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toshiba 34hf85 questions....

AgentIce
01-14-2006, 07:27 AM
Hey all, my first post here. I recently made the jump to HDTV and decided on the toshiba 34hf85. The first unit that best buy delivered to me was broken, the only inputs that worked were the composite video ones. Component, svideo, and hdmi did not work on either my dvd player or dvr box.

So today I just got my replacement, and the inputs are working so that's good. By chance I ran across these forums and have read other peoples thoughts on this tv and I'm starting to get second thoughts. Granted I was never "blown away" by it, only marginally impressed, so I was already sort of wondering about my purchase.

I experience excessive grain on dvds, wavy and flickery performance on hdtv channels through adelphia cable, also some of the hdtv channels are blue, and just overall I'm not that impressed with the tv. I'm also hearing that the set is no longer built by toshiba but is built by orion which bothers me.

But the grain on dvds could be explained by upgrading to hdtv which just reproduces all the flaws better, and my problems with hd channels could be my provider (someone else posted the exact same problem with adelphia). So did I make a good buy or should I just get some peace of mind and get something else? I'd be willing to go a max of 1500$, what do you guys think?

Thanks,
Tom

waltchan
01-14-2006, 12:26 PM
$1,500. No problem. You can get the Sony KD-34XS955 in some stores for less than $1,500. It's a far better TV.

mogdor
01-14-2006, 02:02 PM
I got the 30hf85 just last weekend and the grain on DVDs bothered me too, but I think that mostly has to do with the PQ settings. I'm still experimenting, but I've been able to improve the picture quite a bit. Try turning down the contrast and sharpness (I have both of mine around 13-15) and set SVM to low. Also has to do with the DVD I think. I also haven't been "blown away" by everything, but with some I have, Madagascar for example just looks awesome, Pirates of the Carribean looks pretty nice too, and of course all the Star Wars DVDs. Try playing around with the settings before you give up on it, from what I've read on some reviews, Toshibas look outstanding once you get the settings right, I'm still playing around with mine and I think I'm getting there, I'll probably get either Digital Video Essentials or Avia so I can get it right.

mogdor
01-14-2006, 02:08 PM
BTW, I don't even have HD service yet so I can't comment on that yet. I'll be getting Adelphia too here in Coeur d' Alene, ID so hopefully the problems you had with HD channels just have to do with the PQ settings.

AgentIce
01-14-2006, 05:42 PM
Yeah I ordered avia off the forums, I'll give that a shot. I changed my PQ settings as well, lowering the contrast and brightness did seem to help some (the contrast was set to 40 out of the box, yikes!). I ordered that Avia program off amazon so we'll see if that helps any as well. As far as the HD channels, its either something wrong with the TV or something wrong with adelphia, it's not a PQ issue. Still not sure which it is though.

AgentIce
01-14-2006, 05:56 PM
$1,500. No problem. You can get the Sony KD-34XS955 in some stores for less than $1,500. It's a far better TV.

I tried to find that one, didn't see it anywhere locally. Know of any stores in the spokane/cda area that would carry it?

I was sort of hoping to buy the tv through best buy again, how does the sony hs420 compare to this TV? If I just return this one I'd have to eat the 50$ on shipping. Might even have to pay another 50$ to pay them to pick it up if I can't find someone to help me get it there.

T. Wrecks
01-14-2006, 09:01 PM
I had the same TV and I had the same issues. Poor PQ and weird colors (HD NBC was blue). I thought it was the cable box, but when the cable guy came, he said that he had seen the same problem in the same model the previous week.

My biggest issue was a weird white glow at the top of the screen.

Here is my thread on the issue. It starts out innocent enough. But as you can see, I had to return the TV.

http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=15659&highlight=Wrecks

My theory is that it's actually a pretty good TV -- if you don't get a lemon, which there seems to be a lot of out there. But some people have them and love them.

Whatever you decide...good luck!

AgentIce
01-15-2006, 01:49 AM
Well the cable guy is coming by tomorrow, hopefully we can figure it out. If we can't I guess it's going back to best buy and I'll exchange it for the sony 34" hs420.

T. Wrecks
01-15-2006, 08:46 AM
I got the 30" HS20.

The side speakers made it too wide for my stand.

I love it though.

AgentIce
01-15-2006, 12:17 PM
So the cable guy came and I spent a while fiddling with the TV. We tried 3 different boxes, 2 of the newer ones still had the blue channels and the strange flickering/distortions. The 3rd one (an older model) has no blue channels though and I haven't noticed any distortions yet. On some channels it seems to flicker slightly though, I'd describe it as a refresh rate problem (cable guy noticed it too). I'm going to mess around with it a while longer and see if I notice anymore problems. For now I'm guessing it was a cable box problem after all. Although I still wonder if maybe the toshibas have some incompatibility with the newer boxes.

Just now as I'm typing this I think I saw it distort again, well I can tell I'll have to watch it for a while before I decide anything.

AgentIce
01-15-2006, 12:34 PM
Definitely noticing the flickering.... I actually saw it really clearly on a dvd too (I've only tried a few). In the matrix at the beginning on the WB logo with gray clouds background, teh clouds flicker quite badly. Anyone else had that problem? God I wish deciding to send this thing back was an easier decision!

mogdor
01-15-2006, 01:36 PM
I had a flickering problem that was really bad on the border between the movie and the black bar for movies that didn't fill up the whole screen. Oddly enough, turning off progressive scan on my DVD player fixed it. I guess some DVD players are better off just sending a 480i signal and letting the TV do all the converting. And remember to turn the sharpness and contrast way down. I'll check out the Matrix on my set and get back to you.

mogdor
01-15-2006, 02:20 PM
Ok, I just looked at that part in The Matrix and good news, the flickering has nothing to do with the TV, it's just an intentional effect that I guess is supposed to make it look technological or something. You can see for yourself by watching it on another tv or your computer, it's on the DVD, not the TV.

I've only had my Toshiba for a week now, and like you was wondering whether I should return it or not, but after playing around with the picture and DVD settings on different movies I've managed to get the picture to look pretty darn good, it looks flat out awesome on some DVDs. Remember to keep in mind that not all DVDs will look the same, some will have grainy or flickering parts while others won't. I'm not completely positive, but I'm guessing this is more due to the limitation of the current DVD format being displayed on a high def screen rather than the Toshiba HDTVs having problems. As far as the HD channels, I'll have to wait and see if I have the same problems you had; I'm putting off calling Adelphia for now because I have a ton of work I want to get done first and I know it'll distract me, LOL. Anyway I'll keep checking on how you're doing with your Toshiba since we seem to be in pretty much the same boat here.

mogdor
01-15-2006, 02:36 PM
BTW here's my thread if you care to read about my continuing saga, I got some good advice there.

http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=17243

AgentIce
01-15-2006, 10:24 PM
Thanks for all the help man! :)

I'll keep updating as I fiddle with the TV here. I bought a new DVD player that should have better picture quality (pioneer 588a), we'll see if that does anything. Also have some HDMI cables coming for the cable box as well as the AVIA setup utility dvd. As of now everything is working pretty decently though and I'm fairly happy with the set but it's going to take some testing to be sure.

The HD is pretty amazing when it's working right :) Watched the colts v broncos today and it's so much better than regular TV. David letterman is also super sharp, it looks like you are looking through a window. Theres a lot of junk and pixelization that occurs randomly especially when the image is moving but I'm sure that's just adelphia. Time warner bought them out in this area and is going to pump a lot of money into them so we should be seeing a big improvement to HD in the next year or so.

Unfortunately if I got a sony I have no idea if anything would be better, not sure how I could test that... even the HD signal in best buy is a very poor quality one to test with. But I'm going to stick with this tv for now.

bgoalie35
01-16-2006, 09:09 AM
Best Buy doesn't feed HD into their tube TVs at all (cheap punks). If you have a local HHgregg or Circuit City, they will feed HD into their TVs. Circuit City usually doesn't carry Toshiba though. Good luck.

mogdor
01-16-2006, 11:58 AM
Thanks for all the help man! :)

I'll keep updating as I fiddle with the TV here. I bought a new DVD player that should have better picture quality (pioneer 588a), we'll see if that does anything. Also have some HDMI cables coming for the cable box as well as the AVIA setup utility dvd. As of now everything is working pretty decently though and I'm fairly happy with the set but it's going to take some testing to be sure.

The HD is pretty amazing when it's working right :) Watched the colts v broncos today and it's so much better than regular TV. David letterman is also super sharp, it looks like you are looking through a window. Theres a lot of junk and pixelization that occurs randomly especially when the image is moving but I'm sure that's just adelphia. Time warner bought them out in this area and is going to pump a lot of money into them so we should be seeing a big improvement to HD in the next year or so.

Unfortunately if I got a sony I have no idea if anything would be better, not sure how I could test that... even the HD signal in best buy is a very poor quality one to test with. But I'm going to stick with this tv for now.

Glad to hear the HD channels are working out with Adelphia, good for you = good for me :D Can't wait to check out Letterman! I think you mentioned something about NBC not coming in before, are you getting it yet? Also, you're getting Discovery HD too right? I read that's one of the best looking HD channels.

I was also thinking of getting a new DVD player; I have the Philips DVP642 and it's great for playing different formats, but apparently the progressive scan quality leaves much to be desired. Let me know if your new player makes much of a difference in picture quality, maybe I'll go pick one of those up too. Also interested in how Avia works out for you; if it makes a significant improvement for you I'll probably get that too

As far as Best Buy, yeah they definitely don't seem to care about showing off the tube sets; I went to both stores in CDA and in Spokane Valley and neither had HD feeding through. I couldn't even get the sales guys to show me DVDs on them, at the CDA one the guy couldn't find the remote and didn't want to bother to get another player, and at the Valley one they told me it was "illegal" to show DVDs, whatever that means! I also went to Circuit City and the customer service there was much better. They don't have Toshibas, but the guy was nice enough to set up a DVD player on a Sony. It looked great, though I'd probably have to see both the Sony and the Toshiba side by side to notice any difference, if much at all. They didn't have HD feeding to the Sony there either, though I think it was just that particular set, not all CRTs. The guy was so nice in setting up the DVD player I didn't want to bug him about the HD, though if you asked they'd probably be willing to show you. Anyway, thanks for the progress updates, it's great that we can help each other out here :D

bgoalie35
01-16-2006, 01:05 PM
My local HHGregg had the Sony 420 and the Toshibas (HF and HFX) side by side. The Toshibas looked better, less grainy. But this was in a showroom, and the Sony model is their bottom of the line model. They were all playing a Discovery HD highlight reel at the time. I checked, and the TVs were all plugged in through component cables.

AgentIce
01-16-2006, 04:38 PM
Glad to hear the HD channels are working out with Adelphia, good for you = good for me :D Can't wait to check out Letterman! I think you mentioned something about NBC not coming in before, are you getting it yet? Also, you're getting Discovery HD too right? I read that's one of the best looking HD channels.


Yeah they are coming in decent, my feeling right now is that the weird flickering and that sort of thing is just adelphias fault, I don't think their HD feed is all that great, but that will change in teh future as Time Warner takes over. I'm hoping switching over to HDMI might help, I know the default cables they give you are cheap. NBC is still down, the cable guy said they are working on it. And yeah we get discovery, its definitely one of the better looking channels. They keep playing shows on various islands and it's a lot of fun to watch, especially when they show close ups of the flowers and wild life :)

I was also thinking of getting a new DVD player; I have the Philips DVP642 and it's great for playing different formats, but apparently the progressive scan quality leaves much to be desired. Let me know if your new player makes much of a difference in picture quality, maybe I'll go pick one of those up too. Also interested in how Avia works out for you; if it makes a significant improvement for you I'll probably get that too


Will do... they are both being shipped from amazon so I should get them sometime this week. That pioneer got really good reviews, this site did all sorts of fancy tests on it: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-bin/shootout.cgi?function=search&articles=122
One thing I know is that my parents have an older version of the pioneer and I've always noticed the picture quality was better. The fact that you won't get a skip in the middle of dual layer movies and other nice features like remembering where you are in the dvd even if you take it out are nice too.

As far as Best Buy, yeah they definitely don't seem to care about showing off the tube sets; I went to both stores in CDA and in Spokane Valley and neither had HD feeding through. I couldn't even get the sales guys to show me DVDs on them, at the CDA one the guy couldn't find the remote and didn't want to bother to get another player, and at the Valley one they told me it was "illegal" to show DVDs, whatever that means! I also went to Circuit City and the customer service there was much better. They don't have Toshibas, but the guy was nice enough to set up a DVD player on a Sony. It looked great, though I'd probably have to see both the Sony and the Toshiba side by side to notice any difference, if much at all. They didn't have HD feeding to the Sony there either, though I think it was just that particular set, not all CRTs. The guy was so nice in setting up the DVD player I didn't want to bug him about the HD, though if you asked they'd probably be willing to show you.
I used to work in the home theatre department of best buy a few years back... I got a kick out of helping people get a nice setup and explaining how things work, but eventually best buys greed and lack of desire to help the customer made me quit. It was all about making money to my managers, and even though we weren't commissioned if you sold no cables/warranties/other bs you got no hours. Unfortunately I was one of their best sellers just because I truly wanted to help and was enthusiastic about the products, I ended up selling so much monster cable/warranty crap that I still feel guilty about it to this day. Anyways that bit about showing a dvd being illegal sounds BS to me, we used to have some of our setups playing these demo dvds, and I used those dvds on the regular TV's a couple of times for people. I bet if you went back and pushed them on it or talked to a manager they'd eventually help you. Might want to bring some of your own dvds too so you can make a better comparison. Unfortunately there is no way to test the HD as best buy just has some crap quality HD content they play off a satellite box in the back, I believe its downloaded off one of their own satellites, it's their own feed at least. Most of the content is crappy, but on occasion they had something decent, but it's split to so many TV's that it just doesn't compare to real HD.

Anyway, thanks for the progress updates, it's great that we can help each other out here :D
Sure :D This is actually pretty fun, I'm glad I found this forum, I'm learning a lot on it.

mogdor
01-17-2006, 10:24 PM
Yeah this board is fun for me too, I know way more about HD now than before I came here, lots of helpful people :D


So you say the HD signal is pretty crappy at Best Buy, then should I expect Adelphia's HD to look better than what I've seen at BB? On some of their TV's the HD looked awesome to me, if Adelphia looks as good as that or better I'd be very happy!

AgentIce
01-18-2006, 02:02 PM
Yeah the adelphia quality is MUCH better when it comes in properly. I still experience the picture dropping out, and color distortion flickering, but I'm fairly certain it's just the quality of adelphia and not the tv. I'm curious to see if you experience the same problem when you get your hd.

I went down to the best buy in cda with the matrix and tried it out on their sony 34", a sony lcd, and a regular 32" jvc. The high defs had similar quality to my tv and the regular tv actually looked a lot worse. You could also see all the grain/noise too, and it was worse on the regular tv. So I think in that regard it was all in my head, I was probably looking for the grain intentionally and/or expecting the picture to be perfect. In reality the dvd's can be grainy but still look much better than they do on regular tvs.

Still waiting on my avia setup disc though, wish amazon would hurry up :mad:

AgentIce
01-21-2006, 12:59 PM
Well I ended up getting the sony hs420, WOW! WHAT A DIFFERENCE! No weird color distortions/flickering in HD now, just a nice solid picture. I'm so happy now, I just got it so I'll have to mess around with it btu the quality is insantly better. God what a relief. Shame on toshiba for outsourcing their tv to orion and putting out an inferior product!

ytwokr32
01-21-2006, 02:10 PM
Would someone with a 34HF85 be so kind as to measure the width of the set and post the results. A poster in another thread indicated they had measured it and it was 35.25" inches wide... just like the 34HFX85.

The Toshiba site says the 34HF85 is narrower at 33 5/8". http://www.tacp.toshiba.com/tacpassets-images/models/34hf85/docs/34hf85_spec.pdf

Can someone please confirm.

Thanks

waltchan
01-21-2006, 02:29 PM
Shame on toshiba for outsourcing their tv to orion and putting out an inferior product!
Orion is the company putting out cheap cheap TVs on the market. Ever go to Wal-Mart and find Durabrand TVs selling for so cheap. Durabrand TVs are also made by Orion. You get what you paid for.

AgentIce
01-21-2006, 05:44 PM
Yeah I learned my lesson that's for sure.... I assumed toshiba was a good brand and just blindly bought the TV. What a mistake that was.

Everything looks so much better on the sony, the sound is better, etc.

AdamAnt
01-21-2006, 10:37 PM
I'm another 34HF85 owner with the same problems described by AgentIce and T. Wrecks (wavy and flickery performance on hdtv channels, some of the hdtv channels are blue, white glow at top of screen on hd channels). Are there ANY owners out there that do not have these problems?? I have Comcast, by the way. Are you 2 still happy with the Sony's that you exchanged them for? I may do the same thing. What a pain to haul that beast back to Best Buy and a new heavier beast back to my house, though! Plus, I'll have to go smaller due to the side speakers....what was Sony thinking? I heard, though, that their next models will lose the side speakers...who knows when that will be, though.

ytwokr32 - I measured my tv to be just a hair over 35" wide, but not quite 35.25". I wouldn't suggest buying one, though, until somebody figures out what is causing the problems I mentioned above.

Dandmcd
01-22-2006, 02:33 AM
Orion is the company putting out cheap cheap TVs on the market. Ever go to Wal-Mart and find Durabrand TVs selling for so cheap. Durabrand TVs are also made by Orion. You get what you paid for.

Actually, most Durabrand TV's are made by Funai. Orion sells tv's through Wal-mart with their own brand name, and also sells under the Toshiba name.

AgentIce
01-22-2006, 09:49 AM
I'm another 34HF85 owner with the same problems described by AgentIce and T. Wrecks (wavy and flickery performance on hdtv channels, some of the hdtv channels are blue, white glow at top of screen on hd channels). Are there ANY owners out there that do not have these problems?? I have Comcast, by the way. Are you 2 still happy with the Sony's that you exchanged them for? I may do the same thing. What a pain to haul that beast back to Best Buy and a new heavier beast back to my house, though! Plus, I'll have to go smaller due to the side speakers....what was Sony thinking? I heard, though, that their next models will lose the side speakers...who knows when that will be, though.

ytwokr32 - I measured my tv to be just a hair over 35" wide, but not quite 35.25". I wouldn't suggest buying one, though, until somebody figures out what is causing the problems I mentioned above.

Yes I am VERY happy with the sony still... standard definition channels look much better, far less grainy, I also like the fact that when viewing SD in normal mode the bars on the side are black instead of gray. DVD's look great, HD is perfect. Everything is working perfectly and I haven't even played with any of the options yet. There is no question that it is worth it to haul it back and pick up a sony, fact of the matter is the toshiba simply does not work. I'd really recommend upgrading your entertaintment center if that is at all possible, so you can get the 34". STAY AWAY FROM THE TOSHIBA!

T. Wrecks
01-22-2006, 10:43 AM
Hey AgentIce, I'm glad everything worked out for you. I had the same reaction. After tinkering with my Toshiba for a week straight, I returned it, brought home the Sony, and was blown away right out of the box. It's a really nice TV.

And to answer the other question, I'm still quite happy with the Sony. I love it.

It was a tough decision to lug the Toshiba back to Sears, but it turned out to be well worth it.

mogdor
01-22-2006, 12:08 PM
Wow, I thought I'd convinced myself my Toshiba 30hf85 was good enough for me, but you guys are seriously making me consider returning it for the Sony!!

AgentIce, you were concerned with the same thing as me about grainy looking parts on DVDs, how is that on your new Sony compared with the Toshiba? I just assumed it had mostly to do with DVD quality but perhaps I was wrong, does the Sony really look that much better in regard to DVDs? I still haven't gotten HD hooked up yet (been swamped with so much work lately, no time) so I have no clue what HD looks like on the Toshiba, but I'll try to get it next week so I can see if I get the same problems everyone else is describing. Or should I just not even bother and get the Sony anyway?

I got a really good deal on the Toshiba because I had a 10% off coupon at best buy - including tax the total was under $710. The coupon's expired now, do you think they'll still honor it if I go back for the Sony? It would seem the fair thing to do, considering I wasn't able to make a good decision because they couldn't show me HD on the TVs when I was shopping before, not even a DVD! Maybe I'll threaten to buy the Sony at Circuit City instead if they don't honor the coupon, lol.

Uggghhh, I REALLY don't want to lug that thing back to Best Buy and haul back an even heavier TV, but you guys got me second guessing my purchase again- you guys suck!! Haha, just kidding. It's nice to be able to read everyone's opinions here, WAY more helpful than the people at Best Buy, that's for sure! This Toshiba fits perfectly on my entertainment center, I'm pretty sure I'll have to get another TV stand for the Sony, but you guys seriously think the Sony is THAT much better? Ugghh, what to do!! :D

AgentIce
01-22-2006, 12:29 PM
Wow, I thought I'd convinced myself my Toshiba 30hf85 was good enough for me, but you guys are seriously making me consider returning it for the Sony!!

AgentIce, you were concerned with the same thing as me about grainy looking parts on DVDs, how is that on your new Sony compared with the Toshiba? I just assumed it had mostly to do with DVD quality but perhaps I was wrong, does the Sony really look that much better in regard to DVDs? I still haven't gotten HD hooked up yet (been swamped with so much work lately, no time) so I have no clue what HD looks like on the Toshiba, but I'll try to get it next week so I can see if I get the same problems everyone else is describing. Or should I just not even bother and get the Sony anyway?

I got a really good deal on the Toshiba because I had a 10% off coupon at best buy - including tax the total was under $710. The coupon's expired now, do you think they'll still honor it if I go back for the Sony? It would seem the fair thing to do, considering I wasn't able to make a good decision because they couldn't show me HD on the TVs when I was shopping before, not even a DVD! Maybe I'll threaten to buy the Sony at Circuit City instead if they don't honor the coupon, lol.

Uggghhh, I REALLY don't want to lug that thing back to Best Buy and haul back an even heavier TV, but you guys got me second guessing my purchase again- you guys suck!! Haha, just kidding. It's nice to be able to read everyone's opinions here, WAY more helpful than the people at Best Buy, that's for sure! This Toshiba fits perfectly on my entertainment center, I'm pretty sure I'll have to get another TV stand for the Sony, but you guys seriously think the Sony is THAT much better? Ugghh, what to do!! :D

Well, I went to best buy with a DVD (the matrix) and tried it on three of their tv's, they all had pretty much the same quality, with the high definition sets looking the best. Grain is still visible on the standard defs and high defs, but I think what happens on the high defs is when there is no grain the picture is super clear, and that really contrasts with any grain. On the standard defs a "clear" picture isn't all that great so it doesn't contrast so much. In my opinion the sony does have a better picture on dvd's though, and my video games seem to look better, and regular cable tv looks far better than my toshiba.

But really the main reason to get the sony over the toshiba is the HD, it sounds like toshiba built some faulty inputs into their tv's or something like that. Basically HD was non-functional on my toshiba compared to how it is on my sony, it's a night and day difference. It doesn't make sense to spend that much on a tv when the HD doesn't work properly. On another forum I read that is toshiba only, the amount of complaints with regards to the 85's is very high, some people even having their connections stop working after a year or so (remember with my first toshiba none of the inputs worked out of the box). Meanwhile on the sony only board theres a very few amount of complaints, mostly people praising the TV.

So basically you get working HD with the sony, and in addition to that you get better sound, overall better picture, far better SD quality, and a better looking normal mode (black bars are much better than gray, especially in a darkly lit room). It's a no brainer!

PS. it will be quite easy to haggle with best buy over the price of your sony, just keep pushing them, talk to the manager if the sales rep gives you trouble. I'm sure telling them you are going to circuit city could work too but try to be nice about it :) We gave people deals all the time. They also have that 30 day price match thing, there should be some sales coming up for the super bowl.

Good luck!

mogdor
01-22-2006, 12:57 PM
So you say regular TV looks way better on the Sony? Yeah, the grey bars on the Toshiba bug me a little too, black would definitely be better. How are the stretch modes on the Sony? I really like the TheaterWide 1 mode on the Toshiba, that's one thing they got going for them.

That's good to hear best buy will probably work out a deal if I haggle with them a little. I'm always polite with the salespeople, even the morons lol; having worked in customer service before myself I know rude customers are a real pain :D . Anyway, I'm sure I'll eventually just go ahead and take back the Tosh or I'm going to drive myself nuts constantly thinking I could've gotten a better TV for roughly the same price. Thanks for the help, I'll keep checking back here and post my progress.

GISMO
01-22-2006, 01:04 PM
AGENTICE what model sony did you buy?i was going to buy the toshiba that you had in about a month for my bedroom but not now after reading all the promblems thank you for posting.THANK YOU

AgentIce
01-22-2006, 01:09 PM
So you say regular TV looks way better on the Sony? Yeah, the grey bars on the Toshiba bug me a little too, black would definitely be better. How are the stretch modes on the Sony? I really like the TheaterWide 1 mode on the Toshiba, that's one thing they got going for them.
The widscreen zoom looks fine on the sony to me, no complaints with any of the zooms. The toshiba had an extra "natural" zoom that seemed to adjust for widescreen or standard sources, you have to manually set it to full or normal on the sony. I'd give the sony more points though, even on the toshiba some shows just looked a bit too fat with the stretch on, so I'd set it to normal, and the black bars make watching in normal made much nicer on the sony. The only minor complaint I have so far is that you can't select an input by pressing a number, you have to cycle through all of them.

That's good to hear best buy will probably work out a deal if I haggle with them a little. I'm always polite with the salespeople, even the morons lol; having worked in customer service before myself I know rude customers are a real pain :D . Anyway, I'm sure I'll eventually just go ahead and take back the Tosh or I'm going to drive myself nuts constantly thinking I could've gotten a better TV for roughly the same price. Thanks for the help, I'll keep checking back here and post my progress.

Lol, well that's good, I never treated rude customers differently, but I know some employees/managers did. Firm politeness seems to be the best policy. I'm glad I could help, I hope the sony blows your toshiba away as much as mine did! :D

AgentIce
01-22-2006, 01:12 PM
AGENTICE what model sony did you buy?i was going to buy the toshiba that you had in about a month for my bedroom but not now after reading all the promblems thank you for posting.THANK YOU
I bought the kv-34hs420, and you're very welcome! :)

AdamAnt
01-22-2006, 02:31 PM
T. Wrecks: Did you (or anyone else here) also consider the KV32HS420? It's a 4:3 HDTV with 2" bigger screen, but same overall width of their 30" 16:9. Do you miss having a 34" screen? I, too, am limited to about a 35" wide tv.

T. Wrecks
01-22-2006, 05:08 PM
T. Wrecks: Did you (or anyone else here) also consider the KV32HS420? It's a 4:3 HDTV with 2" bigger screen, but same overall width of their 30" 16:9. Do you miss having a 34" screen? I, too, am limited to about a 35" wide tv.

Nah...I never really thought about a 4:3. I'm most considered with DVDs for my home-theatre experience, so having 16:9 was important to me.

AgentIce--I totally agree with you. It's something with the HD content only. DVDs looked great on my TV. And SD didn't look too bad. Everything fell apart when I picked up my HD box from Cablevision.

AgentIce
01-22-2006, 11:59 PM
AgentIce--I totally agree with you. It's something with the HD content only. DVDs looked great on my TV. And SD didn't look too bad. Everything fell apart when I picked up my HD box from Cablevision.

Yeah I agree, I thought SD quality was way better at first but after using it a while I think I was just on a good channel, fox has always been the worst channel around here and it looked about as bad as it did on the toshiba. Really where the toshiba truly screws up is in the HD content, that's definitely the deal breaker.

AdamAnt
01-23-2006, 09:38 AM
AgentIce & T. Wrecks,

Did either of you use your retailer's installation service for the Toshiba? I've spoken with the Best Buy manager and he swears that his installer can fix the problem. I think he's overly optimistic.

T. Wrecks
01-23-2006, 10:12 AM
Nah. After I googled the problem (white glow, funky colors) and saw that others were having the same problem, I wanted to cut my loses and just get a different TV all together.

I want this thing to last me years, and I didn't want to get off on the wrong foot.

mogdor
01-25-2006, 06:39 PM
Well I haven't returned the Toshiba for the Sony yet, but I should FINALLY be getting the HD hooked up tommorrow. I'll test out the HD on the Tosh before I decide to return it for sure, so anyone interested in seeing if I have problems like others with the HD, stay tuned tommorrow! :D

AdamAnt
01-26-2006, 12:20 PM
As you may have read in one of my previous posts, I've had the same problems that other Toshi owners have reported with their HD channels:

- wavy and/or flickery picture
- some of the HD channels are blue
- white glow at top of screen

The good news is that all of that went away earlier this week. :yippee:

The bad news is that I'm not sure exactly why it went away. I suspect the fix was from unplugging and then plugging back in my STB (which I had to do to fix an unrelated self-induced problem), though I can't be sure of that. :confused:

The other bad news is that it all came back this morning. :banghead:

I'm trying to figure out what might have caused this to happen again. I didn't have time to trouble shoot this morning because I had to get to work. The only things I've done differently recently than just watch TV are recording on DVR last night and playing a DVD this morning. I'm not sure why or how that would cause the problem, but I am hopeful that tonight I can reset my STB by unplugging it again and then trying the DVR and DVD to see if it causes it to happen again. I will keep you posted.

By the way, AgentIce, it's not just Adelphia....I have Comcast.

Just to confirm...HD broadcasts viewed on a 16:9 will still have some letterboxing, correct? And that can be varied by using the TV's pic size settings? Prior to this morning, I could modify the display of my HD programs (natural, widescreen 1-2-3, full...or something like that). This morning, I got "Not Available" when I tried to change the display for HD channels.

T. Wrecks
01-26-2006, 01:26 PM
Not all HD programming is wide screen, so you might get letterboxing.

On my TV I can't change the size of HD programming. Your TV might be different.

But I think you can on the Toshiba, right? Maybe your STB isn't set to "passthrough" or something like that.

AdamAnt
01-26-2006, 01:52 PM
T. Wrecks, I'm talking about the horizontal bars. Do you get those on your HD channels? Yesterday, I had them on all HD channels. Today, I have them on no HD channels...they're all full screen.

Yes, for the last couple of days, until this morning, I could change the size on HD programs.

Porcupine
01-26-2006, 01:54 PM
I just bought a new 30" Toshiba HDTV, same type as yours but one size smaller. I see what you guys mean about the grain on DVDs now. It is even extremely noticeable on digitally produced recent animes, which have computer-colored solid colors over large portions of the screen (due to being a cartoon). But it is obvious to me that these "grain" issues are the result of the TV being very high quality and reproducing with great precision the flaws in the original DVDs, even digitally-produced cartoons with the lowest compression ratios.

DVD is actually a REALLY bad format, the compression artifacts it introduces are horrible. But most people seem to put up with it and not even notice, but I've always wondered how people manage to ignore that stuff. With a poorer TV like most people have (and I used to) the artifacts are not nearly as noticeable but they are still really noticeable for DVDs that compress their material slightly more (common, especially for DVDs over several years old).

You can probably try to reduce sharpness or contrast or something to try to minimize the "grain" you see but doing tricks like these could really just be "degrading" your image until the grain is less obvious. I think it always will be though, with this TV.

Porcupine
01-26-2006, 01:56 PM
In this case of the digitally-produced animes I watch, the "grain" will only follow around subtitles/words/black cartoon outlines, so it is obvious they are compression artifacts.

For other sources like real-life movies or old analog animes, grain will probably be worse and be everywhere, not only due to DVD compression, but also due to the imperfect analog-to-digital conversion process, I think.

mogdor
01-26-2006, 01:56 PM
Well I decided to just go out to the Adelphia store last night and pick up the HD box rather than have someone come hook it up for me. I hooked it up with the monster component cables, and thoroughly checked out all the HD channels. Unfortunately all you guys were right about the HD problems, I had 'em all - flickering, weird colors, bright at the top of the screen, brightness fluctuating, some channels were blue (NBC was the worst), and I also occasionally had these weird blue dots flashing on the screen. So yeah the 30hf85 is going back this weekend for sure! The picture did look really nice at times, I watched a few shows on discovery and hdnet and was just amazed at the detail. Also like AgentIce mentioned, Letterman looked great, that is, until the colors started wigging out LOL. So this is what, like at least 4 people on this thread with the exact same problems with their Toshibas, not to mention others on this and other forums. Boo Toshiba! So anyway, I'll be yet another one to dump the Tosh for a Sony. I'll be getting the KV30hs420 so feel free to rave about the wonders of your Sony sets guys and help build up the excitement for me, LOL

JackHmr21
01-26-2006, 01:56 PM
I'm another 34HF85 owner with the same problems described by AgentIce and T. Wrecks (wavy and flickery performance on hdtv channels, some of the hdtv channels are blue, white glow at top of screen on hd channels). Are there ANY owners out there that do not have these problems?? I have Comcast, by the way. Are you 2 still happy with the Sony's that you exchanged them for? I may do the same thing. What a pain to haul that beast back to Best Buy and a new heavier beast back to my house, though! Plus, I'll have to go smaller due to the side speakers....what was Sony thinking? I heard, though, that their next models will lose the side speakers...who knows when that will be, though.


I'm a recent 34HF85 owner, and I was really happy with it until I got the HD box. Then I saw blue HD NBC and flickering channels (some consistently worse than others). Like others on this forum, I had Comcast come out and the guy swapped the boxes, checked every connection from the service pole outside to my box, checked signal strength, swapped component inputs... all the things that have been mentioned. No luck, no change. No adjustments in TV settings or HD box settings have any effect.

I'm going to Sears this weekend to take the beast back. I'm also really not looking forward to lugging a 160lb TV back to the store and replacing with an even bigger Sony. I'm so not looking forward to it that I'm even contemplating getting a flat panel. But I have avoided the flat panel because the CRT picture is better and cheaper.

Man, what a disappointment.

Porcupine
01-26-2006, 02:03 PM
Uh-oh. Hrm, I don't even have digital cable in my house so right now I have no true HDTV sources to test on. Hopefully I won't suddenly encounter these new problems when I really get HDTV in some form...

T. Wrecks
01-26-2006, 02:08 PM
We should form a support group!

But, all is well that ends well.

I couldn't be happier with my Sony. After a long day, I love sitting down with my wife and watching a movie or show (in HD of course).

You'll all be thrilled with your Sonys.

Thing is, I wouldn't have been so angry about my Toshiba exprience, if I had somehow skimped out. BUT I DIDN'T! I went out of my way to get a name brand. There was no way I was dropping a grand on a broken TV.

mogdor
01-26-2006, 02:18 PM
I'm a recent 34HF85 owner, and I was really happy with it until I got the HD box. Then I saw blue HD NBC and flickering channels (some consistently worse than others). Like others on this forum, I had Comcast come out and the guy swapped the boxes, checked every connection from the service pole outside to my box, checked signal strength, swapped component inputs... all the things that have been mentioned. No luck, no change. No adjustments in TV settings or HD box settings have any effect.

I'm going to Sears this weekend to take the beast back. I'm also really not looking forward to lugging a 160lb TV back to the store and replacing with an even bigger Sony. I'm so not looking forward to it that I'm even contemplating getting a flat panel. But I have avoided the flat panel because the CRT picture is better and cheaper.

Man, what a disappointment.

I hear you! I'm going back to Best Buy this weekend to replace my Toshiba 30hf85 for the Sony 30hs420 and in the back of my mind wondering if I should just spend more and get a flat panel because of the size/weight. I know everyone says the CRTs have the best picture, not to mention best prices, but it would be great to have a nice TV that doesn't weigh a ton. Plus, the Westinghouse lcd sets at Best Buy sure look nice!

mogdor
01-26-2006, 02:25 PM
We should form a support group!

But, all is well that ends well.

I couldn't be happier with my Sony. After a long day, I love sitting down with my wife and watching a movie or show (in HD of course).

You'll all be thrilled with your Sonys.

Thing is, I wouldn't have been so angry about my Toshiba exprience, if I had somehow skimped out. BUT I DIDN'T! I went out of my way to get a name brand. There was no way I was dropping a grand on a broken TV.

Support group, LOL we could be the "Battered Ex-Toshiba Owners" :D Yeah I'm definitely surprised by Toshiba, I've had other Tosh products and they've all been great, what a let down

You gotta help convince me to get the Sony T-Wrecks - I'm seriously considering going lcd and really shouldn't be spending that much money, LOL!

T. Wrecks
01-26-2006, 02:55 PM
lol...I don't know what to say. LCD is very tempting. Especially because my Sony is SO heavy.

BUT, the PQ is second to none. And, most importantly, it's much cheaper than an LCD. Right out of the box, it will look great. When I brought it home, I was ready to spend hours tinkering with it (like I had with the Toshiba). But I basically plugged it in, connected my wires and was thrilled.

JackHmr21
01-26-2006, 03:04 PM
My house is on a hill and there are what amounts to 2 flights of stairs from the street to my front door. Getting the 170lb Toshiba into the house and onto the stand required my neighbor and was still shockingly difficult even with help. And I'm young and in good shape. My wife didn't even attempt to help lift - it would have killed her.

The thought of bringing home a set that is 40lbs heavier really makes me think that spending another $500 on a lighter LCD would be worth the money. I'm also wondering if I should just get the new CRT delivered. If it's less than $100 that might be worth it too. Anybody out there buy a set in the store and then have it delievered? How was your experience with wait times and cost?

I'm still in shock at what a disappointing pain in the a$$ this is. Effing Toshiba piece of junk.

Nonnie
01-26-2006, 08:02 PM
Quick question for you guys. Is the glow/flickering only with cable stb's? Anyone have the same problems with an HD OTA set top box? (like a Sylvania srz3000 or the Accurian HST 6000) Or any of the Direct TV hd receivers?

I have a 30hf84 and it works perfectly. Perfect 1080i on component and hdmi. Orion must have made some major changes to the scaler between the 04 and 05 models. I had been thinking of selling my set and getting a 34 but I guess I'll keep it a while longer.

AdamAnt
01-26-2006, 09:32 PM
I have Comcast cable. Nonnie, what do you have?

Nonnie
01-26-2006, 10:12 PM
Samsung SIR-TS160 DirectTV HD Receiver
Accurian HTS-6000 OTA HD Receiver
Toshiba SD-V592 Upconverting DVD/VCR Combo

AdamAnt
01-26-2006, 10:35 PM
I think I've discovered the fix (although, it's a sucky fix). And maybe with the help of the rest of you, we can confirm the fix, pinpoint the cause, and find a permanent solution (other than buying a Sony). :) I tried multiple things tonight, but I'm pretty sure that the one that fixed the problem was simply having Comcast resend their signal. It took about 40 minutes from the time they sent it to when my HD channels "cleaned up". So, mogdor & JackHmr21 and anyone else who still has their toshi, please have your cable company resend their signal and see what happens. I am eager to hear your reports!

Also, I read that Comcast either will or does own Adelphia. Do you think there's any connection there since those are the only cable providers mentioned in this thread?

JackHmr21
01-27-2006, 09:40 AM
I think I've discovered the fix (although, it's a sucky fix). ... I tried multiple things tonight, but I'm pretty sure that the one that fixed the problem was simply having Comcast resend their signal. It took about 40 minutes from the time they sent it to when my HD channels "cleaned up". So, mogdor & JackHmr21 and anyone else who still has their toshi, please have your cable company resend their signal and see what happens. I am eager to hear your reports!


That was one of the first things I did and it had no effect. Then I had the Comcast cable guy come out, and he had them resend it too, in the middle of the other testing he did. No improvement.

T. Wrecks
01-27-2006, 09:57 AM
Also, I read that Comcast either will or does own Adelphia. Do you think there's any connection there since those are the only cable providers mentioned in this thread?
Good call, but I have Cablevision.

AdamAnt
01-27-2006, 11:17 AM
Ok, so maybe it's not cable provider related. How about the cable box? I have the Motorola DCT6412 III. Is that what the rest of you with these problems have, too?

JackHmr21
01-30-2006, 11:31 AM
Long end to my Toshiba saga... took it back to sears, and they tried to get me to pay the 15% restocking fee. Luckily, I found the salesguy I originally bought it from (and thus it was his commission) and he did not want to lose the sale.

He waived the restocking fee and gave me 10% off another TV. I had done my research and knew what I wanted, and it was cheaper than I could get at Best Buy or anywhere else, so I crossed over and got a flat panel (never thought I would).

Samsung 32" LCD LN-R328W

And just like the guy who replaced his Toshiba w/ a Sony(CRT), the increase in out-of-the box quality was like night and day. My Samsung is just a vastly superior product. And despite what I had hear -- that LCD isn't great with SD channels -- this TV outperforms the Toshiba on every front incl SD. Sure, it was $500 more, but worth every penny. And I didn't have to get the neighbors to help me lug it up the stairs.

Porcupine
01-30-2006, 03:16 PM
Toshiba I just discovered you have to use the composite or S-Video inputs to get good image quality. Something is consistently wrong with the component inputs on most Toshibas. I'm on my 3rd now...the quality is quite satisfactory to me on S-Video/Composite for regular TV so I'm keeping it. I might get pissed though when I try to display an HD signal for the first time through component/HDMI one of these days....

I think the problem is that there is not enough competition in the CRT HDTV industry. It seems to be like ALL the companies are dragging their asses except for Sony. It's not just Toshiba.

AdamAnt
01-30-2006, 03:58 PM
Either the 34HF85 can't handle a 1080i input or there is a compatibility issue between it and the DCT6412 III. All of my PQ issues went away when I set my STB output to 720p! Do any of you still have your Toshiba (and HD) and can test/confirm?? I'm not sure how much better it would look if 1080i worked, but 720p looks pretty darn good. For you new Sony & Samsung owners, what is your STB output set to? Do you remember if you tried 720p with your Toshiba before taking it back? Anyone with OTA HD outputting 1080i to their 34HF85 with good PQ? That would help determine if it is a TV or a cable box problem. Nonnie is getting good PQ with OTA, but his/hers is the previous generation Toshiba (30HF84), which seem to be having fewer problems anyways.

mogdor
01-30-2006, 04:14 PM
Long end to my Toshiba saga... took it back to sears, and they tried to get me to pay the 15% restocking fee. Luckily, I found the salesguy I originally bought it from (and thus it was his commission) and he did not want to lose the sale.

He waived the restocking fee and gave me 10% off another TV. I had done my research and knew what I wanted, and it was cheaper than I could get at Best Buy or anywhere else, so I crossed over and got a flat panel (never thought I would).

Samsung 32" LCD LN-R328W

And just like the guy who replaced his Toshiba w/ a Sony(CRT), the increase in out-of-the box quality was like night and day. My Samsung is just a vastly superior product. And despite what I had hear -- that LCD isn't great with SD channels -- this TV outperforms the Toshiba on every front incl SD. Sure, it was $500 more, but worth every penny. And I didn't have to get the neighbors to help me lug it up the stairs.

I also brought back my Toshiba this weekend. I almost got the Sony, but I saw a decent priced 32" lcd at Costco and got that instead. I know everyone here says crt is better looking than lcd, but I'd have to disagree. Even with a low-end lcd (proview) the picture just blows away anything I've ever seen on any tube set. Some people describe HD as "like looking through a window", man, they weren't kidding! On some of these HD shows I feel like I could reach out and touch things inside the screen. Bye bye Toshiba (and crt in general).

bgoalie35
01-30-2006, 04:22 PM
Either the 34HF85 can't handle a 1080i input or there is a compatibility issue between it and the DCT6412 III. All of my PQ issues went away when I set my STB output to 720p! Do any of you still have your Toshiba (and HD) and can test/confirm?? I'm not sure how much better it would look if 1080i worked, but 720p looks pretty darn good. For you new Sony & Samsung owners, what is your STB output set to? Do you remember if you tried 720p with your Toshiba before taking it back? Anyone with OTA HD outputting 1080i to their 34HF85 with good PQ? That would help determine if it is a TV or a cable box problem. Nonnie is getting good PQ with OTA, but his/hers is the previous generation Toshiba (30HF84), which seem to be having fewer problems anyways.

I'll have to try the 720p. I thought it might be just a cable box problem as well, but I have DirecTV, and I have problems with mine. I have a second TV coming, so I'll see if it is any improvement over the first.

Ben74
01-30-2006, 04:57 PM
I thought I'd offer my experiences with the Toshiba 34hfx85. I have Charter cable in western WI. I had the same problems as everyone else. NBC in HD was all blue. I also had shadow flickering problems on a couple other HD channels, along with the white glow at the top of the screen.

At first I thought it was the cable signal from Charter. One of their techs came out and couldn't find any problems with the signal, so I did some testing on my own. I actually have two different HD set top boxes in my house. One was a DVR box. I also have an older 42" Toshiba rear-projection HDTV. The new 34" Toshiba had the HD signal problems with both set top boxes. The older 42" Toshiba did not have any HD signal problems with either of the set top boxes.

After my testing, I ordered a replacement Toshiba. When I received the replacement, it had the exact same problems. I spoke with a local TV repair technician. He talked with his technical contacts at Toshiba. They are aware of the white glow problem and are working on a fix. They did not seem to be aware of the flickering or blue tinting problem at the time. Whether a fix for the white glow problem will fix the other problems is anyone's guess at this point.

If I changed the HD set top box to output at 720p instead of 1080i, the problems would go away. However, I was unwilling to spend that much money on a defective TV with obvious design flaws. Who know what other problems might exist now or might occur in the future? My solution was to exchange the Toshiba for a 37" Westinghouse LCD. Unfortunately, I've had problems with that monitor and am now awaiting my 2nd replacement unit. The problems are different than with the Toshiba. I have seen none of the Toshiba's problems on the Westinghouse.

It is so frustrating to spend so much money and get such poor quality. Hopefully this information will help others having problems with their Toshibas. I'll try to monitor this thread for a few days, so if you have any questions about my experiences, just ask.

Ben

AgentIce
01-31-2006, 05:40 AM
Either the 34HF85 can't handle a 1080i input or there is a compatibility issue between it and the DCT6412 III. All of my PQ issues went away when I set my STB output to 720p! Do any of you still have your Toshiba (and HD) and can test/confirm?? I'm not sure how much better it would look if 1080i worked, but 720p looks pretty darn good. For you new Sony & Samsung owners, what is your STB output set to? Do you remember if you tried 720p with your Toshiba before taking it back? Anyone with OTA HD outputting 1080i to their 34HF85 with good PQ? That would help determine if it is a TV or a cable box problem. Nonnie is getting good PQ with OTA, but his/hers is the previous generation Toshiba (30HF84), which seem to be having fewer problems anyways.

I did try setting my box to 720p (along with trying both 1080i and 540p on the toshiba) and it didn't solve any of my problems. Shows still flickered badly etc. I have some motorola box but I don't know which. There's really no question that it's a TV problem, so if you have a toshiba and are in a position to take it back then do that before its too late. I agree the previous generation toshiba seems to be a much higher quality product, probably because it wasn't outsourced to orion but who knows.

AgentIce
01-31-2006, 05:41 AM
Toshiba I just discovered you have to use the composite or S-Video inputs to get good image quality. Something is consistently wrong with the component inputs on most Toshibas. I'm on my 3rd now...the quality is quite satisfactory to me on S-Video/Composite for regular TV so I'm keeping it. I might get pissed though when I try to display an HD signal for the first time through component/HDMI one of these days....

I think the problem is that there is not enough competition in the CRT HDTV industry. It seems to be like ALL the companies are dragging their asses except for Sony. It's not just Toshiba.

Don't do that! You'll be very disappointed, whats the point of having a HDTV if the HD doesn't work? I'd just take it back if thats at all possible.

AgentIce
01-31-2006, 05:41 AM
I also brought back my Toshiba this weekend. I almost got the Sony, but I saw a decent priced 32" lcd at Costco and got that instead. I know everyone here says crt is better looking than lcd, but I'd have to disagree. Even with a low-end lcd (proview) the picture just blows away anything I've ever seen on any tube set. Some people describe HD as "like looking through a window", man, they weren't kidding! On some of these HD shows I feel like I could reach out and touch things inside the screen. Bye bye Toshiba (and crt in general).

Glad to hear it turned out well! :thumbsup:

Nonnie
01-31-2006, 08:43 AM
Sorry to hear you guys are having so many problems. If it's any consolation, you have plenty of company at the AvsForum that have the same problems.
http://www./avs-vb/showthread.php?t=575786
My 30HF84 does not have any of the 1080I glow or HDMI flicker issues. I guess they changed the design significantly from the HF84 series to the HF85.
If you can return the sets, get rid of them. If not, begin raising hell with TACP (Toshiba America Consumer Products) Document the problems with Customer Service and have a technician check out your set. Then when they can't resolve it, begin calling every supervisor at Toshiba you can find. Write letters, make a ton of noise. Don't settle for a workaround, they have to fix the issues.

Take a look at the 30HF84 thread below and see what a lot of the guys did.
http://www./avs-vb/showthread.php?t=444020&highlight=30hf84
Eventually Toshiba came up with fixes for all the major problems.

T. Wrecks
01-31-2006, 09:35 AM
Don't do that! You'll be very disappointed, whats the point of having a HDTV if the HD doesn't work? I'd just take it back if thats at all possible.

I totally agree! You paid for 1080i -- you should have it!

Porcupine
01-31-2006, 03:18 PM
Your points are well-taken. The problem is that the Toshiba 30" is the only 30" CRT HDTV that fits in the space I have allocated for a TV. If I had more ample space I would go out and exchange for the Sony 30HS420 in an instant.

In the absolute worst case scenario, I've paid $750 dollars (and given Toshiba problems by returning 2 previous units nyah nyah they deserve it) for a fairly good quality 30" widescreen EDTV that has a very compact size and shape. Was that too much?

But I do worry about what will happen when my HD capabilities arrive in the form of a PS3 and Blu-ray/HD-DVD...I'm not even sure when the PS3 will release. I'm right now hoping that the color shifting problems I get through component cables either do not carry to HDMI, or only exist in the 480 modes. The color shifting problems do apply to all HDTVs even the Sony's, because I have seen it on them as well, however they may exist to a lesser extent or something. I'm not sure what causes this problem. It causes yellow subtitles bordered by black outlines to appear white in parts and yellow in parts, for example. It can also push the "yellow" color outside the text to the left, and affects image quality everywhere (just most obvious with colored text with black outlines).

Porcupine
01-31-2006, 03:21 PM
I'm right now reading the AVS links Nonnie posted thoroughly. It's very informative, I see a lot of the problems I've encountered mentioned there. I wish I could help some of them too, but those posts are old and they are gone already. About half the problems I think can usually be remedied in an acceptable way (but the other half may require a return or giving up on this TV).

I'm pretty much a super master of the 30HF85 Service Menu now...I think I've opened it 200 times on 3 different units in the last week. ^_^; I've twiddled with EVERYTHING. I've tried Designer Menu too but uh it is scary. The Service Menu kinda sucks there are many things I'd wish to adjust that I suspect can be done in the Designer Menu but it is too dangerous to mess with.

Porcupine
01-31-2006, 03:27 PM
And before anyone warns me, yes I did write down all the Service Menu values for my 1st TV. I was too lazy to write down all the Service Menu values of my later TVs though, some of which were set very different. I tend not to permanently change too much though (there is no need, the things I'd REALLY like to do are often not even in the Service Menu anyway) and what I do change regularly I feel is harmless.

BTW, the Service Menu values will change depending on the screen mode you are in (fullscreen, widescreen, etc) and possibly the Video Input selection as well (not sure about this one). That's really useful but it also means that if you REALLY wanted to write down all the values for everything it'd be like 1000 values or something (most of which would be redundant).

I also think that the people who set the Service Menu settings are not super-trained professionals. Two of my TVs were set out-of-the-box very dumb, but one was excellent. Most of the settings are just the same on all the TVs, most likely they are told to set those values as instructed.

ja2935
01-31-2006, 03:41 PM
Porcupine - I've just read your posts and would say the following:-

Your Toshiba should work reasonably well straight out of the box - you can test all the inputs (perhaps not the HDMI) assuming you have a DVD player with component, s video, and even composite (or use a VCR). There should be no need to fiddle endlessly with the menus (the four preset ones cover a good range and enough to tell if it is working ok), and no need at all to access the service menu. If it doesn't work straight away take it back and make sure they give you a brand new one - not one that someone like you has fiddled with!

Mine worked as received and yours should too. DVDs look extremely good on mine - the newer ones showing no significant speckling. In fact good DVDs look almost as good as some HD, presumably because the tv is upconverting to 1080i so making a nice dense picture. I should add that I used the DVE disk to set it up but it is not a million miles from the Movie picture setting

Don't settle for anything less than the best.

Porcupine
01-31-2006, 03:52 PM
My TVs do work reasonably well out of the box. Well, except for my first which had the (apparently) semi-well-known problem that it would not accept 480i through component. I am really picky though about image quality and I found that the Service Menu was of use to tweak the image how I liked. It was also useful to adjust or purposefully inflict overscan on all the different view modes (fullscreen, widescreen, etc) to fit the viewing material I personally watch.

My goal however, is of course to get the Service Menu tweaked to personal perfection and never have to ever access it again at some point. The regular Menu hopefully being all that is needed at that point.

I don't do much if any geometry adjustments. I mostly keep them as you said (with the exception of my latest TV, which was totally messed up, but otherwise this latest TV is the best one I've gotten yet so I'm keeping it). The brightness/contrast settings are useful (I lowered my Min Contrast, very useful for night viewing) and Sub Contrast is ESPECIALLY useful (and was also factory set very differently on my 3 TVs). Sub Contrast cannot be adjusted in the regular Menu....I think it is the equivalent of "Gamma Correction."

And like I already said the overscan adjustments and image resizing in the Service Menu are very helpful.

I'm a picky viewer, I guess. :)

Porcupine
01-31-2006, 03:56 PM
I've seen a lot of other people complain about things like the blacks are not black enough, etc, regarding this TV, and simple things like that can be fixed in the Service Menu (I have not touched those settings myself because like you said I am happy with the way the TV came. I only change what I feel is helpful to change, and usually I end up only changing the values by 1 or 2 points, and only a select few of them).

Also things like Tilt and Tint are better to adjust in the Service Menu once, that way in your regular Menu you can just leave them at 0.

ja2935
01-31-2006, 09:55 PM
There are two geometry changes I would like to make to my set:-

1. the picture is shifted to the right by about half an inch - no big deal but it would be nice to have it in the middle.

2. In Theaterwide 1 which eliminates the side bars on 4:3 programs it actually zooms/stretches a bit too far so I loose a bit off the width as well as the height.

waltchan
01-31-2006, 10:23 PM
Porcupine - I've just read your posts and would say the following:-

Your Toshiba should work reasonably well straight out of the box - you can test all the inputs (perhaps not the HDMI) assuming you have a DVD player with component, s video, and even composite (or use a VCR). There should be no need to fiddle endlessly with the menus (the four preset ones cover a good range and enough to tell if it is working ok), and no need at all to access the service menu. If it doesn't work straight away take it back and make sure they give you a brand new one - not one that someone like you has fiddled with!

Mine worked as received and yours should too. DVDs look extremely good on mine - the newer ones showing no significant speckling. In fact good DVDs look almost as good as some HD, presumably because the tv is upconverting to 1080i so making a nice dense picture. I should add that I used the DVE disk to set it up but it is not a million miles from the Movie picture setting

Don't settle for anything less than the best.
OH, COME ON!!! You own a Toshiba 34HF84. 34HF84 inputs always work. You should already know by now that the 34HF84 was made by Toshiba and the 34HF85 is made by Orion (Sansui). 34HF84 is completely different from the 34HF85. You cannot assume that Toshiba and Orion are equal quality. You won't have any issues for years ahead. Enjoy it and don't worry.

ja2935
02-01-2006, 11:30 AM
OH, COME ON!!! You own a Toshiba 34HF84. 34HF84 inputs always work. You should already know by now that the 34HF84 was made by Toshiba and the 34HF85 is made by Orion (Sansui). 34HF84 is completely different from the 34HF85. You cannot assume that Toshiba and Orion are equal quality. You won't have any issues for years ahead. Enjoy it and don't worry.
From what I have read recently that would seem to be the case. I hope it lasts long enough for me to upgrade to an LCD sometime in the future! HD CRTs are a dying breed (not even available in Europe), perhaps that's why Toshiba pensioned them off to a contract assembly facility.

AdamAnt
02-02-2006, 09:50 AM
I have a question about up/down converting since setting the STB to 720p seems to be the workaround (at least for some of us) for the blue channels, flickering, etc. It stands to reason that this workaround won't affect the PQ of programs that are already being broadcast in 720p (like ESPN and ABC). But, what about 1080i broadcasts? Are those going to be down converted to 720p and then up converted to 1080i? And will that affect PQ (in a noticeable or measurable amount)? Will a 1080i program that is displayed as 1080i (with no converting) look noticeably better than a 1080i program that is down converted and then up converted?

ja2935
02-02-2006, 12:30 PM
Any down conversion will loose information which presumably cannot be restored during upconverting - sounds like a bad idea to me....

edc4
02-13-2006, 02:22 PM
Ok, so maybe it's not cable provider related. How about the cable box? I have the Motorola DCT6412 III. Is that what the rest of you with these problems have, too?

I too have the 6412 version III with the 30hf85. Mine doesn't have the degree of problems here like others, but have some color fades most often on CBS and sometimes ESPN but not always on ESPN, comes and goes (some basketball games it's very bad, some good, Letterman bad at start of show, don't notice it much after that). My cable box was replaced (small local company here) no fix, it's connected with component cables, would the problem get better if I invest in HDMI cable myself? 3 cable guys have not had a clue.

bgoalie35
02-13-2006, 04:28 PM
I have a question about up/down converting since setting the STB to 720p seems to be the workaround (at least for some of us) for the blue channels, flickering, etc. It stands to reason that this workaround won't affect the PQ of programs that are already being broadcast in 720p (like ESPN and ABC). But, what about 1080i broadcasts? Are those going to be down converted to 720p and then up converted to 1080i? And will that affect PQ (in a noticeable or measurable amount)? Will a 1080i program that is displayed as 1080i (with no converting) look noticeably better than a 1080i program that is down converted and then up converted?

I think that just depends on how fine an eye you have for this stuff. I can notice a subtle difference between 720p and 1080i (before I knew which stations broadcasted in which format, I could tell you just by looking at the picture). I have friends who cannot tell the difference at all though. I would say you will probably be satisfied with 720p, and will not notice a very big difference between it and 1080i.

Having said that, I returned my Toshiba because I have no desire to own a product that has a flaw inherent in it from the start. If 1080i does not work properly, what else will break 3 months, 6 months, or a year from now? I replaced mine with an LCD, which only displays 720p, which is just fine for me on a 32" screen. At least I know the LCD is a quality product that will not crap out on me any day now.

eripaulie
02-16-2006, 11:27 AM
Hi, just had H20, 5LNB install on Monday, Detroit area. I am completely confusing myself when adjusting the settings in the setup menu on the H20. I have a Toshiba 34hfx85 (manufactured December 2005) and havent noticed any of the glow or flickering problems that the other owners have mentioned in this forum. I would appreciate some advice on these settings in the H20 setup menu.

#1 Should I turn the native setting on or off? My TV Manuel specs page says "suggested scan rates: 1080i,480p, 480i,720p"

#2 Under the resolutions screen should I then check all of the boxes for these choices or just one, if just one, which one is best?(example: is 1080i better than 720p etc)

BobY
02-16-2006, 11:49 AM
1080i is different than 720p but not necessarily better, it depends on your set. For most fixed-pixel displays (LCD, plasma), you would probably want to use 720p, as these displays are inherently progressive and will convert 1080i to 720p anyway (although some larger sets convert 1080i to 1080p).

Your set converts 720p to 1080i, so there is no reason to use 720p. It will either look the same, or worse than using 1080i.

Nonnie
02-16-2006, 06:48 PM
I have the H20 also and find much faster performance with native turned off. Just leave it at 1080I.

Quick question, where did you buy the 34hfx85? I had read somewhere that sets built after November were pretty much problem free. I have a 34hf85 on order with Crutchfield, they are on backorder from Toshiba/Orion and expect delivery 2nd week of March. I suspect it will be a pretty recent build, looks like they are still putting them together.

waltchan
02-16-2006, 08:53 PM
I have a 34hf85 on order with Crutchfield, they are on backorder from Toshiba/Orion and expect delivery 2nd week of March. I suspect it will be a pretty recent build, looks like they are still putting them together.
You're buying an Orion again? :eek: That's crazy. What happen to the Sony KD-34XBR960 you bought two weeks ago?

Nonnie
02-16-2006, 09:54 PM
It had some pretty bad horizontal geometry and Best Buy did not have another to replace it. I didn't want to have my local Sony authorized tech touch it. I was less than impressed with him when he worked on my 30hf84.

waltchan
02-16-2006, 10:05 PM
It had some pretty bad horizontal geometry and Best Buy did not have another to replace it. I didn't want to have my local Sony authorized tech touch it. I was less than impressed with him when he worked on my 30hf84.
Just because the Sony XBR960 has a bad geometry doesn't mean that all Sony 34" has a bad geometry.

Oh well, maybe I'm a little rough here, but don't worry if you ordered a Toshiba 34HF85. Historically, Orion makes sort of reliable products, and Orion does get better over time. I have an Orion product, so we are fair square. It's an Orion FTDV2004 20" TV/DVD/VCR combo that I bought from Wal-Mart for about $265. From what I read, this is one of the better Orion-made products out there. It has a low failure rate. Picture quality is one of the best out there. I just wrote a review about it:

http://www.epinions.com/content_196762439300

eripaulie
02-17-2006, 06:49 AM
I bought my 34HFX85 at a local ABCWarehouse. (My husband and I had a hard time carrying that thing up the stairs!) I had a chance last night to experiment with the settings. I have to say when I looked at the screen with 1080i (output from the h20) I did notice some faint black lines across the screen when there was movement on the picture. Did it bother me that much? No, because I didn't notice much difference with the quality of the picture when I set it at 720p anyway and the lines seemed to go away. I had to quit experimenting because after awhile my eyes began to hurt since the combination of settings are endless (In each setting I also adjusted the picture settings on the TV). Also, my over the air PBS hdtv station wasn't coming in because it was cloudy and rainy and I think their picture is the best to test on. I still have not noticed any white glow that the others have talked about.(knock on wood).
Nonnie, I see that with the native setting turned off it is faster. When I figure out what is best I will probably leave that setting off. Also as a note the D* high def channels do have a lip sync problem; however, I didn't tell the kids or husband about it and they don't even notice it. We are definately not a high tech family!

Nonnie
02-17-2006, 08:41 AM
Good to hear that your set is pretty much problem free. You should only see the "white glow" if you are feeding the set a 1080i signal over component. The black lines might be the "banding" that some owners complained about. Are you using an HDMI cable or the component cables that came with the H20?
The lip sync problem seems to come and go with D*. Seems to be most evident on 74 and 76 although I have had issues with PBS even though mine are OTA.

eripaulie
02-17-2006, 10:33 AM
I am using a $50.00 hdmi cable from h20 to the TV. As a matter of fact when the installer set up the box he had the h20 setting at 420p with native turned off and I thought the hd pictures looked very good, especially the OTA PBS station (using a $35.00 indoor Phillips antenna). Of course I don't have an experienced trained eye, what looked very good to me might not be very good to someone else since I am a newbie to all of this. I haven't tried any other connections.

eripaulie
02-17-2006, 11:15 AM
One more question....as I posted above my manuel for the TV states under "HDMI INPUT" "Suggested scan rates: 1080i, 480p, 480i, 720p" Is this the order (from best to worst) of scan rates that Toshiba suggests for this TV? In other words if the 1080i picture doesn't look good then 480p is next best down to 720p being last? Sorry if this was already answered above but I thought 720p was better because the number is bigger than 480p. (My newbie ignorance is showing, I'm sure)

ytwokr32
02-17-2006, 11:22 AM
I have to say I have been reading the Toshiba HF threads here and at AVS forum with a mix of apprehension and amusement.

I purchased my 34HF85 from Crutchfield about a month ago. Mine was built in Dec2005. I have it connected to my Scientific Atlanta 8300HD STB via component. I initially set up the STB to pass all resolutions and had it set up in "pass-thru" mode so it would actually pass the resolution of the broadcast to the set and not upconvert.

I did notice flicker in some of the 1080i broadcasts that I found to be very distracting. I decided to remove 1080i from the list of resolutions the STB would pass. 1080i broadcasts now are sent to the set as 720p and upconverted to 1080i by the Toshiba. Guess what.... the picture looks fantastic! I have noticed that the quality of the picture can vary greatly from station to station and broadcast to broadcast. Discovery HD generally is very good as is PBS, HDNet, and ESPN.

I suspect some of the dissatisfaction with the quality of the HD on the Toshiba (or any other HD set for that matter) is a direct result of the content that doesn't originate in HD but is broadcast in HD! The local news in most markets is probably the best example of this. I believe most people truly do not understand that not everything you see on an HD channel was captured in HD... even though it's being broadcast into your home in HD.

I will agree that SD content doesn't look so hot, especially when it's stretched, but again this varies from channel to channel and from show to show. I talked to a lot of friends who have HD sets, and nobody is happy with the quality of SD fed through their HD STBs. Some have decided to split the feed and feed the SD in directly to the sets from the wall and only view HD through the STB. That sounds like a PITA to me to have to switch inputs when switching from SD to HD, I'll live with the less than optimal SD pic.

I did adjust my picture settings based on some suggested settings I found in this forum for the 34HF85, I'm not in front of my set, but I can repost them later.

In summary... I'm pretty happy with this set to date. My experience has not at all been like some of the horror stories I read in here.

jayess
02-17-2006, 12:55 PM
Have a question for you guys :

I just bought the infamous 34hf85 yesterday. According the fact that we already double the budget for our next TV (we we're planning to buy a 32 regular CRT in the first place), is the Panasonic CT-30WX15 is a better deal compare to the Toshiba ? All the other models that we saw are way too expensive. We are not "picture-quality-freek" but we are expecting something more than just good or average.

Please, some advices :)

bgoalie35
02-17-2006, 12:57 PM
I'm a former 34HF85 owner (for about 2 days) and I thought I would add my 2 cents:

I get what you are all saying, the 720p setting looks fine, so why worry? In fact, when I returned my 34HF85, I went out and bought an LCD that ONLY displays 720p. On a 32-34" TV set, the difference between 720p and 1080i is pretty negligible.

The fact remains though, that the 05 model Toshibas display 1080i like crap. If you want to switch to 720p and you are satisfied with that, that is your decision. But I would not stick with a TV that has an inherent flaw in it right out of the box. 1080i is not that important at this screen size, but if 1080i doesn't work in this Tv right away, what else will not work on this TV 6 months from now? 1 year from now? 3 years from now?

I just don't like the idea of keeping a TV with an obvious flaw, even if there are workarounds to that flaw. But that's just my 2 cents, and everyone is free to do whatever they want.

eripaulie, newbies are wlecome, here's the best answer I can give you to your question:

True HDTV is either broadcast in 1080i or 720p. They both look pretty similar. Some people like one better than the other (I like 1080 on big sets over 40"), but they are both going to look great compared to everything else. 480p would be your third option, and it may look marginally better than 480i, although you would probably never notice the difference. Neither 480p or 480i will be in the same ballpark compared to 720p or 1080i, unless you are watching in SD, then it won't really matter too much.

Don't worry about what is "supposed" to be best, just try out all the settings and leave it on the one you like the best. If you have a Toshiba 34HF85, 720p is probably going to look the best for you, because that TV has problems displaying 1080i.

Porcupine
02-17-2006, 02:16 PM
> I just don't like the idea of keeping a TV with an obvious flaw

I agree with that. Maybe it's a good thing I got rid of my 30HF85s, as they probably had this problem too (I dunno since at the moment I have no HD sources) and I would have been angry down the line. Hopefully the 30HF66s will fix this problem? If they don't, I don't know what is going on at Toshiba.

I don't even consider inputting 720p as a fix. That only acknowledges that your inputs are defective and cannot accept the only resolution that happens to match the native resolution of your TV. That's unacceptable. If I were in charge of things I'd probably issue a recall on all the Toshiba 2005 models....

eripaulie
02-17-2006, 08:41 PM
Thank you everyone for your informative answers. I certainly know a lot more now than I did on Monday when I got the H20/5lnb install. I must say I did look at other televisions; however, the Toshiba just squeezed into my 36" wide cabinet and was most affordable. I wanted a 34" so it was the only choice I had since the speakers are on the bottom. So I will live with the 1080i problem (and adjust it accordingly) I guess since I am the only one in my family that notices any defect in the picture (my kids think that watching cartoon network or Nick on a bigger screen is pretty cool and could care less if the picture is warped, streched, or in any resolution!) Just some humor,,,,Thanks again you were all very helpful.