I was in search for a good 29in CRT TV. I did not like LCD TV for two reasons – they are very expensive (>50K) and I believe LCD is still behind CRT (technology wise). My search was only on video quality and not on sound because I believe TV is only for video and a separate speaker system should added to get high quality sound.
As I trust, internet as the source of all information, as usual my search started with google. However I could not got much useful information from google because most of the search results were based on TV manufacturer news. The other reason for the inappropriate google search results was due to bad keywords; without proper keywords google search is useless. So I wanted to learn some technical terms in TV technologies. I find the easiest way to learn a technical term about a product is reading the product brochure. So I downloaded and read some product specifications from the leading TV manufacture’s website – http://www.lgezbuy.com/, http://www.samsungindia.com/, http://www.philips.india.com/. HDTV, 100Hz, Progressive and active filters are seems to be latest buzz words in the Indian CRT video technology.
The following are definitions I collected from various sources. HDTV – A TV which is ready to display High Definition video and also accepts the HD signals in digital form (HDMI, DVI port). High definition video consists of frames of size 640x480 or higher (720, 1080). The normal cable video frame size is less than 320. In India it is expected the launch of HDTV broadcast in next 5 years. DVD video can be used for HD video signals. HDReady TVs are different from HDTV – both can display high definition video however HDTV will have a HD digital input (HDMI or DVI), HDReady TV may not have those inputs. It is illegal to create a HDMI or DVI to AV Composite converter/adapter due to legal issue. So there is no such adapter exists. So buying a HDReady is useless unless otherwise your DVD player is smart enough to send HD signals through AV Composite or SVideo cable. However there is no DVD player exists in the market.
Due to CRT technology, the screen is required to be refreshed (redrawn) frequently to avoid the pixels in the screen to fade. Refresh rate is how fast the redrawing process can be done. Faster the refresh rate less flickering in the screen. 100Hz produces flicker free display. Normal TVs are 50Hz or 60Hz which may cause eyestrain on prolonged viewing. LCD technology is different in that if once a pixel set on it will be on forever; so refresh rate is not applicable. However in LCD the required to set the pixel to on/off is measured in ms; lesser the unit better the quality of video. Nowadays 8ms is a good value.
Progressive scan is about how the image is produced in the screen. Normal CRTs scans and draws odd lines first and then even lines which may result in flickering. Progressive CRTs draws continuously from top to bottom avoiding flickering.
I was also thinking of Picture In Picture (PIP) feature which is handy when watching cricket match and movie. But one representative said PIP TV’s picture tubes are failing frequently. So I didn’t want to take risk.
So my specification of TV refined as 29in Flat, 100Hz, Progressive and optionally with HD support. I found 3 models from Philips(29PT8836/94), LG(29FS2RMB) and Samsung(CS-29Z40) with the above specifications. It easy to find LG TVs in all the shops, but it is very hard to find other brand’s 100Hz TV since it is very new to the market. I have seen the Samsung model only in the website, still I have not seen the Samsung model in shop. When I enquired about the Philips model, they said they can deliver the model if I order it but they can’t show it. Finally I saw the Philips model in Philips Arena, Jayan Nagar, Bangalore. MRP of Philips model is 25000, LG model and Samsung model is 35000. I enquired around 5 dealers for the price and most of them are ready to offer LG models around 28000 and Samsung models around 33000. But for Philips TV their maximum reduction is 500 rupees only.
I got link for http://www.mouthshut.com/; a website dedicated for Indian products and the reviews are written by consumers. It was somewhat useful but some of the consumers (with very basic knowledge) given very high rank on their product, so I have to read the whole review to come to a conclusion. Further the reviews are mostly for well known brands and products. I am against brands and master-pieces.
After reading the mouthshut.com reviews I concluded that service for LG and Samsung TV’s are very good. Their product is also good. But the service for Philips was poor (in some cases) but their product quality is excellent, no other brand can beat it.
After one month of search I bought Philips 29PT8836/94 and very satisfied with it, will add my review to mouthshut after 3 months of usage.
I found a very good technical forum http://www.techenclave.com/ after my purchase. Unlike other forums the members in this forum has good knowledge in audio and video.