A few basic questions for owners of the 550 series.
How is the SD DVD performance of this set? I have quite a few DVDs that aren't the highest quality and I want them to look good (they look great on my current plasma (42px75 from Panasonic), better than my old 20 inch CRT surprisingly, just not as vivid) but watching them on a LCD monitor, they don't look that great which worries me that they won't look that good on a 550. Just how well does this set handle 480i/p images? (including a Nintendo Wii over component and a DVD player over s-video) I can't help but feel that this LCD is going to be a step down in the PQ of quite a bit of content.
How is the color accuracy? My plasma has a bit of a green push in everything, and that bugs me a bit (can't adjust individual color settings). Just how much can you adjust in the user menu color wise?
How are the viewing angles? I can look at my plasma from a 160 degree angle and get almost no loss in quality at all (and look at it from a high vertical angle with no loss as well) I don't expect them to be that good but I am hoping that they are comparable.
Are there any performance differences between the various screen sizes? I know that some models from various manufacturers have had sometimes large variations in the same model line at different screen sizes, does that hold true for these sets or are they fairly even?
This final one is a motion blur test for PS3 owners. I consider this to be the best motion test available for HDTVs and will easily show if a set blurs at all. Even my plasma shows a bit of blur on this test. (this is for resolution loss blur, not ghosting or smearing) The XBR4 smearing thread has that test in it, and it almost seems that this is using the same panel as the XBR4 which has me a bit worried.
Load up Ninja Gaiden Sigma (the demo works just fine, full 1080p support so no scaling on the TV's end, and full 60fps with no blur filter, so it doesn't have any blur built into the game) and start a new game and work your way to the point that two ninja ambush you from above, after getting rid of them rotate the camera to face all the trees. This is the test. Start by slowly turning the camera and watch one tree, does it loose any detail at all, even a slight amount as it goes by? The background will blur as it goes by but the tree you are watching with your eyes should stay in focus, that is what you are watching for, if the tree you are watching as it goes by looks like it is going out of focus. If it does then the TV has bad motion blur. Next up it to about a half speed spin and watch a tree as it goes by, if it isn't just as sharp as it is stationary then the set has moderate blur. Now the true stress test, a full speed spin, this is where my plasma starts to show blur, and even then it is minor, but on a HD CRT even this has zero blur, it is almost creepy at how smooth the motion is on a CRT with this test.
I don't expect this TV to pass the full spin, but I expect it to have minor blur at half speed. Most LCD fans will say that this test has no bearing on actual gameplay, but it does if you play any FPS game that runs at 60fps. This test tells you how much blur you will have to deal with when you are frantically trying to spot a sniper half way across the map who is shooting at you with a M21, if there is too much blur you could pass right over him and never know that blurry blob wasn't a part of the shrub you were looking at until it is too late.
Ok some of these were a bit more than basic, but these are essential if I ever plan on buying an LCD, these tests help me find the weaknesses of a display and determine if it is a good all around display for everyday use, no matter how extreme the use gets.