Last Thursday I replaced my 6 or 7 year old Sony KP-61XBR200 (a 4:3 SD set) with the KDS-R70XBR2. (If I had known this discussion was going on here I would have posted sooner.)
I didn't even ask the dealer to open the 70XBR2 box, much less turn it on. I'd read the XBR1 reviews, I trust Sony's abilities as much as I trust any manufacturer, I'm susceptible to blue smoke and mirrors, I've been waiting to go HD long enough, the TiVo Series 3 (which is what really tipped the scales) is here, and plus, I didn't have to re-program my Marantz MK2000II (too much anyway).
So far I am very happy. My wife somewhat less so. More on that issue in a moment.
Looks like this can sometimes be a pretty rough crowd so I posted a couple of pics below. I don't expect a whole lot of street "cred" from this though. I also don't deserve much as: 1) this is my first HD set, 2) I don't and won't have any HD signals until Cox arrives with 3 cable cards next Friday (1 for the XBR2, 2 for the Series 3 TiVo), and 3) it's been a long time since I last ran Video Essentials. Truth be told, my Avia DVD is still in its shrink wrap.
In an SD kind of way I was pretty pleased with how my setup was working and the occasional loose cable was my only challenge. This is why I'm not going to be making any comments (not yet anyway) on how to setup the XBR2 or on the relative quality of its picture. For now I'm just listening, and appreciating the expertise of others.
But, I don't want to be a parasite, and I can answer some of the questions here, so - it's my first time, please be gentle.
I thought I'd been pretty clear with my wife that I was going to do this. She, on the other hand, didn't think I was clear by quite this amount. Thus I have spent more time this weekend on ameliorating her decorating issues than on tuning up my tuning expertise.
I have been spending more time staring at TV stands on web pages than I have at the TV. I should have been staring at this forum. Mixdoctor already has one of the few good non-Sony solutions out there. Because the TV is so tall, any stand taller than 17" (the height of the loaner in my Pic below) is going to be too tall for most people. The PTV72B is one of the few out there that's shorter than this. So I just got back from Circuit City with the Omnimount CCH1. But, I can't even discuss moving the propeller. We'll see.
The other solution is the new Sony SURS51U stand which is indeed intended for both the 60 and 70 XBR2s. Here is a clear text link (I can't post URLs yet) to the Sony Manual for that stand. I got this link from a Sony online chat rep:(SORRY I know some of you will want this, but I've tried everything I can think of to get this link in here but I guess I'll have to make four more posts unless someone has an idea! I'll see what I can come up to post that's not completely useless in the mean time.)
Page 6 has a detailed set of measured drawings (including the cutout). This stand will drop the height of the base (in the cutout) to 14 7/8. This is great but the monster is 74" long. This is perfect if it's a 70 with the speakers on. Without the speakers it's going to be 3.5" longer on each side.
So don't lose those 60XBR1 stands yet. These are a much better length for the 70 without the speakers. I saw one at the dealer (although it had a different Sony on it?) and it looks like it might work. The XBR2 base is larger. I don't know if it can just be placed over the cutout. This might put a strain the base as it would only be supported on three edges.
But it also looks lake someone with a router could expand the cutout to the size of the new XBR2 base. The cutout in the metal cover in front would also have to be deepened about ½ inch. I don't know if this metal work can be done with a router. I'm going to stay tuned to you guys, and I will post any further findings.
A couple of other things people were asking about.
Location of Inputs: Without the speakers the set is 67.75 wide. All the inputs, except the HDMI, are in a recessed cutout that is approx. 10"w 8.5" h 2.25 d, and are 1.75" from bottom of base. Facing the XBR2 this cutout begins 21" from the left side of the XBR2's frame w/o speakers. If the speakers were attached add approx 3.5". The HDMI jacks are in a different recessed cutout. They are oriented vertically 40" from the left side. That cutout that begins 5" from the bottom of the base, and is about 2.5"w 5"h. They are about 4 to 5" from the rearmost point of the set. They are about 6" closer to the right edge of the set than the left. I made all these measurements bending and stretching but they should be pretty close. Close enough for cable sizing!
Time to power on: It takes about 20 seconds to get a picture from a cold (overnight) start to a picture on the HDMI inputs. The picture is initially dark and takes another 40 seconds or so to get bright enough so that you no longer see it getting brighter.
Time to switch inputs: This is the only negative/irritating thing I've found so far. Switching from HDMI to coax cable takes 2 seconds, BUT switching from cable to HDMI takes 8 to 10 seconds to get video (you get sound almost immediately). I found it doesn't matter if my Denon 4806 is passing thru the 480i or up-converting to 1080p. It still takes this long for the XBR2 to (I assume) analyze and start processing either of these signals.
The HDMI is the only external input I currently have connected. For a period I did have component inputs from my Yamaha DVD S700 connected and this seemed to take just as long to switch to as the HDMI.
Here's the somewhat irritating part though - this same delay seems to occur with ANY change to an external input signal. For instance, while keeping the XBR2 set to the HDMI input from the Denon AVR, any of the following causes the video to go black for at least 8 seconds: switching inputs on the Denon, calling up the Denon's OSD, exiting the Denon's OSD (even without making a change), changing to any AVR setting, powering the DVD player on or off. All these actions cause this video delay.
As no one else has commented on this I wonder if it's perhaps a known issue with HDTVs (or Sony?). I'll stay tuned, but now I've got to go find something other than the 5th Element and Star Wars III to run before my wife comes down.