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I'm looking for a 36" HDTV and I've narrowed it down to the Panasonic, Toshiba or Sony. I'm not big on the Sony, simply because I think their new look is kind of busy and ugly. I don't like the 2-tone black on silver look. Am I crazy, or is it just kind of ugly? Are there any major problems I should be aware of with the Toshiba or Panasonic. Also, does anybody else have any other suggestions?
 

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We own the first generation Toshiba 34" widescreen. It is almost 4 years old. It still looks as good as it did the day we bought it off the showroom floor.


We have always run the contrast at 100%, which was the factory setting, and there has been no burn-in.


We are very pleased with it. There still aren't many TVs that will match it's picture quality.
 

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I've had a Toshiba 36HFX73 for almost two weeks now. I bought it after comparing it to a Sony 36HS510 and the Panasonic offering. All three were side by side. I liked the picture on the Toshiba better than the Panasonic. The Toshiba and the Sony were a push. Each had elements I liked over the other. I thought SD feeds looked slightly better on the Toshiba. That and the lower price pushed me that way. I'd encourage looking at them all together if possible. I did it at HHgregg.
 

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Quote:
I don't like the 2-tone black on silver look. Am I crazy, or is it just kind of ugly?
totally agree :D


I'll be getting the 36" Panasonic very soon....
 

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Guys,


My recommendation is for you to take a serious look at performance and not to get too tripped up over aesthetics.


It's nice to have a set with sleek lines in an eye-catching cabinet. But after a time you will stop admiring the beauty of the enclosure and you will start evaluating the picture. It's best to get that evaluation out of the way before you buy the set and not after.


For instance, I have always liked the styling of the Philips 34" widescreen directview sets. Even though you can get them for song these days, I would not take one for free. Compared to every single HD 34" I have looked at, the Philips produces a very soft picture. It looks fine when you have nothing to compare it to, but stacked up side-by-side with a Sony 34HS510 or Toshiba 34HF83 it really leaves a lot to be desired.


If you want to do it right go to several different stores with the set you are intersted in on display being fed the type of source you will watch the most. Tinker with them while you are there. It's not a perfect methodology, but it is as close as you're likely to get without seeing ISF calibrated sets in a dedicated auditioning room.


--Jerome
 

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Jerome,


I agree with you that performance is the most important factor. However, my wife would not. I think its just up to each person's opinion how much aesthetics should come into play. Personally, I think there are enough choices out there for a person to completely rule out a model based on aesthetics. For example, I don't know if RCA TVs are any good, but just because their cabinets are ugly, I wouldn't even care if they were a top performer. I'd never buy one because they are ugly. I don't want to waste my time evaluating performance on a TV that I think is ugly. I love it for the picture, but if it looks like an eye-sore, It's going to bug me every time I look at it. Luckily there are lots of options to choose from. I bought the Toshiba because we liked the cabinet first, and then evaluated the performance compared to the Sony and Panasonic.
 

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Originally posted by edpowers
Jerome,


I agree with you that performance is the most important factor. However, my wife would not.
I understand that we all have different priorities. The point I was trying to make is essentially don't judge a book only by its cover. You could be setting yourself up for some long-term disappointment after the euphoria of the initial purchase wears off.


Speaking for myself, it wouldn't matter to me if my Sony KV-34XBR910 came in a cabinet shaped like a pile of rubber dog doo, since all I care about is image quality. But then again I watch it in a darkened room. :D


My wife, on the other hand, thinks that any TV with a screen size over 21" is a waste of money. I think she has watched two movies on my 92" front-projection system over the years. TV is just something that doesn't interest her too much. Now, point her in the direction of a $3,000 sewing machine and that will get her attention! ;)


--Jerome
 

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Well, I have had the Sony 32hs510 for about a month now. I am overall quite happy with it. I must admit though that the thing that lured me to it in the first place was its appearance. I liked it, sorry. The two tone appearance is nice in my opinion. The dark gray surrounding the screen virutally disappears when watching the TV (its design intent) so while your watching it you dont notice ANYTHING other than the picture. The silver part matches all my other components in the cabinet so overall it looks very nice, even when the tv is off.


Just my 2cents. Might I mention also that the picture is also great. I didn't buy the set only for cosmetic reasons but it was a part of the decision. Also, it was the only thing my wife DID care about when shopping for a new tv. :)
 

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Why are you considering a 36" 4:3 TV for HDTV? A 34" set make more sense to me (of course I bought one!) if you plan to watch DVDs or HDTV. Even for SD, the Sony (and others?) has a wide zoom feature that clips a wee bit off the top and sides and provides a great SD experience. A 36" tv viewing HDTV or letter box DVDs will have the viewing area of about a 27" set.


Anyway, I am a Sony fan. I do not find it ugly, and the TV is the best out there. Just my 2 cents...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by edpowers
I'm not big on the Sony, simply because I think their new look is kind of busy and ugly. I don't like the 2-tone black on silver look. Am I crazy, or is it just kind of ugly?
are you talking about the kv-xbr910? Glad I'm not married to her then. Just kidding. It's the best direct-view by far. I think it's nice. But Sony has begun putting dark borders around all XBR's because the black draws you into the screen whereas silver is bright and therefore often catching the eye. I'd fight to the death before letting go of this thing heh.
 
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