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My wife and I own a 11 year old Mitsubishi 35inch tv that has finally decided to die. We are looking around for a new tv and have basically narrowed it down to 3 sets.


1. Sony 36" Wega KV-36XBR400

2. Panasonic 34" CT-34WX50.

3. RCA 38" F38310.


We have DirecTV and we receive all the New York City local channels. We do not own a DVD player and do not have time to rent them/watch them with our very active children. Where ever we go, we cannot seem to find a store that can demo any of the units above with DirecTV so we have some unanswered questions.


1. On the Panasonic and RCA 16:9 sets, how will non-HDTV DirecTV programming look? Is it stretched?

2. What does DirecTV HDTV programming look like on the Sony Wega? Is there a black box on the top and bottom of the picture reducing the size of the screen?

3. If we go with either the Sony or the Panasonic, will our current DirecTV receiver work? We have a basic RCA receiver.


Thanks,

Brian
 

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Quote:
1. On the Panasonic and RCA 16:9 sets, how will non-HDTV DirecTV programming look? Is it stretched?

2. What does DirecTV HDTV programming look like on the Sony Wega? Is there a black box on the top and bottom of the picture reducing the size of the screen?

3. If we go with either the Sony or the Panasonic, will our current DirecTV receiver work? We have a basic RCA receiver.
1. The Panasonic has various screen format commands. 4:3 will be displayed with "pillar-box" bands to the left and right. There is also a non-linear stretch mode that stretchs the edges more then the center that will fill the entire 16:9 screen with the 4:3 material.

2. Native 16:9 material will appear letterboxed on the Sony.

3. Your DirecTV reciever will work fine with either the Sony or the Panasonic.

Opinion: If I were you, I'd go with the Panasonic. I think it's picture is gorgeous.


[This message has been edited by PJH (edited 07-19-2001).]
 

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Since you dont/wont have a DVD player, and plan to use DirecTV, I would get the Sony. Why get a 16:9 set if the only programming you will have in 16:9 is channel 509 HBO-HD? If you watched a lot of widescreen DVD's, or if you had a lot of 16:9 HDTV programming available, a 16:9 TV would be more worth considering. With a 16:9 set, you'd almost always be watching 4:3 programming with bars on the sides ... unless you like watching wide people. Even worse ... people who change size as they walk across the screen (in the case of a TV that stretches the sides more than the middle. I'd get a set with the aspect ratio that satisfies more than 95% of your programming.


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

Rick W. Scogland


My Email Address:
[email protected]


My Home Theater:
The Scogland Home Theater
 

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I agree with RScogland. Since most of the programming is still NTSC, 4:3, the Sony 36xbr is more useful. I own the 36xbr400 and really like it. It's very impressive receiving HDTV OTA, even Leno looks great.

If you have a regular RCA Satellite receiver that does not receive HDTV, you'll have to upgrade the receiver. I have the standard RCA receiver. It's definitely a welcome change to use the whole TV screen viewing 4:3 instead of losing viewable area, at least my wife appreciates it.

7-10 years from now maybe 16:9 will be the norm, but in the near future 4:3 will still dominate majority of broadcasts.
 
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