Hunting for a TV

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Just when I thought it was safe to go into the store again... I am hunting for a TV. A nice one, home theater style. Not looking for exact models from anybody, but hey, where do I start? This has an alphabit soup that is as strange to me as I suppose audio is to someone just jumping into it. I can spend a few grand, but have no desire to get ripped off.

Links, trusted sources, etc. desired. We all know the mags about sound that are basically just paid mouth peices for the brands - is there an unbiased source for TVs?
Generally I'd suggest going with a projection tv nowadays, simply because the tubes cant warp due to nearby audio equipment. I have a 36" Sony Wega (pre hdtv model), that I'd like to upgrade to a Pioneer Elite projection. The brands I trust right for projection are Pioneer and Mitsubishi's "diamond" series. If you want to go with a tube or widescreen tube, the Sony's seem to still be atop the game. Or of course, you could wait until the DIY Video projector project is completed by someone in the forums :)
What about a barco, I have been lucky enough to pick up two 28" Barco monitors, OCM2846 and a SCM2846, for less than Aust$400ea at Auctions.

Picture Tube 28" FST 0.8 mm Dot Pitch
Resolution: 640H x 480V
Scan Rates:15-36KHz Horiz. 45-120 Hz Vert.
Video Standards: PAL / SECAM / NTSC 3.58 / NTSC 4.43
RGB Inputs: RGB TTL, RGB PS/2, RGB/S Analog
composite video, S-Video, RGB video, SVGA or MAC II

On the down side, they are prone to dry solder joints, they will not play anything with MACROVISION, theres no tuner, servicing might be expensive, you might need a gen lock to keep the image stable during bright transistions, eg. explosions

The picture on these monitors is astounding, I have seen people just lost when they first see one, and I now find most "TVs" almost laughable, the lack of video noise will surprise you.

They appear easy to find Barco Austalia even sell reconditioned units for about Aust$2000.

I appear not to be the only one to have found these cheap
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<i>"We finally bought a BARCO Multidata OCM 2846 28" video-monitor with SVGA-in and it works GREAT for us. It only cost us 78$, but these things are sold for up to 1000$ (second hand!) on other site's. Talk about a bargain!" </i>

Hope this helps


From the way I read your question it sounds like you are looking for something in a larger screen size. If thats the case look at the rear projection sets. If you're in the U.S. seriously consider High Definition monitors or sets with HDTV receivers included. A word to the wise here, bye the latest model you can. The older receivers don't have nearly as good performance as the latest ones (the next generation of digital demod chips due out in the next few months will be even better).

The big thing to look for if you are thinking monitor is the resolution of the display. The standard for digital TV in the U.S. has 18 different formats consisting of different scan rates, scaning modes, aspect ratios, and resolution. The highest definition mode is 1920/1080 resolution, 16/9 aspect ratio, interlace scaning and 30 frames per second. This mode is generally know as 1080i. Others are 720p, 480i and 480p. Add to this the different scan rates and aspect ratios allowed and you get 18 modes. Not all scan rates and aspect ratios are allowed in each scaning mode or resolution.

I know, more confused than ever, right? A HDTV monitor or TV for that matter will have 1080i or 720p resolution, RGBHV (5 BNC coax connectors) or SVGA inputs (15 pin D type connector). Anything else IS NOT HDTV.

The HDTV sets at most places are not shown with HD program sources. This is so they can still sell the standard TVs they have setting around. If you saw a HD set with HD programing next to a standard definition set with the same programing you would never bye the standard set, the difference is that much.

Good luck in your search.
(by the way I work for Zenith Digital Broadcast Products but
not one sales pitch.)
Ya nailed it HDTVMan... I had the misfortune of seeing a true HD football game showing on one of the Big Sony Tubes. Everything else just sucked compared to it. Not sure I want to sacrifice the quality of the tube for something just bigger (boy, I think we have all heard that before).

I am in the radio broadcast business, so I have heard enough from the TV guys to stay away from current tuners, but is it safe to buy the monitor?

And you nailed the lines, aspect ratios, yada, yada, yada. I need education before I lay down this kind of money. So I repeat myself for the group - if you know where there is some good educational material, let me know.

I can't find anything on the web that's not older than the hills for refference material (anything older that a year is useless).

I think you should be OK with a monitor. Like I said before make sure that it is true HD, 1080i with RGBHV input or 15 pin D connector SVGA for the HD sources. Most unit have several S video and composite inputs for DVD, VCR and whatever else.

Direct TV and Dish Network both have HD services now and the settop boxes they use will tune off air HDTV services as well. Just get the latest and greatest model they have. Maybe call up one of the Sat. providers and ask them which one they suggest.

I just found this one; check it out.

[Edited by HDTVman on 10-22-2001 at 11:00 AM]
The Sats are out for me for the moment - until they fly the new bird - no clear site line unless I saw down some neighbors trees.. (Trust me, I ran the angles for the birds, climbed on the roof with the compass and the inclinometer - even had the Baird Non-Pen roof mount picked out. This I do for a living, and I got antennas in Alaska with better site pictures than me. Granted, they are 10 meter dishes :) )
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