Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Northern CA, USA
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I spent about two hours today at my local Fry's looking at this set. I have to say I was really impressed with it, although I spent some time adjusting it a bit at the start. I had the guys connect a blu ray player and try a number of things including Alice in Wonderland since the satellite feed was not optimal.
What struck me first was the three dimensional effect which was pretty stunning. Perhaps the size has something to do with it but the immersion you feel in looking at the films was very, very impressive. The low level detail is just unreal, with my wife actually stating that it would change how we view films, in that so much detail seems unnatural to her.
In terms of the black levels I am sure that sets can be found which measure better, but I think one would be hard pressed to be able to detect improvements with the naked eye.
In terms of the colors, they appeared very vibrant with tons of pop. Maybe not the perfect balance straight out of the box, but extremely nice. Very rich, nicely saturated.
We spent at least half the time walking back and forth in front of it from about 12 feet away trying to detect changes in brightness, etc. due to viewing angle since that has been mentioned here a lot. I concluded that about plus or minus thirty degrees it was undetectable, but if you went pretty far, maybe 45 degrees you could see some fall off. For normal viewing angles that you would get in a movie theater there wasn't anything either of us could see or detect, which was surprising to me. Looking from a radical viewing angle you will be viewing a compressed image anyway so I am unsure what the real life significance of this.
I am not saying viewing angle changes are not there, or that viewing angle changes can't be measured on this device. I am sure they can. I am just saying that my observations are that in any sort of normal viewing environment its not an issue and that the real life viewing angle is not in anyway a limitation.
I also spent a lot of time looking for motion effects on the various program materials and could identify no lags, no whatever on any program material. The motion was always smooth to us and film-like given the material.
We concluded this a ridiculously good TV and an extraordinary value no matter how you look at it. I am not a video technician or expert, YMMV of course, but I came home, contacted Cleveland Plasma and am ordering one. I would suggest that anyone thinking about this set find one and go watch for awhile, then judge for yourself.