Pros: Black levels, physical appearance, 3D quality, smart features
Cons: Touch remote, non-rechargable 3D glasses
Pulling it out of the box, I was immediately impressed by the physical appearance of the TV and the look of high quality. With the help of one other person, I was able to get it set up on the stand fairly quickly and easily. This TV is quite heavy and I would certainly avoid lifting it by yourself at any cost. Once on the stand, I was eager to plug it in and inspect for any defects. Perfection wasn't expected, but was well received and I plugged it in to the wall and connected my Blu-Ray player.
Setup was easy and quick, and within a few minutes I was connected to my WiFi network. The user interface was easy enough to browse through in that I didn't even need to crack open the manual. I don't remember which Blu-ray disc I threw in there first, but I was in awe and the picture quality just out of the box. Couldn't wait to get the rest of my AV equipment setup, but in the meantime I had to wait a bit to finish painting that room.
After a 6 weeks of using this TV, here are my impressions:
I've previously used my Blu-ray player to provide the Smart features that the TV now provides, and I'm very impressed with the responsiveness of the apps launching. They are nice and quick to launch and I like the ability to customize a number of 'home screens'. The only improvement I can think of now is that I wish the web browser had a full screen function.
The number of HDMI connections is sufficient, as I do my switching with my receiver. ARC works with my receiver as expected.
The built-in speakers, while better than most flat panel speakers, will disappoint. I initially thought I could get away without having a surround sound setup for a little while. However, I found some affects and dialogue difficult to hear and adjusting the audio settings or volume wasn't helping. I got my surround sound setup just about a week ago and it has really completed the experience.
Setup is a breeze, and the TV offers some good preset video modes that will satisfy me until I can get it professionally calibrated. The THX Cinema and Theater modes seem to be the best for nighttime viewing at the moment, while I use THX Bright Room mode for the daytime viewing. I also changed the Custom mode based on some data I received online and I use that often.
The brief wizard at the start gives you a good rundown of the Smart features as well as how to use the touch remote.
3) User Interface—
The menu and user interface is intuitive. My 10 year old son has quickly figured out what settings to change for when he's playing XBox or watching a movie. However, the remote that has the touchpad and voice control hasn't been touched since the first week. The voice controls work fine. However, it seems a little gimmicky. I don't foresee ever needing to use it again. The included 'regular' remote works like a champ and even has a backlit function which is nice. It will hold me over until my universal remote arrives and is configured.
By now, you can probably tell that I'm not a video guru. I'm simply a consumer that enjoys watching movies at home more than the theater. I cannot give you any specs on comparisons with other TV's or brightness/sharpness comparisons. However, I can say that I'm completely impressed with this TV in every way. I've watched a number of movies on it this past 6 weeks and I'm constantly amazed by the picture quality. Friends I've had over are also very impressed by the PQ. The 3-D quality is also very impressive and the depth is excellent. I've played a number of hours of XBox games as well and I've yet to have any issues with IR or noticeable lag.
I've heard of a few people having issues with fan noise. I've had no problems whatsoever and the fan noise is only noticeable to me when I've got the volume muted and my head behind the TV.
As far as the brightness... I've got this in a room that I can control the lighting pretty well and I don't have any issues with reflections. However, if you are in a room with windows, depending on the angle of viewing during the daytime, that could certainly pose a problem.
Overall, I would highly recommend this TV and I am looking forward to enjoying for quite a while.