High Def Forum
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Seeking help on HDTV selection

10-11-2005, 11:21 AM
OK, I am a newbie to these forums, but have been reading posts and there seems to be a lot of well versed folks here.

I am looking for a little help in making the right decision regarding a HD Direct-View TV. I have an 11 year old 32 Sony XBR, so I know and like Sony, but am open to other brands. I have done some research on the TVs listed below and wanted to ask which one folks would recommend or stay away from that have any problems/history of trouble. Because of cabinet space, I can only get a TV that is 35.5 wide. Thanks in advance for any help.

Sony KV-30HS420
Sony KV-32HS420
Toshiba 34HF85
Toshiba 34HFX85
Samsung TX-P3264

10-11-2005, 01:25 PM
If you're looking to go HDTV I'd drop both of those 32" models in your list. They're only 4:3 aspect ratio same as the regular SDTVs. If you're going HDTV pic one the 16:9 aspec ratio sets. Since you'll be spending at least a grand, why not go wide screen? I can't really recommend a set since I won't get mine until next month but atleast I shortened your list alittle :)

10-11-2005, 03:16 PM

Thanks for the info. Will definitely consider that as I determine my purchase.

10-11-2005, 05:09 PM
I would also drop Samsung from you list and add the Panasonic CT34WX15. Toss up between the Panny and SONY and Toshiba coming 3rd. :eek:

10-11-2005, 09:40 PM
I'm new as well :) so welcome.
As Emsurfer mentioned add the Panny CT-34WX15 to your list. It has received awesome user reviews on everywhere I've looked :) and that's the one I'm aiming to get. Good luck on your HD quest too. :) :cool:

10-12-2005, 07:47 AM
Truly helpful everyone, thanks again. drag0nsfyre, can you tell me where you read reviews about the Panny CT-34WX15? I am a research freak and would love to read up on the set.


10-12-2005, 08:48 AM
sure thing quincy, these are the ones I remember offhand.
Circuit City customer reviews (http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Panasonic-34-HDTV-Monitor-CT-34WX15-/sem/rpsm/oid/120403/catOid/-12868/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do)
17 opinions 4.5 average out of 5 :)

Cnet user opinions (http://reviews.cnet.com/Panasonic_CT_34WX15_-_TV_-_34/4505-6481_7-31479345.html)
3 opinions 9,9,and 8 out of 10 :)

Amazon user reviews (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009JFFGG/104-1145434-6899912?v=glance&n=172282&n=507846&s=electronics&v=glance)
3 reviews 4,4.5 and 5 stars out of 5 :)

hope this helps in your research as it did with me. :cool:

10-12-2005, 09:20 AM
I've owned quite a few TVs in my lifetime. Here's my experience:

-- Toshiba makes great TVs. Owned a tube TV that lasted forever.

-- Purchased a Panasonic Rear projection CRT over a year ago and have no regrets. I know that you're not looking for a rear projection, but based on my many months of research, the quality of the picture was far superior to everything else in it's class, even the Toshibas and Sonys.

-- Sony is just a name and doesn't necessarily make the best product.

Good luck with your shopping.

10-14-2005, 01:44 PM
I have that Panasonic and its great for 1200 bucks or less. The only Direct View I like better is the Sony XBR and thats 1800 bucks.

10-15-2005, 02:59 PM
You definately ONLY want a widescreen set, ALL HDTV is widescreen. Those semicompatible 4:3 sets do a poor job showing HD & are a real PITA to use.

When figuring the size of widescreen to get, you'll be happier if the new set shows an inset 4:3 image the same size or larger than your old set... which means you need a widescreen 40" or bigger - so you need a new or modified cabinet.

10-18-2005, 11:17 AM
I have the Sony 36" XBR800 CRT/HDTV, and I've been very happy with it despite it having a 4:3 screen. I'd say almost 90% of my viewing is in the 4:3 format - mostly TV programs and a third of my DVDs (old TV series and music). The screen is huge and the picture quality is superb - better than projection, LCD and some plasmas. I almost never see any pixelization that I see with the high-priced plasma screens at Best Buy and Circuit City.
However, the only time I feel inadequate and have widescreen envy is when I watch some of the latest big-budget movies. The Sony does an excellent job of automatically cropping and resizing so you never see actors stretched wide or thin. However, the 36" screen looks like a 27" screen if the letterbox is extreme. You don't get that movie theatre feel that you would with a bigger plasma or LCD.
My advice to you is don't invest in a $2000 HDTV based on what will fit into your $300 cabinet. You will be staring at the picture for the next 6 or 7 years, so you should be happy with it. I'd also stick with Sony. The Panasonic looks nice too, but Sony quality is just a step above everyone else. Make that 2 steps. Also, Sonys are heavy! My 36" was 235 lbs!!! They also had a 40" one which was 265 lbs. I'm not even sure if they make 4:3 screens this size anymore, so if you go 36" widescreen, you're likely to see cropped pictures on the left and right more than half the time because there still isn't that much HDTV programming.

10-19-2005, 04:50 PM
Just got a Sony XBR800 and I gotta say go for the widescreen. It is incredible, and adds to the fantastic HDTV definition. And DVDs look great in widescreen.

The only problem with this and with all HDTV is that standard def broadcasts lose something in translation. I've tweaked the seetings so they look a lot better, but it's amazing how the quality varies from channel to channel. Hopefully this will all improve once everyone goes digital in a few years.

In terms of price, do what I did: find a used one near you, on ebay! That way, you know it's not a lemon, and you save a ton. I got mine for $650 and it looks fantastic. I checked it out in person before I paid for it, and I'm trusting Sony that this set will give me years of service. Keep your fingers crossed!


02-02-2006, 01:21 PM
I am looking to get a new HD tube tv right now i can't deside on the toshiba 34HFX85 or the Sony KV-32HS420. I heard that toshiba is no longer making the TV but, I called toshiba today and they said they do not use a third party. So I can get the toshiba 34" for $900 or the sony for about the same i think its $850. I dont have room for the sony 34 in or I would have just bought that today. I went to both HH Gregg and Bestbuy. The picture on the toshiba is hands down better for HD and regular tv. So just want some advise thanks

02-02-2006, 04:01 PM
A couple of corrections:

I would recommend (and own) the Panasonic as well, but its too wide for your space. You are looking for something 35 1/2" or thinner, and the Panasonic is wider than that.

Someone also said Toshiba makes great tube TVs, and I would ammend that to say Toshiba MADE great tube TVs, from about 2004 on back. The 2005 models have had many problems, documented all over this forum. Don't make the same mistake we did and join the Toshiba 05 model support group.

I would agree with going widescreen. Have you considered LCD at all? I know CRT has a better picture, but just a thought. So, if you want a high quality, widescreen, CRT to fit your space, I would say that limits you to the Sony 30" 420 model.

02-02-2006, 04:19 PM
Consumer Reports just issued a rating update in their March 06 issue and rated Sony at the top in direct-view CRT HDTVs. Looks like you'd have to settle for a 30 incher, the Hi-Scan KV-30HS420 or the Hi-Scan KD-30XS955. They make 32 inchers too but theyre 4:3. Their 34 inch widescreen CRTs seem to be the gold standard per several sources, including CR, but I think they are 38 inches wide.

Oh, I'm not a true believer in CR by the way :confused: , doubt they even adjust out-of-the-box video settings, which is probably why some other brands fair poorly in their tests.

02-03-2006, 01:35 AM
toshiba does not make there own tube. they use phillips and another brand. i forget which one. jvc also uses the same brands toshiba does. i was told this by a few techs. i also saw this myself when i had my tube replaced on my toshiba and a few jvcs. toshibas crts are out sourced to orion. they also just bought westinghouse. so they will more then likely be useing there factories to make there crts also.

"In December 2004, Toshiba quietly announced it would discontinue manufacturing traditional cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions, due to recent increasing sales of flat-panel TVs and continuing sales drop of CRT televisions. Toshiba quickly switched to Orion Electric Co. Ltd. as the supplier and maker of Toshiba-branded CRT-based TVs. However, to ensure its future competitiveness in the flat-panel digital television and display market, Toshiba has made a considerable investment in a new kind of display technology called SED."