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post #1 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

Been lurking in AVS for about a year. I have never had to post anything, because the information that I needed was always available using the search function! :D

Thought I would post about a new Direct View HDTV and try and help some others like I had been helped by writing a review.

This is the first Sony I have bought; I have never been a big Sony fan before. I have a Toshiba 50H82 as well as a Hitachi 51SWx20b. I compared this Sony specifically to the Panasonic 34WX54. I adjusted both, and the Sony had a VERY SLIGHT picture quality advantage. It was a really tough choice; I would recommend either TV. My friend that was with me could not decide which he liked better. That's how close they were.

** I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the picture so far. A friend of mine still has my AVIA DVD, so I have adjusted it with the THX optimizer on the Planet of The Apes DVD.

** Color accuracy seems to be as close to dead on as you can get. Some low-quality cable channels distort color, but digital and Dvd color is perfect.

** Focus/Sharpness is really impressive. This is where a TUBE HDTV beats my Rear-Projection units noticably.. The Sony has an advantage when it comes to image clarity.

** The viewing angle is obvious here. Same as any tube tv. Great picture at any angle or height.

** The cabinet is not the greatest, but it not bad at all. It is a blueish/grey and does the job. I'm not watching the cabinet, I'm watching the Tv.

** The sound is passable. I am using this as my bedroom TV, and the WOW mode works very well on movies. The simulated surround will due just fine. Cable sounds as it should.

** THIS THING IS HEAVY. It took me and two friends to hoist it upstairs and onto the entertainment center. Close to 200 lbs.

** Connections-a-plenty. 3 s-vid, 2 component, and an HDMI for HD set top boxes etc.. Right now I have my X-box and Panasonic DVD player hooked up component.

*** Overall, I give it an 8 out of 10. Sound is adequate, Video is impressive. 2 off for weight and cabinet setup. On top of this, I got a few hundred off retail because it was an open box from CC. Not bad at all.

I will soon be getting a JVC DVB318 DVD player in the mail. I will let you know how the quality is over component and HDMI/DVI!

Christopher

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post #2 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 02:18 PM
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Christopher,
Thanks for posting the review. A very nice way to join the fray.

Check out my Simon and Garfunkel tribute duo:
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post #3 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 03:18 PM
 
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Were you able get it into the house ok, and how big is the box compared to a 30" hdtv?

I too am interested now in getting the sony, and i totaly agree with you on your score.If it were not for the weight and mediocre desighn of the cabinet this tv would get a perfect 10!!

The only problem with getting this set for me is the damn weight:(
Oh and by the way can you try out the stretch modes for me and see how good they are for 4:3 material such as vhs tapes, and some videogames.

i still watch vhs tapes too and would like to know how they look on the sony.

Glad to hear you like the sony, and how was the color accuracy on the panny? are the colors too high?Because this concerns me about my purchase with the panny compared to the sony.

How much did you pay for it ?
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post #4 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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TCB,

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Croc,

What part of Mass. are you in? I used to travel for work, and we have an office in Billerica. Have good friends in Boston too. We're getting ready for Hurricane number 3 in the last 4 weeks, so I am wishing I was up there right now.

Anyhow, I got it in the house OK. I had 2 other friends help me carry it upstairs in my house, and it took all 3 of us to put it on top of the ent. center! Yikes. It's not too bad with help, plus you won't (hopefully) have to move it again for along time.

To be honest, I just went to look at the cabinet and I guess I'm used to it now. It's really not that bad; it's just not cutting edge looking.

The stretch modes are GREAT!! They are just as good as my Toshiba 50H82, which is saying alot. Use Stretch mode "Wide-Zoom" on all 4:3 based material. It makes it look perfectly natural. There is a small price to pay in this mode however. The Wide Zoom will chop off a little from the top and bottom. I only notice it when I'm watching Fox news or Cnn. The little ticker at the bottom is cut off a bit. You can adjust the vertical position though. No big deal. This mode also works WONDERS with my X-box games that are non-wide screen capable. In these, I have not noticed anything being cut off. Nice natural looking stretch here.

I popped in Breakfast Club on VHS, and it looked Ok. Nothing special, and again the wide-zoom worked perfectly. It looks quality-wise as good as a VHS could.

Color-accuracy on that 34" Panny was really...... Hmm... I'd have to say that it looked a little exagerated, but very attractive; even after I reset everything by eye. It wasn't bad at all, it just wasn't a true-color palette. It reminded me of my Hitachi 51. Some of the colors looked so good that they were just a little bit over-saturated. It looked different than the Sony I went with, but not necessarily better.. I think this area will be viewer-dependent. Some may prefer the Panny color, some will prefer the Sony.

ONE BIG IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT THE PANNY: I forgot the deal-breaker for me with the Panny 34wx54. That TV WILL NOT accept a 720p signal. This may not matter to some people, but it is important to note. I have several X-box games that use 720p. The 34wx54 will NOT pass this through to 1080i. It will display a black or distorted screen. Again, It cannot pass a 720p signal to 1080i.

Other than that, it was a toss-up for me between the two. As far as the price, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to reveal what I paid for it. I still have to read the forum rules better. Suffice it to say, I paid 300 less than retail at CC, because it was open-box. Do the math. :p

I'm stoked about getting my upconverting DVD player next week! Can't wait. Hope this helps you make a very tough decision. By the way, I see alot of people prefer the HS510 model Sony or Xs93 I think. From what I saw first hand, they do not improve on pic quality like the XBR does. These models just add PIP, better sound, mem card slot, 2 Rf, and nicer cabinet. Picture quality is king with me, and those extra features did not justify the price difference.

Take care,

Christopher

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post #5 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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By the way,

I'm not sure which Tv's you are all considering, but here is my take. I had the opportunity to view a Toshiba, Samsung, Philips, JVC, Panny, and SOny Direct View 27-34" Tv's.

The Sony and the Panasonic blew everyone else out of the water. **I know that I did not do a full, comprehensive in-house test. What I did do however, was take EACH of these Tv's into a default mode and tune them in the store. The guy at CC and Sound Advice were very good about letting me play. After all was said and done, those 2 were shining. The panasonic is quite a bit cheaper than the Sony. If money is a factor, and you don't mind the lack of 720p support (what happened, panasonic????) I whole-heartedly recommend the 30/34 WX54 Panasonic.

Hope this helps,

Christopher

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post #6 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 04:57 PM
 
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Hi chris:)

Those hurricanes down there must be brutal, i live in Taunton by the way.And i have to say that we did get some of the after affects of the storm, yesterday at night for instance was intense, i watched the lawn chairs blow away.

Well the sony did sound good to me, but now that i think about it , that set won't work out for me because of the weight. And since my tv stand can only hold 200lbs max!!, plus i would have to carry the tv upstairs to my bedroom.

So the panny appeals to me more with my budget, and weight limitation, so it looks like the panny wins for me.Since 160lbs sounds better than 196lbs:)

Does bestbuy carry the panny? because that's where i'm going first then circuit city next.I would get the sony if the price was ok, and if it was lighter.

Oh and how is the panny stretch modes to the sony did you try that?
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post #7 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Croc,

Yeah, the hurricanes are just as bad as you see them on T.V.

Best Buy does not carry that Panasonic line. I don't know why. CC has the 34wx54 for a nice new price. It also has 12 months int. free. I also know you guys have some nice electronics stores up there that should have good prices. Don't you have HH Greggs in New England or something like that?

I'm sorry to say that I cannot tell you about the Panasonic stretch modes on this years model. I asked the guy at CC if I could check the stretch on 4:3 and he said they ONLY had the HDnet Sat feed. I would hope that it's not bad. Maybe a Panny owner can chime in?

Christopher

PS: I know the lack of 720p on the Panasonic is a bummer, but keep in mind that the xbox games that are 720p will still play at a nice 480p. You just won't get Hd looks for them.

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post #8 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 05:54 PM
 
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Sure do, it's pretty impressive as what you would think, when you see the
HH Greggs here in new england.

The no 720p does'nt bother me because i don't have xbox any way, just PS2.And i have seen the panny at a much lower price than advertised at circuit city.

Well i guess since they don't carry them at your best buy where you live, they might carry the panny where i am down here, and if not, it's ok because i can just go to circuit city too.

How was the toshiba by the way?
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post #9 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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To be honest, I thought the Toshiba looked the worst out of all of the ones I viewed. The Philips, Samsung, and JVC all looked much better than the Tosh I saw at Bestbuy. I like Toshiba alot, but the Direct view just looked nasty.

Christopher

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post #10 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 06:48 PM
 
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so i guess it's true then, about the toshiba's having issues and bad picture.

It sure is a shame, because that was my top pick before.

By the way do you have PS2? and if you do, do you own any of the new final fantasy games such as final fantasy x and final fantasy x2.

These games are very colorful and looked beautiful on my toshiba 24" flatscreen with the monster cable component inputs.Plus i like the final fantasy series in paticular, but only those two i mentioned:)
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post #11 of 103 Old 09-10-2004, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Croc,

Shoot me, but I have never been a big PS2 fan. I have a Dreamcast, Xbox, Gamecube, Playstation 1, NES, SNES, Genesis, Turbo Grafx 16. No ps2 though!? :p

I would take a look for yourself at the Toshiba. It could have been (I HOPE!) a defective unit at the store. It looked sick; I'm hoping it was just a bad unit. I hate when stores leave defective stock on display. It makes the brand look bad. The one I did see was not good.

Christopher

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post #12 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Bump,

Because I am seeing a bunch of posts asking for comparisons.

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post #13 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 07:53 AM
 
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i appreciate your help man, also did you try and win the new circuit city digital giveaway sweepstakes?

I entered about a week ago, and i got an e-mail in my from them saying i am a winner.Ok so i get a confirmation code, and am ready to go to the website and type it in to find out what i won right.

So then i click on the link to enter your code, and then a pop up tells me they are having technical difficulties and i should try again later.

What the heck man, i've only tried to see what i won for the past 3 days, the waiting is unbearable.I just want to know what i won damn it.

Well what ever i win, i'll post it here and tell you when i find out.
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post #14 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Croc,

That's awesome that you won something! Even if it's an additional xx% off, that would be cool.

Let me know what you end up with.

Good luck,

Christopher

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post #15 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrocHunter

The no 720p does'nt bother me because i don't have xbox any way, just PS2.And i have seen the panny at a much lower price than advertised at circuit city.
it upconverts, i think, to 1080i anyway so it's not a big deal. i prefer the 1080i image over the 720p.

my problem... my current tv stand is sagging a teensy bit... i'm going to do some reinforcing, but it's going to be difficult.

Y O U N G
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post #16 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Yshin,

No the panasonic will not upconvert to 1080i. It will display a distorted or black screen.

Christopher

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post #17 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 12:35 PM
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Hi all,

I recently purchased this same TV (KV34HS420) and I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on whether an upscaling dvd player with DVI output would be a worthy investment to use with this screen. I'm fairly pleased with the PQ I'm getting with component output from my Toshiba player (it's a TIVO/dvd combo unit.. i'm not sure how great of a player it really is). However, if there is still room for improvement, I'd be willing to upgrade. I read somewhere that the fact that CRT monitors don't have set pixels, upscaling dvd players could greatly benefit the PQ. I have already seen a great difference between 480p and 720p when testing out videogames, and I could imagine that DVD PQ could benefit from a 720p or 1080i signal as well. In any case, does anyone have an opinion to offer up on this issue? Thanks.

wei
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post #18 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Wei,

I have my Zenith DVB318 on order from Gochnauers. I will let you know how the upscale players look over component and Dvi when I get it. Hopefully someone else around here has tried it as well.

How about you Mr2Spyder?

Christopher~

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post #19 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 05:49 PM
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My 34HS420 has a black dot in the middle of the screen :( I'm getting it exchanged Saturday :D
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post #20 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 08:03 PM
 
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Well it turns out i won a free music download, YAAAAAY!!!
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post #21 of 103 Old 09-15-2004, 11:01 PM
 
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I heard sony also has a new hdmi upconverting player coming in september.

also how was the JVC's picture quality compared to the bunch?

Was it on par with sony and panasonic?
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post #22 of 103 Old 09-16-2004, 01:52 PM
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Hi All, jst found perfect maching stand at IKEA for around $60 in silver gray color and 220 lbs load capacity.
Artur
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post #23 of 103 Old 09-16-2004, 01:59 PM
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artur,

that's the same exact stand that I picked up! for the price, I'd say it's really nice, but be careful when you're placing the set on the stand.. we were heaving so hard, we dented up the front of the stand a bit.. it's made of particle board so it dents fairly easily.. but with the nice looking glass shelves for your components and reasonably matching colors, i'd say this is the perfect stand for those of us on a budget.. good find =)

has anyone here tested out the screen with a DVI upscaling dvd player yet? i'm anxious to hear about it

wei
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post #24 of 103 Old 09-16-2004, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by i_dream_of_japan
Wei,

I have my Zenith DVB318 on order from Gochnauers. I will let you know how the upscale players look over component and Dvi when I get it. Hopefully someone else around here has tried it as well.

How about you Mr2Spyder?

Christopher~
Christopher,

I just received my Zenith DVB318 with a Dec. 2003 build date and it looked awesome over component with both my Sony 30HS420 and my RCA F38310.

I lack the DVI-HDMI cable to try it with HDMI connection. I purchased the DVB318 for it's component up-convert capability because that door is closing soon with a new firmware release.

If you check the DVD Player section there is a discussion about the DVI performance of this player. Some have had issues.

Let us know how you make out.

Regards,

Jeff
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post #25 of 103 Old 09-16-2004, 05:33 PM
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Jeff,

The sounds great. Have you compared the PQ of the dvb318 against a non-upscaling 480p player? I've been considering the Samsung HD-931 lately. It seems like that player, along with the DVB318 may be the best cost-effective upscaling players. And I did read that the samsung model excels in DVI mode, which is what I'm looking for. If the DVB318 does indeed have issues in DVI, then maybe the samsung is the best bet for those of us who are looking for a DVI player? Does anyone have any experience with the Samsung HD-931?

wei
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post #26 of 103 Old 09-16-2004, 09:17 PM
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Seems we are getting off post a little here...the Sony HS420 model. BTW, in the last S&V edition, the Sony kicked butt over Samsung and Toshiba direct-view.:D Made me reeeeal glad I chose the 420 Sony over the two others !
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post #27 of 103 Old 09-17-2004, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,

Thanks for sharing your 318 experience on this TV! I purchased an HDMI/DVI cable off of ebay and just got it. It has a really nice build for 25 bucks.

I will have my player today or tomorrow. I will post any differences or "issues" I find over Dvi.

Croc, congrats on the free music download (LOL!). And I thought the JvC looked pretty decent compared.

And yes Wolverine, back on subject, I LOVE THIS TV!!!! I just watched Gladiator last night and it looked amazing. I currently have a Panasonic RP56 Progressive.

Christopher

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post #28 of 103 Old 09-17-2004, 02:39 PM
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Man, I always do this to myself...swear off Monster Cable...and then wuss out and buy again!;)
To go with my Sony 27HS420 (has the HDMI of course) I broke down and bought the $110. "high-end" DVI to HDMI converter / cable. Sony says that this is an uncompressed and pure digital route...(until it hits my analog screen that all direct-view CRT's have). Well, I have it, and of course, I will still need audio cables, as the DVI part of the cable-mix does NOT transport audio.:mad:
I only know of ONE STB that has HDMI and that's the $999. job w/ TIVO (OK, heresy statement coming...I don't use or care THAT much for tivo).

Well, I hope the DVI>HDMI cable works as well, or hopefully better than component. Makes some sense that it will.

I will have to "flick" the switch in the back of my Hughes HTL-HD STB when I want to use component to my DVD. This will be interesting to see if things work out smoothly. I'll report back...but meanwhile, the SD picture quality of my 27HS420 is VERY acceptable to me, and I KNOW that this little guy can do a pretty fine HD considering its inherent limitations.
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post #29 of 103 Old 09-17-2004, 05:07 PM
 
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Thanks to everybody on this forum i am at my final decision.It looks like i'm getting the panasonic, I would like to thank you so much for the help man.:)
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post #30 of 103 Old 10-06-2004, 10:09 PM
 
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It's been a while, and i made my decision to wait next week on columbus day to get my tv.After looking at the sony and panasonic, i have finally decided to get the sony instead, it had a better picture, it was more sharper on the sony set.

Also how is the zenith doing, did you get it yet?how is the picture quality compared to a 480p player?It's been a while researching the two, after going to many stores, and doing test on both sets, and it seems the sony has the better picture:)
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