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I have narrowed my choices between the Pioneer pdp-4340 and the Hitachi 42hdt50.


These two units are set-up side-by-side at the local Comp-usa...

I was able to spend time with them both and was able to tweak to my hearts content.


They were feeding the units HDnet via component input with a row of splitters to boot. But the picture was good.


The Hitachi is way too orange out of the box. But it is easily curable since there are many color settings to dial it down. Also, switching to night mode almost cures the problem.


After dialing the colors down I was very impressed with the natural richness of the colors and the brightness of the Alis panel. Very vivid and window-like. I started by thinking that I did not like the picture and then found that I liked it very, very much. The units aethetics are also very attractive.


I have been really hot for the Pioneer as it has a built-in HDTV reciever and HDMI inputs. I have been curiously watching prices for the non-Elite units drop. Perhaps nobody can figure out HDMI? Whatever the reason, the unit can be had for a great price.


I spent some time playing with the picture and while the colors were very natural right out of the box, it did not have the "punch" of either the Hitachi or Panasonic right next to it. I could not seem to dial it in either.

Perhaps this unit will really shine with an HDMI or DVI to HDMI input--but it just did not impress me--even after lots of tweaking.


I will go back just to confirm my findings and then do my buying. BTW--Comp-USA really wants to do business and will price match. They also have the greatest exteded warantee as well.


So, there it is. Go yourself and see!
 

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That's an interesting observation as most people comment that the Pioneer units overall seem to have more "punch" than Panasonic units ...


Spleen
 

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The Hitachi sets are worth serious consideration (IMHO). It features consumer menu adjustable primary and complimentary colors as well as the color decoder. The Hitachi can have a "puchy" picture as well but when properly adjusted via Avia or DVE the almost 3-D effect is startling.
 

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The Hitachi has a nice feature that the Pioneer does not have.

The Hitachi can stretch component input pillar box signals. It does a good non-linear stretch.
 

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CrocD, Have you seen the Sony KE42SX910 Alis?


Having >4k, the Panny ED isn't my current fav, but truth be told, you should beware that some Comp USA's have awful lighting (aka, low-sodium HID street lamps!) that does anything but flatter black levels. Whether blacks are at the top or bottom of your list, they seem to be the one thing that’s hard to judge in stores.


Has anyone else seen their local Best Buy change their plasma section since Christmas? Not only are the flourescents bright as usual, but the HD’s are in isles that are only about 8 feet wide…clever way to force the appreciation of HD, IMO.


Note, the hdtv Pio tuner is OTA only. In considering OTA only set-ups the 4340 is getting to be a no-brainer, as its price about the same as a 433CMX plus the OTA tuner and video card you'd have to buy.
 

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Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you, woodgab. No I have not seen the Sony KE42SX910.


I agree it is hard to judge black levels in stores like Best Buy.


If you go with the Pio 4340, you might want to buy it from an authorized dealer or the warantee might be void.
 
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