After a year of lurking on this forum, I finally have an HD TVand so far I'm very satisfied with my decision. I won't even begin to list the different panels I've considered over the past year, butso farit looks like waiting for the 5020 was the right choice.
A great thank-you to Robert at ****************; the purchase and delivery process was extremely smooth. And rapid. The first estimate of late June became July 19th (tomorrow). Then Monday I got a call that the panel would be delivered yesterday afternoon. Yesterday morning it was delivered.
I'm still going through the break-in process, so these are just some early and half-formed impressions, but I know there are quite a few folks out there waiting to hear from 5020 owners. I'm not an AV professional, but I hope this post helps. I will post again once I complete the break-in process.The Box: Not in Great Shape, but Fortunately a Happy Ending
Yesterday I posted from work that my wife told me that the box had some slight damage. She underplayed it. About an eighth of the length of the box was ripped open. There were several, small punctures along the edges. Two corners were partially collapsed.
I wouldn't describe it as major damage, but it wasn't minorthat's for sure. I was worried. Really worried. But everything turned out fine. Looks like the internal packaging did its job and protected the panel.
I was also very happy with how the panel was packaged. The stand was attached! A friend of mine set up his 50 Panasonic 800 series last weekend and had to attach the stand himself. He actually had to take the panel out of the box to get it into the elevator of his apartment, but that's a different story. . . .No Major Defects!
I am very grateful that I was spared any immediately noticeable major defects. Screen was perfectly intact, despite the damage to the box. No dead pixels. A few pixels were stuck on red when I first powered up the unit, but they resolved themselves almost immediately. I was watching Discovery HD when I was setting up the unit, and they went away within a minute or so.The BuzzMuch Ado About Nothing (For Me)
Yes, it buzzes. But it's not a problem. It is noticeable if I stand right in front of the panel. But I don't hear it from my seating position (nine feet away), at least when watching TV at even a relatively low volume. From other reports, the buzz varies depending on room acoustics, so YMMV on thisbut for me it's a non-issue.
The only thing I may adjust in response to the (limited) buzz is my music listening habits. Usually I keep the TV on so I can play with the GUI of my AVR, but that may change if I can hear the buzz during low passages of classical music. I keep my computer (in the same room) shut down when listening to music to eliminate the hum of its fan, so I do care about these thingsby no means am I hearing impaired.The Stand
Lousy. It has this tin feeling to it, and mine is warpedone corner is a bit high, so you can rock the unit (slightly) if you try. But I tested the top of the screen with a level (it's perfect), and I attached the metal brackets on each endI'm not worried it's going to tip, although I may screw the unit to the wall as the instructions recommend if I get around to it.
I suppose the stand (like the speakerssee next) is a great place to cut costs, but this is a bit of a disappointment.Sound
Ahem. While I respect personal preference, I am in the camp that believes that a good sound system is not optional. It's AV people, not aV or just V!
I mounted the speaker bar. I listened. And I promptly removed it.
I actually took it off because I needed room to run my center channel speaker wire through the stand. But I could have gotten the bar back on (I probably could have squeezed the wire into the gap above the speaker beneath the bezel where the rubber flap runs). But I won't bother. My center channel obscures the infamous chicken legs, so that's not an issue for me.
This isn't a knock on Pioneer. It's just the way it is with TV speakers. Maybe some folks don't care or actually feel that the sound is good from the bar speakerbut not me.The Viewing Experience So Far (Saving the Best For Last. . . )
Well, by the time I got home from work, got the unit out of the box and on to the stand, re-wired/re-configured my AVR, and got through the initial set-up I was pretty tired and I had a headache. But I had to watch something before I started running the break-in disc! And things do look very good. I used D-Nice's reference settings in movie mode; didn't have enough time or patience to experiment last night. But vivid (or whatever it's called. . .) really sucks. The picture difference was night and day (and I mean that.
) when I switched to movie mode.
HDTV, as widely reported, varies tremendously. The Final's looked great (of course, the score helped.
), baseball on NESN looked great. In my brief surfing of the HD channels things varied from the very good to so-so. I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactic that I had recorded on my DVR from SciFi HD (I have a Comcast Motorola DCH with the TiVo software), and it was pretty good. But it was odd at pointsit was almost as if some scenes were filmed in HD and some were not. But this wasn't the Kuro's problem. I had my box set to 720p (bloody thing doesn't have a native setting), so I'm going to experiment in the future to see if that setting or 1080i is the way to go. I'm going to try and figure out what looks worsea 720p channel sent from the box as 1080i or a 1080i channel sent from the box at 720p.
I also watched a few scenes from Gladiator on DVD piped through my Oppo 980 and upscaled to 1080p. Looked fantastic, as good I could expect from a standard DVD. I'll experiment more later to see if the player or the panel does a better job, but I have no complaints with the job done by the Oppo.
I don't have Blu-ray. Yet.
So, overall, the picture is great so far. Never did I see video flaws of any kind. And the colors looked fine to me, including the greensnothing looked fishy with the grass of the baseball game or the Celtic's uniforms. But again, this is just an early report. I'll give more detailed impressions later. And I will post pictures.