I also faced the decision between the 955, 420 and XBR. I ended up choosing the XBR primarily because the picture quality is the best between the 3 34-inch tvs. The picture quality of the 955 is closer to the quality of the XBR; the XBR having the best picture between the 3. The price between the 420, 955, and XBR is about 300-500 between the 3 models. The other reason I chose the XBR is because the of the warranty. The XBR has a full 2 years on the labor, parts and picture tube. The 955 and 420 has 1 year on the parts, 3 months on the labor (2 years on the picture tube).
Lastly, the other to look out for is the weight. The 955 and 420 may be about 150 lbs with the XBR topping out at 200 lbs. Good luck; all three tvs are good, just depends on what you would end up wanting.
I am trying to decide between the the Sony 34 Wide Screen Tube HDTV and a 43" Rear Projection.
While I am low tech, I have read the very informative materials in CNET, in addition to Consumer Reports and other sources.
We watch a lot of DVD's, currently have digital cable and an older tube NEC. Never had HDTV or Surround Sound.
Regarding Rear Projection, I had been focusing in on the Sony KDF-42WE655 Grand WEGA. It receives a 7.6 rating from CNET. I then noticed that Sears on line had a very good price on Panasonic LCD 43" PT-43LC14.
The CNET comments about the Panasonic were generally positive. However, comments on Amazon were overwhelmingly negative. Primarily due to frequent changing of lamps.
What are your thoughts regarding the two HDTV's above. Is it common to have five lamps in two years in any brand? Would the extended (and expensive) contract cover such problems?
Regarding the 34" Sony tube, I understand that the 955 has built-in HDTV while the 420 does not. Outside of that, would the "picture quality" be the same for both? I don't mind continuing to use a cable box.
Okay, last point is on Home Theaters (I know this is long). I like what I have read regarding the Sony DAV-FR9. The question is do I really need that much?
I will use the system almost exclusively for DVD's and some TV. I use a separate sterio system for music. Would some other less expensive HTIB give me great DVD visual and sound--perhaps the Pannasonic SC-HT920? I don't mind paying more if there is a real difference.
BTW, I get totally lost in the various connections, component or otherwise on the HDTV's and the HTIB. I know I will watch DVD's, some TV, and an occasional VCR. The kids will play various video games when they are home.
Please advise as to the questions above. Thank you in advance.