View Full Version : Best CRT TV for HTPC use ?

07-16-05, 11:35 AM
I have decided on getting a 34" widescreen CRT TV for my home theater PC setup. My room is small so TV will be about 10' or so from the couch. Anything bigger than a 34" will be silly in this room, also cost is about 1/2 a 42" DLP.

I'm deciding between Toshiba and Panasonic. The new Panasonic looks amazing. Excellent black, awesome contrast, and really vibrant colours. The Sony may look sharper, but the colours look washed out for my tastes and the black + contrast just isn't there like the Panasonic.

I haven't seen the Panasonic and the Toshiba side by side, but they are a few hundred dollars appart, both have HDMI input, both will do 1080i and 540p. I understand that the Toshiba will upconvert 720p and the Panasonic doesn't.

Not sure what features are more important, but for me picture is obviously important and the ability to connect to my HTPC is obviously important.

I plan to use my HTPC setup for occational gaming + web surfing, but mostly for viewing pictures from the digital camera, movies, and playing music.

Any advise/tips suggestions what to look for? I will be using a 6600GT as the video BTW, so playing games @ 1920 x 1080 is not really an option. 1280 x 720 is very doable with AA + AF on.


07-16-05, 02:32 PM
Best advice I can give is to visit the AVS forums and talk to people that own or have owned those sets. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/index.php?s=

07-16-05, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the tip! I'm sure I'll get some valueable info!

07-16-05, 04:04 PM
Make sure you verify everything you hear on that forum as sometimes its quite wrong. Some people there claim to know a lot but really know nothing. Especially the forum admin david bott...what a big fat bald dope, I swear that guy can't wipe his ass without misspelling something either.

07-16-05, 08:28 PM
Hahaha... One thing I keep in mind is that usually people hype up what they have and I thake that into consideration.

I have done some reading and I'm a bit more confused now then when I started. I'd like to run 1280 x 720 progressive scan desktop out onto the TV from my HTPC. I read a spec for JVC AV-30W585 that supports NATIVE 720p which very few CRT TV's actually do.

I understand that some TV's will support 540p (1/2 1080i) but any variation is converted from some other native format.

I'm still uncertain about my TV purchase. I'm amazed by the Panasonic PQ, heard good things about Toshiba 34" (and bad), and very little about JVC.

I guess I'll have to do more research...

07-16-05, 08:38 PM
Yeah I looked at a lot of those 34" HD CRT's for my fam room and for use as a HTPC.
I finally decided to get a Westinghouse 37" LCD with 1080P DVI input for $1999 at BB.
12ms response time. It works great as a HTPC display and games look fantastic on it.
The price is really not a lot more than the CRT's you're looking at.

07-17-05, 10:36 AM
I have considered a MAG LCD TV 32" with direct PC connect (DB15 I think?) for about $1500 or so CAN which would be only about $200 more than the Toshiba 34HF85c (Canada again...).

In the store, anything with motion looked like bad mpg compression. Also there was at least 1~3 bad pixels on it. This drove me crazy. Sure, the thing is about 3" deep (awesome!) but I personally would go insane and throw the thing through my sliding glass door if I had even 1 bad pixel.

Working in the PC industry I know that a handful is accebtible by the manufacturer by not in my books.

Looks like I'm leaning towards the Toshiba but I still want to do a side-by-side comparison with a Panasonic. The Panablack is really nice dep rich blacks, something Sony lacks and no Trinitron horizontal lines (another thing that drives me crazy).

07-17-05, 12:01 PM
The Dell 30" LCDs may be a good option for you (on sale at $1299US). I friend brought a 26" to a LAN party. The response time looked as good as a Samsung 12ms LCD thogh it is rated at 25ms. I think it natived at 1280x768. In a display that size, even in a small room, going to 1080 will not result in a perceived resolution advantage.

I think 720p and 1080i will be the limit for broadcast HD for a quite a while as cable and satellite are still sorting through HD compression transmission, quite noticable on ABC Sports for one. ESPN HD at 720p is about as good as it gets for Time Warner Cable in Austin. It looks great on my 480p plasma that downsamples 1080i and 720p.

07-19-05, 06:07 AM
I'm not comfortable buying and LCD for TV purposes just yet. I have seen some nice units yes, but most have been lousy. There's the cool factor of LCD TV, but for the brightness, contrast, logevity, and functionality, nothing beats a conventional CRT.

I'm currently deciding between the 30" Widescreen JVC or the Toshba 30/34" models. These will both support 720p and are about the same price. The JVC apparantly has better build quality as the Toshiba's are made by Orion but I'll have to campare the 2 side by side and judge with my own eyes.

07-19-05, 06:13 AM
I can dig that.

Before we got our plasma, we had a Toshiba 50" Cinema Series. It was standard def, but top of the line and it suited us well for the three years we had it. The trouble is that everyone has stopped making CRTs in favor of DLP or Plasma. If you an find a Toshiba Cinema Series dealer in your area, run not walk over there and talk a look. The Cinema Series CRT projections were King of the HIll and probably still are...