Rear Projection CRT HDTV
Like Direct View HDTVs, Rear Projection CRT HDTVs use a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) to display the image. The main difference is the physical size of the display. Most Rear Projection sets are 40" to 66" in size. If you read our section on CRTs, you will notice that the problem with these types of displays is that the image is not as pleasant on large screen sizes. So why doesn't this occur with rear projection? It still does occur but no where near as bad because the image is actually split between 3 different colored CRTs to display the image that are projected onto a front panel screen. There is a red, green and blue CRT that are merged onto the screen to completed the full color image. These CRTs also usually have a higher resolution to help improve the image. Although not as clear and vibrant as the more expensive LCD and DLP technologies, you will find that the latest CRT projection models will display an amazing HDTV picture.
As with Direct View CRTs, Rear Projection CRTs also have the advantage of displaying lower resolution signals such as the standard analog (480i) signal. However; converting a 4:3 analog signal to 16:9 can distort the image on a rear projection HDTV or any widescreen HDTV for that matter. This may slightly occur on the Direct View versions as well but not quite as bad. Some manufactures have improved this anomaly with zooming techniques.
One of the largest advantages of Rear Projection CRT HDTVs is the price. These sets are the lowest priced of all types. They have been around many years before HDTV was introduced and have improved while the price has lowered. You can purchase a very large screen size for not much more than $1000. And as LCD and DLP technology come down in price, I suspect these will be lowered to the price of today's normal television sets.
Like their Direct View CRT brothers, Rear Projection HDTVs have the advantage of downgrading the resolution to match normal analog and lower quality DTV signals. However, the ability to show a good image at low resolutions decreases as the screen size increases. But, the low resolution quality will still appear to be better on these sets then on pixel based models such as LCD Projection.
The largest disadvantage of Rear Projection is that they tend to be more bulky then other types such as Plasma and LCD. Although not as much as a direct view picture tube, these tend to weigh much more as well. If space is limited or if you need the ability to move your set often, you may consider one of those slimmer LCD or Plasma HDTV sets but at a much higher price.
Rear Projection HDTVS are all around a good deal. They have a fairly nice picture at lower resolutions and the HDTV modes will impress you. These sets are priced very well especially at large screen sizes. Most models today come with quite a few of advanced features as well. However, many manufactures are starting to sway about from CRT projection and focusing more on flat panel displays such as LCD and Plasma. This of course means you will find very good deals on projection sets.
Here are some examples of Rear Projection based HDTVs:
What to look for when purchasing a CRT Rear Projection HDTV
When shopping for a CRT Projection based HDTV there are few features or specs you will want to look for. These features are as follows:
- Widescreen (16:9) - Since you are going HDTV you will probably want a model that is widescreen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. 99% of all Rear Projection HDTVs are widescreen.
- Comb Filter - You will want a set that offers a 3D comb filter. This will deliver a clean and more crisp picture. Manufactures may enhanced this further with their own proprietary features.
- HD Tuner Built In - This is a large benefit if you would like to pick up the HDTV signals in the air from your local broadcasters. However, if you will be using a cable or satellite provider, this may not be needed or important to you.
- Multiple Inputs - With the size of the set, there should be plenty of room for multiple video inputs. You do want to make sure your new set has enough inputs for all your devices. You also will want to look for a set with video inputs in the front for easy access.
- Improvements to Analog Signals - You might want to consider a model and brand that offers up conversion technology for normal analog signals. These will make the signal look near HDTV quality. How much of a difference depends on the technique and brand. The larger the screen the less quality the image will be when using low resolution signals..
- Audio System - Unless you are going to use a separate digital audio receiver and surround sound speakers, you will want a set with nice audio features including simulated surround sound.
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