standard definition tv

sebrouen

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Just thought I would like to set the cat amongst the pigeons. I have been deliberating about buying a new TV for a while now. I have a 10 year old 26" Sony CRT fed by a sky + box i.e. standard definition. On the whole the images prove to be most satsfying. My only gripe apart, from the TV's monumental size, is it's 4:3 ratio, so stuff to the edge is 'cut off'. I suppose I've got caught up in the whole buy a whacking big, new, improved, skinny, smart TV hooha(sic) that has fantastic detail and clarity. It's funny when you do go in to a store to look at a new TV they are always showing freeview HD transmissions but when you ask the TV to be switched to standard definition the picture is always terrible.

I've noticed so many of the strong points in TV reviews derive from 'material' based on Blu-ray and HD pictures. This is to be expected surely... so hardly seems such a feat at all. Most people, unless they have the whole sky HD package and strangely only watch Blu-ray films watch TV in STANDARD DEFINITION and will continue to do so. Can someone out there tell me of ANY TV that has unusually good pictures in SD? Yes I know the transmission is limited to the number of lines covering the screen. Please no more exultations on, "oohh the 3D/HD/BLU-RAY image is sublime (et al)!!"
 

strapped for cash

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It's inevitable that a TV designed singularly to display SD content will do so better than a TV that isn't. HDTVs are designed principally to display HD content, so naturally excel in this area. Displaying SD material on a HDTV requires up-conversion somewhere (in the TV itself or an external video device), which means more processing is going on. The lack of quality you describe when HDTVs display SD content is in part a consequence of this process, though there are certainly other factors at play. CRTs produce sharper pictures than either plasma or LCD/LED televisions. Furthermore, the generally smaller sizes of CRT televisions means picture flaws are more difficult to detect.

All that said, I'd still take my HD plasma TV over a CRT model. I don't want to detract from your enjoyment of SD material on a CRT 4:3 television, since pictures can look very good. Nevertheless, a good HDTV displaying good quality HD material still beats the older technology in most regards.
 

Paul.

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It's also not really a fair test for the LCD/plasma, as you could never test a 46" screen against an equivalent CRT. The limited data of terrestrial is spread over a much larger size, and it would look aweful on a CRT if you could build one that big.

Secondly, a huge TV is designed to be viewed from further away. In a shop you usually veiw from a meter or so away, yet in your house you would veiw from at least 3 meters.
 

chebby

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sebrouen said:
Can someone out there tell me of ANY TV that has unusually good pictures in SD?

Yes.

Mine. (Down there in my signature.) Even BBC iPlayer looks pretty good on it.

However it is 32".

Coincidentally I was in our local John Lewis yesterday (looking at PVRs) and a middle-aged couple were being shown the latest 37" version of my Panasonic. The woman was 'rhapsodising' about how much better the picture looked than all the others. It was only showing Saturday morning BBC cookery programmes in SD. She was absolutely right. It looked excellent.

I can't comment on much bigger TVs. I have no interest in them so I don't go around looking at them.

If you are used to 26" 4:3 CRT, then something like a 37" would be a good size to move to and I can recommend Panasonic.
 

sebrouen

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Cheers for that. Strangely I was looking at Panasonic in Peter Jones the other day. My wife has a friend who has Japanese clients in his business and they are always surprised that Sony is so big in the UK because in Japan Panasonic is considered a much better brand of TV. Incidentals aside, I shall certainly seek out the tv you mentioned. Perhaps my 'quest' is at an end?
 

chebby

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I think this 37" LED model is the one I saw in John Lewis yesterday...

http://www.johnlewis.com/231202555/Product.aspx

At time of posting this (John Lewis change prices quite often) it is £599 and there is a free 5 year guarantee. (JL guarantees are excellent by the way.)

There is a 37" 3D LED Freesat HD and Freeview HD version (if you want Freesat HD and 3D) for £879...

http://www.johnlewis.com/231209830/Product.aspx

My 32" LED model is from the 2010 range so it's not available any more. But I think the nearest equivalent would be this one...

http://www.johnlewis.com/231202548/Product.aspx

Panasonic also do 3D TVs in 32" and 37", but obviously they cost a lot more and not everyone is into 3D (I'm not) and I doubt the effect is really worthwhile unless you have a significantly larger screen.

I just like a good, crisp picture with no artifacts and excellent, natural colours that looks good with SD, iPlayer, upscaled DVD, Blu-ray (occasionally) and Freeview HD (when we get it here in March). So 3D performance is irrelevant to me and upscaled DVD performance is more important than Blu-ray (although that is excellent too).

Everyone's priorities are different of course.
 

sebrouen

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Cheers once again, very helpful and informative. The Panasonic I looked at was the one you posted. I don't need 3-d either, what material is out there for it: sky 3-D channel and about 20 discs, as I can ascertain. To be honest that led is more within my price range. I work near peter Jones (john lewis) so will have another look tomorrow. Oh, and I'll make sure I see something in SD,haha! Thanks.
 

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