Originally Posted by epie
I would read this entire post and you'll get a good feel for what this TV has and doesn't have and then go check it out for yourself at a CompUSA.
WARNING - Make sure you are comfortable with the non-existent customer service at Syntax.
Yes, this thread has entries that cover most if not all the pros and cons of the TV. Its a good idea to read everything and know what you're getting so you won't have to go through customer service if you have questions.
Another couple of issues I haven't seen mentioned in this thread:
1). Zoom mode
2). VCR fast forwarding.
1) Zoom mode
When you watch 4:3 letterboxed content which is common when viewing movies on regular TV, if you select 4:3 aspect ratio you get black bars added to the sides of the display so the image appears with black bars on all sides. You can choose the Full or Panoramic mode to eliminate the bars on the left and right sides - but this still leaves the letterbox bars on the top and bottom. What would be nice is a mode that zooms just enough that the black bars on the top and bottom are eliminated, preserving the aspect ratio without stretching the image, about 1 1/4x zoom.
Unfortunately while the TV has a Zoom mode, is does so in increments of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 and 1/32, AND it adds a "Zoom " text image superimposed on the display. This makes the feature useless for removing black bars in 4:3 letterboxed mode.
Some DVD players let you specify output to a wide-screen TV and they output a horizontally squashed image so that when viewed in Full mode on your HDTV things look normal, and no (or very small) letterboxed black bars can be seen above and below the image. If your DVD player doesn't do this, or like me you have a ReplayTV that doesn't support widescreen TVs, the LT42HVi won't help you either.
2). VCR fast forwarding.
If you hook up a standard non high-def VCR to watch videotapes, and try fast-forwarding/rewinding, the TV displays the blue 'no signal' screen. This makes the fast forward/rewind feature of your VCR next to useless.
Both of these issues are common to other Syntax models like the LT37HVS which are discussed in other threads in AVSForum. It looks like Syntax TVs share the same firmware (and bugs).
If it sounds like I'm griping a lot about the TV, well, maybe so. I must reiterate that I find the picture quality to be among the top in is price range, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Syntax TV *if* the issues that I and others have pointed out are fixed. I am simply listing the issues I found with the TV (that I have since returned) to help others make an informed decision.