thoughts on RCA F38310?

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I have bounced around over at AVS forums a bit and read a lot on the RCA
F38310, but am wondering if anyone here has any additional comments or
experience.

This would be my first HD set and I can pick it up used for what seems like
a pretty good price. (Under $900)
 
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bb2004 wrote:

> I have bounced around over at AVS forums a bit and read a lot on the RCA
> F38310, but am wondering if anyone here has any additional comments or
> experience.
>
> This would be my first HD set and I can pick it up used for what seems like
> a pretty good price. (Under $900)

It's the sine qua non, the ne plus ultra, the alpha and omega of CRTs -- for
picture quality and built in equipment. Downside: there've been many comments
here on difficulty in getting repairs. A quick search comes up with a new one
at $1349. Maybe you can do better (?).
http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?cid=54555&PAGE=PRODUCT&PROD_ID=825051&fp=F&siteID=g3uYwrSUXsQ-cGsUunrn3p.ERyJZ1_XBRw

`-S-
 
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bb2004 wrote:

> wondering if anyone here has any additional comments or experience.

I've owned one for 3 years, purchased new for $2400. Jeff's covered
some of the pros and cons, so I'll just fill in.

The one geometry problem you're likely to notice right away is some
horizontal pinching near the left and right edges on widescreen 480i/p
material. I hardly notice it anymore, and it's not apparent for HD or
4:3 SD sources, but it bugged me initially. It's also true that the
zoom isn't quite right, but I tend not to zoom very often.

My internal OTA tuners (both ATSC and NTSC) failed about a year ago.
This may have been due to a common problem with the set, a couple of
capacitors that overload and leak their guts into the brains of the set.
But I never investigated. Rather than try to get it fixed, I just got a
new Zenith tuner and now use the F38310 as a monitor. The new tuner
changes channels faster, does a slightly better job on weak signals,
handles guide data better, and presents everything as a single range of
channels rather than having separate "modes" for OTA and DirecTV tuning.

The F38310 is heavy, about 200 pounds. A poster here has trapped
himself into arguing that weight isn't an issue, but it certainly is for
some people. It takes two strong people to move this TV, and most of
the cheaper stands large enough to hold it are typically rated for only
about 140 pounds. So you'll need a better-than-average stand, and if
you ever need to move it, you'll need a plan. (We've moved ours once,
for a living room remodel.)

One of the fans runs continuously, even when the set is off. It's very
quiet, about on a par with a quiet computer or the air from a heating
duct, much quieter than most refrigerators. It's a non-issue for me.

On the plus side, the F38310 has none of the problems many people
experience with analog channels looking worse than they do on ordinary
NTSC sets. Analog and DirecTV digital SD both look very good. HD looks
excellent, with better color and higher contrast than most fixed pixel
displays I've watched. It's very tolerant of bright lighting and can be
viewed at any angle.

Our set gets a lot of use with every kind of signal--analog and HD OTA,
DVDs, and DirecTV. We feel we've gotten our money's worth from it, and
I don't regret getting it. But there are negatives that you'll also
have to weigh.

- Ernie http://home.comcast.net/~erniew
 
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Ernie Wright (erniew@comcast.net) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> The F38310 is heavy, about 200 pounds. A poster here has trapped
> himself into arguing that weight isn't an issue, but it certainly is for
> some people. It takes two strong people to move this TV, and most of
> the cheaper stands large enough to hold it are typically rated for only
> about 140 pounds. So you'll need a better-than-average stand, and if
> you ever need to move it, you'll need a plan.

I have actually moved this set by myself. I slid it off the stand onto
a cart that was almost the exact same height as the stand, and then moved
the stand to where I wanted it, and put the set back on the stand. But,
it was *not* fun. The home-built stand I have can take about 500lbs of
compression stress straight downward, so I don't worry too much about
that, but I agree with Ernie...there are lots of cheap stands out there
that will crumble under the weight.

> HD looks
> excellent, with better color and higher contrast than most fixed pixel
> displays I've watched. It's very tolerant of bright lighting and can be
> viewed at any angle.

I'll second this praise (and I'm sorry I forgot to mention it). I have
two 300W halogen "torch" lamps in the room with the TV, and even with
both on full I don't have to touch the settings on the TV and still have
a good picture. It's better with a bit less light, though. ;->

--
Jeff Rife | "He's an investment banker from Amsterdam.
| Apparently he handles a lot of Bill Gates'
| money, so, don't say anything derogatory
| about the Netherlands or Microsoft."
| "Oh, damn...there goes my opening joke about
| the Dutchman trying to install Windows 95."
| -- Niles and Frasier
 
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"bb2004" <beebeFOUR@frontiernet.net> wrote in
news:bILOd.199$6p7.166@news01.roc.ny:

> I have bounced around over at AVS forums a bit and read a lot on the
> RCA F38310, but am wondering if anyone here has any additional
> comments or experience.
>
> This would be my first HD set and I can pick it up used for what seems
> like a pretty good price. (Under $900)
>
>
I have a Proscan 38000 (same set) and have had it for 5 years and have not
had a single problem with it. I do agree with a previous post about some
geometry issues but all in all I am extremely pleased with the set. The
built-in OTA tuner works great and the picture is phenominal. The built-in
satellite tuner (RCA DTC-100) is pretty lame as far as the graphics and
guide but it works. I also wish the TV had a component output for HD VCR
or upcoming PC capture device but you could always use an external STB for
that.

TD
 
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"bb2004" <beebeFOUR@frontiernet.net> wrote in message
news:bILOd.199$6p7.166@news01.roc.ny...
>I have bounced around over at AVS forums a bit and read a lot on the RCA
>F38310, but am wondering if anyone here has any additional comments or
>experience.
>
> This would be my first HD set and I can pick it up used for what seems
> like a pretty good price. (Under $900)

I bought mine on EBay about two years ago to use in my bedroom, and it works
well. This thing is VERY heavy. Actually, I'll be moving in the next few
months and will be selling my set. However, it is really too heavy to ship,
so it will have to go to someone in the NYC area...
 

Chris

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Dec 7, 2003
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"Ernie Wright" <erniew@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:sYidnd061do10JHfRVn-jw@comcast.com...
> The one geometry problem you're likely to notice right away is some
> horizontal pinching near the left and right edges on widescreen 480i/p
> material. I hardly notice it anymore, and it's not apparent for HD or
> 4:3 SD sources, but it bugged me initially.

You know, that bugged me too, usually on sweeping pan type shots. I thought
it was just me at first, then I thought it was just a problem with
Anamorphic DVDs.

> My internal OTA tuners (both ATSC and NTSC) failed about a year ago.
> This may have been due to a common problem with the set, a couple of
> capacitors that overload and leak their guts into the brains of the set.
> But I never investigated.

Ya, I had the same problem, I figured it was my stupid fault for not
grounding the ANT or something.

> Rather than try to get it fixed, I just got a
> new Zenith tuner and now use the F38310 as a monitor.

I've been too cheap to do that. We get ABC and Fox NY feed in Houston now.
I'm hoping with the new sats that D* is deploying and the migration to Mpeg4
that I ought to be able to scream to them "hey look, I'm a loyal customer
for years, even bought an integrated tuner to commit myself to D*, give me a
new tuner!!"

> The F38310 is heavy, about 200 pounds. A poster here has trapped
> himself into arguing that weight isn't an issue, but it certainly is for
> some people.

More like 250lbs. I have no idea how Jeff moved it by himself. I'm
certainly glad I bought the offical stand for it, it matches really nicely.

> On the plus side, the F38310 has none of the problems many people
> experience with analog channels looking worse than they do on ordinary
> NTSC sets.

Ugh, I'm not sure I agree with that one. Perhaps over the air NTSC would
look fine if my tuner actually worked, but I know D* compressed NTSC looks
better on my similar sized SD Tv then my HDTV.
 
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Chris (chrpai@nowhere.com) wrote in alt.tv.tech.hdtv:
> > The F38310 is heavy, about 200 pounds. A poster here has trapped
> > himself into arguing that weight isn't an issue, but it certainly is for
> > some people.
>
> More like 250lbs. I have no idea how Jeff moved it by himself.

Have you ever seen an RCA "industrial" 25" TV from the mid-80s? They have
*steel* boxes instead of plastic, and weigh a *lot* for their size. I used
to move those around for my job during college. The trick is to *never*
have to actually lift the box, but to mostly slide it from one place to
another.

We used Tommy-Lifts to get the sets up from the floor to close to the
brackets they hung from, but once it was there, I had to move it into place
and fasten it up.

So, I guess the answer is "practice". :)

> > On the plus side, the F38310 has none of the problems many people
> > experience with analog channels looking worse than they do on ordinary
> > NTSC sets.
>
> Ugh, I'm not sure I agree with that one. Perhaps over the air NTSC would
> look fine if my tuner actually worked, but I know D* compressed NTSC looks
> better on my similar sized SD Tv then my HDTV.

I've found that the internal DirecTV tuner gives the best picture of any
DirecTV tuner/diplay combo (where the display is about the same size).
Getting the brightness and contrast just right helps hide some of the
MPEG artifacts, but those are always visible.

On "The West Wing" (HD from OTA) last week, Toby's cheek was "swimming"
in one scene. He wasn't moving, but the pixels in his face were. At
16Mbps, my local NBC has more than enough bandwidth for a static shot like
that, but something in the scene gave the compressor fits.

--
Jeff Rife |
| http://www.nabs.net/Cartoons/ShermansLagoon/BillGatesBuysMoon.gif
 

dstechman

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Hello, We have had our F38310 for over four years now and have had no problems untill just recently. That is when a diode did a smoke check on us and we now have a 200+ lb monster siting in our living room. I found the problem rather quickly (CR 14710) but have had no luck in finding the specs so I can buy a replacement. RCA has been no help only to tell me that "research will call me sometime this week." Can anyone help me with the specs for the diode.
Thanks
David
dstechman@cpcd.org
 
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