I had an older Samsung DLP set in one room which "lost red" a while back. I looked into it, bought the part on eBay and replaced it. Got another year of useful life out of it, but then it started developing the dreaded "white spots" - which accelerated quickly. Time for a new set!
After having read and seen so many positive Samsung reviews, especially for last year's F8000 series, I'd first settled on either one of those in 65" or a UN65H7150 for less. My local big box store only had the 7150 on a wall practically by itself, and all the TVs were playing the same loop without much variety. I couldn't tell whether it would satisfy me, nor if it seemed any better or worse than other sets! Even skin tones were pretty hard to compare. Couldn't get any other content played on it. This stymied me. I like to comparison shop, and see things with my own eyes. Different things look good to - or bother - different people.
(I'm going to omit store names and prices, as I'm not sure of the AVSforum policy and don't want to violate any, but can add them later, if that's OK.)
As I was considering my options, I noticed two things - I really liked the look of the Aquos Q17. Of course, it was playing it's own content stream, so how is one to do a fair comparison? But it was in the same price range as the 65" F8000 so it went on the list. I thought their "in between 1080p and 4k" technology actually seemed to work. Don't know if it will succeed in the market with 4k set costs coming down, but I liked what I saw (and was able to choose content on this one).
Then I saw the XBR65X900A - and that it was on sale as a 2013 model. I had been planning to skip 4k for this purchase and give things a few years to mature. But I was able to see both 4k and 1080 content on this set, and I thought both looked great. I was very suspicious of 1080p upconversion, (maybe due to past experiences with 480p to 1080p) but I guess seeing is believing.
I was able to get a price that satisfied me - and less than the F8000. Though I had to drive a bit to the store that had one in stock, I did buy locally from a place that had one on display to - I hope - support the idea of letting me actually see the TV display stuff before buying it.
(There's a whole sub-story here regarding things being - or not being - in stock, but I'll omit that for now.)
Brought it home. Only had time to connect it to a PS4 so far. Image looked good in the few games I tested briefly. Big step up from where I was. Won't have time to do more for a day or two.
I am not settled, yet, on the sound. It's MUCH better than most TVs, but does not match my current speakers. I didn't expect it to. I would like to simplify my setup in this room - need to do some tests to decide on the trade-off of continuing with separate speakers or not.
I am reading through the owner's thread, but it is LONG, and search isn't as helpful as I'd like. If anyone has time to answer one or two of my questions, I'd appreciate it:
1. Is there a "single source" of info on this set - like a wiki or something? I'm happy to try people's settings from their sig file links, etc. but it would be great if there were a wiki or community FAQ. If there is, I'd love a pointer.
2. One of the things I loved about the F8000 reviews was that the movie mode came so well calibrated "right out of the box." I had one set calibrated about every 2 years. The DLP was just calibrated once after purchase. What can I expect from the 900A's cinema mode, and how close can I get it with user-adjustable settings? (i.e. is ISF calibration avoidable?)
3. The set would only allow me to select Game-Standard and Game-Original when connected to the PS4. This seems suboptimal for BluRay viewing. Will it switch on its own, or do I need to somehow "unlock" something to get the TV to allow me to set other modes when connected to the PS4? (I'm puzzled how it even knows its connected to a game console... guess there's more going on in HDMI than I thought.)
4. I'm also interested in what game mode settings with the PS4 (or Xbox One, or even PC) people find enjoyable. (I saw a post about turning on one setting in particular, but didn't write it down and lost track of it...)
5. I'm considering the Sony 4k content device - I noticed the new/upcoming one is cheaper but has half the storage. Clips are not pre-loaded. Is it "better" or "worse" or "just different?" I can't seem to tell, yet.
6. Netflix doesn't appear to indicate which plan you need for 4k streaming. (Not that I suspect my Comcast internet will actually accommodate that, despite my "up to 50Mpbs" speed, as I often seem unable to lock on HD from Amazon in prime time.) Is it just the same plan that you need for regular HD?
7. Where can I see my current firmware/software version? I checked the manual, and it showed me HOW to update, but not how to see what version I have now. I presume there is no reason NOT to update to the latest? I'd been reading about a set where that was actually NOT the case for several months...
That's MORE than enough story and questions for a single post. I'd appreciate any thoughts, answers, advice based on the experiences of other owners and their setup, etc.