Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto, Canada
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Wow - long thread, but very informative. I wish I would have found this last year when I first bought my 34" Panasonic Tau HDTV (CT-34WX15). Fortunately for me, I have not experienced any of the issues with the television that I've seen so many people post comments about.
In any event, I used to think that when I turned on the TV, the 4-5 click noises I heard before getting sound and picture were bizarre and perhaps indicative of a problem (as opposed to the 1-2 clicks on SD CRTs). However, I now know that it's normal - although I'm still not totally used to it. Power on takes 4-5 seconds which to me seems odd as I am so used to the SD CRTs which take about 2 seconds.
Nevertheless, I am writing to tell you HDTV owners and one person in particular who posted a question related to audio about something I've learned. I have a surround sound system connected to a Toshiba HD-A2 (HD DVD player)which is in turn connected to my Panasonic tv. Despite typically wanting to watch movies with surround, I still wanted to be able to watch the tv without having to turn on surround to get sound.
Most of the operating manuals for DVD players (incl HD DVD players) appear to indicate that you must choose BETWEEN digital audio or analog audio. However, you can connect both. More specifically, I have the digital out from the HD-A2 going to my surround sound system using an optical cable and a set of RCA analogue (Red and White/L and R) cables from the HD-A2 going directly to the tv. This way I can get sound from one or the other or both.
Whereas many if not all DVD/HD DVD players force you to choose between HDMI or Optical or Coax digital outputs, it appears that analog audio is almost always still output from the device. Therefore, for the person who posted his/her comments about connecting to a receiver and hearing a buzzing sound from the TV speakers, all you have to do is make the analogue connection as well and run the volume setting independently for each using the receiver volume or tv volume settings depending on which you choose to hear audio from.
I have had this TV for over 1 year and so far no complaints. It's just ashame that there is only 1 HDMI input as I'd love to be able to connect a Blu Ray player along side my HD DVD player one day and short of connecting it using component cables or perhaps spending a chunk of change on an HDMI switch, that isn't possible.
Finally, I wish I would have been able to address the often asked question as to whether this CRT HDTV was worth buy over and LCD/Plasma. The answer is YES (albeit to late as the HDTV CRT is now a thing of the past). HD LCD and Plasma have only recently narrowed the picture quality gap to HDTV CRT. Funny how even though as CRT HDTVs made their exit from the market (and were much cheaper) that they were still better in terms of picture quality! If you could stand to bear the size of the tv (mine is huge) and the limitation of screen size (only up to 34" in a 16:9 aspect ratio) than you'd be crazy to spend more on an Plasma if not moreso on an LCD! This is something my friends with panels are reminded of when comparing their hi-def pictures to mine as the picture is noticably better on mine!
For all of those about to flame and say that the direct view CRT HDTV only displays at a max of 1080i vs. say the Sharp LCD at 1080P, I suggest that the direct view is still better - if perhaps only up until recently. That's why Best Buy NEVER showed a direct view HDTV next to an LCD or Plasma as most people would end up asking why the CRT looked better - to which the answer (if honest) would invariably be, because HDTV CRT is superior. This is ESPECIALLY true when comparing a picture which is an SD one between the two types of tvs. But then, best buy would never run an SD signal into a Plasma or LCD because they look crappy. I sometimes wonder if (and in spite of) the higher prices for LCD and Plasma tvs, if CRTs aren't/weren't actually more expensive to manufacture and their margins lower! That would explain the manufactures hasty shift away from CRTs while they were still superior to LCDs and Plasmas.
I suppose I will one day buy a Plasma (provided relatively affordable SED tvs don't make it to market first) but in the meantime I am happy with mine! Lets just hope that Pioneers claims hold true and the next gen plasmas do prove to be better then our HD CRTs!
Thanks for all of those who have contributed and I hope that this thread continues as I have found it very informative and oft times entertaining!