BD Burner, Poor Vision, Ambient Light
I have a pretty fancy home-theater system, and I use DirecTV as my broadcast source. I would love to be able to burn widescreen HDTV shows to a DVD. My first choice is to burn DVDs in widescreen high def. My second choice would be to burn DVDs in widescreen, even if not high def. At this time, is there a good high-def DVD burner I could buy? Price is not an issue.
Unfortunately, there are currently no standalone high-def disc (i.e., Blu-ray) recorders available in the US, though JVC just announced two models at the recent CEDIA Expo. However, they cannot record over-the-air, cable, or satellite content, nor can they be used to duplicate copyrighted material. Instead, they are intended to record camcorder footage on recordable Blu-ray media.
Blu-ray recorders are available in Japan, but I very much doubt they would work with DirecTV. You can get a Blu-ray burner for a computer, but I'm not sure how you would use that to record DirecTV programs, especially since DirecTV undoubtedly goes to great lengths to prevent just such activity. You might try connecting the S-video or composite out from the DirecTV DVR to the corresponding input on a DVD recorder, but the picture quality would be pretty poor.
I have an older 42-inch Sony 720p LCD TV, but with my poor vision, I need a much larger TV. I have an 8-foot-wide-by-2-foot-deep alcove in the front of my entertainment room, and I sit 10-15 feet back. I cannot afford a large LCD or plasma TV. Are there any current or future problems with DLP TV? I am considering the Mitsubishi WD-65737 65-inch DLP RPTV, which I can get for around $1500.
I think a DLP TV is an excellent choice for your situation. The main problems with DLP TVs are "hot-spotting" (the picture is brighter in one area of the screen compared with other areas), degrading picture quality as you move off axis, and having to replace the lamp every couple of years or so at a cost of several hundred dollars. Also, DLP TV is a dying breed, but it does offer the most bang for the buck in terms of picture size. And for people with impaired sight and a tight budget, I think it's a great idea.
Tom Norton just reviewed the WD-73837, one step up from the model you are considering, and he liked it quite a bit. We can't say anything for sure about the 737 based on this, but I would guess it's probably pretty good.
Big Screen, Lotsa Light
I have a 34x23 room in my basement that is soon to be a home theater/rec room with pool table, etc. It is laid out so that I can go with a 120-inch screen, which currently limits me to a projection system. However, if any of the manufacturers are building an affordable (under $10,000) LED or LCD around 100 inches, that would help me deal with the ambient light in the room when watching sports and playing pool. Is there such an animal out there, or do I concentrate on a projector?
I know of no flat panels that big for less than $10,000. Runco makes two rear-projection TVs that are built into a wallthe VideoWall VW-100HD (100 inches diagonal, 16:9, $40,000) and the CineWall CW-95DHD (95 inches diagonal, 2.35:1, $50,000), but these clearly cost more than you want to spend. Optoma used to make such a rear-pro as well, but it's been discontinued, and it was also well over $10,000.
If you want to watch a front projector with some ambient light, you need a bright one, which can get pretty expensive. Also, an ambient-light-rejecting screen, such as the Stewart FireHawk or SI Black Diamond, is helpful in this regard.
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