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Went shopping this weekend for a direct view set - saw the 32" and 36" Tau and 32" RCA non-wide screen HDTV sets - (no one had the 34" Tau or 38" RCA Wide-Screen sets on display but they could be ordered) both sets were showing HDTV programming from D*. The HDTV signal on both sets was impressive to say the least, but there were two things that bothered me:


1) just the very top portion of the Tau letterboxed image vibrated/jittered back and forth rapidly making trees/buildings/people look like they were being shaken - no one had a reason why the set displayed this nor did they know what caused it.


2) The non-HDTV regular channels from D*, which is what I wanted to see since this was the majority of the current programming, exhibited an extremely high amount of visible "artifacts" on every channel viewed - some channels worse than others - it wasn't big pixel blocks, just those movement artifacts one sees "sometimes" on a regular TV. Facial pictures looked like makeup was moving on their faces - clouds

looked like other clouds were being layered and layered on top of themselves - every scene exhibited some sort of visible artifact effect. All the while switching back to the HDTV signal was beautiful - is this normal with these sets?


I was completely turned off spending $3000 because I would be seeing moving skin most of the time.


Does anyone own the 34" Wide-screen Tau, if so, do these artifacts appear on a truly wide-screen tv with normal D* programming also?


I would appreciate anyones comments on any of the above.


Thank you!!
 

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Jim,

I have the 34" Tau CT34WX50. I had the jittering effect you saw when I used it with the RCA DTC-100 set top box. The DTC-100 is just incompatible with Panasonic Tau sets. Check with the store and see if thats what they were using.


The standard DirecTV channels don't look that great anyway, they are highly compressed, my analog cable is usually better for channels that I have on both. That said, I don't see the kind of moving artifacts you describe.


I have now used the Tau with the Sony HD100 and Mitsubishi (Hughes) STBs and neither of those have the jittering problem.


Tony
 

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Every Direct View (Tube) TV set I have looked at recently suffers from poor alignment (geometric distortion). This is usually shown by the edges of the HDTV picture on a non-wide screen or just plain old letter box movies. Things have been getting so bad that I no longer need my Avia test disc. I simply use the menu from any DirecTv reciever, checking Horizontal and Vertical lines of any menu. My local quality retailer ( a retail chain owned by Tweeter, Outpost.com ) says that each and every set now needs a service technician to properly align it. They do this all the way down to 24" sets. You need to ask, they do not volutarily do this !?!


As for the regular picture, the problem you describe sounds more like the classic Dot Crawl. I wonder which connections they used.
 

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Jim,

Tony is 100% correct. I'd bet they were using the RCA DTC100 for the HD feed AND using a transcoder that is incompatible with the Tau. Only the Key Digital transcoder can provide the Tau with a stable synch that will eliminate precisely the symptom you saw.
 
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