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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My four-day old 30XS955 went belly up today. Just would not turn on. I'm not sure what course of action to take now, since the set had not really been a hit with my family. There was grumbling about picture quality (for SD programming) and size (we had had a 32" 4:3 set). Sad to say, most of what we watch is 4:3 SD programming off Directv (hence the size complaints), though I had hoped to start throwing HD into that mix. I'm not sure whether to stay with a widscreen HD set, due to the problems with SD quality. But if I do, I would really like to improve picture quality in that area, and I probably would need to move up to 34". I don't think the Sony 34-inch modles will fit in the television space without some carpentry work. The Toshiiba HFX85 and Panasonic CT34WX15 are a tad smaller and might work, and they have good reviews.. Any thoughts about how these sets compare, especially in SD picture quality? Is it likely they would be any better than the 30XS955?
 

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Sony is the only company to add a line doubler to their TVs so you might be seeing the best you can get whether widescreen or 4x3


the older Toshibas seemed to get good reviews for SD quality but the newer ones

are made by another company with Toshibas name stamped on it


have you tried unplugging the Sony for an hour or so

then see if it will turn back on


this was a known issue with the XBR CRTs
 

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I just bought the 30XS955 and it does SD better than the 2 previous ones i tried. Toshiba HF84, and Panny. Toshiba was pretty close to the sony but not as good. Have you taken a look at what DVD's look like on this bad boy? Oh my, is it awesome!!
 

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I have the 34 inch Panasonic and could not be more pleased with it for HD and SD. OK it does not do 720p at all but 1080i and 460p are fine for me. I liked it so much just purchased a second one, I did consider the Toshiba but did not like the style of the set plus all the alleged outsourcing to Orion issues. Picture in BB on SD looked Ok on the Toshiba but hard to really tell in the BB enviroment. Anyway why fool with success the family and I thought the 34 did great so we got the second one for another room. The Panasonic looks really nice with the black around the screen on this years model.


Hope this helps.


Peter
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kny3twalker
Sony is the only company to add a line doubler to their TVs so you might be seeing the best you can get whether widescreen or 4x3
What do you mean? Don't all HD-ready TVs have a line doubler? This is what makes the TV progressive scan no?


I know Panasonic does because i corresponded with their technical department about their line-doubler technology, and the owners manual says it has a line doubler.


That said, SD looks very good on Panasonic widescreen sets, but like all TVs it depends on the quality of the source. A former co-worker has last years 34" Panasonic and analog and digital cable looks excellent on it. In 2003 i looked at several 34" Pannys at various stores and the ones that displayed SD also looked excellent.
 

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I've noticed that with SD analog my 30xs955 looks pretty bad.

with SD digital it looks really good...

and HDTV is awesome.


So just so you know if you subcribe to basic cable you should still be able to pick up digital channels which look pretty darn good. It did take the TV like 30 min to search for all of them though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesxtreme
I've noticed that with SD analog my 30xs955 looks pretty bad.

with SD digital it looks really good...

and HDTV is awesome.


So just so you know if you subcribe to basic cable you should still be able to pick up digital channels which look pretty darn good. It did take the TV like 30 min to search for all of them though.


Does it pick up the digital channels because it has the cable card function or because it has QAM function built-in?
 

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Well, i assume it has the QAM function since im not using a set-top box or a cable card and it found about 50 digital channels. I deleted most of them though since a lot were music channels and i subscribe only to basic basic cable.
 

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Quote:
What do you mean? Don't all HD-ready TVs have a line doubler? This is what makes the TV progressive scan no?
your right, I misspoke

and should have said that Sony is unique in that it will display 480i at 960i
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesxtreme
I've noticed that with SD analog my 30xs955 looks pretty bad.

with SD digital it looks really good...

and HDTV is awesome.


So just so you know if you subcribe to basic cable you should still be able to pick up digital channels which look pretty darn good. It did take the TV like 30 min to search for all of them though.
Analog will look like crap if you're going through a cable box with it. But most analog channels look really good when you send the cable right to the RF input on the TV. And analog channels don't suffer from the horrid looking compression artifacts that you get with most digital channels.
 

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i have a sony kv-43xbr800..SD looks great! upgrading to plasma though
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Rain
Analog will look like crap if you're going through a cable box with it. But most analog channels look really good when you send the cable right to the RF input on the TV.
Not in my case. The analog channels (2-99) on my 32" Panny HD-ready set look excellent through my SA8000 DVR and my previous Explorer 2000 digital cable box (connected via Composite). When i attach the same RF cable directly to the TV's tuner instead it's a little grainy. Is there something about the Sony that makes SD cable look like crap when using the video inputs? I see no reason why cable should look like crap on the Sony. My neighbor's 32HS510 looks very good with analog cable through her cable box too.

Quote:
And analog channels don't suffer from the horrid looking compression artifacts that you get with most digital channels.
I get no compression artifacts on my digital channels (100+). Not even with my new Plasma. They're almost DVD quality.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters
Not in my case. The analog channels (2-99) on my 32" Panny HD-ready set look excellent through my SA8000 DVR and my previous Explorer 2000 digital cable box (connected via Composite). When i attach the same RF cable directly to the TV's tuner instead it's a little grainy. Is there something about the Sony that makes SD cable look like crap when using the video inputs? I see no reason why cable should look like crap on the Sony. My neighbor's 32HS510 looks very good with analog cable through her cable box too.




I get no compression artifacts on my digital channels (100+). Not even with my new Plasma. They're almost DVD quality.
It's probably my cable box, which is a Motorola 6412 DVR. This box doesn't do a very good job at converting analog to digital.


No compression artifacts? That's surprising. You must have satellite. We have Mediacom cable and their digital cable channels are heavily compressed except for the movie and HD channels.
 

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hmm.. I also have my cable connected directly to the tuner.


i don't have a cable box right now. It just seems grainier than digital SD.

I did turn the sharpness to ZERO which helped some... but still doesn't look as good

as my old sony. maybe my analog SD is just a bad source? I have charter in stl
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesxtreme
maybe my analog SD is just a bad source? I have charter in stl
Very likely.


Garbage in, garbage out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the tip on unplugging the TV. That did fix it, although it doesn't give me a warm fuzzy about the set. Thanks also for the advice on turning sharpness down and a couple of other settings. It made a huge difference in PQ from the satellite. I'm still going to return the set because of screen size, but this is one kick-butt piece of hardware. Wish the 34" would fit.
 

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I've had the 34XS955 for less than a week and while the SD was absolutely horrible out of the box, it has since improved immensely. Some channels are still garbage despite some DVE calibration and personal tweaking, but the majority are completely acceptable and a few are even excellent. Not sure if this has something to do with the tubes "warming up", but I am now completely satisfied with this set. Just for the DVD picture alone (component fed) it is more than worth it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Rain
It's probably my cable box, which is a Motorola 6412 DVR. This box doesn't do a very good job at converting analog to digital.


No compression artifacts? That's surprising. You must have satellite. We have Mediacom cable and their digital cable channels are heavily compressed except for the movie and HD channels.
I have TWC digital cable with the HD package. In my living room i have a regular SA8000 and an SA8000HD, and in another room i have a Pioneer 3510HD box. We do get a great clean cable signal in my little town as the whole city is wired with Fiber Optic which greatly improved the picture quality on analog channels (i did not have an digital packages back then, analog only).


Alternately, DirecTV is headquartered here and some of my neighbors and friends (about a half-dozen that work for DirecTV) have DirecTV and i see compression artifacts on lots of channels on their various HDTVs. I just don't get that with my cable provider. Those that have seen my TV agree my picture quality is better than theirs.


Another thing that i never see addressed here is the HD STB connection method - most people who use a High Def cable box or HD DVR etc only have it connected to their HDTV via Component or DVI or HDMI. If you do indeed have your HDTV connected with only Component or HDMI or DVI this may be the reason for poor SD quality then i urge everybody to try connecting the S-Video or Composite outputs (if the STB has active outputs) and switch the TV to this input, and see if SD looks better. I've gotten excellent results doing this first on my CT-32HXC43 HD tube, then later on my 20" Sharp LCD, and now on my new HD Plasma. In all cases, SD looks best via S-Video, almost as good with Composite, not so great over RF Coax, and poor to awful via Component. I've also done this at a few friend's houses with similar results so it's not just me or my setup.


I haven't tested SD quality DVI or HDMI as neither of my HD cable boxes have it activated.
 

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Footnote:


A lot of you may be running into the same thing I have with my cable company, TWC.


Simply put: Their hardware is absolute TRASH and butchers picture quality, regardless of cables or connections or gear or display.


I CLEARLY get better PQ from them when I bypass their hardware and simply plug the cable directly from the wall into the TV. Even my mom noticed the OBVIOUS PQ differences.


It's not the TV. It's the cable hardware that's your enemy 9/10 times, at least.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q of BanditZ
Footnote:


A lot of you may be running into the same thing I have with my cable company, TWC.


Simply put: Their hardware is absolute TRASH and butchers picture quality, regardless of cables or connections or gear or display.


I CLEARLY get better PQ from them when I bypass their hardware and simply plug the cable directly from the wall into the TV. Even my mom noticed the OBVIOUS PQ differences.


It's not the TV. It's the cable hardware that's your enemy 9/10 times, at least.
I used to just get basic analog cable without a box and the picture quality went from fair to good to excellent, depending on the channel. There's something in the A/D conversion process with the Motorola 6412 that causes analog channels to look rather poor. I did try using S-video and composite connections with no change in PQ.
 
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