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The Official Kd-34xbr960 Thread - Page 243

post #7261 of 8134
We still enjoy our xbr960! This is an awesome display when given a little TLC. Like any CRT based device a thorough ISF calibration with CRT only enhancements sings, but this display even more so. The color decoder and grayscale linearity are very, very good. I think this display represents the heyday of Sony Trinitron XBR technology. We bought ours from a seller in CL and it seems the one we got had minimal use and was treated well.

Joe
post #7262 of 8134
I am the original owner of a 2/06 build 34xbr960N. I live in Dayton, OH and I'm looking to sell the TV and matching stand for $350. Picture is excellent with a few cosmetic blemishes on the plastic surround. Local pick-up or willing to meet. Any questions please PM me.
post #7263 of 8134
Gotta chime in myself...

I just got back from a week in Chicago visiting family for the holiday. During that time we had a "crisis", in that the 50XBR1 (SXRD) Sony LCD set that my sister had bought in 2006 apparently developed what's known as the "optical block (OB) problem". This results in a very greenish overall screen color, though it can evolve into some much worse symptoms like "green blob", "stains", "stripes", etc.

The OB symptom is now an acknowledged design defect from Sony on these SXRD technology sets, and due to lawsuits and class-action litigation Sony actually has pretty much extended the 1-year warranty on these failed sets to "infinity" (although they did theoretically only agree to a 3 or 4 year extension on the warranties, running out during 2009 and 2010).

I remember setting up my sister's brand new XBR1 back in 2006, and just being stunned by its picture! I remember writing here back at that time that if I ever found myself forced to or wanting to replace my 34XBR960 that I would definitely go with one of these SXRD sets.

Well, here it is 4 years later... and my sister's 50XBR1 has now died, and my own 34XBR960 is just as gorgeous to look at as ever.

Anyway, on the Sony story... I didn't learn about the whole OB story until after I had already gone out to ABT (on Black Friday) and acquired for my sister a new 55HX800, which is an entry-level but latest technology "3D-ready" (240hz edge-lit LED) set (although she has no intent of activating and using that technology with additional dollars). The set arrived on Tuesday while I was still there, I tweaked it into what I felt to be "visual perfection", and it looks gorgeous!

After the Friday purchase and before the Tuesday delivery, I learned from AVS forum discussions about the OB issue, and what Sony was offering as compensation. Turns out they were offering replacement current-generation TVs at HUGE discounts (or even FREE!), with prices depending on what you wanted to get from them. Turns out the 55HX800 was being offered as one of those "warranty replacements" for the 50XBR1, at an astounding price of $425+tax. Considering we'd just paid $1797+tax (discounted by ABT from I think the $2400 original retail price), there's no question I would have obviously preferred to utilize the Sony offer... had I been able to make it happen while I was there.

All Sony wanted was "proof" of the OB problem, either by (a) having a Sony authorized tech come out at owner's expense to evaluate and concur, or (b) take photos of the symptom and send them in along with the serial number sticker from the back of the 50XBR1 and Sony would evaluate and decide. I just couldn't make all of that happen while I was there, and thus we decided to just go ahead with the ABT purchase plan.

In retrospect, I clearly should have ALSO gone ahead with the Sony plan (worst case, it's NOT the OB problem and they do NOT make a 55HX800 appear at my sister's for $425+tax). If it really was the OB problem, the Sony-provided set could have been re-sold on eBay or Craigslist and proceeds returned to my sister as kind of an additional "Sony rebate" off of the ABT purchase.

Oh well... did not happen that way. I feel like an idiot for not thinking of this before ABT carted away the old 50XBR1.


Anyway, because I'd just finished a very "close encounter" with the 50XBR1 and the new 55HX800, and trying to get both sets to "visual perfection" (color, brightness, contrast, tint, blacks, whites, skin tone, etc.) when I got back to LA and started getting caught up watching HD programs on my 34XBR960 that had beenrecorded in my absence, I couldn't help but being truly astonished at just how remarkable the CRT-provided XBR960 image is.

I had watched a fair number of different shows at my sister's while working on both the failing XBR1 and new HX800, and these were shows I was familiar with from my own XBR960 so that I knew what they should look like. Well, when I got back home with the HX800 images fresh in my mind I really could not believe how amazing the XBR960 is by comparison... it's a completely different image.

The XBR960 looks "real", whereas the HX800 looks like an LCD image. For example, no matter how I tried to tweak I just couldn't get "Chelsea Lately" on the HX800 to look real and natural. The set for the show is very color-saturated, and I just couldn't get the balance right to make the skin, clothes, and set all look natural and real. In contract, on my XBR960 [as has often been said] it looks like I have a "window" looking out into that TV studio, it's that real and 3D-like! No artifacts of any kind (naturally I run with SHARPNESS=MIN on my XBR960), perfect detail and shadow and color and black and white and skin, and it just doesn't look like TV. It looks like "film" (in a good way, of course).


So, fingers crossed that my XBR960 continues to survive and be well, to live long and prosper.

No question the finest visual experience one can have in the HDTV and BluRay world. Admittedly, watching "Toy Story 3" in 1080p/24fps on the new HX800 at my sister's was pretty fantastic, but for 720p/1080i HDTV (and even BluRay at 1080i), the XBR960 is just "best there ever was".

And let's not forget the amazing job it does displaying 480i SD! Looking at a 480i SD channel on my sister's 55HX800 is like looking at a comic book picture compared to what the XBR960 does for the same show.

IMHO
post #7264 of 8134
I agree. But it's too bad we're stuck with tiny screens in this brave new big screen world. When I die and go to heaven they'll have a 60" Sony XBR960 CRT waiting for me.
post #7265 of 8134
Knew about the OB problem with the Sony series from five years ago. In fact, Silent Era (www.silentera.com) put out a blasting editorial opinion warning consumers about their experience with the 60 inch set which they used for evaluating new silent film releases. It seems no replacement part was even available.

Don't know if this would work but do you think Sony would compensate for part of the purchase of that new set if you advise them that you were unaware of the civil action settlement until after the purchase of the new set? Your sister can have a technician come over to confirm the defect.

But don't blame yourself for not realizing there was a civil law suit. You did not own the set and who would but the owners would actually be aware of it? Also, did Sony contact all owners regarding the settlement or was rather one finding out about it on his or her own?

Your description of the LCD is right on. Won't complain about the colors or sharpness but there is definitely something artificial about the technology's picture, even with the best of sets. Nor does it give detail. And as we've all said, no other type set makes one think they are looking through a window. Not with every object looking on top of the other (might be why these new sets are all called "flat screens" ).

Again, don't mean to put down any of the new technologies, but I get angry whenever I hear those in the industry refer to CRT technology as being antiquedated. I see it more like a fine wine being better with age.
post #7266 of 8134
So I finally caved and got a bluray player--sony dbp-bx37- and tried out my first bluray movie on my 960. My first impression: While playing a bluray movie rental switching from 2 feeds video 7 hdmi-1080i and video 5 component-480i has some difference but not much. I was expecting more I guess. But definitely, there is more detail on hdmi. And when comparing with dvds, blueray disc surely has more detail and maybe less artifacts. You can see more texture on the faces of characters. Need to watch more bd movies to get a better comparison. So all together a good upgrade. However, I will still wait for discounted bd movies and will not shell out for a full/new release prices. This has probably been discussed here before but too lazy to look back...What do you guys think?
post #7267 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by iforsevilla View Post

My first impression: While playing a bluray movie rental switching from 2 feeds video 7 hdmi-1080i and video 5 component-480i has some difference but not much. I was expecting more I guess.

Why would component video be at 480i? Maybe with your old SD DVD player that did no upconverting, you were delivering 480i to the 960. But your new BluRay player is probably delivering 1080i to the 960, and that's absolutely the case if you're playing a BluRay disc.

If it's a BluRay movie I would think you're delivering 1080i from your BluRayplayer to both HDMI and component video outputs. These are nearly identical when viewed on the 960.

So your HDMI (input7) and component video (input5) are both displaying the same 1080i source. That could certainly explain the very small difference in image that you see.

However I agree that in my opinion HDMI is definitely the "punchier" of the two, and I haven't used my component video input5 for anything in maybe three years now... certainly not since I acquired a Yamaha A/V receiver through which everything HDMI is now routed.
post #7268 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Dubin View Post

Don't know if this would work but do you think Sony would compensate for part of the purchase of that new set if you advise them that you were unaware of the civil action settlement until after the purchase of the new set? Your sister can have a technician come over to confirm the defect.

I actually proposed that idea to them last Monday (between the Saturday purchase at ABT and the Tuesday scheduled delivery of the 55HX800). They agreed it was the very set they were offering to me for $425 (if the OB problem on our 50XBR1 was real) but they didn't have "cash rebate on a previous purchase" as part of their customer solutions on this issue. You had to get the set from Sony, not via a retailer to whom you paid some kind of retail or discounted price with a rebate check from Sony.


Quote:


But don't blame yourself for not realizing there was a civil law suit. You did not own the set and who would but the owners would actually be aware of it? Also, did Sony contact all owners regarding the settlement or was rather one finding out about it on his or her own?

As I understand the AVS thread on the subject, nobody was notified of the class-action settlement. Only when you contacted Sony because of the serious defects were you advised.


Quote:


Your description of the LCD is right on. Won't complain about the colors or sharpness but there is definitely something artificial about the technology's picture, even with the best of sets. Nor does it give detail. And as we've all said, no other type set makes one think they are looking through a window. Not with every object looking on top of the other (might be why these new sets are all called "flat screens").

Agreed.


Quote:


Again, don't mean to put down any of the new technologies, but I get angry whenever I hear those in the industry refer to CRT technology as being antiquated. I see it more like a fine wine being better with age.

I see it like a Stradivarious violin. They don't make it anymore, and they never will be able to duplicate its quality. Like magic.
post #7269 of 8134
[quote=DSperber;19607754]Why would component video be at 480i? Maybe with your old SD DVD player that did no upconverting, you were delivering 480i to the 960. But your new BluRay player is probably delivering 1080i to the 960, and that's absolutely the case if you're playing a BluRay disc.

Well, when I switch from video 5 it says 480i 16X9 and when I go to video 7 it says 1080i 16X9. I just got this player and I am still playing around with all its options. I can change the video 5 output from the dvd player to show 1080i but the bd player has only one option for connection for all the video 1-7 and I like to stay on the hdmi connection options. Anyways, its all good. Some improvement alltogether. I'm a happycamper.
post #7270 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by iforsevilla View Post

Well, when I switch from video 5 it says 480i 16X9 and when I go to video 7 it says 1080i 16X9. I just got this player and I am still playing around with all its options. I can change the video 5 output from the dvd player to show 1080i but the bd player has only one option for connection for all the video 1-7 and I like to stay on the hdmi connection options.

I confess, I'm still confused.

Are you using one player or two? You reference a "DVD player" and "BD player", so that's two.

But only one, the BD player, can play BluRay discs. Presumably that's got the HDMI connection path to the 960 (doesn't sound like you have an A/V receiver involved).

So I'm still not clear on what's CURRENTLY using the component video path to INPUT5... is it the component video output of the BD player? Or is it the component video output of your DVD player (which can't play BluRay discs, so how can you compare it using a new BluRay movie?)?

I can't imagine that a BluRay player would be set up to deliver 480i output over any of its outputs. I don't think it would even have 480i outputs, but rather only HDMI and component video for HD delivery. Only your old DVD player would probably even have that option in its setup.

Not to belabor the discussion, but for closure can you please clarify your setup, and exactly what you're testing with and comparing.

Thanks.
post #7271 of 8134
[quote=iforsevilla;19607931]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post

Why would component video be at 480i? Maybe with your old SD DVD player that did no upconverting, you were delivering 480i to the 960. But your new BluRay player is probably delivering 1080i to the 960, and that's absolutely the case if you're playing a BluRay disc.

Well, when I switch from video 5 it says 480i 16X9 and when I go to video 7 it says 1080i 16X9. I just got this player and I am still playing around with all its options. I can change the video 5 output from the dvd player to show 1080i but the bd player has only one option for connection for all the video 1-7 and I like to stay on the hdmi connection options. Anyways, its all good. Some improvement alltogether. I'm a happycamper.

I am guessing you are connected to both video 5 (via component) and video 7 (HDMI). If so, is your bluray player set to output only at 480i via component and not 1080i? If so, that would be one way to compare picture quality between the two sources by having the 960's line doubler do the upscaling of the 480i output (rather than the bluray player) via input 5.

If so, there are some reasons as to why you see some difference but not as much as you expected. First, being only a 34 inch set, the difference between an up-converted DVD (which in essence you have created) and bluray might be minimal compared to larger screens. Another is that CRT technology (as we have all been stating) still brings out the best of all source material so you're getting great picture quality on DVDs even at 480i The third, of course, is that the 960 is a reference set and in turn does even more wonders upscaling 480i/p standard definition than any other HD CRT, let alone flat screen. Combined, this might be why the jump to bluray seems negligible. I know my up-converted DVDs look fantastic on the 960 and much better than I've seen in stores.

Joe
post #7272 of 8134
Season's Greetings,

I am ready to connect my Pioneer Elite 59 AVi DVD player to my Sony w/ a HDMI cable.
Is there a particular way to set this up?

JA
post #7273 of 8134
I originally posted a question here on 11/29/10, thread #7254, seeking info. on a larger screen TV to replace my 960. Got it narrowed down to (my budget dictates these 2 TV's due to prices) a Panny TC-P58S2 or a Samsung PN58C550. Both these are now available in the $1,200 range. Could one, or some, of you please help supply me with info. as to which one of these two TV's would/could be the best way to go? I'm an amateur with TV's & both these sets seem to be very comparable as far as their specs. go. Just trying to get some knowledgable information to help me with my purchasing decision. Thanks.
post #7274 of 8134
I just got the 65 s2 and am pretty happy with it.

Don't expect SD to be as good as your old cathode.

HD is good but not quite as sharp as your old cathode.

Blu Ray is great. No complaints there.

Basically, you sacrifice some video quality for a nice big screen and very little video quality is lost on the HD side of things.

I'm happy with my 65 s2. Nice pic right out of box. All's I did was drop the contrast down. No calibrating, not really breaking it in (just avoiding black bars and no ps3 gaming yet).

Also, bet your 58 inch will have a little better video quality due to slightly smaller screen than 65 inch.

Unless you are a videophile, I just don't see why I would want to spend thousands more for the latest and greatest. I also don't care about 3d tv - it's a big gimmick.
post #7275 of 8134
Snooptonydog, Thanks for the response & info. That's exactly the kind of answers I'm looking for. I too do not care about 3D, apps, etc. That's why the S2 & PN550 seem to fit my needs. I've come to the realization that none of the new sets will match the quality picture/colors that my CRT XBR960 provides. Just need a bigger screen for my old, ageing eyes. Thanks again for the response & if anyone else here at AVS has any info. on the 2 sets I am "shopping" pls. advise.
post #7276 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summit HDTV View Post

We still enjoy our xbr960! This is an awesome display when given a little TLC. Like any CRT based device a thorough ISF calibration with CRT only enhancements sings, but this display even more so. The color decoder and grayscale linearity are very, very good. I think this display represents the heyday of Sony Trinitron XBR technology. We bought ours from a seller in CL and it seems the one we got had minimal use and was treated well.

Joe

Yes.. I first seen the 960 at CC watching a HD feed of spider man 2.. It blew me away. Still the best HD picture I seen for a 34inch display.. I was in love with the 960.. I WANTED it for 6 yrs.. Price was a concern back then.. Plus the weight & dimensions.. To be frank, I'd still play 2,000 for a NEW & fully calibrated 960.. To me, they are the TV to get.. I searched craigslist & got the 2nd best thing.. The 34inchXBR910.. For 80.00.. I nearly feel off the couch.. I am still looking out for a 960..If I could only have one TV it would be the 960...
post #7277 of 8134
KBI,

Don't know if you were referring to HD sets in general or specifically the 960 but the original retail price was $2,200 (in July, 2005 we paid $2,000 plus an additional $350 for the stand) and I recall that the bigger screen plasmas and 32 - 37 inch lcds at the time went for more than $2,000 (for brand names).

So many were immersed in bigger and flatter screens that unlike you, they failed to realize that based upon performance the less expensive 960 was a bargain and better than anything they could get at the time (and still so today).
post #7278 of 8134
hey guys,

i want to finally buy one of these hd crts. xbr 960 is unavailable, however there are plenty of hs420 sets. are these pretty decent despite the lack of superfine pitch? more importantly, will these sets look good @480p and do they display real line for line 480p? thanks a lot!
i have a plasma, but i'd like a crt for another room.
post #7279 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhaib View Post
hey guys,

i want to finally buy one of these hd crts. xbr 960 is unavailable, however there are plenty of hs420 sets. are these pretty decent despite the lack of superfine pitch? more importantly, will these sets look good @480p and do they display real line for line 480p? thanks a lot!
i have a plasma, but i'd like a crt for another room.
I'd hold out for a 955/910/960. They all have SFP technology.. It's worth the wait..
post #7280 of 8134
thanks, i just may do that. $350 for an xbr960 worth it? versus $100 for a 34hs420..
post #7281 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhaib View Post

thanks, i just may do that. $350 for an xbr960 worth it? versus $100 for a 34hs420..

It's all about what you can afford. I got a 30hs420 for $50 and I'm having a blast playing games and watching movies on it.

I figure that's not too much money to put down to enjoy a nice HD CRT until I find a SFP set going for a good price.
post #7282 of 8134
Yeah, thanks. I'll go ahead with the cheaper one for now and if the lack of SFP bothers me I can wait again for one of those.
post #7283 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhaib View Post

thanks, i just may do that. $350 for an xbr960 worth it? versus $100 for a 34hs420..

960 is the better deal.. 350 is very worth it.. Better blacks, higher resolution, etc.. They are the best CRT Sony ever made..
post #7284 of 8134
A tip for those who are new to the 960 - I've found unplugging the unit every few weeks for about five minutes actually helps restore picture quality a slight bit. This might not be the case for others but perhaps my picture slightly loses it's punch due to magnetism not yet strong enough to be seen on the screen building up which is eliminated by re-activating the automatic degaussing system at full power. That's my guess because I do get sudden, noticeable magnetic blotches on the screen every so often.

Anybody else find this to be of help?

Joe
post #7285 of 8134
I would have to agree. The reset of the degaussing system does slightly improve the image on my set as well. I usually unplug it twice a month.
post #7286 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kool-aid23 View Post
I would have to agree. The reset of the degaussing system does slightly improve the image on my set as well. I usually unplug it twice a month.
Glad to know it wasn't wishful thinking on my part.

And it's not that the picture looks that less vivid before resetting the degaussing system since image quality is effected gradually. It's more that once it is reset, we recognize the difference.

Going to take your advice and do it twice instead of once a month.
post #7287 of 8134
Any idea how or where to get the SU-34XBR3 stand besides craigslist? I am in the Chicagoland area if anyone has one in good shape.
post #7288 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMT1986 View Post

Any idea how or where to get the SU-34XBR3 stand besides craigslist? I am in the Chicagoland area if anyone has one in good shape.

In my experience, the only people selling the factory stand for a SONY TV are also selling the TV.

TLK
post #7289 of 8134
I'm also wondering if the XBR960 displays 480P when you use DVDs with component, or hdmi or such. Or does it upscale it to 1080i? I've had bad experinces with upscales, and rather just watch the content at it's native resolution. So does the XBR960 play 480P content and fill the screen like normal 480p EDTV's do?

Also, I have a chance to get one of these, I was trying to get it for a lower price but I found one around 200$ and think I'll dive in it after reading some responses in this thread. One thing I'd like to know is, What are the most common problems / malfunctions with this set? And does it have a high failure rate or anything? I'm going to pick it up in person and before I do I'd like to check it out there to make sure they arn't selling me some messed up set lol


Thanks
post #7290 of 8134
Quote:
Originally Posted by itachi183 View Post

I'm also wondering if the XBR960 displays 480P when you use DVDs with component, or hdmi or such. Or does it upscale it to 1080i? I've had bad experinces with upscales, and rather just watch the content at it's native resolution. So does the XBR960 play 480P content and fill the screen like normal 480p EDTV's do?

Also, I have a chance to get one of these, I was trying to get it for a lower price but I found one around 200$ and think I'll dive in it after reading some responses in this thread. One thing I'd like to know is, What are the most common problems / malfunctions with this set? And does it have a high failure rate or anything? I'm going to pick it up in person and before I do I'd like to check it out there to make sure they arn't selling me some messed up set lol


Thanks

It has excellent upscaling capabilities - my VHS tapes never looked better. It also did a very good job on playing back 480p DVDs through component, however, there was better improvement using an up-converting DVD player via HDMI.

Any piece of equipment can develop problems but I don't know if one can say the 960 has any that are inherent. It would be beneficial to get it properly calibrated, if not by a professional, that at least by following the suggested service menu settings found in the Sony Service Code forum. Proper service adjustments are critical to getting outstanding performance. Often those made by factory technicians are way off -- for example, after I got my 960 I realized the over-scan was incorrectly set, cutting off information along the sides which created too soft an image due to the picture being stretched. After making other service adjustments based on recommendations and my own observations using external 10801/p test patterns it was almost like getting a new TV.

One bit of caution. If you pick get a 960 it will have a non-glare coating on the outside of the picture tube, whereas the 960N has one inside the tube instead. No real difference in picture quality but with the external coating, one has to be careful not use anything abrasive when cleaning the screen cause it could cause some of the coating to come off. It's happened to me but fortunately, it's a small area toward the corner and not noticeable from most viewing angles when watching (one can see it more with the TV off, but who cares?).

Hope this info helps.

Joe
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