Sony 34XBR910 HDTV vs. Current 36XBR250

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Sam R. Aucoin, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. Sam R. Aucoin

    Sam R. Aucoin Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 5, 1999
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    I have discussed this briefly with an administrator of this forum (I will not name him, as I do not have his permission and I see no point in doing so - assume, as I do, that he is reputable and trustworthy), although I did not go into this much detail.


    1. I RARELY watch broadcast TV, thus I would rarely see an HDTV broadcast (see next assumption).

    2. I live in an area that does NOT have cable HDTV, and has only 2 channels that broadcast HDTV signals by way of antenna (the majority of my remaining family members - a wife and four children - watch predominantly broadcast TV, e.g., Disney, Nick, networth channels, some occasional HBO and Showtime, etc.).

    3. My current set is a Sony WEGA 36XBR250 - at one time (approximately 4 years ago), Sony's top of the line CRT TV.

    4. My current set is NOT progressive and is not HDTV ready, but DOES automatically vertically compress the picture when fed a 16x9 encoded DVD.

    5. The administrator said that if I "upgraded" to a Sony WEGA 34XBR910, the picture SIZE of a 16x9 encoded disc (assume it is 1.85) would be the same as if fed to a Sony 40" CRT that also performs the vertical squeeze. Thus, even though there is a 6" diagonal decrease in picture tube size, the picture projection would actually increase because of the 16x9 "dimension" of the 910 (i.e., no LARGE black bars on the 910, as currently appears on my 250 - almost the entire screen of the 910 would be filled by a 16x9 DVD, assuming a ratio of 1.85; obviously, the larger the ratio, such as 2.35, the larger the black bars, but that is true for every set).

    6. My current satellite is a DirecTV dish that does NOT feed HDTV. Again, as I rarely watch broadcast TV, HDTV satellite feed, in an of itself, would not make that much difference to me.

    7. My current 250 is NOT progressive and NOT HDTV ready; the 910 obviously is both.

    8. Finally, I assume that HD-DVD is not THAT far down the road, and that the 910 would not be outdated by the time it arrives, thereby enabling me to take full advantage of an HD-DVD feed.


    I. I have read on this and other forums that HDTV's are not yet quite up to par (at least in the $3000 and under range) in handling non-HDTV feeds, such as satellite and cable. Is this correct?

    II. Would I notice THAT much of a difference in picture quality if I traded the 250 for the 910 (I watch a TON of movies; I own close to 1000), considering I am sitting 13' feet from the screen, the room is NOT a dedicated home theater room (although I can control ambient lighting to a great degree - I just cannot achieve pitch-blackness)? Remember that with the 910, and the fact that I have a progressive scan DVD player, I would be able to see a progressively scanned picture on a 34" screen that has HDTV capability with an equivalent picture size of a 40" 4x3 CRT picture tube.

    If you were in my shoes, what would YOU do?

    As always, I appreciate any responses.


  2. Jay McC

    Jay McC Agent

    Sep 8, 2003
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    Here's the problem. 1st of all the widescreen image on the 40 inch tv is still around 3 inches bigger than what you'll get on a 34 inch widescreen tv. When i was choosing between the 40xbr800 and the 34 inch model i measured the width of the screens which is going to be the constant that determines the overall viewing area and the 40 inch still a bit wider. 2nd, standard definition programming from my satelite and over the air antenna do suck. But its not because of the TV, but the fact that the resolution of the image being sent. You'll also notice that the image resolution is different from station to station as well. I personally love my 40 inch XBR, and have had absolutely no problems with it, but after hearing all the forum posts about others who have had nothing but problems, i cannot recommend it. The only advice i can give is take a tape measure with you and pace off your viewing distance and make sure the screensize is going to work for you. Heck, go all out and take in a tape of something recorded from a broadcast and have them hook up a VCR. Then you'll get an idea of what the picture will look like.

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