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    Moderated By: claudio
    Agoraquest Forum Index » » Television Misc and News
    Spending $2k on new 36" Sony: Which to buy? Dashboard
    Replies: 17 | Views: 6,420
    Last Reply: October 28, 2002, 12:38 pm

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    RichN | dar25 | hophead | tk417 | djenkins_2k | THEKNEEBITER | thholr | batesmarshall | petenice00 | jwrebl | RCori | parshooter | HS500quest |
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    Author Spending $2k on new 36" Sony: Which to buy?

    Rank: Sony Fan

    Joined: Jul 30, 2002
    Posts: 5

      Posted: 2002-07-30 20:30

    Hi folks,

    I'm about to spend approx. $2k on a new 36" Sony HD-ready CRT TV. Could someone help me spend my money? I need clarification of the relative pros and cons of the following models:

    36XBR800 <--leaning towards, but it's $$
    36XBR450 <-- ok, now I'm confused
    36HS20 <-- is this HD-ready?
    36HS500 <-- what is this? the new 36HS20?

    Anything else I should consider? Primary input today is digital cable (90%) and prog-scan DVD (10%), but will probably move to DirecTV or Dish after I get the new set. In terms of audio, I usually run movies and important TV content (e.g. playoff basketball) through my home stereo, so the built-in speakers need not be the world's best.

    Thanks for the help!

    // Bates

    [ This message was edited by: batesmarshall on 2002-07-30 20:34 ]



    Rank: Sony Buff

    Joined: Jul 25, 2002
    Posts: 17

      Posted: 2002-07-30 21:57



    Rank: Sony Enthusiant

    Joined: Jan 15, 2002
    Posts: 28
    From: Scottsdale Az.

      Posted: 2002-07-31 00:58

    I have the XBR450 and if the 800 is better, I may have to trade up. The picture on most stations (with standard analog cable input) is so sharp, I would swear I was watching a digital channel. The XBRs have been rated as the best HDTVs around for quite a while now (and not just in THIS forum). I would definitely go with the 800 unless you can find a smokin' deal on a 450.


    Rank: Sony Fan

    Joined: Jul 11, 2002
    Posts: 4
    From: CA

      Posted: 2002-07-31 01:37

    Only the newer HS500 and the XBR800 36" TVs have the DVI input, which may be needed later to accept HDTV. Also, only the XBR (like the 32HV600) has adjustable DRC.


    Rank: Sony Fan

    Joined: Jul 28, 2002
    Posts: 2
    From: Atlanta, GA

      Posted: 2002-07-31 08:22

    if you want a smoking deal ,bestbuy is clearing out the 36hs20. The only reason I bought one was the 1600 price I got on it . Just depends, I dont think you can go wrong with any of them .


    Rank: Sony Fan

    Joined: Jul 30, 2002
    Posts: 5

      Posted: 2002-07-31 12:12

    So it sounds like the 36HS500 would be a good second choice behind the new XBR800 (or the XB450 for that matter) if I wanted to save a little money, but wanted to retain the DVI input for the sake of future interfaces.

    Is that right? Do we have any 36HS500 owners in the house?

    Thanks again,

    // Bates


    Rank: Sony Devotee

    Joined: Jun 18, 2002
    Posts: 80
    From: San Francisco Bay Area

      Posted: 2002-08-01 13:07

    unlike HS500, XBR800 has better, adjustable DRC (v1)


    Rank: Sony Devotee

    Joined: Jun 21, 2002
    Posts: 90
    From: usa

      Posted: 2002-08-03 01:45


    On 2002-08-01 13:07, dar25 wrote:
    unlike HS500, XBR800 has better, adjustable DRC (v1)


    If you've got this DRC thing figure out in detail, how about starting a new thread as an intro/tutorial for the rest of us?


    Rank: Sony Fan

    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 10
    From: San Francisco

      Posted: 2002-08-06 08:46

    Okay Marshall - Here's Your Answer.

    I know exactly how you feel - I have been looking at the Vega line of TV's since 1998 but not until now have I been able to afford one. 2 grand is a lot to spend on a 36inch tube. Needlesss

    to say, I've read all of the reviews on the Vega's since it was the XBR400 and I'm glad I waited. This year's 36" Mid-line model (36HS500) has EVERYTHING that last year's TOP OF THE

    LINE XBR (36XBR450) had and more. The best way for you to compare fo ryourself is to go to and open the detailed specs page for both and view them side by side.

    This is how I see it - I have a 27" Sony Trinitron (1996) calibrated with the AVIA disk and it's pretty nice. I was ready to jump head-first into the first Sony Vega I ever saw back in 1998 and it

    wasn't even an XBR. So since this year's HS500 has all of last year's XBR features (1080i, 960i, 720, & 480p Resolutions - Auto/Manual 16:9 Enhanced viewing mode for HDTV and

    Anamorphic DVDs - Digital Reality Creation Multifunction - CineMotion™ 3-2 pulldown processing -10-bit 3D digital comb filter - ClearEdge VM™ Velocity Modulation Scanning (selectable)

    - MTS stereo reception - SRS TruSurround™ 3D audio processing -SteadySound™ automatic volume control - 181-channel NTSC tuner - Twin View Picture and Picture with Multi-Image

    Driver X ), and the same FD Trinitron Tube but without all the picture imbalances previously reported - AND IT costs $500.00 -$700.00 less than the XBR800 - that's the one that will be in

    my living room in a couple of weeks.

    And plenty of inputs for HiQuality sources: I need 2 wideband component video inputs AND DVI because my reciever doesn't have component video switching. With the 36HS500 you can

    have your HD Tuner (Toshiba DST-3100) connnected via DVI, DVD Player connected via Component (480p) and XBOX connected via Component (1080i/480p).

    The 36 Inch XBR450 is no longer available @ Crutchfield so I used the link to the 32XBR450:

    Crutchfield Link1:
    Crutchfield Link2:
    Toshiba DVI HD Tuner:

    Hope my sleepless-night research helps.


    Rank: Sony Buff

    Joined: Aug 06, 2002
    Posts: 21
    From: new york

      Posted: 2002-08-06 21:46


    thanks for the info. i know i can get the xbr 800 for 2k. how much did you say you're getting the hs500 for? where from?

    did you also say, the hs500 has pretty much the same features as the xbr800? did that include this DVI feature?




    Rank: Sony Fan

    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 10
    From: San Francisco

      Posted: 2002-08-07 14:48


    Play Baseball? 3rd Bass? Did Anybody get that??

    Anyway - Yes, the HS500 DOES have DVI, nice huh? The lowest prices I was able to find were $1899.00 @, and $1895.00 As opposed to 2199.00 from and 1999.99 from Crutchfield. Add to that the $200.00 Tax, $200.00 Warranty, $200.00 Shipping and in home delivery of a 250lb TV).

    But I know for a fact that will match any price out there. I bought my reciever (SonyES 333ES) and Surrounds (Polk Bipole/Dipole f/x300i's) from them and they matched prices while we were on the phone. They just pulled up the competitor's web site ( and said "Sure, we can do that!".

    I don't know if you have Magnolia Hi-Fi in NY but I was just there 2 days ago and the guy said when they come in he'll match any price. I'll probably get it from SEARS though because they generally have low prices AND price match. This is how I figured the price: The HS500 is an update to the 36HS20 so you can assume that they will be around the same price. The 35HS20's are going for 1500.00 at Crutchfield is cool but their prices are too high and there's no haggling.

    If you are still interested in the XBR800 (I don't like that style, the black plastic makes it look cheap, in my opinion) you can find it for $1,799.00 here:

    Happy Hunting...

    [ This message was edited by: djenkins_2k on 2002-08-09 13:03 ]


    Rank: Sony Devotee

    Joined: Jun 18, 2002
    Posts: 80
    From: San Francisco Bay Area

      Posted: 2002-08-07 17:13

    XBR800 has adjustable DRC (v1), while HS500 has last years, non-adjustable DRC XBR450.
    Then again, i havent felt the need to adjust DRc's yet, as the pre-sets available seem to be fine. Not sure if HS has diffeerent pre-sets or only one DRC palette setting.



    Rank: Sony Buff

    Joined: Aug 06, 2002
    Posts: 21
    From: new york

      Posted: 2002-08-11 00:12


    Haven't heard anyone mention
    3rd Bass in a long time...I got
    what you're saying.

    Thanks for the help



    Rank: Sony Fan

    Joined: Jul 30, 2002
    Posts: 5

      Posted: 2002-08-12 13:18

    Hi all,

    Well I bought the 36XBR800, and I'm very happy with it. Picture quality with my ATT digital cable is superb (surprisingly), and DVD source is the best image I've ever seen on a TV. Just watched Lord of the Rings last night and it was an amazing experience.

    Haven't yet had the chance to figure out the DRC adjustments, but I was happy to see the default looking so good with my crappy cable input signal.

    Love the dual-view PIP function, the built-in speakers, the on-screen menus, the bezel design, and of course the picture tube.

    Wish the TV was a little less deep, had a CompactFlash slot on the front instead of Memory Stick (can you say Betamax?), and came with a better remote (no on-screen menu controls for my digital cable ).

    Let me know if anyone has any questions about this set. Oh, and I paid $2050 at Good Guys in San Jose, which had the unit marked at $2299.


    Rank: Sony Enthusiant

    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 39
    From: Langhorne, PA

      Posted: 2002-09-20 07:58


    I have the 36xbr800 with Digital Cable, too, and my picture is very snowy using high end Monster Brand rca cables. What connections are you using to get a good picture?

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