Hi everyone. As I wrote before, my TV arrived today, and I let it sit for two hours looking pretty all by itself with no picture displayed so it could warm up from the winter weather here before turning it on. Here are my initial impressions ...
Setup: My dog could have done it. It was really that easy. Turn it on, select a few extremely simple things, let it scan the available cable channels, and that's it. I still have some tweaking to do with the colors and all that jazz, but it's largely set where I like it. When I first hooked up the BD player I got a bunch of sparkles on the screen. However, with this resource (ACS forum), I knew to try another HDMI cable. Easy fix, no more problem.
Sound: I was able to get completely acceptable audio quality. Sure, it's not going to sound like my surround system does, of course, but for normal TV viewing it's just fine for our needs.
Geometry: Wonderful. The downloaded grid image showed almost exact distances from the bezel when compared at the corners. There was some slight bowing, but not excessive (only about 3/16" max over the entire vertical and horizontal spans - perfectly acceptable). After reading some comments from other owners about geometric problems, I was actually surprised that mine is as good as it is. There is a bit of overscan, but that was expected. Nothing to complain about though.
Convergence: It's off a little bit in the corners. But, unlike my old Hitachi 57" RPTV, the red, green and blue lines are in sharp focus. It's not really that noticeable during normal viewing.
Viewing: I'll cover this in a few separate sections. For informational purposes only, I have a new Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player hooked up to it and just regular cable (no digital cable - yet).
Blue-ray: The only BD I have at the moment is Day After Tomorrow
, which I bought today. In a word: Astonishing! The picture was extremely clear, MUCH better than I ever got with my Hitachi 57", even when it was new. Colors were great, images were sharp, and I noticed absolutely NO rainbow effects. For myself, I could imagine a better picture, even at the movies.
DVD: I put in several discs from my collection - Independence Day, Nell, Sabrina, Coming To America,
and The Mask
. Each one looked great on the set. Picture quality wasn't the same as when watching Day After Tomorrow
, but it was better than I imagined it would be, with the 67" screen and all. I did notice that color depth was a bit lacking, so I set up the Dynamic mode for use with regular DVDs.
Cable TV: In a word: Awful. Colors are bad, no amount of tweaking could get it anywhere near where I wanted. The QAM tuner helped though. With my cable service I can get a few digital channels, including the local channels. (And I'm thrilled about that - it means I can watch the Super Bowl in all its hi-def glory!) I had no color problems with the HD channels, only SD. We will likely be getting digital cable installed in the near future though, and if so, that will be that.
Other: One was kind of a good thing/bad thing. Good: By accident, I found that the TV remote could control my different-brand BD player. Bad: The TV remote doesn't have a skip (next/previous chapter) button. No biggie though, I can always use the BD player's remote.
1. The convergence issue. I really wish it could be fixed. Would a good calibration take care of that? And, while not a complaint, would a calibration take care of the overscan as well?
2. While watching some DVDs (The Mask
is one example) that are "letterboxed", I couldn't use the ZOOM1 setting. It was greyed out, so I had to watch it with black bars all around. Just Scan only stretched it wide and short, and the other options were no better. That movie - and others I have, I'm sure - need ZOOM1 to fill the screen properly, but it's not available. I tried different settings on the TV and the BD player to no avail. If I'm not doing something wrong, then it's a shame. I should be able to use ZOOM1 all the time if I like, I should think.
3. My Goffin's cockatoo is afraid of it.
Summary: I'm thrilled with this TV! I was looking at various plasma TVs as well, and got down to two TVs - the HL67A750 and the Sammy PN63A650 plasma. Now, we all know that store setups don't necessarily show how a set will look when it's in your home, and I knew that going in. I went to a local store and viewed both TVs for an extended period of time. The store changed programs (digital cable) from time to time for other customers, and I was able to get a good comparison that way. I noticed that the plasma looked better on some things, and the DLP looked better on others. I liked both, so it was really a toss-up. What it boiled down to, for me, was that I could get a 4-inch larger screen and spend $1300 less. I went with the DLP, and I couldn't be happier! Well, unless I could get my two complaints fixed. I'm not worried about the bird.
Thanks to everyone for the help! Even if you don't think you helped me, you did.
Now excuse me, I'm going to watch another movie on my fabulous new TV.