First of all, I have to speak of my experience with Roman of Invision Displays. I can't tell you how fortunate I am to have done business with him. I am a professional who works in a high-intensity medical setting. I carry multiple pagers at a time, and can get paged into a situation at any moment. In short, I can only speak on the phone for a few minutes at a time.
After reading these forums for almost 6 months, dissecting every review, I came to the decision that the TV to buy for me was the Pioneer 5070 and Roman of Invision Displays who I should do business with.
Last week I called Roman, and he gave me a very competitive deal. It wasn't the absolute cheapest on the market (still, it was close), but it more than made up for it for the service.
Because of my long, unpredictable work hours, I had to request an after-hours delivery time. Not a problem, Roman said, and he charged me only a modest fee for the after hours delivery time, eating some of the cost himself. The delivery was scheduled for this Tuesday. When I called the delivery company to confirm, they said the soonest they could do it was this Wednesday. I immediately called Roman, and he put me on 3-way with the company, and unleashed some major "heat" on the delivery company. I later learned that he is no longer doing business with this company because of this incident. What a professional Roman is.
Anyhow, I find out close to noon on Wednesday that I'm unable to take delivery on Wednesday because of my unpredictable job, and instead need it on Thursday. I call Roman, and again, not a problem. Roman proceeds the call the company, but meanwhile I have to go because I am getting paged to a procedure, so I can't stay on the line. It's no worry, however, Roman's got my back.
Today, Thursday, I receive the TV.
Now, before I talk about the TV, I have to conclude my singing the praises of Roman of Invision Displays. I like to do my big-ticket items at stores, generally, but this time I'm glad I went online. Not only did I get a great deal, but I got almost legendary concierge service. Anytime I had a question, he was right there. I feel he's an honest professional who will almost bend over backwards to satisfy his customers.
And, now the TV.
Despite reading the forums for several months, I still consider myself a novice. Without even purchasing any additional cables, I hooked up my Pio 5070 (took about 10 minutes, including attaching the speaker) to my Time Warner Cable standard definition Motorola box via the red-yellow-white cables (I think they're called RCA?). I know they are the crappiest cables and I only have crappy Time Warner, but I can say that the Pioneer 5070 is hands-down one of the premier TVs to watch SDTV on.
This was a very important consideration for me. Even though I watch a lot of network TV and sports (a lot of which is in HD), at least 60% of my viewing is still in SD. This Pio 5070 does the same job as my small, but trusty 20" CRT TV. Yet, you get the rich, luxuriant colors of the Pioneer, the amazing contrast ratio, and the speaker, which btw, is excellent!
I remember seeing the Samsung DLP, the Sony Bravia XBR3, and the Panasonic 50" plasma all do SDTV. The Pioneer 5070 flat out embarrasses all of them when it comes to SDTV. I have not changed a single setting out of the box. Everything is "right out of the box." Heck, the box is even dangling just off to the side of the TV. And I am using one of the worst cables, the RCA cable! Yet the picture still looks very very good. I can't wait til I upgrade to HD and get HDMI cables!
Yes, sports channels tend to look a bit blotchy when I look at faces. However, this won't matter because these will be in HD anyway.
This weekend I get HD via Dish Network, which offers 30 HD channels, and I can't wait. Also, I won't have to sign a contract, and can switch to DirecTV if they do indeed come up with 100-150 HD channels.
All in all, if you are on the fence about the Pio 5070--don't be. Another word, I'm only sitting 6.5 feet away right now. I have the space to move it as back as 9.5 feet, yet I feel 8 feet -- exactly what Roman said -- will be the perfect distance.
Unless you are sitting 6 feet or closer, I would definitely recommend the 50". The 50" TV truly provides an immersive, theatrical experience. And that's why you read AVS Forums, anyway.
Also, if you have to buy, Invision is the place, and Roman is your guy.