Widescreen TV issues

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Harlequin, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    Not really issues I guess.

    Just got my first big screen TV, a Hitachi 46" widescreen. Never having had one, I had a couple of questions for those that do.

    1. How much of an issue is burn in? All my DVDs (well over 200) are in widescreen format. I have a resolution (4:3 expanded in case you're wondering) that causes the movie to nearly fill the screen, with only small bars top and bottom. Since every movie I currently have will have to be viewed this way, how long until I have to worry about burn in? Regular TV is viewed on the same resolution, which fills the screen.

    2. Does everyone's picture on cable suck? I have regular cable (meaning not digital) and the picture is grainy. I know that it's much bigger than on my old beater TV but I expected better picture quality. I notice a slight difference on DVDs as well but it's not nearly as pronounced. I just attribute that to a bigger picture and I'll get used to it.

    3. Is it true, as I've heard from several sources, that Hitachi is one of the best because they make all the parts that go into their TVs? as far as I can tell most other TV makers use parts from other companies and Hitachi does not. That statement is the result of some research I did before choosing a brand to buy.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. grantglock

    grantglock /dev/null

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    I have been using mine for 3 years, heavy use, no burn in, it is a Toshiba. Regular cable tv does suck, get a dish.
     

  3. nickg

    nickg

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    i've had Direct TV for about 7 years now and it just bugs the hell out of me when i go to someone's house and i'm tolerating the absolutely horrible picture quality of cable (including cable's so called "digital cable")

    i can't understand why today people are spending money for upgraded technology for their tv's and continue to use cable for it's video source!!! ;T ;T
     
  4. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    Just to clarify, I've had cable for some time now and the picture was okay on the other TVs. Upgrading is a possibility to consider.
     
  5. Wingnut357

    Wingnut357 Killer Casual

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    Cable has a crapload more potential bandwidth, so if they ever figure out HDTV-cable, it will offer more channels than HDTV-Sat.

    As long as the bars are black, you needn't worry about burn-in.

    As for grainy cable, what type of connection are you using between the cable box and the TV? Coax is bad, RCA is little better. Try to connect them with S-Video or Composite cables, if the box supports them.

    For the DVD, you'll need a progressive-scan DVD player, and a composite or digital connection, otherwise you won't see any improvement and the HDTV aspect is wasted.
     
  6. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    The cable comes into the house in coax. There's no other way to do it. There is no cable box. The DVD player has RCA, component, and S-video hookups, so none of that is an issue.
     
  7. jpa

    jpa CLM

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    I have a Toshiba 43" widescreen digital tv that is now about 3 years old. I don't know if your tv is digital like mine or hd ready or any of the other 10 million terms they use to confuse you into buying the wrong thing.

    1) use the composite outputs on the dvd player.
    2) Get digital satellite. The picture is greatly improved, especially on a larger screen like this. Don't scrimp on cables either.
    3) Try to minimize cable lengths and signal splitters in order to maximize your signal.
     
  8. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    It's an HD-ready CRT screen.

    I will try to run a new cable directly from the hookup outside the house to the TV without any splits. That may or may not help.

    I did some experimenting last night with the DVD player. The picture on both component and S-video hookups was crystal clear. It is the cable itself, and not the TV, causing the crappy picture. My internet is through the cable company so choosing between the two I'd probably pick digital cable just for the convenience. It would be another $30 or so a month from what I'm paying now though...

    So my only issue now is burn-in. Tech sites have conflicting reports which is why I came here for first hand experience.
     
  9. nickg

    nickg

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    rear projection CRTs and plasma screens are more prone to burn in that DLP or LCos screens if that's any help.

    i keep eyeing the 60" Sony and Panasonic DLPs at best buy when i go there. :) :)
     
  10. podwich

    podwich

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    I wrote a reply the other night but during the time it took to compose it the nightly GT update happened and I couldn't post it. Anyway, some of it is no longer relevant (for instance, you wrote that you have a HDTV CRT) but I'll paste it in anyway...
    _______________________
    What kind of TV do you have? Is is an HDTV (I kind of assume it is since it's widescreen)? If not, I'd actually expect to see a worsening of apparent resolution since you're increasing the screen size and I doubt you increased your viewing distance. If it is an HDTV, you should see some increase in resolution with DVDs (somewhat dependent on the quality of the player). You will need to enable progressive scan though-it's sometimes a bit weird to get to work. For instance, my Panasonic player has two settings that have to be turned on in order to output a 480p signal. As for cable, if it's an HDTV I'd expect maybe a slight increase in picture quality due to an internal line doubler, but in reality it's not going to be much better (once again, it may look worse due to the increased size). I'd get HDTV service, whether free over-the-air or paid cable or satellite.

    Burn-in depends on the TV technology you have. CRTs and plasma displays experience burn-in, LEDs can have a dimming effect of the pixels that are used a lot more, DLP shouldn't have problems. I've heard that using gray bars is actually preferable to black bars as it helps reduce the effect of having the bar area being more or less unused and basically too bright later on when you use it for a picture that fills the whole screen.
    _____________________
     
  11. podwich

    podwich

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    BTW- digital cable may be somewhat better but don't expect too much. You want HD cable-that'll be much more impressive.

    Unfortunately, you won't be able to receive over-the-air (free) broadcasts of HDTV as you have an "HD-ready" TV-that is, it has no HDTV tuner. You need a set-top box to receive the signal and convert it into component (or DVI or HDMI or whatever). You could buy an OTA STB if you want but they're still relatively expensive. It's kind of nice to just rent the box from the cable company.
     
  12. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    The manual states that gray sidebars are better than black. It's not really an issue because I watch TV in a 4:3 type resolution that fills the screen but cuts a slight bit off the top and bottom. That way it doesn't have the stretched look of 16:9. So my only problem with burn-in would be with DVD movies which leave a small black bar top and bottom. Hopefully it won't be as much of an issue as some people make out.
     
  13. jason10mm

    jason10mm NRA-GOA-TSRA

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    I have had a Mitsubishi rear projection widescreen for almost 4 years with EXTENSIVE use and no evidence of burn-in despite hours of xbox gaming and movie watching.

    One thing you said about DVDs confused me though. You said that you are watching your widescreen DVDs in 4:3 expanded? This is BAD! You should be able to watch any DVD that is in anamorphic 16:9 (will say so on the back, or say "enhanced for widescreen TVs") in the "regular" TV mode without having to expand the image. Just about every DVD made in the past 5 years is anamorphic. This means that it has extra vertical lines to maximize your HDTV resolution (480p). This isn't "High Definition", which is 1080i, but the best you can get from a DVD. The older DVDs have a normal image that is matted for 4:3 TVs, so you will have to "expand" the image to fill your widescreen properly. This results in a poorer image. Using the component video cables probably fixed this for you since you said you have a much better image now.

    Another recommendation is to drop the money on a calibration DVD like the Avia DVD (probably something newer out there now). This has tons of test patterns and detailed video instructions on how to properly calibrate your image, set up your room, and tune your surround sound system to maximize your viewing pleasure. A sound meter isn't a bad investment either to properly tune your sound system.
     
  14. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    Perhaps it is a setting I'm missing. I've explored settings extensively and cannot find anything that allows the movie to fill the screen.
     
  15. jason10mm

    jason10mm NRA-GOA-TSRA

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    Well, "filling the screen" is kind of a subjective thing. Your TV is a 16:9 aspect ratio, which translates in movie terms to 1.66:1. So any show that is higher than 1.66:1 will have top and bottom bars (most movies are 2.35:1 or so). Most TV shows nowadays are filmed in true 16:9, cropped for 4:3 screens, then released properly on DVD, so those should fill the screen with no black bars. The problem is with older DVDs that are "widescreen", but are essentially a 4:3 image cropped to be widescreen. Those will not display properly on a 16:9 TV and usually require you to expand the image just like you would with a cable or satellite show.

    Any image coming in through an s-video or component video should automatically format itself, so movies will have top and bottom bars, but the image itself will be crisp and not stretched. Piping a DVD in through a co-ax cable might not tell the TV to use a 16:9 aspect ratio, forcing you to manually expand the image to get smaller top and bottom bars and unstretch the image.

    Hmmm, I am probably describing a issue that you don't have. If you have a large collection, then undoubtedly most of your DVDs are recent and are anamorphic. Pull out a really old one (that doesn't say anamorphic or enhanced for WS TVs) and play it, you will see the image distortion I'm talking about.

    Most TVs also have a intermediate stretch setting that stretches the edges more than the middle. This will usually let you enjoy a TV show that fills the screen but does not cut the top or bottom off (helpful for subtitles or ticker tape on news shows). The edge effect takes a bit of time to get used to, but it isn't
     
  16. 0100010

    0100010 Millennium Member

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    Just wait until you guys can start ordering HDTV, PPV and VOD over fiber with Verizon FTTP.
     
  17. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    I use component inputs for the DVD player. I've tried S-video as well and see no difference in picture. There is a setting that will automatically chose the best setting for the movie. I've used that but as you said, there are still bars top and bottom, although they are small ones.
     
  18. alex954

    alex954

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    theres gotta be an option on the TV where you can change the asoect Ratio so you can fill the whole screen

    Display modes (aspect ratios) are accessed by stepping through the selections with the Aspect button. There are six choices for standard (480i/p) programs: 4:3 Standard with either gray or black sidebars, depending on your selection in the setup menu; 16:9 Standard for widescreen anamorphic DVDs and digital broadcasts; 4:3 Expanded to stretch standard programs to fill the screen; and 16:9 Zoom, 4:3 Zoom1, and 4:3 Zoom2 to expand images to various degrees. For high-def 720p and 1080i programs, the options are 16:9 Standard and 16:9 Zoom, which lets you fill the screen with upconverted HDTV programs that show 4:3 images flanked by black bars.
     
  19. Harlequin

    Harlequin I need a weapon

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    I'm aware of that button and those settings. I can fill the screen eventually but the picture quality suffers. By using 4:3 expanded the picture reaches the edges and isn't distorted like 16:9 tends to do. However, it still leaves the bars. I have to go to 4:3 Zoom 2 before it fills the entire screen, and the picture sucks and the edges are cut off.
     
  20. jason10mm

    jason10mm NRA-GOA-TSRA

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    Yup, welcome to the downside of 16:9 TV! Eventually most stuff will be filmed and broadcasted in 16:9, though movies will probably remain 2.35:1.