buy another box to make it so? Thanks!:confused:
 

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Right now, there is very little available on HDTV. Direct TV broadcasts only two channels in HDTV and it requires the oval dish to obtain the signal. Very few if any cable companies are able to provide any HDTV signals. If you have an HDTV, then the tuner in your tv can provide you with an HDTV picture. If you have an HDTV ready tv, then you will need a separate HDTV tuner.

When we bought our 64 inch Pioneer last year, it made no sense to spend the extra $400 or so on an HDTV TV, so we went with one that is HDTV ready and will tie in when there is some worthwhile programing on Direct TV. Interestingly enough, in our area, the best way to maximize HDTV broadcasting is to use an old fashioned rooftop antena!
 

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Does that mean the gateway is not HDTV? Is it DVD ready?

If you are going to spend so much money you as might as well be able to take advantage of your progressive scan DVD player!:confused:
 

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Re: voltage stabilizer/generator?

Larry:

You are tripping the breaker because you are drawing too many amps.

The microwave is probably drawing 8-10 amps all by itself. Many toasters are over 5 amps.

If the entire apartment is serviced by ONE beaker (which is almost certainly ILLEGAL --tell your landlord dude!) it is probably a 20 amp.

That only leaves about 5 amps for the whole apartment (refrigerator, (!?!),lights, clocks, fans, (?)stove...).

Typically a 50 inch triple CRT projector sets use about 300 watts. This equates to LESS THAN 3 amps (watts / voltage (US 120) = amps).I would guess the 27 inch set uses about 100 watts so even with the HORRIBLE wiring in your apartment this is a MINOR load compared to microwave or toaster.

Power line conditioners are useful devices to buffer the effects of TEMPORARY drops in line voltage and filter out powerline noise - they are NOT a substitute for adequate electrical service!

BTW I worked summers for an electrical contractor (union even) and I would guess it would cost about $500 to add extra circuits to your apartment -- a good investment for the landlord! A constantly tripping circuit breaker is a VERY bad thing, and his WHOLE INVESTMENT could go up in smoke if some other tenant ever decided to mess things up!
QUOTE]Originally posted by larryhot13
I live in an old brownstone in Brooklyn, and my electricity is very easy to blow out/ If i run the micro and a toaster at the same time, kaput! i gotta run to the basement and flip the breaker. unfortunately I only have one breaker line in the whole apartment, so i have to be very aware of what electric units i use together. I was hoping someone could help me out. i am looking to upgrade my entertainment center from a 27 inch tv to a 50 inch toshiba rear projection tv( the 50HDX82), but I am very nervous my elecricity cant handle it. How much more does the 50 inch draw than the 27 inch tv? Additionally, is their a product out there that is sort of a surge protector/voltage regulator/generator? something that plugs into the outlet and charges itself ala a battery to assist in the electrical output to a tv or any other electrical output source? anything to reduce the possibility of blowing out my breaker when i have my 50 inch tv on and decide to turn a few lights on or toast a bagel? if so, how much are they?

thanks- larry
[/QUOTE]
 

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hockeyplayer said:
I got the same as Warzau. 50 " HDTV RVPTV with a progressive scan dvd player with MONSTER CABLES. These cables are the best on the market that I have found. The salesman even let me take home two other sets of generic cables to compare. Not even close.

Prefer 'Bettercables' myself. For not much more money and sometimes the same, their Serpent Video series are like the Holy Grail without getting into esoterics which are more money for very small gains.
But Monsters will serve you well, unless you are a tweaky techie like me.

www.bettercables.com

Excellent points about the line conditioners. If your home entertainment 'stuff' is on a dedicated breaker even better. But line conditioners are a given. Reasonable ones can be had from TrippLite, Panamax, Monster, APC among others.
I like the Pannys because in case of major over-voltage they actually remove power from your system, they don't just try to absorb the spike.
I live in California and can not imagine not having such protection for my entertainment center and computers.
 

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Maik said:
Right now, there is very little available on HDTV. Direct TV broadcasts only two channels in HDTV and it requires the oval dish to obtain the signal. Very few if any cable companies are able to provide any HDTV signals. If you have an HDTV, then the tuner in your tv can provide you with an HDTV picture. If you have an HDTV ready tv, then you will need a separate HDTV tuner.

When we bought our 64 inch Pioneer last year, it made no sense to spend the extra $400 or so on an HDTV TV, so we went with one that is HDTV ready and will tie in when there is some worthwhile programing on Direct TV. Interestingly enough, in our area, the best way to maximize HDTV broadcasting is to use an old fashioned rooftop antena!
Many of the cable companies have started carrying HD signals. Time Warner Cable here in Charlotte has 7 or 8. We have ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS HD demo, PBS, HBO, Showtime, and I think a few others. I have a 60" Mitsubishi rear projection and I don't know to much about plasma, but I have heard that after 3-5 years of typical use the colors on screen degrade significantly.
 

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I looked into these plasma screen recently because I really want a 60 " one.

I currently have a 42 16x9 RPTV and it displays 500 lines on DVD's. At 8 feet it looks pretty good and you cannot see the scan lines.

I admint the Plasma 42's look a little better but was very disappointed with the 50's and 60's. Why? Because each plasma only supports 768 scan lines. Whats the point of getting a bigger tv if you have to see back 15-20 feet to view it correctly over the 42? I want to sit 8 feet away and be overwhelmed by the screen like in a theatre.

I am going to hold off until I can get a 50 or 55" 16x9 plasma with 1024 scan lines. May have to wait awhile.

Chris:3:
 

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I have a 36" Wega and would want to go above 42" if I was going to plunk down a lot of dough on a bigger screen.
The one I have weighs 220 lbs, I can just imagine what the 40" they recently came out with weighs. Plus maintaining good picture geometry on a big screen becomes more on an obstacle with each size increase and you don't have all the electronic adjustments of an RPTV to compensate for it.
It's hard to beat a direct view, but I have seen some RPTVs that blew me away.
They have constantly improved, and are becoming the best all around if you want a 'big' picture.
Etching the screen is a concern for any TV running 16:9 widescreen but mostly for plasma and direct view.
15% sounds very low as a maximum time for viewing widescreen material. I think it's 1/3 for a direct view set.
 

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DaleB said:
I have a 36" Wega ...
Another thing we have in common DaleB!

How many people did it take to carry this monster! I had no idea how heavy and awkward it was to carry until I brought it home. Putting it in the entertainment center was a job as well, especially since there is approx. .25'' clearance on each side.
 

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mdxxxx said:
How many people did it take to carry this monster! I had no idea how heavy and awkward it was to carry until I brought it home. Putting it in the entertainment center was a job as well, especially since there is approx. .25'' clearance on each side.
I bought our 40" Mitsubishi direct-view set back in 1995, and it's a similar monster. About 270 lbs, and a total nightmare to move. Even two men have trouble with that thing. I've only moved it once (from the living room to the family room) and that was enough. My wife wants new carpet for the family room, but the thought of moving the telvision out of the room, and back, is enough to deter that idea! Even the matching stand weighs a huge amount.

I'd imagine the 40" Sony weighs in that range. Hopefully by the time the Mitsubishi gives out, the plasma sets will be much cheaper and even better!
 
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