I'm leaning towards the Philips 34PW9817, based on what I've been able to see at Circuit City and the fact I can't bring myself to spend the extra $1,000 it would cost me to get the Sony KD34XBR2. I have the Echostar 6000 receiver with the ATSC tuner module, so all I need is an HDTV monitor. The Sony is a true HDTV set in that no set top box is required, except for satellite services.
The 36" 4:3 Sony XBR450, Panasonic Tau and new Toshiba HDTV ready sets are anywhere from $700 to $1700 cheaper than their 34" widescreen counterparts, so you should consider that. It might not be worth the extra $$$.
The only real advantage the widescreen sets have is that the resolution with 1080i material will be greater than on the 4:3 sets.
The 4:3 sets have 16x9 compression, so you can have the anamorphic squeeze and that comes in handy, especially with DVD's.
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!