AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bronx, New York
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My recommendation is the KD34XBR960 - we've had ours since August, 2005 and it still provides the best HD picture we've seen so far.
It would be worth getting the set calibrated, even if just based on consensus appearing in the Sony Service Codes forum. So many of my factory settings were way off from those specified by Sony in the service manual. I did find that many of the recommendations in the AVS Forum did improve picture quality over the Sony recommended ones and I fortunately had HD test patterns stored on my DVR from the old INHD which were of great help since all sets have unique variations that require different settings.
Even though at first I did not realize it, I found that over-scan adjustment done by the factory was quite bad, causing information to be cut off from all sides which in turn also caused the picture to be zoomed and losing resolution. Was able to get it correct by using both an over-scan and cross-hatch pattern (when the over-scan is corrected it affects the geometry which then needs to be re-adjusted as well). No problem with either one, now.
Again, the 960 is the way to go and if the cost of professional calibration is too much, going into the service menu and making sure the adjustments at least match those recommended by others who have done their own calibration is not a bad alternative.