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A couple specific HDTV questions for owners...


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Hey everyone,

As a celebration of a new job which I have yet to get, I plan on getting a sleek new HDTV, but had a couple questions for owners. Not necessarily brand specific things though.

1) What does a 16:9 TV do with a 4:3 signal? Is it stretched, cropped, or does it just sit in the middle? I'd like it to just sit in the middle, I'm not all about messing with the original image. I guess the same would applie to a 221:10 (or whatever the wider screen format is, I can't remember off the top of my head.)

2) I've read different things in a lot of different places, but would like the record set straight -- A flat-screen, thin 46" isn't a projection TV, is it? So, it should be okay to hook up a gaming system to it? I know all the next-gen consoles have HDMI capability and everything, so what's the scoop on actually using them on these TVs?

3) Upconversion DVD players...what's the scoop? Are they worth the extra cash? Will I need one if my TV already upconverts for me?

4) If the TV I'm looking at can accept input from a PC, does the PC need an HDMI output, or a DVI output? Will I be able to have my PC switch to the native resolution of the TV?

5) Any recommended brands / models? This is what I was looking at:


Thanks for all the help!!!

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1) By default it will just center the 4:3 picture. Most TVs have a button on the remote that will let you zoom/stretch the 4:3 image if you want.

2) No, that is not projection. Go ahead and hook up your games.

3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upscaling_DVD#Upscaling_DVD

4) That depends on the TV. If it just says "PC input" it is likely to be a standard VGA port. They'd probably advertise the fancier ports. the output resoultion depends on your PC's video card, but it is possible.

5) Don't buy from Sony. They are the devil, Bobby. Check product reviews on Amazon and epinions.com after you've decided on the feature set and price range you want.

And finally, go for it! I just recently made this change and am happy that I did. Don't forget to enable your TV source for HD (cable, dish, OTA w/antenna).

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Thanks so much for all the great answers...I've never been loyal to a specific brand but I know now I have a Philips TV and don't like it at all (not HD) because it cuts off the picture, I have seen this on a few of the same TVs. I will probably go ahead and make the switch, thanks!

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I would like you to consider a particular technology called DLP.

With Plasma which when it goes, the whole thing is useless.

With LCD you possibly have dead pixel issues as well as viewing angle issues. It's possible that more high end sets have eliminated at least the viewing angle problem (picture is not visible left or right of center).

With DLP, the only thing you have to replace is a bulb. A very expensive bulb, but it is a user serviceable part. (at least in the two Toshiba models I've used regularly).

The only annoyance is the Dish PVR that drives the picture, the lower half of the bottom entry on the Guide is cut off, and there are no adjustments for reducing overscan. But I assume that's just an issue with the Toshiba units.

The one freaky effect with DLP (spinning mirrors) is that if I move my head really fast (like I'm signaling "no") and blink just right, I get a rainbow effect. But for normal viewing I've seen nothing but a fantastic picture.

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  • 3 months later...

Just to throw in my 2 cents worth, I have a Samsung 61" DLP set (just over a year old when they still had lamps in them) that has 1080p with 2 HDMI inputs and a VGA input for my pc. I love it. My dad just bought the new model of the same set with LED instead of the lamp. I think the color is even better on the LED set, plus it adds an extra HDMI slot.

My advice is to insist on 1080p resolution regardless of what you buy and try to get as many HDMI ports as you can. I had to upgrade my surround sound receiver to get one with HDMI switching because I ran out of HDMI ports. DirecTV HD-DVR, Playstation 3, and a Toshiba HD-DVD player ($99 special from Walmart) with only two ports on TV. :(

I would certainly buy another Samsung DLP.

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