Panasonic CT-34WX52 vs Sony 34XBR800

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Travis Braddy, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. Travis Braddy

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    Well, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and replace my Toshiba 40H80 this weekend.

    What would be my best choice between the two sets mentioned in the topic? I haven't seen the 34WX52 side-by-side with the 34XBR800, but I kinda think that the Panasonic has a better picture.

    But... The Sony features the DVI input. I know it's a bit of a touchy subject, but is it really that important to me? Also, the Sony is much larger and bulkier than the Panasonic. I guess it may make the TV look bigger, but I don't need those big speakers on the side, heck, I don't need the speakers at all. The Panasonic has tiny little speakers that kinda hide along the bottom, which is good for me.

    Any advice would be fantastic. They're both really good sets, but I'm not sure which trade-off is better, slightly better image (in my opinion, and both of these were at a mom-n-pop type store, calibrated and all that jazz, playing HDNET), or the DVI input. They're both the same price. I'll also need to get a stand. The Sony has a nice matching unit, but I don't really care as long as I get something strong enough to hold a 200lb tv.

    One last question... I didn't get a chance to play with the Panasonic's stretch modes, I will have to watch some 4:3 content, and the occasional non-anamorphic dvd, I know the old Panasonic forced you to stretch the image somehow and the stretch modes were pretty bad. How are the new ones? I've read about the Sony's modes and they seem to cover everything.

    Anything else I may not be considering?
     
  2. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    Toshiba has its new 34-inch 16:9s on its website, in case you're interested.

    I've been looking at the various Sony direct views for more than a year, but I really can't see a pressing reason to buy just yet. I looked at the Sony at Good Guys yesterday, just watching through the SDTV roof antenna. I was interested in seeing the various stretch modes for 4:3. I was surprised. The picture didn't look too distorted, although there was a lot of snow from the weak signal. I haven't viewed the Panasonic yet, but as someone who worked in television news for nearly 10 years, I can tell you that professionals still prefer Sony cameras and monitors over any other brand. I'm not a big Sony fan except when it comes to their video cameras and televisions.

    Best advice: go to a specialty store (not Circuit City) where the odds are the TVs will be set up properly and placed in a optimal viewing area where you can compare the TVs.

    Good luck,

    Mark
     
  3. Bob S

    Bob S Extra

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    The new Toshiba 34" 16:9 has DVI like the Sony. As Mark said, you can read about it on the Tosh website, but I'm not sure when it is going to start appearing in stores.
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    The new Toshiba does have DVI but it also converts a 480P signal to 540P, creating artifacts. As far as I know, this is not a feature you can turn off either, so that's a deal breaker for me.

    I have considered all three sets and figure the Sony to be the most future proof and best value. You can find it on line from authorized dealers for less than 2K and it has the highest asthetic value IMO. I would highly consider the Panny if it had DVI. Without it, I cannot see myself spending this much money without that piece of mind.

    I'm about 5-6 months away from a purchase and YMMV.
     
  5. Travis Braddy

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    Thanks for the info. I think I may go with the Sony, mainly for the DVI, I'll head back over today and play with it some more, I didn't really have a chance to mess with the settings before as I was pressed for time, it might just be that they hadn't configured it as well as they had the Panasonic, it looked like they had just gotten the sony in, so maybe it was in Pro mode or something.
     
  6. Bob S

    Bob S Extra

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    Evan,

    Are you sure the new 34HD(X)82 does the 480 -> 540 upconvert? I wonder because it appears that the 34HD82 has some significant changes over previous Tosh direct views. Namely, it appears from the manual that it will display 720p natively -- if true, I think this would be the first Tosh direct view to do this. It would seem strange (but certainly not impossible) for Toshiba to maintain that onerous 480 to 540 upconvert "feature".

    Anyway, I was just curious if you know definitely one way or the other. (I didn't see anything in the manual about the upconvert but I may have missed it or it may just not be in there).

    Bob
     
  7. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Bob,
    According to this press release by Toshiba, it DOES have this feature. Go here and scan down to the middle bottom of the release. It's clearly quoted by Toshiba....
     
  8. Bob S

    Bob S Extra

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    Evan,
    Thanks for the link to the press release. Now I'm probably just in denial here, [​IMG] but the IDSC Pro that the release is referring to is found only on Tosh RPTVs (hence the line about "one optimized focus point").
    The 34HD82 uses IDSC II rather than IDSC Pro. Now IDSC II may very well do the same upconvert that Pro does, but I haven't found anything that explicitly says this.
    Bob
     
  9. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Bob, good point and I haven't thought to read between the lines. Do you have any links to where the Tosh is selling for a discount? Unless I could find it for around 2K (like I can with the Sony) and unless I could verify your info, I would probably just go with the XBR800 unless space limitations required me to look elsewhere.
     
  10. Bob S

    Bob S Extra

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    Evan, hardly any place seems to have the 34HD82 yet. I was at Best Buy today and they were closing out the 34HF81 but had no idea when the 82 would be coming in. The only place I've found it is Amazon of all places -- they have it for $2199 w/ free shipping.

    Needless to say, I definitely want to see this TV before plunking down 2K+.

    The 34XBR800 is not an option for me unfortunately because it is too wide for my entertainment center. My other concern about the Sony is that I've read some posts from folks with the 36XBR800 who have complained about poor picture quality with cable tv. Whether the Tosh is any better with poor sources though, I have no clue.

    Bob
     
  11. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    My dealer said Sep 5th for the new Toshiba 34HD82 but it wasn't set in stone.
     
  12. Joe-Cz

    Joe-Cz Auditioning

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    According to Toshiba News on IDSC II:
    "Toshiba's IDSC II improved IDSC II (Intelligent Digital Scan Conversion) technology, included in all FST Pure HDTV-Compatible sets, automatically converts 480i images to 480p, and automatically passes through 480p and 1080i images."
    http://www.toshiba.com/tacp/news/may_23_02_flat.html
    Hope this helps.
    Myself, I'm stuck deciding between the Toshiba 34HD82 or the Panny CT-34WX52. I've seen reviews go back and forth.
    Joe [​IMG]
     
  13. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    It's good to know that Toshiba is back on track with native 480p pass through. I was a Toshiba fan until their recent sets. This was a HUGE Factor in my decision to go with SONY. The other factor was that SONY's HD-READY sets have the quickest channel/input changes, which is nice for people who like to flip through channels
    I don't know if Toshiba's decision for upconversion was to mask problems with their progressive scan DVD players, but it seems very contradictory for Toshiba to even make PSCAN players at all when they cannot even benefit their TV lineup.

    Elbert
     

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