I went to Magnolia (Emeryville, CA) this afternoon (PDT,) in order to finalize the arrangements to have my KDS-60A2000 swapped for a WD-65831, and in order to spend some quality time reviewing the Mitsubishi 732s against the competition.
My new WD-65831 will be delivered on Sunday, September 17. I'll be the first to get one from that store.
When I arrived, the power had just been restored after an outage. It was overcast in the East Bay, and traffic had been unusually bad getting there from northern Marin County. A new WD-65732 was just being set up on a stand, right next to a 60A2000, an HLS-7187W and a WD-73732 (which I'm told had been there for a few days already.) Perfect set up for a side-by-side shoot out.
All the TV's were connected to DirectTV over the same feed (component.) They got me all the remotes, and I sat down to tweak. First, I configured the A2000 the way I prefer, made some adjustments to account for the different lighting conditions, and proceeded to try to make the other TVs match the A2000 as closely as they were able (without using the service menu, obviously.)
After I was done, all the salesmen, and most of the customers who took the time to evaluate the TVs, commented on how similar the TVs I'd tweaked all looked, and how much better they looked than the other TV's I hadn't tweaked. The salesman joked they should hire me to calibrate their sets.
The salesmen, and the customers who stated a preference, unanimously preferred the WD-65732 over all the others--including the WD-73732. Personally, I felt the A2000 was better in some ways, and for some scenes, whereas the WD-65732 was better in other ways, and for other scenes. I'll have more to say on that later.
I spent 2.5 hours comparing the sets. I tried many variations in the settings, and watched everything from Sunrise Earth to a replay of the Space Shuttle launch.
Everyone thought the HLS-7187W was in last place. But for those who haven't heard, it is only fair to remark that the professional calibrators who frequent AVS Forum all claim that, after a professional ISF calibration, the HLS-xx87s produce the best picture, based on how well objective measurement shows they conform to SMPTE standards.
As to the difference between the 6-color wheel 65732 and the 3-color wheel 73732, the 65732 had the better, more accurate color. Other than that, there wasn't enough difference to matter. Whether the difference in color would be sufficient to be the decding factor between the two, I wasn't able to form a firm opinion. I think you'll just have to see it for yourself. And even that may not help, especially if you really value the larger screen size. It's far from a "night and day" difference, even though the difference is evident in a sid-by-side comparsion. I'm just not sure you'd notice once you got the set home.
The best way to describe the difference between the A2000 and the 65732 is to compare it to the difference between looking at a scene using sunglasses versus your bare eyes. The Sony screens have the same effect as shaded, polarized glass. As a result, colors on the Sony don't appear quite right, and whites and grays look like they've been dimmed.
The polarized/shaded screen does improve contrast. It also adds a depthy, 3-D effect. But that comes at a price. Even so, the 65732 would still have more depth, blacker blacks and better shadow detail in some scenes, although in other scenes the Sony would beat it. I conclude that the new screen of the 831s should match the depthy, 3-D look of the Sonys in a wider variety of situations (quite possibly for all cases)--although hopefully with less color distortion and dimming.
I'm sold on this year's Mitsubishis--even without considering Green Blobs, the extra 5" of diagonal screen size, and the firewire support offered by the Mitsubishis. The 65732 has better color accuracy, is sharper, shows more detail, can be made brighter, and can be made more contrasty.
And I didn't see any rainbows (of course, I never have, although I've now seen a demonstration of what they look like, constructed for those who don't see them, so I now know just what to look for.)
Government Warning: The Attorney General has determined that Federal Regulation may be hazardous to your health