Originally Posted by disgruntled1
Ultimate Electronics in Thornton have the 5679 on display. Its at the front of the store as you enter and is being fed by a Samsung Blu-ray player.
Thanks for the head's up! Before I saw your message, I got a couple of PMs from other members pointing me to other online dealers. One I'm not so certain about, but the other seemed like a well-established dealer.
I called the better of the two to investigate price matching the TVA price (was just getting too worried about missing our target date since some places are getting in their second shipments and TVA still hasn't gotten in their first) and they agreed to do so, including free shipping. It's only curbside delivery but that shouldn't be a problem for us. It turned out they just got in a shipment and have a few more...PM me if you want their URL. In any case, next week I should have one of these!
I later called Ultimate Electronics. Endured being on hold for about 10 minutes before I could ask if they had one at the Colorado Springs store...indeed they do, for well over MSRP. They claim they do price matching though...well, I went to their store this evening. They had the Blu-ray demo with a movie called Hitch
with Will Smith. It looked like a good transfer, and the sales rep agreed, calling it "phenomenal". If/when I get HD-DVD I should be favorably impressed!
Here were my general impressions of this TV:
Vertical viewing angle is crap. Lucky it's not a problem for us.
Horizontal viewing angle isn't as good as other HL-S TVs. This is a big issue for us, and I think we will have to rotate the TV about 10-20 degrees so we can watch both within the family room, and from the bar adjoining it (where I sit geeking now).
SSE: Saw this a bit...I was closer than I will sit at home though. I think it will be a minor problem for me and I'm a little concerned that when I self-calibrate the TV, I'll sacrifice brightness for the SSE. I'll get to that next.
Brightness: Seems okay from the front...already mentioned the viewing angles. So I'm concerned that if calibration takes it down some, it won't be as viewable from the sides. We'll see when it gets here!
SD: They only had a shared feed from OTA stations, 3 analog and Discovery HD (which made me wonder if it really wasn't actually OTA). The SD stations were awful due to probable ground loop issues. Ignoring that, they looked all right to me. In fact, with one that had a cartoon, it was hard to tell it was SD.
HD: 1080p BD looks fine. Discovery HD is probably 720p and frequently it looked blocky. I don't think it was macro-blocking, I think it was just not smoothly upscaling to 1080p. Maybe either my cable box or my receiver will fix this kind of problem.
color banding: Terrible. Just kidding, I didn't see it at all. That said, I spent 90% of my time watching the HD and only a couple minutes on the craptastic SD. At home though I will be watching 95% SD for now, so who knows. I've gotten the idea that the color banding "issue" is much overstated.
Calibration: I strongly suspect that I'm going to want a calibration, but I don't think I'll be able to commit to one until I've had the TV for 6+ months. I don't suppose any ISF calibrators plan to be in the Springs in March?
Comparison with HL-S 87/88: Ultimate didn't have much for comparison. Aside from this TV, I think they had the 6186 maybe, and no other HL-S at all, just HL-R. They're STILL trying to clear last year's models out before stocking this year's. In any case, I believe that if you looked at a 87/88, you'd like the 87/88 more, assuming you didn't see RBE.
Colors: I guess they did sort of "pop" but that's not exactly what I was looking for anyway. I'll reassess when I've got a set.
Reflections: The screen seems to have a sort of matte texture to it. Reflections were visible but indistinct. I think they'll bother me less than my CRT's glass, but still be an issue (I have a torchiere in the back of my family room).
Bottom line: The set looked pretty good. I'm basically trading a bit of quality for a lot of reliability and no chance of RBE. And paying some extra, though with the PB price it isn't as big a deal.
Now to just tell TVA the bad news...don't want the TV from them, but do want their RepairMaster warranty, which gives me the option of screen protection in case the 2-year-old does something awful.