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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone on the market for a 34" widescreen HDTV/monitor may want to pick up the January issue of Home Theater magazine: it features a face-off between the Philips 34PW9818, Sony 34XBR800, Toshiba 34HDX82, and Zenith (sorry, I forget the model #, but its the new model with built in HDTV tuner). All I'll say is there is an upset winner. Enjoy.
 

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The Zenith is the C34W23. Can you share with us which TV was the best, better, worst? ;)
 

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1. Sony

2. Toshiba

3. Phillips

4. Zenith


All were very close in the scores. The first 2 were basically a tie. Get the Mag for details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Meany--did you actually read the article?? I'm guessing you either didn't read it or simply skimmed it at the local book store, because if you read closely, then you know that the Philips was awarded top honors (hence the upset), followed closely by the Sony and Toshiba. I don't have the magazine in front of me, but I believe the first paragraph of the Philips review states that the Philips' Pixel Plus feature by itself was nearly enough for first place. Besides, if the Sony won the face-off, why in the world does the Sony review section keep saying that the Sony "got robbed"? Yes, the author does declare that the Sony is the most accurate of the sets, but the Philips wins thanks to the amazing level of detail produced by Pixel Plus. Bottom line is that the team of reviewers chose greater detail over best accuracy.

By the way, if you are a regular reader of HT Magazine, then you know that the ratings numbers are NOT added up to find a winner. While they use the numbers to rate the sets on different values (like performance, value, build quality, etc), they do not apply the mathematical formula in awarding top honors. Meany's order is correct if you simply add up the various scores for each set--but again, that is NOT how HT Magazine does it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dt_dc
Don't know why that's an upset winner ... the ordering seems to match the general consensus around here.
That's exactly what I thought (although as an owner of the Philips, it is not MY view). I'm glad UTSoxFan cleared up the "Upset". I know PP really does wonders on NTSC signals. I personally can't rate the HD PQ on these sets, but I am happy with my analog PQ using PP.
 

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Here is how they rated them.


1. Zenith

2. Phillips

3. tied the Sony and Toshibia


You'll have to read the artical to find out why.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamie571
Here is how they rated them.


1. Zenith

2. Phillips

3. tied the Sony and Toshibia


You'll have to read the artical to find out why.
Now that's VERY interesting. I've had the opportunity to live with the Zenith (wrote a review for Secrets) and the Sony, and I can say that the Sony picture quality was better. I suppose I'll have to read the article to get a better feel for how they ranked them. Did they mention the fact that the Zenith does not accept a progressive signal, and was not "point against" the TV? I've heard tht some of the folks that own the Phillips are having some PQ problems, and that service menu corrections are a must to get the picture to look decent. I can't speak first hand since I've not played with the Phillips. ;)
 

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Folks put too much stock in one review, which is just one guy's opinion anyway. Also with magazines if they include advertisments, can be swayed too easily by advertising revenue from some manufacturers.
 

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Thanks for clearing that up ...


Sounds like these sets are all very close ... with some personal preferences and specific features differentiating them ... Pixel Plus, Built In Tuner, DVI, Adjustable DRC ... etc.


And one person's ranking may be meaningless to another (who doesn't care about a built in tuner ... or really wants DVI).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The reason why there are so many versions of how HT ranked the sets is that the writers/editors at HT didn't see fit to assign final rankings/awards clearly. That, combined with the performance grades assigned to each set which are NOT used in determining a winner, results in undue confusion. Another factor is that despite DonBerg's comment re "one man's opinion," this face-off was judged by a handful of HT personnel--for this reason, commentary of each individual set contains numerous likes/dislikes and assertions of personal favorites. Its not hard to see how different readers could reach different conclusions re who "won" the face-off.

Overall, I found the article a useful tool in measuring each set's strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you are looking for the most accurate picture, you should chose the Sony or Toshiba; if picture detail is your forte, then buy the Philips; if a built-in tuner and good color is what you're looking for, then the Zenith is a good choice.

Anyone struggling to decide among those sets and hoping that the article points to the ultimate answer will be disappointed. On the other hand, a reader who knows which qualities (picture detail, picture accuracy, color accuracy, etc) are most important to them, will find the article beneficial.

Not many people are able to do side by side comparisons of all 4 sets using the same source (not to mention before and after calibration)--for them, HT has done a service.
 

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Then that was a good review if it just lists the advantages and disadvantages of each model instead of ranking them based on their own preference. There is usually no absolute BEST model, it all depends on an individual's own preferences - thats why there are so many differents makes of TVs and cars out there.
 

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This is an interesting thread. I'm in the market for an HDTV right now, though my preference is towards a 30" set. I will definitely be picking up the Jan issue of HT. Couple of questions - isn't Pixel Plus a feature which sharpens non-HD images? If I'm only going to use my HDTV to watch HD broadcasts and DVDs, isn't Pixel Plus irrelevant to me? Also, what do you guys mean when you say the Sony is the most 'accurate'? Does this mean that straight lines, no matter what their orientation, are not bent by the Sony tube? Thanks for the info!
 

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To partially answer Rooze, I have a refurbished 30 inch Philips and have had no geometry problems at all, using all the extra features for many different sources hooked into this set. For dvds, I am using the interlaced hookup even tho my player has a progressive chip which I was using on a 55 HD set and the picture is absolutely beautiful.

I run c band, small dish, broadcast, laser, and s vcr tapes thru this set and even tho some difference occur with the source, all the images are better to my eyes than any of the other sets I own, which are numerous.

So bottom line, regardless of what features you are looking for, this is a good product which in my opinion, the engineers did an outstanding job on.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by UTSoxFan
The reason why there are so many versions of how HT ranked the sets is that the writers/editors at HT didn't see fit to assign final rankings/awards clearly. That, combined with the performance grades assigned to each set which are NOT used in determining a winner, results in undue confusion. Another factor is that despite DonBerg's comment re "one man's opinion," this face-off was judged by a handful of HT personnel--for this reason, commentary of each individual set contains numerous likes/dislikes and assertions of personal favorites. Its not hard to see how different readers could reach different conclusions re who "won" the face-off.
I think you hit the point UTSoxFan. As a product reviewer, I can attest to the fact that manufacturers DON'T like their equipment put in a "shootout" type review. If they lose, they stand to lose lots of bucks. Providing strengths and weaknesses of equipment (as many of you have already pointed out) gives the reader information they can use to make their OWN decision on which piece of equipment to buy.
 

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I really want Philips to come out with the 34PW9819 so that I can have PixelPlus and DVI!


I just don't know if I can wait. The Sony 34XBR800 is pretty nice! (Except for the white bar problem I've read about in 1080i mode)
 

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Having not read the article as yet I should not comment but focusing on a Line Doubling technique as a main purchasing decision seems to be a secondary option for me. 480p is not what I buy a HDTV for. Now 480P or 1080i performance is more important to me.


The one performance aspect I like about our 34XBR800 is the lack of vertical ghosting / ringing adjustable through the User menu. This is one of the performance issues that drove me away from RPTV's. Curious how the others in the test measure up. Through in an Animated feature such as "Atlantis" and notice the ghost / ringing to the right hand side, if your set does not ghost / ring that an important thing to me. the tests I've seen in all but one review never mention this major fault of all RPTV's I've seen and many Direct View.


Again, it will be interesting to read this review......


Tom
 

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Having read the article I think it should have been titled: "The 2002 Direct-view DVDTV face off."


There were almost no comments about 1080i performance. It sounds like they watched Training Day over and over again. If 1080i simply looked the same on all the sets, they should have said something. They did mention that the every set did have the same amount of resolution when fed a test generator. But I'm only making assumptions. They should have made some sort of note of specific HD performance.


The other piece of information that was rather shocking was that the Toshiba only had 16ft-L of output for what I presume was a full field 100 IRE test (pure white that is). Since all the reviewers didn't mention anything about visible picture brightness, I'm going to assume that white intensity was O.K. during most viewing tests with the Toshiba. It was only when the power supply was really taxed with a full screen white image that the output "sagged" to the 16ft-L region. Once again, I'm having to make assumptions here. They should have given some sort of details on why the Toshiba measured half as bright as the other sets. If it was half as bright all of the time, then that would have been VERY obvious


Overall, I was disappointed with the face-off. I think they could have tried a little harder in their analysis of HD on the HDTV's.


-Mr. Wigggles
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MrWigggles
Having read the article I think it should have been titled: "The 2002 Direct-view DVDTV face off."


There were almost no comments about 1080i performance. It sounds like they watched Training Day over and over again. If 1080i simply looked the same on all the sets, they should have said something. They did mention that the every set did have the same amount of resolution when fed a test generator. But I'm only making assumptions. They should have made some sort of note of specific HD performance.


-Mr. Wigggles
Having evaluated both the Sony and the Zenith, I can attest to the fact that resolution was clearly different (at least using the DVD format) between these two sets. (MW- I'm not sure if you were referring to the resolution in 1080i mode). Since the Zenith can not accept a progressive signal, the max resolution I could get out of the TV was ~500 lines. With the Sony, in interlaced mode, I was getting ~520 lines, and in progressive mode, the full 540 lines that DVD can offer. Motion artifacts in HD mode were more noticable with the Zenith compared to the Sony.
 
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