34" WS Decision Pblm./720p/Owners?? - AVS Forum
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Folks:

I am having a terrible time with this. I have narrowed my decision to a 34" WS DV HDTV. I also considered RPTVs (~42") and the Pan. PT-40LC12. They are out, too many compromises in picture quality, viewing angle, lighting, etc... and I don't need the size right now.

I prefer the CT-34WX52 over the comparable Sony. I do not want the integrated HD tuner of the current Sony and would wait for the model sans tuner (~$2,500). There is no Sampo dealer nearby and I know nothing about them. I would consider it based on your recommendations. Likewise a Toshiba or Hitachi, again, I haven't seen one or know if they make a comparable set. I am afraid of the 38" RCA and the Loewe is too high $. I also prefer a flat screen.

Current viewing is mostly 4:3 but I don't want to invest in a 4:3 set at this point. The ~29" diag. 4:3 image on a 16:9 set is sufficient. My dead 27" was fine (RIP). I can handle CRT burn-in issues. The new sets seem to do a decent job with filling the screen with a 4:3 image.

I am relatively uninformed. My questions:

1. What are your price dependent and price independent recommendations? Is any option available at a significant discount (Sampo at $1,800?)? Where? Form factor follows functionality in my decision-making. I am most interested in picture quality, reliability, and usable features. Main source now is a community satellite system piped over cable and DVD. Will move to satellite or digital cable soon. Also have OTA options.

2. 720p -- I read the previous thread but am still a little confused. Pan. does not support this, Sampo does. What are the real-world ramifications of not supporting 720p in simple terms? Does the Pan. do a good enough job of converting to 1080i that it is not an issue?

3. Which can I use as a computer monitor? I think this is related to 720p but, again, confused. Not critical but would be nice. No game console but maybe PC games.

Thanks. That's all I can think of right now. It's been a long PITA decision-making process getting this far. I do see some light though. Phew.

wpd
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:44 AM
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I have a Tohshiba 34HF81, and I'm pleased with it. I think the colors look better than on the Panasonics (too cold). Hitachi doesn't make a 34", but Philips does, and it's worth checking out. I paid $2000. Most of the 16:9 sets use gray bars and some use black bars on the sides when watching 4:3. Black would be preferable to me, it's less obtrusive, and with the contrast set to sane levels I don't think there is much of a burn in problem. The Sampo does do 720p, but it does not have an internal line doubler. I'll take a good internal doubler with 3:2 pulldown over 720p anyday. Daewoo also makes a 34" set, but I don't know much about it.

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Old 07-23-2002, 03:42 PM
 
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First off, you don't need native 720p support in the TV thats why Sony, Tohsiba, Pansonic, etc. don't do it. Progressive DVD players output 480p format, which all of the sets support. If you add a HDTV STB, its output can be selected for any of the formats - you would select 1080i, it would then convert all input formats (even 720p) to 1080i for you. The cheapest 34" 16:9 set without internal TV tuner appears to be a Daewoo model, selling for around $1600 at Costco - but this is a cheap Korean model, so its quality and reliability might be a risk. The Toshiba 34HF81 is also $1999 at Costco. The Philips cost more and don't appear as good as the Toshiba. The current Panasonic and Sony models are much higher priced $3000-4000. The new models from Panasonic and Sony coming out in the next few months are cheaper, the Sony 34XBR800 is supposed to be under $2500, that looks like a good quality set at a decent price. The cheapest HDTV 16:9 set out right now is the Samsung 30" on sale at Best Buy this week for $1099 if you can handle a smaller 30" vs 34", you can save a lot. Samsung's new HDTV models are a bargain, though smaller - but they do now include all the features of the more expensive sets like 2 HD component inputs, 3:2 pulldown, and 2 tuner PIP.
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Old 07-23-2002, 03:47 PM
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FWIW--

My dealer is getting his 34XBR800 sets tomorrow (Wed 24th). I believe he said they were listed at $2495. I was told they look almost exactly like the 34XBR2. I also have the Sony online B2B printout for the 34XBR800 which has a small pix of the set and I can confirm it looks almost exactly like the XBR2

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Old 07-23-2002, 06:07 PM
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We are going to want you "proud new owners" to give us a report/eval on the KV-34XBR800...especially your honest opinion as to if there is a "noticable" difference in PQ between the two sets (yea, we know this one has DVI)...does the PICTURE look better? Yea/nay? OTOH, the DVI alone is probably worth the new model, for "insurance" just in case of necessity. :mad:
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:59 PM
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wolvernole--

I can say already that the 34XBR2 has a slightly better image quality than the 36XBR800 on HD material. If you did not have them side by side you would never see it, however.

I have not seem the 34XBR800 yet. Tomorrow, if I can get away, Thursday if not.

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Old 07-23-2002, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hoppy
wolvernole--

I can say already that the 34XBR2 has a slightly better image quality than the 36XBR800 on HD material. If you did not have them side by side you would never see it, however.

I have not seem the 34XBR800 yet. Tomorrow, if I can get away, Thursday if not.
Thanks Hoppy...always appreciate your comment. I guess the comparison between the 4:3 36" VS. the 16:9 34" is reasonable in that all things equal (sorta)...the 16:9 should "show" an HD picture better than 4:3...
I just want to know if Sony tweaked any improvements in the 34XBR800 over "last year's" XBR2.
I'm gonna guess that here too, only side-by-side comparison may show any difference...and then some of it may be up to "set-up".
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Old 07-23-2002, 10:27 PM
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I gather there are the same changes made to the 36X800 (I compared the spec sheets), but the effect on the picture in practice I won't be able to say for a few days.

I repeat, however, that for my money no picture I've ever seen on any kind of display device is as good as the picture I've seen on the 34XBR2.

At it's best it is breathtaking in a way even the best other displays can't touch. A limited sample, but there it is.

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Old 07-25-2002, 12:58 PM
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If you're concerned about connecting a computer, you should review the TV's owners manual for any info about this. A lot of the new flat-screen models have VGA connectors and specifically support 800x600 or even 1024x768 inputs.

The strange thing is that they're wide-screen models so why don't they support 858x480, etc.?
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Old 07-25-2002, 03:39 PM
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Wolvernole asked:
Quote:
I just want to know if Sony tweaked any improvements in the 34XBR800 over "last year's" XBR2.
the xbr800 has a line doubler (DRC) you can disable and DVI Inputs. It has no OTA HD tuner and is MSRP $2500 USD instead of $4000 for the xbr2. Here is press release on the new sony TVs http://news.sel.sony.com/pressrelease/2021

Hope this helps.

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