Official Sony KDL-XXZ4100 Owner's Thread - Page 19 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #541 of 3520 Old 06-20-2008, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mmascari View Post

I got one for that from a local store, plus $50 delivery which included the guys lifting onto my wall mount.

Yeah, looks like the prices are starting to drop some places. Definitely can be found for below MSRP outside of the well-known merchants.
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post #542 of 3520 Old 06-20-2008, 07:53 PM
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PC Richards in the N/NJ area had a good price on the Z4100. I have looked at the w4100and wanted to compare to the Z. The sparkles issue has me concerned otherwise I would buy the TV. Compared to the Samsung 650/750 is the cloud issue/Red border and glossy green worth dealing with sparkles???? PS what kind of QC is Sony doing to have these issues?
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post #543 of 3520 Old 06-20-2008, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobrinl View Post

PC Richards in the N/NJ area had a good price on the Z4100. I have looked at the w4100and wanted to compare to the Z. The sparkles issue has me concerned otherwise I would buy the TV. Compared to the Samsung 650/750 is the cloud issue/Red border and glossy green worth dealing with sparkles???? PS what kind of QC is Sony doing to have these issues?

If it wasn't for the sparkles, I'd buy the Z in an instant. It looks like I'll wait, though, and see if Sony does/can fix this problem. I'm looking at other alternative televisions, though - but with all the problems I see with LCDs now, I'm beginning to wonder if I should just get a plasma.
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post #544 of 3520 Old 06-20-2008, 09:05 PM
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I know there is an awful lot of discussion on the sparkle issue in this thread, and mostly by prospective buyers (such as myself). I think the current owners would rather not worry about it seeing as they've already spent the money and it's not an issue to them. However this is a fairly big deal for us nitpickers and hopefully we can use the collective power of the forum, and especially the z4100 owners to prove/disprove theories about it.

Perhaps this deserves a separate thread, but the more owners we have to help diagnose the problem the better, and this thread gets a lot of traffic.

In my professional experience, leaving these things up to the manufacturer to fix will likely not yield any results as they likely don't see it as a problem because people will still buy the product without knowing of the problems (initially). But if we make a big enough stink about it, hopefully we'll catch the ear of some Sony management who can get the ball rolling on a fix, or at least make a statement about the issue.

I think there are three things we can do to help fix this issue:

1. Contact Sony and tell them about the issue. Here's a link to their technical support page.
2. Try to determine possible causes or solutions (see below)
3. Try to quantify the issue so we can see if the issue diminishes over time or on different settings.

Now, I'm just thinking out loud here... someone mentioned earlier about seeing a sparkle at the beginning of the Planet Earth BD. I remember seeing that as well on a W4100 at a local store. It was when the earth was shown from space and there was a lot of black in the scene. I noticed a fairly large sparkle on the top, just right of center area in what appeared to be inside the black bars (not in the image portion of the display).

If this is repeatable, and if we can prove it by finding the exact minutes/seconds in the movie that the sparkle appears, then I would say it's more than likely a processing issue, which could hopefully be resolved with firmware updates. Of course finding more occurances will better prove the theory and could even help Sony figure out the problem.

If this does not appear to be repeatable or localized to specific media/signals/inputs/color modes/etc. and the phenomenon is perfectly random, then we know that it is likely not software/firmware related, but most likely a hardware/design flaw that would need to be fixed.

So, does anyone want to give that a shot? Who has Planet Earth on BD and can notice sparkles and note the minutes/seconds?

And for everyone who's noticed the sparkling problem, please contact Sony and tell them about it! Especially the owners!

Thanks for reading this far,
Rob
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post #545 of 3520 Old 06-20-2008, 09:35 PM
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So far, I've only seen sparkles in the top-right quadrant of the screen, below the 2:35 black bar (basically, in the same area as in the YouTube videos). It's not always the same pixel that sparkles, but it seems to always happen on the same line.

Sparkles were only noticeable against a solid background, not when multi-colored content was displayed on the screen. I saw sparkles tonight on a 52" W showing Cars. While the sparkles were very noticeable during the credits, I can't say I noticed them during the movie itself. The other TVs were playing 16:9 content, and I didn't notice anything wrong.

Some TV's seem more affected than others. I first noticed the sparkles two weeks ago on a V at CC. There was a W next to it that didn't have sparkles. Both TV's were running the CC demo loop.

In any case, while it is peculiar, I don't see this as a major defect. I'd rather have the sparkles than screen uniformity problems or backlight bleeding (those drive me nuts).

I don't think sparkles are going to keep me from getting a Sony. The real problem problem for me is choosing between the W and the Z. Unfortunately, while the W's in my local SonyStyle store are connected to Blu-Ray players, for some reason the Z's are not, which makes the comparison difficult. And I like both designs for different reasons. The W would go well with my PS3, but the Z has understated, timeless elegance in a most attractive form factor . The "hole" is definitely growing on me, although I still think they went a bit too far with the new XBR's.
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post #546 of 3520 Old 06-20-2008, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by skatze View Post

Just hooked up my new KDL-Z4100b. The picture looks great but...despite going through the programming and then add digital channels, I can't get the tv to pull in/find the local HDTV channels. I've unplugged the tv several times including running the programming/add digital channels and still...nothing.

What kind of antenna are you using? I had a Phillips "HDTV" amplified antenna on my z4100 that found TONS of analog stations, but not one digital one. I swapped it for my old low-end unpowered Circuit City special and it quickly found all the digital stations I saw with my old set-top downconverter tuner.

[RICHR]
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post #547 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LuckyRob View Post

I know there is an awful lot of discussion on the sparkle issue in this thread, and mostly by prospective buyers (such as myself). I think the current owners would rather not worry about it seeing as they've already spent the money and it's not an issue to them. However this is a fairly big deal for us nitpickers and hopefully we can use the collective power of the forum, and especially the z4100 owners to prove/disprove theories about it.
Rob

I don't think that's the case at all, I am still under my return period and if I was having the problems that other are saying they see in the stores of course I would return this unit in a heart beat. I too am very picky and I can tell you the only way your going to see this pixel drop on my set is if you turn off every light in my house at night and have a 90% black screen and look really hard and even then it's not going to happen 100% of the time.
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post #548 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Soap View Post

I don't think that's the case at all, I am still under my return period and if I was having the problems that other are saying they see in the stores of course I would return this unit in a heart beat. I too am very picky and I can tell you the only way your going to see this pixel drop on my set is if you turn off every light in my house at night and have a 90% black screen and look really hard and even then it's not going to happen 100% of the time.

Well, for me, it's the principle of the thing. If I'm going to drop $2000 - the television should not have such a basic problem. It would appear to be a flaw, and Sony needs to be held accountable for starting to sell these and letting the problem slide.
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post #549 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenonn View Post

Well, for me, it's the principle of the thing. If I'm going to drop $2000 - the television should not have such a basic problem. It would appear to be a flaw, and Sony needs to be held accountable for starting to sell these and letting the problem slide.

It's no matter why Sony's rep is going south? I mean, if they want the #1 status in the LCD market back in their corner, they have to start listening to these problems once and for all, otherwise, their Korean competitor/partner is really going to own the market to themselves, practically. I mean, I am behind the Z4100 and the A750 equally, but it all depends on which set will have the better support and the longer lifespan of features.

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post #550 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenonn View Post

Well, for me, it's the principle of the thing. If I'm going to drop $2000 - the television should not have such a basic problem. It would appear to be a flaw, and Sony needs to be held accountable for starting to sell these and letting the problem slide.

Aw yes, the principle of the thing. For $2000 the thing should be absolutely flawless!! When someone finds this absolutely perfect TV for $2000 (or even $5,000 or $10,000) would you PM me so I can jump on it. But please hurry because mortality tables only give me another 20 years. In the mean time I guess I will have to live with a flawed set and I will know it is flawed because I will have read it on AVS.

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(Perfect is the enemy of good)
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post #551 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 09:19 AM
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Anyone knows if the Z correctly handles RGB full range? There doesn't seem to be an option for adjusting the HDMI black level.
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post #552 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 09:21 AM
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OK, I have been following the whole thread from the beginning. Now that the 46 Z is here, I decided to have a look to see if I can further the analysis of the sparkles. Just to be perfectly clear, I did go to local Sony Style, and I did see sparkles on the 46", as well as on a 40" in PC Richards, so I know perfectly well what you guys are seeing out there. So, straight out of the box, standard vivid settings (no changes to any settings), I switched the input to hdmi 1 and pressed freeze. That allows for almost a full black screen instead of the no signal one (you know, the one with purple background). Looked for almost 15 minutes for any evidence of sparkles - NONE! That's with the in window A/C connected to the same power outlet (no power line conditioner), 12" away from the screen, and no cables connected to any inputs on the TV. Next I hooked up PS3 to HDMI 1 with 6 foot monoprice 1.3a Cat 2 CL2 Cert. cable. Default PS3 settings, default TV settings, looked on the PS3 dashboard for approx. 10 minutes - no evidence of sparkles. I thought I might have seen one in the left top corner, but can not be sure, as it did not reappear. Threw in DVD of CARS, and noticed right away in the opening scene (when lightning mcqueen is concentrating - they cut away from the racing scenes to pure black) what the people are talking about the annoyance of the backlight dimming. I hope you can turn it off. Other than that it played really well, no sparkles as far as I could see. What I have seen in the store would make the screen almost unwatchable, I'm just not seeing the same effect on my set! Am I one of the lucky ones?

Well, if EMI would have been the cause, I assumed that with my initial test with noting connected I would have seen at least some evidence of sparkles during this test. As I indicated, I might have seen one on the PS3 dashboard, but that would indicate an issue either with the cable or bravia processor, or TV or PS3 settings ??? Next, once I have some time, I'll try to calibrate the TV and PS3 and see what will happen.

So far I'm really happy with the Z. This is a great set that I would definitely recommend to anyone.
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post #553 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 09:59 AM
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Has anyone tried any of the settings in the XBR4/XBR5 Calibration thread? On the first page there's a link to a web page that lists links to a bunch of settings.
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post #554 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 10:01 AM
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for people who have seen this set in stores how does it compare to the 650?? i seen the w4100 next to teh 650 and tho it was a good competition the 650 took the PQ outta sonys hands...but he w4100 wasnt far behind but you have to keep in mind that its only 8 bit compared to the 10 bit so i wanted to know if the Z was any better...cuz if i were to choose now i would go with the 650( if it was between that an the w4100) but i wanna know how the Z stands up, id much rather deal with clouds/flashlilghting which ill most likely dissapear over time than the sparkle thing which i have seen in person, though its not as bad as everyone says it is, i couldnt deal with the fact of giving a store 2-3 grand and taking a defect on my set
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post #555 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 10:05 AM
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Very true... I've yet to see a Z4100 side-by-side with the A750 myself, now that you have covered that base. To me, I may have to go with what I saw from the Samsung side, since the only set from Sony that I'd compare is the W series, since nobody here is stocking the Z or having it on a wall display anywhere. Somehow, this is becoming too much a one-sided affair, until I actually see something that'll actually break my confusion between the two sets once and for all. Grrr...

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post #556 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 10:08 AM
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STILESP113, the sparkle issue is DEFINITELY more pronounced in the store. I don't know why, but I have seen a really bad example of sparkling on the 40" Z in PC Richards and on 46" in the Sony Style store. But the unit I have at home does not appear to have this problem. Granted, my set still might have this problem, it's just not as visible as it is in the stores. I only had one evening to play with it, and I have not changed any settings yet, but I haven't seen any problems straight out of the box. I would recommend that you give it a shot. If you get it at BB or CC you can always return it or exchange it no questions asked.
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post #557 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsobol View Post

I switched the input to hdmi 1 and pressed freeze. That allows for almost a full black screen instead of the no signal one (you know, the one with purple background). Looked for almost 15 minutes for any evidence of sparkles - NONE!

sparkle shows up on a moving picture it isn't going to show up if you freeze a screen. i know this is a clue on what the problem is, perhaps cheap wiring from the av ports? who knows
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post #558 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 10:56 AM
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Wich one are you gonna get for your $2000.00? One that has sparkles or one that doesnt.For one that has not bought yet, its very hard to decide to buy one knowing
about the sparkles and living with them, or doing what most of us here have been doing
for quite some time and thats to wait and wait and wait.
Look,we all know that Sony knew about these problems before the first Tv hit the streets.They got eyeballs,they can see and yet they let these sets go out like this.Sony
more than any other company on earth has built their reputation on quality.What is the fraise we all remember, "Sony No Bologna"... Sony we expect you more than any other
company on earth NOT to drop the ball in quality control and let these tvs hit the streets just to make a buck,but apparently they just dont care like they used to. Nthstar
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post #559 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davez82 View Post

sparkle shows up on a moving picture it isn't going to show up if you freeze a screen. i know this is a clue on what the problem is, perhaps cheap wiring from the av ports? who knows

Well, when you freeze the screen, it only shows a frozen picture in a small window in the bottom left corner, the rest of the screen should show a moving image. Regardless, the test was done to test if EMI was causing the issues. EMI would affect the screen no matter if it was or it was not fed a signal. I would venture a guess that the most likely cause for the sparkles are the cables or bravia engine, since as you mentioned the most visible instances of sparkles are present during moving image, ie. when signal is present.
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post #560 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by raylock View Post

Aw yes, the principle of the thing. For $2000 the thing should be absolutely flawless!! When someone finds this absolutely perfect TV for $2000 (or even $5,000 or $10,000) would you PM me so I can jump on it. But please hurry because mortality tables only give me another 20 years. In the mean time I guess I will have to live with a flawed set and I will know it is flawed because I will have read it on AVS.

Sparky
(Perfect is the enemy of good)

I'm not saying expensive televisions are flawless. No one expects that. What I would expect is some measure of quality assurance/control at Sony for what you pay. If a flaw is this noticeable and gets by, there is something definitely wrong.

People are not paying a small amount of money to Sony. For that price, there should be certain assurances.
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post #561 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 11:25 AM
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Thats right. You pay Sony actually a lot more money then most for their Quality Control.Should'nt we expect to get what we pay for? Nthstar
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post #562 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 11:43 AM
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Just hooked up my new KDL-Z4100b. The picture looks great but...despite going through the tv's programming and then adding digital channels, I can't get the tv to pull in/find the cable (Comcast) local HDTV channels. I've unplugged the tv several times including running the programming/add digital channels and still...nothing.

In the other room, I have a toshiba...also with a built in qam tuner...and that tv manages to pull in the local HDTV network channels without any problem.

Any hints/suggestions? Sony local service center says they'll come out next Wednesday...but this is a brand new set? I welcome any thoughts.

Thanks
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post #563 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenonn View Post

I'm not saying expensive televisions are flawless. No one expects that. What I would expect is some measure of quality assurance/control at Sony for what you pay. If a flaw is this noticeable and gets by, there is something definitely wrong.

People are not paying a small amount of money to Sony. For that price, there should be certain assurances.

Most of the people who are complaining are seeing them in a store and who the heck knows what else is around (EMI) or on their electrical systems (electrical interference). The people who have them don't seem to have a problem. We see posts of people who have to do special things to find sparkles like look at dark screens, turn out all the lights etc. One poster spent 10 minutes with a repairman trying to find a sparkle and he thought he MIGHT have seen one. Others have said they saw them when credits were rolling but not during the picture.

All TV's (I know a generalization) have some issues. By all means if you get a set where these things are distracting or otherwise affect the quality of the viewing experience, send it back. Based on the actual owner reports so far that is likely to be a rare event.

Maybe it is just me, but I get frustrated when people beat this horse to death. Some seem to accusing Sony of intentional malfeasance or gross neglect and have hijacked the thread talking about problems that most actual owners don't have. Alright, rant over
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post #564 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by raylock View Post

Most of the people who are complaining are seeing them in a store and who the heck knows what else is around (EMI) or on their electrical systems (electrical interference). The people who have them don't seem to have a problem. We see posts of people who have to do special things to find sparkles like look at dark screens, turn out all the lights etc. One poster spent 10 minutes with a repairman trying to find a sparkle and he thought he MIGHT have seen one. Others have said they saw them when credits were rolling but not during the picture.

All TV's (I know a generalization) have some issues. By all means if you get a set where these things are distracting or otherwise affect the quality of the viewing experience, send it back. Based on the actual owner reports so far that is likely to be a rare event.

Maybe it is just me, but I get frustrated when people beat this horse to death. Some seem to accusing Sony of intentional malfeasance or gross neglect and have hijacked the thread talking about problems that most actual owners don't have. Alright, rant over

Right on!
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post #565 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 02:22 PM
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Ok guys I finally got around to driving to the nearest SonyStyle store which is about a 90 minute drive for me. I wanted to see this for myself before I dropped that much money or took it elsewhere.

Well guess what guys...they had both the 40" and 46" on display. Sparkles? None! Absolutely ZERO. I watched both displays from about the approximate position from where I'd be sitting at home and watched for them. I paid particular attention to the black areas. I even gave the 46" some extra time watching it because everyone said it's much more pronounced.

Nothing.

Next I went up and examined the solid blacks right up close on the 46". I even stared in the same spots multiple times to watch for them.

Nothing.

To be sure, I even brought my wife along and told her to simply watch and see if she saw anything wrong with the picture. After all, members here have posted that as soon as they walked up to the same model they could spot the sparkles from 20' away. She saw nothing wrong with it. In fact she commented on how great the picture looked from the Z.

No. There were ZERO sparkles on the sets I examined, and the environment was quite suited for watching some demos. Nice low lighting levels in some parts of the store, no glare or any of that. Very easy to spot minor differences between models or bad video source material...but sparkles. There were none.

So that did it for me. I'm buying the 46" Z.

edit: Maybe I should go get my vision checked?
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post #566 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok guys I finally got around to driving to the nearest SonyStyle store which is about a 90 minute drive for me. I wanted to see this for myself before I dropped that much money or took it elsewhere.

Well guess what guys...they had both the 40" and 46" on display. Sparkles? None! Absolutely ZERO. I watched both displays from about the approximate position from where I'd be sitting at home and watched for them. I paid particular attention to the black areas. I even gave the 46" some extra time watching it because everyone said it's much more pronounced.

Nothing.

Next I went up and examined the solid blacks right up close on the 46". I even stared in the same spots multiple times to watch for them.

Nothing.

To be sure, I even brought my wife along and told her to simply watch and see if she saw anything wrong with the picture. After all, members here have posted that as soon as they walked up to the same model they could spot the sparkles from 20' away. She saw nothing wrong with it. In fact she commented on how great the picture looked from the Z.

No. There were ZERO sparkles on the sets I examined, and the environment was quite suited for watching some demos. Nice low lighting levels in some parts of the store, no glare or any of that. Very easy to spot minor differences between models or bad video source material...but sparkles. There were none.

So that did it for me. I'm buying the 46" Z.

edit: Maybe I should go get my vision checked?


CONGRATS!
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post #567 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsobol View Post

STILESP113, the sparkle issue is DEFINITELY more pronounced in the store. I don't know why, but I have seen a really bad example of sparkling on the 40" Z in PC Richards and on 46" in the Sony Style store. But the unit I have at home does not appear to have this problem.

This could point to two things: bad signal quality or default picture settings. Stores typically have their tv's set to vivid mode. I'm leaning more towards bad signal quality though.

If someone has a cheap and long (30') HDMI cable they can try hooking up to see if the sparkles appear more frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davez82 View Post

sparkle shows up on a moving picture it isn't going to show up if you freeze a screen. i know this is a clue on what the problem is, perhaps cheap wiring from the av ports? who knows

Agreed, freezing the screen won't work, unless maybe if you caught a sparkle in the freeze. However, pausing the source (BD player, etc.) should work, as there is still data being sent from the player to the tv even though the screen is black.
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post #568 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 02:37 PM
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I just saw my first sparkles. I had hooked up my older Toshiba A2 HD-DVD deck to the side HDMI port via a generic Radio Shack cable. We were watching the HD version of Casino and there was a scene where the right 1/4 of the picture was black and, sure enough, there were some white and blue flashes. They almost looked like old fashioned film static. These are the first ones that I've seen so unless I see them more frequently on the input that the BR player is hooked to, using a Monoprice cable, I'm not going to jump off any bridges. Throughout yesterday's viewing of pieces of several BR and SD DVDs and a complete viewing of the BR "The Other Bolyn Girl" (Stay away from this one. It's an idiot's guide to Henry VIII) I saw no sparkles at all. OTOH, if they start to appear frequently on that input, I'll consider my options. That's the nice thing about dealing with Big River. If it's bad, back it goes on their dime. Whatever happens there is no way that I'm going back to the Sharp 720P set. The Sony's PQ is light years better. The Sharp is pretty much sold anyway.
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post #569 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 02:45 PM
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I'm just back from Fry's in San Marcos CA. They had gotten the Z in this week and had the 46" on display.

It was playing some credits that went on and on so I just stared, mostly at the upper right portion, and.....no spakles.

There was mostly all black so I'm sure I would have seen them if there had been any. I watched for 3-5 min.

Anybody use a 46" in their bedroom? That 46 Z is relatively compact. We are about 9 feet from the screen.

Dave
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post #570 of 3520 Old 06-21-2008, 02:51 PM
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wow. it seems like "SPARKLES" are the latest obsession on AVS LCD forums for the sufferers of OCD. Fortunately, I got rehabilitated just in time to buy my TV and don't suffer from OCD anymore

For me it all comes down to this, do the sparkles affect my viewing enjoyment and PQ? Absolutely not! I watch TV, movies, play videosgames for hours on end and sparkles never even crossed my mind. Sure it sucks that the TV isn't flawless, but what TV is? Anyways, I don't notice any sparkles at all with the picture settings (backlight 1, brightness 45, RGB Limited Range...) I use. However, I do see a few if I use the default standard/vivid picture settings and if I sit really close to the TV and stare at the black XMB screen; I haven't seen them during movie credits or any other times.
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