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Is the Sony KV-34XBR910 my final answer?


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted October 21 2003 - 05:16 AM

Help from this forum plus rave reviews in CNET, Sound & Vision and Home Theater magazines have me set to buy the Sony for my family room, which ain't dark except at night. To clear away any doubt on my part, I'd like to know if it's worth the time to consider names like Proton, Luxor or Princeton? Update...After reading the Sony CRT news,and the story below it referring to the demise of CRT's...please advise re: Sony LCD KF-50XBR800 and KF-42WE610...I figure I'll be fine at night, but what about daytime? Update...if I go LCD it'll be the newer 610.

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Dwight Amato

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Posted October 22 2003 - 03:32 AM

Idon't see why the possible news of Sony discontinuing CRTs would make any difference to you and prevent you from buying this set. Do you think that if it is no longer made that it will suddenly break? Or do you think there will not be parts available for it? Or does it bother you knowing you have a product that is no longer made. If the set has a pleasing picture to you, fits in your space, and works within your budget then I don't care if it's the last one made on earth, I'll buy it.

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted October 22 2003 - 07:03 AM

Dwight, I saw the 2 tv's at a local store and the XBR killed the LCD...what is being described as a big improvement with LCD's and viewing angle can only mean that previously they were terrible, because there's still no comparison...so I bought the 200 pounder, just got home and saw your message...I totally agree with your reasoning.

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Dwight Amato

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Posted October 22 2003 - 02:06 PM

Very nice decision. I myself am looking at getting the non-xbr version of the set. Just waiting until X-mas get's a little closer, hoping for a slight price drop. I know it wouldn't bother me if Sony stopped making these set's after I buy it (which I highly doubt), because then I won't feel bad when a nicer version comes out next year for less money... Let us know what you think of your set.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Tommy Haupfear

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Posted October 22 2003 - 03:40 PM

I just dumped the KV-34XBR800 and I doubt I'll ever buy a CRT tube again. It wasn't totally flat, had dark corners, and the dot pitch was unacceptable. I just got the new Sony 50" GWIII installed tonight and not only does it weigh about 1/3 of the 34" XBR but the picture is oh much higher resolution and color accuracy. The only complaint I have is of the black levels compared to CRTs. Then again I find that Hitachi RPTVs have better black levels than the XBR910 or XBR800. The XBR910 is a XBR800 with Memory Stick Pro capabilities in a darker colored casing. The higher resolution seemed to be more of hype than anything.
Tommy Haupfear
Greenville SC

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted October 22 2003 - 03:53 PM

I saw the 42" GIII along side the 34" XBR and the comparable non XBR Sony CRT, all fed from the same source...from head on I thought the GIII and XBR were equally great...from the side, which is a big factor for me along with lack of darkness in my room, the GIII finished a poor third. Here's hoping we all end up happy!

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Matthew Anderson

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Posted November 10 2003 - 11:04 AM

The 42"GWIII and the XBR910 have been my two favorites lately but I like the black levels better on the 910. Both have really outstanding pictures.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted November 10 2003 - 11:23 AM

I've got the 910 being delivered Saturday...my store got 2 of the 16 they wanted from Sony...don't need the free stand I'm getting so anyone about to do the 910 can contact me.

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted November 10 2003 - 04:52 PM

The Perfect Vision magazine, meanwhile, has wet its pants over this set. The reviewer calls it the finest direct-view set on the market presently. That, in light of the much-lauded Loewe Aconda 38. I've only seen this magnificent set in poor showroom conditions. Even then, though, its rendering of high-def images rivets one's attention. It's one of the most impressive pieces of A/V gear I've seen.

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Matthew Anderson

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Posted November 11 2003 - 08:50 AM

Here is the link to The Perfect Vision review of the XBR910 that Mr. Briggs mentioned.
http://www.theperfec....v34xbr910.html

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted November 28 2003 - 07:23 AM

Got the 910 2 weeks ago, HDTV 2 days ago. Won't take up space here on picture quality, the reviews are all correct in their praise. Easy to set up and "calibrate" just using the TV's menus, but I do have a few questions- HDTV box is Pace DC550P. It lets you set screen resolution and screen aspect ratio. Screen resolution choices are 480i, 480P, 720p, 1080 and "PASS". The manual says:"Note that 480i is standard definition NTSC, 480P is enhanced digital TV and 720P and 1080 (in fact, 1080i) are HDTV. Generally, the output at the DVI or YPbPr connector will be at the resolution you set, irrespective of the resolution of the video source. The main exception to this is the setting PASS, which passes through the source resolution unchanged (except that 480i is converted to 480P)". I chose 1080. Scrolling through the other choices didn't seem to show any differences in picture quality. Questions: 1.Is the Pace a good box? 2.Was 1080 the right choice? Why might I want a "lower" resolution? 3.What's the deal with the PASS setting? Screen aspect ratio can be 4:3 or 16:9. I picked 16:9. Here's where it gets wierd...I get a 16:9 picture with either setting...HDTV fills the screen, 4:3 material measures 29" diagonal instead of the expected 27"! Also measures 24" wide with two 3" vertical bars and 17" high, no bars. Now on to the Sony...The screen menu is for selecting wide modes for 4:3 sources...after you pick a wide mode, you can set the 4:3 Default set to off, which continues using the selected wide mode when input is changed. Well it doesn't matter what I do, nothing changes the 4:3 picture size. Whatever I'm viewing, the screen says full mode. Even HDTV says full mode, even though it's coming in at it's normal full screen size. Of note, the "Full" wide mode choice is supposed to enlarge the 4:3 picture horizontally only (and it did so with the digital cable box). Now with the HDTV box the 4:3 is enlarged vertically as I described, and doesn't seem to be streched. So the setting is great but I can't figure 4.why it's sized as it is or 5.how I got there? BTW I checked out DVI issues, mainly single vs dual link DVI cable...most threads here plus some sites say single will do the job...thanks to PacificCable's diagrams I found that both the 910 and the HDTV box have DUAL connectors!

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   Dwight Amato

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Posted November 29 2003 - 02:04 AM

I had posted a month ago in this thread that I was looking at the non XBR version of this set. After wheeling and dealing, and with the need Sony stand for free on the XBR, I went for the 34XBR910 for only $105 more then the HS510. After only 3 days of constant use, I could not be happier. The picture quality of this set is unreal, and it is the perfect size TV for my living room. I am even very impressed with the sound quality. I have my full surrond sound system in the basement with my RPTV HDTV, but for many movies the sound on the XBR is good enough. Mark, I'm not sure what you are seeing with your set in HDTV. Does your cable box allow you to set stretch modes? The set will lock into Full mode with 1080i sources, so if you cannot stretch the picture from your cable box non 1080i channels will come in standard 4x3. I've been messing with my set, and I like 480i from my cable box the most. I set it to 1080i when I view HDTV channels, but the rest of the time I keep it in 480i. With 480i I can use the set's DRC to clean up the picture of SD sources that can't be done when sending a 1080i signal. I can also use the stretch modes (I like wide zoom) of the XBR to fill in the screen with 4x3 shows. The picture looks great, and much better then my cable box's upconverted 1080i signal.

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted November 29 2003 - 03:19 AM

Dwight, I was hoping you'd go with the XBR...no contest. The cable box only allows resolution choices, no stretching. I'll try 480i to see how I like 4:3 with stretching but remember, for some reason I'm getting 4:3 now at 29" diagonal which almost fills the screen with no stretching (I think) and looks great...but because you seem to know your stuff I now understand that my setting 1080i on the box upconverted 480i which should be inferior to straight 480i. Isn't it stupid how many permutations there are of HDTV broadcasts? I get NBC, ABC, HBO, Showtime, PBS and Discover Theater. I know alot of it has to do with local station facilities, but it's wierd to see Leno in pure 16:9 AWESOME! then Friends in HDTV but it's 4:3. Finally, what do you think about the box setting "PASS" which passes through the source resolution unchanged except that 480i is converted to 480P (enhanced digital TV)? Sounds like it might be a setting good for all sources.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   nick hexum

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Posted December 04 2003 - 09:03 AM

Dwight, I am just about to get the 910 and I am interested what you mean by wheeling and dealing? Only $105 more than the 510 is a great deal, especially with the free stand. Where did you purchase it and what was the price if you don't mind me asking? The only place I have seen the free stand deal has been on the Sony site and there the price is $2499.

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted December 04 2003 - 09:08 AM

Every retailer will offer the free stand, so you need to find a dealer that normally discounts Sonys. I got 15% off with the free stand locally.

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   nick hexum

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Posted December 04 2003 - 09:45 AM

I am not in the NY area but at what store did you purchase yours? If it was a larger store I was hoping to get someone to match 15% off. I have seen 6% off at this point.

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Mark:F

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Posted December 04 2003 - 10:16 AM

Sorry can't help much...local store in Syracuse named Ra-Lin.

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   Dwight Amato

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Posted December 06 2003 - 06:01 AM

Sorry for the delay guys. Anyway, the store I bought mine from was PC Richards. It was not an advertised sale, I just got the pricing from a sales rep that I have used several times in the past. And Mark:F, your bypass setting on your cable box sounds very interesting. I checked mine and it does not have that, so I have to manually switch the cablebox (via remote) to 1080i for HDTV broadcasts. Then back to 480i for SD broadcasts because it just looks better to me and I like the wide zoom mode. Putting the cable box in 480i shows me just how good the scalar is in the Sony. I have a 2 year old 47" Widescreen Panny HDTV and the line double is just pathetic in comparision. When fed a 1080i signal it looks great, but 480i looks horrible. Going to a progressive scan dvd player made a huge jump in quality, where with the 910 it is barely noticable.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   ChongLM

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Posted December 07 2003 - 12:06 PM

This is a great TV indeed!

I bought this TV last week, only difference is that my version uses NICAM stereo and does not have the DVI/HDCP input behind. Although I don't understand why they opt to remove it for this local version since the US version has it, I can't complain as the component input still did a great job. I paid the equivalent of US$2700, so you US owners should be happy to get it at a much lower price and with DVI input Posted Image

I'm wondering, though, the diagonal size listed for the US version is at 34", is that the actual visible diagonal screen size? My model number is KV-HR36M61, which is sold as a 36" model but the visible diagonal size is only at about 34".

I did some experiments with my Pioneer DV-S633A player and found that it's actually slightly better to output a interlaced signal and let the Sony do the DRC 1250 stuff than to output a native progressive from the player and bypass the Sony DRC circuitry.

The DRC1250 will extrapolate the 480i signal to a 1250 scan line image which looks finer overall, not to mention the details are a little sharper as well.

Any of you guys have a similiar or otherwise experience and like to share?

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   GeorgeAB

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Posted December 10 2003 - 06:01 AM

A recent review I read stated that there were no individual input memories for picture settings. Without input memories, picture settings for one signal source would not be ideal for another source of the same scan rate. If this is true, I could never recommend such a display to anyone, especially if they plan to have it professionally calibrated. I can't fully believe Sony, or any other major manufacturer, would sell a higher-end TV in this day and age without input memories! Can someone verify for me if this is true with their sample?

Best regards and beautiful pictures,
G. Alan Brown, President
CinemaQuest, Inc.

Insist on HDTV!Posted Image




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