Panasonic CT-34WX50 Flat Screen: HDTV Monitor with Twin NTSC Tuners

With the CT-34WX50, Panasonic is acknowledging the past but embracing the future. The "super-bright" PureFlat™ HDTV monitor won't leave you hanging when you want to watch some of your favorite (but decidedly non-high-def) television programs. Two built-in NTSC tuners combined with advanced video processing guarantee an excellent picture. Material with a 4:3 aspect ratio is "digitally stretched" to fill the sides of the 16:9 screen. Reruns of I Love Lucy will never look better than when you see them on this 34" flatscreen.

"Tau TV:" Should you wish to step into the future, however, you'll need to connect the CT-34WX50 to an HD tuner or receiver, such as Panasonic's TU-HDS20. The combination will give you digital TV in either 1080I (HDTV) or 480p (SDTV). The display also includes an inboard stereo sound system with dbx® noise reduction, even though it seems likely that anyone with the resources to buy this monitor probably already owns a high quality audio system.

Although promotional photos seem to indicate that the CT-34WX50 is a plasma display---it has a similar appearance from the front---it is a CRT (picture tube) based monitor. CRTs are still the best at creating deep blacks and brilliant whites, truly accurate colors, and fast action without artifacts. Panasonic claims that the screen has been optically and electronically optimized for ultra-low distortion even in the corners, where most viewers would never notice. One result of this attention to detail is a very wide viewing angle. The CT-34WX50 "renders images that are clean and distraction-free-no matter where you sit in the room," according to Panasonic promotional literature.

The CT-34WX50 has a full array of video inputs, including Y/PB/PR, two sets of component inputs for either progressive or interlaced signals from a variety of sources. Twin tuners allow picture-in-picture or split screen operation. Included with every Tau TV is the "Director," a backlit home theater remote control with joystick, said to be compatible with almost all recent and current A/V equipment.

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