I need to decide between the two. I will get one of them for free thanks to a contest at work. I know that both models are not the newest models but I don't have a choice. Should I get the Panasonic 32HX40 or the Sony 32XBR400?
It really depends on the source that you will use most for your viewing. I have the Panasonic and it looks great with a RCA DTC100 showing HD material or digital off air. It also has a built in line doubler(that can't easily be defeated) to give DVD's and other sources a great film like appearance and the automatic 3:2 pull down (anamorphic squeeze). However, if your source will be mostly cable tv- look at the Sony without the line doubler for the best picture most of the time. the Panasonic is not without it's setup issues on geometry( do a search in this forum)- but is lower priced if you were buying it by about $400. If you're getting it free & don't plan on adding a set top HDTV box soon- get the Sony. Sounds like a great contest. My 2 cents...
Even though Im a big sony tube fan, i tend to agree newhdtvtechguy that the better choice is probably the Panasonic 32HX40. If you are somehow able to get the xbr450 I would recomend this over the panasonic.
As far as the problems newhdtvtechguy mention I cannot verify. I can say however that the xbr400 had some of the uneven brightness issues. It also lacks 3:2 pulldown. The kv-36hs20 is the "fixed" 36xbr400 . The xbr450 is an upgraded 36hs20.
fwiw, home theater magazine did a comparison of 32" HDready sets sometime last year.
They ranked the XBR number one and the Tau number 2.
major difference as I recall was the Sony's better color and greyscale. Panny was a little blue after calibration. Otherwise both sets were recommended- personal preference if you like your whites warm or cool.
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