Pros Picture is outstanding, even for non-HD signals. You cannot find a better picture. I have had it for a month now love it and have no regrets. Features are easy to access and remote is easy to use.
Cons It weighs about 200 lbs, and takes two people to move. The remote not compatible with all DVD players, ie Sharp, which is the one I happen to own.
Summary CRT is still the way to go if you want to get the full benefits of HD. You simply cannot get the full benefit of the HD signal on a plasma or LCD. I believe the technology isn't even there yet and if it is you probably have to spend upwards of 10k.
On HD channels, the detail and clarity it captures are impressive. It is truely a visual experience. Even the other channels come in better on the KD-34XBR960 than on the Toshiba it replaced or the small Sony Trinatron that I own.
There is one thing your cable company won't tell you that you should know. Because it has a built in HD tuner, you do not necessarily need to get a cable box or card on this TV. With the built in tuner, you can capture the HD signal through the air and even on their standard cable. You only need the cable company's box or card if you plan to use extra services that they sell, such as certain premium channels or pay-per-view. If you get the cable box or card, know that in doing so, you are giving up some of the TV's features and get to watch more self promoting ad junk from the cable company. So if you don't want buy the extra services from them, ck on what you can get by simply connecting the cable directly to the TV. Where I live getting the card would have given me one more HD channel than what I could get by just hooking up the cable to the TV. It's not a channel I watch, so it wasn't worth the extra expense. I can't of course get pay-per-view but I don't use that anyway. I also don't care for the ad-filled channel screen they offer as part of their digital package so not having to deal with it is an added bonus for me.
Watching DVD movies on it is incredible. The picture quality is sharp and flawless.
The only real negative is that the remote does not support Sharp DVD players and I happen to own a Sharp. Another negative is that I notice a lag when you change HD channels and you can't preview them.
All in all I highly recommend the Sony KD-34XBR960 and am very satisfied with it.Updated
I have now owned this set for a year and a half and am still very happy with it. I have had no problems and it has performed flawlessly.
Pros Picture quality is stunning; sound is excellent.
Cons Based on my experience and others posted here reliability is a BIG issue
Summary 45 days after I bought the set (1/25/05)the set died: no picture; no sound. I have to wait over a week for in-house service under warranty. Before it went out, the set had seen very little use (I would guess about an hour a day). Given the other reviews here I think it is evident that Sony has a reliability problem.
When it worked, it worked superbly. The picture was absolutely stunning (I mean STUNNING)--no question I want this set back and working--even if it means the inconvenience of repairs. The TV also has the best built-in sound I have heard.
Other than the reliability issue, my only other "complaint" is that 34" on a 16:9 screen is pretty small. Of course if it was 40" I would guess the thing would be so heavy that it would go through the floor.
In sum, I would recommend this set to whomever wants to have the best picture possible, even if that means being inconvenienced if (when?) the TV goes out. Probably should buy the extended warranty on this puppy. Also be sure you can live with a 34" tv set.
Pros price for HD is right but...
Cons this much aggravation is not worth the savings
Summary My set died and the ONLY repair faciility in Metro Washington, DC worked on it for three months before my numerous phone calls to sony persuaded them to replace it. My new one has some tuner problem now and there is a quality problem on the edges. Strauss video repair was so bad that i don't even want to call it in again.
Do some checking on the authorized repair facilities in your area before you buy a sony because with ONE in a major city, you will get left holding a 200 lb. piece of junk.
this experience has convinced me that after my sony tuner, sony dvd carousel, sony md player, sony dig cam, two other sony tv's, and sony laptop, i will NEVER buy sony again.
Pros Everyone else says its great
Cons Increasing Problems?
Summary So what gives? CNET and consumer reports rank this thing #1 in its category. However if you keep reading the reviews below a TON of people are having MAJOR reliability issues with this TV and I am one more. It worked for 50 minutes out of the box, the screen turned red, and it shut off. I then got to spend 2 days arguing with Sony Style.com about how they needed to send me a new TV. Bottom line, if you're going to buy this TV DONT buy it from Sony.com. Buy it from some place local where you and a couple of your strong (it weighs 200lbs) friends can return it quickly. Also get the extended warranty. You'll notice in other posts that Sony immediately wants to "repair it" and they dont want to replace the set even though you spend +/-$2300.00 on it. Sony customer service, support, and quality all appear to be a thing of the past. Its a shame too because the picture was beautiful for the 50 minutes the thing worked.
Pros Best picture, User friendly Menus, Intuitive remote, Looks Great
Cons Heavy - but I had it delivered - so who cares?
Summary I have had this televison for just over 2 months and have not had a single problem. I researched for 2 months and everything pointed to this model as having the best picture. Granted, I could have saved for another month and bought a plasma but, again, every report pointed to this for picture quality. I'm a serious movie person so I decided on picture rather than "cool".
I fully realized that some buyers were having problems with their sets - I read every review that I could find. Finally I decided that since the complaints were in the minority - I'd take the chance. Maybe I just got lucky but I am extremely happy with this set and my buddies are very jealous of my picture quality (one even has a plasma and he copped to the fact my picture was better) Had there been problems I would have delt with it or returned it for another brand....I had weighed my choices and decided that it was worth it. I was right.
The sound on this set is amazing and the picture has no "black lines" like I've heard about. I went with the HD cable card from Adelphia and have had no problems. HD quality is breath-taking.
I have an HDMI dvd player and the picture is beyond clear. "The Incredibles" actually have depth and texture. It's unbelievable.
I did not buy from Sony, I bought locally with extended warranty so if there was a problem - they would have to come to me, should I need it. Plus, the set has a two year warranty right out of the box.
My point: If you want the best picture this is it. PERIOD. Just be ready in case there are problems...since there are obviously problems with some sets (be wary of independant delivery over short or long distance - I have been told that too much banging and shaking can cause some of the problems that I've read about).
Do your homework - make up your mind - and be ready. If your set has problems, ******** doesn't help - just get it taken care of.
Believe me...It's worth it when you're at work and realize that you can't wait to get home and see what's on Discovery HD Theatre.