AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 84 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seen at a local Fry's was this Sony 34" widescreen unit. It's styled like the new 4:3 XBRs and was priced at $3999. Couldn't clearly see the back panel but looks like two sets of component inputs, and three A/V-In with S-video back there with another set in front. The Sony press release says it has an ATSC tuner built in, 3.2 pulldown, PIP, and two firewire ports.
http://64.35.93.160/pressrelease/116
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Has anyone seen this set available in the New York City

area ? I have been looking all over the NYC and Long Island area, and cannot find this set in any stores.


Any information would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you,


Scott
 

·
Registered
Sony XBR-48A9S • Yamaha RX-V4A • Klipsch Heresy IV, RP-600C & RP-600M • Apple TV
Joined
·
38 Posts
I just bought a KD-34XBR2 last week. This is my first HDTV monitor/receiver and so far it seems to have been worth the wait... the color and geometry out of the box appear to be quite good although I have not yet calibrated it.


It has 6 sets of inputs:


1 set of S-video and video/audio connectors on the front

3 sets of S-video & video/audio connectors on the rear

2 sets of component video & audio on the rear


There are 2 sets of outputs

1 set of video and audio connectors that can be user set to output what displayed on the screen, what the TV is tuned to or one of the 4 S-video inputs.

1 set of audio connectors


Additionally, there are the standard VHF/UHF and CABLE connectors, a set of Control-S in and out connectors, 1 optical digital audio output, 2 iLink connectors and a Sony service connector.


It has a built-in receiver, vertical and horizontal line doubling and something called 'Velocity Modulation' which is supposed to sharpen the picture by enhancing the vertical lines. Perhaps someone else could elaborate on what exactly Sony's 'Velocity Modulation' is.


The picture in a picture is actually a picture next to a picture. You can control the size of pictures so that as you enlarge one the other becomes smaller. The two pictures can be from different sources, i.e. one can be 1080i and the other 480p.


Available formats are: 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i.


I also live in San Mateo and the Fry's in Palo Alto as well as the Good Guys at Hillsdale have them available.


John Purins
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
John,


Excellent description of the sets features.


I have one question. If I have HDTV channels coming from my Cable TV and an OTA antenna, can I hook them both up to each of the two tuners to receive 1080i (HDTV) broadcasts ? Or do I need to hook them up to the same tuner with some kind of switcher ?


Any help would be appreciated.


Scott
 

·
Registered
Sony XBR-48A9S • Yamaha RX-V4A • Klipsch Heresy IV, RP-600C & RP-600M • Apple TV
Joined
·
38 Posts
Scott,


The KD-34XBR2 can switch between two antenna sources, i.e. VHF/UHF and cable using the 'ANT' button on the remote control. It cycles through the six video inputs using the 'TV/Video' button on the remote control.


You should be able to connect an OTA source and a cable source and select the one you want with the remote. What I don't know is, if using the cable as input, the signal is processed by the ATSC tuner or the NTSC tuner. I went to Directv about 5 years ago and therefore do not have cable available to verify how this would work.


The manual shows the following channel coverage:


DTV: 1-99 VHF: 2-13 UHF: 14-69 CATV: 1-125


I waited for 3+ years until Sony came out with it's second generation of HDTV direct view sets before I bought one. During that time I looked at every manufacturers consumer grade direct view offerings and this tv delivers the best picture that I have ever seen.


John Purins
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
John


Welcome to the forum and thanks for your feedback on this set. I'm curious about the ATSC tuner and PIP/PNP capability. From what I can tell, there is one ATSC tuner and one NTSC tuner. This will allow you to view a channel from each tuner side by side on the screen. Correct? It would have been cool to be able to view two HD channels side by side but this probably requires another HD tuner. A solution might be to hook up an outboard HD tuner using one of the component inputs. Are both inputs HD capable?


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
John,


Thanks for the great sneak preview of the KD-34XBR2's hookups. My set is being delivered tommorrow. I'll let you know if I find out anything new when I try setting it up.


Regards,


Scott
 

·
Registered
Sony XBR-48A9S • Yamaha RX-V4A • Klipsch Heresy IV, RP-600C & RP-600M • Apple TV
Joined
·
38 Posts
I did some experimentation with the PIP/PNP functions or as Sony calls it, 'Twin View'. Here's what I found:


The left picture can display VHF/UHF (ATSC or NTSC), cable or video inputs 1 to 6.


The right picture can display VHF/UHF (NTSC only), cable or video inputs 1 to 4.


Both component video inputs, numbered 5 and 6, are high definition enabled. Since these can only be accessed from the left picture, only one HDTV source can be displayed at a time.


There are two combinations that can be displayed: two 4:3 pictures or a 16:9 on the left and a 4:3 on the right.


With two 4:3 pictures, either picture can be zoomed to a maximum of 25". With one picture at 25", the other is approximately 11.5". [These are diagonal measurements]. When both are the same size, they are approximately 18" each.


With a 16:9 picture on the left and a 4:3 picture on the right, the left picture can be zoomed to 23" which will result in the right picture being 11.5". If the right picture is zoomed to its maximum of about 24.5", the left 16:9 picture is about 11.5".


John Purins
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,172 Posts
I saw this puppy at Fry's too (Palo Alto) and -- when I was there -- can't imagine how anyone could evaluate the picture. It was showing some 4:3 content, in "stretchyvision" and it was a total mess. At first I thought someone screwed with the XBR400 that was in the same spot, then I realized the TV was actually a widescreen -- and a new Sony one at that.


It's probably a great set, as this thread implies, but man, Fry's is such a joke.


Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
For me the fundamental question is whether the tube has a higher potential resolution than the previous model which, according to fellow forum members, couldn't touch the resolution on any of a number of 40"-50" RPTVs.


In other words, can we finally get real HDTV out of a reasonably sized consumer CRT TV?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,592 Posts
Don't expect to approach the resolution of an HD RPTV with a direct-view. Limitations in brightness and shadow mask design of the picture tube will prevent these sets from ever approaching the resolution of RPTVs. These sets will typically deliver anywhere from 700-1000 lines of horizontal resolution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Hi! I am new to this forum and I am seriously considering purchasing this set. So far most of the post's seem to revolve around the sets PIP/POP capabilities. I am more interested in hearing from someone who has the set and can attest to its actual picture quality either with cable, satellite or DVD. I currently only have access to analog cable for right now and DVD's via my Sony 9000 progressive player. Another question is with the internal HDTV tuner. If I were to get either Direct TV or the Dish Network, would I still need one of their proprietary set top boxes or would the Sony's internal tuner handle those dishes? Finally, does anyone think the addition of an ISCAN Pro would significantly clean up the analog cable signal? Thanks in advance for any reply and thanks for having me in the group...Waving!


Cobra


------------------

Cobra


[This message has been edited by Dark Cobra (edited 08-06-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,172 Posts
My opinion only, but to date the DRC (line doubler) has made analog cable unwatchable on all the Sony XBR HD sets. I don't know if there are improvements to that problem here, but there might be. DRC is theoretically improved by giving it more image sample to work with.


The demo units were in no position to be judged on quality at all, BTW.


Yes, in theory the Iscan Pro can scan double analog cable and make it look good (and also bypass the DRC by going in through the progressive input). Many have had success with this combo on a lot of different sets.


Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
Well I sure wish Sony had kept the old design of the HD1, this new 34" is not as nice on the eyes in IMO.


Can't say anything about HD on it, but what I saw looked awful. I never like the way HD looked on the HD1 and I suspect the baby Sony will be very similar in performance.
 

·
Registered
Sony XBR-48A9S • Yamaha RX-V4A • Klipsch Heresy IV, RP-600C & RP-600M • Apple TV
Joined
·
38 Posts
Cobra,


I do own the KD-34XBR2 set and I'd be glad to share my impression of it, just bear in mind that this is MY opinion.


Before I bought this TV, I looked at many direct view and rear projection HD sets. I found that I did not like the rear projection sets because, to me, they appear to be out of focus. I have heard arguments put forth that a direct view set cannot approach the resolution of rear projection. Perhaps that is true in terms of raw resolution, however, I judge a TV by what the picture actually looks like. With that in mind, I think that direct view sets are considerably better at displaying detail like strands of hair, pores in skin, brushstrokes in paintings, detail in flowers and plants and so on.


I've also heard that this is most likely because the projection TVs were not set up properly by the dealer. I'm sure there is truth to that but I found this image softness to exist at every place that I looked. I can understand that at a place like Good Guys or Fry's but some were high-end dealers and presumably at least one of these high-end dealers had the TV set up properly. I'm slightly near-sighted and to me, the rear projection TV looks like my vision without glasses and the direct view TV looks like my vision with glasses. I know that people have different opinions and like different things but that is how it appears to me. My intent is not to begin a flame war over which TV is 'better' but to simply explain the approach I take to evaluating this TV. Again this is my opinion... there are other differing ones.


Prior to buying this TV, I had [and still have] a Sony KV-27XBR96S which is a pretty good analog 4:3 set. I think this set holds its own when compared to the current crop of Wega analog sets. In some ways I think it is considerably better. I also have been subscribing to Directv for about five years and mainly watch movies on AMC, IFC, TNC, Sundance and Starz.


The KD-34XBR2 set certainly displays the Directv movies better than my old TV. A high quality letterboxed movie approaches an average quality DVD movie. I think this is mainly due to the fact that the vertical and horizontal line doubling on this set makes the scan lines disappear. The resolution obviously would not be any better but the overall appearance of the movie is much more film like. I've also seen movies on Directv that look absolutely horrible with this TV but then again, they would look bad on any TV. I think the trick is that if the source is of high quality to begin with then the HDTV TV will enhance it well.


As far as cable is concerned, I can't help you much there because I haven't had cable in years. I left when IFC came out and after being told numerous times that the local cable provider did not have the bandwidth to carry it. Funny thing was that they kept on adding home shopping channels and religious channels the whole time that they were saying they didn't have bandwidth... but that's another story that I won't get into now.


DVDs on this TV are absolutely great but they also are pretty good with my old TV. I think that the detail is better with this TV and not seeing the scan lines makes a big difference, I use a Sony DVP-S560D player which is nothing esoteric... decent quality but not high-end by any means. It came with component video cables which I used to hook it up to the KD-34XBR2. The movie 'The Red Violin', has some scenes with reddish wood paneling which has a noticeable grain. This paneling would display with pixelation on the TV. At first I thought that this was a problem with the TV as the same movie on my old TV did not have this. After some thought, I decided to buy a better set of component video cables. I got a set of AR cables and this cured the pixelation problem totally. The original cables were not shielded which I think is what caused the problem. My old TV does not have component video and I was using a good quality S-video cable that is also shielded.


This past weekend, our local PBS station aired about 7 hours of HDTV programming. It was a travel show about various European cities and the picture that the TV displayed was absolutely stunning. From detail in cobblestone streets, horses and carriages, paintings and cathedrals in Italy and France, etc, etc. the images were superb and the best that I have ever seen on a television. It's rather difficult to do justice to the picture by describing it in writing... you just have to see it for yourself.


Seeing it for yourself can be a trick though because most dealers do not have any HDTV programming to show you. The only HDTV I saw at all was the demo loop with the football game, flowers and the nature scenes. It was enough to show me what this TV was capable of but you'd think that these places with hundreds of thousands of dollars of TVs running could send someone up on the roof and mount a simple UHF antenna.... that's all it takes. I live about 15 miles from our transmission towers and, believe it or not, get a perfect signal with a $1.99 FM dipole antenna and a 300 ohm to 75 ohm antenna converter. The TV has a signal strength meter in the menu that shows the typical Sony bars. My signal is almost always in the second highest bar but will occassionally fluctuate one bar.


As far as I'm concerned, even with the limited amount of HDTV programming that is currently available, the OTA HDTV capability alone makes the TV worthwhile.


Now, what don't I like about this TV... a couple of things.


The TV has a favorite channels list where you can store up to 16 channels. This is fine but when adding a channel it stores the major channel and not the subchannel. For example, if you store 4.2, it actually stores channel 4. If you later access channel 4.2, it goes to channel 4 and then tunes in to the first available subchannel. In my case, channel 4 is a local NTSC channel that I can barely receive and channel 4.2 is the DTV signal for channel 4. The TV tunes to channel 4 because there is a signal... it's just not viewable. It would be much better it the favorites list would add the channel and subchannel that I actually want and then tune to that when selected.


The second item is the scrolling index function. This is similar to PIP except that the main picture is on the left and 4 minipictures are stacked on the right. One of the minipictures is active [a moving picture is displayed] and the other 3 are freeze frames. You can move the active frame to any of the 4 stacked pictures and then tune to that channel if you want. The problem is that these 4 minipictures seem to be limited to analog channels. Not a showstopper but it certainly limits the usability of the feature.


As with most TVs, the default brightness and picture settings are too high and the hue is slightly too reddish for my taste. Selecting the 'movie' picture mode and setting the brightness and picture to one bar to the right of center seems to be pretty good.


Lastly, when you go into a place like the Good Guys and see this TV next to all the large projection TVs, it looks downright small and compared to them, I suppose it is. It sure doesn't look small in my home though... in fact it seems to be just about right at a viewing distance of about 8'.


John Purins
 

·
Registered
Sony XBR-48A9S • Yamaha RX-V4A • Klipsch Heresy IV, RP-600C & RP-600M • Apple TV
Joined
·
38 Posts
Cobra,


The KD-34XBR2 has an ATSC and a NTSC tuner. The ATSC tuner is HDTV only and you would need a satellite receiver for Directv.


Personally, I would be very leery of buying a TV with a Directv tuner built into it. I don't like the idea of having one company's technology incorporated into a TV particularly when that company has no competition that uses the same technology.


John Purins
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Thanks to John Purin for his comprehensive post(s) on this set. I have the same exact observations as you. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of purchasing a Toshiba 56H80 Rear Projection and had it completely ISF'd too! It still has a general haze over the picture and just doesn't have the level of brilliance and clarity that a good old direct view CRT set can render. Bigger definitely ain't better! I also had what I consider to be Sony's finest analog set . . . the 32XBR2. To be honest, I wish I still had it!


I will soon be selling the rear projection and more than likely moving to the Sony 34 incher. I will try the set initially with its DRC circuitry but will probably be hooking up an ISCAN Pro just for the added insurance of a cleaner picture.


Thanks again for sharing your information. I am brand new to this entire forum and I must say this is so much more professionally done that most of the other similar forums and the USNET groups, which have sadly been invaded with childish flame throwers and people who know little of the posted topics. Thanks again to John and to all of you. I am sure I will have additional questions on this and many other topics. I now know where to come for intelligent answers . . . Waving!


------------------

Cobra
 
1 - 20 of 84 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top