As mentioned on some other thread I am coming back with some further inputs on this plasma have it installed for nearly a week now. It has to said, from a technological and performance point of view this must be the best plasma currenlty in the market. For me it replaces my only 9-month 433 (which I have just sold). The 433HDE is a great plasma but the improvements the 434 offers are hugely significant. Even against the Panny 6 which I have checked the 434 has definitely the edge. I believe the contrast and brightness improvements are important however they key improvement factor is the R04 media box offering the all-digital processing. OK. DVD is just excellent but my pleasant surprise is the performance with other sources too. Even pictures from S-VHS and VHS VCRs are so dramatically improved. The same goes for analog TV and off course digital satellite and terrestrial. You get a bright, clean, smooth picture that in my opinion is better than the current MXE model. I also believe the new processing has improved on lip synch performance. What is bad? In comparison to the 433 switching between input sources, displaying teletext, picture in picture and picture and picture takes some time and it is slower. Pressing the play button of the VCR will also take a little bit before you see the image. If you ffw or frw during play you will lose the picture for a moment. The small hum (buzz) noise of the plasma is a little "louder" than the 433 although you still have to go very cllose (<50 cm) to hear it. With the use of the fan the R04 media box gets only just warm but again a tiny noise from the fan. I am siting 3.5 meters from the rack and if volume is fully turned down I can hear it. I suppose it is personal taste but I much prefered the looks of the R03 box matching better the 757Ai DVD player and even the forthcoming 868. Further more, the black panel is beautiful but because of its nature it will attract more dust thant the 433. Overall, the few negatives will never become show stoppers. This is a TRULLY FANTASTIC plasma from Pioneer, setting a new high standard. I cannot wait to try the HDMI not just on DVD but also on disigtal satellite TV (Euro1080tv) when they start transmitting in January 2004.