Got a Toshiba 34HF83; impressions

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Mark Hamilton, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Mark Hamilton

    Mark Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, the Toshiba 34HF83 that I brought home weeks ago finally got setup a few days ago. After running through DVE a few times I think I have a picture I can live with (at least through the component video inputs).

    ~Overall, I'm very impressed with this set, especially at its price point. The fact that it includes dual HD component video inputs and a DVI input provides excellent flexibility if the time comes when I need to add an HDTV Satellite receiver and and HD-DVD source.

    [​IMG]

    The single biggest challenge I had was finding a competent DVD player to pair with the TV. My first choice, of course, was the DVI equiped Samsung DVD HD-931. I assumed that for $400CDN I would be receiving a top notch DVD player in all aspects, that I would not be paying a $250 premium for the DVI output and the 720p/1080i scaling mechanism. Boy was I wrong. The player performs, in most aspects, close to that of any typical sub-$200 conventional DVD player. Load times weren't especially great, build quality was nothing special, the remote control (something I don't usually care about) was terrible, the player wasn't terribly fond of most DVD-R/+R discs, and finally, the picture simply wasn't great. On a fixed pixel panel capable of 1:1 pixel mapping it would be a different story, but compared to the Sony DVP-NS725P that I eventually stuck with, the image difference was non-existent on my CRT. In fact, in many tough scenes (scenes with difficult horizontal or vertical grids, textures, or angles) the Sony outperforms the Samsung. Regardless, the Sony (which doesn't even perform as well as my March 1997 build DVP-S7000) is a temporary player until something nice comes along that is accessible in Canada.

    The TV actually does a pretty good job of working with the lackluster signal fed to it from my satellite receiver as well, which is something I assumed it would do poorly. I don't plan to pickup an HDTV tuner at this point but probably will by the end of the year. In the meantime I will be more than happy to watch this SD feed. [​IMG]

    Because I work at an electronics store, I was also able to do some direct comparisons with the Sony KV-34HS510. Directly out of the box the much more expensive Sony beats the pants off the Toshiba in most respects (color balance, detail, etc.) but a round or two with DVE narrows the gap to the point where finding legible differences in image quality between the two is near impossible. I don't doubt that the Sony is a better display, but considering the price difference there is simply no way to justify the additional cost of the KV-34HS510 (and keep in mind I own 2 Sony DVD players, a Sony LD player, a Sony RPTV, a Sony receiver, etc., etc.).

    Overall I'm very impressed with this Toshiba and would have absaloutely no qualms about reccomending the 30HF83 or the 34HF83. Absaloutely fantastic displays for the money! [​IMG]

    My only gripe is the set amplifies every single imperfection in DVDs. All of my previously "reference" discs look pretty standard now, which has me pretty excited about the notion of HD-DVD at some point. Still, Monsters Inc. is my favorite demo disc; it's stunning!
     
  2. Jeremy Scott

    Jeremy Scott Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    how does 4:3 material look on it? Is there a stretch mode that you can use to get rid of the bars on the side and fill up the screen?
     
  3. Mark Hamilton

    Mark Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    By default it window boxes the display when fed 4:3 material. The set does have a number of stretch and stretch and crop modes which do do a good job with poor quality 4:3 material.
     
  4. Jeremy Scott

    Jeremy Scott Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    what is window boxes?

    is that the bars on the sides?
     
  5. Mark Hamilton

    Mark Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes.
     
  6. Dave Danek

    Dave Danek Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been running my brand new Toshiba 34HF83 thru some stretching exercises and found that it does a pretty good job in at least one of the 4 TheaterWide modes with each source. Granted I'm not a videophile, but a reasonably critical consumer.

    Sporting events generally look best in TheaterWide mode 1 which leaves the center of the pic basically intact and stretches the side a bit lengthwise. Standard 4:3 TV shows look pretty good in this mode also. Widescreen TV shows (e.g., ER) and non-anamorphically encoded letterbox DVDs look good in TheaterWide 2 which uniformly expands the pic horizontally and vertically (I guess it is sort of a zoom mode). You miss a little bit on the top and bottom which can be adjusted via the menu to favor one side or the other. If TheaterWide 1 does not yield a good pic from 4:3 sources, TheaterWide 3 might. But this mode tends to crop more from each side. This one is the worst of the three in my opinion. And the fourth mode, Full, is generally reserved for anamorphically encoded material.

    The only thing I dislike at this point is the Natural setting which leaves the pic intact. Occasionally the stretching makes bad signals look much worse, and the 4:3 windowboxed setting is the lesser of the evils. However, the bars on the outside of the pic are light grey rather than black. This is extremely annoying to me. If anyone has the old old LBX VHS of Manhattan that has grey bars instead of black you'll know what the Toshiba looks like. Anyone know the reason for this? Is it a burn-in prevention issue (i.e., burn-in is more likely to be caused by black bars compared to grey bars)?

    I haven't noticed much in the way of enhancement of imperfections in DVDs yet (though I've only watched a handful). I have noticed it does highlight imperfections in the DirecTV signal. Edge enhancement is brutal in some programming (particularly my 17 month old's fav, The Wiggles). Then again, it was a problem on my old Toshiba 4:3 as well.

    Love the TV thus far. Looking forward to doing some novice calibration with the DVE disc. Worked on it a little last night and found it a bit tedious. But I know it will payoff in the long run. Just have to make sure I jot down the settings for each input in case they get wiped out by a circuit breaker trip. . . not sure preferences get saved if the TV loses power.

    Ciao for now,
    Dave
     

Share This Page