please help 34XBR800 vs 36XBR800 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 149 Old 02-15-2003, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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After checking out, I thought I had my mind made up on purchasing the 34XBR800.
Went to the store today to "buy" it, and again saw it next to the 36XBR800.
I had to totally re-think my purchase.
(The price difference is $100 less for the 36)
My primary use will be for watching cable TV, I mean 99.9% of the time .
I have never owned a DVD or watched one other than in the stores while shopping.
(I know that they can be breathtaking when seen on a widescreen set)

I don't ever see myself becoming a real DVD enthusiast, if that is part of the equation.
I understand the small number of HDTV shows available currently, with more and more coming in the years to come, but how soon?.

I currently have regular digital cable but when I purchase the set, my cable co.will provide the HDTV box for $6 more per mo.

The size difference was much bigger than I remembered noticing. The Sales person, who I trust, pointed out that the 1080i is cut down on the 36 model. Is this something that will be easily noticed?

Is it really that advantageous to purchase the 34" widescreen model if ;

1)I rarely plan to watch DVD's.
2)What makes the 34 model so much higher rated than the 36 model ?
3)and I plan to watch regular digital cable TV 99.9% of the time(or HDTV down the road when A LOT more channels have it)

What, or should I say, is there a real advantadge for someone in my position to buy the 34XBR800 over the 36XBR800 when the 36 has what to me, looks like a much bigger viewing area?

Any help, thoughts, answers or other information that might help me make up my mind would be greatly and truly appreciated.
It's a lot of money and I want to make sure I'm making the right decisions for the right reasons.

Thank you very much,
brentski

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post #2 of 149 Old 02-15-2003, 04:27 PM
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The issues have to do with HDTV and DVDs. All of which you may start watching during the life of the set

There is a thread hereabouts on 4:3 vs 16:9 - I suggest reading it to understand the different viewing differences.

Also - do some math - The 34XBR gives you 16:9 and 2-35:1 pictures similar to what you would see on a 37" conventional TV, so these pics will be a little smaller. Conversely, the 4:3 pic on the 34XBR is similar to what you would see on a 27" conventional.

After considering the 34XBR for a long time, I just bought the KV32HS600 (essentially a KV32XBR800) and though the 2.35 pic is a bit small, I'm happy with it. Most important, I've seen the 16:9 pic and I'm happy with it so I'll be happy when HDTV arrives.
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post #3 of 149 Old 02-15-2003, 05:24 PM
 
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Consider the viewing distance from the set. For regular 4:3 NTSC programs, blowing it up to 36" will require you to view from at least 10 feet away. For higher quality HD or DVD material, you will have to move to 6feet or less to get the benefit of the increased resolution. With the 34" 16:9 set you can sit closer (6-7feet) for both types of material. There is already a lot of HDTV programming, every night at primetime on all 3 big networks and it will only increase next year - consider that is all 16:9 format.
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post #4 of 149 Old 02-15-2003, 08:51 PM
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What Don is speaking of (having to be far away for 4:3 NTSC material) is pretty much a myth. I regularly watch a 40" 4:3 display from 7 feet and it looks great. Most of the modern digital TVs will eliminate scan lines and do a great job at displaying standard definition (SD) material. Given that you watch regular TV much more than movies, you have to look at this as a 36" vs a 27" (what you'll get for a 4:3 display from a 34" widescreen). If you opt for the HD box and start to watch more 16:9 material, even then the 34" 16:9 display is just 6% larger than the 16:9 image size on the 36".

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post #5 of 149 Old 02-16-2003, 09:52 PM
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Since you plan on mainly using this set for regular cable I'd go with the 36XBR800. This is the same TV I have and use 85% of the time for cable tv and video games. Since you're not into DVDs (but why?! :)) the 16:9 TV wouldn't really fit your needs. And if you do get the HD cable box, the 36 does a nice 16:9 squeeze for HD content. Just my 2 cents.
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post #6 of 149 Old 02-16-2003, 11:11 PM
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I'd also suggest the 36XBR800 (I just ordered mine tonight online for 1879.99 shipped). I have been reading and reading and then contemplating between 4:3 and wide as well as direct view over RPTV. I found that in that price range, and for a person who likes to sit and watch regular TV programming with the Mrs/Miss and family, the 36XBR800 not only gives out the best screen size, but also is probably the best picture quality (excluding the other XBR's of course) you can get. I believe that SD TV that is not zoomed in on a 34" widescreen is similar to watching a 27" screen..not my cup of tea from ANY distance, especially for the price. Whereas the 36" in widescreen modes would be almost the same as the 34XBR800. I have heard no complaints from a 4:3 XBR owner of any PQ problems with the squeeze as well. I hope this helps you out a little.

Dan Bennett

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post #7 of 149 Old 02-16-2003, 11:49 PM
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This would be a no brainer if I was in your shoes. 36 all the way. You get almost the same 16:9 size, but more importantly you get a much bigger 4:3 picture which will be important to you for at least another 3 years. If, after the digital deadline, there are few programs in 4:3 you still get a decent sized 16:9 picture.

I agree with Kadman about NTSC signals. You definately don't have to sit 10 feet from the TV.
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post #8 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 06:37 AM
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I also suffer from decision making! I have decided to purchase one of the following 5 units (Plasma is out of my price range since I can only afford a crappy one..):

KF-60XBR800, KF-50XBR800, KV-40XBR800, KV-36XBR800, KV-36HS500

The 60 is a bit pricey ($4600.00 is best price from group buy at agoraquest)
The 50 is just a tad above my price range of 1-2.5K (roughly $3300 at various vendors including a display model at a local circuit city).

The 40 and 36 XBR are roughly within my price range, but they are so heavy! Best price for these is 2700 at agoraquest (white glove shipping & no tax from **************) for the 40 and 2177.00 at Belmonttv for the 36 but have to add tax and delivery.

I've found the 36HS500 for about 1850 at Belmottv.

Here are my issues (and man are there many!). The primary reason I post here is that 99% of my viewing is similar to Brentski. NTSC non-HDTV viewing. I.E. The network primetime shows using a decent rooftop antenna and recorded movies and basic top 10 cable channels (TNT, TBS, CNN, Discovery, A&E, etc...) using Dishnetwork I have Dishnetwork with PTV (Their flavor of TIVO) and an Off-air antenna. I was going to switch to COX Digital once I get my HDTV compatible set (I will really miss my PVR; I hate commercials! Perhaps a TIVO will be needed!).

I love the LCD XBRs, but have read that they look lousy using "regular" (sorry; NTSC TV) TV. Which I remind readers is 95% of my viewing...Also, many of my LCD laptops get bad pixels. So, well I don't have to worry about "burn-in"...Don't I have to worry about bad pixels? Plus is this technology not overpriced and, maybe, soon to be outdated by cheaper plasma (2-3k is big bucks for me and I want this TV to last 5-10 years!). Also, I tend to distain rear projection given the lousy "angle" viewing. Although, the Sony LCD's seem to be much better than most of the RPTVs.

Thus, I not sure the extra 1-2K is worth the cool looks and nice picture (CC and Tweeters only display them with progressive DVD....and could not show me an off-air picture!)

I'm kind of leaning towards the 4:3 format instead of 16:9 for the numerous reasons mentioned in this thread. So, this brings me to the decision of which Sony XBR 4:3 to get...The 40 or the two flavors of 36 (exact questions are below). Crutchfield told me that the difference between the 36HS500 and the 36XBR800 are almost none. Yet, a sales rep. at Belmont told me it was night and day and well worth the $ difference. Who is speaking with forked tongue? Thus (finally), my questions

1) Can anyone recommend the BEST place to purchase Sony (or other) HDTV products (especially those models mentioned above)? Local (DC/Baltimore would be preferred, but not necessary; just want to be able to return or service if crappy or broken)?

1b) Is sunshine.com or crazy eddie risky (I.E. Refurbs, returns, etc.)?

2) Given my primetime and basic cable viewing, should I go 16:9 or 4:3 (yes, I've read all about the differences but still can't make up my mind!)?

3) Will the Sonly LCD (16:9) do a decent job converting basic cable and are they worth the extra money?

4) If I go with the 4:3 sony's....Should I go 40 or 36 (I.E. Is the extra 700 - 1K $ worth it for 4 lousy inches and an extra 75 lbs!)

5) If I go with the Sony 36" HDTV models (KV-36XBR800 VS. KV-36HS500), which one (Is the difference here worth the extra 300-400 $)

6) If going with a 36" HDTV model, should I be looking at the Toshiba or Panasonic Tau models (The Sony looks best in the stores, but I hear Toshiba has better "black" levels; also, I've found the Tau for about 1300 $. Frankly for the minor difference in picture, should I save myself $700 and get the Toshiba or Tau?)

7) Should I bag the whole decision process and wait 6 months when, hopefully, the prices for Plasma, XBRs, other Mfg. models, etc..will come down (I'm in no big hurry, but if prices aren't going to change for several years, why wait...). Are HDTV prices going to change significantly in the next 6-12 months?

It has been very hard to find these answers on the web and at retail stores. Any and all help is much appreciated. Realizing, of course, that much is opinion. I tend to be leaning toward the 50XBR800, the 36HS500, or the 36" Tau. If someone could help me "cement" my decision (and store) decision, I would be very grateful! Thanks in advance, afm
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post #9 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 10:55 AM
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fletcher008,
I think you may be a little confused on the XBR line. There is no real PQ difference between the 34, 36, or 40-inch sets. The only thing you need to think about is your preferences (i.e. how close to the set am I comfortable sitting..how much room do you have for it...do I want widescreen/4:3?). If you honestly don't watch any HDTV or progressive-scan DVD, I really wouldn't fork out the dough for the 36XBR800 if you really want to save money and get the HS500 (you probably won't notice much of a difference in SD alone). On the other hand, if you want the best possible PQ and future-compatibility, get the 36XBR800. The larger RPTV XBR's are in no way in the same league as the direct views...totally apples and oranges. If you want to suffer the balck-level issues, lamp changes, and burn-in (to name a few) problems of the RPTV, be my guest. If you really have to have a bigger set..try out that 40XBR800, it's not so bad in medium-sized rooms. RPTV is for people with inadequacies down below..if you know what I mean (just kidding guys). But seriously, get the best PQ you can for your money and then when plasma is better and cheaper, get your huge screen.


Now, as far as shopsunshine.com is concerned, that is where I just ordered my set from last night. The only problem you may run into with them as well as crazyeddie.com is that, unless you pay for an extended warrantee, most items are only covered by the manufacturers warrantee..not such a big deal considering Sony's 2-year parts and labor on the XBR's..which from what I understand usually can be honored without ever needing to leave your home. Neither sell refurbished or used items. Only brand-new factory-sealed and with full USA warrantee. The only manufacturer that Shopsunshine is not an authorized dealer for is Yamaha...which means they automatically give you THEIR warrantee plan for those items when you purchase them. Just check out their site.

Hope I helped a little...

Dan Bennett

Learning something new every minute.
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post #10 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Off subject for just a bit here but;

The difference in price between the internet shops and local stores is about $700(quite a bit)

However, I live on the west coast and would be hesitant to order a large TV from a shop in NY or thereabouts(where most seem to be located).
Due to the long distance, trucking and and changing from truck to truck,etc., leaves a much bigger chance of damage(and if it had to be returned to the east coast,it would take months before I'd see it again.

Does anyone on the west coast have any experience dealing with shops in the east as far as big TV's.etc?
Does anyone know of a reputable dealer closer to the west coast(as I live in San Diego,CA)?

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post #11 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 12:30 PM
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If you don't see yourself using much progressive-scan DVD or HDTV source material, you have no reason to get an HDTV-capable TV at all. Just get a regular analog 36" set and save hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Save the difference for other things, or for the purchase of a widescreen HDTV several years later when that will be the only practical choice.
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post #12 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 12:52 PM
 
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I agree. All of you who don't want a modern widescreen set for DVD and HDTV, should just stick with a good analog set. That would be best for old 4:3 analog video programs! I myself am watching 90% HD programs and DVD movies and what little analog NTSC programs I watch are usually in letterboxed 16:9 format (Enterprise, Angel, Stargate SG1) so they fill my WIDESCREEN set perfectly. The size of low quality 4:3 programs is not an issue to me. I recommend the Sony 34XBR800 over all those 4:3 sets. Check out the many threads comparing the 34" vs 36" Sony - the consensus is the 34" widescreen is the better buy.
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post #13 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 12:54 PM
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brent,
You should be aware that most of these online retailers (including shopsunshine and crazyeddie) usually DO NOT accept returns on TV's unless for very obvious reasons. As long as you don't sign for a box that looks damaged in any way, you really have no worries as far as coverage. You only need exercise your 2-year manufacturer warrantee...no need to ship it anywhere. It's a little bit of a pain, but, it's well worth the savings as long as you have some luck. A gamble? Yes. Worth buying locally to support chains like CC or BB? No way in h&*^. Who do you think deserves your money more? Give it to the guys who are saving you money..their service is bound to get better the more money they make..or you can support some more snot-nosed brats at the local alternatives, jsut reinforcing the idea that the way they do business is good enough. Personally, not my cup of tea. Ban the chains until they get their act together.

Dan Bennett

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post #14 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 12:59 PM
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Another useless post by Don. Of course you should get what he has, because it's based on HIS needs. (duh, didn't you know that?) lol

Just get what makes the most sense for you. Given your programming needs, the 36" sounds like it would fit the bill just fine. If the digital 36" isn't too much more, it might be worth it from an insurance standpoint (the features are there if you need them someday). If the cost difference is way too much right now, the analog set will work just great.

Good luck!
Chris
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post #15 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 01:04 PM
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better buy Donberg? How so? If the guy watched 4:3 television what would the point be in having such a small screensize? "None" is the correct answer. The 34XBR800 does work for you I admit, but for those of use that watch 4:3 television as well it makes logical sense to buy something that can display both quite well (which ALL XBR800's can do) but is primarily geared towards 4:3 viewing (which would narrow it down to the 36 or 40). Yes you can watch 4:3 on the 34" I suppose, but, not too many people are happy with a 27" screen no matter how nice it looks. Would you honestly buy a 27" screen for well over 2 grand? Not me. The 36" version displays 4:3 wonderfully at very close distances (I don't know where the 10 feet rule is coming from but I spent well over 4 months scrutinizing ALL direct views I could find and have yet to see that in the 36XBR800) and it also displays 16:9 material at almost the exact same size as the 34" (and YES the picture quality is the same..I have been on both sides of the fence and there is definately no difference a human eye can pick up from any distance). If you like the cosmetics of widescreen or just watch widescreen primarily, then it makes sense to get a widescreen, otherwise it would probably end up being something you kick yourself in the pants for a long time.

Dan Bennett

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post #16 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 01:26 PM
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brentski

There is good advice on these posts. If you are not going to watch DVDs or HDTV, why spend the bucks for a HDTV set? Get a cheaper set now and buy another when your source material changes to widescreen.

I mostly watch DVDs (www.netflix.com) except during football season so most of my viewing is widescreen and that is why I bought a widescreen Sony 34xbr800. If my viewing habits remained the same as they were prior to September 2000 (watch a little football in the fall and leave the set off February through July), then I would also have kept my 4:3. Now, I am addicted to the awesome picture quality of movies on DVD.

However, I disagree with KadMan and agree with DonBerg on the blowing up a standard heavily compressed digital NTSC signal. Make it big enough and get close enough and the picture quality looks bad to most of us. Even at 7' on my 34xbr800 the 27.8" diagonal NTSC picture can look bad. The kickoff and wide angle shots during football look really grainy and make me want to scoot back while the line of scrimmage shots look fine. A 4:3 movie looks fine but a letterbox movie that I have to zoom (like Mad Max from Sci-Fi channel) is just too grainy to enjoy. Admittedly, some people don't like grainy pictures and some people seem not to mind grainy picture quality, so much of it is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe if I put on my old glasses, I wouldn't see the grainy compression of digital cable but IMO, the poor picture quality of NTSC is anything but a myth. If you can't see a difference, don't waste your money.

In summary, if you watch ALL HDTV and DVDs, get a widescreen but if you watch ALL 4:3 source, get a 4:3. If you watch both and can afford it, get a widescreen AND a 4:3. If, like me, it is your only TV and you watch both widescreen and NTSC 4:3 on the same TV, then some compromise is necessary. In addition, stretch mode = distortion and any zoom lessens picture quality so in spite of my best efforts, my wife and I only watch OAR. Maybe my goal is unrealistic, but I want my TV to look as crisp as my computer monitor.

There are advantages and disadvantages to buying at a brick & mortar store. At the size you want, these sets are really heavy and you might want to make sure someone not only delivers it to your door but sets it in your viewing room. I also wanted the 30 day return policy if it didn't work out the way I anticipated.

Also, many AVS forum members (including me) found it hard to view digital cable in the store (they always show DVDs or HDTV) so you may not have all the information you need for your final decision until you get it home and hooked up to your source (mine is AT&T digital cable which leaves much to be desired). I got a fair deal at a Video Only store a mile or two from my house and have enjoyed my 34xbr800 since last August. But, I bought two DVD players on the 'net (one I sent back and one I kept) so each to his/her own.

Good luck & happy viewing. :)

Rick

PS Adjusting the picture with AVIA really helped as did using good cables (I use Bettercables.com).
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post #17 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 01:46 PM
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OK..I'm confinced...I don't need to compensate for size. Thus, forget the 50 or 60 Grand Wegas....And, the 40 is simply to much for 4 lousy inches. So, you guys have convinced me to go with the 36"...

However, is there a significant difference between the KV-36XBR800 and KV-36HS500.

Again, Crutchfield rep. said not really...CC and Belmont said yes!

So, two questions:

1) Do I go with the KV-36XBR800 or the KV-36HS500.

2) What about the choice in 1 Vs. the Toshiba 36HFX72

Thanks, afm
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post #18 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 01:46 PM
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I tend to agree with Rick. You can save yourself $1000 or so (go on vacation instead?) by not buying the HDTV if you're just watching cable channels. The advantages for an HDTV set are (obviously) HDTV sources and DVDs. If you don't have any interest in major network programming nor DVDs, save yourself the cash, and buy the 36" analog set.
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post #19 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 01:51 PM
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confinced....really, I can spell...convinced...

OK..Ref. my post above...forgot to mention the Tau...

Here are the four finalists....Which do I buy!

Toshiba 36HF72
Panasonic CT-36HX42
Sony 36XBR800
Sony 36HS500

Price, Quality.....etc..

Let's say you have $2200.00 to blow...Which one do you get...?

Thanks in advance, afm
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post #20 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 01:56 PM
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I want to clarify...Just because 90% of my viewing is NTSC doesn't mean I don't want to build for the future...All four models are HDTV capable...Otherwise, I'd just by a Sony 36" 100 model....Want the HDTV features for the future, just don't use it now...(note: forgot the X in the Toshiba)

Toshiba 36HFX72
Panasonic CT-36HX42
Sony 36XBR800
Sony 36HS500
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post #21 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 02:02 PM
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:D 34XBR910 :D

Harley
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post #22 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 02:04 PM
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fletcher008

Seriously go with your gut feeling...I think you would be happy with the 36XBR800.

Harley
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post #23 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 02:34 PM
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Here's my 2 cents for what it's worth.
I had a 36XBR for 3 weeks here trying everything imaginable to get perfect PQ for my viewing habits and environment. I may be unique in that I do watch mostly VHS home-made tapes. The 36" is a fine TV. It just took over our small living room. I did have some issues with blowing up tapes to 36" from my former 27" screen and watching at about 7'. I too did not have a dvd player (now a $90 Panasonic) and don't expect to use it often. I did have more of a concern with watching wide angle sports shots on this set (not a clear image). Close-up shots were fine.
After much tossing and turning, I swapped the set and $200 for the 34XBR.
These points swayed me to the 34":
When I do run into a marginal tape or SD cable program, I now have the 27" screen as an option. I watch everything in Wide zoom mode. Side by side the screen size image was not an issue. Many owners (posters) seldom talk about watching in Normal mode (27"). A concern for perfectionists, maybe.
The 34 is lighter and has built in hand holds for easier lifting.
This set also has an anti-glare screen coating for easier-on-the-eyes daytime viewing.
It is certainly "cooler" looking as most widescreens are and it is not as physically imposing as the 36.
It seems more future-proof: I am done TV shopping for many years.
There is a wealth of info here. Much more on the widescreen a definite favorite among videophiles. Keep reading. Either set (or the 36HS/HV) is an excellent choice. I'd avoid an analog TV unless your planning another major purchase in a few years. The cost differences are modest for upgrading to a digital set.
Brentski, I envy your ability to get HD on cable (and your great weather!). We are months away here.
Good luck and hope this input helps a little.
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post #24 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 02:38 PM
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Also keep in mind that SD TV isn't the only thing that comes in 4:3. We have plenty of DVDs (mostly based on TV shows) and also lots of Playstation 2 games that are 4:3. The source does play a factor into how well SD material looks at a given size, too. I have DirecTV and also have analog cable (until they unplug it after I switched to sat.) and both of them look fine at 7 feet on my 40XBR. Sure, it's not HD or DVD by any stretch, but it's no worse than we were all seeing a few years ago when the direct view 34" screens weren't widely available. Odd, I don't recall a bunch of guys at that time trying to buy smaller TVs because SD material was poor quality (within the realm of direct views). Sounds like some logic created by some people who had a sinking feeling in their stomachs once they got their fancy widescreen TV home and suddenly found out they had a 27" 4:3 TV. Note: I don't think all widescreen owners fall into this category. The 34" models (especially the 34XBR) are awesome for some people's needs.

Again, different needs call for different sets. The only problem I have is someone like Don claiming that the widescreen TV is always the best option, even here where the situation just screams for 4:3. Be open to all options.

Chris
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post #25 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 04:41 PM
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it's very obvious what you should get then bud. If you honestly want to be more "future-proof" as well as get the best bang for your buck AND not to mention you have a $2200 budget, you really should get the 36XBR800. The main difference between the HS over the XBR 36" is that the XBR has the high bandwidth amplifier as well as some other, less noticeable changes. There really isn't going to be much of a difference (if at all) if you just bought the HS and ONLY watched regular TV, but, as you say, you want to have the ability to watch the other formats later on down the road (which you still could do technically with the HS but not as well). I asked the same questions several times before I bought the same 36XBR800. I still don't have it in house but have seen it in action on every number of sources and it is truly a nice television....get it.

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post #26 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
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All the input has helped me out tremendously. First of all , it's definitely the 800 series.
By the way. The sets here in San Diego, either the 34XBR800 ($2500), or 36XBR800 ($2400) are quite a chunk of change.
Once you throw in the tax, stand and some decent cables, we're talking nearly 3 grand. That's OK. I can live with that.

My only REAL concerns at this point with all the feedback are;

1) I don't see myself becoming a DVD junkie. I'll buy an inexpensive player just to see how great they really are. How many times can you watch a movie anyway just because it has great viewing effects. I'm not one of those people .Never will be.

2) 99% of my viewing is regular digital cable(with the HD box delivered after I get the set) Very little of what I watch is on the 'big 3' networks.( No "Will & Grace" or other shows that I'd normally never watch just because they're shown in 'HD'). The vast majority are the 50 something movie channels I pay for.

I do want to have the equipment that will enable me to watch the HD stuff coming down the pike.
From everything I'm reading, and unless I'm very mistaken, it seems that the 36XBR800 will be able to show that programming in a MUCH more than adequate fashion that befits the money paid for it.

Please correct me if my assumptions are wrong.

Again,all the help, suggestions, opinions, etc. are greatly appreciated.
________
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post #27 of 149 Old 02-17-2003, 08:57 PM
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San Diego...great town,,I miss it a lot. Anyhow, I went through the EXACT same thing you are. In fact, I already have an HD receiver and a pretty decent progressive scan player so I can watch the High def material and DVD, but, still think the SD stuff by far outweighs the rest for the time being. You still can watch the 16:9 stuff just as well as you can on a widescreen, just a teeny bit smaller and you have to deal with black bars..something you will be faced with either way you go. It's honestly a matter of your viewing habits as we have said previously. If you look at when I registered, you will realize how long I have been contemplating this. I entered these forums with this purchase in mind and have waited that long to come to an educated decision (I did end up upgrading a lot of other home theater stuff beforehand because of these forums, but that is either here nor there.) If you can get an HD box from your cable company and they offer your locals as well as a few movie stations with it for a decent price, consider yourself very fortunate. I ended up spending about $600 for a HD satellite/over-the-air receiver in order to take advantage of HD..not to mention a dish upgrade and antenna purchase. Then...while I was at it a progressive scan DVD..hmm why not? Then a new 7.1 system...was gonna do it anyway...now FINALLY the TV (which we all know by now, I ordered Sunday evening)....see a trend here? hehe

I honestly believe that you will be more than happy with the 36XBR800. I had it narrowed down to the 3 800's within a week or two of being in these forums. I didn't spend all this time afterhours for nothing I hope.

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post #28 of 149 Old 02-18-2003, 11:06 AM
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brentski

Yes - get a cheap DVD player and give it a try. I have a 3 year old Samsung el cheapo with just an S video hookup to my 34xbr800. I literally went to the 'net a few years back and bought the cheapest player I could find that looked like it was from a legitimate business. I don't even know if hifi.com still exists but my player is working fine. With the xbr you really don't "need" a progressive player and some dvd players are advertised at Fry's for $50 to $60. Then take a look at www.netflix.com with over 13,000 titles. You might try the American Film Insititues best 100 movies and alternates or watch Academy Award nominee films. There are also lots of good DVDs of TV shows (Sopranos, Simpsons, Buffy, Star Trek, Twilight Zone, South Park, etc.). The DVD often has featurettes on "the making of" or audio commentaries from the director et al. When I was working, I never had time to see any movies. For a while, I thought I must be the only American who never saw Gone With the Wind or Casablanca but now I am a real DVD fan and my wife and I watch a new movie each night. We rent so we don't buy many (well, Blazing Saddles and Matrix and Dr. Strangelove I can watch every few months, LOL). Anway, enjoy your new TV and don't deprive yourself of the wide variety of movies on DVD that will look great on your new TV. In summary, buy the TV that will allow another $100 for a cheap DVD player and a trial of netflix to check out some award winning movies. Try it - you might like it. :D

Have fun & Happy viewing. :)

Rick
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post #29 of 149 Old 02-18-2003, 01:51 PM
 
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You don't have to buy DVDs, rent them at Hollywood Video or Blockbuster! YOu are missing out if you don't watch movies on DVD. Cable versions of movies are cropped and edited. As you can see many widescreen owners agree with my comments, so that proves the 4:3 advocates are wrong! If you are concerned about future-proofing, go with a WIDESCREEN set. If you only care about old 4:3 analog material now, save money and get a 4:3 analog set. The cost of HD sets will come down more in the next few years, and you can then buy a real widescreen HDTV when you feel the HD programming is more available for you and the cost will be a lot lower then - thats true future-proofing. I feel there is more than enough HD programming available now however. Almost every night there is primetime HD shows on all the 3 major networks, and any other nights just rent a DVD movie.
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post #30 of 149 Old 02-18-2003, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DonBerg
As you can see many widescreen owners agree with my comments, so that proves the 4:3 advocates are wrong!
LOL. Thanks for the great laugh!

As you've seen from my other posts (although I'm beginning to question if you can comprehend the difference), I'm a strong advocate of widescreen movies and of 16:9 HD content. This DOESN'T however mean that I must have a 16:9 set to enjoy it. It's for that very reason that I chose the 40XBR as it gives me the largest 16:9 image in a directview (besides the RCA that I didn't like and the Loewe that I had cost/availability issues with). I also wasn't willing to sit and watch my regular sports games on what ends up being a 27 inch TV.

Most other people are able to grasp this concept and I'll type s-l-o-w this time so maybe you'll be able to get it. A-19:6-TV-isn't-always-the-best-solution-for-every-situation.

Chris
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