Has anyone had problems with TOSHIBA 34hf81?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-19-2002, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently bought the Toshiba 34hf81 and it was working great and very good with dvds. The picture was awesome.


Now a month later..........the wording on the picture looks shaky. its alittle grainy....


Does anyone who owns the tv have the same symptoms?

Please respond.

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post #2 of 18 Old 02-20-2002, 08:40 AM
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Yes. I have had some problems with my 34HF81. Look at my post from 12/29/01, subject: Toshiba 34HF81 - Problems / Questions ("Striping" on reds in Normal mode, Horizontal video noise in TW1 mode, & corner geometry problems). I didn't get any responses to my original questions, so I thought I might have been the only person with problems.

I have been having a Toshiba service nightmare with this TV set. The local authorized Toshiba service center (South Jersey TV) picked up the set on 1/16/02 and said it would be back in "7-10 days." Now, 5 weeks later I still do not have my TV set back. Called an complained several times...The part is not in yet...part is here, but the tech guy has been off for the past 3 days...takes 10 hours to reload new EEPROM (my favorite :rolleyes: ). I called Toshiba and they said there is nothing they can do.

I do really like the set, but if the problems are still there when I get the set back, I'm going to reconsider my purchase. Unfortunately, the 34HF81 is the only 16x9 that will fit in my AV cabinet. It is the perfect size for my small TV room. I hope it works out.

Jon

P.S. - I didn't mean to use your post to vent about my service troubles. I do think that the Theaterwide 1 issue that I was seeing may be similar to yours. It was most noticeable when there was text on the screen. There was a 1-2" horizontal band of video noise on the screen which made the text look "shaky."
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-20-2002, 12:19 PM
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I haven't had any of the problems you've described. I've had mine for 2 weeks now, and the only problem is slight convergence misalignment in some areas. Is this to be expected on 16x9 flat tubes, or should I exchange it?

Also, the geometry was off a bit, and was easily fixed in the service menu.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-20-2002, 01:56 PM
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I have heard that all flat tubes (not just 16:9) have such convergence/geometry problems, and I guess that makes me glad I have a "curved" tube (the Princeton AF3.0HD). BTW, you could always put a 30" tube in your cabinet if 34" was tight. My motto (see my other post today): go for the best picture first (and size second).

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post #5 of 18 Old 02-20-2002, 02:50 PM
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Hi guys,
I've had my 34HF81 since December. No complaints. I'm still very happy with the picture and although I see some minor convergence and geometry issues, it's nothing that I haven't seen in competitive sets. Certainly nothing so bad as to disturb my viewing enjoyment.

Sorry for your troubles, hope Toshiba does right by you.

Steve
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-17-2002, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kutha
Also, the geometry was off a bit, and was easily fixed in the service menu.
Can you explain in more detail how you fixed the geometry being off in the service menu?

Thanks.

-William
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-30-2002, 02:03 PM
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Raven or JonnyB (or anyone else!),
Of course, posting that I've had no complaints has cursed me. I am now seeing the same horizontal distortion in the TW1 mode that you both spoke of.

I can really see it when there's text on the screen (i.e., when the program guide for my DirectTivo is up) and it seems to be concentrated in the middle horizontal third of the screen (not the top or bottom). It's kind of like a "jigglyness" that goes back and forth quickly and with a somewhat random speed.

Did either of you actually get this problem fixed? It's not that bothersome when watching program material, but when I switch to one of the other modes (TW2, Full) I can see the difference.

Just wondering what to expect if I try to call for service. Thanks.
Steve
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-11-2002, 11:59 AM
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Steve,

I did eventually get my set back. The horizontal noise problem was fixed. I still see the noise when I first turn on the set, but it goes away after 10-15 minutes. Before I had it in for service, the noise was constant when using the TW1 mode. My geometry problem was fixed as well.

Unfortunately, I don't know exactly which part they replaced. I just know that it took 6 weeks to get my TV back (More the fault of the local repair center than Toshiba).

Jon
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-06-2002, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jonnyb
Unfortunately, I don't know exactly which part they replaced. I just know that it took 6 weeks to get my TV back (More the fault of the local repair center than Toshiba).
Coming to this a little late, but South Jersey TV is also the Panasonic repair center. When I had problems with my 56WXF95, they came out, pulled the projector out, left it in their workroom for a month, then called to schedule a time to put it back in. I was thrilled that my set was finally going to work as intended (it had problems with HD display).

Except South Jersey TV negelected to tell me on the phone that they did absolutely NOTHING to the set. So they basically had my set's guts for a month and did nothing with it.

I spent probably $500 dollars on buying new hardware, replaced my Dish 6000 receiver 3 times (Panasonic liked to blame others), and pretty much did enough testing on the set to know that the set was at fault, and Panasonic pretty much ignored me until I informed them of my intent to file a complaint with NJ's consumer protection agency. Even then, I had to give them a solid deadline on when the TV would be fixed or replaced for them to avoid any legal remedies.

My Panasonic tech support nightmare has pretty much meant that I woll never be buying a Panasonic product in the future. After nearly a year, they replaced my set with the newer model, but I lost native 720p in the 'upgrade.'

Anyhow, whenever I hear South Jersey TV brought up, I automatically cringe.

VJM
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 01:38 PM
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I've had my 34HF81 for just over a month. I haven't seen these problems, but I don't use Theaterwide 1 mode either.

Mine did have an hourglass shape to the picture, but the "para" setting in the service menu fixed that. I also reduced the overscan to about 3% (it was about 5%) and centered it properly. I used test patterns from the AVIA DVD.

PARA: parabola - what they call pincushin in computer monitors

VPS1, HPS: vertical and horizontal position
HIT, WID: height & width
TRAP: trapzoid
CNR: corners
CPAR: center parabola
BCNR: bottom corner
TCNR: top corner
LIN: linearity - this could be tricky to mess with.

write down all numbers before you change anything. Don't mess with the colors, cut, or drive settings in the service menu.

Anybody know what the "CSAW" center/saw adjustment does?
Anybody know how to set the overscan on the sides in 4:3 mode? (I'd like to shrink the gray bars a couple percent to see more picture and less gray).

efball@efball.com
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post #11 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 03:04 PM
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Soooo...would you folks now recommend the new Toshiba 34" 16:9 ? after your experiences ?
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 04:02 PM
 
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It was a good buy six months ago, but new models coming out now would probably be better. The new lower priced Sony 34" 16:9 model looks good. For value, the new Samsungs at under $2000 are interesting. The Panasonic 34" is too overpriced, the Toshiba beats that one. One complaint I have about the Toshiba is that it can't display the whole width of a 16:9 HDTV picture. You can adjust the width to get the full image of an analog 4:3 480i input, but from the component video inputs from a DVD or STB I find you can't adjust the width for less than about 5% overscan. Beyond that point there is distortion at the ends or no image. I don't think this is an issue for the other manufacturers.
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 04:45 PM
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I paid $2000 for my 34HF81 and I think I got a good deal and I do recommend this set. The Sony's are way overpriced. The Panasonics have an extremely cold picture. The Philips looked nice, but cost several hundred more. The Sampo has no line doubler. I thought the larger RCA had several problems (noisy fan 24/7, major overscan in zoom mode, poor doubler, curved screen). There will probably be some great deals available as this set is replaced by a new model.

As for overscan I have my set doing 3% left/right with component inputs from a DVD. Less than 3% on the right and it got weird. I don't think you will get down to 0% with any TV without problems. I have about 2% top and 3% bottom overscan. The output from my VCR looks bad with less than 3% overscan on the bottom. Most sets are 5% from the factory.

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post #14 of 18 Old 07-07-2002, 04:54 PM
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Don, efball, and others:

Yea, I've heard about this overscan issue...and it seems most TV's deal w/ this to some extent. So, can mere "mortals" adjust this overscan, i.e. from stated 5%...down to say...an acceptable 2-3%...how are you doing this ?

I like the Tosh 34" and I liked the picture on the Sony 34" 16:9 (too expensive). Heard some good things about the Philips 9817 & the promised 9818. I think Toshiba is coming soon w/ a 34HDX82 (W/ DVI).

Comments/more suggestions please. Thanks!:cool:
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
can mere "mortals" adjust this overscan
Can you program your VCR? Can you pick up a random digital watch and figure out how to set it? Can you adjust pincushin, trapzoid, size, and centering on a computer monitor without reading the manual? If you answered no to any of these then Run Away!

I'm not a TV tech and I figured it out. Just be careful and methodical and take notes. When in the service menu think twice before you hit any buttons. This web site has some good clues:

http://www.members.accessus.net/~090/awh/how2adj.html

I've been listening to stories about how I need DVI for a year now. I got tired of waiting. I wanted a widescreen set for the summer for watching DVDs. They are still arguing over the specs for DVI and copy protection.

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post #16 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 01:04 AM
 
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On the Toshiba its pretty easy to get into the service mode with the remote. Once there you can adjust the picture height, width, horizontal postion, and vertical position with the remote while displaying an overscan test pattern such as from an Avia DVD. However this only lets you set it up for 480i and 480p input source. For an HDTV source (1080i) the Toshiba keeps the settings separate so unless you have access to an expensive 1080i signal generator you have to do it with live video and its not exact. I did it using a Samsung SIR-T150 HDTV OTA STB with which you can select a full screen (normal) or a horizontally squished screen at 1080i. I could then see how much picture was missing on the left and right edges, because at full screen the Toshiba clips/distorts at the right edge. The best I could adjust it for in 1080i mode with no distortions on the right edge, I estimate at 5% - though its not precise because of the lack of an overscan test pattern for 1080i. But its a loss of about 2inches on both the left and right edges, wth a little over 29inches viewable horizontal. Vertically its no problem to get to zero overscan, but to have little distortion of the aspect ratio I adjusted it to a few percent as well. Regarding the high price of the current Sony 34" 16:9 model TV, yes its almost $4000 because it has internal OTA HDTV tuner. But the new Sony model coming out in a month or so is supposed to elminate the internal HDTV tuner and will cost similar to the Toshiba's cost. I felt the current Sony's picture quality was better than the Toshiba's and appeared to in stores to display more of the picture width for OTA HDTV, but too expensive. However if the new Sony model is the same high quality it would be a better buy than the current Toshiba.
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-08-2002, 07:19 PM
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Thanks folks. I am gonna consider the Sony 34XBR800 (at least I think that is the new model coming in around August). Yea, I heard it has DVI as well as no internal (fine)...and if it is around the new Tosh price....
I have to say that guru Gary Merson did an eval of this current Sony 34" 16:9...I think The Perfect Vision...and it was "my opinion" that he did NOT give it a blow-away positive evaluation...there were a lot of issues with it raised, including geometry, overscan, corner problems...kinda like the Tosh.
I believe another issue w/ Sony is that darn "bar" measurement system. It is hard to keep precise measurements, as compared to a numbers system.

It will be interesting to see those aforementioned model coming out next month. :)
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post #18 of 18 Old 07-22-2002, 04:32 PM
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I too have the 34HF81.

I haven't experienced the horizontal noise, but the Red striping is extremely irritating. From the posts above, I wasn't able to positively discern whether or not that was something which could be adjusted or fixed. I viewed another set on the floor at my local "Good Guy's" and it too had the problem to some extent. The "error" looks mostly like the TV is averaging the reds across a small square, and each averaging is bleeding over to the next adjacent square. This destroys any sharpness on red edges, giving them an extremely aliased look. I'm wondering if a red push from the color decoder is contributing to the problem since it only occurs in extremely saturated reds.

My only other complaint is some minor misconvergence and geometry issues. I bought my TV from Howards in SoCal, therefore I had to call them for service. They sent someone out to "Fix" this problem. Unfortunately, the guy didn't make it a whole lot better (took him over 20 minutes just to figure out how to get into the service mode). Also when adjusting geometry, he only used a composite signal generator, which I don't feel would give the most accurate display. Would it be worth my while to persue the factory to attempt to clean up the picture a bit more around the edges or should I pay ISC (is that the name?) to come out and do their calibration?

Otherwise, I'm really enjoying the set and can't wait to get an HD source to really experience the benefits.

Thx,
-Rick

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