The Official Sony 30XS955 Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1354 Old 09-14-2004, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone! This is a great forum.

Sony's 30" 955 model is coming out soon and there hasn't been too much written about this particular widescreen model on these boards. Based on what I've read, this set has most of the features of the revered 960, with comparable high-end picture quality.

I have seen Sony's entry-level 30" HDTV, the HS420, and was very impressed with its HDTV picture through an HDMI/DVI cable. The 955 is a better model so I can't imagine how good it must look.

If you have seen this set, please post your thoughts!

Here are the 30" 955 features and specifications, from Sony's website:

Full HDTV (built-in ATSC tuner for over-the-air HD reception)

DRC Digital Reality Creation Multi-function Circuitry analyzes a 480i NTSC image and creates a digital bit mapped pattern in real time. The original NTSC signal is mapped in real time, replaced with an HD representative, and then discarded. Because DRC processes video signals in real time, it creates an image with 4X the density of the original signal. Resolution is increased both vertically and horizontally.

Hi-Scan 1080i Display accepts the full 1080 interlaced scanning lines (1080i) or 720 progressive scan (720p) from an external HDTV receiver or a compatible high definition digital satellite receiver. It also accepts 480 progressive (480p) scanning lines from compatible DVD video sources.

SuperFine Pitch CRT provides better image detail with high definition sources. The Aperture Grill was improved by making the vertical slits a finer pitch that increases the number of slits by up to 65%(16 x 9 base). Also improved were the High Precision Deflection Yoke, Fine Focus Electron Gun and the inclusion of higher intensity Luminescent Phosphors. The result is a more detailed image for both moving and still images, higher resolution picture quality, and better edge detail.

HD Detailer Wideband Video Amp provides greater detail on finer images, delivering the best possible image from high bandwidth sources.

ClearEdge VM (Wideband Velocity Modulation Scanning) allows you to select levels to create better separation between an object and its background for clearer edges, greater picture depth and improved overall picture quality.

ATSC Integrated Tuner allows the reception of local, off-air digital broadcasts providing the viewing of free, true high-definition network programming without the addition of a set top box or a monthly fee.

Digital Cable Ready with CableCARD Slot A set of hardware specifications that are defined to include a removable security module, which separates the cable operator's proprietary conditional access system from the retail digital cable device, to enable portability of the host to other cable networks.

HDMI Interface (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) - HDMI is the first industry-supported, uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface. HDMI provides an interface between any audio/video source, such as a set-top box, DVD player, and A/V receiver and an audio and/or video monitor, such as a digital television (DTV).

HDCP Interface (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) was developed to protect digital entertainment content across a DVI interface. It also serves as the security system for HDMI.

CineMotion Reverse 3-2 Pulldown improves the display of video programs originally shot on 24 frames per second film preserving the integrity of the original film frames for more fluid motion and more fine detail.

Memory Stick® Media Enhanced Playback (JPEG,MPEG1,MP3)

Specifications Dimensions (WxHxD): 35 3/8" x 23 3/4" x 22 1/4" (898 x 604 x 564.5mm)
Weight: 154 lbs. (69.8kg)
Power Requirements: AC 120V 60Hz


Inputs and Outputs:
Component Video Input (Y/PB/PR): 2 Rear
Composite Input: 1 Front/3 Rear
S-Video Input: (With Detection): 1 Front/2 Rear
Control S: 1 Rear
HDMI: 1 rear


Tuner:
8 VSB
ATSC, NTSC
Clear QAM
Digital Cable


Audio:
TruSurround® SRS® Audio (7.5W x 2 With 15W Sub)
Steady Sound® Automatic Volume Control With BBE® Audio Effect
Auto Mute Tuner
Auto SAP
Audio Output (Variable/Fixed)


Video:
Dynamic Focus Circuitry
Dynamic Picture Circuitry
Trinitone® Color Temperature
ClearEdge VM (Wideband Velocity Modulation Scanning)
Vertical Aperture Compensation
Vertical Center Adjustment
3D Digital Comb Filter
Wide Modes: (Normal/Full/Zoom/Wide Zoom)
Auto Pedestal Clamp
Auto White Balance
High Voltage Regulator
HD Detailer Wideband Video Amplifier
NTSC Color System
ID1 Detection
Magnetic Quadruple Pole
Tilt Correction
Vertical Correction
Vertical Size Adjustment


Convenience:
Auto Channel Program
Caption Vision (CC)
Channel Fix
Channel Skip/Add
Video Label
V Chip Parental Control
Speed Surf Channel Selection
Sleep Timer Function
Tilt Correction
Program Palette (Vivid/Movie/Standard/Sports) presets
On Screen Display (English/Spanish/French)
Channel Jump
Front Button Menu Control
Favorite Channel
Energy Star® Compliant
Clock/Timer Two Event
Antenna Level for DTV
PSIP Program Information
DTV Auto Add
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post #2 of 1354 Old 09-14-2004, 06:05 PM
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post #3 of 1354 Old 09-14-2004, 06:08 PM
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Has anyone heard of a firm release date? I've read 9/30/04 on a
couple of sites, but these dates have been known to be incorrect
from time-to-time.

At a MSRP of $1399 it's a little steep, but still an attractive set.
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post #4 of 1354 Old 09-15-2004, 12:39 AM
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I saw a 30XS955 last week at a local electronics store (Robert Paul TV in Roseville MN). They had just gotten it in and didn't have it labeled yet, but it was definitely a 30" and dark gray, not silver.

It was showing a local OTA DT channel, but it was a soap opera so I don't think it was HD. It was in "pillarbox" mode, and at the edges of the picture the color was a bit off ... the left edge of the picture looked green, for example. I assume this could be corrected through calibration.

Anyway ... Crutchfield lists it as 9/30 but it looks like it's in stock at sonystyle.com.
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post #5 of 1354 Old 09-15-2004, 07:44 AM
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Quote:


At a MSRP of $1399 it's a little steep, but still an attractive set

You should find the "street" price to be significantly less. I have one on order from PC Richards (NYC retailer). I was told to expect delievery no sooner than the end of the month.
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post #6 of 1354 Old 09-15-2004, 08:52 AM
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I saw the 34xs955 at CircuitCity on Monday night for $1450, so I'm sure the 30" will be less than $1399
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post #7 of 1354 Old 09-15-2004, 09:16 AM
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Talk about coincedence. PC Richards just called, my 30xs955 arrives Friday!
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post #8 of 1354 Old 09-15-2004, 09:16 AM
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I ordered one from the Palo Alto Sony Style store on Saturday. They said to expect delievery in 7-10 days or sooner since it was coming from LA. They offered a $150 gift card with purchase.
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post #9 of 1354 Old 09-15-2004, 09:21 AM
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$1,450 for the 34" 955. That is a good price. All the CC's here are selling it for MSRP $1,999.99.

I wonder why some CC's discount prices while others do not. I remember walking in one CC and the speaker prices are totally different from the CC by the house.

Brian
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post #10 of 1354 Old 09-15-2004, 05:17 PM
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I look forward to reading everyone's feedback on this set.
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post #11 of 1354 Old 09-17-2004, 07:32 AM
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My 30xs955 just arrived. Cablevision is scheduled for this afternoon, so for now I just have SB and DVD, both of which look very good. I'm going to spend the next few hours playing with the video and audio settings (so many choices!), so that when "cable guy" arrives I'll be ready.
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post #12 of 1354 Old 09-17-2004, 08:42 AM
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Why do CRT manufacturers keep putting speakers on the side of their 16:9 sets? I would get this in a heart beat of not for the extra 4 inches in width comapred to the Toshiba 30HF84. Honestly, how many people do not have their TV's and entertainment system powered through an extrenal source? This even has a digital audio output making it very easy to hook up to a reciever.
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post #13 of 1354 Old 09-19-2004, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have this set?
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post #14 of 1354 Old 09-19-2004, 09:18 AM
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Needanutv,

Lets hear the full Review??? What do you think of your new tv set???
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post #15 of 1354 Old 09-19-2004, 11:38 AM
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I wish someone would notify every company in the world to make ALL cabinet/shelves, entertainment centers, credenzas, etc. WIDER!!! If I had a nickel for every post that I've ever read about a space being too small I'd be a millionaire! Here's a revolutionary idea--if the freakin' TV you're going to buy costs alot more than the small cabinet you're trying to fit it into smash the cabinet like Jimmy Hendrix, buy a Massive cabinet for a great looking TV and post in that "You're experienced"!
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post #16 of 1354 Old 09-21-2004, 08:16 AM
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Sorry it took so long to get back but I've been watching a lot of tv. The tv arrived Friday morning, and Cablevision came (on time) at 2pm. I'm glad I didn't bring up the CableCard capabilities with Cablevision because the tech had enough problems just switching out the set top box (SA4200HD). The first two were defective, but fortunately the third (and his last) box worked. As expected, PQ with widescreen HD material is spectacular. The biggest surprise for me was the pq in SD. Much better than what I typically saw at retailers. Currently the ClearEdge is off, DRC is set to CineMotion and video is on Pro. The only downside so far (and I anticipated this) is that the pq is, at times, so retina burning dazzling that I wish I could have accommodated the 34XS (or 960), but at nearly 40 inches wide it was not manageable.
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post #17 of 1354 Old 09-21-2004, 11:55 AM
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I bought this HDTV last Friday and spent the past few days watching regular SD, DVDs, HDTV, and also played some PS2.

I previously had a Toshiba 30HF84 that I purchased from Best Buy. It seems like a few people in the forum actually like this HDTV, so I must have had a really defective set. Browse the 30HF84 thread "Comments on 30HF84 I Just received from Amazon" to see the list of problems that I had. As the old saying goes, first time shame on them... second time shame on me. I wasn't about to make the same mistake twice and ended up returning the Toshiba to Best Buy for a refund.

Now for my thoughts on the Sony 30XS955. Overall, I am very impressed with this HDTV. I have an older Sony 20" Wega TV which was one of the very first Wega TVs made. I have been very impressed with it's quality and was well worth the $400 it cost many years ago. Based on that positive experience, I decided to spend a large sum of money for the Sony 30XS955. $1399 MSRP is alot for a TV, but it's worth every penny.

For SD content that I get from Charter Communications, the 30XS955 is superb. I've been reading how HDTVs will produce a subpar picture for SD content compared to an anolog TV because they're digital. My experience with the Toshiba confirmed this as the SD picture was terrible and had a ton of moving grain on the screen. The 30XS955 has very little grain, the pictures looks great, and the colors are spot on. I can safely say the 30XS955 beats out my 20" Wega, which I am very fond of! From what I can gather, I think the DRC feature really works and produces a sharp and solid SD picture.

I have a Pioneer progressive scan DVD player hooked up via component cables to the 30XS955. The DVD picture quality on the Toshiba was good, but not great. I was shocked at how much better the 30XS955 was. The picture looks rock solid and I saw details I never saw on my Sony 20" or Toshiba. For example, I was watching "Finding Nemo" with my daughter and I could clearly see more detail in the debris floating in the water. Playing the same movie on the Toshiba produced a slightly grainy picture, but the Sony was crystal clear.

With regard to HDTV, I have only watched a little bit so far. I have an OTA antenna plugged into the 30XS955 to test out the built-in tuner. Sadly, I can only get one channel (NBC) in high-def. Although my OTA options are kind of pathetic, the HDTV picture of NBC (Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live) was breath taking. I finally got that "WOW" factor from a HDTV. I thought my expectations were set too high because I was sorely disappointed with the Toshiba, but the Sony really knocked my socks off in HD. The image has zero grain and just looked damn good.

Although the speakers on this HDTV will probably never be used by some folks because they'll have a surround sound setup, we plan to use the built-in speakers heavily because the 30XS955 is just our regular TV for the living room. Our future home theater downstairs will have a HD LCD projector with surround sound. The sound quality is actually very very good. In comparison to my Sony 20" and previous Toshiba, the sound is very rich, dynamic, and has great bass. The bass surpprised me the most because I've never heard ANY bass from a TV this size or smaller. Quite amazing actually... The speakers on the Toshiba were almost an afterthought, but it actually made it's cabinet look very sleek and compact.

To sum it all up, I would gladly pay $1399 for this HDTV again. I purchased the Toshiba for almost half that price, but I was really disappointed with it and felt I just wasted all my money. Perhaps my Toshiba was a defective set, but I've had such a great experieince with Sony TVs, why mess up a good thing?
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post #18 of 1354 Old 09-21-2004, 07:09 PM
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did you compare this set to the 34" xbr960? I wonder how it holds up against it.
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post #19 of 1354 Old 09-21-2004, 09:54 PM
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Hi all,
quick question
Does anyone know if the sony built in digital tuner will pickup unscrambled digital and hd channels from cable. I read in another post that the samsungs dont, and although ive read that the sanyo with buit/in does im not crazy about it. Just wondering if anyone has tried it yet, even with a different model sony with buit/in digital tuner.
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post #20 of 1354 Old 09-21-2004, 10:18 PM
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I was able to pick up a couple of HD channels (just locals in my case, but that owes more to my cable provider than the television) and quite a number of digital channels. There are a lot of channels I can get with a set-top box that I couldn't get by plugging the coax directly into the set, but more than likely, you'll at least get something. I do subscribe to a digital cable package, and I'm not sure if that's a requirement for picking up those channels or not with the QAM tuner.
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post #21 of 1354 Old 09-21-2004, 10:48 PM
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Has anyone tried the convergence & geometry tests from an Avia Home theater disc on these XS955's? I took mine to the 34XS955 at BB today and noticed a lot of geometry issues in the extremes (which is better than being in the middle I guess). Like the bottom right had some serious issues and the bottom left and upper left had some issues as well (though not as bad). PQ still looks pretty good tho (better than my 30HF84, but not like in a "wow that's a lot better" sort of way). This could be a contender if I ditch my 30hf84...if Toshiba can't correct the geometry.
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post #22 of 1354 Old 09-22-2004, 06:38 AM
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All large screen widescreens have geometric issues. Even the beloved 960's. Some are bnetter than others however. You just have to be lucky to get one that does not have major issues. There is a fix however. You can:

1.) Enter the Serrvice menu. (learn yourself or hire an ISF tech)
2.) Get a service tech to use a specialized magnet on your set
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post #23 of 1354 Old 09-22-2004, 09:58 AM
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I have an older Video Essentials DVD that has some test patterns. The 16:9 Anamorphic grid is for geometry and convergence issues. I used this when I had my Toshiba 30hf84 set in FULL mode in tandem with the service menu to fix the geometry. It was scary how bad the geometry was on my 30hf84. I could have lived with some distortion at the extreme outer edges, but the geometry was off everywhere. I was able to improve some of it with the service menu settings but I had a really nasty problem near the center and to the right 3 inches. The line was fairly straight but had a sharp "step" that couldn't be corrected. It was very noticeable when any text would scrolling down the screen (e.g. credits of a movie). If you play any video games (PS2 or XBOX), then geometry issues are very visible because there are lots of straight lines and the image is bright.

My Sony 30XS955 isn't perfect with the same pattern, but it's a light and day improvement over my previous Toshiba. The geometry was excellent on most of the screen and only had problems on the extreme top edge (3/4" inch). I'm pretty picky about video quality and so far so good with the 30XS955. I haven't entered the Sony's service menu (not sure how?), but I won't mess with it anyhow because it doesn't bother me.
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post #24 of 1354 Old 09-22-2004, 11:42 AM
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OOhhh you were able to tweak the settings in the service menu of your 30HF84? I'm way jealous. If my tech isn't able to help (which I don't think he will) can you go through the 3 or 4 settings that mess with the geometry and explain how each one changes the picture? I already have a BMP with all the stock settings and how one user changed his to mitigate his issues but he doesn't really explain how each setting changes the picture. I'd rather not just jump into it and start tweaking with settings I have NO IDEA how they affect the picture. My screen kinda has an x^3 graph for the vertical lines (rather than just a pincushion () or )( ) most of the screen runs fine with no distortion but when credits roll (bottom to top) when they get like 2/3 of the way up you can see the letters visually move left about 1/4" and then continue their way up.

also how much were you able to pick up the 30xs955 for? how does it compare to the 30hs420 sony ...how does it compare to the 30hf84 toshiba (in both picture quality and other impressions with the most weight on good HD PQ in 16:9 mode)
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post #25 of 1354 Old 09-22-2004, 12:10 PM
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I paid roughly 80% of MSRP from a well known Long Island/NYC area chain. Plus $48 for delievery (well worth it, IMO)
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post #26 of 1354 Old 09-22-2004, 01:25 PM
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Computer CRTs generally have adjustments for horizontal and vertical overscan, and for horizontal and vertical "pincushion". Why don't TVs have these adjustments?
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post #27 of 1354 Old 09-22-2004, 11:24 PM
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Boden11,

If you want to enter the Toshiba service menu, see the following link

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...96#post4343396

If you enter the service menu, be sure to write down the factory settings first before changing anything. Unfortunately, I no longer have the Toshiba and don't remember exactly what I changed. There are like 60+ different adjustable settings and I think I modified 4 or 5 of them. I recall that most of the adjustments were only 2-5 points off and the geometry settings were in the 1st 30 settings. I'm not sure what the proper order to adjusting the settings is because they're all interactive. Changing one setting ends up throwing off another. An ISF technician would know for sure.

I ended up getting my 30XS955 for 13% off MSRP. I posted a comparison between the Toshiba and Sony earlier in this thread. With regard to HDTV specifically, The Sony and Toshiba are both pretty good. From my experience thus far, the Sony's was noticeabley better with regard to graininess and screen geometry. The Toshiba seemed to have this fuzzy grain move around on the picture regardless of source, although SD seemed to have an excessive amount of grain. Everyone already knows about the Toshiba's vertical geometry issues.
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post #28 of 1354 Old 09-24-2004, 01:57 PM
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I am trying to get this TV this weekend, but none of the stores(BestBuy, CC, Tweeter, Sears) have it in stock. Do I really need to order this through SonyStyle? Can you suggest anywhere else that have this in stock? Thanks.
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post #29 of 1354 Old 10-02-2004, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have comments on this set? Here in Florida, very few stores are even carrying it (CC and BB don't even have it in their system). Most stores seem to have the 960 and the 420, but not the 955.

To those of you who do have 30" 955, any comments would be appreciated.
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post #30 of 1354 Old 10-02-2004, 02:08 PM
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no comments yet but I am planning on buying this set in the next 5-10 days. I'll certainly post a review once I get it in.
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