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Panasonic CTxxWX54 Series Owners Thread

01-05-2005, 07:51 AM
I'm planning on buying the Panasonic CT-34WX54 but it can only display 480p and 1080i. No 720p! What would happen if I watch something that is at 720p? Would my image get screwed or get down or upgraded to 1080i?

Thanks for any info!


01-05-2005, 10:24 AM
I'm interested in the Panasonic CT-34WX54, looks like a very nice display for the right price. $300-$500 less than a Sony.

I noticed when viewing a extra wide 2:35:1 dvd on the tv, there is a letterbox bar at the top and bottom of the screen. Can this be zoomed so the letterbox will disappear?

If the TV can't zoom the dvd, are there some dvd players that will zoom a 2:35:1 dvd?

I realize you may loose 2-inches or so at the left and right edges after zooming the picture to fill the screen, but with a 34-inch display I would rather have the larger displayed picture.
I haven't read anywhere, if a 2:35:1 dvd can be zoomed to fill the screen.


01-05-2005, 10:52 AM
I'm not quite sure why you would want to - I have a Toshiba 34HF84 and the black bars are only an inch or so wide top and bottom. Personally I would rather see the whole film. There are zoom modes on the Toshiba but they are meant for a letterbox 4:3 so you can eliminate the bars at the sides as well as the top and bottom without distorting the picture.

01-05-2005, 04:02 PM
Right, that's the NATIVE resolutions to display. My Sanyo only does 1080i natively; everything else is upconverted. Almost all HDTVs can display all ATSC formats by converting them to one of the native resolutions on the screen.

01-05-2005, 04:25 PM
Thanks! Then I feel better about buying the T.V.! Hope I made the right decision.


01-05-2005, 06:01 PM
I found the following in the manual for a Samsung DVD-P331 DVD player:

Adjusting the Aspect Ratio (EZ View)
To play back using aspect ratio (DVD)
If you are using a 16:9 TV

Press the EZ VIEW button.

For 16:9 aspect ratio discs
Wide Screen
Displays the content of the DVD title in 16:9 aspect ratio.
Screen Fit
The top and bottom of the screen are cut off. When playing a
2.35:1 aspect ratio disc, the black bars at the top and bottom of the
screen will disappear. The picture will look vertically stretched.
(Depending on the type of disc, the black bars may not disappear
Zoom Fit
The top, bottom, left and right of the screen are cut off and the central
portion of the screen is enlarged.

It does appear that a Samsung DVD player with EZ View will fill the screen.

Thanks everyone.

01-07-2005, 12:35 PM
I have the CT-34WX54 and couldn't be happier. I believe you have made a great decision. :)

01-07-2005, 04:24 PM
Within the last month, I purchased the Panasonic 34" TV CT34WX54.
I have a couple of problems, and I'm hoping for some guidance.

I had the set delivered on a Saturday, a day before Comcast came out with the digital box and HD wires. I watched the TV all day and night with an analog signal, and while the quality was poor, I had no problems.

Come Sunday, after Comcast sets everything up, I'm watching the Eagles-Redskins football game in HD, and the TV shuts down.

Now this happens every time I'm watching a HD program. Whether it is after 5 minutes or 1 hour, at some point my TV will shut itself down. I know it's not a problem with its ventilation, since neither the TV nor the cable box is hot.

Everything is hooked to a power surge in the entertainment center, and the VCR/DVD, stereo, and even the TV retain it's power when the TV shuts down. As for the TV, it's red power light will blink from time to time after shutting down, but it will not allow me to turn back on without unplugging the power source first.

Comcast came back out and replaced the box, but the problem persists. CC is replacing the TV tomorrow, so hopefully that solves the problem. However, I have a bad feeling.

My only other guess is maybe it's too much of a power surge for my outlet, but wouldn't that cause the circuit breaker to pop?

If CC coming out tomorrow doesn't solve my problem, I guess I'll have an electrician come out and add a little more juice to the power outlet, just in case.

My other problem seems to be with Comcast, I guess. Before they replaced the box, my HD programs were very crisp. Now, after the digital box switch, the picture is nice, but not as breathe taking as before. It seems a little grainy, to best describe my problem. Is this a problem with the setting of the box, which I can fix, or does Comcast need to come back out? I did purchase Monster Cables for every conceivable hook-up, but both the CC and Comcast delivery people said that wasn't necessary, so what I've been using, both in box 1 and box 2, have been Comcast's wires.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance.

01-08-2005, 06:10 AM
Right now I'm fighting with Panasonic about the CT34WX54's Zoom feature. Maybe the other owner's of the television can chime in to let me know if I'm crazy or not.

Upon my complaints, Panasonic is telling me that, despite what the manual says, the ZOOM feature is not a uniform-zoom. What happens is, when want to view letterboxed (but not anamorphic) DVDs, the picture is horizontally stretched. I've have a technician look at it and spoken to three different people at Panasonic, all of whom either don't know the answer (then refuse to call back) or say it can't be done: the CT34WX54 will not uniformly zoom.

Please someone tell me I'm not crazy, that the television will zoom the picture properly so I can watch my non-anamorphic DVDs in a larger, though softer, manner.

01-10-2005, 08:03 AM
Doesn't sound like a power problem, unless you are simply running out of current on that circuit--but then I think your circuit breaker would trip, rather than your TV going out. I'd be hopeful for the TV replacement.

Michael M
01-11-2005, 08:25 AM
Just bought this 16:9 HDTV for $1,198 at Circuit City. Was thrilled with the price for a widescreen HDTV and my back (barely) survived the pick up and set up process. After setting it up, I'm concerned that I haven't found a setting for viewing regular TV or sports that I'm happy with. 4:3 seems just like I used to have with my 27", so no point in using that. ZOOM seems to have no distortion but loses some fringe elements (like the scores scroll at the bottom when watching ESPN). JUST is okay but I'm distracted by the distortion on the edges (like you're watching through a prism). If you watch the edges, people are much wider, like a wide angle lens shot. FULL seems to be the best, though people are a little wider than normal. Anyway, I guess I'm a little discouraged to have spent this kind of money and "sold" my wife on this purchase and feel like I'm compromising on the picture. Consumer Reports said "go widescreen" but, so far, I almost wish I just upgraded to a 32" 4:3. I know getting digital cable will make a huge difference in "payoff," but any suggestions would be helpful . . .thanks.

01-11-2005, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the reply. CC came out on Saturday and the new TV seems to have worked, knock on wood.

CC did note that the Comcast technician who hooked up the digital box wired it to the TV/DVD unlike he had ever seen before. I doubt that would cause a power problem, but you never know.

01-14-2005, 11:29 AM
Buy this tv. For the price, you're not going to get a better hdtv for that low a price, but you've got to hook it up right. You need a high definition satellite receiver or digital cable. If u see any broadcasts in high definition, you will be amazed and thankful you've purchased this tv.

01-19-2005, 06:58 PM
I've had the CT34WX54 since August and am very happy with it. While viewing DVDs, here are the the aspect settings you should use, when to use them, and what to expect from each:
4:3 - Only when watching non-widescreen discs such as old movies like Casablanca and Gone With The Wind. This will give you the original Academy Aspect Ratio, but give you black bars on the sides.
Full - This setting is for all Anamorphic Widescreen titles. If the Aspect Ratio of the filmis 1:78 or 1:85, the image will completely fill the screen. If the Aspect is 2:35 or 2:40, then you will see small bars on the top and bottom. This will be the case on all 16:9 sets, not just the Panasonic.
Zoom- For Non-Anamorphic (Letterboxed) Widescreen titles. If you do not set these types of disc to Zoom, you will find the image to be compressed and squashed. I also like to view Full Screen DVDs such as TV show sets and movies that should have been released in Widescreen but weren't (Kubrick's The Shining quickly springs to mind) in Zoom mode. The Zoom mode will not make 2:35 ratio movie fill the entire screen, but it will make a 4:3 title fill it. I hope this helped.

01-31-2005, 03:02 PM
I just got thru setting my 30wx54 up and got it on the stand and running. OH MY GOD. THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!!! AHHHH I think I'm in heaven :)... :D :D

02-01-2005, 10:54 PM
I have a 30wx54, and I'm watching Jay Leno on HD, and every time the camera will move, the picture gets quite noisy... Is this regular? It doesn't seem to do it on Discovery Theatre...

02-04-2005, 05:21 AM
It's not yout TV, it's the signal. Who is your HD provider and where are you located? I get the same problem with NBC. PBS is the worst for this problem, with major pixelation at every camera movement. This has to do with the bandwidth (or lack of strength) of the HD signal. I find the best quality and least artifacting can be seen on ESPN HD, ABC HD, CBS HD, Fox HD and INHD. Universal HD is next after that in the quality sweepstakes.

02-09-2005, 10:37 PM
I've got Time Warner Corpus Christi. I'm beginning to think that HD isn't worth it here. I mean there is only Discovery HD, PBS HD, and one local station (NBC) in HD. Its pretty lame. Then they want to charge you $14 a month for an HD tier thats only 3 "inHD" channels, and ESPN-HD

02-11-2005, 12:16 PM
Buy this tv. For the price, you're not going to get a better hdtv for that low a price, but you've got to hook it up right. You need a high definition satellite receiver or digital cable. If u see any broadcasts in high definition, you will be amazed and thankful you've purchased this tv.

I did a few things that are pretty cool with this tv by tying in a computer to it.
Well first of all, you can't use the tv as a computer monitor, but doing a few tricks, you can use the tv to play video games and dvds off your computer. First, in high definition, the tv overscans the screen and is very bright and flickery when using it for your computer monitor. I have a radeon 9800 pro and it has a dvi output. If you have one of those, get the catalyst 4.6 software for it installed on your computer. It's a free download from ati.
On the 34wx54, you cannot change the aspect ratio in high definition, but with the catalyst software, you can somehow trick your tv into using the aspect mode in high definition. You set the settings on your computer to 800x600 on your display. Then, using your catalyst, you set the frequency to less than 60 megahertz. That excessive brightness and flickering goes away and you can use the aspect button on your remote control to adjust the size of your dvd movie.
Now when you do this, the flickering and excessive brightness will stop, however the tv will only show a small portion of the whole computer screen, but get this: when you've gotten to that point, when you move your mouse on the tv screen, the picture will actually move, so you can access every section of your computer. With this in mind, load your dvd into the computer. Use power dvd.
When you play the movie, the whole movie fits into the screen, so you don't see part of the movie, you see the whole movie, and you can adjust the power dvd ratio to what you want it to be.
Now remember, I told you that with this tricking of the hdtv to let you use the aspect button again to adjust your picture, you can use the aspect button on the dvd and adjust the height width ratio on your dvd. Combine that with the aspect ratio of your power dvd and you can make the movie fit the whole screen of your tv if u like.
I prefer the almost whole screen setting. You can see almost all of the movie with only a slight cutoff on the edges, yet fill up most of the tv screen, and it is high definition!
I tried this also with a video game and somehow, the video game displays the whole game and not a portion of it as the initial monitor screen does. The only thing I'm not quite sure of in using a video game is, it may overscan the edges, however you can always use s-video to play a video game. The 34wx54 works well as a computer monitor in s-video, although u lose some of the clarity.
I do that to my dvds and I have an audigy 2 sound card and kick ass speakers connected to the computer. With all this, I just set it up on the tv, and if you sit about 3 or 4 ft back from the tv and watch a movie, and use my speakers, it blows a movie theater away. You are at the movie theater when you watch a movie in my house.
So, basically, that's how you can adjust your dvd to fit the whole tv. Trust me, it works. So, the ct-34wx54 is hellacious if you rig it up right.

02-18-2005, 01:26 PM
The TV has been working VERY well. I have a question though to anyone who might know...

The set is obviously locked in full aspect when its on the component input. When viewing 4:3 sdtv, the bars on the side are grey in color as per the hd reciever I got from Time Warner. My question is should I change these to black to minimize the burn in factor? Or will these bars even burn in at all?

Blue Goose
03-05-2005, 04:46 PM
From what I've read, the bars are gray for a reason so that their will not be as much chance for burn in.

I missed out on this set as it was on sale at my BX for 999.99 last week :(

Starting the 11th they will have it for 10% off so I could get it for 1170 but....999.99 would have been nicer. Still not sure on this one or the Sony or Toshiba 34" CRT's......

Is the Sony really 400 dollars better? :confused:

Blue Goose
03-11-2005, 09:16 PM
I may have missed it...did anyone answer the posters original question?? :confused:

03-21-2005, 03:35 PM
I had a question regarding this TV. I just bought the Panasonic CT34 WX54, open box from Circuit City along with a Home Theater DVD (Sound n Video Home Theater, same makers of Avia disc). I used the dvd and adjutsed settings like Color, Picture, Brightness, Hue, plus some other auto settings (they said to turn them off).

Problem is, Brightness is very high up and so is Picture (I think Picture=Contrast as I have no Contrast). Still, aside from outdoors type HD programming, ie Discovery HD, my TV looks a bit dark (even on other HD channels, good picture, yet dark). As for SD channels, its dark and expectedly picture is not nearly as good as HD channels.
Is anyone else having a similar problem with the brightness and picture settings being adjusted so high? I recall doing a brightness test on the DVD and was unable to adjust to the correct setting as I hit the maximum level. Almost like something is off in the black level or something (no I have no idea what black level is nor did I see it in my menu options).
I am trying to figure out if this TV is defective as I have 30 days to return if not satisfied. I am aware it's an open box, and thus my concern.
Thanks to all that can help.

03-23-2005, 09:47 AM
Question - I saw one of these tv's in circuit city. it was set to 4:3 with a "full screen version" DVD playing. The picture was really curved inward on both sides. I am not a big fan of stretching the picture because it looks distorted to me. Does any one have this problem with 4:3 mode or was the tv is the store just not set up properly?

03-24-2005, 11:27 AM
I bought the 34" Panasonic last fall and really like it. It did take some time to get the setting right though. I found that the default settings were dark and also pushed the color red. I had to tone down the red, and put the brightness/picture setting way up.

TV broadcasts aren't as dark now, and DVD is beautiful.
It does take some tweaking, but once set up its great.

I bought this set in CCity and they had this and the sony side by side.
I didn't see $400 worth of difference and went with the Panny.

06-08-2005, 08:44 PM
I've got the Panasonic CT34WX54 and then got a Samsung HD850 Upconvert DVD player. I programmed the Panasonic remote to control the DVD player, and then thought I may as well set the DVD remote to control the TV.

The Samsung manual says that the Panasonic TV remote codes are 53, 54, 74, or 75. Tried them all and none worked. So, I decided to try all 100 possibilities of 2 digit codes. And I found that the correct code for the Panasonic TV is 13.

So now I have 2 remotes that can control both TV and DVD. This should drive my wife nuts.

06-10-2005, 11:12 PM
I've got an audio question about this model (I'm not an owner yet). The owner's manual (p.20) suggests that the TV speakers are automatically disabled when the Audio Out connections are activated (to feed a stereo or other device).

Please tell me this is an error or misinterpretation? When the TV speakers are "ON", can you get RCA audio output to another device at the same time? I just want a simple fixed audio output that is active all the time. My old Sony and NEC sets do this fine (audio out, while TV speakers still active). My stereo setup has good bass, but bad dialogue rendering, and it helps to use TV speakers for center dialogue fill, while using the stereo for bass effects.

Also, I'm confused by another statement in the manual about some outputs not being enabled when in HDMI or Component mode...surely the Audio Out works in those modes? Is there a technical reason why Audio Out can not work in those modes?

I'd really appreciate it if someone could clear these audio questions up for me. Could mean the difference between choosing this set or another brand. Thanks!

07-03-2005, 03:18 PM
Actually, you have 3 different settings for the audio out jacks.

There is 1) Speakers On, Variable output,
2) Speakers Off, variable output, and
3) Speakers Off, fixed output.

With variable output, the volume to the outputs changes with the TV volume. Fixed output is like line level output, good for connecting to an amp.

The Audio outputs do work when using an HDMI source. I have a DVD player that is connected thru HDMI only, and the audio out jacks do send out a signal. I have no idea why anyone would want this, but it does work. I use the digital output on my DVD to send a digital signal to my amp, as well as the HDMI signal to the TV. You are better off with all digital, but you can use these RCA audio output jacks if you really want to.

07-03-2005, 10:01 PM
An analog stereo pair cant' carry true surround, you need digital SPDIF.