AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern California
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I thought that I might get bombarded for having used capital letters; I know it's not proper, but I accidently had the caps lock on and didn't feel it was necessary to retype the entire message. Hope you weren't too offended.
Back to my point...........for those that say HDTV sets are not meant for non-HDTV displays. I have yet to see non-HDTV dispays on most of the sets; if they are as bad as the XBR 910, I will be putting off an HDTV purchase for some time. I'll have to bring a DVD recorded disk off DirecTV and try it on the various plasma and direct view CRT sets and see if any can scale the image to where it can at least match my current fine picture on my 27" Proton set, from which I can receive up to 550i with DirecTV. I have read columns by "experts" who claim that 1024i sets are worse on non-HDTV soures because more scaling has to be done; these same sources say an EDTV actually gives you better image quaility with either DVD or standard definition.
For the poster that didn't believe that CNET reviewers criticized the XBR 910's non-HDTV performance, here are the quotes directly:
Call me inexperienced or impatient with this generation of CRT, but I could not after 4 weeks get a picture to look anywhere near as good as a Sony 32" (kv-32xbr96s) I bought EIGHT years ago. I must note that I only connected a progressive-scan dvd player (Sony's own DVP-NC555ES). All of the presets looked horrible. I had to adjust the settings EVERY TIME for every different dvd I loaded in, which was very inconvenient. I had to turn the picture and brightness levels nearly all the way up to achieve a halfway decent picture. The best modes were either Movie or Pro. I hooked a videogame console up to it and it looked horrific. The images were blurry, snowy - not sharp and clean at all. I attempted to increase resolution somewhat by bringing in the edges (horizontal and vertical overscan) by accessing the service menu. Again, hardly any improvement. The DRC Palette controls are a joke. I could make out hardly any changes in picture quality no matter how far in any direction I adjusted. Again, this for me was a HUGE disappointment. I ended up returning the set with a new found appreciation of my OLD Trinitron XBR2.
2) When watch 4:3 ratio source, the image can be fuzzy wether is from DVD or TV. Moreover, when play some (not all) wide screen DVD, for some reason, the images is not as sharp as I would hoped for.
3) The HD picture is awesome!! However, any analog signal (show) still looks pretty bad, and that is not in comparison to HD, but rather, in comparison to my other Sony.
4. Regular programming is nothing to write home about, but the HD is incredible!
5. One catch...this TV is not made for non-HD broadcasts.
6. Regular over the air, and Standard Dish signal does not look good.
7. I will concede that analog broadcasts do not look as good as hoped.
8. The analog reception on this set is not as good as it is on my 36 in Sony.
9. I'm just an average viewer. I have a 32 inch Sony which I love. I've had the XBR910 almost a week and the set is easy to use and has some good features. But all I am doing is constantly adjusting this set. The picture on a regular TV station is HORRIFIC!! Some stations are clear (somewhat) and others are terrible! I keep trying to adjust, and it is annoying. I'm visiting the retailer (Tweeter) this week to see if this is my set or if this is to be expected. All I know is that my regular Sony never needs adjustment and every TV station looks the same. That can't be said of this set. I had a non-progressive scan DVD hooked up and picture was not cystal clear. I bought a low-end progressive scan DVD player with component video hook-ups and the picture showed little-to-no change. Taking that back today to see if a higher end player will make a difference. I compared the same movie on my 32 inch Sony and the clarity is better. I don't know if this is just a bad set or if this is what should be expected. This set is just too high maintenace for me. I can't stand the thought that I paid $2250 and anything other than a close-up shot of people looks horrible. The DRC settings are pretty useless. Little change between them and, honestly, I'm tired of tweeking this thing all of the time. If something changes drastically (like this set gets repaired) I'll provide an update. I have 60 days to return it and I'm seriously thinking of doing that except for the fact that I have to pack it back up and cart the 200 lb monster back to the store.
Are these reviewers all mistaken? If not, can you really justify spending the $ for this set when you are limited to a 28" poor non-HDTV signal with uneven edges. The HDTV picture was fantastic, but unless the standard picture with DirecTV is at least on par with my current set, I can not justify the purchase at any price. Perhaps DirecTV's great image quality will make the difference over the cable version I saw today. Further, the signal may not have been pristine, or the store may not be using the best connection (S-Video).
Appreciate anyone with personal experience on receiving non-HDTV signals on this set. For me at least, this is the deal breaker on this set. Thanks!