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new TV or old TV, that is the question...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Mo Heat, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    My approx. 5 yr old, 36" Sony WEGA Trinitron KV-36FS16 with the incredibly heavy flat glass screen that weighs as much as a small stove (~275Lbs IIRC) has decided to stop working.

    Researching things on the web produced some probable causes, but nothing definitive. They all sound kind of expensive and then there is the hit and miss of finding a competent and "honest TV repair man". Is that an oxymoron? Since this set is so massively heavy, I figure a house call will be needed, probably adding to the expense of service. I've heard some sad stories of TV repairs and am reluctant to take the risk and wind up buying a new set anyway.

    Anyway, I'll miss this beast of a TV. Plus, I bought a build-in-place entertainment center just to fit the thing, and boy is it a snug fit, so I'll need another stand, cabinet, or something to hold all the audio and media stuff that's on this current set-up. But I guess my question is...

    Anybody have any luck repairing TV's these days, or are they pretty much throw away items? This one was around $1,500 IIRC. Not what I tend to think of as a disposable item, but then, that's me.

    All the retailer ads seem to be focused on HD and 16:9 format, so it might be nice to pony up and enter the new universe of high dollar TV, but good lord, all the options are dizzying. I'm kind of a technically oriented guy, and have reviewed a lot of these things in the last few days, but it is still going to be a difficult decision.

    Any suggestions from big-screen owners out there in hearthnet land? New or repair the old? New screen size? I'm thinking 60+ since it will be HD, and I think that's kosher with my 10 - 11 foot viewing distance. Plasma, rear projection with a bulb in there to blow out sooner or later (is rear projection the same as LCD?), or an old reliable (even if not in my current TV's case) CRT tube model?

    Are these new fangled sets as good as the old CRT tube jobs in color accuracy? Does the HD thing outweigh such issues? Lots of questions. I need a TV mentor I suppose. How does gramma and granpa buy a set with all these options? sheesh!

    If I can't find an overriding reason to buy one of the 16:9 HD jobs, I may just try and find a tube TV that fits into the existing entertainment center. Somebody save me if that seems like a big mistake.

    I know a lot of this is probably personal preference, but I guess I'm looking for some informed enthusiasts to help me spend some serious TV money. ;)

    FYI: I have DirecTV with premium and local channels and two standard definition TiVo units hooked to this set. One old DirecTV Tivo and one Series 2 box. I think a new HD TiVo is now going for around $300 plus monthly. So that would be an additional purchase I'd probably want to make.

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  2. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Look into a moderately priced LCD somewhere around 37-48".

    I've done a fair amount of research and from what I can tell, LCD is going to be the best technology to have in the upcoming years. It has good picture, low maintenance and doesn't have the pitfalls of decreasing screen brightness over time that the Plasma has.

    I am in the same situation as you, I have a 36" XBR Trinitron Vega that when it dies will be going to TV heaven and then a LCD will take it's place. I just can't bring myself to buy a new TV when my current does 480P and I haven't yet bought a HD DVD or Blu-Ray player.

    What I like most about LCD's is that most offer the ability to plug in your computer as an alternate source and when internet TV comes online in the next few years I have a feeling this will be a nice feature.
  3. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    If you open up the broken TV WATCH OUT for the capacitor, if you short it out somehow it will knock you across the room, NO JOKE!

    The new HD TV's are far supiriour to the old CRT TV's. The CRT's run at usually 320x240 or 640x480 resolution. I have a newish 30" LCD that runs at 1398x768 widescreen (or something close to that). That gives you a much crisper image with HD channels. Non-HD channels look... ok, the TV actually is so good you can see how crappy the signal is on the normal channels. With a CRT TV, the signal is just as crappy as the TV's output so it looks normal.

    LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is not the same as a rear projection. HD rear projections TV's are usually DLP (Digital Light Projection), "It's the mirrors".

    LCD has tons of little crystals that change colors when different electrical signals are sent to them. The crystals can go dead which is not really fixable, but usually they are dead out of the box or last a really long time.

    DLP shoots light (from a $200-$300 bulb) through a color wheel and into millions of tiny mirrors. The mirrors spin and some how make the picture on the screen.

    I Love my 16:9 TV, esp for widescreen HD channels! (Pretty much all HD channels are widescreen)

    The colors are really vibrant on my LCD with the HD channels. The standard channels look a little washed out, but I think its about the same as on a CRT, the HD channels just make them look bad in comparison. There are a couple of stats to look for in a TV that determine how good it looks. Contrast Ratio is one of the important ones. Most of them are really good but if you find somrhting that seems too good to be true (as in... cheap), it might just have lower specs and give a worse picture.

    I think I hit on all the topic I can comment on...
  4. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    You can get a nice 40-ish inch LCD HD set for under $1000. This would probably be the route I would opt for as well if one of my 27" crt sets died on me.

    If you get a new set, don't bother with anything thats not HD ready. Since you're on DirectTV your set top box is what dictates the signal going into your tv...eventually you'll have to get an HD box...I'm skeptical that we'll all switch over in February...you could probably get away with an SDTV for another couple of years, but it'll eventually go away. You could check with DirectTV and see if they're going to be replacing all the boxes out there with HD boxes any time soon.

    I'm generally not up for repairing, but for a $1500 set thats only 5 years old, I'd take a gamble on a repair call and see if you get any luck out of it before youplunk down at least a grand on a new tv, plus mounting it for another $150 and an HD Tivo...you're looking at a minimum outlay of another $1500...I'd try to scrounge another couple years myself.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    They were selling a 40" Magnavox lcd at Home Depot last weekend for $999.
  6. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    I went through a similar dilemma last January. Let me start out by saying that there is a lot of conflicting information out there about all the different technology and which one is best for a given situation. Many people out there feel like the older CRT sets display a better picture than plasma or LCD. Quite frankly, I think those people have a valid point.
    You have to really think about you individual situation and consider how important TV is to you. Are you willing to pay extra money for channels that are broadcast in High Definition? You also want to see if there are any channels being broadcast in HD for free in your area. If so, how many, and which ones.

    Sales people will generally tell you how you absolutely need to go for a High definition set, but the reality is that most of the available content out there is still in standard definition (480i). In my area (Southern maine) I could pay Directv an extra 12 bucks per month to get access to around 5 extra channels. I'd also have to renew my 2 year contract to make this change. The other High Def available to me comes in "over the air" and includes 2 channels being broadcast from 20-30 miles away. I should add that even with a 25 dollar rooftop antenna, these free HD channels only "come in" sporadically.

    So again, sales people and HD enthusiasts will tell you that everything is moving to HD, and fast, but that is not what i'm observing. I'm of the opinion that most content will still be broadcast in digital 480i even 3-4 years from now.
    So, the point i'm slowly trying to make is that you might want to look for a set that does well with a standard definition signal. Even the most advanced HD set is not going to improve the picture quality on a 480i feed. In fact, my experience is that there is generally a net-loss of picture quality as the HD set converts the feed. My opinion is that your 36" Sony Wega (when operational) is going to display a superior picture to a Modern plasma or LCD high def set when dealing with standard definition content.
    So, as I was saying, you should get a good read on what your High Def sources will be. If you are like most people, 90% of what is available to you is still 480i.

    Just to share my experience with you (for what it is worth). I have a pretty basic 50 dollar package with Directv, and we do watch quite a few standard DVDs. I initially was pulled in by the HD excitement and hype and purchased a 37" HD (720P) LCD from Walmart. This TV replaced a very solid 2002 model 32" flat screen Sharp CRT TV. I hooked it up via s-video cables coming from the Directv box, and component cables from my DVD player.
    I found that with standard def 480i channels, my LCD looked much less clear than the 32" CRT. With standard DVDs (480p) the clarity was pretty similar between the CRT and the LCD, but if I had to choose, I would give the nod to the CRT set.
    After spending many hours calibrating the set and trying to maximize performance of the set I decided to return it. There was just no way I could justify spending 800 for the "cool-factor" and slightly larger screen size.
    So, the story could have ended there...but I must admit that I wanted a cool thin 16-9 set. I had budgeted the $ for it, and I just didn't want to go back to the 200 lb 32" CRT.
    I went back out shopping the next day and my new plan was to make sure I got to look at each set with a 480i input, a dvd 480P input as well as a 720P input. Most importantly I wanted teh new set to do well with the former 2, but I wanted to make sure I bought something that looked good with 720P when/if I was ready to start paying for more of this content.

    I wound up buying a 42" Panasonic Plasma ED set for about the same price as I had paid for the 37" HD LCD. Some people though I was nuts for buting a 480p set when all the rage is with 720P, 1080i and 1080P...but I saved about 400 dollars off what the 720P panasonic plasma was going for.
    The set looks amazing with DVD (480P) and very very good with 480i (very similar to on the large CRT set), and 720P coming in over the air looks extremely crisp (the TV displays this at 480p). 9 months later I am still 100% satisfied with the purchase.

    So, I guess my advice would be to design for the norm instead of the exception, with some consideration to the 5 year picture. If I were in your shoes I would look into fixing your old CRT first. I wouldn't invest more than 100-150 bucks or so...but I think that TV is worth trying to fix. If you can get another 3 years out of that set, then perhaps by then there will be a lot more 720P 1080i content out there to where it'll make the decision a little easier for you. Prices are still trending downward, so it almost always makes sense to wait.

    A bit more than "my 2 cents". I suspect that most people will advise you to go buy an HD LCD...just make sure if you go that route, you check it out in the store with a standard def feed to make sure the picture quality is acceptable to you. I would also encourage you to look at plasma. That technology still got a bit of a "bad rap" for the first couple years of sets, but the technology has improved significantly in recent years.
    Good Luck!
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Once you go HD, you won't go back.

    Plus, you don't need cable for HD.
    I get all the networks' HD programs over the air, and I'm not in the middle of everything that happens.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Sorry Mo. Can't help ya. My 27" I bought at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago for $119 does everything I need it to do. Basic Directv package and off the air locals. Man I have saved a ton of money since I quit being the "High Tech Redneck".
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    No suggestion on the TV, except the brain rots less when you stay away from it... However rather than doing a Tivo box, I'd look into a MythTV box or one of the other Linux based DVR solutions - they will let you do everything a Tivo does, and then some (like skip commercials easily, keep your recordings, burn to DVD's, etc.) and without doing the "phone home" routine or a monthly service bill...

    Gooserider
  10. Daniel

    Daniel New Member

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    The Sharp Aquos is worth taking a look at. In my opinion it's picture looked the best next to other sets on display. Consumer Reports probaly has an issue dedicated to TVs. LCD is the way to go..especially in HD.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Mo, getting a tv that works with a pure digital signal may be a reasonable investment. If the Fed keeps it's promise, analog tv is on the way out soon. I prefer LCD technology to plasma because it uses less power and doesn't suffer from burn in. That said, I still have a ludite analog tv because I haven't made up my mind yet either.
  12. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    As usual BB...."Man after my own heart"...lol

    Mo....
    I would look around for "a decent repair place" but I wouldn't hold out hope of finding one. As far as "disposable item"??? Yeah...the good old days of $399.00 console TV's being disposable...time marches on and so does inflation. Your (mine and the next PB's) TV with it's price tag is "The modern day throwaway console TV"... As far as granma and grandpa...They still have the Zenith console from 1979 siting under a plastic dust cover...and it still works as fine as the day it was made in all likelyhood....don't expect Ma and Pa kettle to be strolling through the aisles of circuit city anytime soon...lol

    In all seriousness though...for laughs and gigles I would "broaden the search a bit"... Call a few "computer repair places and ask/direct very pointed questions "You fix laptop screens???...Oh yeah good...let me run this one by you.." you might be surprised. Some "computer repair guys" are like a home handyman...if it has electronics they'll fix it and charge you a buck or two accordingly.
    If you don't have any luck there...search around local Voke/Tech or 'colleges' like ITT Tech etc... that have "Electronic technician courses", they may be interested in fixing it for "hands on experience"...

    As far as "Buying new"??? I'm going to refrain from that because BB and I are on the same page.

    Good luck...let us know how you make out...
  13. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    I think that argument "held water in 1987" but in todays world...I think the same could be said about the computer...It's todays "Rot Box". Not necessarilly for you and I...but for the younger generations??? Ohhh yeah...society is screwed.

    I try not to PMPLMAO everytime I hear some kid say "Mom/Dad I'm bored there is nothing to do....WAAGHH".

    Can you believe these kids today??? They got the world "by the short hairs" every ounce of info they could ever want or need is right at their fingertips and they have no desire let alone ambition to do anything with the computer than to play games and learn the latest gossip on their favorite teeny bopper pop star.

    Forget trying to tell a kid nowadays "Read a book...Why don't you go out and play". There imagination just isn't ready for that.
  14. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    I'm with BB and Keyman - I'm using an old 19" Sony. My 12YO got a Rabbit Ears antenna to improve the "Redneck Technology". When they didn't fit the mounting hole on the TV I drilled a hole in a nice clean Ash split and Shazam!! Good reception.

    When I got up the next morning the boys had carefully printed "Readneck Cable" across the front ot the split.

    I'm planning on LCD when I have to change.

    ATB,
    Mike P
  15. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    One nice thing with all the new TV Tech is that there are many people who update their TV's every 2-3 years just to keep up with the Joneses. There are tons of TV's in the local paper and on Craigslist that are a few years old and work perfectly that sell for a fraction of new cost. Definitely worth checking out.
  16. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    I bought a small 34" 16:9 Sharp Aquos LCD and love it, it's not big but then neither is the room I live in. Don't be obsessed with getting the biggest LCD you can afford, there is a certain sweet spot for length depending on your room. The 34" in standard 4:3 resolution is approximated the same size as a 27" CRT, however, most of what I watch these days is either in HD or at least upconverted to HD which is 16:9. I have an old upconverting Sony DVD player that supports 1080i through software. Now you can either buy blu-ray or HD-DVD that is native 1080i. Either way, it's pretty stunning the differences and I thoroughly enjoy it.

    Jay
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Sort of true, but I think the kid's brain was rotted by the TV long before he got to a PC - why imagine for yourself when there's a box that does it for you? They hardly can even sell "make something yourself" toys any more - Mary-Anne's nephew was given a few Lego "Bionical" robot kits for a birthday a few years ago - he couldn't get the idea of combining bits from the different kits to make his own design, but only wanted to build the model shown on the front of the box... SAD!! I know that if I sit in front of the TV, I turn into an addict, so I try to avoid them if at all possible...

    Gooserider
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Five years! I'll check out getting it fixed......I'm still using a 17 years old Sony although the cable guy told me the tube is starting to go. Not only will I be the last person on the planet to get a ipod, but also a flat screen.

    If you want to know the ultimate in marketing, how about replacing $300 TV's that last 20 years or more, with $2,000 models and much shorter lives!

    Of course, the average person has no way of knowing that 95% plus of what they are watching is no better than on the old tube - it's called the Placebo effect. "You can see the players sweat coming out of their pores" - No thank you!

    BTW, a good flat screen TUBE TV has as good or better picture (color wise) than many flat screens.....same with computer screens. On the positive side, flat screens use less energy....

    Well, if it wasn't for Webwidow I would have a 40" or so to replace the 24" tube job we use for most of our watching......and I am writing this on a 24" dell flat screen.....

    I still don't like the idea of a 5 year life span........too short.
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmm, when I compared the flats to my 24", I think I figured out that a 34" or even 37" was hardly any bigger (higher) than the screen on the 24". I'll have to measure and check again, but I seem to remember that being the case.

    We sit about 8-10 feet away from the 24" - and I can't see it very well without my glasses on.
  20. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Great responses. Thanks. When I bought this TV I did my normal paralysis by analysis, marathon research, "When are you going to decide and buy something!" (Mrs. Mo's proverbial comment), investigative process. I cut out templates of actual diagonal TV screen sizes and over-layed them to see just how much bigger one screen was than another. It was telling and helped a great deal... like when I cut out pictures in my motorcycle magazines of all the different color tanks and accessories and made a little mix and match set to see what I liked best. My problem isn't research, it's action. That's why all my projects around the house keep piling up as I finally burn out on research and just git 'er done. Usually things benefit greatly from all the research, though, but I'm never convinced I did exactly the best cost benefit solution. Anyway...

    I already know some stuff. Like I'm already watching "digital" TV. I'm on DirecTV. It's digital. It's not HD digital, but it's digital, none-the-less. I'm hip to the i vs p, the HDMI vs DVI, and the general char's of the different set screens, although the rear projection vs. LCD confuses me. Here's what Wiki says about the progression of LCD technology:

    Early LCD systems were used with existing overhead projectors. The LCD system did not have a light source of its own: it was built on a large "plate" that sat on top of the projector in place of the transparencies. This provided a stop-gap solution in the era when the computer was not yet the universal display medium, creating a market for LCD projectors before their current main use became popular.

    This technology is employed in some sizes of rear projection television consoles, as there are cost advantages when employed in mid size sets (40 to 50 inch diagonal). This is not expected to have much longevity in the "home theater" marketplace due to expected improvements cost/performance of competing technologies, particularly in direct-view LCD panels at the lower range of sizes and DLP projection in the larger sizes.[verification needed] Another advantage of using this LCD projection system in large television sets is to allow better image quality as opposed to a single 60 inch television, although currently an equal of an LCD projector is the LG 100 inch LCD TV, still in prototype stages this TV is a huge advancement towards projector sized televisions. A common rule of thumb is that an LCD's image quality will decrease with a size increase. A workaround is to use a small lcd panel (or panels) and project them through a lens onto a rear projection screen to give a larger screensize (with a decreased contrast ratio) but without the quality loss.


    So I guess that's why most of the monster TV's (over 60 inches) I've seen are DLP.

    My dilemma stems from my personal opinion that CRT is currently better than "good enough", with picture appearance superior for the majority of signals I encounter, but I know that HD is coming. Only I don't know how quickly. Even five years ago, when I bought my now broken Sony CRT TV, people were saying it was "just about here". But back then the HD tuners were a separate item and I knew as a consumer product, that was the stone age of HD. I still believe I was right. HD TV's now have the tuner built in, but I'm almost convinced that the average marketing type or sales person wants us to confuse "digital TV" with "HD digital TV" just to get me to buy a new TV. I've been on a digital satellite signal for a decade. And I figure that HD won't reach ubiquity for another five or ten years. That's the period of time that this $%$#% Sony WEGA monster CRT TV I bought was supposed to get me through, so I could then buy a big screen HD in the "sweet spot" and save myself a lot of grief. Buying a second CRT TV to get me through the nascent advance of HD broadcast evolution and HD reception consumer product advances. So much for best laid plans.

    Ideally, I'd just get my current 36 incher repaired, but I have an inherent distrust of repair people, and TV repair people make the hair on my neck stand up. In fact, I distrust almost everyone. Frankly, I'm paranoid and need professional help, but that's not going to help me with this decision. Not even Prozac could do that... well, maybe a little, but that's another project and another distraction! And at $100+ an hour for monitoring my progress, I'd soon have spent enough for a nice TV. But let me get back on track...

    Not sure what to do yet. Still welcoming more opinions and comments here...
  21. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    BTW: you can see my broken Sony TV by clicking on the "My Stove" link in my sig. The third photo shows both the TV and the entertainment center I bought and built in place to hold it.

    And a note about TV brain rot. I know that's true. Especially if you sit for hours watching sitcoms and network soaps or all the stereotypical brain rot type stuff. But...

    With TiVo (I know this is going to sound like a commercial, and I guess I should disclaim that I own TiVo stock) I have watched myriad wonderful programs. I like biographies of writers, poets, and such, and have some "Wish lists" to pick them up. It is amazing what I've watched and learned with photos, biographers, relative interviews, and the like. So, TV can actually be an amazing tool for advancing your knowledge. Maybe not as good as reading, but sometimes a heck of a lot more fun. I like the compromise and for some reason, even though I have taken speed reading courses and have read as high as 1200 words per minute with mind boggling comprehension, and I still could if I wanted to, my brain just doesn't like doing reading that way. I like to sub-vocalize for some reason, and while my comprehension actually suffers at slower speeds, my enjoyment soars. And isn't that what life is supposed to be about, at least after you've brought home the bacon? Add some pretty pictures and motion on a TV and I can even lay off the meds for a while.
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Even though 2009 is the date for "digital" TV, that really means nothing to the 85% of people who have cable - because your cable box will still have analog outputs. Because of the cumulative nature of video and tv, it will be a decade or more before a large percentage of content is available in very high definition - and then there is the question of whether we can tell the difference (getting older).....

    I still say fix that TV if under $200 or so - of course, assuming you can get a bona-fide estimate and repair person. If not - well, then your decision is made for you.
  23. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    I read a little bit of your paste from an article... seems like its talking about projectors, not TVs. There are LCD and DLP projectors out there also.

    http://ezinearticles.com/?LCD-vs.-DLP-TVs&id=26680

    Here is an article about TV's and many more can be found by searching.
  24. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    That sounds about the same distance as me. I had a decision to spend the $$$ and buy a known-brand name (Sharp Aquos) or spend a lot less and get a bigger screen from say a number of the cheaper LCD makers... I decided since I didn't want to deal with questionable reliability and I got some good advice from a HT forum, I thought I'd spend the money and go for the Sharp. Sizewise, I could of gone up to a 40" from my sitting position if I wanted too, however, I decided I could live with the smaller TV, I kind of have more important priorities in my life. I'm happy anyway with it, it's been completely reliable so far and I like the quality. If you ever get a chance, check out the Planet Earth series on HD DVD or Blu Ray and it is absolutely amazing!

    Now, there are 1080p sets whereas my 2 year old Sharp is 1080i max.. And there are difference schools as to which folks prefer, more lines at an interlaced (1080i) or less lines of resolution but progressive (720p). The images though displayed sometimes favor one vrs the other, because one can really see the difference in a progressive output when looking at scrolling text, like movie credits.

    Jay
  25. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    That is a good point in reference to the kid nephew. What is happening to kids today is sad to say the least. You only pointed out half the problem though goose. Kids today have no concept of the "It's the going there...not the getting there that is important". What kids are learning in "this fast paced world of today" is sad. I'll bet models are in the same category as the lego's. Kids today have about a two minute attention span...if you are lucky. Case in point:

    A long time friend of mine who is "somewhat disabled" because of a car accident has a nine year old son. Because my friend has limitations on the amount of physical activity he can do...He asked a favor "Would you be willing to be my son's Cub Scout Den Leader". With some reluctance I thought it over "Hey yah Know You're good with teaching and Zach (his son) is always fascinated with the things you build and the stuff you know about...I'm sure you would be just as good with the other kids".
    So with some reluctance...I agreed, on the condition that "He would be the assistant den leader". Five nine year old boys can be quite the handfull let me tell you. Teaching a nine year old something isn't the problem...It's keeping their attention span focused long enough for anything to be meaningfull. Telling a story or getting them to participate as a group isn't bad. Give them a hands on task...watch out.
    One of their "activities" was building a wooden toolbox. I bought five sets of basic tools, hammer, tape measure etc. at one of the dollar type stores, gathered a bunch of 1by wood scraps and brought the stuff to the den meeting. As soon as they knew something was "planned" could hardly keep them focused long enough to do anything else. But they're kids...gotta let them have their fun. I had pretty much anticipated what was going to happen...thats why I brought scraps. Before a word could be spoken they were pounding nails and putting the wood together. In the end they had built some "Homer Simpson spice racks". One kid (whose parents had said he had some ADHD issues) was a little 'disapointed' because his wood project wasn't right almost broke into tears.
    I reassured the kid, as well as all the others...It was just practice. And told them I did it this way so they could learn how to have some fun WHILE building something and that they shouldn't be so focused on the end result.
    It was kind of sad in a way that kids aren't taught doing something is half the fun. What was just as sad was trying to get five groups of parents to set aside their time collectively. But you do the best you can and be glad with what you have.

    My friends son Zach is quite "A sharp young fellow" though.

    My friend told me a funny story though...When he took his son to a concert at one of the casino's down in CT. While they were standing in line they were talking with the other people in line. Somehow they got into a conversation about a "chemical" spill in NY (Where this guy and his wife were from). This guy worked for the gas company and explained the "chemical spill" was not a gas leak...but the smell was of the chemical that is added to the gas so people would know if there was a gas leak.
    "Do you know what that chemical is" Zach asked the man. So the guy starts an explanation. "Yeah but do you know what the name of the chemical is??? It's called Mercaptyn."
    My buddy said the guys' jaw just about hit the floor with that one. He complimented my friend for having such a knowledgeable 9-year old...lol And then asked "Just out of curiousity??? How does your 9-year old son know the name??? I didn't even know that!"

    "My friend is practically the kids uncle...and he's always teaching him something...Smart kid huh???"

    So "Rot Box"??? Depends on what you watch... I mostly watch the "Engineering Disasters...Air Emergency...Modern Marvels" type of stuff...I'm not much into watch anything less...lol

    But at any rate...the 'Rot Box' in around about way taught a 9-year old what Mercaptyn is and what it's used for...lol ;)
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