Sorry for the wait folks...party last night and triathlon this morning
So I'll review some now and then report back once I have a chance tweak. This is my first WS television. I've been watching a 32" Sanyo HD set for the past few months (and been very happy with it). My set showed up Friday afternoon and actually wasn't smashed to pieces this time. I was a little bummed when we found out the WE655 would be all grey instead of having the black surround like the GWIII but it's still a nice looking set overall. The black would probably give it a slightly classier look, but I don't dislike the grey. I powered it up and it began to scan for channels...found all the OTA digitals. For now I'm using my Moto 6200 HD STB from Cox via component. I might try an DVI-HDMI cable but reports are generally that the DVI output on the Moto (which was only recently activated most places) isn't providing any improvement in PQ. One beef I have with the Moto 6200 is that I have to select either 720P or 1080i as the output rather then having it send the native res of the content to the set and letting the display do any necessary scaling. I can't see any obvious difference between the two output formats...although Discovery HD didn't play well with the Sony when I had the STB sending 1080i last night so I'm running 720P for now. I'm going to play with running the cable directly into the set to see if there are differences in PQ. I might get a cablecard and ditch the STB but it only saves me $4 and I lose the interactive guide and On-Demand stuff so the PQ would have to be substantially better to make up for the loss of features.
Okay, the set needs adjusting OOTB...it's not bad but I'm sure it can be much improved. I'm running Pro mode with some fairly high Picture and Sharpness settings for now. I actually played around for at least an hour trying to tweak the picture to my liking but I'm not there yet. I haven't used any test disc as of yet. I have Avia but have never used it so I'll wait till I have plenty of time to spend...later. I also read a post from one of our friends to the north that used some of UMR's tweaks on his 42WE620 as well as one additional SM adjustment and got substantial improvements in black details (here is the thread - 42WE620 review/tweaks
). My general impression is that this set will be very good once I figure out some better settings and do some SM tweaking.
My two primary issues at this point are 1) soft picture on all OTA HD, digital cable/HD, and DVD content. I expect a softer look from analog SD so I accept that. Even the interactive cable guide and Sony user menu is soft. One thing I notice OOTB before changing any of the picture settings was that Pro mode was significantly softer looking compared to Vivid...and I'm running Pro. I believe UMR's tweakes improve the resolution of Pro mode so I'm hoping that will take care of it. 2) black detail needs to be improved and colors in general are a little muted...it just doesn't have that "POP" when you flip on a football game in HD (although the Fox game looks very nice today). I think improving the crispness will also help with that "POP" factor. I can't seem to get the adjustments right for blacks...Pro mode is rather dark to begin with, but when I cranked the Picture setting it brought the colors back up. Even with the brightness at 30 the set seems a little washed out in general. Watching anything wth black bars, the bars appear kind of bright black if that makes any sense...they certainly aren't black black. If I hold up a black speaker grille to the "black" bar you can see a clear distinction. I tried to take some pictures but they didn't reallt show it. This is the type of thing I'd typically use a contrast setting for...increase the darkness of the blackest blacks while increasing the brightness of the brightest colors...but there is no contrast setting
Again, hopefully a run through Avia and SM tweaks will take care of it.
SD is actually good although you will certainly see the difference in quality among various channels. Analog HBO looked very good last night but my analog local networks weren't as good...which is fine since I can get them all OTA digital anyway. I'm satisfied with analog and digital SD. I'm not yet blown away by OTA HD, cable HD or DVD...but they are all generally good. Don't get me wrong...I'm not unhappy with any of them, but I'm not satisfied yet either. I'm certain I can make significant improvements over the next week or two as I have time to read UMR's tweaks and learn the Avia disc.
Okay, some quick pics...they don't actually look that great...probably my 5 year old Kodak 1.8MP camera. I'm having a hard time getting good pics...my camera wants to flash but that reflectsa off the screen so I've been covering the flash, which makes things kinda dark.
Here it is...the stand is temporary 'till I get to Ikea and pick up an oppli stand in a few weeks. It will be about 14 inches lower.
A couple shots of OTA HD
720P on Fox
1080i on CBS