Originally Posted by burts
I been thinking of getting a 55 inch or so tv, im currently using a Sony XBR-Series KDL-46XBR2. I bought it in 2006 when it first came out for about $4400.00...Is it worth upgrading to a samsung 7100 series or anything else, or is the quality still about the same in 7 years
.... My Sony is still perfectly fine however, it is wall mounted but its pretty thick.
The answer depends on so many subjective factors that only you can make that determination. But here's my take, for what it's worth:
If PQ is the sole determinant, I wouldn't expect a huge improvement in any current models. Your 46XBR2 has the (IMO) stellar Bravia Engine PRO video processor, CCFL back-lighting and (IIRC) a matte screen, resulting in a stunning picture.
OTOH, current comparable models are much thinner, lighter, are much more energy efficient (and thus give off less heat), offer networking (usually with built-in wireless), 3D video reproduction, more digital connectivity (although you might lose some legacy inputs), and a host of other features not available in 2006.
Of course, you will probably have to shell out some major $$$ for a comparable model, such as last year's Sony KDL-55HX950 or this year's XBR-55X900a and you won't get much on the reseller's market for your old set (I would guess around $500 to $600 tops).
I recently traded up from a KDL-46XBR5 (same processor as the XBR2) to a KDL-55HX929, mainly for the larger screen size. While I appreciate the other features, I was really only interested in a more cinematic experience with the larger screen, and I wasn't disappointed. I find the PQ to be comparable (maybe slightly better due to the LED backlighting with local dimming). If you are sticking to the Sony line and you care about PQ, I think you would be disappointed with anything less than the X-Reality PRO processor, so bear that in mind. And I believe the Samsung 7100 line would be a major step down.