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Panasonic CT-34WX15

calgoldenbear
10-12-2005, 05:05 PM
I've previously owned a Panasonic HDTV TV from the Tau series and was very pleased with the picture. My only issue is with the 34" size. I would like to get something bigger, but being that the Panasonic HDTV is a known quantity I'm thinking to stick with what I know. Are there comparable CRTs out there that might be a little larger with similar quality and for a similar price (this model has been sold at local stores for $1000).

Also the owners manual recommends stretching 4:3 signals which drives me crazy because it says that maintaining the 4:3 ration with black bars may permanently damage the monitor. In my 32" 4:3 ratio TV there was a gray bar setting for HDTV broadcasts. Would this help save the monitor? Is the manual full of it and should I enjoy TV without stretched images?

Obi Want Hdtv
10-12-2005, 06:04 PM
It seems from everything I've read here, 34 is about as big as you can go on CRTs. Someone may prove me wrong.

As for the stretch mode, I guess it's a matter of priority - take the risk of damaging the TV or watch it the way you want to watch it. My guess is you'll watch it the way you want and the manual is probably just stating what they state as a possibility, not a definite. Again, someone can prove me wrong on that one. If you watch or will watch HD content, you won't have to worry about black bars and what about dvds? Most don't fill the bottom or top of the screen, does that ruin your TV?

troublefan
10-13-2005, 12:14 PM
There's a gray-bar aspect on my set (CT-34WX54) and it does look a lot better than black bar (and I've heard that will lessen the burn-in risk). I stretch all of the 4:3 content, and while it took a little getting used to, I don't notice it at all any more.

calgoldenbear
10-14-2005, 09:04 AM
What is the difference between the CT-34WX15 and CT-34WX54? As for the stretch issue I've heard Panasonic is good at converting the images, so maybe it's worth doing. Thanks for the info guys. Anyone else with reviews of these models feel free to chime in, as I'd love to hear what you have to say about it. Also, my girl friend wants to know how much larger than a traditional 27" 4:3 TV the 34" screen is.

Obi Want Hdtv
10-14-2005, 09:35 AM
The 15 (first pic) with black around screen. The 54 (second pic) with all silver around screen. 54 has picture in picture, 15 does not but is considered to have better sound and is newer model (not by much but it seems much more expensive than the 54 model). Here's a link for specs for the 54 - should be able to find the 15 at same site.
http://www.shopping.com/xPF-Panasonic_CT_34WX54
As for the look of the TV, it looks much bigger than a 27 inch screen. If you're watching in the non-stretch mode it almost seems smaller than a 27 inch screen, in relation to size of TV and what is on the screen. 27" seems long ago so hard to remember, I've had a 32 for the last five years.

ja2935
10-14-2005, 10:39 AM
What is the difference between the CT-34WX15 and CT-34WX54? As for the stretch issue I've heard Panasonic is good at converting the images, so maybe it's worth doing. Thanks for the info guys. Anyone else with reviews of these models feel free to chime in, as I'd love to hear what you have to say about it. Also, my girl friend wants to know how much larger than a traditional 27" 4:3 TV the 34" screen is.
A 34" 16:9 set gives approx a 27" 4:3 picture - however if you stretch the picture non-uniformally (on my Toshiba its called Theater Wide 1, on Panasonics it might be called Panoramic) the picture stretches slightly vertically as well as horizontally so the image size looks bigger than the 4:3 version - believe me it looks OK.

Before you decide on the Pany check that you can stretch the picture in HD mode to get rid of the side black bars that are broadcast as part of the picture to make 4:3 into 16:9. Quite a lot of material on the networks is still 4:3 although the picture is far superior to regular cable or sat. You can stretch in HD with the Toshiba CRTs so, as mentioned above, the picture looks bigger and it reduces burn-in risk.

Saw the Toshiba 35HF85 in hhgregg for under $900 yesterday!

appaws
10-14-2005, 01:31 PM
I have the ct-34wx15. I have had it for about a month now.

GOOD STUFF>>>My review is all around positive. I have had a great experience so far. HDTV over my Motorola Moxi STB (Charter) looks really great, DVDs on my Toshiba 1080i upconverting player (over HDMI) look good, and SD is as good as you can expect. I am used to the stretch modes, there are three different ones offered for different purposes. Burn-in is not a huge possibility on a properly set-up CRT, but I have heard that it happens. I think you will get used to the stretch modes for SD broadcasts, because at least it fills up all that screen you paid for, plus SD does not look that great anyway, so who cares about some marginal extra distortion.

BAD STUFF>>>The remote is a flimsy piece of crap. The thing is a behemoth, weighing in at 160 pounds. I am already wishing they put more than one HDMI input after a month, but not many TVs on the market have more than one, so I guess its not fair to expect that yet.

Overall I recommend this set for anyone in the 1000-1200 price range. I think it provides just as good PQ as the mid-range non-SFP Sony sets like the HS420, for a couple of hundred dollars less cost. I admit the high-end Sony sets like the XBR are better sets, but at 1800 bucks it's not worth it. (IMO)

For me it is a "bridge" purchase. I wanted to get into HD for sports and XBOX 360, but I am in grad school and have a small apartment, so I didn't need anything huge. Once I graduate in a few years I will be able to go up to something bigger and more impressive, like a Panny or Mitsu DLP, and this set will make a KILLER bedroom TV then.

Obi Want Hdtv
10-14-2005, 03:46 PM
BAD STUFF>>>The remote is a flimsy piece of crap. The thing is a behemoth, weighing in at 160 pounds. I am already wishing they put more than one HDMI input after a month, but not many TVs on the market have more than one, so I guess its not fair to expect that yet.


I agree on the remote, I'm dying to buy a universal remote that will handle everything including my comcast dvr features.

Where did you get your HDMI cable and did you get a good price? I'm not paying the $120 that CC was selling it for. Is it that much of a difference from component cables?

ja2935, I don't believe you can stretch the high def channels when they aren't broadcasting a high def program, on the panasonic at least.

appaws
10-15-2005, 01:08 AM
I agree on the remote, I'm dying to buy a universal remote that will handle everything including my comcast dvr features.

Where did you get your HDMI cable and did you get a good price? I'm not paying the $120 that CC was selling it for. Is it that much of a difference from component cables?

ja2935, I don't believe you can stretch the high def channels when they aren't broadcasting a high def program, on the panasonic at least.

The DVD player I bought came with an HDMI cable. It was a Toshiba one that I got at BB on clearance for $139 I think.

No, you cannot stretch any 1080i signal on the Panasonic. What I usually do when that happens is just switch to the SD channel. ESPNHD is particularly annoying, because they put some big dumb logos on the side of the screen when they have a non-HD broadcast.

ja2935
10-15-2005, 12:22 PM
The DVD player I bought came with an HDMI cable. It was a Toshiba one that I got at BB on clearance for $139 I think.

No, you cannot stretch any 1080i signal on the Panasonic. What I usually do when that happens is just switch to the SD channel. ESPNHD is particularly annoying, because they put some big dumb logos on the side of the screen when they have a non-HD broadcast.
The inability to stretch in HD mode would be a deal-breaker for me! However just by luck I bought the Toshiba and you can - obviously I did not know that in advance which is why I am bringing it to everyones attention - nothing against the picture on the Pany which I'm sure is fine!

calgoldenbear
10-15-2005, 05:11 PM
For me sound and remote control don't matter. I use my receiver remote for everything not DirectTV. For that I use my TiVo remote because TiVo is my best friend. But on that note, I'm looking to but the new Logitech Harmony 520(?). It's about $100 and doesn't look like a high schoolers cell phone. Thanks for the info guys I'll look at the Toshiba if it's comparable and in the same price range.

appaws
10-15-2005, 09:12 PM
The inability to stretch in HD mode would be a deal-breaker for me! However just by luck I bought the Toshiba and you can - obviously I did not know that in advance which is why I am bringing it to everyones attention - nothing against the picture on the Pany which I'm sure is fine!

From what I hear, you can't go wrong with that Toshiba 84 from last year, so good deal.

troublefan
10-17-2005, 10:56 AM
For me sound and remote control don't matter. I use my receiver remote for everything not DirectTV. For that I use my TiVo remote because TiVo is my best friend. But on that note, I'm looking to but the new Logitech Harmony 520(?). It's about $100 and doesn't look like a high schoolers cell phone. Thanks for the info guys I'll look at the Toshiba if it's comparable and in the same price range.
Great point, when comparing the 2 tvs. The side note here is that I picked up the Harmony 680 for $100 new on eBay. It's quite slick for the TiVo/PVR functions (I have the DN 942).

Obi Want Hdtv
10-17-2005, 02:34 PM
Great point, when comparing the 2 tvs. The side note here is that I picked up the Harmony 680 for $100 new on eBay. It's quite slick for the TiVo/PVR functions (I have the DN 942).

I'm hoping that would work with Comcast DVR. How about closed captioning? Is it available on programs that are recorded on TiVO/DVR? I can't get it to work on the Panny using the Panny remote while watching live TV. Don't know if this is a TV issue or Comcast issue.

appaws
10-18-2005, 09:06 AM
I'm hoping that would work with Comcast DVR. How about closed captioning? Is it available on programs that are recorded on TiVO/DVR? I can't get it to work on the Panny using the Panny remote while watching live TV. Don't know if this is a TV issue or Comcast issue.

Closed Captions should be available as part of a show recorded with a DVR. I use it all the time. I think it is an issue with the box you have from Comcast. There is a caption feature on the Motorola Moxi that I have that enables you to customize a lot of caption settings in addition to just turning them on and off.

troublefan
10-18-2005, 03:20 PM
I agree with appaws, a concern with the Comcast box. For DishNetwork, everything works as it's supposed to, with all functions available.

calgoldenbear
10-21-2005, 08:30 AM
I know this is off topic but it's my thread....I hate Dish network. I thought their equipment was subpar and they quality of the feed left much to be desired. I know buying equipment is expensive, but if you can affoird it I recommend DirectTV, big time. Plus, TiVo is the bar all other company's DVR aims to meet. That being said, TiVo is going to start showing up with Comcast soon, so cable customers, be happy.

pedrohead
10-28-2005, 09:31 AM
The inability to stretch in HD mode would be a deal-breaker for me! However just by luck I bought the Toshiba and you can - obviously I did not know that in advance which is why I am bringing it to everyones attention - nothing against the picture on the Pany which I'm sure is fine!

Just a quick point on this one. I have the 54 (last years model) of this tv, and while the tv itself won't stretch HD/digital images, the STB that Wide Open West provided for digital cable and HD will. So don't let it be a deal breaker. The TV's great.

Oh and as far as remotes, I just snagged one of the Philips ProntoNeo remotes off of ebay for a ridiculous $11.50 (I think the guy screwed up the listing title, so no one saw it) and it combines every remote I have, fully programmable/customizable, just priceless for my setup.