I have read great things about the Loewe,and think it is probably the better tv. / however, I once bought a Terra/ the hottest tv of its generation (1989). They went out of business just about the time it went south ; Part of Murphy's Law,no doubt. I never could get it repaired/It actually went in the dumpster after 3 places couldn't fix it,the "factory- authorized" place being one of the 3 . So,the "Major Brand" if the sets are close; is were my money would go.When I bought my Terra,the co president sent me a card thanking me for choosing their tv. Not sure if "Mr. Toshiba" will send you one.Be careful /It's dangerous out there.
Robk- Loewe is a very big company in Europe, supported and distributed here in the US by Sensory Science who also owns California Audio Labs. The product is very source dependent; looks absolutely awesome with a good DVD source and has a very good built in doubler (at least my Planus, 30" 16:9, 420p, not 1080i does) so you can get a really good picture from a non-progressive DVD. Have not compared it to the Toshiba. I have not been as pleased with the picture from some conventional cable signals; garbage in maybe? I would be careful regarding service; there appears to be only one service shop in the entire Central CT area where I live. However, if you slip a good anamorphic DVD in and watch, you probably will be seduced like I was.
AV- too bad you dumped your Tera; I have a 23" in my bedroom, and actually prefer it to the Loewe for cable, its less source dependent.
RobK- you might want to check out the Proton sets if they are available in your area, they seem to provide a good compromise if you are going to watch much NTSC (conventional) TV.
I spent about an hour in a shop here in NYC the other night swapping stories and watching some movies on the Loewe Aconda, (having just come from around the corner and oggling all of the 16:9 HDTV's at the Wiz and Circuit City). I'm hooked on the Loewe. I am certain, however, that the quality I saw in the store was at least partially due to the loving care with which the Loewe was set up and the quality of the other equipment that was making it go v. the schlock and apathy that went into the sets at the Wiz, but the Loewe (though slightly smaller) was hands down the sure winner in my book. (So much so that I don't even remember what exactly the other TV's I saw were...). By all accounts, it is currently THE best direct view TV on the market (although we all know what such statements are really worth). If you're hooked on the Loewe HDTV, might also consider the Calida, which, I believe has all the same technology as the Aconda but in a conventional screen shape and for $1.4k less. If you watch much regular TV, might be a good thought for the price. Me, I'm hooked on the Aconda and plan on buying one just as soon as I can find some poor sap to come to the store with me and help me get it home (although they offered "the van" and a helper there, it just seems more festive to bring a friend...).
Panasonics in general have a problem developing solder cracks on their main PCB, very poor workmanship for the last ten years. The toshiba is a very good product well designed and engineered, pix is outstanding. THe loewe is like a ferrari, you won't be able to get it repaired at ther corner Fixit shop, but hopefully it won't be your main
source of entertainment.
I'm not sure, but the Calida may not display a true HDTV signal (1080i). I think it has the same chassis as my Planus which shows 420p (or is it 480p?) Anyhow, I'm told that in smaller sets (under about 32"), there is little if any visual difference due to resolution limits of your eyes. I would also point out that the panaroma mode on the Planus (which allows viewing of a 4:3 format signal at almost full screen width with loss of about 1" top and bottom) works fine in terms of no significant distortion, but since it enlarges the picture, it also magnifies any problems that may be inherent in the source.
I have a Loewe Aconda. It has an exception picture when the source material is clean. Unfortunately I view cable where the signal is less than perfect. The Aconda isn't able to correct skin tone deficiencies (My Sony XBR2 did a much better job at tracking skin tones for NTSC) in the NTSC signal which leaves me watching some green people. With the invar mask you will also find the picture darker than what you are normally accustomed too as well. But when the signal is clean you have a virtual 3D picture. I'm not familiar with the Toshiba model but thought you might find the info helpfull.
Patrick- can you provide more info on "invar mask". I haven't had any significant problem with skin tones, but I definately am fighting a battle between running contrast and brightness "too hot" and it being a bit (my wife says more than a bit) to dark. Any suggestions on how to deal with this issue.
Swampwalker - Sorry I have no solutions for the darkness. I just have the color temp on high, screen set for day, brightness set up around 75% and contrast up around 80% and this seems to work for most programs. I attribute the "darkness" to the invar mask as the B&O Avant with its invar mask also appeared dark but I could be offbase.
Patrick-I also own the Loewe Aconda DTV and find the picture quality is Amazing with a good source. DVD PQ is the best I've seen, really excellent. My Cable TV picture quality is very good also. I have found with the cable connection that the RF cables and connectors have to be top quality and run sensibily, the cable box also has to be good(if questionable, get a new one). Also, clean the RF connections they're usually filthy, mine were. If you still have questionable cable picture quality, call your cable provider and have them check your signal strength with a scope. Each splitter causes a 3dB drop in signal strength, so watch these because they can add up (splitters should be top quality too). Swampwalker, have you tried contacting Sensory Science about your contrast/brightness problem? Also,if you're happy with your interconnects and cables and they're burned-in, it might be nice to get a video calibration done by a certified technician. Hope this helps.
Dovetail- any thoughts on who makes a quality splitter? Also I am somewhat concerned because I have cable modem and cable digital phone thru same provider. No one can tell me if this affects the signal, other than the fact that it must be split a second time (once to split out the TV from the phone/modem, and then a second time to the various TVs. There is some kind of a filter at the output of the first splitter (where the TV signal is split from the modem. Anyone know if I can just use a bigger splitter, rather than passing thru two is series? Anyone know I where could get a 5 way splitter (1 in, 5 out) rather than the 2 way, 4 way that currently is present?
All direct view televisions have an invar or shadow mask. It is situated behind the screen and is in place to prevent the electrons from bouncing back into the crt. If you drive the crt too hard, the invar mask will overheat. This results in Blooming od the picture. It will seem overely bright and incoherent. It has nothing to due with a dark picture overall. Also, if it were not there, the crt would take full beam current and the phosphor would be darkened very quickly, thus ruining your new tube.
I replaced the coax connectors and it greatly reduced the
image problems I have on my Aconda.