Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Lewis Center, OH
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GDG, I think I'm with you. I really struggled with my decision to buy this TV, but it was the only TV that was narrow enough to fit on our existing entertainment center. It couldn't have been 1/8" wider! My 34hdx82 was delivered yesterday and here are my thoughts:
Before it was delivered I was concerned because the model in the store had highly visible dark areas on the left and right sides. The center line was there, but it never really made itself all that visible. The store (HHGregg) assured me that if I had problems with the picture they would exchange/refund, whatever I want.
The TV was delivered while I was at work. When I got home I plugged it in and got it running. After immediately switching to "movie" mode, I noticed the picture was horribly dark. After a quick run of AVIA, it looks much better, although I think I'm going to have to run through it again to tweak it a little more. Right now I'm just running s-video, other cables and transcoder for computer hookup are on their way! I did have to go into the service menu and do a couple tweaks to get the height, width, and some minor pincushion taken care of. Again, it still needs some tweaking but I will do that after it has been running for a while.
It seems to do quite well with my DirecTIVO signal. The picture looks much better than on my old SD TV. It does a real nice job of deinterlacing the s-video signal. This is great for DirecTV and movies played on computer or on my old DVD player, but it makes the computer text look a little fuzzier. The "flickering" of my old set seemed to give the impression of sharper text. We'll see how that changes once I've got the stuff to run full HDTV resolution from the flicker.
The picture does appear to be sharper in the center and a little out of focus as you go to the outside edges. I haven't decided if that is normal operation, compared to my old tv it is a few orders of magnitude better!
Now, the "issues" that everyone has with the TV. So far, I have not noticed ANY dark areas on the sides. That is reassuring. I think the line down the center may be a little more visible than the one in the store, but really, for a couple hours of watching and playing with this TV, I only saw it maybe a total of 5 minutes. It has to be just the right color/brightness to make it visible. If I didn't know about it already, I might not have noticed it right away, although a couple times (usually with one solid color like blue or white), it really did seem to jump out.
I don't watch hockey, but I can imagine it is more visible with a hockey game with the white ice. If I did watch hockey, I would probably return the TV for sure. Right now, I'm not totally sure. I've got a couple weeks to decide, and I've got to try to not be obsessive about it. Watching movies on TV shouldn't be about analyzing every minute defect in the TV, it should be about enjoying the movie...that said I will probably be analyzing every minute defect in the TV when I watch the next movie! ;)
Well, back to work...