Sony 32D3000 + RDR-HXd970 or Panny equivalents?


Standard Member
I am planning to replace my old Panny CRT + Fusion PVR with an LCD TV + DVDR/HDD pairing. After much reading, and comparison of the tvs at John Lewis, I have settled on either:
Sony KDL 32D3000 or Panasonic TX-32LXD700
Sony RDR-HXC970 or Panasonic DMR-EX87

LXD700 appeals to me because of the better sound performance, as I have no desire to get a surround sound system with all the associated wiring! Both pictures looked good. I haven't been able to find anywhere to demo the DVDR's... or better to hook them up to the LCDs that I'm considering.

All the reviews I have read have rated the tvs about equal, and the same for the DVDRs. Except that I remember reading that the Panny DVDR menu system is not brilliant, and that the Sony Guide+ EPG on their DVDR is poor in some people's opinions. Some reviews seem to say that the 970 is the better of the two.

I have two questions:
1) both Sony and Panasonic make big plays on the Bravia Theatresync or the Viera Link systems. Does it really make a big difference to buy into the same family, or is mix and match a better proposition? Do you get any more than the ability to discard one of the remotes?
2) Given that I am planning to buy both tv and dvdr together, what recommendations do you experts have?

I am sure that there are threads that cover each of the kit, but after a couple of hours searching I couldn't find one that covers the brand issue, so please help this newbie!



Standard Member
Hi - can anyone give advice on the Viera Link / Bravia TheatreSync question, and whether it's worth staying with brand or mix and match?


Standard Member
No-one seems to have any opinions on the value of system linkage through HDMI.
Any other advice on which sets / DVDRs to buy would be very welcome...!


Standard Member
Hi Andy,

I've just bought the Sony D3000 and I'm very, very impressed. Although be prepared for the initial shock of viewing SD material on your new TV, compared to your CRT! Out of the box it is terrible, but with a quick mess around with the picture settings you can get it looking very good. Essentially just turn most things down! especially brightness, sharpness, backlight etc. Upscaled DVD through an HDMI cable looks amazing.

I'm not sure the big price premium of the Panny 700 over the 70 is worth it. Same panel, just better sound. The sound on the Sony works really well for me and the 'Surround' imitator is surprisingly good.

Are you sure you want a DVDR/HDD combi? I can recommend the latest Hummax PVR and I have a Sony DVPNS78 upscaling DVD player which is only 50 quid on Amazon and very decent.


Standard Member
Thanks Will.

I had heard the difference between the D3000 and LXD700 in John Lewis, and the 700 was far better - but that was just what the salesman set up with no tweaking, and it may be that there was a surround mode on the Sony that wasn't used. Otherwise, the two tvs were very close (but the D3000 has the option of turning off the 100Hz if the processing can't cope with the sport). Hard to know which to go for, as both get great reviews, Panasonic maybe just edging it at the moment?

Does anyone know a good retailer that can set up decent comparison between the tvs around St Albans area? Most either don't have the viewing room or don't cover both brands. John Lewis do cover the brands, but the option is just on the shop floor with 10 other tvs surrounding!

Re: the DVDR/HDD combo. We currently have a Fusion FVRT100 which has been brilliant - but my better half has got fed up with the constant HD/fan whirr that doesn't stop even when the unit is off. It also doesn't have easy archive that a DVDR has. So a DVDR/HDD combo seems the way forward, and I believe that the 2 I have narrowed down to are quieter. And both seem to have great upscaling capability.


Standard Member
I managed to persuade John Lewis to hook up the Panasonic EX87 to the LXD700 and the D970 to the D3000 side by side.

Picture wise hard to say, both looked very good - perhaps the Panasonic was "out of the box" set up more to my taste - but seemed to handle both the SD tv feed and upscaled DVD very well.

In terms of the EPGs, I preferred the Panasonic. Sony's (digital EPG) didn't look as good, or seem to be easy to navigate with the remote. Some functions that should be obvious just seemed to have no way of getting to them (this seems to fit with other's views on the difficulty of learning how to use the D970).

And best of all - the boxes were quiet when powered down to standby. Beats the Digifusion...

Probably go for the Panasonic combo. And I managed to get a reserve on a LXD700 that someone else had reserved before Christmas and never collected!:thumbsup:

On the original topic I raised, I could not really see much advantage to the linked system using Viera Link or Bravia TheatreSync. Seemed mainly to allow use via one remote - but in fact the assistant said that there are still features you may want to use that mean both remotes are needed - just that for a lot of options you can work with one.

Anyone got any comments on this?

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