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Discussion Starter #1
Hi


Post consumer dissonance or just gut feeling that something ain't right led me to this board.


I just got a Panasonic Tau CT-36HL43. I do not know if I want to keep it. NTSC looks very good, better than my brother-in-laws Sony WEGA. Young kids, viewing habits make 4:3 and regular TV a big deal. Side by side against the Sony KV36HS510 analog signals were much MUCH better in CC so I went with the Tau. The limited number of local digital cable channels look very good too. Once I switch to DirecTV I may be even happier with regular TV. I do not have HDTV to test yet, but DVD although good was not great and even with tweaking I think it should be better. For example, in the THX Optimizer with SWII there was horizontal lines distorting the entire right side (will have that looked at).


In researching HDTV I now realize that I might have made a mistake with a 4:3 set. Although I do need support for regular TV and VHS (which this panny does very nicely) the future is not too far away and this set does not even do 720p.


Does anyone on this board have experience with this TV? Or similar Panasonics?


Out of the store and with a reliable signal are good do the Sonys show NTSC via cable or DirecTV?


How good a job does the KV34XBR910 do if you want to fill the 16:9 screen when watching a 4:3 source?


Do I need to worry about 720p? Won't something better come along in 5 years anyway, and if not a good STB would convert 720p to 1080i for me (any recommendations).


Thanks

Andrew
 

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The moderator should rename this board "Sony Direct View."


For those looking for info on the Panasonic Tau's this is not the place since everyone hear loves Sony. But for those interested the Tau 36" HDTV from Panasonic (36HL43) is a very good option versus the more expensive Sony KV-36HS510.


After tweaking the monitor with Video Essentials I am very happy with this set. I went back to CC and did a more in depth side by side against the Sony. Same signal, same shows and I could not believe how bad the Sony handled regular TV - it was D*TV and it was so grainy whereas the Panasonic looked really clean. VHS same story. How can people accept spending $1700 on a TV with sych poor PQ for regular telly?? DVD I would probably give to the Sony by a hair. HDTV goes to the Panasonic.


Obviously this comparison is not scientific but I did play with the settings in the store. And if you read on this board alot of people complain about PQ when playing NTSC on the Sony.


The only negatives on the Panasonic are that it does not handle 720p at all, whereas the Sony down converts to 1080i - so I will have to leave that conversion to an HDTV receiver (I do not play XBOX). Also I am disappointed that I can not control the aspect ratio and their are no zoom modes. But PQ is my main criteria and the Tau has it easily!


I still have 23 days left with CC but so far I think this is a keeper.


Andrew
 

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Quote:
Side by side against the Sony KV36HS510 analog signals were much MUCH better in CC so I went with the Tau.
Quote:
I went back to CC and did a more in depth side by side against the Sony. Same signal, same shows and I could not believe how bad the Sony handled regular TV - it was D*TV and it was so grainy whereas the Panasonic looked really clean.
Interesting. I have found quite the opposite comparing the Pannie HL43's to the Sony HS510's. The Pannie upconverts nstc to 480p and the Sony allows for user selection of 480p(Progressive), 960i(Interlaced), and a 3:2 pulldown deinterlacing(Cinemotion). Typically the sets at CC are set to VIVID with Picture(contrast) set ridiculously high - this by the way is about the worst for Sony DRC doubler and is very grainy. Setting DRC to Interlaced and picture mode to Movie or Pro with Picture at 40% and Sharpness down to 30-35% yields a pretty good pic with a decent analog source.


Most of the HL43's I have come across usually compare very well in HD with the Sony. But with ntsc, many sets have severe red push (faces look like tomatoes) which I can't compensate for in the user menu. The upconverted picture also lacks the clarity and depth of the Sony upconversion. There are a couple of things I really like about the Pannie - can PIP any source including DVI and COMPONENT, and can switch to 4:3 ASPECT RATIO for 1080i thru the User Menu. Lack of support for 720p is not a big deal as most STB's will convert ABC to 1080i.


The edge in built-in sound and Vertical compression for dvd goes to the Sony but I could live with these drawbacks on the Pannie.


Believe me, if I could convince myself the Pannie had a better ntsc pic I would get one. I'm now waiting for the new Zenith's with the Faroudja DCDi scaler to show up at CC before I make a final decision, whether to go with the Sony HS510 or not, of which I have a deposit on.
 

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I have fretted too much over whether I made the decision so went to 2 CC's and a Sears and did real in depth side-by-sides of the 36HL43 and the 36HS510, I even had a chance to include an open box HS500 in one of the stores.


I tried your recommended settings and still the Panasonic is EASILY better. Red faces was visible in the Panny but but no more than the HS510. In fact the HS500 was better than the HS510. I was left to my own devices and ran some DVD's (including a THX optimizer), VHS, the instore feeds). I then broadened my sample by getting a poor sears sales guy to set me up with a DVD player and VHS too :)


The Zenith does sound interesting but so far I am happy with the Panasonic. I am however going to have severe overscan (7.5%) corrected by a tech.


Andrew
 
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