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Sony 34XBR960 vs. 34XBR800

marknyc
10-05-2005, 02:34 PM
I'm thinking of buying a used 800, and I'm wondering what I give up compared to the latest model, the 960.

I've already learned that the DVI input on the 800 is virtually the same as the HDMI on the 960, but are there other significant differences? I know the 960 has a better picture, but is the difference so dramatic that I should pass on a great deal?

One of my major concerns is how well standard definition TV looks. Most of the television I watch will be standard def (like TCM on cable), so I need that to look at least as good as it does on my current standard def TV. Does the 960 handle standard def significantly better than the 800?

Are there other important improvements on the 960? I really appreciate any opinions!

Mark

rickbbb
10-05-2005, 05:14 PM
I had a 34-KDXBR960 back in August 2005.What a mistake !
I bought it because of all the great reviews-though later on afte I bought it .... I found out there were also many bad reviews at Cnet.com and other websites.
the clarity on the picture was so so..
I'm real happy with my LCD HDTV-40 inch Samsung..it cost more than this Sony..but the quality is 110 per cent better in High dfinition.
This is my first time buying an LCD HDTV..and I'm in love with it.
Next tv I buy for my other bedroom will be another Samsung LCD HDTV. Sony gets its parts from Samsung for LCD HDTV..but Sony costs more..go figure .
As for Sony's tube tv of the 34-KDXBR960 ..Samsung does not give any parts to Sony for that.
I owned a Sony KD-34XS955 once and the picture looked sharper on THAT than the 34 XBR960..yet I've heard they use the same tube..hmmm..not from MY experience ! :mad:

marknyc
10-05-2005, 07:58 PM
Can you point me to some of the bad reviews? All I've found on CNET and other sites are raves (except for some users who got a lemon).

I really prefer a CRT to an LCD or Plasma, and I've always been impressed with the Sonys I have seen in stores.

So my question is actually not about whether to buy a CRT or an LCD, but whether the 960 is significantly better than the 800.

Anyone know?

Thanks!

borromini
10-05-2005, 08:03 PM
I had a 34-KDXBR960 back in August 2005.What a mistake!... Every TV model has had its bad moments, but overall the XBR960's positive reviews easily outnumber the bad ones. Unlike user reviews at CNET, the editors at CNET gave the XBR960 top marks.

As for the OP's question...I would recommend this model over the XBR800. The tube is a newer generation and the features are more advanced.

maicaw
10-05-2005, 10:02 PM
As for the OP's question...I would recommend this model over the XBR800. The tube is a newer generation and the features are more advanced.I've had an 800 for several years - The 960 has the same buttons on the remote so I assume the features are very equivalent - It's possible that the stripe pitch is a little better on the 960 -I really can't tell without measuring and sony doesn't publish that spec. - I measured mine at one time an it think it was .9mm (red to red) - in any event from 6-8' the stripes are not noticeable- color and black level settings always come up good with my Avia disk -there are no convergence problems - The 960 has a HDTV tuner which 800 doesn't - I think most people would be happy with the 800 -I've never seen HDTV pictures on any set in a store BB CC Costco, that compared to mine with OTA CBS or ABC -NBC is about what I see in the showrooms - and PBS is PBS - the stores of course have have questionable source.

njt
10-06-2005, 07:48 AM
Not sure if the 800 has CableCard functionality, but if it doesn't have a tuner... I'm guessing no. I've been hearing some bad stories about cable companies and their success with CableCard, so this may be a moot point, but I may eventually try it out to save the HDMI port for an HD DVD player.

I've had the 960 for about three weeks and have been very pleased with it.

rickbbb
10-06-2005, 10:48 AM
If you go to cnet.com or ZDnet.com and if you keep looking through the reviews there will be a substantial amount of negative and positive reviews.It's not that I did'nt like this tv at all..it is very nice..but not the BEST HD picture..if you think it DOES have the best HD picture..even for a tube tv..then you're fooling yourself.

borromini
10-06-2005, 02:23 PM
...It's not that I did'nt like this tv at all..it is very nice..but not the BEST HD picture..if you think it DOES have the best HD picture..even for a tube tv..then you're fooling yourself. You realize that by your statement, you come off as pretty arrogant (or ignorant) in thinking that your assessment of what the best HD picture is in regards to other technologies compared to CRT's should be considered universal. IMO, the XBR960 has an excellent HD picture. Yet, I wouldn't presume that anyone else who has a different opinion is fooling themself.

maicaw
10-06-2005, 02:37 PM
One thing I noticed for myself about 30 years ago - Is that while I thought I was seeing everything within 6' or 8' clearly - I in fact needed inexpensive low power (1.25) reading glasses to appreciate all the detail in objects closer than 6 feet - I was doing some video recording of local plays at the time - HDTV--- viewing from the distance appropriate for 34" CRT is much more demanding than that required reading a printed page IMO- Any 40 something that doesn't wear glasses may not be a candidate for 34" HDTV

Captain Kirk
10-06-2005, 05:03 PM
One of my major concerns is how well standard definition TV looks.
Mark

I've had the 960 for the last three weeks. I view OTA signals with a pre-amped antenna. SD pictures are OK, but once you see some HD on it, you're not going to want to view much SD. No matter what HDTV you go with, don't expect a knock-your-socks off SD picture. The Hi-res displays just leave SD looking a little fuzzy although the 960 has an adjustable DRC function that allows you to sharpen 480i signals just a little.
Sorry, I can't comment on the 800.

I happpen to love my 960. I've never seen another TV on any show room floor look quite as good as it, but that is in my opinion. I cannot wait for prime-time programming to come on. I've gotten hooked into watching shows that I never would have before I got this set, and it's just because they look so darn good.

Emsurfer
10-06-2005, 05:31 PM
I had a 34-KDXBR960 back in August 2005.What a mistake !
I bought it because of all the great reviews-though later on afte I bought it .... I found out there were also many bad reviews at Cnet.com and other websites.
the clarity on the picture was so so..
I'm real happy with my LCD HDTV-40 inch Samsung..it cost more than this Sony..but the quality is 110 per cent better in High dfinition.
This is my first time buying an LCD HDTV..and I'm in love with it.
Next tv I buy for my other bedroom will be another Samsung LCD HDTV. Sony gets its parts from Samsung for LCD HDTV..but Sony costs more..go figure .
As for Sony's tube tv of the 34-KDXBR960 ..Samsung does not give any parts to Sony for that.
I owned a Sony KD-34XS955 once and the picture looked sharper on THAT than the 34 XBR960..yet I've heard they use the same tube..hmmm..not from MY experience ! :mad:

Sorry to hear about your bad experience with the XBR. The Samsung LCDs are very nice, and yes Samsung and SONY uses the same TFT for the LCD panels. It's a joint-venture company called S-LCD. SONY does not use Samsung nor do Samsung use SONY. The cost for Samsung and SONY are about comparable, but I would say the projector and other components in the SONY are superior. Wait a few years and you will see. Having a beautiful picture is one thing but having a beautiful picture that lasts is "priceless". Either case Sharp is # 1 in LCDs and Samsung is #2 in terms of picture. In terms of Durability, I would have to go with Panasonic, SONY, then Sharp.

To the original poster, don't let a few bad posts about the XBR discourage you. As for HD CRTs the XBR is the way to go. I would recommend the newer model 960. Also consider the Panasonic WX15 and the Toshiba HF84 or 85s.
:eek:

rickbbb
10-07-2005, 10:36 AM
I went to Best Buy Store and compared the picture of a Sharp LCD next to the Samsung LCD..Samsung's picture was sharper looking and clearer...though I was impressed with all the inputs the Sharp had..I was'nt impressed with the picture it was showing.This could of been due to how the store was transmitting the picture.
I went to the store having the Sharp LCD HDTV 37 inch in mind to buy..because I had heard such great things about it...I don't regret buying the Samsung though..this is my FIRST LCD HDTV..and I LOVE it ! :)

ja2935
10-07-2005, 02:33 PM
I went to Best Buy Store and compared the picture of a Sharp LCD next to the Samsung LCD..Samsung's picture was sharper looking and clearer...though I was impressed with all the inputs the Sharp had..I was'nt impressed with the picture it was showing.This could of been due to how the store was transmitting the picture.
I went to the store having the Sharp LCD HDTV 37 inch in mind to buy..because I had heard such great things about it...I don't regret buying the Samsung though..this is my FIRST LCD HDTV..and I LOVE it ! :)
I believe too many people base their choice on the displays they see in stores, particularly the discount ones. These TVs are never set up correctly and very rarely have a quality signal. Forget what you see in stores (except to get an idea of the size and stying) and base your choice on professional reviews.

rickbbb
10-07-2005, 05:01 PM
The Best Buy Store I was at did Not have the LCD HDTV's on sale.They were FULL PRICE !
A week later I bought my Samsung online from circuitcity.com at $300 less than Best Buys price :)

ja2935
10-07-2005, 07:06 PM
The Best Buy Store I was at did Not have the LCD HDTV's on sale.They were FULL PRICE !
A week later I bought my Samsung online from circuitcity.com at $300 less than Best Buys price :)
You missed the point completely - whether they are on sale or not or where you buy it is irrelevant! The point was to not make your choice based on the picture you see on TVs in big stores like BB, CC, etc. because they are never set up correctly. The best sets can look awful when poorly adjusted!

Emsurfer
10-07-2005, 07:37 PM
I went to Best Buy Store and compared the picture of a Sharp LCD next to the Samsung LCD..Samsung's picture was sharper looking and clearer...though I was impressed with all the inputs the Sharp had..I was'nt impressed with the picture it was showing.This could of been due to how the store was transmitting the picture.
I went to the store having the Sharp LCD HDTV 37 inch in mind to buy..because I had heard such great things about it...I don't regret buying the Samsung though..this is my FIRST LCD HDTV..and I LOVE it ! :)

Ja2935 has a good point. You cannot rely on in-store settings to make your decision. Have to go with professional reviews and your own experience plus the experience of people on boards such as this one. Again, the Samsung does have a great picture especially for gaming. It has a 8-12ms response time vs. 12-16ms for Sharp depending on which model (Syntax Olevia has 8ms which people are raving about on a separate thread). It's made by a Taiwanese company, enough said. I wouldn't trust it as far as I could throw it. The Sammys have a 3000:1 dynamic contrast ratio vs. 4000:1 of the Sharp Aquos. Sammy uses S-LCD (7th generation TFT) joint designed and manufactured with SONY. Sharp uses Nikon TFT (enough said, plus the Nikon TFT is 8th generation). When you were comparing at the store, the Sammy probably had it's overscan turned on and the Sharp had it's OPC (brightness changes with ambient lighting) turned on. Not a fair comparison. Compare with the Sharp OPC off and the Sammy overscan on. I saw the Sammy vs. Philips at BB and noticed that the Philips was kicking the pants off the Sammy and alerted the salesrep who then turned on the Sammy overscan, then it was the otherway around. Sharp really concentrates on perfecting the LCD like Toshiba is working on the SED technology and making their CRTs more ergonomic, while Samsung appears to be trying to beat out it's Japanese competitors at everything. I.e., Plasmas, not bad, but Pansonic has them beat. CRTs, SONY, Panny, and Toshiba has them beat. LCDs, Sharp. DLPs, Toshiba and possibly Panasonic as well. Their slimfit HD CRTs are cool though, even if the picture is distorted.
:D

doggie
10-18-2005, 11:24 AM
Check this Sony aficianados forum and read other people's experiences with this Sony model.
http://www.agoraquest.com/viewforum.php?forum=34

doc chiron
10-28-2005, 05:13 PM
Greetings:
I acquired my unit last spring via ebay. I had to drive to the Bay area from Burbank, CA to pick it up $750.
For those who care: It has 4 NTSC inputs (3 w/ YC), two HD/SD analog component, and one DVI.
Dual analog tuners, NO digital tuners.
I use DCT6412 dual tuner HD DVR. (It sure is buggy!)

Major complaint: SD display needs widening, wide pillars.
Same 4:3 program on HD looks correct with narrow pillar bars.
Just ordered a svc manual for this.

Minor complaint:
HD display shows a white vertical bar sweeping right to left regularly, most visible in dark scenes. I suspect I may need a new electrolytic capacitor in a power circuit.
Cycling between inputs sequentially is a pain. I have a sheet on the remote codes, but I don't recall codes for direct selection of specific inputs.

Using UEI URC-6131 remote (w/ PVR buttons).
Only complaint: I filled it up! I even added the JP1 conn & EPROM but haven't installed the extender software yet.
Lament: When I get home, I wanna watch my HD & SD PVR (TiVo) recordings, not fiddle w/ the electronics. I do that at work!

marknyc
10-29-2005, 12:09 AM
Glad this thread got back to the original topic.

I too bought a used XBR800 on ebay, for $650 - sweet.

I'm ecstatic! The HDTV looks incredible and the set itself has no problems other than slight pincushioning at the edges. One nice thing about buying used is that you are assured you are not getting a lemon.

It took awhile to figure out how to make the SD channels work, but I finallly did. The trick is to use s-video or composite input and to tweak the DRC settings so the artifacts are minimized. The result is still not quite as good as an analog set, but is very watchable. I've seen some people whose HDTV sets look horrendous on SD - this one handles it quite well. (I'm using TimeWarner cable with a Pioneer 3510HD box.)

Anyway, I'm still in HDTV honeymoon heaven - now we just need more channels!

maicaw
10-29-2005, 11:14 PM
The HDTV looks incredible and the set itself has no problems other than slight pincushioning at the edges. !-there are hidden "service" menus with adjustments for the pinchushion, convergence and a few hundred other tweaks on the 34XBRs -here's a thread on this forum http://www.highdefforum.com/archive/index.php/t-2548.html with partial info. -- You'll need a crosshatch signal from an AVia or Video Essentials DVD --- google for service menu XBR --here'sa good one http://myweb.accessus.net/~090/how2adj.html. and specifically for the sony http://myweb.accessus.net/~090/sonyadj.html - all the caveats about no "reset function" write down everything you see before changing anything - but anyone buying a "vintage" HDTV should be able to decide for himself if he wants to dig in to the firmware.

marknyc
10-31-2005, 12:29 PM
Thanks - I've gone into the service menu to fix the red push, but the pincushioning is so slight I don't know if it's worth the $40 for the AVIA DVD (which is 6 years old, right?) to fix it.

One question: when I am watching 1080i channels, why am I not able to change the aspect ratio? Last night, Enterprise was shown on NBC HD, but it was letterboxed, not widescreen. If I tuned into the standard def version of NBC, I could choose "Zoom" and have it fill the screen, but on the HD NBC channel, that option was grayed out. Would've looked much nicer zoomed in on the HD channel....

Has anyone here compared the earlier XBR models to the newer ones that have Super Fine Pitch? Is there a big difference?

RSawdey
10-31-2005, 02:30 PM
Most TVs have a more limited number of aspect options with HD signals...

doggie
10-31-2005, 07:49 PM
Great forum for reviews and questions on Sony TVs:

http://www.agoraquest.com/viewforum.php?forum=25