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Time to dump the rear projection TVs

 

Silver Member
Username: Mccambley

BREEZY POINT, NY USA

Post Number: 796
Registered: Jun-05
With all the problems posted here with rear projection TVs maybe it's time to just dump your rear projection TV. A new Panasonic 50" plasma can be had for as little as $650, with the right sale possibly cheaper. For half the price for repairs on any rear projector you could get a much better set.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1700
Registered: Oct-07
I'll put my SXRD up side to side with any 650$ plasma.

Lamps are about 120$ and an optical block is about 300$. I can put in a lamp in about 15 minutes, counting housing changes. If the optical block was 700$ installed, I'd still be ahead.

The only better picture these days maybe either hi-end plasma or some of the advanced LED backlit LCDs.

That being said, I gotta agree. RPTV was and will continue to be a real PIA. I think I've been lucky, with over 10,000 hours on mine, and about 1/3 the way thru its 2nd lamp. Knock on wood.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mccambley

BREEZY POINT, NY USA

Post Number: 798
Registered: Jun-05
The SXRD were a good TV in there day but because of the limitation on all rear projection TVs not one can stand up to any Panasonic Plasma at any price. Rear projection TVs have a very poor off center viewing angle. The contrast ratio is no contest. The smoothness of the picture and color of a plasma can not be touched by any TV. LED TVs are simply LCD sets that are trying to catch up to the contrast of a plasma, but still suffer all the other problems of LCD. At a distance of more than 10ft 1080p is irreverent in any set 50 inches or less, and since Blu-ray is the only true 1080P source unless you watch nothing but Blu-ray 1080p means nothing. If I sound like plasma snob I'm sorry but these are facts.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1719
Registered: Oct-07
It's OK to be a 'plasma snob'. Not to worry!
I'm an SXRD snob! My set has amazing, real blacks. Some kind of variable iris system helps with contrast. Dark scene detail is terrific. Much better than most i've seen.

Don't forget that SXRD is NOT transmissive LCD, but rather a reflective variant. The VIAs....the space between active cells is just a couple microns, so my screen has NO pixelization. It is very film-like. In my room with limited off-angle viewing, the picture is terrific from every seat.

I would love to see my SXRD side-2-side with a modern flat panel...of any kind. My objection to Plasma is that of limited lifetime (better these days?) and huge heat output.

We agree about 1 thing, though. BR is THE source for Hi-Res picture. The 1080i over small dish has been stepped on badly. Only live sports and news look as good as they could. Everything else is not much better than my OPPO upsampler produces.

Last year, the SuperBowl was in uncompressed 1080p when it left the stadium. It was dead-on-arrival.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mccambley

BREEZY POINT, NY USA

Post Number: 803
Registered: Jun-05
Lets take a look at Home Theater magazines measurements for the KDS-50A3000 SXRD.
Contrast and Overscan
In the Auto2 Advanced Iris setting, with the lamp Power Saving On and the Contrast set to 80, I measured a peak contrast ratio of 3,971:1 (55.6 foot-Lamberts peak white, 0.014fL video black). I also measured an ANSI contrast of 275:1. While the peak contrast number is very good by today's standards (though helped more by the high output level than by the merely satisfactory black reading), With the same settings but the lamp Power Saving Off, I measured a peak contrast ratio of 3,893:1 (73.96fL peak white, 0.019fL video black).

Panasonic TC-P 50G20
Black: 0.008
White: 30.22
If judged in comparison with the Panasonic HDTVs we've tested over the past two years, the TC-P50G20's black level and contrast ratio are merely average--although that still means comfortably better than average by overall industry standards.

I had to use a more expensive plasma than $650 to get measurements from the same mag and reviewer (Thomas Norton)and a TV you can buy today. The point I am trying to make is that today's Panasonic plasmas have measurably better black levels almost twice the reading 0.014 for SXRD vs 0.008 plasma.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1727
Registered: Oct-07
Casey,
Sounds like you've got a reasonable grip on the subject matter, so I've got a few questions.
My 60" SXRD....the exact model, had a black level of .008 but a lower white level than your reference set. How visible is the difference between a 3770 contrast ratio and the SXRD::
http://hometheatermag.com/rearprojectiontvs/1006sonykds60a2000/index2.html
Part of the confusion is the many possible settings.....Auto Iris and power save, among others. Also, since the darn display is so bright to begin with, wouldn't a calibration hurt the contrast?

I also see the color space is wacky. Do any sets come with reasonable calibration from the factory? I know that 'sizzle sells'. My photo system is calibrated. Custom monitor and printer profiles, so I have SOME idea what good color looks like. I leave my TV with minimal adjustments. The TV I messed with a LOT was an ancient Panasonic Round Front 36" CRT which when I sold it was one fine looking set. Power conditioner helped a lot, there.

And finally, how much production variation exists? If you took a sample TV from the line, one per week for 6 weeks, how close would they measure. The Black level of my set is pretty good, even by new standards, but did you guys get a good one? Is my set likely to measure as well?

If a manufacturer wanted to make a calibrated color setting and have it as a preset, how close could they get in a production run....every time?

Just curious. When my SXRD finally goes away, I pretty much know I won't be buying a plasma, LCD is still making progress and the LCD backlighting will only get better and 'smarter'. I'm taking a wait / see position for now.
Thanks for answer..........
 

Silver Member
Username: Mccambley

BREEZY POINT, NY USA

Post Number: 804
Registered: Jun-05
Calibration will not hurt your TVs contrast it can only help. The problem will be that you are use to a bright TV and a calibrated version may take some getting use to, but the picture is more accurate.The best way to get your Tv calibrated is to use an ISF certified tech but this can be expensive $300 and up.

http://www.imagingscience.com/

A cheaper but less accurate calibration is to do it your self using a disc like Video Essentials or others. You will be using the user menu where a tech will be using the factory settings. You can check out Tweak my TV for setting they use.

http://www.tweaktv.com/

http://www.tweaktv.com/tweak-my-tv/calibration-guide/sony-kds-50a3000.html

http://www.tweaktv.com/tweak-my-tv/calibration-guide/sony-kds-60a2000.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1754
Registered: Oct-07
Not enough data, but I figure that the DVE disk got me about 1/2 to what an ISF guy would get.
Yep, picture was quite a bit less-bright but shadow detail came out much better and color was not as saturated. Sharpness got turned down which actually seemed to help detail.
All above noted on the last of the round front Panasonic 36" direct view sets. Darn thing weighed a ton, too. Takes 2 people to move it around safely.

I think my SXRD with full access to RGB settings in the custom menu would allow even closer color fidelity while being able to get rid of what is really oversaturated color.

From what I understand, the more inputs for calibration, the more expensive the ISF guy is.

I'm still curious about sample to sample variation. My SXRD from the A2000 series measured differently than a cousin set from the next year. Same SXRD technology, but with unknown redesign of light engine........
 

Silver Member
Username: Mccambley

BREEZY POINT, NY USA

Post Number: 805
Registered: Jun-05
I'm still curious about sample to sample variation. My SXRD from the A2000 series measured differently than a cousin set from the next year. Same SXRD technology, but with unknown redesign of light engine........
Leo, I have no idea if day to day, week to week how quality insurance in TV factory is kept up. Each year new models come out and changes are made to improve the sets or made simply to keep cost down.
If someone is happy with there set good but to all the people here who are having problems with rear projection sets it is time to get a Plasma not an LCD or LED but a Plasma . The best picture today is from a Plasma set and after all that is what we want from our sets. You do not need to buy an extended warranty or expensive HDMI cables with today's sets.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1757
Registered: Oct-07
I spent a FEW $$$ extra on a Blue Jeans HDMI cable.....Belden wire.

I spent MOST of my career in electronics manufacturing. And by that I mean IN a clean room making either discrete or IC products. Quality is an obsession. But, process is designed around building it right the first time as opposed to inspection and rework...if possible. It is much less expensive that way. Everyone has, of course, a quality program, but these days it is based on passing ISO audits, which mandate certain....statistics be kept and complete documentation of process. SPC (statistical process control) is adopted virtually 100% of the time and most plants also will be committed to 6S procedures. You'll have to look that last one up! It is a Japanese originated system or workplace order, control and principles. works, too.

So, with that in mind, I will say that all manufacturers know the limits of process and the result. If I were a TV tester, I'd buy my set out of stock somewhere and NOT rely on a potentially massaged set from the builder.

After having extensive experience with more electronic and machines that most people would see in 5 lifetimes, I'd agree about the extended warranty. We called it 'infant mortality' which just meant that machines may have a few problems at first, but once worked out, the machine when properly maintained will remain stable for long time periods. I would expect similar rules for consumer electronics.
 

New member
Username: Antmanv1

Marietta, GA USA

Post Number: 8
Registered: Oct-05
Leo- I had the same experience with "infant mortality" with my Samsung DLP that I bought exactly 5 years ago! It was my 1st and so far only leap to HDTV. Because of that I bought the extended warranty. Something that I never do. I'm glad I did. I had all the major components changed out due to "bad" picture quality. The color wheel broke at 3 years due to poor design regarding the bearing. Now that everything has been fixed, it works fine. I'm sure it's working up to it's full potential, anyway! Lesson I learned, it can really pay off to buy the warranty with expensive new technology. Incidently, the only thing I never changed is the bulb.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1768
Registered: Oct-07
Not changing the bulb probably means less than XXX hours. I'm surprised it broke THAT often....and MUCH without having even gone thru a single lamp!
California has Lemon Laws might have saved you ALL that trouble...which sounds like you really jumped thru some hoops.

My only SXRD 'problem'? I changed a lamp at about 7500 hours.
 

Silver Member
Username: Mccambley

BREEZY POINT, NY USA

Post Number: 808
Registered: Jun-05
Rear Projection TVs needed an extended warranty. Today's flat panels most likely don't need an extended warranty and if you feel you still need one, the price of one can probably be negotiated. The sales person will ask you over and over again if you originally say no to a warranty then you can ask for a better price on the warranty. If you are buying a $700 TV why pay $300 for a warranty.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1776
Registered: Oct-07
In my experience, Electronics that is GOING to fail will do so fairly quickly unless abused or put thru the Washer....like my buddy did with his Cell Phone.....
If you get thru a year or so without failure and the normal warranty, you should be good to go.
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