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Low Cost 1080i
This thread has 9 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Wednesday October 6, 1999 at 17:20
Christopher Hoffman
Historic Forum Post
Here's how I'm considering upgrading to HDTV for a relatively painless cost:

Buy the Hitachi 60" HDTV-ready projection unit, model 60SDX88B, (specs are at: [Link:])

Then get the new RCA DirecTV system for $700 which will pickup 3 satellites simultaneously using the new elliptical 21" dish. It will pickup the standard 480i satellite which DirecTV is currently using, the 1080i HD satellite, and the local programming satellite (I'm told my local stations will be put on sat download shortly here in Chicago; if they aren't already).

So the way I figure it, for $4300, I'll be able to get 1080i within the next month.
I'll sell off my existing 61" XBR Sony along with my Sony A4 sat. Conservatively, I'll get $1500 for that stuff. I'm left with a $2800 net price tag for HDTV.
The only downside I'm not certain of is that the 60" Hitachi is not 16:9. I don't really enjoy the 16:9 display anyway because it seems so small in a large room in comparison to my current Sony. So the final question is: if I end up with a 4:3 ratio DTV that can display 1080i HDTV over satellite, will it end up looking like a standard letterbox movie, or will it be worse? Or am I overlooking something big? Would appreciate anyone's advise.
OP | Post 2 made on Thursday October 7, 1999 at 13:07
Brian Porter
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All i can say is it seems like a long way to go to still be stuck in a 4:3 world...
OP | Post 3 made on Thursday October 7, 1999 at 22:31
Daniel Nguyen
Historic Forum Post

Ahemm.. There is something wrong in the formula. According to the spec of the Hitachi, it can have 1000 lines resolution.

But HDTV spec is:
16:9, 1080 lines, OR
4:3, still 1080 lines displayed in 16:9 format (letterboxed).

Thus in order to achieve true HDTV on a 4:3 TV, your TV must have line resolution much greater than that of 1080.
OP | Post 4 made on Friday October 8, 1999 at 17:48
Christopher Hoffman
Historic Forum Post
Good point. I'll need to look further into Hitachi's "flex converter technology" that they mention in their website. They might be playing with the numbers somehow in their circuitry. Thanks for your ideas.
OP | Post 5 made on Friday October 8, 1999 at 22:24
Christopher Hoffman
Historic Forum Post
A follow-up to my initial inquiry:
I talked to a technician at Hitachi today, and he claimed that there are two measurements for lines of resolution; 1 spec. for analog SDTV (480i) and another for digital TV. They claim that the 1000 lines they're now getting on the set is substantially better than the 800 or so lines they used to get on projection TVs from about 5 years ago. My gut tells me that this analog/digital difference is either over-simplified or completely false. Any comments anyone?
Also, as an add-on to the 4:3 vs. 16:9 decision:
if I can buy a 4:3 HD-ready TV today for $3500 and occasionally see some letterboxing on true HD broadcasts, what would I see if I bought a 16:9 true HD set, and paid around $8000, but happened to be viewing content broadcast in the 4:3 ratio? Would I have letterboxing on the sides instead of the top & bottom? Or would the 16:9 set convert all broadcasts to 16:9 viewable format?
Anyone w/hands on experience please advise. Thanx.
OP | Post 6 made on Wednesday October 13, 1999 at 10:02
Chris T.
Historic Forum Post
For 16:9 set to display 4:3 content there will be bars on the sides not top and bottom. Some set will have gradual stretch or zoom mode to expand the 4:3 content to fill the whole 16:9 screen. Usually a gradual stretch mode is more preferable. Anyway, just a point of reference that all HD contents are in 16:9 format.
OP | Post 7 made on Friday October 15, 1999 at 15:21
Kenny West
Historic Forum Post
Does anyone have any idea where the "RCA DirecTV system for $700: are available at now? (10.15.99) Just downloaded the manual from and it looks like it would bepretty nice with my new Mitsu 55" HD!
OP | Post 8 made on Sunday October 31, 1999 at 09:32
Historic Forum Post
I say the RCA HDTV DSS system at Best Buys last weekend for $649. They were still fiddling with it trying to get it to work.
Check it out throughly as I don't think it is compatable with the Mitsu HD inputs you have and I was told by the salesman that this DSS HD receiver is only compatable with RCA and I would assume ProScan. Seems like everyone is working in a vacuum.
OP | Post 9 made on Wednesday November 3, 1999 at 23:42
Gary Blatt
Historic Forum Post
I have the new RCA DTC-100 and it works just great with my Mits VS-50800. Mits claims it will not work woth 1st gen sets but it DOES! email me for more info if you like
OP | Post 10 made on Tuesday November 16, 1999 at 16:30
Todd Gilmore
Historic Forum Post
Grab the latest issue of Home Theater and they have a face-off of five RP-HDTV's. The list prices they showed hadthe Mits and Hitachi comparitively priced. (I'm going by memory here.)

They all liked the Hitachi except for the 4:3 ratio. You may not like the 16:9 but you'd better get used to it. I personally prefer it, my neices think otherwise. ("What are those black bars for!?")

There's no way I'd drop nearly 4 grand to get a 4:3 TV. But hey, I'm just jealous I don't have the 4 grand you do to upgrade MY system.

Good luck and have fun!

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